Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Historic and Powerful Speech to Congress

I'm standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.--Benjamin Netanyahu
I have always respected and admired Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, but after watching his speech to Congress today, I am in awe.  He did an incredible job of explaining the history of Iran and the threat they pose to Israel, the Middle East, the U.S. and the entire world.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire. In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone. So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
Netanyahu went on to explain exactly why the "potential deal" that Obama and Kerry are trying to negotiate with Iran would be so destructive.
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb. So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?

Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite -- would only wet Iran's appetite for more. Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism? Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
 Netanyahu is a gifted speaker who did a better job of educating the world on the threat of Iran, than anyone else has.  He also gave alternatives on what the world should demand of Iran before lifting any restrictions.
Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second... Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state. Thank you.
He then eloquently gave a Robert Frost analogy.
My friends, for over a year, we've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it.

Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal. A better deal that doesn't leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in place until Iran's aggression ends.

A better deal that won't give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country... ... no country has a greater stake -- no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.

Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.

The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.
You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.
He then pointed out Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.  An important reminder that the world can never forget the horrors of the Holocaust.

I loved how he concluded his speech.
Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land. And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, "Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.'' My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope. May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.
Unfortunately, President Obama and House Democrats seem unlikely to listen to this brave man.  It may turn out that the safety of the world will be left up to Israel until we can elect a better man to the White House.

I can only pray and hope that the U.S. may some day elect a man as eloquent, and as strong and courageous as Benjamin Netanyahu.

Monday, March 02, 2015

John Kerry is Out of Touch with Reality

I continue to shake my head and wonder how John Kerry ever became Secretary of State.  The list of examples is endless, but let us look at the latest comments he made that left most of us incredulous:
Our citizens, our world today is actually, despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally, less deaths, less violent deaths today than through the last century.
My first response was, "What kind of drugs is he smoking?"  Yet, Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, had a better response than me:
Secretary Kerry is out of touch with reality, he clearly is not listening to the entire US intelligence community, he is not reading any of the intelligence or other things that have been written over the last few weeks / months / years. Talk about being out of touch… For him to make those statements is totally irresponsible, and he should be challenged by anyone who cares about the future of this country.
Kerry was also contradicted by another person in the Obama administration, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who had this to say:
When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,’ Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Review of Unbroken

I saw Unbroken, the movie at the theaters twice and reviewed it here on my blog. After seeing it, I knew I had to read the book that it was based on.  The movie was good, but the book was so much better.

Laura Hillenbrand did an amazing amount of research and then told the story in a captivating way.  Louie Zamperini's real life story is compelling, and Hillenbrand did a great job of bringing it to life.

What is even more amazing, is that Hillenbrand suffers from CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).  She isn't able to leave her house for days at a time, yet, she has written two books that have won numerous awards.

I was not only inspired as I read about Louie's life, but I learned A LOT of history as well.  I've realized that most of us know much more about World War II history that took place in Europe, than we do about what took place in the Pacific.

When I saw The Great Raid back in 2005, I learned about the Bataan Death March.  My friend and I couldn't believe that we were just now learning about it.

So, that said, if you want to be inspired and learn history at the same time, take the time to read, Unbroken.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Review of Selma

The film “Selma,” portraying the historic march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, AL in 1965, is a gut-wrenching experience that brings the viewer into the vehemence of the prejudice and the stunning courage of its resistors in this intense critical moment in the history of racism in America – and of nonviolence in the world.  The acting ranges from very good to superb (more on that in a moment).--
I've been dying to see Selma ever since I saw the previews.  I finally had the chance to see it tonight, and it surpassed my expectations, which were high.  I am torn now on whether I want American Sniper, or Selma to win the Academy Award on Sunday for best picture.

While watching the film, I took 10 pages of notes.  I have been studying the Civil Rights Movement lately, so I was familiar with a lot of the events that took place in the movie.

