Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Who gets absolute moral authority?

original article: Malkin: Who gets absolute moral authority?
July 20, 2016 by Michelle Malkin

My 12-year-old son couldn’t remember the phrase “take a walk down memory lane” last week, instead describing a stroll through “nostalgia road.” I knew it would come in handy.

Put on your hiking boots and join me for an educational trip down good ol’ nostalgia road.

It seems like yesterday when Champion of Wimmin Maureen Dowd, bemoaning the lack of sympathy for anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan, declared in The New York Times that “the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.”

No ifs, ands or other hedging qualifiers. Absolutely absolute.

And it was just a blink of an eye ago that the same New York Times spilled barrels of adulatory ink on the 9/11 widows known as the Jersey Girls. Remember them? The quartet of Democratic women parlayed their post-terror attack plight into powerful roles as Bush-bashing citizen lobbyists.

Their story, the lib narrative-shaping paper of record reported, was a “tale of a political education, and a sisterhood born of grief.”

Moms and widows deserved special consideration in the public square, the argument went a decade ago. Their experience and their testimony warranted respect, deference and the national spotlight.

But then, as now, only a special class of victims is entitled to cash in the Absolute Moral Authority card. Not all parents and spouses who have lost loved ones can join the Club of the Unquestioned and Unassailable.

On Monday night at the Republican National Convention, Pat Smith shared her own tale of a political education born of grief after her diplomat son, Sean Smith, died in the Benghazi terrorist attack. Hillary Clinton, she passionately insisted, “deserves to be in stripes!”

GQ sports writer Nathaniel Friedman showed his compassion for Smith’s loss and pain by tweeting, “I don’t care how many children Pat Smith lost I would like to beat her to death.”

MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who had helped make Cindy Sheehan a media star and urged her to run for Congress based on her status as a grieving war mom, fumed that Pat Smith had “ruined” the entire convention with her heartfelt testimony. The smug Democratic political operative turned TV bloviator, who had also elevated the Jersey Girls’ celebrity status with multiple bookings on his show, couldn’t bear to speak Smith’s name:

“I don’t care what that woman up there, the mother, has felt. Her emotions are her own, but for the country in choosing a leader, it’s wrong to have someone get up there and tell a lie about Hillary Clinton.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chimed in on the same network that he was disgusted with how the GOP convention was using Smith to “exploit a tragedy.”

GOP-bashers heaped similar derision on father Jamiel Shaw Sr. and mothers Sabine Durden and Mary Ann Mendoza, who all spoke at the convention about losing children to criminals who had slipped illegally through open borders and revolving deportation doors. “Progressives” sneered at Shaw as an “Uncle Tom” for pointing out that Latino gangbangers targeted his black son because of his race. The intolerant tolerance mob also accused Durden of being “fooled” and Durden and Mendoza of being “exploited for apocalyptic theater.”

Will these horrified hang-wringers be as outspokenly offended next week when the Democratic National Convention dedicates an entire evening to the so-called Mothers of the Movement?

Among the sainted moms of the Black Lives Matter movement who will speak on Hillary Clinton’s behalf are Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton; Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis; Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton; and Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland.

Each of these cases lumped under supposedly unjustified gun violence and systemic racism is complicated and distinct. For starters, Bland hanged herself when her friends and family wouldn’t bail her out of jail after she had kicked a police officer. Two of the “children” involved in police shootings (Brown and Hamilton) had assaulted cops during their fatal encounters.

But drop all questions and doubts. “These mothers have worked tirelessly to raise awareness around the issues that surround their children’s deaths,” the liberal Huffington Post reports.

Because these women endorse race-baiting, gun-grabbing narratives and left-wing candidates, no one working in the mainstream media will ever challenge their parental prerogative to participate in politics on behalf of their loved ones.

Moms who have lost their children to Democratic incompetence, corruption and open-borders treachery are out of luck. The dealers of Absolute Moral Authority play with a loaded deck.

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CHATTANOOGA TERRORIST: THE DYLANN ROOF OF RADICAL ISLAM

original article: CHATTANOOGA TERRORIST: THE DYLAN ROOF OF RADICAL ISLAM
July 21, 2015 by JOEL B. POLLAK

On the surface, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez and Dylan Roof might seem to have little in common but the brutal nature of their crimes.

The former was a Muslim terrorist who killed five U.S. servicemen and wounded several others at a recruiting office in Chattanooga last week. The latter is the white supremacist who slaughtered nine innocent people at a historic black church in Charleston last month.

