Recalling What is Right About America
A nation is defined by its aspirations and accomplishments –
By Robert Charles – – Sunday, December 21, 2014
Everywhere, we suddenly hear words of division, difference, recrimination. Suddenly, America is Ferguson, Missouri writ large. But are we? Are we not still Americans, first? We harbor 316 million different dreams, each born of one spirit. Peace and love, freedom, respect and being “one people” are all hard stuff. What’s new? It has always been so. Isn’t that what America is really about? Isn’t that what makes us Americans, that belief in the possible?
Is trust hard to build and maintain? Sure, but it always has been. Still, we are the exceptional people who have shown it can be done, adversity notwithstanding. We have learned over two centuries that progress requires patience. Ask Booker T. Washington, Satchel Page, Frank Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Louie Armstrong or Michael Jackson. But let’s get deeper than that. Ask Mae Jemisim, Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham or Yvonne Cagle. Now there are some real Americans, the sort we can all pause and admire.
You haven’t heard of them? Well, you should have. Mae was a Stanford graduate, majoring in chemical engineering, fluent in Russian, French and Swahili, and a doctor of medicine from Cornell University. What else? She served in the Peace Corps and was an avid aviator. Oh yes, something else. A black American, she was a Space Shuttle astronaut.
So was Stephanie — three missions on the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Joan? Another astronaut, on the Shuttle Discovery, an expert in electrical engineering with 308 hours in space. And Yvonne? Also an astronaut, a biochemist and a doctor of medicine at the Johnson Space Flight Center. They are all women and all black Americans. They are also incredible Americans.
What’s the point? It’s worth taking time to think about the hope, achievement, promise and exceptionalism they each represent. Because they are women and black by heritage? Yes, and because they are American. Did they overcome incredible obstacles? You bet. Did they face more obstacles than others? Almost certainly. But more to the point, they believed in the possible — for America and for themselves.
They are heroes who risked all for their country — no excuses, no half-measures. They wanted and found windows of opportunity, then flew through them. They must have had beacons in their lives — mentors, teachers and parents who cared, communities around them and people who reminded them on more than one occasion to keep believing in America and in themselves. And that is America. They realized their dreams, and made us all proud as they did.
What do their stories, and millions of others like them, tell us? One thing clearly: Look up and forward, not back and down. They looked at insecurity, defeatism and difference, and stepped beyond them all. Against impossible odds — since becoming an astronaut is a 15 in 2,000 proposition — they said bring it on. They saw the sun behind the clouds, locked on and showed can-do spirit.
Who are we at our best, if not them? While we have our differences, we remain one people with a common belief in the possible. We live in an exceptional place, founded on an exceptional document, built on courage, spirit and heart. So let us stop being defined by others, or letting others redefine us as smaller than we are. False leaders divide for their own purposes, some by geography and others by religion, skin color, attractions, distractions and disaffections. Some want us to divide from each other on the basis of where we are from or where our parents hailed from on this blue globe. But that is a misunderstanding of America.
We are defined by the desire to aspire, reinforced by the inspiration of others and by how we inspire them. That is the stuff of which Americans are really made. That is how we have all defied odds, reached toward the heavens in our own ways, leaped higher and bridged gaps thought unbridgeable. That is what we must do again.
Only by daring to trust, risk and believe can we live up to our legacy — that “anything really is possible.” The media tell us it is easier to be against than for, deconstruct than construct, blame than assume responsibility, grow frustrated than grow patient, attack than forgive, deflect than to lead. Yet we know that is not who we really are. We are forward movement, which only comes with believing.
As the call to divide echoes, just let it fade. Instead, let’s remember Mae, Stephanie, Joan and Yvonne, four great Americans. We cannot all become astronauts, but we can see beyond our differences and lift each other up. If not now, as we count our own blessings in the Christmas season and resolve to do better, then when? If we can lead from the heart, leaders will follow. That is how it works in America.
• Robert B. Charles is a former assistant secretary of state and former staff director and counsel to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Kroger Sees Profits Soar After Ignoring Anti-Gun Boycott Threat
Our friend AWR Hawkins at Breitbart made me smile with his headline, Kroger Profits Up 21 Percent After Refusing To Ban Guns.
