Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, June 04, 2011

It's Official

Glenn Beck made the official announcement Thursday: his last day on Fox News will be Thursday, June 30th. Thursday – it’s always on a Thursday a co-worker told me once when the company lets someone go. Something to do with payroll and accounting.

Liberals are no doubt planning their “End-of-Glenn-Beck” parties the way we sported about holding “End-of-the-World” parties. Funny thing about those parties, though: the world didn’t end. This isn’t likely to be the end of Glenn Beck.

For one thing, he’s so gazillionaire rich – maybe not as rich as George Soros – but pretty well off that he started his own company a few years ago. They drove him off the radio airwaves in New York City (which is my market area). But Glenn is available on the Internet and since new technology developed, it’s much easier to tune into him. I’m also an Insider fan, so I get his very interesting magazine (the May issue, I believe, had a fascinating article about George Soros), I can tune into the video broadcast of the radio broadcast.

There’s even something called “The Feed” a sort of air-time chat room. It’s a total waste though since it’s controlled by the dogmatic “Jeffy” who only answers his groupies, at least the first and last time I tried it (sorry, Glenn, but you always say that the truth is painful – someone needs to keep a better eye on what he’s doing. I’m a paying customer here and I’m not satisfied with The Feed. You get plenty of links as to what Glenn Beck is up to, but a customer’s chances of getting a question or comment into the studio are about as good as Obama vetoing Obamacare.).

Glenn sounded rather wistful making the announcement that the TV show was over. He’s probably glad to be done producing a nightly television show, cooped up in a dark studio every afternoon. But when he made the announcement, he realized what we all realize when a project or an unemployment is about to end – that the friendships we made are also about to end. We know that in my company, where our end is also all but imminent. The official announcement about which building(s) are going to close will be made next Wednesday.

I’ve been there and done that. But some of my co-workers have been with the company for 20 and 30 years or more. They’ve been to each other’s weddings, family funerals, kids’ birthday parties, picnics, home Christmas gatherings. They’re like extended families.

Glenn is like a member of all our families. We’ve counted on seeing him every evening just before dinner. He’s been a welcome guest. But by the end of this month, he won’t be there anymore. We can still find him. However, it won’t be quite as easy as clicking the TV remote.

We can’t always count on television producers to give us what we want, anymore than we can expect our employers to guarantee us lifelong jobs. Fox couldn’t promise Glenn a lifelong position. Too many factors were working against him. The left-wing groups were pressuring companies not to advertise on the show – my company wouldn’t. The progressives have infiltrated the big corporations and have their executives’ ears when it comes to ad placements. They scare the companies out of advertising on any show that doesn’t fit the Progressive agenda.

In addition, the Left wing groups have their minions mass-call/fax the companies, flooding them with complaints until they cave. There’s also the possibility that groups have been making death-threats to Fox News and its advertisers. Particularly since Glenn had the audacity to announce that he would stand up for Israel. The hatred the world has for Israel and the Jewish people just exceeds all bounds of sanity and reason.

Finally, Glenn has said that he’s just tired of doing the TV grind. In the last two years or so, he’s been absent quite a bit, both for medical reasons and business reasons. If we were absent that often, our employers would give us the boot. Glenn has the money to go out on his own and with our help, he can be an even bigger success than he already is, and get the message out about saving our country before it’s too late.

I hope Glenn isn’t going to be too weepy on his last show. He should end the show with all flags flying. He should bring back the marching band, and not just the drum section, either. I hope he has an audience with him that day, if for no other reason than to show to whom he’s passing the baton – us.

I won’t stop watching Fox News altogether. But at 5 p.m., instead of watching whatever is on in Glenn’s place, I’ll be reading and studying. Or I might go back to the War on America chatroom and bash some Liberals. It’s been awhile. It’ll be good therapy for Glenn Beck withdrawal syndrome.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Impress Me!