Given the somewhat opposed nature of their respective extremist beliefs, they might even have been expected to hate each other, at least privately.

And yet as the psychological profile of each killer begins to emerge, there are striking similarities.

Both men were young loners in their mid-twenties. Both were involved, to a greater or lesser extent, with drugs. Both may have struggled with mental illness. And both seemed to find some kind of solace in extremism. They imagined idealized civilizations that would place them in the midst of, or at the pinnacle of, an elite that wielded authority over masses of other people. They chose targets who were among the best, the exemplars, of the society they lived in.

It may ultimately prove difficult to link directly Abdulazeez to a global terrorist group, (though he apparently researched Anwar al-Awlaki online). But it may not have been necessary. The nature of social media allows anyone to discover radicalism, carry out a “lone wolf” attack, and achieve instant martyr-stardom.

Likewise, it was impossible to connect Roof to an actual white supremacist movement or group (though the media tried, mightily). He held the Confederate flag in photos, but he named himself “the last Rhodesian.” And how many ex-Rhodesians can he possibly have met?

Perhaps there are clues in these two cases that might point toward a generic profile of the “lone wolf” terrorist in the new social media age. What is more certain, however, is that our society has reacted to each case differently.

With Roof, the community felt the need to purge itself of the symbol with which he had associated–namely, the Confederate flag. With Abdulazeez, the green of Islam illuminated the Empire State Building the next day (and the president, for unknown reasons, declined to lower the U.S. flag to half-mast in mourning for the fallen men).

True, Islam is recognized as a great monotheistic religion, a civilization that has made immense positive contributions to the world. And while support for extremism is more widespread in the Islamic world than Western liberals would like to believe, a very tiny minority of Muslims are terrorists. Yet there is more evil perpetrated today in the name of Islam, including slavery, than is done today under the Confederate flag.

That is not to say we should ban the banners of Islam. We should, though, be more sensitive about indulging them.

killers

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Bob Woodward: Wrong, Bush Did Not Lie Us Into Iraq

original article: Bob Woodward: Wrong, Bush Did Not Lie Us Into Iraq
May 25, 2015 by Jack Coleman

Future commencement speech invitations for Beltway media eminence grise Bob Woodward effectively evaporated, at least in the Northeast, after his appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday.

Woodward, who’ll be known in perpetuity as the stable half of the reporting duo who brought down Richard Nixon for a scandal that now appears paltry compared to the vast money-laundering scheme dignified under lofty title of Clinton Global Foundation, admirably did his part to puncture a sacred liberal myth — that Bush lied and people died. As Woodward sees it, only the latter half of that equation is correct.

http://www.mrctv.org/embed/135982

No matter, liberals will keep muttering it, usually when they’re awake, since clinging to their delusions is essential for maintaining what passes for sanity among them —

HOST CHRIS WALLACE: I want to turn to a different subject in the time we have left and that is the politics of Iraq which has gotten a lot of attention in the last couple of weeks with Jeb Bush, with Marco Rubio and with a bunch of other people and these questions of was it was a mistake to go in in 2003, was it a mistake to get out in 2011, and what impact this could have both in the Republican race and also the Democratic race. …

WOODWARD: Iraq is a symbol and you certainly can make a persuasive argument it was a mistake but there’s a kind of line going along that Bush and the other people lied about this. I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq and lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD and he (Bush) was the one who was skeptical. And if you tried to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier and finally at that end people were saying, hey look, it’ll only take a week or two and early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months and so Bush pulled the trigger.

A mistake, certainly, can be argued and there’s an abundance of evidence but there was no lie in this that I could find.

WALLACE: And what about 2011 and Obama’s decision to pull all the troops out? There had been a status of forces agreement between Bush and the Iraqi government that provided for a follow-on force. The Pentagon was talking about somewhere between 10- and 20,000 (troops) and a lot of people think, although Obama says, well we tried to negotiate and we didn’t, a lot of people think he really didn’t want to keep any troops there.

WOODWARD: Well, I think he didn’t. Look, Obama does not like war, but as you look back on this the argument from the military was, let’s keep 10-, 15,000 troops there as an insurance policy and we all know insurance policies make sense. We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still 65 years or so after the war. When you’re superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies and he didn’t in this case. I don’t think you can say everything is because of that decision but clearly a factor.

