Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Duty Bound

This morning, I woke up early, eager for the day to begin. I was going to spend a little time with my North Jersey Regional Tea Party friends for the beginning of the Battle of Trenton. Then I was going to hop in my car and head to the Morristown Green for a little rallying fun with Morristown Tea Party friends.

Just as I was getting ready to leave, the phone rang; it was my Mom. No health emergency, thank goodness. But a water pipe had burst her in basement. My older brother is at work the whole weekend on an office move. My younger brother was struggling to bale out the basement and fix the pipe. Mom had a dental in Queens, a 45-minute ride. Would I be able to take her?

Oh no. The Tea Parties that I’d been looking forward to the whole, long, dreary week were about to make history without me. Of course, my duty, and I told I was ready to go whenever she was. I had to face it and do it: my brothers bear the brunt of chauffeuring Mom around and doing all the heavy-lifting. They’re both Mama’s Boys, so not only don’t they mind, but they insist upon it. However, it’s my duty to be available when they aren’t, which doesn’t happen often.

I don’t think God would have approved if I’d refused, or complained and made her feel guilty. Besides, I woke up this morning not feeling very well, as though I were coming down with a cold. If I’d made that long drive to Trenton and then stood out in this morning’s cold wind for Morristown, I would have deserved what happened to me for putting something above duty to family.

This is Mom, who saved me from the school bully, did without a lot of things herself when we were poor, made 999 miserable trips to Atlantic City, a place she loathed, so we’d have a roof over our heads, and nursed all when we were sick with everything from the chickenpox to the stomach flu.

Queens is a long ride from northern New Jersey. But Mom has been going to this dentist’s office since she was a young woman – some 66 years. The original dentist passed away about ten years ago; his son-in-law runs the practice now. He’s one of the most cheerful dentists you’d ever want to meet.

In any case, I most certainly missed the Morristown Tea Party. However, there is pay-off. Mom was so grateful that I drove her because my younger drives her begrudgingly, complaining all the way there and back again, and my older brother tends to pester her, whereas I drove her cheerfully and without complaint, that she doubled the amount of my birthday present next week. (Mom is very good with investments and we’re the beneficiaries of her financial savvy). It was only to be $100, which would have been more than enough. Now she’s going to give me enough to buy an Ipad.

It pays to do your duty cheerfully, I must say.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Tea Parties!

Three years ago today, Americans joined, in great numbers, the Tea Party express (small caps), a grass-roots movement that had actually begun in February of 2009. For many though, April 15th was the day it all began for them.

We’ve had some small successes and one very big one – the November 2010 elections – and we’re till ready for more. We’ve survived in spite of Media columnists, bloggers, and talking heads who’ve labeled us with every noxious name in their rulebook – racists, homophobes, idiots, haters, know-nothings, and teabaggers. They’ve done everything they can to revile us in the eyes of average Americans. Some Americans have looked beyond their television sets or computer monitors to find out who we really are; others have not.

We involved ourselves directly in the political process at every level from local politics to the federal government, taking on every issue from school vouchers to the federal budget. Some politicians have even climbed on board.

As we’ve seen, the battle isn’t easy. Party labels don’t mean anything when the expensive suit is made out of the same material and the words we hear are part of the same agenda. Political conformity is at the top of that agenda.

The Liberal Left hippies of the Sixties now hold every level of power in the government, business, labor, and even churches. Most disturbing is their generational position in education. They’re well-entrenched in our universities, where they’ve held forth since the early Thirties. The classroom is where they do the most damage, brainwashing gullible young minds with their one-world, redistribute-the-wealth, silence-the-critics agenda.

Tea Parties are learning that big things come in small packages. They’re forming small groups and educating friends and neighbors in their own communities about the dangers America is facing. They have facts in their hands, not just talking-points. Facts like the U.S. Debt Clock. They’ve educated themselves on American history, the U.S. Constitution, and current issues.

The thing about grassroots is: you can trample grass, mow it down, but it will grow right back up again. You can try to dry it up, scaring potential members, but eventually God will make it rain and the grass will grow back again, tougher than ever.

The Tea Parties know they must keep on advocating for solid, American, Constitutional values. The U.S. Constitution is our foundation and support. We must keep an eye out for those who abuse it. We must hold our candidates for office to a high standard. Those who don’t uphold the standards must be shown the door. What we tolerate will inevitably come back to haunt us.

So, Happy Anniversary, Tea Parties! Keep up the good work!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Day Lightning Struck Twice

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”

In case anyone is interested, today is April 14th. Today marks the day that Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C., and the day the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg off Newfoundland.

