Monday, November 30, 2009
Hammons made the announcement at a press conference attended by about forty Muskogee residents at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Many in the crowd were members of local veterans groups, a testament to efforts Hammons made with their encouragement to fly both the American and POW flags at City Hall and the Civic Center. Others present included citizens who faithfully attend city council meetings, such as community activist Ivory Vann, a former city council candidate.
Jordan Stevens, former mayor of Oktaha, will be reprising his role as campaign manager, and Jack Harrison will again be campaign chairman. HammonsForMayor.com will be re-launching soon, according to the candidate.
"Two years has been too short to accomplish what I'd like to get done," Hammons said, referring to various initiatives he has tried to pass, such as a campaign finance ordinance and several charter changes.
So far, his only announced opponent is sitting councilman Jim Ritchey. The election will be held on April 6th, 2010.
Muskogee Mayor John Tyler Hammons will be making an official announcement regarding his intentions for, or against, reelection in 2010 tonight.
The press conference will be held tonight at 6pm at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee. Hammons was first elected in May of 2008; at the time, making him the youngest mayor in the nation.
The next mayoral and city council election will be held on April 6th. The filing period is February 1-3. City Councilor Jim Ritchey has already announced that he will be running for mayor.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
With What Brain Working?
Our country has always prided itself on being a nation that is fair and just for all people. Over the past several years our leaders have gotten into a habit of political correctness that is going to get a bunch of Americans hurt or killed. We need to come to the conclusion that our enemies don’t have any intention of playing fair nor do they have any respect for us or our way of life. Whenever we get to thinking otherwise we need to watch some of the news footage from the 9/11 attacks. The people that were killed that day were for the most part just average people that were doing the best they could to provide for the needs of their family. They were victims of murder. After the planes crashed into the twin towers, many of the people above the crash had no means of escape and were being roasted alive by the fires below them, many of them jumped to their deaths instead of being burnt alive. The job of going after the groups responsible fell upon the men and women of our armed forces. Now some of our soldiers are facing charges because some terrorist is claiming that they were a victim of excessive force.
The person in question is Ahmed Hashim Abed who allegedly masterminded the 2004 murder of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah. The four bodies were mutilated, burned, and two were hung from a bridge. He claims he was hit during his capture, citing a bloody lip as evidence. As a result, three Navy SEALs face assault charges and court martial. Our military was never intended to be a police force. There is a huge difference in a police officer and a soldier. I do not envy ether job but for the most part citizen criminals are not intent upon killing the police officer; but our soldiers are going after people whose stated goal is to kill as many infidel Americans as possible.
For all of those people who want to press charges on our soldiers, maybe they should take their place for a while and show them how to do the job. If we don’t start using our brains and stop condemning the very people who are protecting us, who will be willing to do the job in the future?
Friday, November 27, 2009
According to many in the worlds of Science and Politics (or, political Science), the Earth is on a dangerous
Oh really? Explain this.
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admintration (NOAA) (emphasis mine):
Also from NOAA:
The October 2009 average temperature for the contiguous United States was the third coolest on record for that month according to NOAA’s State of the Climate report issued today. Based on data going back to 1895, the monthly National Climatic Data Center analysis is part of the suite of climate services provided by NOAA.
The average October temperature of 50.8 degrees F was 4.0 degrees F below the 20th Century average. Preliminary data also reveals this was the wettest October on record with average precipitation across the contiguous United States reaching 4.15 inches, 2.04 inches above the 1901-2000 average.
Oklahoma recorded its coldest October on record while the month ranked in the top five for Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.Not only was it one of the coldest Octobers on record, it was also the wettest. Combined with the recently released Climategate emails, things are starting to look bad for the
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
President George Washington's first Thanksgiving Address, 1789.
City of New York, October 3, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
I hope that you have a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, remembering to count your blessings, and thank Him for them!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
The Future Costs
A couple of nights ago I watched The History Channel documentary about World War 2. Most of the people today do not appreciate the sacrifice that our parents and grandparents made to protect this nation and our way of life. Our way of life was paid for with the blood of that generation. With hard work and good fiscal policies the United States became the dominate power on the earth militarily and economically. It is sad that today many Americans do not understand the meaning of sacrifice and the duty that we adults of today have for future generations. We Americans had better start to wake up and see that our stature as a nation is shifting away from us because of our poor, or lack of, spending discipline.