Obama will never admit it, but he knows he was wrong to abandon Iraq in 2011 for the sole purpose of potentially embarrassing Bush by saddling him with its loss. He’s tacitly acknowledged this by delaying the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which Obama in 2008 deemed the good war to Bush’s doomed misadventure in Iraq.

What should haunt Obama now as a result of his callow folly is the specter of Baghdad going the way of Saigon in the spring of 1975, as vividly depicted in Rory Kennedy’s most recent documentary, Last Days in Vietnam. Should this come to pass and the death toll rises to the point where genocide and not mass killings is invoked to describe the scale of slaughter, fellow Democrats will agree with Obama that this too is Bush’s fault. But which is preferable — Iraq as it is ripped asunder after six years of Obama’s quixotic foreign policy, or its stability and prospects when Bush left office in 2009?

No Lie
May 26, 2015 b Peter Roff

Bob Woodward throws cold water on the left’s claim that Bush lied the nation into war with Iraq.

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When will it be time for good people to do something about ISIS?

original article: ISIS is using severed heads as soccer balls and we’re training our troops THIS?
April 13, 2015 by Michele Hickford

ISIS-plays-soccer-with-severed-head-600

So let’s just set the scene here.

A refugee fleeing for his life in Syria reports he saw ISIS terrorists beheading civilians and playing soccer with their heads, according to WND.com.

“I saw severed heads,” Abdel Fatah said. “They killed children in front of their parents. We were terrorized. We had heard of their cruelty from the television, but when we saw it ourselves…I can tell you, their reputation is well-deserved.”

Sixteen-year-old Amjad Yaaqub said, “In Palestine Street, I saw two members of Daesh (the Arabic name for ISIS) playing with a severed head as if it was a football.”

Yes, our savage enemies are beheading innocents and using the heads as footballs, when they’re not impregnating nine-year-old girls.

Meanwhile, in the good old U.S. of A., the most fearsome military force in the world is being trained on…wait for it…wait for it…when it’s okay to kiss a girl.

As The Free Beacon puts it, “an issue that could “dramatically affect” the mission of the United States Armed Forces is telling soldiers when it is okay to kiss a girl.”

The Free Beacon says the Air Force said the course will educate Airmen “about the serious cultural and societal issues that could dramatically affect our mission.

“The Air Force is the latest branch to employ the services of Mike Domitrz, a speaker and author known for his “May I Kiss You?” training session, to teach servicemembers about consent and sexual assault prevention.”

“On Thursday the Air Force awarded Domitrz’s company, the Date Safe Project, $10,000 for three training sessions.”

“Domitrz’s 60 to 90 minute sessions offer a “unique combination of humor and dramatic story telling,” the Air Force said in an attachment detailing the contract terms.”

Speaking of “dramatically affecting the mission,” the Air Force is consideringscrapping the A-10 Warthog, one of the most potent aircraft in our arsenal, but nah, we can get along without that.

Oh and don’t forget…we’re paying hormone treatments for Bradley Manning’s gender reassignment, and spending time and resources attempting to train women for combat infantry courses they can’t pass.

But don’t you worry! Our military has its eye on the ball – even if it is someone’s severed head.

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NYT discovers President Bush sacrificed reputation to secretly destroy Iraqi WMDs

The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

The effort was run out of the C.I.A. station in Baghdad in collaboration with the Army’s 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and teams of chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, officials and veterans of the units said. Many rockets were in poor condition and some were empty or held a nonlethal liquid, the officials said. But others contained the nerve agent sarin, which analysis showed to be purer than the intelligence community had expected given the age of the stock.

A New York Times investigation published in October found that the military had recovered thousands of old chemical warheads and shells inIraq and that Americans and Iraqis had been wounded by them, but the government kept much of this information secret, from the public and troops alike.

These munitions were remnants of an Iraqi special weapons program that was abandoned long before the 2003 invasion, and they turned up sporadically during the American occupation in buried caches, as part of improvised bombs or on black markets.

The potency of sarin samples from the purchases, as well as tightly held assessments about risks the munitions posed, buttresses veterans’ claims that during the war the military did not share important intelligence about battlefield perils with those at risk or maintain an adequate medical system for treating victims of chemical exposure.

The purchases were made from a sole Iraqi source who was eager to sell his stock, officials said. The amount of money that the United States paid for the rockets is not publicly known, and neither are the affiliations of the seller.

Most of the officials and veterans who spoke about the program did so anonymously because, they said, the details remain classified. The C.I.A. declined to comment. The Pentagon, citing continuing secrecy about the effort, did not answer written questions and acknowledged its role only obliquely.