The movie showed many important events leading up to the Selma march, although not necessarily in order of when they occurred:
--King accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14th, 1964
--The 16th Street Baptist church bombing where 4 girls were killed on September 15th, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama
--Annie Lee Cooper attempting to register to vote in Alabama in 1963
--The murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson on February 18th, 1965 during a peaceful protest by a state trooper
--The murder of a white minister, Reverend Reeb on March 11, 1965 who had answered King's call for clergy to join the non-violent movement.
I thought the actors that were picked for this movie all did an amazing job of portraying the men and women who were involved in the civil rights movement one way or another.

While there is some criticism of how President Johnson was portrayed, I thought he came across the way I would've imagined, from what I know of Johnson.  That said, I will be doing more research on how accurate the portrayal was.
I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Selma is not a documentary, but as a whole, you can learn a lot about history from watching it.  It was so well done, and gives you a snapshot into the civil rights movement as a whole.

I teared up at the end when they showed footage of the actual Selma march.  It is a dark part of our history that it took so many deaths in order to bring about equality for all men and women.  Race relations are far from perfect today, but for the most part, as Martin Luther King, Jr. foresaw, we have overcome. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bill O'Reilly Nails it When it Comes to ISIS

The utter brutality that faces this country and the world today has to be confronted, and somebody has to lead that effort.

On the President's watch, the following countries have become terrorist safe havens:
-Northern Pakistan
-Eastern Nigeria
-Parts of Algeria
-Parts of Afghanistan
It is imperative that President Obama stop living in a theoretical, even fictional, world.--Bill O'Reilly

I usually wholeheartedly agree with Bill O'Reilly or vehemently disagree with him, depending on the issue.  When it comes to ISIS, I couldn't agree with O'Reilly more.  In the above video of his talking points from today, he rocks it and I found myself standing up cheering.

The President needs to get his head out of the sand and deal with this threat, or not only is the U.S. in trouble, but so is the rest of the free world.  Yet, he can't even identify the enemy as Extremist Islam, for fear of offending the terrorists.

Meanwhile, ISIS beheads 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, and the White House calls them Egyptian Citizens.  Are you kidding me??

ISIS then burns 45 people alive in Al-Baghdadi, Iraq and the President continues to do nothing but spew empty rhetoric.

In conclusion, my beloved Rumsfeld also addresses the problem, too bad Obama doesn't listen to these men.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sons of Liberty!

SONS OF LIBERTY is a dramatic interpretation of events that sparked a revolution. It is historical fiction, not a documentary. The goal of our miniseries is to capture the spirit of the time, convey the personalities of the main characters, and focus on real events that have shaped our past.--History Channel
I'm watching Sons of Liberty on the History Channel.  I am a big history buff, especially when it is about the founding fathers and the Revolutionary War.

As always, when watching something that is historical fiction, I love finding out more about the real story.  The History channel has some great links that help in doing just that.
-The Real-Life Haunts of the Sons of Liberty
-10 Things You May Not Know About John Adams
-10 Things You Should Know About Joseph Warren
-11 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere
-Boston Tea Party: 10 Fast Facts
-9 Things You May Not Know About The Declaration of Independence
I personally knew very little about Joseph Warren, so I found that link particularly helpful.  There are even more history links, take the time to check them out here.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

What Will it Take for Obama and Susan Rice to Wake Up?

How many innocent people need to be killed before President Obama and his administration take the ISIS threat seriously?

The latest ISIS casualty was Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Kasasbeh, who was burned alive.  Apparently, be-headings aren't gruesome enough, ISIS thought they would take it to a new level.

While Obama seems to be taking ISIS's atrocities in stride, the King of Jordan isn't.

Susan Rice spoke out today, and instead of conveying the seriousness of the ISIS threat, she said those who were concerned were "alarmist".  Really?? Wow!  What a slap in the face to the loved ones of all those who have been killed by ISIS.

Then, this past Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama makes these offensive comments comparing the atrocities of ISIS to acts of violence in the name of Christ:
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ," Obama said.
First, he can't even bring himself to call ISIS terrorism what it is, Islamic extremism.  Yet, he can bring up a religion (that has been mostly represented by love), and compare it to the barbarism of ISIS terrorists.  Wow!