We're in hock as a nation like never before. Neither the current administration nor Congress has any viable plan to change that fact. And both the actual and hidden costs of our debt are rising every day. Our public debt can boggle the mind, currently it is over 12 trillion dollars. In 2009 alone we have added an additional 1.4 trillion debt. Even with the cheap interest rates we have now, the interest on the debt is 202 billion dollars. If that 202 billion was divided up to the entire population of the United States, every man, woman and child would receive a check of $656.00. While there are some people who are obsessed with the health care legislation, they need to realize that if we don’t get a handle on our spending problem all of the taxes we pay will go just to pay the interest on the debt. In a very short period of time we can forget about defense, health care, Social Security or anything else. We will experience the biggest shift of the balance of power that the world has ever seen.
Today we have an unhealthy reliance upon the nation of China; already they are the largest owner of U.S. debt. If the Chinese ceased to buy any more of our debt it would send our economy into a tailspin. We won the cold war with the former Soviet Union, but I have found that the bigger enemy can be the country that controls the purse strings. If we don’t learn some spending discipline the legacy that we leave future generations will be a nation that has lost its world influence not because of losses on the battlefield but because of poor finances.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at email@example.com.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Admittedly, I was in some disbelief that Lankford, a newcomer to politics, could have more Facebook fans than every other major politician in Oklahoma. So, I logged into Facebook, and conducted a very thorough search of politicians and candidates in Oklahoma, and the number of fans they had.
The results stunned me.
Not only does Lankford have the most Facebook support, he has over 2 1/2 times more fans than the nearest competitor. Ironically, that person is the incumbent of the office Lankford seeks - Mary Fallin (who is running for Governor).
For those political junkies out there, here is the list of politicians and candidates that I compiled, with a few notes. There may have been a few who slipped between the cracks, but not many could have. I compiled this between 2pm-3pm today.
Name / Current Office / Office Sought / Facebook Fans
James Lankford.... n/a............ Cong Dist. 5..... 10,069
Mary Fallin........... CD5........... Gov.................. 3,833
Tom Coburn......... US Sen....... US Sen............. 3,351
Brad Henry.......... Governor..... n/a.................. 2,008
Andrew Rice......... State Sen... State Sen......... 1,830 *
Drew Edmondson.. Atty Gen..... Gov................. 1,739
Jim Inhofe........... US Sen....... US Sen............. 1,654
Randy Brogdon..... State Sen...Gov................... 1,534
RJ Harris.............. n/a........... CD4.................. 1,514
Brittany Novotny... n/a........... State House....... 1,294 **
Dewey Bartlett..... Tulsa Mayor.... (just won)..... 1,158
Jari Askins........... Lt Gov......... Gov................. 1,116
Kenneth Corn....... State Sen.... LtG................... 978
John Sullivan....... CD1............. CD1.................. 960
Al McAffrey.......... State House... State House.... 940 ***
Tom Adelson....... State Sen..... State Sen.......... 935
Rob Johnson........ n/a.............. State Sen......... 760
Todd Lamb.......... State Sen..... LtG.................. 726
Ryan Leonard...... n/a.............. AG................... 692
Shawn Hime........ n/a.............. State Super....... 653
Charles Key........ State House... State House..... 633
Steve Gallo......... n/a............... State House..... 609
John T. Hammons. Muskogee Mayor..... Mayor?.... 573 ****
David Holt.......... n/a............... State Senate..... 560
Dan Boren.......... CD2.............. CD2................. 541
Frank Lucas........ CD3.............. CD3................. 527
Tom Cole........... CD4............... CD4................ 499
David Hogan....... n/a................ State House.... 494
Mike Sanders...... State House.... State House.... 483
Randall Gorman.. n/a................ State Super..... 414
Jay Paul Gumm... State Sen....... State Sen........ 410
Kevin Calvey........ n/a............. CD5.................. 392
Dan Arnett......... n/a................ CD2................ 370
Susan Paddack.... State Sen....... State Super..... 360
Seneca Scott...... State House.... State House..... 291
Nathan Dahm..... n/a................ CD1................. 279
Janet Barresi...... n/a................ State Super...... 241
Jason Reese....... n/a................ Labor Comm..... 232
Mick Cornett...... OKC Mayor....... OKC Mayor....... 230
Johnny Roy........ n/a................. CD5................ 221
Shawnnessy Murphy.. n/a........... State Sen........ 205
Lee Denney........ State House.... State House.... 191