So. You want to be President of the United States?  Or a Congressman or U.S. Senator?  Or a New Jersey Assemblyman or Senator?  If you’re a Republican and you want my vote, you’re going to have to do a good job of impressing me.   I want to hear you to do more than stand up for America.  I want to hear that you’ll stand up for the United States of America.

And I mean, the UNITED States of America, not the UNIONZED States of America.  Citizens of the “United” States of America are private individuals who enjoy the privilege of determining their own destiny, but will unite for the common good of promoting and protecting freedom and justice.  Union members combine together for the common cause of class envy and greed.  They’re only have one goal – redistributing the wealth, mainly to themselves.  They don’t care about their company, they really don’t care that much about either other, and they certainly don’t care about the economy and the United States of America.

The United STATES of America, not the United STATISTS of America.  The Founding Fathers left the states to their own borders for good reason – they knew the dangers of a centralized government, headed by a dogmatic, tyrannical dictator.  If people didn’t like a state’s particular laws and taxes, they could either work to have the laws changed or move.  The STATISTS would see to it that no matter where you moved within the country, the chains of bureaucracy and tyranny would still be around your neck.

The United States of AMERICA, not the United States of Mexico, Canada, China, Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia.  We have borders and immigration laws for a good reason – so that a foreign enemy cannot invade our country by stealth, pouring their nationals over our borders to vote for laws that would favor some international power rather than the United States.  Immigrants are fine.  America would be a boring place if we only had people from one culture. 

But let them apply legally and take the test.  I’m in favor of giving some illegal immigrants an opportunity to set their record straight, if they can prove they can support themselves and really want to live here.  No social security or welfare.  They would have to pay a fine, rather than jail.  Chain immigration would be off the table, and they wouldn’t be allowed to travel to any other country (except in an emergency) for a period of five years nor would relatives be allowed to visit them here.  Finally, they would have to speak English.  Perfectly.  Those are the conditions I would set for amnesty.

In addition to producing satisfactory proof that they were born here, my ideal candidate for President would have to know their United States history backwards and forwards.  I’d want to know that they know:

·   What the capital of Montana is
·    What a “Queen” or “Second” city is
·   Who founded the Virginia Colony
·    What document the Second Continental Congress authorized 
·   Who was responsible for the Bill of Rights
·    What the western-most point in the United States is
·    How much the Louisiana Purchase cost
·   What our last land purchase was, when, and what it cost
·   Where Driskill Mountain is located
·   What mountain Teddy Roosevelt was climbing when he learned he was president
·    When Utah was admitted to the union
·    What the state flower of Oklahoma
·     How many states the cardinal nests in as the “official bird”
·    Which state calls itself the “Battle Born State”
·    How many presidents were born British subjects
·    How many presidents never served in Congress
·    How many were lawyers before becoming president
·    Which presidents are portrayed on U.S. Coins
·   Which president Daniel Webster served as Secretary of State under
·   Which president was the first to be born west of the Mississippi
·    How many territories the U.S. has
·    Which president appointed the most Supreme Court judges
  • Which SCJ served the longest
  • Why Marbury v. Madison (1803) was so historic 
  • What business was involved in the 1824 Gibbons v. Ogden case, which expanded Congress’ right to regulate commerce
  • When the Dred Scott decision was handed down
  • Who is involved in the first step of getting a law passed
  • What the “second reading” is
  • Which president vetoed the most bills
  • Who the first Speaker of the House was
  • How long a Senator’s term is
  • Whether you need to be born in the U.S. to become a Senator
  • Where the U.S. Senate convened for the first time
  • Which state’s name is derived from an Indian word meaning “friends”
  • How many counties North Dakota has
  • What state Nashville is the capital of
  • At what rank Idaho entered the union? 
  • How many congressional representatives Georgia currently has
  • Which King George Georgia was named in honor of 
  • If you lived in the “Town of Large Canoes”, what state you’d be living in 
  • Who the second signer of the Declaration of Independence was 
  • What the capital of Australia is 
  • Whether Belgium has a monarch 
  • Who the current Prime Minister of Chad is 
  • What mountain range divides Wales from England
  • What colors are in the Yemeni flag 
  • What Zimbabwe’s previous name was
  • What branch of government Article II of the U.S. Constitution deals with
  • The 27th Amendment of the Constitution was ratified in 1992; when it was submitted
  • How many delegates New York sent to the Constitutional Convention 
  • In Amendment VII, what amount was set to justify bringing a common lawsuit
  • Which part of Congress is given the right to raise revenue 
  • Which part of Congress is given the right to impeach a president
  • Which document begins with the words, “When in the Course of Human Events” 
  • For whom do “we the people” “ordain and establish this Constitution” 
  • What ship brought the Liberty Bell to the United States
  • What year the Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia
  • In what key the Liberty Bell rings
Go ahead, candidates.  Impress me!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The House of Sex, Death, and Politics

