I'm reposting one of my favorites for the weekend.
I have a reoccurring dream about my grandma. She is sitting on the front porch of her house, which is brilliant white set upon a brilliant white hill. I climb the steps and sit beside her on the front porch swing. She smiles at me and I take her hand and lay my head on her shoulder. I say, “I love you grandma.” “I love you too sweetie,” She replies. I look at her. “I miss you so much.” “I’m still here,” she says. “But it’s not the same.” I say sadly. “No. no it isn’t,” She says as she hugs me.
I close my eyes and see flashes of my childhood with her in brilliant color and texture. I see myself picking blueberries for breakfast in the early morning. I see me running through clean white sheets she is hanging on the line in the sunshine. I see me lying in bed beside her at night with the wind blowing the curtains in the window as she teaches me to pray.
Every child should have a person in their life like my grandma. I was so blessed to have wonderful parents. But to have another person who thinks you hung the moon, as my grandma did about me, causes a child to believe in oneself as never before.
I was one years old when my grandma’s husband died. She never re-married although still young and attractive. (She had had my dad when she was 15) She ran a “nursery” from her house that would be called a daycare today. There were two rooms attached to her garage and that is where the children ate and slept. She lived on a 10 acre playground. She had a big swing set, but nothing else. We played with old rubber tires, making up our games by building with them or rolling them or laying in them. We had trees to climb, dirt and ditches to play in. I don’t ever remember being bored. Imagination is a wonderful playmate.
It drove my dad crazy that she would hardly charge more than she spent. If a mother couldn’t pay one month, she would let it go. There was something so strong and independent about her. And there was love. Oh boy, was there ever love.
There were birthdays and Easter. There were Sunday dinners, Fourth of July, and any event she could celebrate, she did. Every Christmas Eve of my childhood was spent at my Grandma’s. First with just my family, my Aunt and Uncle, and later my cousins and nieces and nephews. We would start out with a big dinner with us kids itching to get it over with so we could open our presents. When given the go ahead, we would race to the living room and stand and marvel at our glittery presents as they reflected the brilliant lights of the Christmas tree. It was……magic.
Years later after my grandma had died and I was grown, I remember singing Christmas carols in a choir at a nursing home. As we were singing I noticed an old lady in a wheelchair crying. I left the stage and went to her and knelt down and took her hand. “Are you alright?” I asked. She said simply, “I miss Christmas.” I knew exactly what she meant. I said, “I do too.”
When my father died I was only 22 yrs old. My grandma was only 68. I spent 2 weeks with my mother, sleeping with her and comforting her. But during the day when everyone would come over, I drove to my grandma’s. As much pain as my mother was in I knew that there was no greater pain than losing a child. As usual though, my grandma was the one who made me strong.
My Grandma was never famous, never wrote a book, never won a Pulitzer, she never even finished high school, but she forever lives on through her love. She celebrated my life. She taught me how to celebrate it as well. Her love and her caring are a part of me that I give to my children and they will give to theirs. Generations from now my great great grandchildren will not know my Grandma’s name, but they will know her, because she will live in them by the love that she passed down. That is the legacy each of us is allowed to give. Who will remember what you did or the car you drove, or how much money you made? But love…that will be forever remembered and lived.
When I realized that I was losing my grandma to Alzheimer’s, I tried to tell her how much she meant to me before she forgot me. I stumbled on the words. How do you thank someone for giving you self confidence? For teaching you compassion? For loving you unconditionally? Words did not seem enough. I simply said, “Thank you for loving me so much.” With her usual way of making me feel like a princess, she smiled and said, “You made it easy.”
In my dream when I open my eyes I am alone on the porch swing. I look around for my grandma, but I can't find her. I close my eyes again and hear my heart beating in the quiet. And I realize that she is there, in every beat of my heart. In all the love that I feel.
She is there.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I'm reposting one of my favorites for the weekend.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:11 AM
OK, I wondered how it could be true. Looks like it isn't.
Here is the link if you want to see what I had here.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:49 AM
Friday, April 21, 2006
This also helps us understand the obstacles we must overcome.
It is a speech given in 2004 by Haim Harari, Chairman of the Board, Davidson Institute of Science Education headquartered in Israel. Professor of High Energy Physics.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 11:10 PM
Howard Dean was the guest speaker at a breakfast for The Christian Science Monitor. Here are two of the excerpts that stood out to me:
On the Democrats' policy on Iraq:
"There is a consensus that we cannot continue to have a permanent commitment to a failed strategy.... One, we are going to support our troops and two, you are going to see a ... desire to resolve the situation ... by turning this over to the Iraqis and bringing our folks home. The only thing that is left up to some modest differences is what the timetable is."
Let's see. Support our troops. A desire to resolve the situation. Turning this over to the Iraqis and bringing our folks home.
Isn't that Bush's plan?
On religion and politics:
"The religious community has to decide whether they want to be tax exempt or involved in politics."