But neither story ended that day. Although Lincoln was shot on April 14th, he actually died at 7:22 a.m. the next morning at William Petersen’s Boarding House, across the street from the theater. The RMS Titanic sank below the waves at 2:20 a.m., April 15th.

On April 14, 1792, France declared war on Austria, starting the French Revolutionary War and then on the same date in 1814, Napoleon abdicated and went into exile on the island of Elba. Later on, Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” would be published on this same date in 1859.

On April 14, 1860, the first Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco from St. Joseph, Mo. 121 years to the day later, on April 14, 1981, the first Space Shuttle, Columbia, returned to Earth.

Ironies seem to abound on this date. History will record that on this date, the President of the United States declared that greatness and rugged individualism did not come into existence until 1865. Although a great but humble president, far superior to the current, Harvard-educated resident of the White House, was assassinated on this date, and a great ship’s builders were humbled when many people, noble and humble alike, perished when the Titanic sank from under them on its maiden voyage, this current president has no recollection of history prior to 1965.

Where is the literary hero of our age to declare, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."?

Where are the courageous noblemen, though they were the “evil rich” of their times, who had too much honor to take a seat in a lifeboat ahead of the women and children, even when it was clear that the lifeboats had to be launched half-empty if the crew was to get the rest of the boats off, and they could have jumped into one of the boats with a clear conscience?  Where are the courageous immigrants who believed in the American dream and were willing to take that leap of faith and work hard to make that dream come true, not wait in line for it?

Where is the daring pioneer to state, “This is one small step for a man; one giant leap for Mankind.”

Where is the U.S. President to declare, “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Future greatness is buried right now under a great pile of mediocrity, waiting for the sunshine of freedom to melt the cold burden of tyranny so it can spring forth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Signs of Trouble

“People only have real power when they make trouble,” Frances Fox Piven

Yesterday, it was announced that the Coldwater (Mich.) City Council passed a resolution banning all banners and signs at Four Corners Park after a federal lawsuit charged that the Common Sense Patriots of Branch County were “too political” and “too controversial”.

Excuse me?  EXCUSE ME?!  Did I read that correctly?  A federal court has passed law over what constitutes free speech?  A city council can now determine who has first amendment rights and who doesn’t?  However, they knew they had no right to ban one particular group, so now they’ve banned all signs and banners for all events.

According to Attorney Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, Coldwater City Manager
Jeff Budd objected because the Common Sense Patriots of Branch County were “too political” and “too controversial.”  According to the lawsuit, the Common Sense Patriots had held five rallies at the Four Corners Park.  Muise said to regulate speech at a traditional public forum such as a city park, regulations must be precise. He said the ban of all signs and banners is too broad.

“Instead of using a scalpel, they used a sledgehammer,” Muise said. “They didn’t mind when they had people put up banners for some innocuous event, but when the tea party put up their sign, they said, ‘Wait a minute. This is too controversial.’ ”

“There is a problem when you ban everything in a traditional public forum.”
Right.  Let’s not ban everything; let’s just ban the speech we don’t agree with, the speech that makes us nervous, the signs that make us realize all is not well in our rose bowl world, the banners that remind us what cowards we really are.

For an attorney, Mr. Muise is pretty weak on the Constitution and the First Amendment in particular. 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925), the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government.

The Libs just hate those signs.  They know that people carrying signs turns them into a herd of sheeple into active members of an organization who are there to communicate a message, not just listen to someone speak.  They’ve been working overtime to discredit anyone who carries a home-made sign as a homophobic, anti-government racist. 

Their tactics have been working, too.  People don’t come to rallies carrying so many signs anymore.  Having been mocked and chastised by the Liberal Media, and in turn by television addicted family, friends, and teenagers, and not wanting to seem “uncool,” they’ve been leaving their signs at home.

Early on, infiltrators tried to persuade one Tea Party not to carry signs and the other not to have any rallies at all, but to remain behind closed doors.  The infiltrators and I had in the first instance had some interesting shouting matches.  The other party I just couldn’t convince to do outdoor rallies at all.  They didn’t have enough volunteers for such a venture, I think, and their main organizing powerhouse recently passed away.

As the rally season blossoms once again – this is our third year; can you believe it? – I would urge all Tea Parties all across the country to get their signs ready and carry them with pride.  Let the Tea Party signs blossom and wave like a sea from shore to shore.  The Libs certainly don’t like it, which is all the more reason to carry signs.  City councils have no right to tell people they can’t communicate a political message or tell people that they can’t carry signs.  That’s what the First Amendment is all about - American citizens being able to assemble peacefully in the public forum and declare their views.

