title>Lady Liberty Defended: June 2007
Lady Liberty Defended
Saturday, June 30, 2007
  Al Gore Wrong?
Why am I not surprised that Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny? So many trying to do the long con...

June 30, 2007 BY JAMES M. TAYLOR

In his new book, The Assault on Reason, Al Gore pleads, "We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth." Gore repeatedly asks that science and reason displace cynical political posturing as the central focus of public discourse. If Gore really means what he writes, he has an opportunity to make a difference by leading by example on the issue of global warming.

A cooperative and productive discussion of global warming must be open and honest regarding the science. Global warming threats ought to be studied and mitigated, and they should not be deliberately exaggerated as a means of building support for a desired political position.

Many of the assertions Gore makes in his movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth,'' have been refuted by science, both before and after he made them. Gore can show sincerity in his plea for scientific honesty by publicly acknowledging where science has rebutted his claims.

For example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame."

Gore claims the snowcap atop Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro is shrinking and that global warming is to blame. Yet according to the November 23, 2003, issue of Nature magazine, "Although it's tempting to blame the ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain's foothills is the more likely culprit. Without the forests' humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine."

Gore claims global warming is causing more tornadoes. Yet the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in February that there has been no scientific link established between global warming and tornadoes.

Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years. Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a significant increase in future hurricane activity.

Gore claims global warming is causing an expansion of African deserts. However, the Sept. 16, 2002, issue of New Scientist reports, "Africa's deserts are in 'spectacular' retreat . . . making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa."

Gore argues Greenland is in rapid meltdown, and that this threatens to raise sea levels by 20 feet. But according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Glaciology, "the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins and growing inland, with a small overall mass gain." In late 2006, researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute reported that the past two decades were the coldest for Greenland since the 1910s.

Gore claims the Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of global warming. Yet the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of Nature magazine reported Antarctica as a whole has been dramatically cooling for decades. More recently, scientists reported in the September 2006 issue of the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, that satellite measurements of the Antarctic ice sheet showed significant growth between 1992 and 2003. And the U.N. Climate Change panel reported in February 2007 that Antarctica is unlikely to lose any ice mass during the remainder of the century.

Each of these cases provides an opportunity for Gore to lead by example in his call for an end to the distortion of science. Will he rise to the occasion? Only time will tell.

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute.


  Local Politics
Well, it is interesting. Before I moved to Staunton and Augusta County before that I'd heard a lot about the inability of the natives to accept newcomers. After many years working with the National Guard units at the Staunton Armory and meeting many of the locals, sometimes on an unintended but rather intimate basis as one does in the military setting, I thought that I was getting to know the locals a bit. It is also a lot of fun to have the political leaders of the day step up to the retaining wall and shake my hand as we watch the July 4th parade each year. Now, I've started getting second thoughts.

You see I supported some of these folks, Republicans in this particular instance, because I thought they were doing a good job. I never personally experienced any overt signs of incompetence or of their disdain for the common folk. Must have been lucky I suppose. There are a few Republicans trying to do a coup on their local committee and illictly take over from their elected chairperson. Why? Because the rest of us ain't good enough to know what's right for us. This same thinking is what prompted Emmett Hanger to promise to oppose tax increases and then agressively support them. It is the same thinking that got us these ridiculous "civil penalties" for traffic law violaters (and only for VIRGINIANS on top of it all).

The old saw is that all politics is local and I am beginning to think that we need a good housecleaning to include several recall actions. Senators Warner and Webb need to go, they seem to think that we're wrong for thinking that as US citizens we have more rights to our tax money than foreign invaders. State Senator Emmett Hanger needs to go (and might in the upcoming election) because he thinks we're stupid for thinking the state should be able to get by on a tax money surplus and not raise our taxes in addition to the surplus. Dittos for City Council, a majority of whom seem to think that the new property assessments didn't raise our taxes quite enough! Governor Kaine for, aside from his other assinine actions of no particular value, for signing the traffic violation money confiscation and discrimination act.

I wonder if my folks felt like this when I was a kid? "How's that?" you say. Thoroughly disgusted, that's how I feel.


Friday, June 29, 2007
  Virginia's New Traffic Fines, how about NON-residents?
Virginia to issue traffic fines as high as $3,000
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
Virginia is for lovers, or so the state slogan has declared since 1969. Starting Sunday, Virginia also will be the home of the $3,000 traffic ticket.
In an effort to raise money for road projects, the state will start hitting residents who commit serious traffic offenses with huge civil penalties.

The new civil charges will range from $750 to $3,000 and be added to existing fines and court costs. The civil penalty for going 20 mph over the speed limit will be $1,050, plus $61 in court costs and a fine that is typically about $200.

Virginia's traffic law is one of several thousand new state laws that take effect Sunday. Jan. 1 and July 1 are the most popular dates for state laws to become official.

July 1 is especially popular for new taxes and fees because it's the start of the budget year in 46 states. For example, Arkansas will cut its sales tax on groceries from 6% to 3% Sunday.

Virginia's new traffic penalties are expected to raise $65 million a year and are part of an effort to improve the state's roads without raising taxes.

A first-time drunken driver will face a $2,250 civil penalty, plus fines and court costs that typically run about $500 or more. Driving without a license? That's a mandatory $900 civil penalty, in addition to the ordinary $100 for a fine and court costs.

"It's outrageous," says traffic court attorney Thaddeus Furlong of Springfield, Va. "When Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class find out what they have to pay, there's going to be a backlash like you've never seen."

Some other states impose extra civil penalties for traffic offenses, but the cost is usually $100 or $200, Furlong says. "What sets this apart is the Draconian size of the civil penalties," he says.

Another difference: The civil penalties apply only to Virginia residents, not out-of-state drivers. Virginians must pay in three installments over 26 months or lose their licenses. The state Legislature didn't think it could enforce the extra penalties in other states.

Motorist club AAA Mid-Atlantic supports the new penalties.

"These penalties are harsh, but normal fines haven't gotten people to drive sanely. Maybe this will," says Lon Anderson, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

He says the new law will help reduce the nearly 1,000 traffic deaths the state records annually.

"We wish motorists didn't have to pay more, but the fact is Virginia's transportation trust fund is broke," Anderson says.
That is just plain bullshit. It is NOT equal protection under the law. It is not "fair". It is only about money these bozos can't manage and an attempt to raise money they couldn't tax out of us. Elitist asses!

That said you should know that your beloved correspondent has had one (1) speeding/traffic ticket in 36 years of driving. It was deserved. Late at night after working for over 19 hours I was tired and I missed a speed limit sign I knew was in the area and was 14 MPH (actually I think it was less) over the limit. The deputy was a decent fellow and I was anything but mistreated. You see my license had expired, too! $750 for pursuing my duties rather than worrying obsessively about the due date for my driver's license seems a bit much to me. After all, letting your license "lapse" isn't in and of itself likely to kill anyone. I can see how driving when your license has been revoked because you are a danger to others would be a bad thing. Anyhoo, I don't think this is right (I guess you could tell by my language). Except for the money they think they will raise they might as well make traffic offenses capital offenses. Virginia has an efficient death row and by cutting down on the number of drivers we can reduce the need for road repairs and expansion. *That's sarcasm folks.*

Now, who voted for this thing? Oh, Emmett... did you vote for this?

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  I'd pull out my hair if I could get a grip on it...
So, we live in a nice 1926 2-story craftsman style house right across from the city park. The wife doesn't want to move even though she'd like central air (don't have it) and some improved "amenities" and less space to care for (the 3 kids are all gone). I'd like a more rural atmosphere. BUT, we do need to improve things to make the place salable anyway... hence the bathroom upgrade.

My dear wife, bless her heart, hires somebody to do the project who has good references but suddenly I have to be present because I "know" what's going on and can answer questions. I must not know much because when I suggest a single sink, the wife says no. When I suggest no drawers because the pipes (my technical term, I really know little about plumbing) under the sink will interfere with the drawers, the wife says no. When I change the order for the vanity and order drawers at one end and not the other (where the service connections come through the wall) she was upset. So, today, after our contractor couldn't get a plumber to come to the job and we could, the plumber says, that ain't goin' to work. *sigh*

And there is the toilet as well. The contractor removed the old toilet and apparently there is an expected "flange" which I never saw. That is missing (so, you can't get another one?) And then the contractor ran the tile too close to the toilet drain (so that needs to be cut/broken up). The plumber is talking about coming up from the first floor to replace pipe... *sigh*

While I've lived in much worse conditions for longer it is a pain to have 1/2 the bath downstairs and the other (the shower) upstairs for 2 months. It is really frustrating to, as little as I actually know about the trades, to have been consistently ignored and now be paying the price for same.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. If this wasn't going to cost me more than $700 MORE than expected, it would be funny, I think, in a twisted sort of way... jeez...


Thursday, June 28, 2007
  Immigration Bill Dead, Again?
That's what I've heard but the truth is these traitors will try again. Keep your eyes and ears open!


