Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Song, So Much to Say

Young America's Foundation

Sunny - Hi 69 Lo 51 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 72 Lo 38 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Rain - Hi 44 Lo 34 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: So Much to Say, Dave Matthews Band

Ramble:

Just a quick note on a couple of things... Michael and I are strong supporters of Young America's Foundation. It is one thing to preach to the choir--our generation, but the reality is that the future of our country is in the hands of young people and that is where the focus should be. Children are indoctrinated into left leaning views at an early age in the most innocent ways. I love cartoons, but can not stomach most of them, the subtle yet constant drumbeat message is there for the taking. How things are taught in school , the constant drumbeat of television, radio, movies and the internet, the shift in philosophy of team sports, the arts, etc... and once a child has entered college, they are pummeled by left thinking professors and organizations.

Ronald Reagan described their mission, "Young America's Foundation programs offer invaluable assistance to young men and women searching for the encouragement and understanding necessary to reinforce the values of a free society and individual responsibility. As young conservatives, you have a very special task before you — that of developing the political awareness of your fellow students."

I urge you to do a couple of things:
1. Visit Young America's Foundation website.
2. Go to Townhall.com and go to the podcast links, there you will find recorded speeches by today's top conservatives. Go HERE now or if you are not sure or don't have time to go through the list, then listen to THIS ONE. It is story I had not heard and a recollection from someone who dearly loves this country. Listen to what he says.

You can either listen to these podcasts on your computer or you can download them to your iPod/MP3 player.

In the meantime, I have been working on a couple of posts however, the terrorist attacks in India are pretty disturbing and have distracted me. I hope and pray the new team coming into office is paying attention and realizes the world is not a safe place and people still want us dead simply because we are Americans or simply because we are Jewish...

Ah, I will let you in on a little secret, I am going to be moving my blog in the new year. You can take a sneak peak here... It is still under construction, but I think it is coming along nicely. Anyone know what is up with Blogrolling??

Now, a little video I took last week for my Scootertrash Hubby... His totem... the blue heron (and yes that is snow).

video

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Song, We'll Meet Along the Way

Lima Company Remembered This Thanksgiving

Scattered Showers - Hi 72 Lo 58 for Baghdad, Iraq
Mostly Sunny - Hi 74 Lo 40 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Partly Cloudy - Hi 50 Lo 35 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: We'll Meet Along the Way, HEM

Ramble:

Go get some coffee first... I have a lot to ramble about this week so bare with me.

This past week I traveled to Pascagoula, Mississippi via Louisville, Atlanta, and Gulfport. (There isn't a direct flight from Cincinnati to Gulfport... and Cincinnati airfare was over $900.00... travel 1 1/2 hours south to Louisville airfare is a little over $300.00... go figure.) The sunny skies were a welcome change although it was a tad chilly for southerners. The flight from Atlanta to Gulfport was humorous in the sense that a handful of pigeons not interested in the chilly climate in Atlanta decided to board our little commuter seeing this would be a much more efficient means of flying south. Too funny... After shooing the pigeons out of the jet, our flight attendant as described by one of my travel mates was no doubt someone who won a law suit with the airlines and was most likely a girls physical education teacher in a previous career... definitely not your stereotypical flight attendant. Prior to take off she broke the cable on the door so we sat and waited for it to be repaired.

Now our trip home from Gulfport to Atlanta was smooth sailing until smoke filled the cabin of the commuter. The pilot's voice came over the intercom stating something to the effect that he had shut off the air conditioning unit... 2 seats ahead of me was a pilot catching a ride home and he and the flight attendant were chatting with a great deal of enthusiasm to the pilot in the cockpit... Once we landed and began to taxi it felt as if we were going to take off again... the pilot floored it and hauled @$$ to the terminal. We pulled up --sort of-- to a terminal... this time the pilot calmly stated, "please quickly gather your belongings and exit the plane quickly and calmly." Nice. I was in row 3 and was off the plane and on the tarmac where I saw one of the engines smoking... good times.

We stayed at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi- a very nice casino and resort on the gulf. You may remember Jim Cantore standing in front of the Beau Rivage reporting on Hurricane Katrina. The Hard Rock Cafe Casino and Resort was next door under construction. Needless to say, after Katrina... the Hard Rock was gone and the Beau Rivage was in bad shape. The last time I saw the Beau Rivage all the windows had been blown out, part of it was missing. It has been a while since I was last down here, still a lot of devastation, but the rebuilding continues. The picture to the left was taken with my cell phone, so it is pretty poor quality. You can see the top of the neck of the Hard Rock guitar in the lower left... But that sunrise was spectacular. The only thing that was missing was my better half.