The fact that city and town councils can make stipulations about free speech in a public park is a bad sign of just how far bureaucratic overreach has gone in abridging our rights as citizens.  Big government has come to small towns and we should protest it.  The citizens of Coldwater should vote out their city council as soon as may be and elect officials who believe in the Constitution.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Houston, We've Got a Problem

With the landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery last month, the controversial Space Shuttle program will end.  There are only two flights left.  Then the question is – what to do with the remaining space shuttles – Endeavor, Atlantis, and the prototype Enterprise.

Twenty-one cities are vying for these three craft.  The Discovery is going to the Smithsonian, as well it should.  But what to do with the Endeavor, Atlantis, and the prototype Enterprise?   Two of the sites vying for these ships are the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Johnson Space Center in Florida.  I have a better question:  why are these two sites even being forced to compete for the shuttles.  One ought to go to Florida and the other to Houston.  The only shuttle that should be up for grabs is the remaining third shuttle.

Cape Canaveral and the Space Center in Houston were where all the action happened.  New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand was pitching for one of the shuttles to be brought to New York City.  Why, for heaven’s sake?  New York City in no way figured in the space shuttle’s history.  If the third shuttle, whichever one it is, should go anywhere, it should either go to the Boeing plant in Washington, or in Seattle itself, where the shuttle was made, or to Vandenburg Air Force Base in California, the shuttle’s alternate landing site.

How hard is it to do the math?  Or the geography?  One shuttle would be in Washington, in the Northeast, one in the south (Florida), one in the west (Texas), and another also either in the west (southern California) or Northwest (Seattle).  If two of the birds hadn’t blown up, the Midwest would have its shuttle and another to spare.  There’d be a shuttle for everyone.

The tragedies with the Challenger and the Columbia should have taught us that the shuttles are no mere tourist attractions, brining money and tax revenues to their host cities.  Cities should not be squabbling or vying for them in an auction.  They belong where they made history, at least here on earth.

The Space Shuttle Program was a costly experiment in human space flight.  Engineers have concluded that it’s safer and less expensive to send up automated space flights that can record the data for us and act us probes to tell us what we’re getting into before we actually get out there.

Sooner or later, space flight will become not only inevitable but imperative.  Someone had to take that brave, first step to get us out there.  Their sacrifices should not be wasted in a dithering reluctance to go back.  But using common sense and finding out what’s out there first would lessen the chances of sacrificing more lives before we know what we’re doing, where we’re going, or how we’re going to get there.

Space is the final frontier and our last hope of escaping what appears to be inevitable tyranny here on earth.  Right now, a successor to the space shuttle could only serve as a lifeboat.  Finding a habitable planet in an immense galaxy that scientists tell us is speeding away from us is like finding a four-leave clover.  We might be forced to pitch a space tent somewhere until we can figure out what to do.  For the time being, if we do return to human space exploration, the trips will be more like extended overnight camping trips rather than permanent settlements.
Meanwhile, as the Space Shuttle program draws to a close, let us remember all those who volunteered to ride to the stars, knowing the dangers and succumbing to them, but leaving us a legacy of courage.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13, deemed a “successful failure.”  Let us remember the memorable quote from the film, “Apollo 13.”

“Failure is not an option.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Birther Conspiracy

I’d love to know who started this birther conspiracy.  If I were a bettin’ woman, I’d say it was one of Obama’s cheerleaders.  My conservative friends won’t listen when I try to tell them they’re being led on a wild Obama chase.  There’s nothing to this business.  The guy was born in Hawaii, just like he claims but he wants you to run around chasing your tails thinking he was born in Kenya, or wherever, for a number of reasons.

1.       According to my research, the hospital in which he was born switched all their records over to microfilm, leaving only the short-from “live birth” certificates.  The original birth certificate still exists, but it would have to be printed out and the hospital will only print the record on the authority of the individual or their next-of-kin.  The law, unfortunately, is on his side, technically.  The more the Birthers whip themselves into a frenzy the worse it looks for them and the better for him.
2.      There are a couple of reasons besides the political reasons that he would refuse to make it public.  First, the original form may or may not show his religion.  However, we already know he was born to a Muslim father and raised by a Muslim step-father.  In Islam, the father’s religion rules.  A child is considered a resident of that Muslim country in which the father was born.  Obama claims he later converted to Christianity, at best a dubious assertion.  Secondly, while the proof that he was born in Hawaii would put to rest birthers’ arguments, another group, at the moment silent, would have verification of something he’d rather the general public didn’t know or believe.  At least not yet.  They probably won’t believe it.  Thirdly, refusing to make public his birth certificate puts him in the camp of the illegal immigrants, who bridle at the notion of legal documentation.  During his campaign, Obama declared himself a “citizen of the world.”
3.      For all their seemingly outlandish demands, the Birthers are right.  The American public has a right to be satisfied, publicly if necessary, that their president is a legal, natural-born citizen of the United States.  His refusal to make the certificate public only inflames the suspicious about him.