Clark Jolley......... State Sen........ Atty Gen........ 187
Kathy Taylor....... Tulsa Mayor.... n/a................. 183
Mark McCullough.. State House.... State House.... 178
Scott Martin........ State House.... State House.... 164
Sean Burrage....... State Sen...... State Sen........ 158
Dan Newberry..... State Sen....... State Sen........ 152
Jeff Cloud........... Corp Com....... CD5................ 151
Steve Burrage..... State Auditor... State Aud....... 139
Mike Thompson... State House.... CD5............... 129
George Faught.... State House.... State House.... 119
Charles Thompson.. n/a............ CD2................ 100
Owen Laughlin.... n/a............. State Treasurer.. 100
John Wright........ State House... LtG.................. 96
Howard Houchen.... n/a............ CD2.................. 94
Cory Williams...... State House... State House..... 92
Shane Jett.......... State House.... State House.... 58
John Sparks........ State Sen....... State Sen......... 55
Daniel Edmonds... n/a............... CD2................. 44
Sally Kern........... State House... State House..... 32
Oden Grube........ n/a............... State House...... 28
Chris Pierce......... n/a............... State House..... 22
Anthony Sykes.... State Sen...... State Sen.......... 20
Doug Cox........... State House.... State House..... 18
Gary Stanislawski.. State Sen.... State Sen.......... 12
Mike Mazzei........ State Sen..... State Sen............ 1
* - 2008 Democrat Senate nominee ** - Bisexual, and running against controversial conservative Rep. Sally Kern. Most of Novotny's numbers are likely from the homosexual/etc. community across the nation. *** - Homosexual. See final point above. **** - Famous as the youngest mayor in America, hence high figure.
As you can see, Lankford has a very high amount of Facebook support. There are several other interesting notes in the list, if you look at it enough (for instance, the difference between congressional candidates' figures).
UPDATE: I only used figures from fan pages and groups, not personal profiles. In instances of multiple groups, I picked the one with the most members, except in one instance (Kenneth Corn has several groups, but has discontinued all but one, and directed the members to join his newest group, which had slightly fewer members to date).
If you run across someone I missed, I would appreciate the notice! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Rep. Terry Harrison (D, McAlester) has announced his intention to run for District Attorney in 2010, rather than run for a fifth term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Harrison represents House District 18, which covers portions of McIntosh and Pittsburg counties, including the cities of Eufaula and McAlester. The District Attorney seat he will be running for is District 18, which covers Pittsburg and Haskell counties.
He will not be facing an incumbent in 2010, for reasons expound on by the McAlester News-Capitol:
Incumbent District 18 District Attorney Jim Bob Miller has been prohibited from running for election in 2010 through a deferred prosecution agreement Miller made with state Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s office.Harrison gave some reasons for his decision; also from the McAlester News-Capitol.
Miller agreed not to run for another term and the attorney general agreed not to prosecute him. The agreement did not require Miller to resign.
The agreement became known in early September after a state Multicounty Grand Jury completed its probe into allegations of misconduct by Miller’s office.
Allegations against Miller concerned his attempts to subpoena identifying records of up to 35 bloggers who had posted comments critical of him on the McAlester Watercooler Web site.
Harrison also referred to his perception of the current situation in the state legislature.With the Democrats now only holding 39 of 101 seats in the State House, I think we will see more sitting Democrat representatives bail out as well. This presents an opportunity for the GOP, particularly in the heavily-Democratic 2nd Congressional District, to pick up seats that otherwise would have been nearly impossible to win.
“I am so tired of party politics,” said Harrison, who is the minority whip in the House.
“When I was first elected as a state legislator, you never heard me say ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican.’ Right was right and wrong was wrong.”
The Democratic Party is now in the minority in the state House.
“The last legislative sessions have been brutal — having the Republican agenda pushed down our throat,” Harrison said.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The Muskogee City Council, acting as the Charter Review Committee, will be holding their first meeting on the city charter tomorrow evening at 5:30pm.
The meetings for the committee are set for the first and third Tuesdays of every month, after the Public Works and Finance committee meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall, but no earlier than 5:30pm, in order to encourage as much public participation as possible.