In astrology, sex, politics, and death share the same house, the area of the sky where politicians climb into bed with one another and usually die a miserable political death.  People say there’s nothing to astrology, but those ancient sky watchers must have known or thing or two.  They could have predicted the behavior of John F. Kennedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Anthony Weiner.

Sex and politics certainly do make strange bedfellows, as witnessed by the antics of Anthony “Teenie Weenie” Weiner.  In this Information Age, Weiner definitely gave us too much information.  In a poll yesterday on Fox News, respondents declared overwhelmingly that their representatives should not use social media.  And no, I have not seen the photos and will not look.  OMG!  TMI!

Is there a full moon that we have all these politicians running amok?  Do they possess some mental defect, some uncontrollable impulse beneath their expensive suits, smooth talk, and confident smiles that drives them to behave badly?  Do they have some extra idiot chromosome that changes places with the common sense chromosome, like the Philadelphia chromosome, replicating itself until it overwhelms their system, spreading like an incurable malady?

America is years over the debt red-line, running on empty.  The gas pump is ringing up the sale, but nothing is coming out of the pump; its bone dry.  The Middle East is on fire.  Iran is nuking up and we’re throwing Israel under the bus.  Tornadoes are ripping up the country from Oklahoma to Massachusetts.  Food prices are soaring.  The Mahdi is getting ready to make his entrance.  Jesus is shaking his head.

But we’re entranced by the prospect of the Weinerschnitzel doing a self-check of his anatomy.  This isn’t a scandal; this is a nightmare.  Somebody, please, wake us up and tell us this is all just a bad dream.  Ex-governors with love children.  Current governors taking unnecessary flights on state helicopters to high school baseball games.  Presidential candidates obsessed with birth certificates, shouting profanities.  And these are the Republicans!

What misalignment of planets is afflicting the horoscope of the United States?  I thought I espied a full moon a few nights ago.  But it must be Saturn.  That’s the planet of discipline and it’s retrograde in Libra (decision-making).  However, it’s slowing down, going stationary, as we say in the business, and then it’ll go direct on June 13.  The day can’t come soon enough.

Until then we should put all politicians and political candidates (Weinerschnitzel is said to be contemplating running for mayor of New York City.  New York already has the Naked Cowboy; it’s been called the Naked City; it doesn’t need a Naked Mayor) on curfew.  They must remain indoors, at home from dusk to dawn.  During daylight hours, they must be accompanied by an adult.  After nightfall, they must surrender all their cellphones and electronic and computer devices.  Finally, they must be put back on their meds until this crisis is over.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

How to Not Become President of the United States

If New Jersey Gov. Christie wanted a ride from Princeton to his son’s baseball game in Montvale, why didn’t he just hitch a ride with Gov. Palin?  She was going in that direction anyway, heading for a meeting with Donald Trump in Manhattan.  She could have dropped New Jersey’s first couple off – Montvale is fairly close to the GW.  It’s understandable why he would use a helicopter:  no matter where you are in New Jersey, Bergen County is a place you can’t get to from anywhere.

After the game, Christie headed back to Princeton for a meeting with a group of Republican donors who are anxious for him to run for President in 2012.  What must they have thought when our tough-guy, no-nonsense, fiscally responsible governor got off a state police helicopter which had ferried him to and from a high school baseball game?

