Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai - A Reminder To All of Us

The death and devastation brought about in the Mumbai, India terror attacks, should serve as a reminder, to us all, of this global threat that continues to be knocking on our nation's door.

While we mourn those lost and pray for their families, as well as those injured, it is time we (as a nation) step back and realize that there is one major reason it was not us. That there is absolutely one major reason we have not been hit since September 11, 2001.

George W. Bush.

Let us stop the bashing and give this man his due!!!

Black & Blue Friday

Suddenly, although it had been a most anticipated moment for the past hour, the doors to your local retailer opens to signify the start of Black Friday. Although just moments before, a passerby may have confused those gathered outside the store to be human beings, instead view a pack of wild animals running over each other in search of that precious one of a kind bargain.

I believe these very people to be those, whose speed on the road slows by some 10 to 20 MPH, as well as, drift in and out of your lane, whenever they use their cell phone while driving.

I'm sure by now you are all aware of the resulting deaths caused by Black Friday shoppers. One employee trampled to death at a Walmart, while two others were gunned down in a ToysRUs. But unknown to most are the hundreds, if not thousands, of shoppers injured this past Friday.

Mix with that the several deaths and many hundreds more injured on our nation's roads, over the long Thanksgiving weekend, due to cell phone use while driving.

A sign of the times? We're definitely a nation, as a government, with the wrong list of priorities, as well a people, that have totally lost control of our senses.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Proclamation of Thanksgiving - 1863

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders like this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She wrote, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution." The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise."

According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation: The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Presidential Pardons - 27,311 and Going Strong

Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president "Power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." A reprieve reduces the severity of a punishment without removing the guilt of the person reprieved. A pardon removes both punishment and guilt.

For 214 years, well over 27,000 pardons* have been granted by 40 U.S. Presidents. That number continued to grow on Monday as President George W. Bush granted such pardons to 14 individuals and commuted the prison sentences of two others convicted of misdeeds including drug offenses, tax evasion, wildlife violations and bank embezzlement. The new round of White House pardons announced Monday are Bush's first since March and come less than two months before he will end his presidency. The crimes committed by those on the list also include offenses involving hazardous waste, food stamps, and the theft of government property.

Bush has been stingy during his time in office about granting clemency, but more grants are expected before his term ends on January 20, 2009. Including these actions, in nearly eight years, he has granted a total of 171 pardons and eight commutations. That's less than half as many as Presidents Clinton or Reagan issued during their time in office. Both were two-term presidents, like Bush.

Yesterdays pardons brought back memories of the most infamous of pardons in this country’s history. That list includes the following:

Congress enacted a steep tax on spirits in 1791 to help pay down the national debt, and hard-hit small producers protested by taking to the streets in western Pennsylvania. They quickly formed a multi-state armed rebellion and President George Washington called in 13,000 troops to quell the opposition. Intent on emphasizing federalist power, the government charged the whiskey rebel leaders with treason against the U.S., although many were released due to a lack of evidence. Virginia Governor Henry Lee, on Washington's behalf, issued a general pardon for those who had participated "in the wicked and unhappy tumults and disturbances lately existing," even though some of the rebels had not even been indicted. Only a few men had trials and two were convicted of treason (which meant death by hanging). Eventually, Washington pardoned those who had treason convictions and indictments. It was the first pardon in American history that overturned a criminal conviction, and the first time under the young U.S. Constitution that the federal government wielded military force to quell its own citizens.

The 17th President, Andrew Johnson, took office the day that Lincoln died from gunshot wounds. Johnson had a mixed reputation, having stayed in the Senate as his home state of Tennessee seceded in 1861; he was popular in the North, but considered a traitor by those in the South. After becoming President in 1865, he moved forward on reconstruction. While Congress was not in session, he pardoned Southerners in the Confederate States on the condition that they would take an oath of loyalty to the Union. But Johnson, who grew up poor and had a dislike of the rich and privileged, wouldn't grant blanket amnesty to several classes of Southerners, requiring leaders and wealthy men to obtain their own special Presidential pardons.

The head of the Teamsters had been serving a 15-year prison sentence for jury tampering and fraud when President Richard Nixon pardoned him on Dec. 23, 1971. Nixon had one condition, however: Hoffa should "not engage in direct or indirect management of any labor organization" until at least March 1980. Hoffa agreed and supported Nixon's re-election bid in 1972. It is believed that Hoffa was trying to reassert his power over the Teamsters, defying Nixon's requirement, when he disappeared in 1975.

A little over a year after he resigned in the wake of Watergate, Richard Nixon received a highly controversial pardon from President Gerald Ford. Some charged that the pardon was part of an agreement reached with Ford when Nixon left office; others, including the New York Times, simply called the move unwise and unjust. Ford, who announced the pardon on live television on Sept. 8, 1974, called the Nixon family's situation "an American tragedy in which we all have played a part." He added: "It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must." Ford, however, may have also written his own end, politically speaking. Many believe the Nixon pardon was the reason he lost the 1976 election to Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.

His Oval Office chair was barely warm when President Jimmy Carter fulfilled a controversial campaign promise on his first day in the White House by issuing a pardon to those who avoided serving in the Vietnam war by fleeing the U.S. or not registering. President Gerald Ford had earlier introduced a conditional amnesty, but Carter, hoping to heal the war's wounds, made no conditions. He did, however, exclude many groups of individuals from the pardon: deserters were not eligible, nor were soldiers who had received less-than-honorable discharges. Also not included were the civilians who had protested the war.