Sunday, June 24, 2007
  Virginia Tech Is Much to Blame for Murder's Act
That's my view. Taken from the Richmond Times Dispatch, if correct, this disproves that VT cares about the student population. More so, I think, they care about appearances. Now, I defended the administration as attempting to do all they could but this development and the school's attempt to hide the truth about Cho's counseling lead me to believe that the administration actively obfuscated (lied for you in Rio Linda) about their responsibility. Why? To save their own butts. These are the same folks who don't want vetted, cleared, responsible citizens who pay their salaries to carry concealed on campus. Yeah, that's probably a good thing seeing as these administrators don't care who does what so long as it appears they have a safe campus.
Disconnect revealed by Cho's records
State policy and Tech policy clashed tragically to let Cho "fall
through the cracks."

By Mike Gangloff

Back in December 2005, Virginia's mental health system ordered
Seung-Hui Cho into outpatient treatment -- and got him an appointment
at Virginia Tech's counseling center, which has a policy of not
accepting court-ordered referrals.

It's an example of the sort of disconnect that needs to be corrected
to prevent tragedies like the campus bloodbath that left 33 people
dead 16 months after Cho's encounter with mental health workers, said
a preliminary report given this week to the state panel reviewing the
April 16 shootings. Cho's shooting rampage ended when he took his own

And it's likely to be further impetus for state legislators to revamp
mental health laws when the General Assembly convenes next year.

"We shouldn't have a system where somebody falls through the cracks
like this," Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, said Friday.

Medical records released this week by Cho's family may indicate if
Cho fell into a limbo between the court order and the Cook Counseling
Center's policy.

Clarifying whom university mental health services will serve -- and
better defining the role of other agencies involved in mental health,
including community services boards -- is one of three broad areas of
recommendations in the new report from James Stewart, Virginia's
inspector general for mental health, mental retardation and mental

The report also recommends increasing funding for mental health
services statewide, and giving more comprehensive information to
officials charged with deciding whether to commit someone to
involuntary treatment.

And the report gives the most detailed official chronology thus far
made public of Cho's problems with teachers and with fellow students
and how he came to be detained for a night in a mental health
facility near Radford.

Gerald Amada, who has written three books about student behavior
issues and whose 30-year career at City College of San Francisco
included founding its student mental health services, said Tech fell
into what he described as an all-too-common pattern at universities:
letting Cho's escalating antisocial behavior be treated as a mental
health issue.

"Mental health is not an area that most universities are equipped to
handle," Amada said. Like Tech's, many university health centers
won't take court referrals because these usually are cases where
treatment may need to be compelled, something a school is not set up
to do.

"But universities do have plenty of power to expel students who do
not meet codes of conduct," Amada said.

"When you accommodate a student who is flagrantly violating the rules
and scaring people ... you send a very powerful moral message, and
the message is 'You can keep doing what you're doing,'" Amada said.

Chris Flynn, who directs the Cook Counseling Center, said he could
not comment on Cho's case specifically. But he agreed that Tech's
services are not set up to handle involuntary treatment.

"If someone's that ill ... then the university's probably not the
place they need to be," Flynn said.

The inspector general's report indicates that after Cho made a
reference to suicide in December 2005, the first mental health worker
to see him collected information on his history of odd behavior.

The report does not detail how much of this information was passed to
a psychologist who examined Cho the next day. But at Monday's meeting
of the state panel, Kent McDaniel, a psychiatrist who helped prepare
the inspector general's report, told the panel that the information
had been passed along.

Still, the psychologist who conducted a 15-minute independent
evaluation of Cho at St. Albans Behavioral Health Center concluded
that while Cho was mentally ill, he posed no imminent danger. Later
that day -- after an appointment had been made for Cho at Tech's
counseling center -- a special justice ruled that Cho should have
outpatient treatment.

A House of Delegates committee will meet Monday to discuss mental
health policy issues raised by the Tech shootings. The committee will
hold four meetings before the General Assembly convenes in January,
and its work could lead to proposed reforms.

"I don't believe this situation is going to require us to overhaul
our entire mental health system," said Del. Phil Hamilton, R-Newport
News. "But it is going to point out some things that we either
haven't been paying attention to or that we actually need to improve
in the code."

Staff writer Michael Sluss contributed to this report.


  Culture of Corruption - Senator Webb FINALLY Confesses, Sort Of
Via the VCDL Update this came to my attention...
Senator Webb Fesses Up About the Gun His Aide Was Jailed for Carrying
Into the Capitol
Monday, June 18, 2007

By Brit Hume

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Gun Smoke and Mirrors

Three months after his aide was arrested carrying a loaded pistol into the Senate office building, Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb is now acknowledging it was his gun.

Phillip Thompson was arrested in March as he tried to bring the gun and two loaded magazines into the building in a bag belonging to the senator.

But at the time, Webb said he did not give [Thompson] the gun. He now tells a Richmond, Virginia newspaper that it was in fact his gun. But he still says he did not give Thompson the weapon or ask him to do anything with it.

Webb would not address a question about whether he felt he was above complying with the District of Columbia handgun ban. But he did say he never carries a gun into the Capitol complex.
*sigh* I certainly wish Senator Webb acted like the former Marines I know who take responsibility for their actions, don't lie, don't, well you get the point. I guess he's just taking a lesson from Colonel Congressman John Murtha, ABSCAMmer and unjust accuser of fellow Marines at war. What is it about us that allows us to accept such behavior? Why isn't there a recall petition in circulation?


Saturday, June 23, 2007
  NRA is responding to Gun Owners Negative response to HR 2460
"NICS Improvement Amendments Act" Not Gun Control! is their title of this piece that pushes the slight good of the act and ignores what seem to me to be the redefining of mental illness. In other words, it seems to me to make little difference if I might someday get a finding of mental illness reversed if nearly anything can be declared mental illness. It seems, and perhaps you might think this over reaching, that being a gun "loonie" is possibly grounds for such a finding.

Why do I dare say that? Just take a look at what passes for a disorder nowadays. Of course mental illness can be very real, but sometimes one has to wonder if these "disorders" are more of an excuse for medication and billable hours.

The worst thing to me is that returning soldiers might be denied their rights solely on some preemptory finding that they suffer from PTSD.

What do you think?


  Our Dogs and Heat
I love my dog (the wife's dog, whatever) and I take good care of her. Mauser*Girl has the straight skinny on dogs and heat. Read and heed.


  Now, tell me why we want the Kennedy Shamnesty Bill...

Meet the requirements as inexpensively as possible meeting the goal of not finding a qualified US worker. That's what they want to do.

Tell me again Senators McCain, Kennedy, Reid why you traitorous so and sos think that US citizens won't do the work. You liars are in on this?

Contact your Senators and Representatives and the POTUS and tell them what you think about this! Do it now or kiss your job goodbye.

And Mr. President and Mr. DNC Chair, this applies to you guys as well...


Friday, June 22, 2007
  Tagged but I refuse to link to them...
WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My great-great-great-grandfather and they got it wrong.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? All beef hotdogs or kelbasa or brats.
IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I've been my best friend all my life.
DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? No way, I'm a sweet guy.
WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No way, no how.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I suppose that if I'm forced to eat cereal now I'd rather go hungry.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their hands (empty or not) and eyes. Then I check the gig line.
RED OR PINK? Brick red.
IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Pasty white with streaks of beige.
FAVORITE SMELLS? Cinnamon buns or fresh baked bread.
HAIR COLOR[S]? Brown and white.
FAVORITE FOOD? Stir fried meat and white rice or Mapodofu or pizza.
SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Neither, they're both fiction. I don't much care for fiction.
LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? "Die Another Day". It's fiction but Halle Berry isn't.
SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall and winter.
HUGS OR KISSES? Chocolate is chocolate.
FAVORITE DESSERT? Yellow cake with chocolate frosting and vanilla (or chocolate) icecream.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? None, too darn many projects for other people to read.
WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Which one? US Flag as I post this. I only know because I can see it. The important thing about a mouse pad is that it works.
WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Whatever the wife wanted to watch, in between doing stuff for other people.
FAVORITE SOUND[S]? Water against the hull of a small boat or canoe, the dog snoring, and my grandson saying "GRANDPA!"
ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? I like the fireflies.
WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Touching the fence on the Korean DMZ and in my living room when my first wife left.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Ticking people off.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? St James Hospital, Syracuse, NY.


Thursday, June 21, 2007
What a load of crap the MSM coverage of Haditha has been. I don't know why but I expect the MSM to actually report something, not be a propaganda arm of the jihadists. Foolish me.

Media Covered Up Full Haditha Battle Phil Brennan, NewsMax.com Monday, June 18, 2007

The media's massacre of the truth about Haditha revealed by NewsMax, included limiting reporting to the first few minutes of a furious day-long battle. The rest they deliberately ignored.

The media reported on the Nov. 19, 2005 insurgent ambush at Haditha, but they concentrated solely on the early events, namely the deaths of the passengers in a white car and the civilians who died during the initial house clearing. The media reported if these were the sole activities when in fact, they were a part of a day-long, full-scale battle between Marines and insurgents in which 11 Marines were wounded and a number of insurgents killed or captured.

Here, according to Marines who were on the scene, are the events of Nov. 19 that the media refuses to cover:

- The initial attack took place at 7:30 a.m. and the insurgent assault went on for some time. A Scan Eagle UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) came on station at about 8:30 a.m. At the time it came on station, it spent a short time on the scene of the IED, then it picked up insurgents fleeing the houses and moving east through the neighborhoods adjacent to the houses. Although the prosecution has made much of the fact that the UAV did not see the initial assault, it is the aftermath that makes the case.