Christie’s a smart guy.  He must be aware that other governors have misused state property and paid the price for it.  At least, they were doing it surreptitiously.  They got caught and were sent to political perdition for the infraction.  Christie did it boldly, with his spokesperson making lame excuses for his boss, landing right at the feet of the donors courting him for a presidential run.

‘Well, other governors have done it.’

The only conclusion anyone with an ounce of common sense can reach is that this guy doesn’t want to run for president.  After this, he may not be able to even if he wants to in the future.  So what are some other gaffes he can commit to convince them he’s not ready to be president?

He could:

·         Institute Christiecare in New Jersey; do for the Garden State what Mitt Romney did for Massachusetts.
·         He could be photographed shirtless.  Worked for Obama; not so much for Weinerschnitzel.
·         He could run off to a foreign country for liaison with a mistress
·         He could abuse his maid, maybe even foster a love child or two.  It’s the latest thing for ruining your career.
·         Stealing money from the public funds is a time-honored tradition of political career-scuttling.  Doesn’t work so well for Democrats.  The more they steal, the longer they seem to stay in office.
·         He could be photographed canoodling with Nancy Pelosi.  That would go over really well with the Conservative base.
·         Install windmill turbines off the Jersey coast.  No one can win the Presidential election if they lose their state.
·         Go to Iran and have lunch with Ahmadinejad.  Compare nuclear reactors.  Be sure to bow.  Maybe even kiss the Koran, just for good measure.
·         Go to Disneyworld during a state disaster.  No, wait; he already did that.  It was a brilliant, career-bashing move because the lieutenant-governor was out of the state also.
·         Make speeches about how America, and particularly its military, is only second-best.
·         Raise New Jersey’s debt ceiling.
·         Buy some helicopters for the particular use of the governor.  The president has over 400 vehicles listed as limousines.  If Christie wants to look “presidential” he’ll need a few more limousines and helicopters.
·         Gather up a harem, a la Charlie Sheen.  Use foul language, booze himself up and then go on a national tour with a bus wrapped with the message “I don’t want to be President of the United States!”

The field is awash with inept politicians (and celebrities) making fools of themselves.  They haven’t a prayer of being elected.  Neither will Christie, if he follows this plan.  Yesterday was a good first bad step.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Getting" the Debt

“I don’t think a lot of people outside of Washington – and maybe some of the people here – really understand how hard this is. This may give them some idea.”

- Senior GOP congressional aide discussing with Power Play today’s vote on an unconditioned, $2.4 trillion increase in the federal borrowing limit.

The 2006 film “Flags of Our Fathers” was originally budgeted at $80 million. However, Clint Eastwood was able to shoot the movie in just over 50 days, or nearly half the shooting schedule, at a cost of $55 million although it was originally budgeted at $80 million. The budget for the companion film, “Letters from Iwo Jima” was officially credited at $20 million but according to Variety, the actual cost was $15 million).

Today, the House of Representatives votes on Obama’s requested increase in the Federal borrowing limit – the debt ceiling. According to Fox News, more than 100 House Democrats recently signed a letter demanding that Speaker John Boehner bring forward a vote for an increase in federal debt levels without any conditions for cuts or future spending curbs. Imagine their surprise when Boehner agreed and will serve up a bill that would provide enough borrowing to cover all of president Obama’s spending requests for next year without any preconditions.

Fox News predicts: “The legislation will go down to a bipartisan trouncing. Even many of those Democrats who were seeking such a ‘clean’ vote will now oppose the plan on the grounds that it was not offered sincerely. One Democratic communicator described the vote to Power Play as ‘cheap theatrics’ worthy of the cast of ‘Jersey Shore.’”

The Congressional aide was right: people do have a hard time understanding how hard it is to accept the fact that we’re broke. How could the greatest nation on earth, the capital of capitalism, be broke, in debt to some foreign countries while still loaning money to other foreign countries (who have even less hope of repaying their debt to us than we have of repaying our creditors)?

