Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Towers of York - A 9/11 Ballad

by Carole Rafferty

I. Not Today (Yesterday)

Many yesterdays ago, in a feverish time,
When Hell bent the world in a peaceful sign,
High over York rose a towering display.
Alas for that hope evil was born to betray.

At his birth seers warned, “The end of the world is today.”

Travel’d we there to gaze at the sight,
To witness this twin silver monument to might.
It soared to the clouds, to conquer the sky.
While others exclaimed, I only could sigh,

“Shadows fall over a day far from today.”

Fearfully I stared at the façade’s Gothic arch,
Then up the sleek girders gusted by March.
“What think you,” asked they, “of buildings so tall?”
Said I, with a shudder, “York’s Towers shall fall.”

“How say you so, miss?! They rose only today!”

“Peevish nonsense,” cried they, “from a girl of thirteen!
‘Tis but dizzy heights imagination has seen.”
Dazzling towers I’d view’d that rose to great heights.
But no pinnacle had crush’d the heart with such fright.

“The Towers will fall! I’ve seen enough for today!”

A bright future those slender arches belied;
Beyond their façade lay the ruins of pride.
Above their cold shadow, silver met the gold sun.
But its weight poorly borne, frail beauty’d succumb.

“Pray God, should they fall, let it not be today!”

Up we sped through the tower, my mind ill at ease,
Fears foster’d in magnitude by brothers who tease.
In mind’s eye did approach future terror on wing.
‘Twixt heav’n and earth, no refuge to cling.

Mist-vanish’d fate’s bolt would not strike today.

“How come you to think of such gloomy disaster?
Give us some reason for this Armageddon of plaster!”
“Perhaps an explosion, like the ones that wrack Eire;
A bomb in the basement, or maybe the spire.”

“One tower may explode, but not both in one day!”

“To accomplish that feat would need an army of men
To go unseen from floor one to one hundred and ten!”
“A storm then,” tried I, “with a wind of such power
To shatter the glass and send it down in a shower.”

“The sun shines brightly! There’s no danger today!”

“Its supports are outside,” one yielded, “’tis true.
A fire could melt it, but could a fire melt two?
For lightning to strike twice would be quite a plan.”
Said I, in a caution, “Don’t underestimate Man.”

“We promise the Towers won’t fall – not today!”

Man builds empires up to the sky;
The physical materials God does supply.
But the material world’s the Devil’s to rule.
Against Man’s ambition, he plots chaos most cruel.

Man can’t reach Heaven with towers of steel
Nor trade for God’s love by making a deal.
Yet York’s Towers won’t fall by God’s loving hand -
The spiteful Devil shall knock down our castles of sand.

“The Towers won’t fall. What more can we say?!”

Away in disgust my audience drew.
‘Twas impossible for a girl to know what I knew.
Not for my pleasure did I divine the Unknown.
Sight came unbidden, unwillingly shown.

“They won’t see the truth. Oh no, not today.”

II. Signs of the Times (Today)

Now it’s today and people are weeping.
From the inferno, the hopeless are desperately leaping.
One tower wobbles, wagging its finger,
“Calamity’s upon you, dare not you linger!”

At Hudson’s last bridge, they look’d for a sign;
Their target in sight, with Fate they align’d.
Like a bird in whose reflection an enemy glares,
They slamm’d through the glass with their innocent fares.

To fight such a blaze needs an army of men
To climb from floor one to one hundred and ten.
Ten claxons clang for the World Trade Center;
Into the fiery maw, only the bravest dare enter.

Heroes and victims pass on the stairs.
Fate’s the precarious splitting of hairs.
Gasping for breath and toting their gear,
Those who go up must set aside fear.

York halts in horror to stare at the sight;
Billows of smoke turning day into night.
How, on this perfect day of sky blue,
Could tragedy strike, such hatred spew?

Stop up your ears to the thunder of rubble,
To the explosion of rage bursting our bubble.
To safety the panicking crowds madly run
From the hideous cloud that wipes out the sun.