In mid-August Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a campaign pressuring Kroger to bar law-abiding citizens from openly carrying guns for self-defense in their stores. Kroger refused to change its policy and in the third quarter–“ending Nov. 8″–Kroger saw a “21 percent increase in profit…compared with the same period last year.” According to Supermarket News, Kroger’s “net earnings for the quarter were $362 million.” Breitbart News previously reported that Moms Demand launched their campaign on August 18. On that day Kroger subsidiary grocer Fred Meyer said it would not change its polices and less than two weeks later, Kroger said it would not be changing policies either. Both said they would continue to honor state and municipal laws at their store locations.
Moms Demand Action is primarily a social media and advertising campaign that uses a $50 million investment from Michael Bloomberg to feign the appearance of a large “grassroots” gun control organization. While Moms Demand has done well online and in favorable local media stories, they have consistently failed to “put boots on the ground” in terms of having actual engaged protesters contributing time and money to their events. When they attempted to “confront” the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis earlier this year, just 156 people showed up, including the media and the armed security guards and armored SUV driver of Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts. In contrast, the NRA annual meeting boasted a turnout of more than 70,000.
A recent protest of the Kroger’s shareholder meeting yielded just dozens of protesters. Most lower-level Moms Demand protests draw less than a dozen activists, and these don’t appear to have much local interest, as the same handful of supporters tromps from city to city, forcing people to logically wonder if this “grassroots campaign” is nothing more or less than a small number of paid staffers in each state. Curiously, while Moms Demand threatens boycotts in an attempt to punish businesses for allowing citizens to exercise their basic human right to self-defense, the more than 57,000 businesses that have declared themselves to be supportive of gun owners are seeing their profits soar. It only makes sense.
Gun ownership is both more popular now than it has ever been, growing across demographic boundaries. More people own firearms now than at any previous moment in our Republic’s history. Despite spastic contractions in a few deeply anti-liberty states, gun rights overall are expanding nationwide as a result of both favorable court rulings and legislative action by a growing Second Amendment movement.
It seems obvious that siding on the side of rights and liberty is the right moral stance to take, but as Kroger is proving, it’s the right business decision to make as well.
Posted by Bob Owens on December 8, 2014
Democrat Corruptocrats Look Out for One Another
When Attorney Generals refuse to prosecute crimes by fellow members of their party, they reveal themselves to be standard Democrat Corruptocrats.
Looks like the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, is an “A” student in the Eric Holder School of Protecting Corruption through Partisan Law.
Thus we read in the Daily Signal: “Two Pa. Legislators Indicted for Voter ID Bribes in a Case the State AG Refused to Prosecute.”
A grand jury convened by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has indicted two Democratic state legislators for accepting bribes in exchange for voting against a voter ID bill, among other legislative actions.
The grand jury findings also represent a withering rejection of the unjustifiable behavior of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who shut down the three-year investigation that caught state Democratic legislators on video and audio tapes taking bribes. Williams stepped in and successfully prosecuted the case.
As the grand jury reported, it had 26 recordings featuring Rep. Ronald G. Waters, who accepted nine cash payments from a confidential informant totaling $8,750. The grand jury had 24 recordings of Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown accepting five cash payments totaling $4,000. Waters agreed to vote against Pennsylvania House Bill 934, a voter ID bill, in exchange for $2,000. Brown also agreed to vote against House Bill 934 for the same amount.
Brown was so eager to vote the way she had been paid by the informant that she offered to “get up and speak” on the floor of the Pennsylvania House in opposition to the bill. Both “representatives testified before this Grand Jury and admitted their criminal conduct.”
When those who are preeminently tasked with upholding the law are rotten to the core we’ve got a major problem… And right now that means we have a major problem.
Justice is supposed to be blind—meaning, the only thing that matters is what a person does, not what he looks like, or what position he holds in life. Looks like Holder and Kane specialize in putting the blindfold over their own eyes. And that blindfold is emblazoned with one word: “Democrat.”
Bob Allen is a veteran of more than 30 years in media, and has been spreading trouble across State lines since 1986. Most of his career involves producing, writing, and co-hosting syndicated talk and information radio programs, and he is currently Director of Programming for a national television network.
© 2014 Political Outcast
Tea Party Congressional Warning Goes Viral!
Tea Party Command Center
Dear Fellow Tea Party Loyalist,
I’m about to reveal something shocking to you.