MARK FELT (aka Deep Throat) & EDWARD MILLER, 1981
These two men became the highest-ranking convicted criminals in the FBI. Felt, who revealed himself in 2005 as the whistleblower known as Deep Throat, and Miller were found guilty in 1978 of breaking into Vietnam protesters' homes and offices without warrants during the Nixon presidency. They had been trying to keep the FBI and Nixon informed of activities that they considered to be undertaken by hostile foreign powers and collaborators. Overstepping his own Justice Department, President Ronald Reagan pardoned the two men in the midst of their appeals, after three years of prosecution proceedings. Reagan argued that America was generous to the thousands of draft dodgers who were pardoned for refusing to serve their country in Vietnam. "We can be no less generous to two men who acted on high principle to bring an end to the terrorism that was threatening our nation."

Former Defense Secretary Weinberger and six other defendants were criticized for participating in the transfer of U.S. anti-tank missiles to Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra Affair. Weinberger was charged with lying to the independent counsel after he resigned in 1987. But the pardon by President George H.W. Bush essentially halted the legal proceedings against Weinberger and his fellow defendants, as well as against Bush himself, who could have been called to testify as a former member of the Reagan administration. Independent council Lawrence Walsh, who had been investigating the affair, disapproved of the pardon, saying: "The Iran-Contra coverup... has now been completed."

The granddaughter of publishing titan William Randolph Hearst made headlines in 1974 when an urban guerilla group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) kidnapped her from her Berkeley, Calif., apartment. Two months later the 19-year-old was photographed robbing a San Francisco bank while brandishing an assault rifle — apparently she had taken up her captors' cause. At trial her defense lawyer focused not only on her abuse and the fact that the kidnappers forced her to take part in the robbery, but on the pervasive brainwashing by her attackers that caused her to sympathize with them. The defense didn't work and Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on March 20, 1976. She was imprisoned for almost two years before Jimmy Carter commuted her seven-year sentence freeing her from jail. But it was President Bill Clinton who granted her a pardon on the last day of his presidency, Jan. 20, 2001.

In 1983, financier Rich was indicted for evading more than $48 million in taxes, and charged with 51 counts of tax fraud, as well as running illegal oil deals with Iran during the 1979-1980 hostage crisis. During his last week in office, President Bill Clinton pardoned Rich, who had fled the U.S. during his prosecution and was residing in Switzerland. Clinton's eleventh-hour move, along with pardons of his half-brother, Roger, and former business partner Susan McDougal, outraged Republicans and Democrats alike. The Rich pardon sparked an investigation into whether it was bought by the hefty donations Rich's ex-wife, Denise, had given to the Clintons and Democrats. In the end, investigators didn't find enough evidence to indict Clinton.

UPDATE: The Official List of Pardons *
(List Provided by: University of Michigan Govt. Resources on the Web at )

George Washington 16; John Adams 21; Thomas Jefferson 119; James Madison 196; James Monroe 419; John Quincy Adams 183; Andrew Jackson 386; Martin Van Buren 168; William H. Harrison 0; John Tyler 209; James K. Polk 268; Zachary Taylor 38; Millard Fillmore 170; Franklin Pierce 142; James Buchanan 150; Abraham Lincoln 343; Andrew Johnson 654; Ulysses S. Grant 1332; Rutherford B. Hayes 893; James Garfield 0; Chester Arthur 337; Grover Cleveland 1107 Benjamin Harrison 613; William McKinley 918; Theodore Roosevelt 981; William H. Taft 758; Woodrow Wilson 2480; Warren G. Harding 800; Calvin Coolidge 1545; Herbert Hoover 1385; Franklin D. Roosevelt 3687; Harry S. Truman 2044; Dwight D. Eisenhower 1157; John F. Kennedy 575; Lyndon B. Johnson 1187; Richard Nixon 926; Gerald Ford 409; Jimmy Carter 566; Ronald Reagan 406; George Bush 77; Bill Clinton 456; and currently (including 14 yesterday) George W. Bush 171.

Monday, November 24, 2008

We The People Are In A Culture War

And so as I wake up this Monday morning, on the verge of another Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I am once again confronted with the absolute certainty of a Culture War which has been slowly suffocating this great nation.

A good friend of mine (and a Great American to boot) informed me this morning that she had attended a birthday party over the weekend. Now keep in mind that she is a conservative surrounded by a family of democrats. At one point, in conversation, her nephew (“who loves to get convervative cranking”) sarcastically asks in front of one and all: “So what about that war on Christmas?” To which her brother replies: “Oh, that’s just from those people at Fox News … it doesn’t exist!”

Just at that moment, a waitress happened by and so my friend takes the opportunity to set the record straight, and asks: “Do you believe there is a war on Christmas?” To which the waitress immediately replied: “Oh Man, Absolutely! As an example, they are refusing to let us have our Christmas display in Greenfield (MA) … and another thing, they won't let the kids wear red and green to school!”

Needless to say that jaws dropped around the table. And so, with those at the party having now been enlightened, suddenly the conversation turned to: “Well they can’t do that … that’s outrageous!”

Point, set, and match!

On a side note … maybe there really is something to the Fox News Creed: “We Report, You Decide!”

The bottom line here is that the culture war appears to be out of hand. The hardest thing for me to understand (and accept) over the past several years, is the growing need to accommodate (changing our ways, rights and beliefs) for a small percentage of the populace. I refer to it as "Damning Down America."

The problem with the world is not America. The problem with the world is the lack of equal distribution of capitalism, and for me, it's just that simple. It comes down to one basic thing that makes this country unique: Our Founding Documents.