“Without speaking to any specific programs, it is fair to say that together with our coalition partners in Iraq, the U.S. military worked diligently to find and remove weapons that could be used against our troops and the Iraqi people,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a written statement.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner, the top American military intelligence officer in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, said he did not know of any other intelligence program as successful in reducing the chemical weapons that remained in Iraq after the American-led invasion.

Through the C.I.A.’s purchases, General Zahner said, hundreds of weapons with potential use for terrorists were quietly taken off the market. “This was a timely and effective initiative by our national intelligence partners that negated the use of these unique munitions,” he said.

Photo

An image from the 1990s showing the destruction of Iraqi nerve-agent weapons. CreditUNSCOM

Not long after Operation Avarice had secured its 400th rocket, in 2006, American troops were exposed several times to other chemical weapons. Many of these veterans said that they had not been warned by their units about the risks posed by the chemical weapons and that their medical care and follow-up were substandard, in part because military doctors seemed unaware that chemical munitions remained in Iraq.

In some cases, victims of exposure said, officers forbade them to discuss what had occurred. The Pentagon now says hundreds of other veterans reported on health-screening forms that they believed they too had been exposed during the war.

Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said the belated acknowledgment of a chemical-rocket purchases, as well as the potentially worrisome laboratory analysis of the related sarin samples, raised questions about the military’s commitment to the well-being of those it sent to war.

“If we were aware of these compounds, and as it became clear over the course of the war that our troops had been exposed to them, why wasn’t more done to protect the guys on the ground?” he said. “It speaks to the broader failure.”

The first purchase under Operation Avarice, according to veterans and officials familiar with the effort, occurred in early September 2005, when an Iraqi man provided a single Borak. The warhead presented intelligence analysts with fresh insight into a longstanding mystery.

During its war against Iran in the 1980s, Iraq had fielded multiple variants of 122-millimeter rockets designed to disperse nerve agents.

The Borak warheads, which are roughly 40 inches long and attach to a motor compatible with the common Grad multiple rocket launcher system, were domestically produced. But no clear picture ever emerged of how many Iraq manufactured or how many it fired during the Iran-Iraq war.

In confidential declarations in the 1990s to the United Nations, Iraq gave shifting production numbers, up to 18,500. It also claimed to have destroyed its remaining stock before international inspectors arrived after the Persian Gulf war.

No clear evidence ever surfaced to support Iraq’s claim, which meant that questions about whether Boraks remained were “carried forward as one of the big uncertainties,” said Charles A. Duelfer, a senior United Nationsinspector at the time who later led the C.I.A.’s Iraq Survey Group. There was “a big gap in the information,” he said.

The mystery deepened in 2004 and early 2005, when the United States recovered 17 Boraks. The circumstances of those recoveries are not publicly known. Then came Operation Avarice and its promise of a larger haul. It began when the Iraqi seller delivered his first Borak, which the military secretly flew to the United States for examination.

The Iraqi seller would then periodically notify the C.I.A. in Baghdad that he had more for sale, officials said.

The agency worked with the Army intelligence battalion and chemical weapons specialists, who would fly by helicopter to Iraq’s southeast and meet the man for exchanges.

The handoffs varied in size, including one of more than 150 warheads. American ordnance disposal technicians promptly destroyed most of them by detonation, the officials said, but some were taken to Camp Slayer, by Baghdad’s airport, for further testing.

One veteran familiar with the program said warheads were tested by putting them in “an old cast-iron bathtub” and drilling through their metal exteriors to extract the liquid sarin within.

The analysis of sarin samples from 2005 found that the purity level reached 13 percent — higher than expected given the relatively low quality and instability of Iraq’s sarin production in the 1980s, officials said. Samples from Boraks recovered in 2004 had contained concentrations no higher than 4 percent.

The new data became grounds for concern. “Borak rockets will be more hazardous than previously assessed,” one internal report noted. It added a warning: the use of a Borak in an improvised bomb “could effectively disperse the sarin nerve agent.”

Photo

The C.I.A. is said to have bought and destroyed at least 400 Iraqi nerve-agent weapons like these Borak rockets, which were discovered separately. CreditU.S. Army

An internal record from 2006 referred to “agent purity of up to 25 percent for recovered unitary sarin weapons.”

Cheryl Rofer, a retired chemist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said such purity levels were plausible, because Iraq’s sarin batches varied in quality and the contents of warheads may have achieved an equilibrium as the contents degraded.