Gee, I remember growing up in the middle of the civil rights movement and I remember the churches being at the forefront of that movement. I remember meeting Reverend Jesse Jackson (when that was all he was referred to as) as he led hundreds of blacks to register to vote for the first time. They met first at a church where the Reverend Jackson spoke passionately about God and justice. Both religious beliefs and the African American church itself were essential in motivating blacks to confront those who wished to oppress them. Indeed the church was a base for many diverse participants in the civil rights movement. Allowing them to galvanize and bond when it was dangerous to meet elsewhere.
Busloads of Queen of Angels parishioners from New Jersey and their priests and sisters participated in the historic March on Washington in 1963. And when the black Protestant churches in Newark declined to serve as headquarters for the Poor People's Campaign in 1968, Queen of Angels served as the headquarters.
Make no mistake. The civil rights movement was, at it's heart, a religious protest.
Taken from Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech: (emphasis mine)
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."
And let us never forget how King ended that famous speech:
"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
I suppose Howard Dean would look at Martin Luther King Jr. as a religious fanatic today. Should the church not have been involved in politics at the time? And what about now? How many times did we see Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Al Gore speak at Churches during their campaigns? Does that not count somehow?
Does Dean think he can scare us away from our passionate beliefs by threatening to take away our tax exempt status? I don't think he really understands the motivation here.
I also don't think he understands history, politics, and the church very well either.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 5:41 PM
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Some people are so over it:
"Somebody has to be the first one to say it. I'm over it."
"Yes I want to stop any future attacks, and yes I honor the victims, and all of that. But seriously? "Never forget?" Look, as abominable and shocking as it was, "never forget" is a bit much."
A. Bit. Much.
I don't even know where to start. According the poll he took, it looks like the vast majority of those over at Kos are "over it."
Well, this chick ain't over it. And I will never forget. I will never forget the people of the sky. I will never forget the day that monsters took innocent people and flew them into hell. The only comfort I derive is knowing that the hi-jackers are the only ones who stayed there.
I will never forget the walls of faces they showed in New York City on TV every evening for weeks. The missing loved ones. Sheets of paper with the smiles of those no longer able to. The grief etched into the those wandering around clutching their flyers and their hope, but reality wrapping it's cold wet fingers around their heart.
I will never forget the phone calls from the planes and the towers. The last words of love and the bewilderment, confusion, and terror. All visited upon us. And for what? For some insane version of religion? For a belief in a twisted false God whose face is as black as the hearts of the men who listened to it's voice from hell?
Do you think I could ever forget THAT?
Not only will I never forget, I will make sure my children do not forget. I will show them the movies about 9-11. I will show them the footage and play them the newscasts. I will let them listen to the phone calls. I NEVER want them to forget what happens when we ignore the writing on the wall from monsters intent on killing us. Monsters who hate us for no other reason than who we are.
When I talk to my children about Stalin and Hitler, they will also hear the name Osama. They will know what it means when power and evil decide to eradicate a people. They will know what hate looks like. I want them to recognize it. I want them to memorize it's face. I want them to confront it, fight it, and never let it grow.
Let the ones at Kos forget. Let them "get over it." There are enough of us in this country, thank God, who will never "get over it." Enough to make sure none of us, even those who don't deserve it, ever have to suffer the broken heart of America ever again.
Update: As a commenter pointed out, the poll at this Kos diary has changed dramatically since I posted this. The majority now saying no, they haven't gotten over 9-11. Good to know. Maybe this poster doesn't speak for the leftwing. I sure hope not.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 9:35 PM
Guys, this is a MUST READ. The pictures, the words. It's one of Michael Yon's best. First, Michael responds to those who tried to use his "civil war" in Iraq words:
"As I consider this whole manufactured controversy about my intentions in saying, then and now, that Iraq is in a civil war, and whether or not I used the right definition, and even, ridiculous as it seems, whether I have been hijacked by forces that oppose this war, what strikes me as most telling, and truly as most sad, is that, still, more than a year later, almost every soldier I’ve met in Iraq and most recently Afghanistan, still has to ask that same question: Do the people at home know about the progress we have made over here?"
In a previous post he reminds of us of what is great about America:
"For every failed international initiative, we have a dozen disaster relief efforts. For every indictment of corporate greed, American ingenuity compensates with countless technological advancements. For every instance when we turn a blind eye to an atrocity perpetrated by other nations against innocent neighbors or even their own citizens, we have forests of tombstones marking the graves of our soldiers who fought and died to protect the liberty of strangers."
Is that perfect or what? But back to the civil war issue:
"There are no absolute answers to the question of whether we should have invaded Iraq. History will more clearly answer that, and it will judge based largely on the outcome, and that outcome is not clear today even as the fact of the civil war becomes a more accepted premise in our national debate. The reason for this is simple: civil war is not a deterrent to Democracy. In fact, the reverse can be true, a point I made a year ago. Lately, it seems the only part of the debate growing at the same rate as the sectarian attacks is the number of reporters, pundits, politicians and “experts” who are now claiming that Iraq is in civil war. I almost liked it better when I was alone in this, because my only motives were to describe the obvious."