Documents, which in essence, recognizes that we are all created by God and that we all have certain inalienable rights. To me (and I truly believe to every red blooded American) that means it is part of our yearning spirit and it is part of our creation. That is liberty, a yearning to be free … we don't want to be bound up … we don't want to be shut up … we don't want to be constrained.

Displaying a nativity scene on the lawn of the State Capital falls directly in line with what America is all about ... and it grinds my behind to be pressured by a minority into not even being able to wear red and green in school. WTF?

But, I digress ...

We are human beings … we're explorers … we're researchers … we're pioneers. We don't want to be caged, and the Founding Fathers understood this. What is the “Pursuit of Happiness.” Life is to be maximized and pursued to its fullest … and people are to get as much out of it as they are able, and they can't do it with shackles around their ankles. They can't do it with governments that hold them in contempt. They can't do it with leaders that think they have no brains. People are going to be constrained by a government who think they have no ability to do things, so they're going to want to do everything for them.

During his first inaugural address, our country's 40th President, Ronald Reagan, clearly stated the following:

“We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.”

Today I am worried sick … basically because I just don’t see that happening … at least not this coming January.

And so I’m asking all of my fellow Americans, that this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season, to wear the red and green, to both remember and proudly display the nativity, to say the words "Merry Christmas", and to pray.

Together we’ll stay the course, fight the right fight, and always …

"Keep The Faith!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

JFK - 45 Years Since That Tragic Day

John F. Kennedy, our 35th president, was assassinated in Dallas, TX, 45 years ago today. Although I was going on 10 years old, I remember that day, as well as, the entire weekend like it was yesterday.

In his inaugural address, Kennedy spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens, and famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” He also asked the nations of the world to join together to fight what he called the “common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.”

May the eternal flame, that glows over his grave at Arlington National Cemetery, brighten our hearts and homes, from sea to shining sea, and light the way for all Americans throughout these dark times.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Why Republicans Lose Elections

The following guest article was contributed today by my good friend and "Great" American, Fernando Nieves. There will be more on Nieves in the coming weeks, as I am planning a feature story on his incredible journey from being born and raised in Venezuela through his quest to become an American Citizen (legally) and achieving the American Dream!

I agree with my friend Jimmy Lewis, regarding his previous article on Sarah Palin ( ). Governor Palin does not deserve this at all, ("They used this woman … and then when they were finished, they threw her under the bus".) and that’s part of what has been wrong with the Republican Party, which has control the US government for the last 8 years in the white house and 10 out of the last 10 years in the congress.

It occurs to me that republicans ought to perform a serious soul search, analyze their own performance with objectivity, before blaming the “liberal media”, the democrats, and yes Sarah Palin. Here is what I have noticed: These people are not protecting the interest this great nation; on the contrary, they only protect their own interest and the interest of the good ol' boy network and big business.

Quite frankly the Republican Party needed a kick in the ass like this so they can get back to true conservative values (small government and FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY), something that they left behind during GWB administration. An example of this behavior is GWB tax cuts. The Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution has analyzed these two tax-cut measures and they found the following:

· Some 54 percent of the tax cuts from these two measures will go to households with incomes of more than $1 million a year, the top 0.2 percent of households, Another 43 percent of the tax-cut benefits will go to the 3.5 percent of households with incomes between $200,000 and $1 million. Thus, 97 percent of the tax cuts from these two provisions will go to the 3.7 percent of households with incomes over $200,000.
· That leaves only 3 percent of the tax-cut benefits for the 96 percent of U.S. households with incomes below $200,000. That 3 percent of the tax cuts will go almost entirely to households in the $100,000-$200,000 range. Essentially none of the benefits will flow to families with incomes under $100,000 (see table below).
· High-income households already are receiving extremely large tax cuts without these two new tax-cut measures. According to the Tax Policy Center, households with incomes of more than $1 million are receiving tax cuts that average $103,000 this year, and will receive tax cuts averaging $108,000 in 2010, from the other income-tax cuts included in the 2001 and 2003 tax-cut laws. (The Tax Policy Center estimates that when the effects of repeal of the estate tax are taken into account, those in this very high income group will receive tax cuts averaging $133,000 in 2010 from tax cuts other than the two measures discussed here.) The Tax Policy Center’s analysis shows that adding in the two tax-cut provisions slated to start taking effect in 2006 will bring the total tax cut for people with incomes over $1 million to $152,000, on average, in 2010. (These figures are in 2010 dollars.)

Note: Republicans in congress are calling to make the tax cut permanent.

Now, I do know that nobody wants to pay taxes, but to cut taxes and increased size of government and expending like the GWB administration have done was immoral and irresponsible, and it makes the argument of “liberals are going to tax you to death” hard to defend, because at the end of the day, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand basic economics.

The next government(s), it will take years, will need to pay the debt, which the Bush Administration incurred in order to fund the same tax cuts I just illustrated above, which benefited only 3.7% of the American households. You all know who they are, and unfortunately I am not one of them, as I have seeing my income, savings and retirement funds diminishing like most Americans since the Bush Administration took office. At least I feel lucky, I am healthy, have a wonderful wife and both of us have jobs, and I know that there are far too many Americans unemployed that have lost everything and the worst is yet to come. I pray for them.