Recently, I sent out a resume for a position as web content provider.  On my resume, I listed “astrology” among my skills.  I’m not a practicing astrologer, however.  I don’t enjoy or believe in telling people how to live their lives.  Occasionally, when I was younger, I would ask people when they were born.  They had characteristics about which I was curious and I wanted to see if they matched up to their astrology chart.  Inevitably, that led to requests for charts.  I had no time and little desire, and I learned not to ask.  I seldom tell people anymore that I know how to read a horoscope chart.

Still, the skill has its uses, especially when you’re studying presidents reluctant to reveal their birth certificates and societies where astrology was born.  Before the Muslims were Muslims, they were Persians and Zoroastrians.  They studied the stars and developed the art of astrology.  They believed that comets and the alignment of stars and planets were the portents of great happenings and also signified the birth of kings.

In 1962, six months to the day after Obama was born, The Great Eclipse of 1962 had people worldwide fearing that the end of the world had come.  The Hindus, in particular, were terrified.  They feared an immediate cataclysm.

Apparently, the Arabs watched the Great Eclipse with more interest than terror.  That same year, many interesting things began to occur in the “umma”.  The Islamists prepared their North American jihad that year, opening madrassas in the U.S. and Canada.  Jihadist societies began forming.

The eclipse occurred over the Pacific Ocean.  At its height, it passed over the equator, sweeping close to the Hawaiian Islands, darkening the mid-day sun, but leaving a false, reflected glow, a silvery corona, lit by the sun, of the aligned planets behind it.  At least, that’s the story.

Astrologers whisper that the alignment, written in Aquarius, but actually taking place in Capricorn, signified the birth of a new king, a new dictator, one who would rule the earth with “justice” and “equality” – unlike Jesus Christ and his olive branch.  He would preach peace to the young, heal the sick, and deliver justice with an iron fist.  The eclipse was a sign to his prophet and his followers to prepare the way for him.

The Bible teaches us to scorn the study of astrology, to ask questions of God, not crystal balls (which even mystics regard as extremely dangerous).  Christians look to the future world, not this one, for which the Islamists scorn us, as much as they scorn the Hebrews for what they regard as clinging to the past.  Yet, they still rely on portents from the sky for divination, a practice that predates their religion.

The politically correct West has been bending over, bowing and scraping, to accommodate the Islamists and assuage their fury over offenses to their religion.  Meanwhile, they murder Christians and other non-Muslims with abandon, and proudly proclaim their mission to blow Israel out of existence.  Apologists claim that Islam is a peaceful religion, yet the Koran makes direct reference to terrorizing non-believers.

They regard the West as weak.  In America, a man or woman who committed adultery might be shunned and their spouse would seek a divorce.  Mainly, the punishment for breaking the marital compact is financial and emotional.  In Muslim countries, the punishment is brutal, depending on what the offenders are caught doing.   A woman merely being in the company of man to whom she’s not related can be whipped or caned publicly, as happened to a woman in Indonesia.

Her neighbors actually broke into her house and dragged the woman and the man she was in the bedroom with out into the street and dragged them to the local police station.  The man was caned first, and then the woman.  After being beaten senseless in the official punishment, the crowd then assaulted her on the way to the hospital. 

Women are considered lower than dirt, literally, in Islamic societies.  A man who has touched a woman, if he cannot clean himself with soap and water, must use dirt before he can pray.  Women are not allowed to drive, cannot be seen in the company of unrelated men, must veil themselves (it is written in the Koran; the apologists have lied to the West on this matter), and must stay in their room when company comes, and cannot come out until the man of the house tells them they can.  A man can beat his wife for any offense he feels has been committed, even something as simple as burning the halal.

For women, an Islamic world would truly be a hell on earth and its purveyor evil incarnate.  Western had hoped such revelations about women’s status in Islam would not come to light.  Now that it has, though, they must publicly deplore it and assure us that there are moderates working to reform Islam.

Perhaps there are reformers who sincerely wish to moderate Islam’s brutality.  But their days are numbered.  The fanatics feel they’ve been ordered to kill anyone who questions the Koran’s dictates.  The rest are simply lying to us.  Once lured into their trap, there will be no escape.  This is not conspiracy theory hysterics – this is a fact.  We’d be hard-pressed to defend our liberal society where scantily-clad young women display themselves on 20-foot billboards and television ads for contraceptives are commonplace.