Besides the meeting we had with our customer, (and returning home safely) the most important part of the trip for me was seeing all the men and women in uniform. Every flight we had included active duty servicemen. All were heading overseas. I can't tell you how humbling it is to see these young men and women preparing themselves. This time of year we are all busy with thoughts of the holidays... the hustle and bustle. Take a moment to remember them. They are off to be in harms way.

So with thoughts of the men and women I saw in the airports earlier in the week. On Thursday, after I was back home safe and sound and since I had the day off, I went to Union Terminal to see the Lima Company Memorial. Words can not express how moving this memorial is.

The faces of the young men were absolute perfection. Anita Miller, the inspired artist, captured the spirit of each of the young bright eyed men. I was captivated by each one. I can not express adequately what it was like to stand there. The portraits form a circle. To look at the portraits you must enter that circle and you are then surrounded by these men. Even though these are paintings of the men, there is a sense of safety in that perimeter, a sense of camaraderie between those men that we mere civilians will never comprehend. In front of each portrait are the actual combat boots of the young man that wore them. The families provided the boots and I must tell you that was probably the toughest part of this exhibit. On the outer perimeter of the circle are the names of each young man, their age, their rank, their hometown. There are flowers, letters and other memorabilia left by loved ones allowing those of us not lucky to have known them in life an opportunity to capture a glimpse of what they were, who they were.

Here are the photos... the lighting was not optimal, but I hope you gather a sense of what it was like to stand in the middle of these fallen heroes.

Anita Miller was able to capture the spark of each young man. They were alive and popped off the canvas, the personal items added to this. I was there pretty much by myself and spent about two hours looking at the paintings and reading the letters and cards and looking at the scrapbooks and photos. To the families and loved ones of these young men lost three years ago, my heart and prayers go out to you. The sacrifice you have endured is more than I can imagine. I thank you for raising sons that felt such a calling must be answered. I thank the wives and fiances and girlfriends for loving these young men. I thank the siblings and cousins and friends and all those that were touched by these fine men. My heart goes to the children of these men. Your father was a hero and I am so sorry you will only know him through the pictures and stories you are told.

Semper Gratus.

Click on each photo to enlarge.

Eric Bernholz, Dustin Derga, and Nick Erdy




Dustin

Nick's Boots

Nick

Tim Bell, Justin Hoffman, and Nicholas Bloem


William Wightman, Augie Schroeder, and Grant Fraser
The following was read at Grant's eulogy. Grant was not from the state of Ohio, but from Alaska. It is quite moving and gives a you a glimpse of the man and how he was seen by those that loved him.
Chris Dixon, Travis Youngblood, and Wesley Davids

Recollections of Chris

Wesley was from California. Below is a photocopy of the letter he penned in the event he was killed. Although profoundly personal, his family thought it was important enough to share. To be so young and to be so brave, to understand what his calling was... to be able to share these thoughts so clearly with his loved ones...


Wes
Andre Williams, Michael Cifuentes, and David Kreuter


Andre's Mom took a shirt he wore and made this frame. The shirt was starting to wear out on the back. So personal. I wept when I touched it.



Kendall Ivy, David Wimberg, and Jonathan Grant
Jourdan Grez, Chris Dyer, and Aaron Reed


Chris was from Cincinnati. I was privileged to shake his father's hand
Anthony Goodwin and Chris Lyons


So this Thursday, as we sit down with our families, some more dysfunctional than others. Be kind to each other (unless it is your flaming lib Aunt who just won't shut up). Thank God for blessing us for being born in a country where we are free and can choose our own path in life. Take a moment as you are saying the blessing or toasting each other to say a prayer or raise a glass to these men from Lima Company. There are others there today that have also answered the calling. Say a prayer for them too.


video

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Song, Ghost in this House

Amish Country And Remembering Nick Erdy

Sunny - Hi 73 Lo 54 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 66 Lo 39 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Flurries - Hi 39 Lo 34 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Ghost in this House, Allison Krauss and Union Station

Ramble:

Michael made our annual trek up to Amish country this past Friday. He and I were absolutely giddy about the trip--- definitely an "old people moment". Really, you would have thought we were on our way to Cancun... Holmes County, Ohio is about 3 1/2 hours northeast of us. We had perfect weather and it was simply a beautiful day. It was the first time we had ever visited on a Friday and this late in the year---We typically make the drive to see the fall colors. That wasn't in the cards this year, but seriously, it was so much more enjoyable... far less people.. We quickly realized Friday is wash day in Amish country--- We saw clothing out drying everywhere. It was pleasant to see-- reminded me of being a kid and my grandma hanging the laundry outside to dry. I remember the clothes line posts that she would secure under the clothes line to hike the line up high so the clothing wouldn't drag. I remember the sheets billowing in the breeze and running in between them, making believe it was a curtain to a stage where I would perform some brilliant song for all to hear. I still remember how wonderful the sheets would smell when she would pull them off the line...