Back to fixing the mess GWB policies have helped create, the new government will also need to pay for national security (the military, security at the border, etc), and to pay for other services such as rebuilding the nation infrastructure and yes bail out all these corporations which in my book constitute as corporate socialism. Also, repair the reputations of America in the international community, let us not forget the rest of the scandals, the justice department (Alberto Gonzalez), the you “doing a heck of Job Brownie” (FEMA during Katrina), throwing under the bus a CIA secret agent, only because her husband uncovered the truth that Sadam really did not have a nuclear program, nor was trying to hide WMDs, “water boarding is not torture”, etc. These cumulative abuses of power have created the monster we now called President elect Barak Obama.

As an independent conservative, that’s what I consider myself now, I found myself at odds, trying to defend the un-defendable, thus I consider myself as a former republican, and for that reason I decided not to vote. By the way, I can also say proudly that I can never force myself to vote for a democrat, thus my reason to be upset with the current republicans; as they almost made me do the unthinkable, vote for a liberal.

Finally, all politics aside, I also happen to disagree with the selection of Gov Sarah Palin as a VP candidate, even tough I believe that she has accomplished a lot, and done well for herself. However, having said all of that I believe the Republican Party selected the wrong candidates period. Both candidates! I believe that both McCain not Palin were president material by any stretch of the imagination, and once again that demonstrated to me that the Republican Party was out of touch with the American people, and the reason they have to use a crazy dude from Toledo Ohio, a mythical character no less (Joe the Plumber) as it turned out, that wasn’t his name nor his true profession, as it was a way to prove to the American people that they really were the party for the middle class … that’s how much out of touch there are.

Once again putting politics first before the well being of the country, and by doing so they deserved what they got; a huge defeat in the election.

But as my friend Jimmy Lewis, always says:

“Keep The Faith,”


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mitt May Be Right ...

The leaders of the big three automakers spent Wednesday waiting for word from lawmakers in Washington on whether or not Congress will give the go-ahead for a $25 billion bailout to help stave off potential bankruptcy.But many people are wondering exactly what would happen if Congress does nothing, and an automaker slips into bankruptcy. Depending on who you ask, the answer could be doom and gloom or a reason for cautious optimism.

If the former Massachusetts Governor, and Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney had anything to say about it, as he has been in making the news circuit over the past 18 hours, he’d let them all go bankrupt.

“If General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course … the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.”

Romney went on to talk about the role our government has played in the potential demise of the big three. His comments pretty much echo those we shared here, at the Rouge Revival blog, on November 12th. The article “
U.S. Auto Industry Alternative Solutions” discussed the death grip that “CafĂ©” Standards has around the entire U.S. Auto Industry’s collective throats.

For additional Romney comments, as well as a spot on analysis, please click on the link below, for last night’s Talking Points Memo on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lincoln's Words Need To Be Heard Again & Again

The power of words has rarely been given a more compelling demonstration than in the Gettysburg Address. President Abraham Lincoln was asked to memorialize the gruesome battle. Instead he gave the whole nation "a new birth of freedom" in the space of a mere 272 words. His entire life and previous training and his deep political experience went into this, his revolutionary masterpiece.

It was 145 years (seven score and five years) ago this very day when Lincoln delivered, what is considered to be, the most famous speech in the history of the United States of America.
It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated the Confederates in this decisive battle.

In the summer of 1863 that small southern Pennsylvania town changed forever. Of the more than 2,000 land engagements of the Civil War, Gettysburg ranks supreme. On July 1- 3, 1863, more men actually fought and died than in any other battle before or since on American soil.

As this country braces itself to engage in a much different, but ever as important kind of battle, we once again find ourselves being tested on whether this nation can survive, and overcome, a power hungry and aggressive faction of government, with Divine Providence.

And so … to President Elect Obama, to Speaker of the House Pelosi, and to Senate Majority Leader Reid … let Lincoln’s words be heard, by you, and then by one and all, throughout this land:

“ 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 and 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."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mickey Mouse - Forever Young

Anyone of us Baby Boomers, whose childhood spanned between the mid 1950’s through the mid 60’s, can not help but hold dear, fond memories of the Mickey Mouse Club.

It was eighty years ago today that Mickey Mouse starred in Steamboat Willie, known as the first animated talking cartoon (created by Walt Disney who provided the squeaky voice himself) and considered a technological marvel. The iconic mouse had actually gone from its initial concept of a hard-drinking, tobacco-chewing and womanizing character to the squeaky-voiced, squeaky-clean mascot of his entire company and, some say, America.

"Never forget that it all started with a mouse," Walt Disney used to tell his employees, to illustrate the fact that the empire he had built was created in the image of the American dream. It was created out of nowhere and started small. After all, what is smaller than a mouse? But thanks to the creativity, the initiative and primarily the ambition and determination of a young architect … as Disney was 27 years old when he created the character of Mickey Mouse … it grew and developed into one of the largest and strongest empires in the history of the entertainment business, and of contemporary capitalism in general.

That said, he also became the most famous cultural export of the United States, so much so, that he unfortunately became associated with its values and global dominance, which prompted a Saudi Arabian official to call upon the extermination of all mice as they are "agents of Satan, including that famous cartoon mouse". His charisma is thought to have such a sway on young people that the Palestinian group Hamas devised its own mouse, “Farfour”, who advised children to take up armed struggle. Unlike his immortal American cousin, Farfour was eventually beaten to death by "the killers of children".

Nichola Dobson, an Edinburgh, Scotland based scholar, who is currently completing a book on animation history and is the editor of the online journal, Animation Studies, highlighted the bizarre nature of Mickey's progress from cute character to universal emblem of American capitalism:

"Because he's become so commercialized, people use him as a target to say, ‘This is what's wrong with corporate America.' But in actual fact he's just this wee mouse guy that was quite funny, and a sorcerer's apprentice."