- The insurgents were seen fleeing from Sgt. Frank Wuterich's assault on the houses near the site of the IED explosions. They were followed through town, where they met up with other ambush squads that had also attacked the Marines. They were then followed to their safe house. Air support was called for, and the safehouse was bombed. A squad that was sent in was engaged by insurgents in rooms with machine guns and grenades.

- The squad pulled back because of the insurgents' strong defense, and the house was bombed again. The insurgents were observed fleeing and jumping off the roof of the house into a palm grove, where they were once again bombed. One remaining live insurgent was watched as he went from house to house seeking shelter.

- The engagement that began at 7:30 a.m. ended around at about 5:00 p.m. The media concentrated on the 24 civilians killed in the early morning, cruelly ignoring the fact that during the entire battle, 11 United States Marines were wounded; five of the cornered insurgents were killed; and two were captured along with a huge stockpile of weapons. All of this action was captured by the remotely controlled UAV.

The media's complicity in covering up the entire day's events was aided by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) which wanted to use the UAV video to prove that the portion of the video dealing with the initial events was being viewed by the battalion officers in the command center, and they were fully aware of the situation on the scene, and attempted to cover it up.

According to one intelligence officer who had viewed the entire video and who was talking to some on the defense counsel who had been shown part of it, the tape cuts off just as they see the insurgents fleeing the neighborhood — they were denied any further views of the video.

"To me, there was an obvious agenda to cover up the true nature of the day, and only focus on that piece which could be used to implicate battalion officers," he told NewsMax.com.

He added that of the hours of video shot by the UAV, the NCIS showed only a few minutes of what was filmed and acted as if that was all there was. The media eagerly picked up that fiction and ran with it, and the public was prevented from knowing the full story.

© NewsMax 2007. All rights reserved.

I heard today, but can't yet confirm, that the courtmartial verdict was innocent for the Marine NCO. I will be updating this info as soon as I can find it on the web.

I know that much will be said of this "incident" and the aftermath. Many will have pithy and "educated" remarks. However, what it really means to me is that the military, specifically the USMC, under the direction and with the consent of the Commander in Chief (the President of the United States for those in Rio Linda), prosecuted US Marines for doing what they were ordered to do. They betrayed those Marines and made clear to all soldiers, sailors, airmen and coasties that they would do the same to them.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007
  HR-2640: A message to my Liberal friends who don't want to buy a gun... Why you should care.
I'm not sure what it is with McCarthys in DC, but where Joe had his HUAC Blacklist and "commies", Carolyn has the NCIS criminal Database and her so-called "mental defectives".

Somehow I can't believe that this McCarthy's congress will be any better at defining "mental defectives" than Joe's was at defining "Communists".

But it sure is intent on Blacklisting whoever they determine them to be. Maybe that's why every Psychiatric and Psychological Professional and Advocacy group from the APA to NAMI has come out in public opposition to this bill.

Innocent people, whose only "crime" is "adjudication" - not a clinical diagnosis - are put into a database designed to identify Criminals.

History has shown a particularly bad precedent when it comes to Governments deciding who and why someone is "mentally defective". It was a particular favorite of Stalinist Russia to find dissent to be de-facto indication of mental instability.

This new McCarthyist bill has NO clinically accepted defining criteria for mental instability or "dangerousness" - leaving it up to the whim and Politics of whatever Administration is in power. Imagine an administration that believes Homosexuality is a Mental Disorder....

Think about this for a minute: The NRA co wrote and supports this bill. The APA opposes it.

Who do you think has the best interests of Psychiatry and non-gun-owners in mind?

There are ways of discussing keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are truly dangerous - but putting innocent people into a criminal database isn't one of them.

JMO, but do you really trust them to do this any better than they do with Eminent Domain?


Monday, June 18, 2007
  Another video...
I must enjoy finding these clips and I'll link to them no matter how I find them. Get a hanky out before you watch/listen...


  Dear Mr. President:
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 11:48 AM

To: 'comments@whitehouse.gov'; 'vice_president@whitehouse.gov'

Subject: A bill that stands opposed to everything America means

Mr. President, Mr. Vice President,

I fear for our nation.

The House of Representatives recently passed HR-2640, a bill that places honest, innocent Americans on a list for the crime of having a treatable, often short term neurochemical disorder. And while the bill requires that “all participating federal or state agencies to establish “relief from disability” programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court” it is a requirement without a definition or guideline. So as long as a State has some kind of “relief from disability” program they are in compliance. Never mind that they never have to actually provide that relief, just have the program. Never mind that with no guidelines that relief could be as easy to get as a Gun Permit in New York City. Never mind that, in today’s litigious society no doctor or judge in their right mind will take a “potential relapse/crazy” off the list. This clause “protects” only one class of people – the Rich and Politically Connected. Average Americans get to go hang.

Since 18 USC nowhere defines “possession”, but precedent established by Drug Enforcement would indicate that if a “prohibited person” is simply in proximity to an unattended firearm within their home, they are in “possession”.

Am I in error in that interpretation?

It occurs to me that HR 2640 places in jeopardy every household in America that holds both a “prohibited person” and otherwise legally held firearms.

By creating a database of “prohibited persons”, whose only “crime” is having a treatable, often short term neurochemical disorder, and labeling them as “mentally defective”, HR 2640 will allow for the correlation of that new List and extant CCW & FOID lists. It appears to me that, given the precedent shown in regards to “possession”, that such correlations will provide sufficient probable cause to search such correlated homes for “firearms in possession of a ‘prohibited person’”.

This would, it seems, create a conflict between the 5th Amendment and compulsory Registration of any type (in the case of FOIDs or CCWs).

Given the above, the only logical response to the above problems would be, to “protect” firearms owners, to Register all “non-prohibited persons” along with an inventory of firearms “owned” – much in the same way Schedule A drugs are illegal for anyone but the prescribed patient to possess. Let me say that another way. This bill, supported by the NRA, almost mandates Universal Registration of Firearms and Firearms Owners – something I thought they opposed.

This bill creates an enemies list of “prohibited persons” whose only “crime” is that of having a treatable, often short term neurochemical disorder, and labels them as “mentally defective” – destroying decades of advocacy that has attempted to lessen the stigma of “mental illness”.

Our Fathers and Grandfathers fought WWII against a Government that made Lists of the “Mentally Defective”. Our own era saw the end of the Soviet’s similar practice.

Is the US going to pick up the mantle after them?

I am a Life Member of the NRA, but they are wrong here. Every Veteran of WWII, and every Jew in the world should know it.

Please help kill this bill in the Senate, or at least Veto it with prejudice.

This is not a Legacy your administration deserves - no matter how much the Democrats would like to saddle you with it - or the US Constitutional system can survive.


Sunday, June 17, 2007
  Think I was Ranting? Here's a real Rant.
In the last few hours since posting my concerns about the way HR2640 will be interpreted, I’ve been accused of going off on a Tirade.

Tough. I’m a Voting Life Member of the NRA and I’ve paid for the Right to complain when they betray gun owners.

But, knowing that this is a difficult issue, I set aside my initial blogrant for something more “cerebral”, addressing the NRA's missive point by point.

But that wasn’t good enough. Apparently I was too hard on the NRA.


You want a tirade? Here’s a tirade - the Blogrant I wrote FIRST before moderating my tone for the sake of the namby pamby dogwhistlers who won’t stand up to Betrayal when it knees you in the balls.

We “Gun Nuts” have long repeated the pithy sound bite “Gun control isn’t about Guns, it’s about Control”. There is too, the corollary “Gun Registration doesn’t register guns, it registers People". These are statements the NRA has heretofore promoted. Gun owners have long understood that all that any sort of registration scheme does is give the Government an Official List of “undesireables” to deal with at some later point. We saw this in the US with the Sullivan act, and more recently in California with “assault weapons”.

But despite our attempts at communicating this simple, historically verifiable axiom, no one believed us. No one would believe that the US Government would stoop so low as to categorize and officially classify entire segments of Law Abiding Americans as so icky that they require official registration. People. Registered. Like the Gypsies, Gays and Jews of Germany.

They all said it couldn’t happen here. How wrong they were. Apparently, Americans forgot about the last List-making McCarthy and have allowed another one to push America further into Fascist Collectivism.

Madame McCarthy learned well from the errors of her namesake. Instead of attempting to suppress an ideology, she has chosen a specific, already stigmatized group as her target. She has chosen average American Citizens with neurochemical disorders – the “mentally ill” - to wear her Judenstern; to be Officially Stigmatized, monitored and suppressed. The NRA calls them “mentally defective”.

Twice now she has proposed legislation to tattoo personal information of people who have committed no crime into a “Justice Department” criminal database. Public outcry defeated her once, but the NRA helped her win when no one was looking..

Twice she has proposed legislation to Place an Official Judenstern on people the Government decides are “mentally defective” for having a treatable, often short term illness. Public outcry defeated her once, but the NRA helped her win when no one was looking, and no one could be held accountable.

Carolyn McCarthy (D) NY and her totalitarian Democrat cronies, with the collaborationist aid of the NRA PR/Appeasement “prevent defense” program has categorically proven what we have always claimed about “gun control advocates” - that they desire nothing more than to track and control the lives of People. Why else build an Enemies List that contains names of people who have no desire to own guns?