All that is left of the towers I saw
Is the skeleton clinging to life by a claw.
Nothing is left to bury the dead.
Their ashes have buried the city instead.

The shadow of silence befalls our great land;
All music and laughter – even our band.
Not a bird, not a plane, not a single sweet note.
Every sound but crying has the enemy smote.

Six weeks has it taken for peace to return.
Even now, the smoldering ruins still burn.
“How could this happen?” ask we, wringing our hands.
“America was surely the safest of lands?”

Long is the story of sorrow and grief,
Of how America fail’d to keep out the thief.
Of closing our eyes and our ears to the fey.
Of saying too often, “Oh no, not today.”

Into our country fanatics were welcome,
No matter how dang’rous their activities made them.
Political correction corrupted the rules
So onto our planes they could march with their tools.

The mind guards fast an obstinate gate
Against the grim specter of unthinkable Fate.
When safe in the present Men warnings ignore,
The future’s a battlefield scarred by war.

III. The Test of Time (Tomorrow)

The long year has passed and now it’s tomorrow.
Fate’s spared us to finish the tale of our sorrow.
The fall of York’s Towers caus’d the breaking of hearts,
Suffr’d even by those with the smallest of parts.

On that terror-fill’d day, York stood not alone;
Against other symbols was death being flown.
Anxiously Americans scanned the blue sky
For zealots praying to Allah to die.

For three harrow’d days after the fall,
O’er York hung bleak a dust-poisn’d pall.
For three days more, the cold North Wind flew,
Restoring the sky to that morning’s true blue.

In funerals and ceremonies to honor the dead,
Sad songs were sung and eulogies read.
The Towers deflated to a six-story pile;
An anguish to clear in air cindr’d vile.

One sleepy dawn came a low distant thunder;
With a roar it rent the stricken silence asunder.
The eagle was bound for hate strifen’d lands,
Bringing justice’s wrath to those hid in the sands.

The grief-stupor’d nation awakened at last.
The Ground Zero flag flew from Ted’s mast.
No more taken for granted the stars and the stripes;
Freedom’s banner wav’d defiant in all sizes and types.

On went the descent of the now-aging year,
Yet the season of fall was loth to appear.
Springtime’s red robin, driven off by fall’s crows,
Returned to the garden and sang in the boughs.

Straight through the winter robin sang a bright tune.
The rose bloomed at Christmas as though it were June.
A balm of peace offr’d at the gift-giving season.
God’s mercy and pity transcend human reason.

Travel’d we back to gaze at the site.
Gone is the twin silver monument to might.
Where once lofty arches loomed fragile but fair,
Naught now remains but columns of air.

‘Tis lighter and warmer but the shadows are chill.
Disbelief and mute awe do the empty void fill.
In the ruins the echoes of footsteps still clatter
And the wind carries whispers of long-ago chatter.

“Sixty years when I’m old?” asks a young voice from the past.
“Will that be how long York’s Towers will last?”
“More like thirty;” says the elder, “’tis I who’ll be gray.”
Twenty-nine years and six months, give or take an odd day.

When view’d from the past, tomorrow’s but today.

Always in mem’ry may York’s Towers arise;
Remember their splendor and not their demise.
May those who were lost be found in God’s glory
And granted a happier end to this story.

The Towers of York – A Ballad
Copyright 2001 Carole J. Rafferty

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11th Eve

Nine years ago, my editor and I were having an argument over what pictures to use in the September issue of our magazine. The background was something I feared we might not ever be able to photograph again. The largest object in the background is still standing, but something beyond it, far in the distance, was destroyed the next day.  It was truly a picture I would never again be able to take.

During our argument, I experienced one of those “I’ve got a bad feeling about this" moments. So bad, that I started crying. My editor thought I was being manipulative. I thought I was being ridiculous. I got hold of myself and went to band practice that evening.