Considered to be the leader of all the Disney characters (“the leader of the pack that’s made for you and me”), he was actually semi-retired in the early 1940s. He did however make his incredible return through the creation of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 50’s and A Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol in the 80’s.

In the recent Presidential election, if you would have tallied up all the write-in votes from any and all elections across America over these past 80 years, Mickey Mouse would have given Barack Obama a run for his money. In fact, this past November 4th, both Mickey and Jesus received the highest amount of write-in votes nationwide. If there were a runoff (who knows how Florida would have gone were the election held there), based on the folks utilizing the write-in vote in Columbus, Ohio, Mickey would have won handedly.

Take the office of tax commissioner, for example, for which incumbent Lula Huff ran unopposed. Along with Gandhi … Scooby Doo, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Judge Wapner, Pee Wee Herman, South Park’s ‘Man-Bear-Pig’, Joe The Plumber, Stephen Colbert, and Jesus … all got one write-in vote each. Mickey Mouse got seven.

“Never give up and everything is possible, especially if you are young … or young at heart!”

These are some of the All American values that Disney wanted to emphasize, to not only his employees, but to the world. He also bequeathed these values to his most famous cinematic hero, the little rodent who never gave up, always proving that anything is possible.

And even now, as we celebrate his 80th birthday, Mickey Mouse remains in our hearts and forever young.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sarah Palin - Go Ahead, Make Her Day!

And so … here we are … the start of yet another work week and a mere 64 days until they crown His Majesty Barack Obama, the United Socialist States of America’s first, king. But alas, that is for another day's discussion.

In the meantime, it’s Monday morning and time for my several cups of coffee and a splash of Fox & Friends to get my motor running. That is until I catch my first replay of Newt Gingrich appearing on yesterday’s CBS news magazine “Face The Nation.”

My eyes were not the only thing requiring a splash of warm water this morning. My ears had somehow deceived me. I could have sworn I heard Newt Gingrich taken Governor Sarah Palin down a notch, asserting that she would not become the party’s leader in 2012.

So I did what any red blooded Conservative American would do in this situation … I ran to the calendar on the wall, just to verify whether or not I had pulled a Rip Van Winkle, to see if indeed it was now April 1, 2009. Wait a minute; it appears that the Ghost of Christmas Future did all his work in one night.

“I think that she is going to be a significant player,” said Gingrich during the interview on Sunday morning. “But she’s going to be one of 20 or 30 significant players. She’s not going to be the de facto leader.” Gingrich is actually out there diverting media attention away from Palin and to other governors such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Utah Gov. John Huntsman (R).

She is a threat to the modern Republican Party, which is made up of a bunch of (in the words of talk show host Rush Limbaugh) "linguine-spined moderates" … and now they're trying to take her out. But the problem is that conservatives and Republicans (according to Rasmussen Reports) love and respect this woman. And it's not even arguable and it's not even close.

Tina Hemond writes this morning, on her blog “Massachusetts Conservative Feminist – Ordinary – Degrees of Moderation and Sanity” ( ) the following:

“Love her or hate her, depending upon one’s political affiliation, she is owed a debt of gratitude from all women and parents who have daughters. Sexism was used to distract the general public for political gain. It was evident, and women have taken note. Will sexism be used again in politics and succeed? Hopefully, because of women like Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, the nation will not have to wait another twenty four years before learning the answer.”

Governor Palin ignited a dead and dry campaign. Volunteers and contributions came out of the woodwork within hours of her being put out there in Dayton, Ohio. For the same reasons (we assumed they chose her) she is indeed smart, she’s beyond competent, she’s incredibly articulate, she’s a doer and she’s got a proven track record. I believe that’s what her attackers fear most … that she’s too effective at brushing the waste away where it belongs.

And so, now that I am fully awake this morning, I ask: WTF? I was absolutely stunned and taken aback by these comments ... especially from Gingrich, whom I've always had the utmost respect. They used this woman … and then when they were finished, they threw her under the bus ... and now they're driving the bus right over top of her.

In the spirit of Clint Eastwood's popular character, Dirty Harry, I'm sure that Governor Palin is thinking: "Go ahead, make my day!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dennis Miller: Witty, Conservative & Spot On

TGIF: It's been a crazy week, politcally & otherwise, so what better way to end it then with a good laugh or two.

These days, especially with the entertainment industry overflowing with liberal venom and far left theatrics, Dennis Miller has emerged as a much needed breath of fresh air among the smog infested Hollywood hills. Between his thought provoking rants, acerbic wit, and flat out funny perspective, Miller has somehow managed to see his way through the Pigpen cloud of dust that surrounds so many on the left coast.

But it wasn't always that way. When Miller began his career, becoming a household name thanks to his years on NBC TV's Saturday Night Live (1985-1991), he was a writer and the host of the "Weekend Update" news segment. It was there that he polished his comedy/commentary shtick of satiric punch lines and obscure cultural references. Miller then had great success on cable television (HBO) with the Emmy Award-winning "Dennis Miller Live" (1994-2002), a comedy talk show that included "rants" about social and political issues, each ending with the line "Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!" Although. in those days, Miller was most definitely left of center.

"September Eleventh changed me," he said. "I'm shocked that it didn't change the whole country!"

In 2000 he began as a commentator for NFL Monday Night Football, but left after two seasons, just a few months after his HBO series was cancelled. Miller kept his name in the news, however, as a Democrat-basher and supporter of President George W. Bush on the issue of U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Miller was immediately embraced by political conservatives and ended up with a gig on the Fox News talk show Hannity & Colmes, followed by his own short-lived show on cable television (2004-05).

