Decoration Day

Every freedom that we enjoy (and too often take for granted) was purchased for us by courage, toil, sacrifice and blood. And on this day, when tens of thousands of our men and women are volunteers on fields of battle around the world, it is only fitting that we pause, not for mattress sales, but to honor their sacrifice.

To all those who have paid the ultimate price, we owe our gratitude. To all those who have served, we give our thanks. To all those who are serving, we pray for your success and safety. And to my father, thank you for your service to your country, and your love for your family. I am so proud to be your son.

God bless America. Please.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
The Gettysburg Address


Happy Birthday Duke

Marion Morrison would have been 100 years old today if he had lived...and he should have lived. John Wayne should never die in a movie. I don't care about reality, dramatic effect, typecasting or anything else--just say no. So I won't watch the Wake of the Red Witch, or The Sands of Iwo Jima, or The Alamo or the Shootist. But bring on Hondo and learn how to teach a boy to swim!

John Wayne shouldn't have died in real life either. The world is a poorer place without him. To paraphrase Westley, there's a shortage of men in the world, and it was a shame to lose that one.


You Keep Using That Word. I'm Not Sure It Means What You Think It Means

Amnesty, by definition according to Random House is:

1. a general pardon for offenses, esp. political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.
2. Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole.
3. a forgetting or overlooking of any past offense.

There's a great deal of yelling going back and forth on whether the proposed immigration "reform" bill is amnesty or not. The answer hinges on opinion as much as fact. Because the bill removes the current penalty for illegal immigration (deportation) and (maybe) replaces it with a fine a few years down the road (and does anyone want to take bets on how activist judges will rule on that?) supporters can claim it doesn't let them off the hook completely, and there isn't amnesty. But that's pretty much a distinction without a difference.

The truth is that millions of people, no one knows exactly how many, are being offered an escape from the stated consequences for their illegal behavior. Call it a pork chop, call it a parole, call it a pickle...none of it makes any difference. This abomination of a "reform" frees illegals from the penalty of the law, and "punishes" them by giving them what they wanted in the first place. Please don't throw me in the brier patch indeed.


McCain for President, RIP

The McCain for President campaign died this week after a long illness. Varying accounts of the campaign's age, based on numerous "launch" dates have been offered, but with some eight months remaining until the first votes are cast, it certainly died young. Initial symptoms had included fundraising failure and extreme irritability, but the cause of death was listed as extreme allergic reaction to conservative voters and ideas, complicated by pride and an uncontrolled temper.

Staffers expressed surprise at the death, noting that, despite the campaign's lingering difficulties, they believed until the end that a recovery was in sight. "We'd stabbed conservatives in the back so many times before and gotten away with it," one anonymous staffer said. "I didn't think they'd really turn on us for good. We told them to shut up and take their medicine...maybe we should have taken ours instead."

Funeral arrangments may take several months to complete. In lieu of flowers, votes should be sent to Fred Thompson.


You've Never Heard Amazing Grace Like This!

So I was doing some research for a writing project today, and I found this rather amazing transcript from the NewsHour's coverage of Ronald Reagan's funeral:

KWAME HOLMAN: The funeral service was rich with music, highlighted by the singing of Franz Schubert's "Amazing Grace" by Irish tenor Ronan Tynan.

MAN (singing): A grace that cause my heart to feel and graced my fear the precious deed what I believe the Lord has promised you to me he wore my shield and poison me as long, as life endures -- (emphasis added)

Now in the first place, it might come as news to John Newton that Schubert wrote what is arguably the most famous hymn in the world! But look at the words...it gets even better. The transcriber obviously either didn't spend much time in church, or else wasn't listening to the words...and nobody who read/edited it was either apparently. Nor did they have much common sense, unless that is, they really think we should sing songs thanking God for poisoning us! For what it's worth, here are the two verses they mangled so badly.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

GOP Suicide Pact

Apparently not satisfied with having lost control of Congress as a direct result of abandoning their stated principles, the GOP is now trying to achieve permanent minority status. The "compromise" immigration "reform" bill being pushed in the Senate by Ted Kennedy and John McCain (and doesn't that tell you everything you need to know?) is a political disaster for the party. It's also a disaster for the nation, but that's another post.

The only way the GOP could tick off more of its base would be to drop being pro-life. And by offering immediate amnesty to the 20 million illegals already here (and can anybody argue with a straight face that this bill won't draw even more?) the Republicans have also given up the easiest issue they could use to reach out to blue-collar and African-American voters who normally go Democratic. Opposing illegal immigration appeals to those people as well as to the GOP base.

You think President Bush's approval rating is low now? Just watch what happens as he spits in the face of the 33% who have stood by him this long.


The Silky Pony Gets Slapped

John Edwards, of the famed $400 haircuts, has been hard on the Dem Senators who refuse to immediately surrender and get us out of Iraq. Today the Charlotte Observer evaluates his advice in light of his own performance in a particularly painful (but OH so funny) way. (Hat tip to the Hillary Spot)

Charlotte Observer


One More Reason You Should Vote for Duncan Hunter

"It seems every election year, some liberal politician dons an NRA cap and grabs a shotgun for a hunting photo-op, as if that means they support our right as Americans to keep and bear arms. I, myself, thoroughly enjoy hunting, having just recently spent a great weekend hunting elk in Arizona. But, the second amendment is not about hunting. It is about the right of you and me to be secure in our homes. We must vigorously defend against all attempts to chip away at the Second Amendment. You know as well as I do that there is one thing criminals prefer over any other: unarmed victims." (From the campaign website, emphasis added)