Military officials said that because the seller was a C.I.A. source they did not know his name or whether he was a smuggler, a former or current Iraqi official, a front for Iraq’s government, or something else. But as he continued to provide rockets, his activities drew more interest.

The Americans believed the weapons came from near Amarah, a city not far from Iran. It was not clear, however, if rockets had been retrieved from a former forward firing point used by Iraq’s military during the Iran-Iraq War, or from one of the ammunition depots around the city.

Neither the C.I.A. nor the soldiers persuaded the man to reveal his source of supply, the officials said. “They were pushing to see where did it originate from, was there a mother lode?” General Zahner said.

Eventually, a veteran familiar with the purchases said, “the guy was getting a little cocky.”

At least once he scammed his handlers, selling rockets filled with something other than sarin.

Then in 2006, the veteran said, the Iraqi drove a truckload of warheads to Baghdad and “called the intel guys to tell them he was going to turn them over to the insurgents unless they picked them up.”

Not long after that, the veteran said, the relationship appeared to dry up, ending purchases that had ensured “a lot of chemical weapons were destroyed.”

original article: C.I.A. Is Said to Have Bought and Destroyed Iraqi Chemical Weapons
February 15, 2015 by C. J. CHIVERS and ERIC SCHMITT

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Chaplain punished for sharing his faith in suicide prevention class

December 9, 2014 by Todd Starnes

An Army chaplain was punished for discussing matters of faith and quoting from the Bible during a suicide prevention training session with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion — leading to outrage from religious liberty groups and a Georgia congressman.

Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn was issued a Letter of Concern that accused him of advocating for Christianity and “using Christian scripture and solutions” during a Nov. 20th training session held at the University of North Georgia.

“You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia, wrote in the letter to the chaplain. “This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information.”

The Christian chaplain was warned to be “careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another.”

The Christian chaplain was warned to be “careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another.”

However, attorneys for the chaplain, along with religious advocacy groups, say his comments are covered by the “right of conscience clause” that was passed in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, section 533.

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Chaplain Lawhorn was ordered to appear in the colonel’s office on Thanksgiving Day where he was personally handed the Letter of Concern.

Based on Col. Fivecoat’s version of events — you would’ve thought Chaplain Lawhorn had turned the suicide prevention workshop into a Billy Graham Crusade. However, that’s not what happened.

During the course of conducting the training session, Ron Crews, the endorsing agent for military chaplains for Grace Churches International, explained, the chaplain discussed his own struggles with depression and the methods and techniques he personally used to combat depression. He said the chaplain did provide a handout with religious resources — but he also provided a handout with non-religious resources.

“The chaplain did nothing wrong,” said Crews. “At no time did he say his was the only or even the preferred way of dealing with depression. And at no time did he deny the validity of any other method.”

Lawhorn is one of the few Army chaplains to wear the Ranger Tab and Crews said it was through that identification that he shared his story about depression.

“His story involves his faith journey,” Crews said. “He was simply being a great Army chaplain – in ministering to his troops and providing first hand how he has dealt with depression in the past. That’s what chaplains do. They bare their souls for their soldiers in order to help them with crises they may be going through.”

However, someone in the training session complained to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. That complaint led to a story on the Huffington Post.

Michael Berry, an attorney with Liberty Institute, a law firm that handles religious liberty cases, is representing the chaplain. He said the person who filed the complained “exploited” the chaplain’s “vulnerability.”

“It took a great amount of courage for Chaplain Lawhorn to discuss his own personal battle with depression,” Berry said. “At no time did he consider himself to be in a ‘preacher’ role.”
Berry called on the Army to rescind the Letter of Concern — calling it a violation of the chaplain’s constitutional rights.

“Not only is it lawful for a chaplain to talk about matters of faith and spirituality and religion in a suicide prevention training class – but the Army policy encourages discussion of matters of faith and spiritual wellness,” Berry told me. “The fact that one person in the class was offended changes nothing.”

Congressman Doug Collins, a Republican lawmaker from Georgia, whose district includes the area where the training session took place, fired off a letter to Col. Fivecoat expressing his concerns in the matter.

“I find it counterintuitive to have someone lead a suicide prevention course but prohibit them from providing their personal testimony,” Collins wrote.

He cited the Army’s Equal Opportunity policy and how it was set up to protect the personal beliefs of military personnel.

“I fear Chaplain Lawhorn’s freedom of expression was improperly singled out,” he wrote.