Each meeting is to last for about one hour. The plan is to address one or two articles from the charter per session. The review will start at the very beginning, and include the entire charter, a sticking point from previous attempts.
All City Council meetings (regular meetings and committee meetings) are televised on Suddenlink cable Channel 14. The current City Charter may be viewed here (titled "Part I Charter of the City of Muskogee, Oklahoma).
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Muskogee Phoenix ran excerpts from a larger article from the Associated Press that was an all-out Democratic Party hit piece masquerading as journalism in today's newspaper. The occasion, and the familiar target? A "fact-check" on 'Going Rogue', the soon-to-be-released book by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The Phoenix never posts AP newswire stories (also known as 'opinion') on their website, so here it is, with notes from Yours Truly whenever I couldn't hold it in anymore. Again, this is an excerpt from an even larger article by Calvin Woodward of the AP.
Sarah Palin's book goes rogue on some factsThe "article" gets even worse, but the Phoenix remarkably did not include it in the newspaper.
Sarah Palin's new book reprises familiar claims from the 2008 presidential campaign that haven't become any truer over time.
Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer's dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.
Palin goes adrift, at times, on more contemporary issues, too. She criticizes President Barack Obama for pushing through a bailout package that actually was achieved by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush — a package she seemed to support at the time.
A look at some of her statements in "Going Rogue," obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its release Tuesday:
PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking "only" for reasonably priced rooms and not "often" going for the "high-end, robe-and-slippers" hotels.
THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel.
PALIN: Boasts that she ran her campaign for governor on small donations, mostly from first-time givers, and turned back large checks from big donors if her campaign perceived a conflict of interest.
THE FACTS: Of the roughly $1.3 million she raised for her primary and general election campaigns for governor, more than half came from people and political action committees giving at least $500, according to an AP analysis of her campaign finance reports. The maximum that individual donors could give was $1,000; $2,000 for a PAC.
Of the rest, about $76,000 came from Republican Party committees.
PALIN: Rails against taxpayer-financed bailouts, which she attributes to Obama. She recounts telling daughter Bristol that to succeed in business, "you'll have to be brave enough to fail."
THE FACTS: Palin is blurring the lines between Obama's stimulus plan — a $787 billion package of tax cuts, state aid, social programs and government contracts — and the federal bailout that Republican presidential candidate John McCain voted for and President George W. Bush signed.
Palin's views on bailouts appeared to evolve as McCain's vice presidential running mate. In September 2008, she said "taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution, to the problems on Wall Street." A week later, she said "ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy."
During the vice presidential debate in October, Palin praised McCain for being "instrumental in bringing folks together" to pass the $700 billion bailout. After that, she said "it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in."
[MP: Of course, as the VP, you really can't criticize your own running mate. Their are restrictions and protocols placed on people in those circumstances.]
PALIN: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and "showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all."
THE FACTS: The estate tax, which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president. [MP: yeah, but they were even higher in Reagan's time]
Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month.
This piece of Democratic propaganda is passed off as journalism these days? I've come to expect extreme left-wing bias from the media, but this really surpassed my expectations. Since when did the AP do book review hit-pieces on conservative leaders?
Would you ever see a similar piece done on Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, or some other liberal politician or author? Hmmm... I wonder...
Russell Turner is right on, as usual.The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
What's The Difference?
One of the great things about this country has always been freedom. I have always cherished the freedoms that our founding fathers sacrificed so much for. We can be serious or foolish if that is our desire as long as we are not harming someone else. We have the ability to eat as much food as we want even though it may not be the healthiest kind. The right of self determination is something that far too many people have forgotten or may not have learned in the first place. Recently the US House of Representatives passed the much publicized House health care measure by a vote of 220-215.
While some people may cheer the idea of universal health care that will be free to everyone, there are provisions in the bill that should be of concern to all Americans. Under sections 7201 and 7203 Americans who don't maintain acceptable health insurance coverage and who choose not to pay a fine/tax of up to 2.5% of income are subject to fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years. Our prisons are bursting at the seams already, but I can bet that our government will find room for someone that doesn’t want to have some kind of socialistic health care system forced upon them. The hard working Americans that keep this country going love their freedom and enjoy accomplishing something with their life. Being in prison is a total waste of anyone’s time, if this bill passes the Senate the hard working Americans will have to accept a loss of freedom to stay out of the pen.