On the way to the rehearsal, I saw a squirrel was sitting on the sidewalk - and he saw me. I thought, squirrel though he was, that he saw the car and would stay put. Instead, every hair on his body stood up on point, even his ears. His eyes turned a weird red. Then, with a teeth-rattling chatter, he plunged right under the wheels of my car.

I was too shocked to even be upset about hitting an animal. There was nothing I could do. Clearly, this was a deranged animal. I’d never seen anything like it in my entire life. Later, I dubbed him the Jihadi Squirrel.

In the ensuing years, I’ve had to really hector my co-workers to put 9/11 remembrances on our website and in our publications. Some of them wanted to know why we had to keep going on about it; why couldn’t we just get over it?

This year, thanks to the Victory Mosque and the Koran Klan, no one needs any reminders that September 11th is tomorrow. The parties involved have guaranteed no one will take 9/11 for granted, at least not tomorrow.

Imam Raouf has claimed that if he moves the Victory Mosque, there will be violence in the Muslim world. Other imams have publicly stated that the location of this mosque is poor salesmanship, to say the very least, and that they should move it.

According to columnist Amir Taheri in today’s New York Post, the mosque is known as a rabat:

“In fact, the proposed structure is known in Islamic history as a rabat -- literally a connector. The first rabat appeared at the time of the Prophet. The Prophet imposed his rule on parts of Arabia through a series of ghazvas, or razzias (the origin of the English word “raid”). The ghazva was designed to terrorize the infidels, convince them that their civilization was doomed and force them to submit to Islamic rule. Those who participated in the ghazva were known as the ghazis, or raiders.

“After each ghazva, the Prophet ordered the creation of a rabat -- or a point of contact at the heart of the infidel territory raided. The rabat consisted of an area for prayer, a section for the raiders to eat and rest and facilities to train and prepare for future razzias. Later Muslim rulers used the tactic of ghazva to conquer territory in the Persian and Byzantine empires. After each raid, they built a rabat to prepare for the next razzia.

“It is no coincidence that Islamists routinely use the term ghazva to describe the 9/11 It is no coincidence that Islamists routinely use the term ghazva to describe the 9/11 attacks against New York and Washington. The terrorists who carried out the attack are referred to as ghazis or shahids (martyrs).

“Thus, building a rabat close to Ground Zero would be in accordance with a tradition started by the Prophet. To all those who believe and hope that the 9/11 ghazva would lead to the destruction of the American "Great Satan," this would be of great symbolic value.

There are two dueling protests scheduled tomorrow afternoon at Ground Zero – a fine thing on such a tragic anniversary, but that is what it has come to. The NYPD is adding on extra crowd control. The anti-mosque organizer has asked that participants bring only American flags; no “inflammatory” signs, a la Glenn Beck.

The message I’m getting from this imam is that we had better let them bully us into accepting this rabat, this Victory Mosque, and that we’d better be as meek as lambs about it – or they’ll slit our throats, and it will be our own fault; their consciences will be clear.

Because they’re Muslims, Muslims worldwide from Afghanistan to the Philippines can murder Christian missionaries, blow up Western hotels and nightclubs, bomb buses and subway trains, burn Bibles, destroy Buddhist statues, hijack airliners, beat women and mutilate children, and blackmail democratic governments with impunity.

The Krazy Koran burner wants to meet with Imam Raouf. Goodness knows why. He should stay home in Florida and guard his flock, such as it is. Mercifully, he’s called off the Koran barbecue. Better he should gather his flock on 9/11 and pray for healing for the 9/11 families and for the freedom of the United States.

It might be tempting to some to want to retaliate for all the things the radical Muslims have done and the so-called “moderates” silently sanction. We have very good reason to worry they’re attempting to bring Shariah law to our shores, with the help of our Liberal politicians. Americans are pretty angry and pretty fed-up with the pollyannish attitude we’re expected to take. We’re supposed to embrace one another in the spirit of humanity. My father had a saying for that sort of self-deceit: watch out for the guy who’s patting you on the back; he’s looking for the place to stick the knife in.