Americans might find the Islamic proscription of alcohol consumption even more difficult to bear.  Nor would there be any amending of sharia law, as there was with the U.S. Constitution during Prohibition.  No one can really deny that our society has degenerated – thanks in large part to the progressives and the drug-pedaling, communist-oriented entertainment industry.

Talk about the Bible in Western society, and you’ll be shunned as though you believed in Martians and UFOs.  Pray in public and you might just be fined.  In China, Christians can be arrested for praying in public.  Crèches and Christmas songs in public schools are officially taboo.

When they say Anti-Christ, they really mean “anti”, as in “against”.  As in “discrimination.”  As in “hatred.”  As in “apostasy.”

As in putting an end to the religion.  For that matter, as in putting an end to any religion except Islam.  The sign was given to a largely unaware and skeptical world, nearly 50 years ago.  Those who believe it are working to bring the signs to pass, into reality.  We may not want to believe it.  But they do.  We may want to believe that Obama was born in Kenya, and that’s something we’ve been encouraged to believe.

Don’t believe it.  Not for a second.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ring of Power

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” From “How to Marry a Millionaire”

As the April 29th wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton draws near, royal watchers are getting royal wedding fever. Last week, the debate was over whether William would wear a wedding ring. He will not. This week, the stir is over the wedding guest list.

William’s father, Prince Charles, wore a wedding ring. It did neither Charles nor Diana much good. Most men do not wear wedding bands on their fingers; they claim it’s the invisible ring through their nose that keeps them in line.

For women, the ring is a status symbol. We gals ooh and aah over the silver and gold baubles, the ultimate sign that she will not be an old maid. The ring is put on the left finger, which palmistry tells us holds the vein that leads to the heart. Usually, it’s made of gold, the most precious element on earth.

The ring can be of service, if the heart is true. Women tend to be less inclined to stray than men do and they’re the ones who always wear the ring. But is the ring, in fact, on the wrong finger, if it’s the man who strays and needs to ward off temptation (it didn’t work for Prince Charles)?

We know we put far too much value on earthly things. Gold is a pretty heavy, expensive metal and presumably that knowledge of its value will help the couple remain faithful to one another. They’d do better to put on the biblical suit of armor from Ephesians, the suit of armor Glenn Beck was talking about.

Being single, it’s hard to understand married couples sometimes. Why can’t they be nicer to each other? Why do they have to snipe at each other, as though they had beak instead of noses? Why do women nag? Why do men leave their clothes all over the floor and refuse to make their beds?

Is it the fact of close, day-to-day proximity that wears away at the relationship until both are wondering whether the happily everafter went? Do married couples just drive each crazy? Or is it the kids?

Why must parents compete (between themselves) over who’s the better parent? I see it all the time. One partner is always running down the other’s parenting skills. My parents did. They also competed over who was the better photographer. Apparently, it has something to do with sex and getting the furnace heated up. Gold is the only metal that won’t melt in such a fire, they say.

Money is another favorite fight fuel. There’s the real third party in a marriage. It seems a universal inevitable – men earn and women spend. Well, women earn now, too, but they still spend. Couples buy bigger and bigger houses without considering future consequences, such as whether they’ll always be able to afford to pay the mortgage, or the heating and electric bills, to say nothing of the kids.

It’s sad to see all the divorces, and the havoc they wreak on society. There are a small percentage of marriages that really are doomed, since people aren’t perfect and we live in a perfect world. But when the divorce rate reaches 50 percent, it means we’re doing something wrong. It’s somewhat like a politician who wins 100 percent of the vote, but reversed.

You mean to say out of all those millions of people who marry, half of them can’t manage to get along? And there are said to be more who stay married, but also stay miserable? There’s something wrong when that many people have a problem with marriage. Either the institution of marriage has a fatal flaw, or people aren’t approaching it the right way.

I suspect that once the ring of power is on the finger, love is left trailing at the altar. And why shouldn’t it be, if what you value is a gold ring, power, legal security. Not that I have problem with legal security. It’s just that all those things – gold rings, marriage certificates, big houses with tons of gadgets, plasma televisions, tropical vacations, and shared assets – are worthless without love and kindness.

Still, Kate Middleton doesn’t seem to be a Diana, naïve and yet cunning, sweet and yet manipulative. Kate’s older and appears to be sensible. She comes from a middle class background, where Diana was from nobility (Kate doesn’t have a title).

Let’s hope that William and Kate don’t leave love standing at the altar.