When you look at it in another perspective, if the whole idea of this legislation is to provide health care are we any different that the people locked up in our prison system. Out here in the everyday world we will be losing freedom but we will have health care. In the prison the inmates will lose freedom but they will have health care. The only difference is the prison inmate will have a little less freedom but we are both prisoners of the government. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked where in the Constitution Congress is authorized to force Americans to buy insurance or imprison them, her response was “ARE YOU SERIOUS”. If we Americans don’t wake up and fight to preserve our freedoms, how long will it be until we are imprisoned for eating foods that some government bureaucrat thinks is unhealthy.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at email@example.com.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
There are three veterans in Congress that I want to highlight for you. These individuals have compelling stories to tell about their military experiences that fit right in with the Veterans Day spirit.
Without further ado, here are three American Heroes in Congress.
Much has been said about John McCain and his military experiences. Most of you already know his story. Here it is, taken from Wikipedia (for my sake!).
McCain entered the Navy during the Vietnam War. On July 29, 1967 McCain was injured when a bomb eploded onboard his aircraft carrier, getting struck in the legs and chest by shrapnel. On October 26, 1967, McCain was flying his twenty-third mission, he was shot down over Hanoi. His plane went into a vertical inverted spin. Bailing out upside down at high speed, the force of the ejection fractured McCain's right arm in three places, his left arm, and his right leg at the knee, and knocked him unconscious. McCain nearly drowned after parachuting into a Hanoi Lake. A Vietnamese mob pulled him from the water and attacked him. His left shoulder was crushed with the butt of a rifle and he was bayoneted in his left foot and abdominal area. He was then transported to the "Hanoi Hilton".
McCain was beaten upon entering the "Hanoi Hilton". Only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral did they give him medical care. McCain gave the North Vietnamese his ship's name, squadron's name, and the attack's intended target. Further coerced to give future targets, he named cities that had already been bombed, and responding to demands for the names of his squadron's members, he supplied instead the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line. McCain spent six weeks in the hospital, receiving marginal care in a dirty, wet environment. A prolonged attempt to set the fractures on his right arm, done without anesthetic, was unsuccessful; he received an operation on his broken leg but no treatment for his broken left arm.
Now having lost fifty pounds, in a chest cast, covered in grime and eyes full of fever, and with his hair turned white, in early December 1967 McCain was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on the outskirts of Hanoi nicknamed "the Plantation". In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he remained for two years. In mid-June, Major Bai, commander of the North Vietnamese prison camp system, offered McCain a chance to return home early. The North Vietnamese wanted to score a worldwide propaganda coup by appearing merciful, and also wanted to show other POWs that members of the elite like McCain were willing to be treated preferentially. McCain turned down the offer of release, due to the POWs' "first in, first out" interpretation of the U.S. Code of Conduct: he would only accept the offer if every man captured before him was released as well.
In late August 1968, a program of vigorous torture methods began on McCain. The North Vietnamese used rope bindings to put him into prolonged, painful positions and severely beat him every two hours, all while he was suffering from dysentery. His right leg was reinjured, his ribs were cracked, some teeth were broken at the gumline, and his left arm was re-fractured. After four days of this, McCain signed and taped an anti-American propaganda "confession". He used stilted Communist jargon and ungrammatical language to signal that the statement was forced. McCain was haunted then and since with the belief that he had dishonored his country, his family, his comrades and himself by his statement, but as he later wrote, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine." Two weeks later his captors tried to force him to sign a second statement; his will to resist restored, he refused. He sometimes received two to three beatings per week because of his continued resistance; the sustained mistreatment went on for over a year. McCain refused to meet with various anti-Vietnam War peace groups coming to Hanoi, not wanting to give either them or the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory based on his connection to his father.
Altogether, McCain was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years, nearly five of them after his refusal to accept the out-of-sequence repatriation offer. His wartime injuries left him permanently incapable of raising either arm more than 80 degrees . For his actions as a POW, McCain was awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, three more instances of the Bronze Star, another instance of the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart.
Whether you agree with his politics or not, John McCain is an American hero.
Sam Johnson is the least-well known of the three gentlemen that I am highlighting, but his story is every bit as real as the others. The following is taken from his congressional website (edited for brevity).