I really thought long and hard but I have to share it with you. I promised you that I would always be forthright and honest no matter how grim or frightening. I’m having trouble believing it myself. My thoughts are filled with the unthinkable acts Obama is planning to commit against our beloved nation now that he has nothing to lose and cannot be reelected.
The abuse of power and the blatant disregard for the office of the president of the United States has shocked Patriots everywhere, embarrassed America and fractured the freedom that we have all come to love and embrace.
Obama’s actions are utterly disgraceful—from his actions to legalize illegals to his willingness to import deadly disease without character and passion for the women, children and families of America. Every day I hear more stories of how Congressmen are worrying about the shockwaves that could smother America and turn our great land into a Third World nation overnight.
Obama will wreak havoc from the stock market to the supermarket simply because he wants his own way his way. His New World Order spells death to liberty and a complete conversion into a socialist fascist state.
And that is why the TEA PARTY IS FIGHTING BACK!
We’ve created a message so powerful it’ll rock the Obama socialists—stop them dead in their tracks. We’re going to send a powerful CONGRESSIONAL WARNING that’ll make their blood boil and their stomach churn. Are you with me?
Please say yes. This is WAR. Our strategy could stop Obama cold but once it’s deployed there is no telling how he will take revenge on the American people.
I’m sharing this plan with you because I want you to be part of it but first…
I need you to know something.
You know all those rallies, protests, demonstrations, marches, letters, faxes, phone calls and clandestine operations we have in place? If you do nothing to help us you can kiss them goodbye. Obama will just take America out completely—he’ll have NO opposition.
We voted in some strong Tea Party conservative congressman this last election and they are in place, ready to protect America. If you really want Obama stopped, stripped of the presidency, then support us and help with our Tea Party Strategy.
I need to know today if you are with me. I can’t do it alone!
a.. Posted by Asst Natl Dir Melony B. DeFord on December 20, 2014 at 7:59am in Tea Party
Plastic bag war may come to Sacramento
Plastic bag manufacturers are looking to repeal California’s plastic bag ban via referendum. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is taking the matter in his own hands by saying he would seek a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags if the manufacturers are successful in signature gathering.
Plastic bag manufacturers are optimistic they will gather more than half a million signatures needed to qualify a measure on the 2016 statewide ballot to repeal California’s new prohibition on plastic bags, a representative said Monday.
The declaration followed an announcement by Mayor Kevin Johnson that he would seek a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags if the manufacturers were successful in signature gathering. If that opposition submits 504,760 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by Dec. 30, the bag ban law would be placed on hold until the Nov. 2016 election. Johnson has become “another mayor that is not allowing voters to weigh in on this issue,” said Mark Daniels of Hilex Poly, a South Carolina-based manufacturer that is funding the bag referendum.
San Francisco, Los Angeles and 129 other jurisdictions in California already have passed bag bans. In nearly every case the City Council, not voters, have adopted the measure, said Daniels.
“Is it any wonder why companies continue to flee California?” asked Daniels, a vice president at Hilex Poly and chairman of the American Progressive Bag Association, a manufacturers trade group. Policymakers should “respect the vote of people who believe that manufacturing jobs should remain in California,” he said. He added that plastic bag manufacturing supports about 2,000 jobs in California that would be lost under the bag ban.
In September, Gov. Jerry Brown approved the nation’s first prohibition on single-use plastic bags. The ban applies to grocery stores and pharmacies in July 2015 and to convenience and liquor stores one year later. In a signing statement, the governor wrote that the law would reduce “the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself.” In promoting a citywide ban, the mayor said in a statement Monday that plastic bags cost Sacramento hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in environmental cleanup.
“These single-use plastic bags didn’t exist 40 years ago, and we want to make sure they don’t exist in Sacramento in the near future,” Johnson said.
Fifty nine percent of California voters said they would uphold the plastic bag ban if it were put to a vote, while just 34 percent they would want to overturn the law, according to a University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll released in November.
Daniels said bag manufacturers expect to collect about 800,000 signatures in support of overturning the law — an action he characterized as a better indicator of public opinion on the matter, he said. Hilex Poly has spent a little over $2 million on the effort, he said.
Allen Young covers state legislation, regulation and contracts, as well as economic news, international trade and economic development for the Sacramento Business Journal.
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome.
When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.
So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders. But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.
Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter’s star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Reposted from Wall Street Journal