Miller began hosting his own syndicated radio show in early 2007 and continues today with much success. In addition, he appears weekly in a segment known as “Miller Time,” on the most watched cable network's number one prime time program, Fox News' “The O’Reilly Factor”.

Miller's rants have also been published in book form, including The Rants (1996) and Ranting Again (1998). Regardless of which side of center, he was at the time, both are still very provocative and hilarious reads.

Attacks from the left (the very same folks in the mainstream media whom, on a daily basis, have belittled and smeared everyone from Sean Hannity to President Bush) continue to paint Miller as over the top and proclaim his remarks as "off color." The difference is that they are suppose to be professionally reporting or commenting on the news, while ("HELLO") ... Miller is a "comedian."

Here is just a sampling of his commentary:

On The ACLU:
“The ACLU spent this entire holiday season protesting public displays of the nativity scene. Yeah, that's the problem with America right now: Public displays of Christ's birth, that's the problem. It's unbelievable to me. The ACLU will no longer fight for your right to put up a nativity scene, but they'll fight for the right of the local freak who wants to stumble onto the scene and have sex with one of the sheep.”

On Sarah Palin:
It's like Tina Fey's movie Mean Girls. Women are mean to other women. They look at her, she looks happy, a lot of them aren't, so they're cranky about her … ”

On Our Forefathers:
“Quit bringing up our forefathers and saying they were civil libertarians. Our founding fathers would never tolerated any of this crap. For God's sake, they were blowing peoples' heads off because they put a tax on their breakfast beverage. And it wasn't even coffee.”

On Illegal Immigration:
"Now I don't have anything against Mexican people, but for God's sakes, sign the guest book on the way in."

On Senator Harry Reid:
"To quote the great Stephen Boyd, the constant bring-down, from “We killed the Patriot Act,” to “We’ll gain House seats,” to his magnum opus “We’ve lost the war,” Reid has been unrelentingly bleak in his appraisal of the conflict of our lifetime. He believes that getting negative comments in early could be the one chance that a nonentity like he has at a place in history."

On Polygamist and Sex Offender Warren Jeffs:
I think that Jeffs is a demented pig, and the quicker that he goes to prison and is on the other side of an iniquitous power relationship, the better off the planet will be. I think in "Shawshank-ian" lingo it's called "short eyes," and they'll take care of a guy in there like that. If we've lost our minds out here due to political correctness, fine. At least somewhere on cell block D they understand that compromising the innocence is still the ultimate wrong in the universe.”

On Nancy Pelosi:
“When Newt Gingrich took the gavel in 1995, Republicans brought to the floor of the House 10 major bills, ranging from welfare reform to term limits. This was a serious agenda. Conversely, Pelosi came to power with no such agenda other than, "Bush Sucks." While this may have helped her, Obama, and other Democrats get elected, her stewardship of the Democrat majority has proven disastrous.”

On High Gas Prices:
The nation's second-largest oil company, Chevron Texaco, announced it was buying rival Unocal Corp. A spokesman for Chevron Texaco, which made a $13 billion profit last year, says the new company will be called 'Bend Over, America.”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In Goodness We Trust

Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout I’m telling you why
Atheists are coming to town …

There’s a new ad campaign coming to a town near you … smack dab on the heels of Barack Obama’s victorious campaign. Coincidence? Perhaps not, however, in Washington D.C. (our nation’s capital of all places) its citizens will begin to see city buses displaying the Atheist Message: "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake."

"We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you," said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the American Humanist Association, whose $40,000 provocative holiday ad campaign is scheduled to run well into December. "Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."

Awwww, how sad! Well hey, I’ve got the perfect solution for you. If you’re feeling so alone, right now the Airlines could use a little company, and I’m sure they’d be very happy to fly your desolate derriere to one of the following top five “non-theists” nations:

Country - Total Pop - % Atheist
Sweden.....8,986,000...50 - 85%
Denmark....5,413,000...50 - 80%
Norway.....4,575,000...50 - 72%

Oh, and by the way, on your way there, you just might want to practice singing one of the following “non-theist” holiday classics:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Atheists
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the Darwin fish
Your fav-o-rite one to catch
With unicorns in pink and all aglow

Rudolph the red blooded atheist
With cold blood that’ll turn to blue
And if you’d ever felt it
You’d believe in nothing too

Godless you merry atheist
There’s nothing there but space
Remember there’s no savior
Your all free to disgrace

Jingle Bell - Why the Hell
We ringing that thing again
Oh what fun it is to hate
Things we can’t comprehend … Oh

And I heard Reverend Wright exclaim, as he rode out of site: “Goodness Damn America – We’re coming home to roost tonight!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

U.S. Auto Industry Alternative Solutions

Governor Jennifer Granholm (by the way, we’re still waiting to be “blown away”) appeared on the CBS “Early Show” this morning, begging for taxpayers across this country to bail her out from failing policies and leadership here in Michigan. Of course the governor conveniently camouflaged this plea under the guise of the current crisis in the U.S. automotive industry.

Granholm stated that the auto industry supports one in 10 U.S. jobs. “If the industry fails, there would be a ripple effect across the entire country.” She added: "This government decided that it was going to step in and throw $700 billion at the financial sector. We're just asking for a fraction of that."

Sure, why not! She’s getting a fraction of every penny we earn and spend here in Michigan … there’ no place else to go.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Congress to support a financial bailout for the troubled U.S. auto industry, which is suffering under the weight of poor sales, tight credit and a sputtering economy. Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday she was confident that lawmakers would consider "emergency and limited financial assistance" for the auto industry under the $700 billion bailout measure that passed Congress in October. She urged the outgoing Bush administration to support a compromise.