Simply, they want the power to Officially classify anyone expedient or that they disagree with as “socially undesireable”.

They intend to perpetuate the noxious idea that the lives of people so labeled are not worth defending. That people so labeled are worth less than the lives of everyone else. That those whose lives are Officially declared to be worth less can have their Self Evident, Inalienable Rights suppressed or terminated – including the Rights of Life and Liberty. Worth less.

Every Jew in the world knows, or should know, what it means when a Government begins to believe it can declare Honest Citizens to be “socially undesireable” simply for being alive.

This is fact. This is History. And the NRA supported it this time.

The NRA Collaborated with the one of the most Anti Gun Owner politicians in America and laid the groundwork for Owner Registration and Gun Confiscation.

This bill creates an enemies list of “prohibited persons” whose only “crime” is that of having a treatable, often short term neurochemical disorder, and labels them as “mentally defective” – destroying decades of advocacy that has attempted to lessen the stigma of neurochemical disorders.

This list, when correlated with existing lists of firearms owners (CCW permits, Firearms ID Cards, etc.) constitutes probable cause for the search and seizure of all firearms in a household on the pretext of “firearms in the possession of a prohibited person”.

The only way to prevent the above pre-dawn raids from happening will be to either Register Legal Gun Owners along with an Inventory of all firearms “owned”, or to redefine the legal term “Possession” in such a way as to make all Drug Raids meaningless. (You guess which they will prefer...)

From a Political and Litigation standpoint, regardless of what “program” may be established by Government agencies, in practical terms no one but the Rich and Politically Connected will ever gain “relief from disability”.

There is no way that the virulently anti-gunowner Rep. McCarthy and the Brady Bunch didn’t see or plan this. Why else would they be so happy?

The NRA Collaborated with the one of the most Anti Gun Owner politicians in America and laid the groundwork for Owner Registration and Gun Confiscation.

They betrayed gun owners and non-gun owners alike.

If you don’t think so, prove me wrong... Prove that my interpretation of History and the Law is wrong.

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  The End of the American Experiment. "Unintended" consequences, and the NRA
It seems that everyone in the world, except the NRA is familiar with the term “unintended consequences”.

Being less concerned with people and the Right to keep and bear arms than an admittedly dicey PR problem, the NRA thinks that by repeating a lie loud enough and often enough, it will become the truth.


In fine totalitarian tradition, the (truly) McCarthyesque HR2640 is a bill designed to create an official list of “social undesirables”. No matter that these people have done no wrong, their names will be forever tattooed into a Government list to await further disposition.

We’ve come to expect this sort of behavior from the Collectivists running Washington. They have long wanted to make lists of “enemies”.

But apparently that’s OK with the NRA. It’s so OK that they have to try to justify their position. So, using their own Spin as a reference, let’s look at why they think that making an Official “Undesirable” List of innocent people is acceptable to them, and the unintended consequences they blindly, conspicuously, ignored.

Friday, June 15, 2007
On June 13, the U.S. House of
Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2640, the “NICS Improvement Act,” by a
voice vote. H.R. 2640 is consistent with NRA’s decades-long support for measures
to prohibit firearm purchases by those who have been adjudicated by a court as
mentally defective or as a danger to themselves or others. Additionally, H.R.
2640 makes needed, and long overdue, improvements to the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

While the
media continues to characterize this bill as a “gun-control” measure, nothing
could be further from the truth. The national media either have not bothered to
read and accurately assess the text of the bill, or are deliberately
manipulating and “spinning” the facts in order to stir up controversy and
forward their agendas.

Here are the facts:
H.R. 2640 would provide financial incentives to states to make records of
prohibited individuals available for use in the NICS, and would also require federal agencies to
provide such records.

This is very true. The Government wants to make an Official List of “Prohibited Persons” based upon no objective criteria. Many people become “prohibited persons” at the whim of an anti-gun judge.

Those blocked from buying a gun due to these newly provided and
updated records in the NICS are already prohibited under current law from
owning firearms.

This is a blatant misrepresentation. 18USC says nothing about ownership. It declares the simple POSSESSION of firearms by a “prohibited person” to be a Felony. Nowhere in 18USC or its references is “possession” defined. But, using Drug Law as a precedent, it is not outrageous to suggest that the mere presence of firearms in a household comprises the same level of “possession” that a baggie of Cocaine on the coffee table does. Everyone in the household is in “possession”, making the “prohibited person” a Felon and all other adults accessories to the fact.
The basic goal of the bill is to make NICS as instant, fair, and accurate as possible. While no piece of legislation will stop a madman bent on committing horrific crimes, those who have been found mentally incompetent by a court should be included in the NICS as they are already prohibited under federal law from owning firearms.

Then why make an Enemies List? If this law won’t keep anyone from committing violence against innocents, why support it? Look too at what this Official Enemies List does: It gives City, State and Federal Law enforcement a way to correlate “prohibited persons” with households that also have Law Abiding Concealed Firearm Permits or other forms of Gun Owner Registration like Firearms Identification Cards – lists of both of which are available with a simple FOIA request.

One of the main reasons Law Enforcement has not gone door to door looking for households with both “Prohibited Persons” and firearms is that Medical Privacy Laws prevented them from making such correlations. When that list is available, it will be solely on the good graces of local Government and Law Enforcement to decide if they want to persecute/prosecute those households.

How long do you think that good will will last in Boston, NYC or Chicago?

H.R. 2640 is sound legislation that makes numerous improvements over existing federal law, including:

Certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving firearms.

This is good, but why did you need to support the Stigmatization of all the “other” types of Neurochemical disorders?

Adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required, will no longer prohibit the legal purchase of a firearm.

Well, duh. If they have expired &/or been removed they don’t exist to go into the List, do they? Also, define “supervision”. Is Medication Management considered “supervision”? How many diabetics have to check regularly with their physicians to ensure their Insulin regimen is optimal?

Excluding federal decisions about a person’s mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent. This provision addresses concerns about disability decisions by the Veterans Administration concerning our brave men and women in uniform. (In 2000, as a parting shot at our service members, the Clinton Administration forced the names of almost 90,000 veterans and veterans’ family members to be added to a “prohibited” list; H.R. 2640 would help many of
these people get their rights restored.)

Many. Not all. Apparently the NRA is willing to accept placing Honest, Valiant Veterans of our Armed Forces forever on an Official Enemies List for having an often short term Neurochemical Disorder. They also neglect to consider how many people in the legal and mental health professions consider the desire to own firearms is in and of itself an indication of social/mental instability before arbitrarily changing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms into a privilege based solely on the whims of a doctor or judge.

Requiring all participating federal or state agencies to establish “relief from disability” programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court. This type of relief has not been available at the federal level for the past 15 years.
Oh goody. A requirement without a definition or guideline. So as long as a State has some kind of “relief from disability” program they are OK. Never mind that they never have to actually provide that relief, just have the program. Never mind that with no guidelines that relief could be as easy to get as a Gun Permit in New York City. Never mind that, in today’s litigious society no doctor or judge in their right mind will take a “potential relapse/crazy” off the list. This clause “protects” only one class of people – the Rich and Politically Connected. Average Americans get to go hang.

Ensuring—as a permanent part of federal law—that no fee or tax is associated with a NICS check, an NRA priority for nearly a decade. While NRA has supported annual appropriations amendments with the same effect, those amendments must be renewed every year. This provision would not expire.

That’s nice. Hell of a trade. An Enemies List for funding a program that has had almost negligible impact on crime or violence.

Requiring an audit of past spending on NICS projects to find out if funds appropriated for NICS were misused for unrelated purposes.

Absolutely. Make sure the tax dollars extorted from Honest American Gun Owners and used to create an Official Enemies List only gets used to continue to track honest people. Brilliant.

Neither current federal law, nor H.R. 2640, would prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital:
Current law only prohibits gun possession by people who have been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to any mental institution.” Current BATFE regulations specifically exclude commitments for observation and voluntary commitments. Records of voluntary treatment also would not be available under federal and state health privacy laws.

Ah ha. So, is it Possession or Ownership? Guess what? Since, as I have shown, you can’t adequately define or prove/disprove “possession”, the only thing left to the government will be to track Ownership. I.E., a Registry of Gun Owners and a complete inventory of the firearms they “own”. I thought the NRA opposed that on the grounds it would lead to Sullivian Confiscations. Funny how this bill will cement the need for just such a Registry in order to “protect” honest gun owners with “prohibited persons” in their household.

Similarly, voluntary drug or alcohol treatment would not be reported to NICS. First, voluntary treatment is not a “commitment.” Second, current federal law on gun possession by drug users, as applied in BATFE regulations, only prohibits gun ownership by those whose “unlawful [drug] use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such conduct.”
In short, neither current law nor this legislation would affect those who voluntarily get psychological help. No person who needs help for a mental health or substance abuse problem should be deterred from seeking that help due to fear of losing Second Amendment rights.

Unless the jurisdiction in question has an established policy of “adjudicating” anyone in in-patient treatment in an effort to ensure they don’t leave without a doctor’s release...

This bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. NRA will continue to work throughout this Congressional process and vigilantly monitor this legislation to ensure that any changes to the NICS benefit lawful gun purchasers, while ensuring that those presently adjudicated by the courts as mentally defective are included in the system.