This part is one of the reasons this is a voice I trust:
"I do not report this because I harbor animosity for the current administration, or to magnify any mistakes it has made, but only so that the American people, and readers around the world, can be presented with at least one set of eyes and ears that are reasonably politically color-blind and tone-deaf. If the truth helps the administration, so be it. If the truth damages the administration, so be it. More important is to provide information people can use in their own decision cycles. Whether or not anyone agrees with the reasons for starting this war, we invaded Iraq, and should complete the mission, and that needs to be defined clearly as a stable and democratic Iraq, and not as a date on a calendar. We have to stop treating the truth like a work in progress or a lump of clay that we can shape into an image or icon."
I don't want a cheerleader for the Bush administration. I just want someone who will tell me the truth.
Truer words than these have never been spoken:
"America must not be brash or arrogant, we must never gloss over the obvious or manufacture disinformation or ignore information contrary to the way we wish to see the world, especially given that we have taken the role as the principle world leader. We put ourselves in this position, because we understand the consequences of waiting for consensus. But we are in this position, and the world is watching us. The world is watching us all the time, and none so intently as our enemies. We need to stop doing battle over words, and let the facts inform our decisions. The truth is often a collateral casualty in war, and this has been the case repeatedly in Iraq."
And this is the final truth we need to face:
"But what I saw (and see) as the biggest threat to the outcome was not the increase in sectarian violence among Iraqis. The biggest threat to this mission, and by extension to the future stability of this region and the long term security of the United States and our allies, is and always has been the inability to see, hear and communicate the truth to the American people and our allies. In the final analysis, it is not going to matter if the French support our mission in Iraq, but once Americans turn away from their soldiers in the field, we’ve lost."
Read the whole thing. It's fantastic.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 3:26 PM
Newsbusters bring us this:
You remember Gen. Anthony Zinni? He served under Clinton and stated that he never saw any proof that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. (which was proven not to be true by this "February 29, 2000 briefing by Zinni to Congress wherein the general made it quite clear that “Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region” stating quite unequivocally that Iraq either possessed or was pursuing WMD.")
Well, here we read that Zinni "actually briefed senior Clinton administration officials concerning a massive military strategy to overthrow Saddam. As reported by the Chicago Tribune on October 2, 2000: “Zinni has briefed senior administration officials on a secret war plan that details how the U.S. military, with limited allied help, would seek to topple Hussein. The effort would be massive, involving possibly as many as half a million troops, according to one knowledgeable official.”
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:37 PM
Let's say you are a L.A. Times columnist who doesn't like what some people say about you on the blogs and the internet. What to do? Just make up a screen name and pretend to be someone else defending...well...you.
via Hugh Hewitt
UPDATE: The columnist responds. "I'm not the only one commenting under a pseudonymn! So there!"
UPDATE2: The LA Times suspended his blog.
Hmmm.. I thought it was funny and all, but I didn't want him to lose his job over it.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:44 AM
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
If nothing else illustrates more a certain portion of the leftwing's looniness than this article by Nina Burleigh, I don't know what does.
NRO directed me to this and reminded me who Nina was:
"Last time we paid attention, she had announced that she "would be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."
So you will have to forgive me if I take any moral stance she advocates with a grain of salt.
The article is about her and her family's move to upstate New York to Narrowsburg. She is apprehensive to say the least:
"After growing accustomed to the French social system -- with its cheap medicine, generous welfare, short workweek and plentiful child care -- life back in depressed upstate New York felt especially harsh."
*snort* Is there really any need to comment here?
They decided to enroll their Kindergartener in the local school:
"Still, for the first few months, we felt uneasy. Eighty of Narrowsburg's 319 adults are military veterans and at least 10 recent school graduates are serving in Iraq or on other bases overseas right now. The school's defining philosophy was traditional and conservative, starting with a sit-down-in-your-seat brand of discipline, leavened with a rafter-shaking reverence for country and flag. Every day the students gathered in the gym for the "Morning Program," open to parents, which began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a patriotic song, and then discussion of a "word of the week."
The HORRORS!! But it gets even worse, if you can imagine!
"But it wasn't until our boy came home with an invitation in his backpack to attend a "released time" Bible class that my husband and I panicked. We called the ACLU and learned this was an entirely legal way for evangelicals to proselytize to children during school hours. What was against the law was sending the flier home in a kid's backpack, implying school support. After our inquiry, the ACLU formally called the principal to complain. She apologized and promised never to allow it again."
They panicked. That's right. With an invitation to a Bible class. Because heaven forbid you should be invited to expose your kid to compassion, love, and forgiveness. That would be just wrong. But the story grows even more horrific.
"When we later learned that the cheery kindergarten teacher belonged to one of the most conservative evangelical churches in the community, we were careful not to challenge anyone or to express any opinion about politics or religion, out of fear our son would be singled out. Instead, to counteract any God-and-country indoctrination he received in school, we began our own informal in-home instruction about Bush, Iraq and Washington over the evening news."
Because the news is the most unbiased source of course. And every kindergartener needs to be informed about world events, don't you know? You notice that she never says the teacher ever related her faith in class. Just the thought of an "evangelical" was enough for Nina to yank him out of school. (I suppose if an evangelical yanks his kid out of school because the teacher is.. say, an atheist or a homosexual, that would be wrong in Nina's view?)