I agree with Krauthammer that these comments are "banal and offensive", to say the least.

Jonah Goldberg says that Obama's comparison defies logic, and Goldberg shows how ridiculous the timing is:

On Tuesday, the so-called Islamic State released a slickly produced video showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a steel cage. On Wednesday, the United Nations issued a report detailing various "mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive" at the hands of the Islamic State.

And on Thursday, President Obama seized the opportunity of the National Prayer Breakfast to forthrightly criticize the "terrible deeds" ... committed "in the name of Christ."
ISIS also gave us yet another view of their inhumanity in their manifesto for women and girls that was released recently.  

I'm praying that Obama and his administration wakes up soon, because our country and the world is facing a dire threat with ISIS, and if we don't lead the charge against them, who will?

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Credibility of NBC and Brian Williams

Conservatives are used to the liberal media having "issues" with the truth.  Yet, Brian Williams has pushed the envelope with his "false claim" of having been in a helicopter that was hit by an RPG  while in Iraq.  I love how when a liberal lies, it is considered a "false claim", instead of what it actually is, a lie.

I'm sorry, but you don't "forget" or "misremember" if your helicopter was hit.  It is an insult to all our military men and women who have actually been shot at during war.

Amazingly, few are coming to Williams' defense, even his fellow liberals are throwing him under the bus, as they should.

If NBC wants to retain any credibility, they should fire Williams.  If Williams had any sense of integrity, he would resign.  Am I holding my breath for either of those things to happen? Nope!

Friday, January 23, 2015

America's Suicide (A Review)

-The Cadence Group sent me a free copy of America's Suicide, if I would review it on my blog.

-I confess that I generally do not read books when I suspect I will disagree with the premise.  I decided to make an exception with this book, to sharpen my reasoning skills.

-I was surprised to find that I agreed with more of Michael H. Davison's points than I thought I would.

-I have a lot of quotes I would like to include in this review, but I'll have to limit myself, because there were a lot that resonated.  I'll include them throughout this review.
Liberalism cites compassion and fairness to justify its policies.  In practice this has meant taking from one group and giving to another minus handling charges; it neither cultivates compassion in the "giver" nor gratitude in the receiver.--pgs. 41-42 
The Parts of the book that I liked and/or agreed with:
1) The book as a whole helped me to think about and evaluate my personal belief system.  It woke me up and enabled me to see some of the decay I had allowed in my thinking.  The past couple of years have been extremely difficult for me.  I went through a divorce and was catapulted from being a homeschooling Mom to having to provide for myself and my kids all on my own after being out of the work force for 20 years.  I realized that in some ways I had adopted a victim mentality that society somehow owed me, because things were difficult.
With confidence in one's own effectiveness, an individual can persevere through life's trials and setbacks with courage and resourcefulness.  The senses of security and self value that form the foundation on which that confidence later rests are laid down in the first few years of life in a loving and nurturing home.  If adverse circumstances close that crucial window of time, but not impossible individual undertaking.  Government cannot compensate for that loss but in practice has only succeeded in furnishing rationalizations for those who shun the effort.--pgs. 102-103
-I realized that my current job as a waitress has shown me the realities of life.  As a waitress you don't have the luxury of calling in sick.  You could be on your death bed, but you still have to find a way to come in or find someone to take your shift.  You can't leave before your tables are clean and your side work is done, because if you don't do it, someone else has to.  This is exactly what "real world" living is all about.  If you don't do your job (whatever that may be), someone else has to pick up the slack.
Socialists cannot easily evade the reality that the three most virulent cultures to have ever infected the Earth, Soviet Russia, Communist China and Nazi Germany, rose and flourished under socialist banners.  More blood splashed horror and grief has been wrought, torture inflicted and terror perpetrated in the name of socialism than could have been by ten thousand Genghis Khans at their extremities of sadism.  Chinese currency still bears the portrait of Mao, among the worst butchers of history and a committed advocate of socialism.--pg. 72
2) The book gave me a clearer view of socialism.  Davison is able to articulate what should be said when explaining why socialism is so destructive.