Now, the food in Amish country is... Oh my gosh... incredible... homemade pies and bread. We had dinner at a place called Boyd & Wurthmann Restaurant. It was cozy--- home cooked food. Served by lovely young Mennonite and Amish girls, the service was impeccable, the portions- huge... It was at this point we decided that someone should invent a gravy that could also be used as a dip. OMG...
We went to some of the shops but only found a couple of places that interested us--a bulk food store... which was pretty cool for Michael and an incredible antique store. In fact, I have never seen it's equal anywhere. Run by another member of the Amish community- I could not believe how many pieces I found that I instantly fell in love with. I have quite literally been looking for a china closet for 10 years. I found at least a dozen there I could have taken home at that moment. The rest of the shops we visited were of the "cute variety". The choxkie--- the overly cute painted signs that say things like, "friendship" and "love" with teddy bears and cute snowmen painted on wood or tin all of which is made in China or India... you know, the stuff you find in the Tenderhearts mail order catalog. The trip was rejuvenating for the mind and soul. Next time, hopefully we will leave with a beautiful piece of furniture hand crafted by someone over a century ago- or possibly a beautifully handmade quilt... or one of those way cool Amish made wicker baskets. Our focus was on the scenery and those areas not inundated by tourism, but rather the freshly plowed fields and the laundry and the big skies, rolling hills and gorgeous valleys, and the young Amish children selling their wares and tending their chores... very nice...very nice indeed.


On Saturday, November 22, the Fourth Annual Dinner and Auction benefiting the Nick Erdy Foundation will take place. I never knew Nick, but like so many in this community, I felt I did. I have written about him and others we lost from Lima Company. He is still remembered. He is not forgotten. A memorial for those lost from the 3/25 in 2005 has arrived in Cincinnati it has been on display in Ohio's State Capital since Memorial Day. In the coming days, I will make the trip to Union Terminal to remember those fine young men. I expect it to be highly emotional.
Nick Erdy and Dustin Derga were best friends. Dustin was killed on May 8. Nick was killed on May 11. They had plans together... to become firemen... or to open a bar in Florida... to live their lives... to get married to their girls back home, who also had become close friends. May 2005 changed everything for those in Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment. Remember them. Keep them in your hearts, pray for their families and loved ones. Pray for those still in harms way. Thank them when given the opportunity.

Watch this:



I found this heartbreaking note from Kristen, Dustin's girlfriend.

for all of you from the 3/25 who gave the ultimate sacrafice, we salute you. There are not enough men out there who would pick up a gun and go fight for their country. It is a shame that more people could not be like you... You served and lived for a purpose and that is more than most can say... you fought for freedom, your families, friends and the future of America...You had an honorable job and you held up your end of the bargin... It is like that Toby Keith song.. "American Soldier." "And I dont want to die for you but if dyings asked of me, I'll bare that cross with honor cause freedom don't come free!" You all are the true definition of HERO and that will never be taken from you. I regret not being able to meet all of you.... but the ones I did know... CPL Dustin Derga and LCPL Nick Erdy, were among the greatest people I have ever met. Fun loving, carefree, and full of commitment to the United States Marine Corps and their fellow Americans. You boys will forever be in our hearts! And the only thing we ask of you now is to watch over you fellow soldiers and bring them home to us! To the rest of the 3/25... You are in our thoughts and prayers! Just remember those men who lost their lives will now be fighting next to you for the rest of their lives... and in return just live your life with them in mind... never forget!! Fight hard... Come home safe!!! We will all be waiting for your return....
SEMPER FI... Kristin (Derga's girlfriend)


For more information on the dinner and auction for The Nick Erdy Foundation click here

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Song, Trouble Me

Saturdays with Yoshiko

Partly Cloudy - Hi 77 Lo 57 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 80 Lo for 46 Qandahar, Afghanistan
Cloudy - Hi 46 Lo 28 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Trouble Me, 10,000 Maniacs


Whenever I am a little blue, Natalie Merchant's soothing voice always brings me comfort.