Later she explains Iraq to him:
I wanted him to understand how privileged he was to live in a place where bombs weren't raining from the sky. It was a talk I'd tried to have before, but not one he'd ever paid much attention to until that day, trapped in the back seat of our car.
In simple language, I told my son that our president had started a war with a country called Iraq. I said that we were bombing cities and destroying buildings. And I explained that families just like ours now had no money or food because their parents didn't have offices to go to anymore or bosses to pay them. "America did this?" my son asked, incredulous. "Yes, America," I answered. He paused, a long silent pause, then burst out: "But Mommy, I love America! I want to hug America!"
Perhaps explaining that one of the reasons we have no bombs raining from the sky here is because of the war in Iraq and that people there can now live in a Democracy instead of a brutal dictatorship, might put at least another perspective in this poor little boy's head who is so confused with his love for America.
It is a scary thing for a young mind to be taught any love for God and country. Much better to listen to the wise words of his mother who offered the President of the United States a blow job for keeping abortion legal.
Now safely back in Manhatten's upper west side, the Pledge of Alliance is not said at his school. Good thing since Nina states she had to force herself not to sit down in protest when it was said at the old school. She says she has never even seen a flag at the new school. It seems her child has gotten over his patriotism. She breathes a sigh of relief that her child's "childish national pride is shed."
As long as I live I will never understand a woman like Nina Burleigh. I will never understand anything about her. Not her love for abortion rights, not her disgust at our flag and Pledge of Allegiance, not her fear of religious faith, not her yearning for the lifestyle of France. But this is why I am Republican. This woman is who I never ever want to be.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 1:39 PM
I know a lot of people have made up their mind about the Duke rape case because the woman was a stripper. First let say this has NOTHING to do with racism and everything to do with morality. Like I said before, I don't know who is telling the truth here, but if you don't think these guys would do this, then you are fooling yourself.
When I was in college I worked part-time as a photographer. I took party pics at fraternity and sorority parties. One of my first assignments (and I don't know WHAT my boss was thinking) was to send me to the SAE house for Pledge Day, when the pledges find out what fraternity they will join. Back then 18 was the drinking age and drinking was allowed on campus so by the time I got there everyone was pretty much drunk. Did I mention I was the only girl there? Well, I could go on and on about pictures that people asked me to take. Some were so bad that I would just use the flash button on my camera to make them think I had taken a picture.
Anyway, they had this little short guy who was pledging and he had some sort of a trick that when he was drunk he would roll himself up in a ball and let guys "roll" him across the floor. They got the floor wet with beer and away he went. Then they decided it would be fun to roll him naked. I started backing away at this point. I went out to the back yard where an enormous guy peered drunkenly in my face and said "hey, you're sorta cute." The one sober guy there (who, in the small world department, would years later become my brother in law) walked over and kept "Bubba" from trying to kiss me. About this time I heard someone in the house say "We need a naked girl ball too! Where is that picture girl?" My future brother-in-law looked and me and said "run."
And I did. I ran like a bat out of hell until I got to building with a pay phone and called my roommate to come get me. She was so mad she wanted to report it, but I said no, don't be silly. They wouldn't have hurt me, would they? As I continued to take pictures that year I learned that there isn't much a drunk college guy won't do. I know. I took pictures of it.
I pulled so many drunk girls out of terrible situations. It was a great lesson to me. I'm glad I learned it my freshman year. Believe it or not, I liked to party as much as the next college student. But there is a difference between fun and stupid and I think those Duke players just learned the difference the hard way.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 8:05 AM
I don't know who is telling the truth in the Duke Univesity rape scandal, but I do know one small point has not been made. A message that should be sent out to men, young and old everywhere......DON'T HIRE A DAMN STRIPPER FOR YOUR PARTY!
Oh, and for the girls? DON'T BE A DAMN STRIPPER!
Sometimes, we actually reap what we sow a bit sooner than we expected.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:29 AM
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The Governor of Iowa does the right thing:
Gov. Tom Vilsack signed a bill Monday that will force an anti-gay Kansas church to keep its distance at an upcoming funeral of an Iowa National Guardsman.
The governor enacted the law one day before the Westboro Baptist Church planned to picket at the funeral of Sgt. Daniel Sesker, 22, who was killed this month in Iraq.
The group from Topeka, Kan., and other protesters now must stay at least 500 feet away from any funeral or ceremony at a cemetery.
“I have spoken to the Iowa families of fallen soldiers and have become intimately aware of the heartbreak they endure,” Vilsack said in a statement Monday while on a visit to the Middle East.
The bill makes a first offense a simple misdemeanor, punishable with no more than 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. A third offense or more is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $7,500.
The church group, which claims that God is killing soldiers who fight for a country that tolerates homosexuality, has prompted at least two dozen states to consider laws that would keep protesters away from military funerals.
The church issued a statement Monday critical of the Legislature for passing the law, saying protesters also planned to picket the “ignominious, Bible-dumb, pandering demagogic Iowa Legislature.”
A spokeswoman for the group told The Des Moines Register that the law will not keep its members from coming to Iowa, but they will honor the distance requirement.