The Parts of the book I didn't like and/or disagreed with:
1) Davison admits that he doesn't have any "deeply reassuring and effective political solutions to offer".  He does give some suggestions on what might make things better, but I found them lacking.  This is my exact problem with people like Davison, examples being men like Ron Paul and Michael Savage.  They are always ready to be pessimistic and point out how horrible Republicans and Democrats are, but don't have a good alternative.

-The only real solution he gives is that the world would be better off if we all had more knowledge.  He gives a list entitled, "Principles of The Rational and Responsible American Party."  The problem is he advocates getting back to the principles of our Founding Fathers but wants to divorce our country from any remnant of faith in God, which is the foundation that the Founding Fathers built our country on, which leads me to my next point.

2) Davison wants to create a perfect country by completely eliminating all religions.  He touts wisdom, honesty and courage, but where would we get the morality to exhibit these qualities without a belief in God?  He seems to have a lot of disdain for any belief system, and claims that religion causes as much destruction as socialism.  While I will admit that a lot of horrors have been committed in the name of religion, it isn't God's fault that some people twist and distort His message.

-He says that "religion will sink into irrelevance only when we find a better alternative for facing the pain and brevity of life."  Again my question is, what is the alternative??  As I pointed out earlier, if you are going to trash something, you need to have a solution or an alternative.

My conclusion:
-I think this book is well worth reading, if nothing else to enable you to think and evaluate what you believe and why.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Obama's SOTU Demonstrates that He Lives in Fantasyland

-I remember how much I enjoyed watching Bush's SOTU Addresses.  I loved being able to blog about them and included lots of quotes.

-Needless to say, it isn't any fun to watch Obama's.  My blood pressure spikes and it's pure torture.  Why do I do it? It is important to know what your President says, whether you agree with him or not.  I also can't blog about it if I haven't watched it.

My Thoughts:
-As he opened up his speech, I kept shouting BS as the TV.  The way he twists things is amazing.

-The next thought that came to mind was how astounding his arrogance is.

-As he threatened to use his veto pen (against the majority of Congress), you could see Paul Ryan heave a huge sigh (love that man).

-What the hell is Middle Class Economics??

-As Obama described his definition of it, it sounded exactly like socialism!

-Again the word arrogance comes to mind as he is receiving applause for giving all these "gifts" to people that OTHER PEOPLE will have to pay for.  I could be super generous too with other people's money.

-He actually spends a couple minutes talking about the terrorist threat and as always brings up his theme, "strong diplomacy" (whatever the hell that is).

-He claims lots of things that aren't true, like how we are stopping the advance of ISIS.

-Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger (who is an Iraq War Veteran) was on Fox News today talking to Martha MacCallum.  He made some excellent points about how Obama is in denial about the terrorist threat we are facing.  Below is a summary:
-Kinzinger said that Clinton's greatest regret of his presidency was his failure to intervene in the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994.  (This was news to me, so I looked it up and Clinton did actually admit this.)  Kinzinger said that our country may regret not intervening more with ISIS like Clinton did with Rwanda, and I couldn't agree more.

-Kinzinger also said that Obama is trying to "manage" the ISIS threat, and kick the can down the road so that the next president will have to deal with it.  I think that is exactly what he's doing.  Wow, what a courageous man.

-Kinzinger also feels that the war in Iraq was won when he left in 2009 and now ISIS controls large parts of Iraq.  As Kinzinger and MacCallum point out, Obama is living in Unicorn land.
-Obama then gives a ridiculous justification for why he is releasing the terrorists from gitmo.

-He concludes his speech with a condescending lecture on how there shouldn't be partisan bickering.  This from the man who constantly threatens to veto anything that the Republicans pass.

Additional Links:
Surreal: Obama Demands 'A Better Politics,' Lectures Nation on Demonization
5 State of the Union moments when Obama was completely out of touch
My Thoughts on Obama's State of the Union! (2010)