The Muslims have no respect for forbearing parties. Yet violence isn’t, or shouldn’t be, our way, though it’s obviously theirs. This imam has no intention of planting his flag someplace else. He intends to stubbornly “stand his ground” and is counting on our divided political environment and Constitutional laws to support him.

So how, as Americans, are we supposed to deal with a people so devoted to violence, so disingenuous as to promote themselves as purveyors of peace, and so intent on conquering the world? We can’t just kill them, as Hitler murdered millions of Jews.

But we don’t have to keep voting in politicians who help them in their goals. While we still have a Constitution and the right to vote, we can elect representatives who care about America and won’t bow to foreign potentates, who have common sense and decency. And who won’t try to sweep September 11th under the rubble that was once the World Trade Center.

We mustn't let them forget.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Taxpayer Super Heroes

Yesterday, we examined the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste’s 2010 Congressional Pig Book Summary. The Council also publishes another booklet, The Annual Congressional Ratings.

Since 1989, they’ve examined the roll call votes to identify which members of Congress are protecting our taxpayer dollars and which ones are squandering them. The Council rates members are on a 0 to 100 percentage sliding scale; the more votes a Representative or Senator made in favor of the taxpayers, the higher up the scale they moved:

Hostile: 0 – 19%
Unfriendly: 20 – 39%
Lukewarm: 40 – 59%
Friendly: 60 – 79%
Taxpayer Hero: 80 - 99%
Taxpayer Superhero: 100%

The book gives a breakdown in the beginning, by House and Senate, of who made Taxpayer Superhero status. Good move. Always put your heroes up in front.

House: Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.), Jeb Hensarling (R.-Tex.), Cynthia Lummis (R.-Wyo.), Mike Pence (R.-Ind.), John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.), and Lynn Westmoreland (R.-Ga.). That’s seven, up from one lone Taxpayer Superhero in 2008, Paul Broun from Georgia. He must felt awfully lonely that year, and CCAGW applauded him for his single-handed courage in defending the taxpayer. Should the Republicans prevail in November, Rep. Broun should be the first choice for Speaker of the House.

You’ll notice all those R’s. The Democrats didn’t fare quite so well in the rankings. According to the CCAGW, 9 members had a zero rating in 2006. In 2007, feeling proud of themselves, only 2 had a zero rating. But then the numbers starting climbing. The number grew to a modest 34 in 2008. But in 2009, an unbelievable 105 members, or 41 percent of the 256 House Democrats scored big fat zeroes.

One House Democrat made it to Taxpayer Hero – Walt Minnick (D-Id). Among the House Hostiles are some familiar names: Rush Holt (D.-N.J.), Patrick Kennedy (D.- R.I.), Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y), John Murtha (D.-Pa.), Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), Joe Sestak (D.-Pa.), Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.), Henry Waxman (D.-Calif.).

One Republican was listed as Hostile – John McHugh (R.-N.Y.). He was the guy from New York’s 23rd District. Obama made him an offer he couldn’t refuse – Secretary of the Army. The highest scorer in California was Rep. Tom McClintock (R-4th District), representing the northeastern-most corner of California.

In the Senate Chamber, a couple of Wyoming cowboys beat out Sen. John McCain for most tax-payer conscious. With 100 percent, they’re Wyoming’s Senatorial Taxpayer Superheroes.

Tying for Hostile Senator status were Sen. Inouye of Hawaii and Sen. Boxer of California with one down vote for cutting taxes apiece. New Jersey’s Senators both fell in the Hostile category as well. But in the House, we do have a Taxpayer Hero in Rep. Scott Garrett (R – 5th Distr.), with a score of 99 percent.

Farther down, Rep. Lance (R. 7th Dist.) managed to make it into the Friendly category. Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R. – 11th Distr.) – 30 percent, Lobiondo (R.-2nd Distr.) – 21 percent, and Smith (R. – 4th Dist.) fell into the Unfriendly category. Everyone below that – eight Congressmen – were big zeroes in the Hostile category. Eight of thirteen. I hope N.J.’s 8th District candidate Roland Straten keeps that in mind when he goes head-to-head with Bill Pascrell who scored a zero for 2009, and a 9 percent for his career.