Ramble:

The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

For the past couple of months, I have spent my Saturday afternoons with my mom. Initially, I thought it was going to be a nightmare… you see she purchased her very first computer… my role was to teach her how to use it. Try explaining how to use a mouse to a person who has never used a mouse… "Why do you right click sometimes and left click other times?" "I dunno… you just do…" How do you teach home keys? "Why are the letters not in order?" "I dunno…that’s just the way it is…" I found some great online tutorials and my mom has been steadfast in her eagerness and determination to master this contraption. I have to be honest… I was dreading this… my mom is stubborn and impatient and does not listen… but I must tell you, it has been surprisingly quite wonderful. We have spent more time together these past couple of months than we have in the past ten years. She has had a chance to get to know me… I have gotten to know her. The best part… we actually enjoy each other’s company. I have shared in this forum in the past my mom’s trials and tribulations. She is a woman that is inspiring… just in her being. She is self taught, self disciplined, self determined, self made. She had nothing as a child, she had nothing when she came to this country…She had even less when my father was around. She put my brother and me ahead of everything… she has endured more pain and suffering and yet sacrificed more than anyone I have ever known in my life. She is a savvy businesswoman and has been quite successful. She lives modestly, however, she can afford much more than what she has. Her story is the American Dream personified and one that should be held up for others to see and be inspired.

The election upset my mother. Having her beloved adopted country much less her home Ohio --- Hamilton County--- Cincinnati go Democrat was more than she could take. She has never depended on anyone but herself to make things happen. She never depended on government or the welfare system to provide for her. My father was absent and never paid child support. She did it on her own… I can tell you that she is pissed… She is hurt… the people in the country she loves so much have become so dependent and so willing to hold out their collective hands to take something never earned is just beyond her comprehension. Her heart is broken, but not her spirit and definitely not her intestinal fortitude.

I share my mother’s sentiments.

Barack Obama is to be congratulated on running an excellent campaign. His election is historical and should be noted and commended. He will join a small fraternity of Americans -43 soon to be 44. President-elect Obama has my respect – he will be the President of the United States and I will always have respect for the office.

I must confess--- I was so depressed Tuesday night. Although President-elect Obama ran a centrist campaign, all roads for him lead to a very left leaning, dare I say it, Socialist mindset. All one has to do is listen to the NPR interview, look at those he associates with and see what his philosophy is. He is all about bigger government… he wants government to be the answer to all our woes.

Wednesday I woke up still depressed. I heard John McCain’s concession speech… I turned off the radio and listened to my iPod the rest of the day. As Wednesday rolled along, I became angry. I realized that had Senator McCain won, I would have been extremely disheartened and disgusted by his presidency. Senator McCain is a gentleman. He is exactly what he has always been. His life story is one we should all revere. It can be argued, he has sacrificed and put himself on the line for our country more than anyone in modern American history. There is no doubt Senator McCain as president would have been strong on the war against terror. However, he would have reached across party lines and compromised on things I as a conservative would never stand for. I still am not clear on how he was going to secure our borders... or not. He would have presented good candidates for the Supreme Court. However, Senator McCain as president would not have been about smaller government. I was not keen on voting for him until he brought Sarah on board. As a conservative, I was left without a candidate. Voting for Barr was not an option and as far as I was concerned a wasted vote. I voted for McCain, but more so and more importantly… I voted for Sarah Palin.

The latest trashing of Sarah has me infuriated. The fact that Senator McCain even after his campaign chose not to come to her defense adds to my reasons for why he is not our next president. McCain's staff trashing this woman makes me believe even more that he would have been left of center on many many issues. The election was not a landslide… we are very much a divided country. It is a cultural battle. Senator McCain was not the conservative we on the right crave and believe is needed for this great land. We wanted to believe... we needed to believe. We want smaller government. We want to live our lives and stay out of the way. We want the government to defend our borders. We want the opportunity to strive towards our American Dream-- whatever it might be. That’s it.