Johnson flew 62 combat missions during the Korean War, scoring one MiG fighter kill, one probable and one damaged. After Korea, he flew the solo and slot positions for the world-renowned Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying demonstration team in the F-100 Super Sabre.
In the Vietnam War during his second tour of duty, Johnson flew his 25th combat mission on April 16, 1966. Shot down at dusk over North Vietnam, Johnson suffered a broken right arm, dislocated left shoulder and a broken back. It was these injuries that the enemy captors would use in their constant efforts to glean information from Johnson.
Johnson spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war, 42 months in solitary confinement. Forced into solitary when his captors labeled him a “die-hard,” Johnson committed 374 names to memory from tapping a special code on the prison wall. “We were all trying to memorize names in case anybody got out,” Johnson remembers.
While held in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, Johnson spent 72 days in leg stocks. A day after that torture ended, his captors forced him into leg irons for 2 ½ years. Weighing 200 lbs when shot down, an emaciated Johnson got down to an estimated 120 lbs while barely surviving on the occasional “meal” of weeds from the river, pig fat, white rice, or pumpkin soup.
Fellow POW Capt. James Mulligan, USN (Ret.) recalled the day Johnson was allowed to return to a joint cell. He walked into the room with the two other detained American officers, “stood at attention with tears in his eyes, and said simply, ‘Lieutenant Colonel Sam Johnson reporting for duty, sir’…after he had not talked to or directly been with an American for three and a half years.”
Whether you agree with his politics or not, Sam Johnson is an American hero.
As you can tell from the above picture, Sen. Inouye does not have a right arm.
You see, Inouye was a soldier in the all Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most highly-decorated unit in Army history. Since Americans of Japanese descent were suspected of Axis sympathies (many were held in internment camps), members of the 442nd often volunteered for suicide missions in the European theater to prove how American they were. The following is again from Wikipedia.
In 1943, when the U.S. Army dropped its ban on Japanese-Americans, Inouye curtailed his premedical studies at the University of Hawaii and enlisted in the Army. Inouye was promoted to the rank of sergeant within his first year, and he was given the role of platoon leader. He served in Italy in 1944 during the Rome-Arno Campaign before he was shifted to the Vosges Mountains region of France, where he spent two weeks searching for the Lost Battalion, a Texas battalion that was surrounded by German forces. He was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant for his actions there. At one point while leading an attack a shot struck him in the chest directly above his heart, but the bullet was stopped by the two silver dollars he happened to have stacked in his shirt pocket. He continued to carry the coins throughout the war in his shirt pocket as good luck charms.
On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge called near Terenzo called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most dogged line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his M1 Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.
As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving the primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore". Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye managed to successfully pry the live grenade from his useless right hand and transfer it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye managed at last to toss the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroy it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody had called off the war".
The remainder of Inouye's mutilated right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia, as he had been given too much morphine at an aid station and it was feared any more would lower his blood pressure enough to kill him. Inouye was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery in this action, with the award later being upgraded to the Medal of Honor (alongside 21 other Nisei servicemen who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were believed to have been denied proper recognition of their bravery due to their race).
While recovering from WWII wounds and the amputation of his right forearm from the grenade wound (mentioned above) at Percy Jones Army Hospital, Inouye met future Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, then a fellow patient. Dole mentioned to Inouye that after the war he planned to go to Congress; Inouye beat him there by a few years. The two have remained lifelong friends. In 2003, the hospital was renamed the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in honor of the two WWII veterans and another U.S. Senator and fellow WWII veteran who had stayed in the hospital, Philip Hart.
Whether you agree with his politics or not, Daniel Inouye is an American hero.
And then finally, I end with this poem, which has been passed around so much that nobody really knows who the author is (often attributed to one Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, of the USMC):
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
A large ceremony was held at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the same location as President Ronald Reagan's famous "Tear down this Wall" speech.
Many dignitaries attended the event. Geman Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Russian President Medvedev, former Polish President Lech Walesa, former Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and leaders from the rest of Europe. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also present.
Noticably absent was President Barack Obama (who normally would have been happy to go speak in Europe...). He sent a video message with Hillary, instead (On a side note, why does everything he talks about always have to go back to him? Watch at 1:45 of the video link to see what I mean).