Someone from the NRA ought to look up what the Stalinists & Nazis did with their lists of “mental defectives”.

If anti-gun Members of Congress succeed in attaching any anti-gun amendments to this bill, we will withdraw support and strongly oppose it!

Then oppose it. Now. This bill stands in diametric opposition to everything the US fought in the WWII European Theater and Cold War to stop.

Does the NRA actually believe that Honest American gun owners deserve to come under Government Scrutiny because someone in their household has been officially and arbitrarily declared an enemy of the state because they have a treatable medical condition?

Does the NRA believe that Honest American gun owners will be safe from persecution when the correlation of the “prohibited person” enemies list and any other extant firearms owner registry constitutes Probable Cause for a pre-dawn raid?

Does the NRA expect us to suddenly trust an agency that THEY condemned for violating privacy laws in the Virginia Gun Show fiasco?


The NRA, in its mad dash to save itself from a PR problem has backed itself and all honest gun owners into a corner.

Let’s look at the “unintended” consequences one more time:

#1: This bill creates an enemies list of “prohibited persons” whose only “crime” is that of having a treatable, often short term neurochemical disorder, and labels them as “mentally defective” – destroying decades of advocacy that has attempted to lessen the stigma of neurochemical disorders.

#2: This list, when correlated with existing lists of firearms owners (CCW permits, Firearms ID Cards, etc.) constitutes probable cause for the search and seizure of all firearms in a household on the pretext of “firearms in the possession of a prohibited person”.

#3: The only way to prevent the above pre-dawn raids from happening will be to either Register Legal Gun Owners along with an Inventory of all firearms “owned”, or to redefine the legal term “Possession” in such a way as to make all Drug Raids meaningless. (You guess which they will prefer...)

#4: From a Political and Litigation standpoint, regardless of what “program” may be established by Government agencies, in practical terms no one but the Rich and Politically Connected will ever gain “relief from disability”.

There is no way that the virulently anti-gunowner Rep. McCarthy and the Brady Bunch didn’t see or plan this. Why else would they be so happy?

And what did the NRA say again?

If anti-gun Members of Congress succeed in attaching any anti-gun amendments to this bill, we will withdraw support and strongly oppose it!

Mealy mouthed Spin and "plausable Deniability". Who needs to attach any anti-gun amendments? They are already built in. Convenient that the NRA doesn’t have to oppose it any more unless the Antis they are collaborating with get greedy.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2nd Amendment is all but destroyed - courtsy of the NRA. Just finishing the job they started in 1968.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007
A friend of mine lost his father today. A veteran of WWII, his father must have been a great man, his son is. When I saw this I was moved to say another prayer for both him and his father.

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Friday, June 15, 2007
  Father's Day Thoughts
Boy do I miss my dad. I might have been a twit when I was a teenager but everyday I see more and more how right he was about most things. Since leaving home in 1973 to enlist and serve in the US Army I've tried to be like him, mostly failing at that but always trying.

Dad was born November 21, 1926 at a time when things in the US were pretty good but just about to go all pear shaped. He grew up on a farm in the depression, the Great Depression, and I bet that experience colored his thinking for the rest of his life. E.g. it wasn't until I was nearly graduated from high school that he finally treated himself to anything that I can think of. He wore the same suit all the time that I knew him, and I don't think he had more than 4-5 shirts other than his uniforms. Often he'd wear his uniform (US Forest Service) pants when not working. Boots, seldom shoes, served every day. He wasn't cheap but he just didn't spend on himself.

He tended to buy the best quality that he could afford and would get things for us kids that I now think were kind of wasteful. We wanted for nothing even if we weren't allowed everything. I was never hungry, cold, lacking clothing, comfort, education, or health care. Dad was a better man than me. he was definitely a better father. Oh he tried, valiantly spending large amounts of time with football, basketball and baseball, to turn me into some sort of athlete. Failure. I think I utterly surprised him when I went into the Army and even more so when I'd completed 25 years at it. He was equally surprised that I took on my kids on my own when my wife left. He never stopped supporting me. Thanks Dad.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007
  Emmett Hanger Wins Primary
You can check out the figures here.

This extremist (who voted for Hanger every previous time he ran), will be voting for Arin Sime in November.

The Daily News Leader had this editorial:
Time to clean house

The Republican primary is history. Sen. Emmett Hanger Jr., R-Mount Solon, is the victor. Now the real campaign begins, as Hanger faces off against two challengers in November's general election for state Senate: Crozet businessman Arin Sime, the Libertarian party candidate, and Democratic party candidate David Cox, a retired Episcopal priest from Lexington.

In the meantime, Hanger — and the majority of local Republicans who voted for him — have another, perhaps more difficult, challenge to face: dealing with the fractious, seditious leadership of the Republican committees within the 24th District who sold Hanger out. Now that their candidate, Lexington businessman Scott Sayre, has lost, an accounting must be made. Trust has been broken. Things can't just go back to normal.


Local Republican party politics have been spinning out of control for several years now. Increasingly nasty campaigns have made a mockery of the principles and ethics of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan by embracing the tactics of Republican advertising spinmeister Scott Howell, White House wormtongue Karl Rove and the libertarian guru of slash-and-burn, Grover Norquist. Since the failed Republican gubernatorial candidacy of Jerry Kilgore through the failed senatorial campaigns of George Allen and Scott Sayre, an even more pernicious trend has emerged: Vile, abusive, truth-twisting (when outright falsehoods were not being spread) and ad hominem attacks made via cowardly, anonymous blogs run by the very people who claim to be the leaders of the local Republican party.

As if they were ever anonymous; anyone with even a nodding familiarity with local politics and blogs knows who the people are who hide behind the tawdry masks of "SWAC Girl," "General Grievous' Dog," "Elle," "John Maxfield," et al. Rather than being stand-up honest and putting their real names on their works, however, they prefer to live in a pretend world of comic book personae and blog postings that would have graced the walls of a bathroom stall in a more graceful age.

Childish blogs are but a symptom of the disease that afflicts local Republican leadership, however. The leaders of the local committees have hijacked the party, adopting extremist viewpoints and tactics and shouting down all opposition. Reason has been flung to the wind. The local Republican committee leaders were willing to throw Emmett Hanger on the ash heap and ignore every good thing he has accomplished during a 12-year career in the Senate. And why? Mainly because Hanger had the good sense not to sign Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge — unlike Scott Sayre — and the better sense not to sign onto Norquist's dictum of "trying to change the tones in the state capitals and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship."

That dictum has informed every tactic, every letter, every blog post that has emanated from the Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County committees of the Republican party for the past several years. If it has not succeeding in winning elections, it has succeeded quite well in doing one thing: painting every Republican, no matter how moderate or thoughtfully conservative, with the same extremist brush.

It is time for the adults to seize the steering wheel from the hands of the willful children and plot a more reasonable course. It is time for local Republicans to engage in reasoned discourse and put the rancor away. That cannot happen, however, without cleaning house.

Last evening when the election results were becoming clear, those who sold Emmett Hanger down the river were putting on their smiley faces and pretending that it was all "just part of the process."

"Just kidding, Emmett! Take a joke, buddy!" they seemed to say.

Hanger and the majority of Republican voters who placed their confidence in him — along with the rest of our elected Republican officials — although Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton, and Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, have been conspicuously absent by their silence — shouldn't be fooled. Betrayal is a serious matter and insubordination must be dealt with swiftly. It's time to clear the underbrush of the snakes. Better yet, the snakes should resign. Today.

Opinions expressed in this feature represent the majority opinion of the newspaper's editorial board, consisting of: Roger Watson, president and publisher; David Fritz, executive editor; Cindy Corell, local editor; Jim McCloskey, editorial cartoonist; and Dennis Neal, community conversations editor.

Knowing some of the players personally (although I'm so forgetable I've been forgotten), I've an idea of how these folks are thinking. I'm not happy. Not happy with Emmett, not happy with the Republicans, not happy with local politicians.

Did I mention that I'll be voting for Arin Sime?


  What is about "ILLEGAL" that they don't understand?
The POTUS says he's going to push for this immigration "reform" bill. Of course, NOW we know what the-born-in-the-back-room bill contains and we don't like it. Bush still doesn't get that a big part of the war on terror is keeping the terrorists from sneaking into the country. It also means keeping their allies-for-cash, i.e. criminals, out as well. Instead he allowed a prosecutor to persecute two border patrol agents (lower case for a reason folks, there now is no border patrol).

We have laws in place which have not been enforced. If enforced they would make 90% of our ILLEGAL immigrant problem go away. If there is something like an up-to-date ID card needed, that can be done with very simple, short legislation addressing that one aspect of the law.

Look folks, this is OUR country. We aren't a subset of Mexico, Canada, or anywhere else. If you want Mexamericanada you need to annex those countries (Mexico and Canada) and run them the way we run this country.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007
  Dennis Miller on Harry Reid
Dennis Miller comments on Harry Reid... OUCH!

Of course, Senator Reid didn't understand half of it and doesn't understand his 19% approval rating (isn't that about 1/2 the President's rating?).


  Why is it I immediately thought of several places to do this?
Watch and "enjoy".