Yeah, this is that disgusting Fred Phelps group.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 9:44 PM
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 9:38 PM
Monday, April 17, 2006
I don't get to listen to Rush much anymore. But an online buddy (Cormac) sends me transcripts when he thinks something is interesting and I thought this was very interesting (but kind of long). So here is part of Rush from Friday April 14th:
RUSH: Yesterday afternoon at the conclusion of yesterday's program, I went over to a local theater to watch a private screening of United 93. I invited some people to go with me, and a number of them didn't want to go because they were just afraid it would knock 'em out, and you've heard some of the complaints from the theaters that have shown the trailer to this movie, the Upper West Side of New York and other places around the country. "No, no! It's too soon! It's too soon! I can't bear it!" It's not "too soon." If anything, it's too late. I wish this movie had been out two or three years ago. Now, I'm not a movie critic, and I have to be careful here that in describing it, I don't give it away. What can you give away? You all know what happens.
That's the thing. This movie is real. It portrays actual events and it tries to duplicate them as closely as possible. So when you watch this - it's about an hour-40 minutes, hour-45 - when you watch this you know what's going to happen at every stage. Well, you know what's going to happen at areas you know. Some of the behind the scenes things that are portrayed in the movie you'll see for the first time, and I don't know how accurate those are. For example, the North American Defense Command out of Rome, New York, the military up there that's designed to identify rogue aircraft entering our space is actually portrayed as bumbling incompetents, unable to keep track of domestic airliners when they've turned their transponders off. They're issuing orders all over the place, and nobody is getting anything done.
They scramble a couple of F-16s, but they don't have any weapons on them, and they send the F-16s out over the Atlantic Ocean thinking that more hijacked international airlines are coming in rather than chase the hijacked airlines westward, and the air traffic control people, they're portrayed... The whole movie is powerful. I think there's not that much gore in it. A lot of people that I invited didn't want to go because they're just afraid of the gore. There isn't that much. There's some, but there isn't that much. There's a piece of footage of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center that I had not seen before, and it looks like this footage was shot from across the river, like maybe the control tower at Newark International Airport.
This one shows the speed with which that second plane hit the tower, and it looks like it's barreling along. You don't see planes flying this fast this low normally, not civilian airliners. I guess the focus of the movie and the people on Flight 93, United Flight 93, and without giving too much away here, one of the things I told people who asked, "What did you think of it?" Well, it's tough today, in 2006, not to watch this movie within the prism of your own political opinions and attitudes about life in the country today. I think people will have a different perception of this if they had watched this movie, which would be impossible to do, but a couple or three days after it, or even six months after it had happened. But there's been a lot of years that have passed, and in that time a lot of events have happened regarding the war on terror that have shaped political opinion in this country in wide and diverse ways.
For example, it is my opinion that the kook-fringe left, after watching this movie, will come away blaming Bush all over again, despite the fact that the overwhelming emotion I had was sheer anger at the terrorists, bordering on hatred. I was gripping the arms of my seat, my chair. They are not portrayed sympathetically, and that's important. I have seen a lot of movies made in the last couple years. I forget the name of this movie, but Jodie Foster was in it, and her daughter was hijacked from her on board an airplane and there were four Arabs on board, and she was convinced they were the guilty ones, and they were holding her daughter hostage.
None of the crew would help her find her daughter. The Arab looking guys ended up being the angels. They were honest. They were the great ones and the conspirators and the bad guys were the pilot, copilot and a flight attendant. This movie is not that. This movie does not portray the hijackers sympathetically. You will not like these people, and that's important, and I think that's the reaction the vast majority of people who watch the movie are going to have. The reason I say the kook-fringe left will be able to blame Bush - "See? Bush is incompetent" - because of one passage in the movie.
The air traffic control people, or the national air - I'm not sure if was air traffic control or... it's something to do with the FAA. The head of this organization is trying to get hold of the president or vice president to authorize military jets to go up and shoot these hijacked planes down, and he comes in, his chief aide comes in, and says, "I can't find the president. We can't get hold of him. We don't know where the vice president is." So it appears that on the morning of these attacks the president and vice president are nowhere to be found. Well, we know the president was in Tampa, and he was in a classroom with some school kids, and we know that that has been lampooned by the left in Michael Moore's whatever you want to call that piece of propaganda.
So the left will say, shallow as they are, kooky as they are, and as off-the-deep-end as they are, this movie will, in that one little passage, probably confirm for them that they're right all along, that this is Bush's fault. But anybody with half a brain, with any rationality at all cannot help but just be angry at the terrorists - and this movie is going to refocus on the minds of those who see it, the exact reason we are in the war on terror. The footage of the Twin Towers being hit is there. One thing I think should have happened but didn't, the towers do not fall in this movie, and I don't know if they did that because they wanted to keep the chronology accurate, but I thought it would be impactful if the towers fell in this movie.