Liberty Institute tells me the Army will allow me to speak with the chaplain — but not right now. And Col. Fivecoat sent me an email telling me that he would not be able to comment at this point.

If I’m reading between the lines — that Letter of Concern comes pretty close to accusing the chaplain of proselytizing. Crews agrees with my assessment.

“The bottom line is — that is exactly what they are trying to accuse him of — when nothing could be further from the truth,” Crews told me. “The military leadership needs to commend Chaplain Lawhorn, not condemn him.”

Berry said Americans should be shocked and outraged over Chaplain Lawhorn’s punishment.

“His job is to save lives — and he’s being punished for trying to do his job,” Berry said. “He’s doing everything he can to save them – and yet now they’re trying to say – the way you’re doing it offends me.”

I find it both repulsive and heartbreaking to know that we have a military that frowns upon a chaplain using a Bible to save a soldier’s life.

original article: Chaplain punished for sharing his faith in suicide prevention class

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The few deserving of honor

For a time it was common sense that without a military no nation will remain a nation for long. In the case of Switzerland an astoundingly effective natural barrier protects them from any invading force. That is the only reason Switzerland has been able to maintain a neutral status in so many conflicts. Most other countries in the world don’t have that protection from violent threats. So they have to create it by forming a military.

Then there was a time, in the not so distant past, when the military was considered the problem, not a solution to the problem. There is no perfect solution to the problem as long as people are involved. That’s life. Instead of acknowledging people are flawed and that these flaws are why a military is necessary in the first place, it was instead assumed that the military’s very existence was the only cause of its necessity. Without a military there would no longer be a need for the military, because no one would see us as a threat. The notion of “the only thing to fear is fear itself” lead this changed philosophy, and spear headed not just anti-war protests but anti-military sentiment. This supposedly enlightended view would not allow for such a thing as a justified war. Lies and misrepresentations would now guide public narrative about war.

Some of this anti-military sentiment lingers today. In the Abu Graib scandal of the Bush years there were stories condemning not only the actions of a few punks in the military, but it seemed as if the entire military should be held accountable for the abuse of prisoners. At the same time there was a strong resistance to allowing the actions of many, many suicide bombers to be treated as representing the entire Muslim race. There was and still is plenty of open mindedness and tolerance for Islamic militants, not so much for America’s own armed services.

Today we see the pendulum swinging back toward honoring those who serve, and rightly so. Today we will more often see people expressing thanks to our troops for their service, and rightly so. There are a lot of things military personnel have to deal with and do that an increasing entitlement-minded civilian population couldn’t handle even if our lives depended on it. There may be some punks who allow this to go to their head but the vast majority of those I know who serve are honorable and humble people. They don’t have a chip in their shoulder and they don’t think of themselves and superior. It’s easy to accuse our troops of thinking like that when they have accomplished so much, because their job required this of them, and we civilians so often give up so easily at so little difficulty. Some feel it easier to question the intentions of our veterans rather than our own. In my experience, those who are more likely to feel they are better than others are not the military or veterans, but their critics. Let’s face it, taking a test is not on par with having people shoot at you.

No one is suggesting our military or the troops or veterans are perfect. And that’s where we meet some of that lingering hatred for the military. Patriotism itself is sometimes equated with Nationalism or some other nefarious motive. To say “thanks for your service” is sometimes equated with putting troops on a pedestal or suggesting America’s armed service members are infallible. I humbly submit to you we should be willing to afford at the very least the same benefit of the doubt to our troops and veterans as we are supposed to afford to terrorists, I mean Islamic militants, I mean freedom fighters, or what ever we’re calling them now. There are a few other things in American life that are treated as infallible and sacrosanct which are likewise undeserving of such reverence. In a culture pushing self esteem above accomplishment and promoting an entitlement mentality it’s also easy to put ourselves on a pedestal.

Ultimately, everything we do and build will die. No system of government, no idea, no structure or anything humanity has built will least for ever. Nothing we do or build is worthy of being put on a pedestal (not the military, not Obamacare, not President Obama himself) but we should also give credit where credit is due. That includes avoiding giving credit and blame where they are undue. It’s all too common today to see our troops treated as villains and suicide bombers as victims.