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Saturday, June 09, 2007
  Emmett Hanger Wants to "Purge" the Republican Party?
According to SWAC Girl, who posted this article "Hanger wants to purge local GOP if elected" and later linking to this article, "What a Race?" by Daily Newsleader Editor David Fritz. Following the chain is a link in that article to an interview with Emmett Hanger. Whew! Sure had to go 'round Robin Hood's barn to get to find it. Ignoring the liberal lean of our local-no-longer newspaper (owned by Gannett publishing, the same folks who bring us USA Today), one can discern the truth of the matter, that the liberals are on Emmett's side. Why else would they call those wanting a conservative State Senator "shrill"? That's sort of like the way they deride the Pope for wanting Catholics to adhere to the teachings of the church.

Yes, they are rallying to Hanger's banner as it were. The Virginia Education Association has endorsed Emmett Hanger. Emmett has called for the Dem/S to vote for him in the primary and from my conversations with various such he's making an impact. So now, I guess he feels just comfortable enough to call for a purge of dissidents in the party. That just tears it for me.

It is one thing for people to disagree. Within that framework of respectful disagreement, it should be acceptable for an organization to expect certain behavior of its representatives just as citizens as a group expect certain behavior of their elected officials (and why Vance Wilkins vacated the office). To be as Emmett seems to be, wanting to "purge" the party of those who don't agree with his decidedly and widely recognized move to a much more liberal attitude about taxes, etc. is simply unacceptable. Instead of encouraging me to vote for him, Emmett is polarizing the party and me and ensuring that he will never again get my vote. Is that the sort of leadership and representation we want in the State Senate (or in any other office)? Not for me.


Friday, June 08, 2007
  America in Decline? I'm Kinda Tired of That Attitude
I think Victor Davis Hanson is tired of the dying America syndrome as well. Read his article, Is the Sky Falling on America? published by Tribune Media Services.


  Immigration Bill Withdrawn?
It seems that the groundswell of opposition to the alien invader amnesty bill is being derided as the result of some senators being intimidated by talk radio. I've got news for you guys, including the two putzs from VA, John Warner and Jim Webb, WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE OUR COUNTRY OVER TO THE INVADERS. ENFORCE CURRENT LAW, NOW! CONTROL THE BORDERS, NOW!


Thursday, June 07, 2007
  Enforce Current Immigration Law
There is no need for a law granting amnesty to those who've flaunted our laws. There is no need to allow another 20 million criminals (illegal immigrants) to squat here. There is no need to lie to us and call them undocumented Americans (thanks for that Harry Reid), they aren't they are invaders and thieves.

Call or e-mail your Senators and tell them you won't put up with this abrogation of sovereignty. While you're at it, so a little research on our elected representatives and what they're doing for us.

(202) 224-3121 is the number to call to express your opinion. Be polite but be firm.

* * * * * ADDENDUM * * * * *

I had to add this from Michelle Malkin. Please note that our two weasel Senators from VA, the RINO John Warner and the Dem/Rep turncoat Jim Webb are in this group. Sen. Webb believes we should let the FELONS stay in this country AND that we shouldn't enforce current law. Warner also says no to enforcing current law (that he voted FOR!). We should start a recall petition.


  Man of the Cloth Incites to Murder Pro-Gun Rights People - UPDATE
I guess in my old age I'm not shocked by much but this is important enough for me to want to comment. ISRA: Chicago Priest Calls for Murder of Gun Shop Owner but I found the article on Oleg Volk's blog. To whit,

During an address at an anti-gun rally in front of Chuck's, Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina's Church, exhorted the crowd to "drag" shop owner, John Riggio, from his shop "like a rat" and "snuff" him. Rev. Pfleger went on to tell the crowd that legislators that vote against gun control legislation should be "snuffed" as well. As many know, "snuff" is slang for especially violent murder.

So some might doubt this, but note also that ISRA says they have an MP3 of the comments.
The ISRA has a recording of Pfleger's remarks in MP3 format.
Well, just in the interest of integrity, I went looking for other news reports. I found these, SAF Wants Minister Investigated for Threats Against Gun Dealer and 'Snuff' the Gun Shop Owner, Priest Says but not much more on the subject. However, it does seem that Rev. Michael Pfleger is a controversial figure in other ways.

For example, Card. George Refuses to Stop Pro-Abort Al Sharpton from Appearing at St. Sabina's, As expected today, Rev., On Catholicism, Racism, Father Pfleger And Minister Farrakhan, and this, Abraham, Martin, and John...and Barack?. That's being in the news and for a parish priest?

So, back to the controversy at hand. Seems that the good father, Father Pfleger, condones murder of law abiding gun owners and their supporters. Indeed, he's incited murder. I thought that was illegal, well, for the rest of us anyway. Perhaps the good father would like us to believe that it is God's will that all law abiding gun owners (presumably including good Catholics) would be killed or "snuffed" using his term. There is something wrong with a church, a Christian church that supports such rhetoric. But they do. Father Pfleger's superiors support his ignoring the church's rules an letting Rev. Al Sharpton deliver a homily. They seem to support Father Pfleger in other of his endeavors, pro-doctrine or otherwise. Does this all come back to the money (for the church hierarchy) since Father Pflegers black majority "Catholic" church is providing funds they too can access? Am I too cynical?

Well, have a look and make up your own mind. I've decided, long ago, that telling people to murder other people is just as bad as murdering them yourself. Then again, I'm not Catholic.

* * * * * * * UPDATE FOLLOWS * * * * * * *

Now this upstanding member of the Catholic clergy says he meant "sniff" out and didn't know that "snuff" meant to kill. That seems a stretch for me that a priest who works with gang bangers and druggies doesn't know that "snuff" means murder. Big stretch. Of course, Catholic priests don't lie. Yeah, right...


Wednesday, June 06, 2007
  D-Day - June 6, 1944 - We Humbly Thank all Veterans
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary, President Ronald Reaganmade these remarks at the U.S. Ranger Monument, Pointe du Hoc, France June 6, 1984
We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers--the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.''

I think I know what you may be thinking right now--thinking, "We were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.'' Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him--Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry I'm a few minutes late,'' as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet'' and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge--and pray God we have not lost it--that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They thought--or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.

There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall Plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall Plan led to the Atlantic alliance--a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, Allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose--to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

* * * * *

I've been to Point du Hoc and Omaha Beach and as an infantryman for about half of my 27½ years of service I have some understanding of the dangers faced by those brave men 63 years ago today. One of those men was my father's first cousin, PFC Gano H. "Sonny" Jewell. Sonny was an only son and attending pre-med at Cornell when his conscience overtook him and he enlisted to do his part in the struggle for freedom. he was killed in action August 7, 1944 at Vire, France while performing his duties as a medic at the 2d Battalion 116th Infantry aid station.

It took every man there to make this happen and we thank them. President Roosevelt made this prayer.
My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


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  Fred Thompson's Wife is a Pole Dancer
Apparently there are some folks, such as Joe Scarborough, who are jealous of Fred Thompson's relatively young wife. Well, it must be jealousy otherwise why should they care at all that Fred has a wife younger than himself. It is a love match, right? So what's the problem? Should we prefer the sort of relationship that the Clintons have?


Monday, June 04, 2007
  State Senate Race - Emmett Hanger vs Scott Sayre
SWAC Girl posted this about the race. I know Emmett, personally (although I admit, he might not remember me) and by reputation in the National Guard. Emmett always used to get my vote and a warm handshake at the Staunton 4th of July parade when he passed by my house. Frankly, I'm not pleased with his actions. I will not vote for him this year. On June 12th I'm voting for Scott Sayre. If Scott does not get the Republican nomination I'm voting for Arin Sime. My money, my contributions, will go to either Scott or Arin depending on the outcome of the primary. I repeat, I will not vote for Emmett Hanger again.

BTW, Staunton City council, I won't vote for any member who voted to make the real estate tax increase either.


  Culture of Corruption - William Jefferson
It has come to pass now that the indictment against William Jefferson, US (DEM) Rep from Louisiana has been handed down.
Jefferson has been accused of taking $100,000 from a telecommunications businessman. Authorities said they found $90,000 of the cash in a freezer at Jefferson's home.

Federal agents seized nearly 19,000 pages of documents and electronic files from his office last year, but there had been an ongoing legal battle over the constitutionality of the raid.

Jefferson has denied the bribery allegations, but a former Jefferson aide and a Kentucky businessman have pleaded guilty in an alleged scheme to get kickbacks for helping the businessman get contracts in Africa.
This is Nancy Pelosi's clean, above board Democrat Congress. Read the indictment here...


  McCain and Immigration
I will be the first to tell you, again, that somebody is a military veteran, POW or even a bonafide hero does not guarantee governmental policy prowess. Senator John McCain has gone and proven it again. First, he insisted on controlling political speech with McCain-Feingold and now he wants to zap us, the U.S. with this damnable immigration bill. Today, Sen. McCain made some remarks in response to Mitt Romney.
"To want the office so badly that you would intentionally make our country's problems worse might prove you can read a poll or take a cheap shot, but it hardly demonstrates presidential leadership,"
and then
"The president knows. He spent eight years as governor of Texas," McCain told The Associated Press after his speech. "The Republican Party must address this issue, if, in my part of the country, we expect to attract Hispanic voters."
Now there is a contradiction, isn't there? I also get the impression that Sen. McCain thinks that some of us in opposition to the bill don't have a valid plan to present but we do. Here's my plan:

- Close the border to unregulated human travel. Capture, with use of force if necessary, ANYONE attempting to cross the border through other than legal checkpoints AND do the same for illegal attempts to cross at those checkpoints.
- Stop persecuting Border Patrol agents for stopping illegal border crossers especially for dope and human smugglers.
- Make it economically unsurvivable for businesses to hire illegal workers by fining them 3X the value of production of the illegal alien during their work time at that business. E.g. Juan makes $4000 worth of plantings for a landscape firm, fine the company $12,000.
- Catch and deport ALL illegal aliens and register them in that database these putzes are so fond of talking about. Do not allow them into the US ever again. If they volutarily report for deportation, allow them to apply for work visas/immigration. Charge their employer (if known) for transportation costs.
- Make the test of new citizens mandatory including US history and the test must be in English. No felons, no previously deported (important enough to repeat), no former enemy combatants.