So you’ve got Granholm and Pelosi out there trying to get the money, when there are viable alternative solutions that won’t cost the taxpayers an arm and an axle.

Recently, there was a great column about this in the Wall Street Journal by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., and it's entitled: 'How to Save Detroit and $50 Billion.' (Please review at the following link):

Granholm, along with the Detroit Auto Makers and their lobbyists are now out there on high alert with their plea for $50 billion in federal loans. “Congress practically owes us this money”, Ford, GM and Chrysler argue … because Congress slammed us with new fuel mileage mandates that will cost us $100 billion to meet. John McCain caved. The White House is in the process of caving. Barack Obama didn't need to cave.

But before rushing to pass the legislation, there's an easy way to save $50 billion or whatever part of these loans wouldn't be paid back … just repeal the fuel economy rules. It must infuriate the auto makers how readily their critics attribute their problems to their own incompetence.

Then how do you explain that GM is thriving in Europe, selling small cars which get very high miles per gallon? There was a story recently that Ford has a car that gets 65 miles to the gallon but they can't sell it in North America, they're not allowed, can't sell it in North America because it runs on diesel. It seats five, it gets 65 mile per gallon. Buick is among the biggest selling brands in China. GM is running away with Latin America.

The Big Three's problem, to be blunt, is North America. They should have pulled out long ago. And his idea is rather than give them $50 billion, just get rid of these stupid CAFE standards, get rid of the government running the auto business.

Keep the damn environmentalist out of the auto business and let them make the cars that they know the customer wants. These silly restrictions are causing all kinds of retooling, all kinds of investment. They don't face these restrictions in different parts of the world, and they're doing well.

The only reason GM and Ford is thinking about going bankrupt is because they're all kicking butt around the world. They're just not kicking it here. Now, why is that? They also got saddled with a monopolistic union, UAW and big, huge contracts and paying people who are no longer working for them. Toyota doesn't have that. Other foreign makers that make their cars here do not have the same restrictions that the big three do ... so it's real simple.

The auto business is overregulated and it's costing a lot of people a lot of money per car. The union contracts are estimated at over $3,000 per car, with the health insurance portion taking up the bulk of that figure. That's nearly $2,500, per car, that Toyota doesn't face. So it's real simple. Mr. Jenkins is exactly right. If you get the government out of these businesses, they'll be fine, because the government cannot tell 'em what CAFE standards to build in Latin America, in China, in Europe, and American cars are definately kicking butt over there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Salute to Our Veterans

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress ... at the urging of the veterans service organizations ... amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11th., beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11th.

FYI: According to the Military Officers Association of America, 127 Members of the current 110th Congress have served in the military. The House has 99 out of 434 and the Senate 28 out of 100. The number of veterans in the 110th Congress sadly reflects the trend of a steady decline in the number of Members who have served in the military. For example, 390 veterans served in the 93rd Congress (1973-1975); and 236 served in the 103rd (1993-1995).

It's Veterans Day in the USA and we proudly salute the veterans, both men and women, who have served our nation with honor, dignity, pride and sacrifice. We remember and we thank you. Our flag will forever fly and we are forever free, thanks to you and to the blessings and grace of God on our nation. May God bless each veteran whose life we celebrate today. Stand tall, veterans everywhere ... We Salute You!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remembering The Edmund Fitzgerald

It was as if God had reached down from the skies and grabbed me, as I was attempting to walk along the shores on the Straits of Mackinac, that incredibly turbulent day in November of 1975. Despite applying all the muscle strength I could muster, at a very healthy 21 years old, I suddenly found myself powerfully trudging my feet along into the earth just to stay stationary. Forget stopping ... that would have sent me tumbling from Mackinaw City all the way back to Detroit.

It was November 10, 1975. At that exact moment, unbeknownst to me and approximately 100 miles due north of my location, Captain Ernest M. McSorley was fighting the battle of his life, desperately trying to keep the giant Great Lakes Iron Ore freighter the Edmund Fitzgerald afloat.

Lake Superior, well documented for its incredible winter storms, by 4 p.m. had waves that reached 12 to 16 feet, whipped by winds gusting up to 90 miles per hour at the Soo Locks, which were shut down. The Coast Guard issued an emergency warning: all ships were to find safe harbor. By 6 p.m. the crashing waves were now 25 feet high.

It was roughly 6:30 p.m. when Captain McSorley reported to control that he was having difficulty with the ship and was taking on water. There was noticeable damage to the ship's ballast vent pipes and the radar on the ship was not working. McSorely said it was the worst storm he had ever seen. All contact was lost and at 7:10 p.m. with the Edmund Fitzgerald estimated to be just 17 miles from its safe harbor distination of Whitefish Point, Captain McSorley finally lost his battle against the angry sea.

All 29 officers and crew, including a Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadet, went down with the ship, which today lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water.

Please take a moment and play the attached tribute, which includes the Gordon Lightfoot immortal classic: "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

U.S. Marines Celebrate 233 Proud Years

The United States Marine Corps traces its institutional roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress formed the Continental Marines on November 10, 1775, planning to draw them from among Washington's army in Boston and send them to capture supplies from Halifax, Nova Scotia. However, Washington was unenthusiastic about the plan and suggested the Marines be recruited in New York or Philadelphia instead. Captain Samuel Nicholas was commissioned as the Continental Marines' first officer on November 28, 1775. Though legend places its first recruiting post in Philadelphia at the Tun Tavern, Marine historian Edwin Simmons surmises that it was more likely the Conestoga Waggon, a tavern owned by the Nicholas family. Robert Mullen, whose mother owned Tun Tavern, later received a commission in June 1776 and likely used it as his recruiting station.