If New Jersey doesn’t start shaping up, I’m moving to Wyoming!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This Little Piggy Went to Congress

Moderate Republicans who think they’re going to triumph over conservative or tea party candidates, or who have already done so, will not be happy to hear that the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) have published the 20th edition of “The Congressional Pig Book Summary.”

A friend got me a copy of the booklet and just reading the introduction alone is enough to run out and support a Tea Party candidate.

The first edition of “The Pig Book” came out in 1991, when there were 546 pork barrel projects worth $3.2 million. The Republican Revolution came in 1994, but with it, a rise in pork spending, and a new word, “earmark”. According to The Pig Book, the spending peaked in 2006, 12 years later, at $29 billion. Since the Democrats took over, there’s been a 15 percent decrease in spending, although Congress still managed to waste $19.6 million of the taxpayers money in 2009.

It’s something for voters to remember when they’re re-electing moderate Republicans, although John McCain is definitely a fiscal conservative. If Sen. Robert Byrd (D., W. Va.) is the King of Pork, McCain is the champion of the taxpayer. If only he weren’t also the champion of illegal aliens.

The booklet covers a number of areas: Agriculture, CJS (Commerce, Justice, Science), Defense, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior, the Labor Health and Human Services Education bunch, Legislative Branch, Military Construction, State & Foreign Operations, and the aptly-named THUD (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

If you’re partisan, this isn’t the book for you. You won’t find many heroes in the Pig Book. Some of these porkers are such pigs that they were able to submit their pork requests anonymously.

Five unknown senators and four representatives requested and received $2,573,000 for potato research. McDonald’s, according the purchases $3.4 billion worth of U.S. potatoes every year. Congress wanted the money because the fast-food super chain has such power over the potato market, that less popular varieties must be subsidized.

But probably the most fitting pork is the $349,000 requested by Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.), House Appropriator David Price (D., N.C.) and Rep. Bob Etheridge (D., N.C.) for swine management.

Defense always takes a whopping chunk out of our debt. I love the military and Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R., N.J.) is devoted to them. He appropriated $7 million for advanced technology energy manufacturing, $3 million for the Armaments Academy in N.J., $1.6 million for green armament, and another $1.6 million for desktop printers.

Still, those were earmarks for the military, at least. Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D., Pa.) received $69,100,000 for 32 projects including the Northeast Counter-Drug Training Center ($4.5 million) and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining ($1.6 million). Well, that last one doesn’t sound so bad – defense manufacturing. Only one of the Center’s Alliance Partners, Concurrent Technologies was set up by the late Sen. John Murtha as a nonprofit research center for metalworking. He guided more than $1 billion in defense earmarks in their direction, and in turn, their executives contributed frequently to his campaigns.

But Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R., Miss.) gets the prize for the most unusual defense appropriations: $3,280,000 for the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group; $3,120,000 for online health optimization and $800K for an Historically Black Colleges and Universities applied research incubator.

Finally, defense money has been earmarked to create the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, complete with a replica of the U.S. Senate Chambers. For this, the taxpayers can thank Senate Appropriations Committee Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii), Sen. John M. Kerry (D., Mass.), former Sen. Paul Kirk (D., Mass.), and Rep. Edward Markey, (D., Mass.).

Energy and Water appropriations. Now how can you argue with that? Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Jack Reed (D., R.I.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), House Appropriate Patrick Kennedy (D., R.I.) and Rep. James Langevin granted Brown University (which is located in Rhode Island) $1.5 million for fuel cell research. Brown is one of the top colleges in the nation, with an endowment of $2.7 billion. They have all the “fuel” they need for this project.

Financial Services. The Pig Book states, “A Congress that can’t balance the nation’s budget should not be dictating where money should go to teach financial literacy.” Such as $3,150,000 for a faincnial education and pre-home ownership counseling demonstration project; $250,000 for financial and technical assistance for the Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund; and $100,000 for employment and financial counseling and assistance for Project Ezrah Needs, Inc.