I say no to a $5000 amnesty for 20 million illegals. That is simply traitorous.


Saturday, June 02, 2007
  Dean Reed?
I was visited this morning by one Alex Mostov, an interesting young man with interesting hobbies and an interesting view of things who had to stop his bike tour of Virginia at the shop and photograph our propaganda posters. One thing he mentioned was that he collected music including Paul Robeson and Dean Reed. I know of Paul Robeson but had never heard of Dean Reed. Very interesting!

Red Elvis
Looking back at Dean Reed, the American Soviet Superstar

Dean Reed was called an American rebel and a rock 'n' roll missionary. He was also called a traitor and a spy. For 25 years the world-famous singer, actor and director lived the American Dream behind the Iron Curtain, and was, by any standard, a superstar.

Yet who in the west knows his name today? Nobody.

The American actor Tom Hanks wants to change that. His production company, Playtone, has begun work on Comrade Rockstar, a feature film based on the Colorado native's career. Seventeen years after Reed's death and millions of records sold abroad, Americans may finally learn the story of one of their most famous sons.

Reed's is a fascinating, tragic tale that continues to unfold. With a typically American blend of naivete, narcissism and enthusiasm, Reed preached a utopian vision of socialism that kept him blacklisted and ignored in the U.S., even as millions of fans adored him in Latin America, Europe and the Soviet bloc. More than just a pretty face or a convenient cowboy hero, Dean Reed was a true frontiersman who ultimately rode off into the sunset a legend, an American Unknown.

Born in 1938 and raised on a chicken farm on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Reed was a gifted athlete, horseman and swimmer who started playing guitar at the age of 12. By all accounts, the handsome young man seemed destined for a life of adventure early on. Once, on a bet, the teenaged Reed raced on foot against a mule 110 miles over the Rocky Mountains and won. After two years of college studying meteorology, which he financed by singing "hillbilly" songs at a local mountain resort, he got his lucky break - a singing audition with Voyle Gilmour, then-head of Capitol Records, who promptly signed Reed to a recording contract. Reed's good looks and easy showmanship earned him a slot on Dick Clark's television program in 1959.

Years later, Reed would describe Hollywood at this time as a "prostitution camp" where bubblegum pop singers like himself had little control over their destinies. Not willing to simply be groomed as a teen idol, Reed took acting classes with Paton Price, a maverick teacher who became his mentor. Price sensed in Reed a unique kind of celebrity, an "honest" young man who could somehow use fame to make the world a better place.

Reed's songs were soon garnering radio play and moving up the American charts. Mega-success seemed all but guaranteed. In 1961, on a whim, he flew to Argentina, where his single The Search had reached number-one. He was greeted at the airport by 100,000 screaming fans.

During the first half of the '60s, Reed toured extensively throughout South America, filling one soccer stadium after the next. He learned Spanish and made regular television appearances. (The Dean Reed Show first aired in Argentina in 1965.) It was also in South America that his politics turned sharply leftward, spurred by the harsh wealth disparities and brutal American-backed regimes he witnessed. For a time, he criticized injustice openly and with immunity. A typical performance might include Tutti Frutti or Blue Suede Shoes followed by a political speech in Spanish and the workers' anthem Venceremos.

Though radicalized by contact with union leaders like the Chilean folk singer Victor Jara (who was later murdered and eventually portrayed by Reed himself in the East German film El Cantor) and exposed to a rich and varied folk music tradition, he never stopped being an American pop star. Listening to his records, it is clear that the "sentimental gush," as journalist Jennifer Dunbar Dorn once called his style, was charming in its sincerity.

Still, he was no match for the bigger, rootsier talents of contemporaries like Elvis Presley or Bob Dylan. He was a crooner through and through, equal parts country boy and Vegas entertainer. He never had an official manager nor any handlers. His career decisions were his own, and he trusted his instincts to find new receptive audiences for his music, films, and politics.

Reed gladly called himself a revolutionary though, somewhat ironically, he was more a product of 1950s optimism than 1960s counterculture. He spent time in prison in both Argentina and Chile, and was ultimately expelled from both countries for using his mass appeal to stir up resentment against the status quo. He lived in Italy from 1967 to 1970, where he embarked on his film career by starring in spaghetti westerns, which suited his "contrarian" image and rodeo skills perfectly.

During his 25-year expatriation, Reed spent less than one year on his native soil, so the world of violent anti-Vietnam protests, Woodstock and the Black Panthers had only a general influence on him. His opposition to American imperialism and the capitalist system centered more on the impoverished campesinos than the plight of urban blacks or the call for free love and free acid. In Will Roberts' 1985 documentary American Rebel, Reed gleefully recalls how he visited the American embassy in Rome during a Vietnam protest in 1969 and managed to get in front of the crowd, stand beside the American ambassador, raise his fist and shout, "Viva Ho Chi Minh!" to the cheering throng. In 1970, Reed returned briefly to Chile to help his friend Salvador Allende in a grassroots presidential campaign, whose success was later crushed by General Pinochet's a bloody, CIA-backed coup.

Dean Reed was still only 32 in 1970. Already his career had taken numerous strange twists away from the conventional career path many expected from him. The next and last stage of his career would take him even farther away from the recording studios of Nashville and Los Angeles. Indeed, he was about to move deep into the heart of America's Cold War enemy.

Reed's most lasting impact as a singer and entertainer was in the Soviet Union, where he eventually sold several million albums and became one of the most recognizable voices and faces in pop music. He felt an immediate closeness to the Russian spirit, to the boundless frontiers and the multi-ethnic Soviet society that he said reminded him of the American ideal. In all of his years as an unofficial "goodwill ambassador" of the United States, his greatest frustration was witnessing the deep misunderstanding between two nations that were, in his view, so incredibly similar. This sentiment was shared by many smaller nations caught between the two superpowers, and in many of these countries he became a huge star.

Though he chose to settle in the East Germany, Reed toured the U.S.S.R. almost every year and had easy access to the Soviet leaders. He was the only American ever to be awarded the Lenin Prize for the Arts, which he received in 1979. He claimed that artists, scientists and athletes had an obligation to serve not only as role models, but to influence policy - just as his old Hollywood teacher Paton Price had once urged. Reed saw an opportunity to enter the world of Cold War politics as a peace activist and help bridge the gap between East and West.

The East German film starlet Renate Blume, Reed's third and last wife, suspected during her first years with Dean that he was using politics to further his career. Surely there was a large market for his brand of entertainment in the East bloc countries. Rock 'n' roll was exploding out of its time warp. Country music had a huge appeal, especially in Czechoslovakia, as did the left-wing folk sounds of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Even if Reed's work was often mediocre, as in the case of his films, he was reliable. He was safe. And he did his own stunts.

While he spoke to audiences in German, Italian, Spanish and even Russian, Reed retained an unequivocally American presence on stage - and off. Before he arrived on the scene, Soviet artists traditionally remained apart from the audience while performing. Not Reed. He would serenade a blushing young schoolgirl in the front row, then rush down and put a caring arm around her grandmother and kiss them both on the cheek. To avoid being labeled, he called himself a "Love Singer," and watching his performances now, it's not hard to imagine him at a Superbowl halftime show or headlining at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Detractors claimed that his fawning audiences in the closed, communist countries had little choice but to give him the benefit of the doubt. A lurking chorus of critics on the other side of the wall charged that he could never make it in the U.S.A. - not because of his politics, but because he wasn't talented enough. Still, his following grew, as did the perception of him as a threat to those in power.

With a growing career and reputation in the Soviet Bloc, Dean Reed established a comfortable home in a small lakeside town outside of East Berlin, where he raised a family and enjoyed the adulation of fans who would greet him daily, bring him flowers and politely ask for autographs. He was not rich by Western standards, but he had, as he tirelessly maintained, "everything he needed," evidenced by the Wartburg - not a Mercedes - he chose to drive.

In June, 1986, he began preparations for his biggest film to date, and it's clear from his correspondence at the time that he intended to stage a great "comeback" in the U.S.A. In autumn of 1987, he would tour his still-beloved America.

Touring as what, however, was his dilemma. For what have might been the first time in his life, Reed needed to be packaged. He needed a way to sell himself. But how? He had been a commercial success in the absence of a commercial culture. How to reintroduce himself to an American culture still wary of the Soviet threat? How to tour a nation that had once labeled him the Red Elvis?

Sadly, he would never find a solution to this problem.

On the night of June 12, 1986, Dean Reed disappeared. Four days later, he was found floating in the Zeuthner See lake with a partially dissolved sleeping pill in his stomach. The death was ruled an accidental drowning, and the case was quickly closed.