Happily, Glenn Beck explains it all in his 2010 book, “Broke.” Glenn warns that the “great experiment” may be failing, if we’re to judge by our national debt. Our debts and deficits are only the symptoms of our malaise, he cautions; it’s our national spirit that must be fixed.

In the first part of “Broke”, he gives an economics in history lesson. Actually, economics is all about the history of money. “The real battle we are fighting right now is with the laws of economics – and it’s a war that can’t be won. … the laws of economics say that when expenses are higher than revenues for a prolonged period of time, there will be repercussions.”

He explains that debt and deficits, unemployment, and inflation are all indicators of economic decline. But progressivism and a bloated government, spending irresponsibly, are the runaway engines dragging us to the brink of economic disaster.

Glenn brings us up from Ancient Rome to the beginning of progressive socialism, heralded in 100 years ago by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, right up to the Clinton years.  We are reaping what the Socialists have sown. Social Security is bankrupt, Medicare is fraught with fraud, and Obamacare will finish the job, unless we rein in our spend-happy politicians, Right and Left.

Socialist policies are by no means the only culprits; war takes a huge chunk of our budget, as well as the blood of our young men. War may be necessary, but if it is, then Glenn says, we should declare, as the Constitution demands. Progressives use undeclared war as excuses for walloping the public with heft socialist programs.  Lobbyists are another budget-buster as well as government pork, not to mention aid to foreign nations, like Somalia.

Beck’s “Broke” is easy-to-read, informative, well-written, and entertaining (if you happen to find the end of the financial world as we know it “entertaining”). If you’re not broke yourself and it’s within your budget, get hold of “Broke” and find out all about the government’s hidden financial agenda.

If you get the book, I guarantee, you’ll “get it.”

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, 2011

Another Memorial Day parade, another flag rescue. To the person who left their all-weather (thank goodness) American flag in the sewer grate – not just on the sidewalk or in the gutter but right in the sewer grate – I have a few words to say to you.  If you’re a toddler or a child who was given the flag and not reminded that it was not a toy, then this message is for your parents. If you’re a teen or an adult, this message is for you.

I’ll bet you spent a few bucks for that flag. Enough that it was weather-resistant, but not so much that it would keep you from buying it. Yet not enough to keep you from throwing it into the sewer, or letting your kid leave it there without picking it up. Maybe it was one of those car flags and you just couldn’t be bothered to stop and get it. The American flags spectators wave at parades and Fourth of July concerts are made too cheaply, and often come from China or some other country. This flag, though, was made in the U.S.A.

You only spent a few bucks for it, but there’s not enough money in the world to buy what that flag stands for or repay the blood of the soldiers, seaman, and airmen, the intelligence agents, and the merchant marines who died defending it. Leaving an American flag in the sewer like that is like leaving one of our military members there to die.

Did you have kids in tow? Were they cranky and you just didn’t feel like picking it up or giving them a lecture about properly respecting them? You just wanted to get home to the pool, did you? Get the barbecue started? Just sit in the air conditioning for awhile?

Well, many soldiers and sailors never got home at all. They died on some foreign battlefield and are buried in Normandy or in Japan or in Arlington Cemetery. Their families have a long way to go to put a flag on their graves. All you had to do was bend over and pick up that flag.  So I bent over and picked it instead. You got to sit under a shady tree with a bottle of water or something to watch the parade. Because I was late (my own fault), I had to walk from the end of the parade to the beginning and I was lucky to reach my band just in time to step off again. I did the parade twice. I was hot, tired, and thirsty, and my back ached.

However, I prepared my joints and (still holding onto my instrument and music) kneeled down and got that flag, already covered with debris, out of the sewer. I brought it home, cleaned it up and added it to my collection of rescued flags.   I’ll give you credit for buying the flag and coming to the parade to honor our armed forces. Next Memorial Day, just try to show a little more respect for the flag they died for and continue to die for.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The $160,000 Piece of Paper

My nephew's mother and father (my brother) didn't pay $160,000 for anyone to "change" him into an "agent" of progressivism.