But honoring our troops requires more than just words. In an article written by an Iraq war veteran he mentions some organizations designed to help our veterans reintegrate themselves back into civilian life. This is a good mission which deserves your support. Please visit one or more of the following organizations:

This Mission Continues
Team Rubicon
Pat Tillman Foundation

While we are flawed and finite creatures there are some who do quite a lot, given human limitations. Better yet, these people accomplish such things in the service of us all, putting themselves in harms way, to help keep us safe here at home so we can work and study and play and keep ourselves entertained. It’s true that our military and veterans are flawed people, as are cops, fire fighters, etc., (as are you and I), but what they do and have done in service to the rest of us deserves recognition and appreciation. That’s due credit, at the very least.

culture, freedom, military, patriotism, troops

Filed under: culture, freedom, military, patriotism, troops

How far will you let this silliness go?

It’s a loaded question, sure. Sorry about that. Instead of saving it until the end, let me instead start with the punch line: you are letting this happen.

I don’t mean you’re making this happen. But because the silent majority (as we call it) is, well, silent, shenanigans keep happening and they seem to be happening more frequently and at a faster pace. For example:

(8-Year-Old Points Finger Like Gun, Suspended for ‘Act Of Violence’)
“Bang, Bang,” You’re Suspended: Second-Grader Sent Home for Carrying Invisible Gun
October 3, 2013 by Evan Bernick

(school forces girl to change shirt because it’s “offensive, violent, or divisive clothing”)
School Apologizes to Student, Says She Can Wear NRA Shirt
October 3, 2013 by AWR Hawkins

(uniformed cop’s gun freaks out parents as he drops off his daughter at school)
The Unbelievable Reason This Police Officer Dad Was Told Not to Visit His Daughter’s School While in Uniform
October 3, 2013 by Jason Howerton

Now there are plenty of other problems our society must deal with. Illegal immigration is being turned upside down so that anyone who thinks security issues should be taken seriously are considered evil. Anyone who thinks government taking over ever increasing degrees of our daily lives is a problem are considered evil. The religion of peace is still killing people all over the world and if you mention what I just said you’re considered evil. And the list goes on and on. A progressive agenda seems to be winning the culture war on many fronts. There’s so much, and the war is so big, what can we do about it?

That’s a good question, kind of. Those of us who work to pay for government benefits offered to the American people typically don’t have a lot of time to organize – because we’re working. In fact because of our current economic situation many of us have had to rely on those government benefits, and we may even wonder if the system was ever designed to help people get out of it. But we need to be careful how we live in every aspect of life. When trying to preserve liberty and fight the forces that erode it we need to guard against damaging our own side. Thinking has as much to do with the culture war as does policy; perhaps even more so. Did you notice part of a progressive attitude even in asking “what can we do about it”?

If we take a collective approach to dealing with society’s problems we can easily get locked into a progressive trap: the problem is SO BIG. That mentality can lead us to feeling defeated, and we give up. Or it can lead us to thinking only the professionals and experts can fight this fight – which is eerily similar to the “government knows best” tenet of left wing ideology. When fighting against progressive policy we’re fighting an uphill battle. There’s so much going on that we need to fight those up hill battles, sure, but we don’t have to limit the fight only to this hard way of doing things. We can also battle the supply lines, the beginnings of the culture war: people’s hearts and minds.

We can challenge progressive ideas before they over take our laws. We can attack parts of the progressive agenda before they take root in our communities. It’s much easier to win a battle that way, if we would just do it. But we’re reluctant. There are some brave souls willing to devote their lives to this battle, and they should be commended. Much of what is now called the “new media” or “alternative media” is a great example of what can happen when freedom loving Americans work together to fight the culture war. Alternative media has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few decades. But that’s only a good start, it’s not the end.

Freedom lovers need to be active not only in living life but also in defending the very liberty we love. We all know the saying eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. But we don’t act like we know it. We often live our lives as though merely exercising freedom is enough. It isn’t. Our freedoms are eroding while are jaws scrape the ground in astonishment. But there is something we can do.

Pick an issue. Build a community around defending freedom in that arena. You’re right in thinking you, alone, can’t do much. But you also won’t accomplish much in just leaving it “to the experts”. You can form a tribe with like minded people. And as a team you can accomplish something.

Make movies. Make music. Form a club, a think tank, a fund raiser, etc. Pick something you and a group of other freedom lovers can do together to join in the fight.

separation between school and stateBack to the school shenanigans mentioned in the news stories above. The progressive agenda has dominated public education for generations, and it’s getting worse. The left is moving further left and training future citizens to perpetuate a Statist way of life. This agenda can be challenged on a grassroots level. If that movement grows, as it almost certainly would, you could push back hard against the anti-gun/anti-Second Amendment agenda. In fact I’ve created something to help in that particular fight. I’m calling it the Separation Between School and State movement. (click here)

Utilizing current print on demand services you can get shirts, stickers, drink ware, and more to help promote a message you want to promote. You can get all that stuff for the Separation Between School and State message as well. I’ve created a Cafepress store promoting many liberty-minded messages. You don’t have to get my stuff, you can make your own stuff. But I’m trying to pay bills at my house, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this post and tell others about my Dare to be Different store.