Not everyone was pleased with the ruling. Reed was a physically fit man, and his friend Phil Everly claimed that the 47-year-old crooner could still walk on his hands. He is also known to have been a strong swimmer.

According to Rudolf Strobinger in a 1999 Metro 002 article, a German detective novelist named Peter Schrenk claimed to have new evidence of Reed's deep depression before his death, contrary to the optimism that the filmmaker Roberts and his friend Dixie Schnebley gathered from correspondence. Schrenk suggests, based on information allegedly revealed after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that Reed was dependent on tranquilizers and had chronic marriage problems that led to suicidal tendencies.

There is also evidence that Reed's popularity had peaked in Czechoslovakia as well as in East Germany. According to his producer at Supraphon, Michael Prostejovsk, Reed had a reputation as a propaganda dummy masquerading as a peace activist - partly because the press portrayed him as "a fighter for socialism" and not the "rock and roll star he had always been."

And then there are speculations concerning his relationship with both the East German secret police and higher-ups in the government. Reed often vented his frustration about a lack of progress in East Germany that he felt was directly caused by the "bureaucratic class." It's not hard to imagine a depression and paranoia born of this pressure and isolation, but nor is it hard to imagine powerful men wishing the critical Reed would disappear.

Roberts believes that the circumstances surrounding Reed's death hint not only of a contract on the singer's life, but also of tacit support by the American government of the murder. Suggesting that Reed's presence might be considered "undesirable," Roberts finds it suspect that despite being an American citizen and a major public figure, no inquiry into his death was made by the American authorities.

How is it that Reed has remained a virtual unknown in the United States, his home country, after a world-famous recording and acting career, when his less-famous American counterparts remain household names?

What Reed once called a "conspiracy of silence" is partially explained by his outspoken beliefs as a peacenik on the "wrong" side of the Cold War, and partially by the xenophobia of the American press.

While more details about his life have come to light in recent years, and more will be made public with the release of Comrade Rockstar and an upcoming biography by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, the mystery surrounding Dean Reed's death and legacy will continue to linger. As will fascination about how this American talent strayed so far from home.

Dean Reed Remembered
Pete Seeger legendary folk singer who played Prague in 1964: "I knew about Dean Reed but never met him. He was supposed to visit me, but died unexpectedly. Poor guy. He allowed the Soviets to boost him to 'stardom' and found out too late what a trap that can be."

Michael Prostejovsk, former Chief Producer at Supraphon Records, who has lived in Cologne since 1983:

"I first met Dean in 1976 when we recorded his first album for Supraphon. He became a good friend, but was always a very complicated personality. He seemed to be addicted to his popularity, [but] he couldn't understand that the girls liked him for being American - a handsome James Dean type. He hated the corrupt way foreign artists were managed by party functionaries at Pragoconcert and wrote letters directly to President Husák. His career declined after that and his last record was a flop. I don't think he had a chance to make it in the U.S. The American television program [60 Minutes] was a catastrophe for him, but I don't think he killed himself because of it."

Josef Hrub, actor:

"No one typified the era of Normalizace better than Dean Reed. There was such a buzz when he played Palác Lucerna in 1978. When Ein Kessel Buntes [a variety show] was on television, you could be sure the streets were empty."

Gene Deitch, Prague resident since 1960:

"I met Dean Reed first at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the late '70s. I asked him, as a fellow expatriate, how he liked living in East Germany. He quickly corrected me, 'It's not East Germany, it is the German Democratic Republic'. Whatever. He was pretty full of himself."

Reds in Redface
During the '70s and '80s, the East German state film studio DEFA (originally the UFA studios) released a series of Indianerfilme that served both to inspire filmgoers who'd grown up on the adventure stories of Karl May and to retell the westerns in a decidely propagandist light.

Mostly, the traditional good guy/bad guy roles were reversed, changing Native Americans from savages into triumphant rebels. Dean Reed proven his big-screen presence in eight spaghetti westerns during his stint in Italy and was a natural star for the productions which were often filmed in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia using darker skinned Roma as the Indians and Reed as the occasional sympathetic cowboy hero.

It was on the set of these films that Reed met and befriended other stars of the East Bloc, including Yugoslav Gojko Mitic "Vinnetou" and the Czech actor-singer Václav Neckár, who starred with Reed in Sing Cowboy Sing. Reed also frequently showcased his formidable horsemanship on his own wild west shows that were widely seen on East German television and throughout the Soviet Bloc.

Reed on Film
Will Roberts is the American documentary filmmaker who "discovered" Dean Reed and chronicled his life in his 1985 film American Rebel. He describes his first encounter with the singer in 1979 in Moscow:

I was walking with my interpreter across Red Square where I was attending the Moscow International Film Festival when we came upon a mob of people reaching for autographs.

"Who's that?" I asked.

"Dean Reed." replied my interpreter.

"Who's Dean Reed?"

"You don't know who Dean Reed is?! Why he's the most famous American in the whole world!"

Roberts spent the next five years tracking the career of this man who would become his close friend and confidante. American Rebel premiered at the Denver Film Festival in April [October], 1985, and officially opened the next chapter of Dean Reed's long-awaited homecoming. The film garnered some press coverage, but it wasn't until a segment on the American TV magazine program 60 Minutes profiled Reed under the title "The Defector" that Reed finally was re-introduced to the national audience.

In the segment, hosted by Mike Wallace, Reed was portrayed as a naive and misguided expatriate living a privileged existence in East Germany to serve the propaganda interests of the regime. He was shown fraternizing with Yassir Arafat and Palestinian revolutionaries not as a peace activist, as Reed claimed, he rather with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder. He ably sparred with Wallace in the course of the interview - itemizing the East German system's benefits of free health care and education and the absence of unemployment and crime - and discussed meeting Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and other bogeymen of U.S. foreign policy.

In the Cold War logic of the time, Reed was at the very least a traitor, and probably a spy. According to Roberts, this segment brought more hostile letters to the program than any other in its long history. Reed was not welcome in his homeland. Not as a singer. Not as an actor. And especially not as a political activist.

In an effort to counter any potential Hollywood propaganda that would depict Reed as a traitor in Comrade Rockstar, as happened in the 60 Minutes episode, Roberts plans to release a newly edited version of American Rebel. One remarkable clip from the documentary highlights the absurdity of Reed's fame, both then and now. Roberts' Russian interpreter tells of a Voice of America radio broadcast in Moscow in the early 1980s when a request was made for a Dean Reed song. The DJ curtly declared that "there is no such singer called Dean Reed," and proceeded to play The Doors.

Will Roberts is also considering an offer by DreamWorks to be a consultant on the Tom Hanks film, but he has neither accepted nor declined.

He notes that, "Personally, I can't imagine Tom Hanks playing Dean Reed."

by John Caulkins


Friday, June 01, 2007
  Some Thoughts...
Suspect Taken Down In 20 Min. In AU Drill - the thing is that it took 20 minutes. How many innocents are they willing to give up in that 20 minutes? An armed student(s) and/or campus police could cut response time, is that not an option? They mention that the "shooter" was "captured and killed". Perhaps that is the preferable method of dealing with such a person but if so why not just arm the student body? (sarcasm mode off)

Border Agent Allowed TB Patient in U.S. - ok, so the system to ID this walking disease time-bomb worked and he was a marked man at the border but the border-control officer let him through anyway. So, who else have these morons let into the country? You know, aside from those they just let walk across anywhere and then give amnesty (although they don't call it that)....

Jack Kevorkian Free, Hugged by Mike Wallace - this explains so much... Now I know why the press was so positive about Kevorkian, they literally love him (or want some freebies). I loved this bit, "A smiling Kevorkian said the release was 'one of the high points of life'". No kidding.

Al Qaida suspects sue Boeing, with ACLU's help - this has got to be about as clear an indicator of need of tort reform as there is.
The suit charged that Jeppesen helped the CIA transport the three plaintiffs to secret locations in Egypt and Morocco, where the company knew they would undergo torture.
Just because they can't sue the government they go after a vendor. Right. More proof that we should do what AU does to their terrorists. I.e. capture and kill, in that order if necessary.

For Bush, fight over immigration bill is personal - so Bush likes Hispanics, so do I in so much as I differentiate between the ethnic backgrounds of people I like. The thing about illegal immigration is that it is illegal and those that will commit one illegal act for money will commit other illegal acts for money. They are criminals, pure and simple. Keep them out and if they get here send them home. Bush should take the persecution of law enforcement officers (including Border Patrol officers) personally. That might impress me.

Tourist Says He's Shot Video of Loch Ness Monster - yeah, right...


  Voice of Insanity
I was standing in the auto repair shop Wednesday morning when the latest Adam Gadahn video where the Treasonous Californian Al Qaedea operative makes is (il)legitimate demands and noticed something strange...

This loonie's vocal paterns are suprisingly similar to those of That Stupid Git who shot up Virginia Tech.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about labile speech can do a cross comparison, but it sure looks to me like there is a corelation between clinical insanity and terrorist ideation...


For us, the American ideal is personified in the concept of self-reliance, work ethic, honesty/forthrightness, decency, personal property rights, family, religion, an ability to defend oneself from criminals and crooked politicians, and personal responsibility.

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