Not MY Nephew

My nephew graduated yesterday from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering. For my brother, it’s been three years (not counting my nephew’s year in London) up and down the New York State Thruway. During his final year, they discovered the “Megabus” which goes from Albany to New York. Many students make use of it; it’s kind of like the Night Bus for Stranded Witches and Wizards in the Harry Potter series.

The theme of the Class of 2011 commencement was “Change.” Throughout the ceremony, they charged the graduates – from PhDs to bachelors – to be “agents of change.” The commencement speakers blathered on about renewable agency, and forcing the change upon society, if necessary.

My mother and younger brother sat in the stands, while my older brother (my nephew’s father) sat with his ex-wife and her mother down in the court. I left both groups to wander about and take photos. In my travels, I learned that the college had set up jumbotrons in their air-conditioned gymnasium. I went back to my younger brother to advise him that if got too hot for Mom, to take her to the gym. I also wanted to find out where my older brother was.

Well, the people in the stands were quite annoyed at our conversation. The speaker at moment was issuing forth platitudes about change and singing the praises of Obama. Evidently, we were supposed to listen reverently. For two hours, these speakers went on like that. If my eyes rolled any more, they’d have rolled right out of their sockets.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Regina Benjamin, appointed by Barack Obama as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. What a treat. Every paragraph of her speech began with “President Obama…” Whereupon I immediately tuned her out and returned to my official family photographer duties.

While I was up on the stand I listened to one of the speakers charge them with being “agents of change.” That really boiled my blood. No one’s going to make an “agent of change” out of MY nephew. Not if I have anything to say about it.

When my nephew was born, his mother named me as his godmother. I don’t know anything about the Catholic religion and felt I was very unsuited to be his godmother. I think his great-grandmother took on that duty, God bless her. If I’m anything, besides Aunt Belle, I’m his political godmother.

From the time he was small, and I had partial care of him, while his mother went back to work full-time, I had him listening to Rush Limbaugh. I taught him to walk and talk like a Conservative (and throw a football with a perfect spin). I loved that year when I had the care of him. His maternal grandfather played a strong role in bringing him up Conservative, as well.

Later on, I gave him my copies of the Limbaugh Letter and this past Christmas, I gave him a money-suited Obama bobble head doll. He had a little Liberal playmate when he was a toddler who was, to the consternation of me and my mother, always trying to lead him down the path of wrong. One day, I took a Superman doll and one of the monster characters he had and set him straight about right and wrong. We worship heroes, I told him, not villains, especially heroes who fight for freedom, and truth, and justice, and America.

He didn’t talk much at four (in my brother’s household, my ex sister-in-law did all the talking) and I wasn’t sure whether he got it or not. That other kid had a really bad influence on him and my nephew demonstrated behavioral problems. When he was older and old enough understand, in his teens, when his obvious how smart he was, I told him he might want to think about diversifying his friendships a bit. “You’re headed for Yale,” I told him. “Your friend is headed for jail.”

What finally set him on the path of conservatism for good was The Lord of the Rings, which I gave him for Christmas. The nobility of its heroes – Frodo, Aragorn, the faithful Sam, Gandalf, and the others and their fight for freedom – seemed to have rung a bell in his head. He devoured the books and couldn’t get enough of reading about Middle Earth.

Our families firmly rooted my nephew in sound conservativism and Dr. Benjamin’s miasmatic urgings had no more effect on him than a BB pellet on a Kevlar vest. We all trained him, really. But Aunt Belle has been given the greatest credit in guiding him politically.

Being a political godmother is tough work, especially in those precious early years when the education establishment is trying to get its socialist hooks into your kids. But if you remain firm, just when you think you’ve lost, they come around, so don’t give up.

So now he trades the hills of Troy, N.Y., for the hills of Pittsburgh, Pa. The New York State Thruway for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A longer ride, but a shorter stay (one year).   Less time for the college to try to indoctrinate him. One more year, and he'll be completely out of danger.