I'm not going to tell you how they portray the crash of United 93, it could go any number of ways on that and that was one of the things I was most curious about. But the passengers themselves are the focus of this, even though they start with everything in motion, all the four planes that were hijacked. They track that from the moment it happened. They show the terrorists getting up, praying the night before, getting on these airplanes, sitting there nervously waiting to make their moves and so forth. Once you get into the actual United 93 portion of this, these passengers are portrayed as heroes, gutsy. They are inspirational. This is a movie that's going to, I think for those who go to see it, are going to walk out of there with... Well, you're going to walk out in shock, because here's an attempt to accurately portray what goes on and went on on a doomed hijacked airliner where the good guys actually win. This is the only one of the four that did not reach its target, but these people are portrayed as inspirational heroes and gutsy. They learn the other three planes have hit their targets via phone calls that they're making. They make these phone calls in secret without the two terrorist watchdogs knowing that they're doing it, and after awhile they all decide, you know, Todd Beamer said, "Let's roll," and the sequence where they take down the two hijackers watching them and then literally... I almost don't want to describe this to you.
But the way they take over the cockpit and the raw emotion and anger that they are exuding, it's indescribable. You cannot help but think it's real. All of this in the airplane is shot with a hand-held campaigner so it's jerky, it moves around, and the music is powerful. I couldn't tell the melody of course, but it was a great production. Now, I don't know if I saw a prerelease print or if I saw the final version, but there was no cast. They roll the credits, but no cast is identified, and I didn't know if that was on purpose or if they just haven't gotten around to doing it. The movie opens on the 28th. If they don't have cast mentioned in it it's because they don't want to, you know, identify these heroes on this plane and actors playing them, but again, that could just be that this is a prerelease print that we saw yesterday.
RUSH: Let me add a couple more things about the movie. One of the things... we all watched it, we walked out to the lobby in the theater and we were discussing it and one of the things somebody asked me was, "Do you think we've learned anything?"
I said, "You're talking about the way air defenses are portrayed?"
I said, "Obviously half the country hasn't learned anything."
"You know, I see what you mean," and I'm not even talking about air defenses. I'm talking about the people of the country. Half - well, not half. I'm assigning a statistical half the of the country to the libs. It's not that large. Whatever the percentage, libs haven't learned anything. They still don't think this is worth it, they still don't think that this enemy is worth - and, I'll tell you what, these generals and everybody out there demanding that Rumsfeld retire or resign or be fired, you tell me who that's going to benefit. What difference is it going to make putting somebody new in with 32 months to go? What difference? This is all a plan designed to take down Bush. This is all a plan to take down this administration. Rumsfeld is just the latest target.
They may have genuine animosity for him. That probably means he's effective. Most of these ex-generals are ex-Clinton-era guys, Zinni and this stuff. We've got details on some of these people. I'll let you hear what they said about Iraq back when they were running the show. It sounds identical to what you hear Rumsfeld say about Iraq building up to this current war that we're having. I think that whatever percentage of the country is made up of kooks, fringe liberals and so forth, they have not learned the lesson of 9/11, and I have no clue if they venture into a theater to watch this, if they will learn anything from it other than stoking their irrational assessment that it's all Bush's fault, and they truly believe that, and they truly believe that Bush is creating more terrorists or Rumsfeld or whoever.
One of the things that amazed me was how gripped I was by this movie. There is not a moment I looked to my watch, "Okay, how long to go on this?" I usually do that during every movie I watch. At some point I look at the watch to see how long I've been watching. I didn't do that once, didn't do it till the movie was over. I had no idea how much time had passed. The way this was put together, it's suspenseful from the moment it opens, and I think that's incredible, given that everybody knows ultimately what's going to happen. You know at every stage of this movie what's going to happen when you're watching the radar of American Flight 11 leave Boston until it leaves the screen when they turn off the transponder in the cockpit.
You know what's going to happen, and yet there's a part of me, there was one little moment where I said, "Gosh, I hope what I know is going to happen doesn't happen." Just one fleeting moment, because now when you're watching. We see it. We know the past. "Can we stop it from happening again?" and that was the question I was asked. "Have we learned anything?" and I think based on the Moussaoui trial, "Yeah, we're trying to fix a lot of things." The Patriot Act. You look at this boondoggle. I mentioned this a little bit yesterday. The Moussaoui trial, his death penalty phase, the government is seeking death on the basis that Moussaoui could have stopped 9/11 but he didn't tell anybody.
That may be, you know, legally, factually true, but I'm still amazed that here's the big, bad US government depending on a conspirator to admit it or we have no chance? The government's running around saying (whining), "Well, well, he didn't tell us! Don't blame us, he didn't tell us. He's gotta die!" Fine, put him to death. He deserves it. But you find out why we couldn't ask him. We couldn't ask him! We couldn't look at his computer because of the wall that Jamie Gorelick and the Clinton administration had built. We couldn't share information. The FBI couldn't share information with the CIA and any of this because of the Clinton era wall on fighting these terrorists in legal proceedings using grand jury testimony. That's secret, and there were a lot of other reasons for the wall as well.