My grandmother, a staunch conservative, active politically throughout her adult life, a member of the greatest generation asked the rhetorical question… How did we get here? I guess it started just a little bit at a time… no one notices that way… little things… it starts in the schools… subtle changes to how kids are taught... what they are taught… kids playing sports… everyone gets trophies… there are no losers…everyone wins… we are politically correct... we have changed the culture by changing how we speak... smoking is bad for you… became the big tobacco devil… now the 2 smokers left in the country are lepers and considered subhuman…traffic cameras to catch speeders under the guise of keeping us safe but we know it is more about the ability for our local communities to collect extra money... motorcycle helmet and seat belt and child seat laws... of course all good ideas... but mandated by the government? Law abiding gun owners are required to register their guns. Certain guns are banned. Guns kill... Trans fats are now banned… There are mandates on fast food in some cities. Before too long the obese person or maybe the slightly overweight person in line at MacDonald's will be sent off to be with the smoking lepers. Fat people are too ignorant to make a decision on what to put in their body. Kids are not being taught American history--- . Celebrity worship...panems and circuses... We in this country have lost our moral compass and have muddied the waters on what is right and what is wrong. It is more important for men and women to be equal, subsequently, we have a bunch of girl like men while women call each other dude... and we are more promiscuous all because once upon a time we had to figure out what the definition of the word "is" is... Along the way we forgot that we are very different creatures. Women now instead of raising and nurturing children are substituting dogs to obtain that love. With Obama as president no one (except those making over $250,000--- $200,000--- $150,000) will have the burden of paying for everything… I guess I should be happy—Michael and I can sit back and let someone else pay our mortgage… pay for our gas… no more worries. I must ask though, what else is on that slippery slope? The slope has become much more steep... What is next? I suppose it is just a matter of time before we are required to purchase carbon offsets, experience rolling black outs on a regular basis, in some areas of our country water rationing, and taxation on the amount of garbage we generate.

We have entered the age of self entitlement and subsequently developed an insatiable dependency on the government tit to think for us and provide for us.

Senator Mitch McConnell will receive lots and lots of notes from me—more now than ever before. He isn’t the conservative I would like him to be… however, I’m watching him. I will make sure he knows what I think… He is the Republican Minority Leader in the Senate and has a lot of work ahead of him. Those of us in Kentucky, those of us across the country need to pay attention and make him understand.

So, I look to the horizon. I think of Ronald Reagan and his shining city on the hill and the beacon we are supposed to be… I think of morning in America… I will pray for President-elect Obama, as I have prayed for President Bush. I INTEND TO BE THE LOYAL OPPOSITION. Meaning, I will be loyal to the country, I will be loyal to the office of the President. However, I am here… I am watching… I will not be nice for the sake of being nice. I love this country and that will not change. I will stand by my conservative values and will do everything I can to keep her the land of the free and home of the brave.

The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

God Bless America

Have a great week everyone!

Update 11/10/2008 7:30 PM: It's a rare day when my Scootertrash Hubby writes a blog post-- Despite the date of 11/5--- he finished it today so go check it out. It's worth the read--- Go check him out here.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday Song, Price to Pay

Before playing this song--- please pause the streaming video I linked below from the McCain Campaign.

November 4- Country First

Sunny - Hi 73 Lo 58 for Baghdad, Iraq
Mostly Sunny - Hi 75 Lo 48 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Cloudy - Hi 73 Lo 47 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Price to Pay, Blues Traveler

Ramble:

Don't buy into what the media is reporting --- don't buy the polls... vote on Tuesday. Our duty-- Our responsibility.

Re-elect Representative Geoff Davis from Kentucky's 4th District
Re-elect Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky

Allen West for Congress- Florida's 22nd District. I love this man... read this archived article from the American Spectator.
Bill Russell for Congress- Pennsylvania's 12th District. Another veteran--- but unlike the guy he is running against... Ex-Marine (not former Marine) accused Marines of murdering innocent Iraqi civilians.... accusations that have been found to be completely false... that son of a bitch has yet to apologize. Oh and the latest about Murtha--- calling his constituents racists and rednecks... nice.... Go Bill Go!!

John McCain for President.

Revisit Fred Thompson's speech at the RNC

"Now being a POW doesn't qualify anyone to be President, but it does reveal character. Strength, courage, humility, widsom, duty, honor. It's pretty clear there are two questions we'll never have to ask ourselves, Who is this man? And can we trust this man with the Presidency?



The same two questions should be asked of Barack Obama.
Who is this man? Can we trust him with the Presidency?



Anyone reading this that believes the money Senator Obama is referring to is money spent on the military...being redistributed to other more worthy programs... nah baby nah... that will just be the start... if you are a hard working American citizen... he will raise our taxes... will will lose more than just our money... I can not even begin to think about that...

God Bless America and may her people do the right thing on Tuesday.

Have a great week everyone!