We’re coming up on 9/11, the anniversary of the destruction of New York’s World Trade Center. But did you know there are World Trade Centers in nearly every major city in the United States. Boston has one. $400,000 has been granted to the Wichita Kansas EcoPartnership for the Kansas World Trade Center, $134,000 for the Montana World Trade Center, and $50,000 for the World Trade Center Institute in Delaware. But don’t tell the terrorist guys there are more World Trade Centers out there.

After 9/11, it wasn’t hard to justify spending on Homeland Security, though some monies went to small towns like Barnegat, N.J. (pop. 12,000 – well that’s not all that small). Were they were worried a terrorist might blow up Old Barney, the lighthouse? Or is the town harboring a nest of terrorists? On the other hand, House Approriator Ed Pastor (D., Ariz.) sent $800,000 to Global Solar Energy for the portable solar charging rechargeable battery system. Maybe it’s the back up system in case Old Barney fails.

Then there’s the Interior section. Senate Interior Appropriations Committee member Robert Bennett (R., Utah) designated $800,000 for a “culinary reservoir.” For you music lovers, House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee member Alan Molloham (D., W. Va.) appropriate $150,000 to the Vandalia Heritage Foundation for the restoration of Cottrill’s Opera House. However, the Vandalia Heritage Foundation and is sister group, the Vandalia Redevelopment Group were created by Molloham and received millions of dollars in federal earmarks and grants in recent years. The groups are run by one of the Congressman’s former aides.

Under Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Senate Labor/HHS Appropriates Subcomittee Chairman Tom Harkin, alone appropriate 12 percent of this group’s budget to benefit: $500,000 for the Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; $500,000 to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium; $400,000 to Orchestra Iowa’s music education program; and $400,000 to the AIB College of Business in Des Moines to train court reporters.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R., Utah) granted $250,000 to the I-Won’t-Cheat-Foundation in Salt Lake City for an anti-steroids education and awareness program.

Then there are the government-supported museums and organizations that could easily have supported themselves through modest ticket price increases, such as Hawaii’s Bishop Museum in Honolulu. The Washington National Opera with a fund balance of $19,547,622. All the same, Sen. Thad Cochran allowed them $200,000.

The Gig Harbor Museum is 85 percent of the way to its goal of $11.1 million to open its new facility. Federal taxpayers are contributing $200,000 to this obscure museum in Washington; all residents of Gig Harbor had to do was come up with $28.54 per citizen.

What does the Legislative Branch have to do with museums and appropriating money for them? Well, they decided to earmark – anonymously - $200,000 to the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. Yee-haa. Or hee-haw.

Did you think we were done with Defense spending? Not quite. Military construction is a separate item. Most of the items here seem reasonable. But House Military Construct ion Appropriations Subcomittee member Andre Crenshaw (R., Fla) is proposing $26,360,000 for a fitness center at Mayport Naval Station. Ten miles from Mayport is the Jacksonville Snap Fitness Center, whose member ship is $44.95 a month. The earmark could provide over 48,000 year-long Snap Fitness memberships for the 60,400 personnel and families at the base, including retirees.

Under State and Foreign operations, $17,000,000 has been granted to the International Fund for Ireland. As for the aptly-named THUD (Transportation and Housing and Urban Development), Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) and House appropriator Todd Tiahrt (R., Kan.) have granted $2,000,000 for the National Institute for Aviation Research. Major aerospace companies are among it clients, well able to foot the bill for this program.

The Pig Book – it’ll just make taxpayers of all persuasions squeal with outrage.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day, 2010

It’s Labor Day, and I’m all worn out. Who knew Summer could be so tiring? I spent this last seek on vacation. But two parades, a town celebration, a tea party, and most of all, disappointment in a silly radio transmitter, have undone all the good. By the time I got to the Morristown Tea Party, I just about had enough energy to wave my flag. I let friend do all the cheering for me. But even he wasn’t feeling well, and we left earlier than we planned.