So Bush comes in, has to clean up the mess left by the Clinton people who were inattentive to real problems. We got the Patriot Act. We've got the NSA foreign surveillance program. The Democrats are trying to kill it. They tried to kill the Patriot Act the second time around, applauded when they thought they had. So you ask, "Have we learned anything?" I'm not sure. In fact, I'm damn sure that a significant portion of the country hasn't learned diddly-squat because they're so poisoned with partisan rage that they haven't the guts to face up to the fact that we have an enemy. Their enemy is George W. Bush.
If we try to push Rumsfeld out, if you people join me - not you, but if people join this effort of these ex-generals, which is the latest drive-by media hit to get rid of Rumsfeld, it's only going to benefit the enemy. They're going to be laughing themselves silly in the caves on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and over in Tehran and some of the mosques in Iraq, they're just going to be rubbing their hands in glee - and they're going to be thanking their allies, the ex-generals of the past Clinton administration and the Democratic Party in this country. For some reason there seems to be an ongoing effort to try to sabotage any effort we make to defeat this particular enemy.
This attack on Rumsfeld is an attack on Bush and the war effort. It would be a huge victory for the enemy, and who are they going to confirm in his place? Well, send Cheney over there? That would really go great. Can you imagine confirmation hearings for a new secretary of defense? It would be all about torture and so forth. They're reviving today in certain places on the Internet, they're reviving all of these incidents where Rumsfeld was personally involved in torture. Well, hell's bells! Go see this movie and tell me if you wouldn't want to do something to these creeps that did this to us.
This movie will revive this kind of emotion in you. It's just frustrating as hell, especially having seen the movie, to come out and understand that there's a significant portion of this country and the drive-by media who wants to treat these people that hijacked these airplanes and want to do it again and want to do it with even greater impact and in greater numbers, treat them like just innocent little kids, we shouldn't be tough - it just boggles the mind. So I don't know if we've learned anything as a full nation. No, we haven't. I hold out hope, and I pray that the majority of the country has learned a lesson. You think the Dubai port deal would indicate that they have, and some of the opposition to immigration.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:18 PM
Book recommendations made by a reference librarian at OSU Mansfield and a member of the school’s First Year Reading Experience Committee like “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian, “The Professors” by David Horowitz, “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” by Bat Ye’or, and “It Takes a Family” by Sen. Rick Santorum, made 3 professors (female I presume) feel "unsafe."
So the librarian was put under investigation and has been slapped with a “sexual harassment” charge
They. Felt. Unsafe.
Can anyone here say "Wussy?"
What ever happened to strong feminists? You can't even stand up to a librarian and speak your piece without going to court because these books are so "scary?"
There are many many books on the left that make me angry or depressed, but unsafe?
Who ARE these people???
"Ohio State University officials on Friday cleared Scott Savage, a librarian at the Mansfield campus, of harassment charges filed against him based on his recommendation of an anti-gay book for a freshman reading assignment. A conservative group had threatened to sue the university if the charges were not dropped. They were dropped the same day that the group went public with its complaints about the way the librarian was being treated."
A commenter tells me the professors were men, which makes the whole thing even more wussy.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 9:26 PM
Hugh Hewitt pointed out that Cheney gave $6.87 million to charity this past year and wondered if any one came across that number anywhere in press accounts of the Cheneys' taxes.
But it reminded me of 1998 when Vice President Al Gore's charitable giving for the year came out and it was .....are you ready? $353.00.
Let's contrast and compare. $6.87 million to....$353.
But we Republicans don't care about the poor, right? Cheney eats babies, right? Al Gore loves the poor AND the earth. He hardly uses his private jet.
The reason I remembered what Al Gore gave that year was because I couldn't believe that we had given about 5 times what the Vice President of the United States had.
Selfish greedy rightwingers. Yeah
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:35 PM
"After nearly five years of dealing with all the terrible and often absurd abuses of free speech in higher education, I am a hard person to shock, but hats off to professor Sally Jacobsen of Northern Kentucky University (NKU) for showing me the most perverted inversion of the concept of free speech I have seen in a long time.
Jacobsen, a professor at NKU, invited students in one of her classes to “to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy [an anti-abortion] display if they wished to.” The anti-abortion display had been erected by an NKU student group with permission from university officials. You can see a picture of her apparently actually helping destroy the display (which was a field of approximately 400 tiny crosses) in The Northerner On Line. George Orwell’s name is bandied about a lot these days, but cases like this demonstrate why: a university professor is trying to claim destruction of others’ property and expression equals free speech? That’s madness.
When asked about the incident, Jacobsen said “Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged."
Jeff at PW sums it up perfectly:
"And there it is—the new “tolerance” expressed in neat and concise fashion: anything that offends me (the argument goes) is by its very nature intolerant and can be—nay, must be—squelched, through violence if necessary. And in fact, the very act of squelching such “intolerance” is, conveniently, the apotheosis of tolerance!"
Up is down. Black is white. Penn is Teller.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 11:55 AM
Because God knows you won't read about in the MSM.
This from General William Grimsley:
"Grimsley, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Combat Brigade Team during the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said history — not current events — will tell the true story of Iraq's metamorphosis.
And that story will show how Iraq ultimately emerged from almost 40 years of a regime that ignored the people's needs and undermined its potential, Grimsley, now a military assistant to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said during an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel."