Check out the messages available at Dare to be Different. There is a ton of swag for “Equal Justice”, “Fair Share”, “Selective Tolerance”, “The Political Class” and lots more uncommon sense that used to be common in previous generations. And I’m adding new material all the time. You can see the whole store by clicking here now. I want to help right minded Americans fight the culture war from the grassroots level, fighting an oppressive philosophy BEFORE it becomes the law of the land. And when sufficient momentum is built you’ll be amazed at how much can be done at the state or even federal level.

Do you know of an event or meeting in a month or two? Get some of my Uncommon Sense messages and hand out the swag to people who share your love of liberty. Would you like to see an established organization do more in their fight or try something different? Have them stock up on Uncommon Sense. Start with individuals and grassroots organizations or events. That’s what my mission is about.

I’ve also created a separate store just for messages to help people show appreciation for our troops. Click here to see that stuff.

In the early days of alternative media I found myself astounded at merely hearing someone speak truth against progressives. You can have the same effect on others by wearing and sharing Uncommon Sense. Do something. Don’t pretend you can do it all on your own but still take initiative. In a representative republic we elect representatives. Don’t let those elected legislators pretend to be “leaders”. They are your employees. You are leaders. So lead. Don’t sit back in disgust and let tyranny happen. You should be happening to tyranny so freedom can ring.

Click here to see the social/political store.

Click here to see the pro-troops store.

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american, culture, economy, education, elitism, freedom, government, ideology, nanny state, political correctness, propaganda, public policy, scandal, socialism, troops

Filed under: american, culture, economy, education, elitism, freedom, government, ideology, nanny state, political correctness, propaganda, public policy, scandal, socialism, troops

More politics as usual – exploiting WWII vets

October 1, 2013: federal government shuts down – both parties blame each other.
Somehow the controlling party finds money to not only barricade an open air WWII memorial (typically open 24/7 – showing no logical reason for the barricades) but to also post guards with orders (from the Executive Branch) to arrest any WWII veterans trying to visit said memorial. House GOP moves to fund WWII memorial (not that a lack of funding really affects it) and the President threatens to veto it. Members of GOP greet veterans at the memorial who are visiting in violation of law.
(see WWII Vets Return to Their Memorial
National WWII Memorial – Washington, D.C.)

Democrats also specifically choose NOT to fund veterans benefits unless they get everything they want.
(see Report: Nancy Pelosi urges ‘no’ vote on funding for veterans’ benefits)

Social media keeps nation informed of the situation.

October 2, 2013: politicians from both parties greet veterans visiting their own WWII memorial.

Democrats, fraud, funding, gaffe, government, hypocrisy, ideology, legislature, oppression, pandering, politics, president, public policy, scandal, spending, troops

Filed under: Democrats, fraud, funding, gaffe, government, hypocrisy, ideology, legislature, oppression, pandering, politics, president, public policy, scandal, spending, troops

Another gaffe for the book of Obama-isms

Big Three Networks Ignore Obama’s Medal of Honor Screw-Up
June 24, 2011 by Geoffrey Dickens

Barack Obama’s confusing one living American war hero with a fallen one he honored in 2009, has been completely ignored by the Big Three Networks shows, including the same NBC Nightly News that threw a fit over Sarah Palin’s recent recounting of an event over 200 years ago, Paul Revere’s ride.

On Thursday, at Fort Drum, New York, as reported by the Military Times, Obama told the 10th Mountain Division he had the privilege of meeting “a comrade of yours, Jared Monti” adding it was “the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.” Turns out Monti did receive it posthumously, as Obama presented the award to his parents at a White House ceremony in 2009. After CBN inquired about the gaffe, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified that the President had confused Monti with “Salvatore Giunta, who was the first living recipient of the Medal who served in Afghanistan.”

This insensitive blunder by the President was not covered the Big Three Network evening news shows on Wednesday and received zero stories on Thursday’s morning shows.

Democrats, gaffe, military, politics, president, troops

Filed under: Democrats, gaffe, military, politics, president, troops

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