On the way out the back of the park, some more energetic tea partiers gave us scornful looks for deserting early. But if he had marched two miles in one parade, then two in another, and then traipsed another two miles for town pride day, he’d have deserted early, too.

I came home to rest and march through a little more of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Oddly, the National Review panned its newfound popularity, the reviewer claiming that the author hates men and all sorts of other nonsense.

I’ve found it the perfect- if long – novel for Labor Day weeken. Especially for these times. The most creative and industrious people are being punished, slandered for their success. She was a prophetic novelist – Atlas Shrugged was written in 1957, yet it bears out all the lessons of the Obama Era.

The takeover of industry by the government. The meaningless mantras. The self-righteous pity for the poor. The redistribution of wealth to those who haven’t earned it. And the courage of the industrious to go on “strike” when their labors aren’t not only unrewarded but pilloried.

One of the speakers even quoted Ayn Rand.

As we were leaving, some Liberal shouted to us from a car, “That's right; go home!” It made me want to run right back into the midst of the Tea Party. In fact, run up to the podium and make a speech myself! My companion shouted something unfit for a family blog.

I figured I’ve done a lot of shouting since 2009. If I’d felt better, I’d have shouted something to him, too. But I had a temperature and chills, and thought discretion was the better part of valor this day. I was there, even if it was only for an hour, to show my Tea Party support.

I’ve been overcome by an unreasonable fear this last week or so, since the Restoring Honor Rally: that people won’t fight to the end, that they’ll give in like sheep. One or two people can’t do all the fighting. It must be all of us, with whatever energy we possess. I’m afraid that they’ll give up and I can’t do it all by myself.

I think it’s my heart that’s breaking; that we’ll surrender all that’s good about America. That if we don’t stand up for freedom, we’ll become enslaved by the very fear that takes my breath away sometimes. The other side is very good at shouting and being nasty, and we’re afraid of them. That’s what I got out of the Restoring Honor Rally, I’m sorry to say. Despair. Timidity.

I was pleased to see many signs at the Morristown Labor Day Tea Party. Even though I was feeling unwell, it cheered me to see them. I put them in the back of my memory to recall as I was resting later on. You haven’t forgotten.

But now the 9/11 Rally – on Sept. 11th – is coming up and that’s a different matter. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to make it as I have a prior commitment that evening. We must be more mindful of what day it is. By necessity, the cheering and the dissension must be more muted. On any other day, I would say raise the roof.

This is the 9th anniversary of the day nearly 3,000 people lost their lives. We can’t lose sight of that fact, all the while justifiably condemning the construction of this Victory Mosque. I heard someone talking, I guess on TV today, about the Prayer Warriors, who are the product of Glenn Beck’s rally. Who ever came up with the name, God Bless Them! I disagree with Glenn vehemently about signs, but if ever there was a moment for his Prayer Warriors, this 9/11 rally is it.

The government is clearly corrupt and is not going to help us. They’re standing behind the U.S. Constitution in regard to this (maybe we need to make an amendment about using common sense) and unless someone comes out with the truth about this imam and his backers, there’s not much ordinary people can do about it – except protest and pray.

This is an issue that goes beyond mere politics. This may be a job for God and the God Squad. Signs may still be useful however, even though this is a spiritual matter more than a political cause. And tee shirts and caps. In addition to the “No Mosques Here!” signs, the Prayer Warriors could carry signs identifying themselves as “Prayer Warriors” and underneath

       P R A Y E R                    W A R R I O R S

                                N O    V I C T O R Y    M O S Q U E!!!

W E    W I L L    N O T    S U B M I T!!!

Then on the reverse side of the sign, their favorite scriptural quote (i.e.):

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded to you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

We can’t stop our feckless government from allowing them to build the mosque, even though the imam was the low bidder and the owners could have gotten much more money for their property. But we can hold true to our own faith in God, one that doesn’t require women to wear veils or non-believers to pay a tax, a prison term, or a death sentence.