From Major Kevin Carter:
"Charter believes not enough attention is being paid to the progress being made by Iraqis in taking control of their country. He said the people of Iraq are grateful Saddam Hussein has been overthrown.
"I was told by an Iraqi that only two things could get rid of Saddam, the United States or Allah. I will never forget that," Charter said. "An Iraqi officer told me that if we just up and left the country would implode. They are so grateful for us being there and toppling Saddam. Even the Sunnis, who benefited under Saddam, thanked us."
This is just THIS WEEK'S construction update in Iraq:
* A water system is under construction in Fallujah. When completed it will provide 200,000 residents with clean water.
* A firing range is under construction at the police academy in Hillah.
* Renovations are complete on the police station in Kadhimiya.
* The rehabilitation of a sewer pump station is complete in Mansour.
* In Baghdad, construction is complete on three solid waste transfer stations.
* A project to provide 10,000 residents in Basrah is complete.
* Construction of two power stations in Erbil Province is complete.
* Reconstruction is complete on two fire stations in Karbala.
* 13 of 15 school projects are complete in Karbala.
* Construction of new classrooms is now complete in Mosul.
There are tons more. Read it all.
In related good news. Let's hope this is true.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:24 AM
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I got to catch David Horowitz debate Professor Ward Churchill on C-span at George Washington University last night. It was a re-run from April 6th. It was truly entertaining and enlightening. I also really enjoyed the fact that it was not made personal in any way and was civil and on point. (transcript here)
I have to say that I love David Horowitz and I found Professor Ward Churchill's controversial paper where he questioned the innocence of many of the people killed on 9-11 as "little Eichmanns" disgusting. So I am absolutely biased here. But for the life of me I cannot understand how anyone could argue with Horowitz's main point, which is that the classroom should be free of political bias and that teachers should teach what the class is "about," not what the Professor's ideology is.
Horowitz made it clear that he believes deeply in academic freedom and even wrote a Op-Ed piece after the stir up with Professor Churchill saying that Churchill should not be fired because of his writings on the internet, because that was not in connection with his class and is free speech. I agree. But alumni have a right to retain money they would have given to the University of Colorado as well if they are offended. That is free expression.
Churchill even referred to "patriotism history" that was written in the 1950's that colored history with only a pro-American view. Horowitz agreed with him that that was totally wrong and at that moment gave the intellectual smackdown of the evening. Horowitz said that that is why it is ironic that people such as Churchill would want to do the exact same thing, only with leftwing ideology.
Churchill reminded me of every verbose professor I ever had that just droned on and on with convoluted speech, using the most words when a few would do. I tried very hard to view his points objectively. Churchill said it was impossible for a professor's political ideology not to be put forward in a classroom. That it was a professor's job to "profess." That it was the nature of the learning process. Horowitz gave example after example of leftwing politics being injected into courses that had nothing to do with politics and students harassed when they were known to be Republicans. Horowitz said that neither rightwing or leftwing ideology should be indoctrinated into students, a captive audience, but rather both sided presented fairly and the student comes to his or her own conclusion.
Who could seriously argue against that???
Well, Churchill tried, but he didn't do very well.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 4:00 PM
This weekend I got to see what is sure to be a classic, "Benchwarmers." Probably the stupidest movie ever. But it did have some funny moments. It is "the bully vs. the nerd" kind of thing. If you were a nerd in school, I wouldn't recommend you seeing the movie sober.
I also saw King Kong and I thought it was pretty good despite being too long. The difference inbred between male and females became apparent as I watched it with my sons and one of their friends.
In the final scene where King Kong is about to die and fall off the empire state building and the girl cries, the conversation between us goes like this:
Son 1: "Why do they keep looking and looking at each other! It's stupid!"
Mom: "It's the chick part. It's to show how much they care for each other."
Son's friend: "Oh great! First they give us manlove in "Brokeback Mountain" and now they give us "monkeylove" with King Kong."
Mom: "Ahem.. this has nothing to do with sexuality, it's about love though."
Son2: "oh good, here comes the guy part."
Mom: (eyes filling with tears as King Kong dies) "What's the guy part?"
Son2: (voice filled with anticipation) "When the monkey goes splat."
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 3:46 PM
My parents gave me this portrait of Jesus when I was baptized. It hangs in my bedroom. Yesterday my youngest son asked me if this is what Jesus looked like. I told him no, that this was just an artist's rendering of Jesus. "What does Jesus look like?" he asked. And this is what I told him.
"When you bring dinner for a family who just had baby. That is what Jesus looks like. When you serve food at a soup kitchen. That is what Jesus looks like. When you stop and change a stranger's tire even when it makes you late for work. That is what Jesus looks like. When you hold a friend's hand who is sick from Chemo and visit her in the hospital every day. That is what Jesus looks like. When you help a scared young girl to have her baby. That is what Jesus looks like. When you forgive a relative who has hurt you. That is what Jesus looks like. When you love someone even when they aren't the person you want them to be. That is what Jesus looks like.
Never let anyone tell you who Jesus was. He told us who he was. But he didn't tell us what he looked like because he knew that we would know what he looked like......
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 3:20 PM