Today's Marine Corps stands ready to continue in the proud tradition of those who so valiantly fought and died at the likes of Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, and Khe Sanh. Combining a long and proud heritage of faithful service to the nation, with the resolve to face tomorrow's challenges will continue to keep the Marine Corps the very "best of the best."

Sir Winston Churchill, infamous British Prime Minister, became an ardent admirer of the U.S. Marine Corps. In the company of guests of state, he often demonstrated his respect for U.S. Marines by reciting, from memory, all three verses of The Marines' Hymn.

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean
We are proud to claim the title of

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun
In the snow of far off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes
You will find us always on the job

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we all are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes
They will find the streets are guarded by

Happy Birthday and May God Bless The United States Marines

Please Click The Link Below For Tribute:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Detroit Lions Fans or Republicans?

Our once proud … well fifty years ago once proud … National Football League franchise known as the Detroit Lie Downs (formerly the Detroit Lions) continued their traditional ways today by losing for the ninth straight time this season ... keeping them on pace to become the only team, in the history of the NFL, to go for an entire sixteen game schedule, without a victory.

Far worse, the Lions have managed to win just one playoff game in over a half of century. Believe me, you don’t have to look it up, it’s true. Fifty years and only one playoff victory. No one could make this stuff up. Since their last winning season in 2000 (posting a stunning 9 and 7 mark), the Lions have gone 31 and 90.

So you see … as a Lion fan, you are totally justified to wear that sack over your head. Which in essence, I guess, makes them a lyin’ fan.

However, as a Republican, there is absolutely no reason to hide your head in shame. Even though we took a couple of big hits in 2006 and 2008, there is so much to be proud of and so much to stand tall for, when your life is based upon conservative principles and beliefs.

In regards to last week’s election: When things go wrong, you must first look inward. You must ask, "What did we do wrong? What could we have done better? What mistakes did we make?" It would be foolish at this stage to start assigning blame either to the media or to liberals or Democrats or the voters or the American people. I'm not going to fall into the trap that the liberals and Democrats fall into every time they lose an election and start blaming everybody else. Republicans lost last week but conservatism did not, and that is to me, one of the fundamental elements of last week's results. Conservatism did not lose; Republicans lost last week. In fact, Republicanism, being a political party first rather than an ideological movement, is what lost. The Democrats beat something last week with nothing. They advanced no agenda other than their usual anti-war position, class envy and Robin Hood rhetoric. They have no contract. They really did not get specific. Their message was one of "Vote for us … because the other guys has been in power too long," There was no dominating conservative theory nationally, and, oh by the way, these were nationalized elections. There was no dominating conservative message that came from the top and filtered down throughout this campaign. It was nowhere to be found.

It’s not the Acorn folks, nor even those that come back from the dead to vote … The latest example of election fraud is actually what the Democrats did from within. They nominated a bunch of moderate and conservative Democrats for the express purpose of electing a far-left Democrat leadership. If you're looking for a good side, Democrats could not win this election being liberals. They could not have won the House being liberals. Maybe in some parts of the country, but all the Democrats flexing their muscles and feeling good about this have to admit here that liberalism didn't win anything last week.

It’s silly to blame the media. It is silly to blame the Democrats. It is silly to go out and try to find all these excuses. We have proven we can beat them. We've proven we can beat Democrats. We have proven we can withstand whatever we get from the Media. Conservatism does that. Conservatism … when properly applied, proudly, eagerly, with vigor and honesty … will triumph nine times out of ten in the current political environment and social environment of this country.

True Conservatism just wasn't utilized in this campaign, and there are many reasons for it, but the primary reason is fear of criticism from those in the so-called establishment, and nobody wants to be criticized and nobody wants to go through life in fear, so a lot of people go out of their way to make our opponents think, "Well, I'm not that bad a guy. I'm not really one of those extreme kooks. I'm reasonable." So the whole ideology of conservatism gets watered down within the threat of fear and the desire to be liked and all of this, and the Democrats now get to tell themselves whatever they want to tell themselves why they won. Did they think they won because they're liberals? Will they be honest with themselves and tell themselves they won because they had the opportunity to run against nothing? Anything can beat nothing, and that’s precisely what happened last week.

My whole point in saying this is: Don't turn over your life to government. Whether you're a conservative or a liberal, don't expect that only good things can happen to you or you can only succeed if the right things are happening with government. That is not true. There is no reason to put your arms up in despair and think your life is over or your future is bleak simply because of this. We've been here too many times.

I'm not saying, "Forget what happens. Get out of the game." Some of you probably want to do that, but there are too many defeats in life; there are too many losses in life that are outside your own life to let them have an effect on you, a profound effect for a long time. Sure there's disappointment ... so allow yourself to feel it. Go ahead and experience it. It will motivate you to not want to go through it again and see what you can do. All these things have the opportunity for good in them, and they all have the opportunity for learning.

The Republican Party is going to do far better when it is openly proud and willing to define in every speech it makes what conservatism is, leading people to that movement, making them feel like there's a future, making them feel proud of themselves, making them happy to be Americans.

We all know that there are very positive things happening out there, but it was not trumpeted by the people who should have been shouting it from the rooftops because they were proud of it … instead of hiding under some bag.

However, if you’re a Detroit Lion loyalist, you may just want to hold onto that bag for another half century.