Also of note was how Mikhail Gorbachev was praised, who was greeted by cheers of "Gorby!" Chancellor Merkel said to Gorbachev that "You made this possible." No mention of Ronald Reagan.
So, since it wasn't said by the Germans, the Brits, the French, the Russians (or former Soviets), our own Secretary of State, or our own President, allow me: President Reagan, thank you. The Berlin Wall wouldn't have fallen without your resolute leadership and determination.
In honor of Ronald Reagan, I present you with a video that gives me goosebumps, even though I wasn't even alive at the time.
Boy, could we use another of him...
On Thursday afternoon, a radicalized Muslim US Army officer shouting "Allahu Akbar!" committed the worst act of terror on American soil since 9/11. And no one wants to call it an act of terror or associate it with Islam.
What cowards we are. Political correctness killed those patriotic Americans at Ft. Hood as surely as the Islamist gunman did. And the media treat it like a case of non-denominational shoplifting.
This was a terrorist act. When an extremist plans and executes a murderous plot against our unarmed soldiers to protest our efforts to counter Islamist fanatics, it’s an act of terror. Period.
When the terrorist posts anti-American hate-speech on the Web; apparently praises suicide bombers and uses his own name; loudly criticizes US policies; argues (as a psychiatrist, no less) with his military patients over the worth of their sacrifices; refuses, in the name of Islam, to be photographed with female colleagues; lists his nationality as "Palestinian" in a Muslim spouse-matching program, and parades around central Texas in a fundamentalist playsuit — well, it only seems fair to call this terrorist an "Islamist terrorist."
But the president won’t. Despite his promise to get to all the facts. Because there’s no such thing as "Islamist terrorism" in ObamaWorld.
And the Army won’t. Because its senior leaders are so sick with political correctness that pandering to America-haters is safer than calling terrorism "terrorism."
And the media won’t. Because they have more interest in the shooter than in our troops — despite their crocodile tears.
Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan planned this terrorist attack and executed it in cold blood. The resulting massacre was the first tragedy. The second was that he wasn’t killed on the spot.
Hasan survived. Now the rest of us will have to foot his massive medical bills. Activist lawyers will get involved, claiming "harassment" drove him temporarily insane. There’ll be no end of trial delays. At best, taxpayer dollars will fund his prison lifestyle for decades to come, since our politically correct Army leadership wouldn’t dare pursue or carry out the death penalty.
Maj. Hasan will be a hero to Islamist terrorists abroad and their sympathizers here. While US Muslim organizations decry his acts publicly, Hasan will be praised privately. And he’ll have the last laugh.
But Hasan isn’t the sole guilty party. The US Army’s unforgivable political correctness is also to blame for the casualties at Ft. Hood.
Given the myriad warning signs, it’s appalling that no action was taken against a man apparently known to praise suicide bombers and openly damn US policy. But no officer in his chain of command, either at Walter Reed Army Medical Center or at Ft. Hood, had the guts to take meaningful action against a dysfunctional soldier and an incompetent doctor.
Had Hasan been a Lutheran or a Methodist, he would’ve been gone with the simoon. But officers fear charges of discrimination when faced with misconduct among protected minorities.
Now 12 soldiers and a security guard lie dead. 31 soldiers were wounded, 28 of them seriously. If heads don’t roll in this maggot’s chain of command, the Army will have shamed itself beyond moral redemption.
There’s another important issue, too. How could the Army allow an obviously incompetent and dysfunctional psychiatrist to treat our troubled soldiers returning from war? An Islamist whacko is counseled for arguing with veterans who’ve been assigned to his care? And he’s not removed from duty? What planet does the Army live on?
For the first time since I joined the Army in 1976, I’m ashamed of its dereliction of duty. The chain of command protected a budding terrorist who was waving one red flag after another. Because it was safer for careers than doing something about him.
Get ready for the apologias. We’ve already heard from the terrorist’s family that "he’s a good American." In their world, maybe he is.
But when do we, the American public, knock off the PC nonsense?
A disgruntled Muslim soldier murdered his officers way back in 2003, in Kuwait, on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recently? An American mullah shoots it out with the feds in Detroit. A Muslim fanatic attacks an Arkansas recruiting station. A Muslim media owner, after playing the peace card, beheads his wife. A Muslim father runs over his daughter because she’s becoming too Westernized.
Muslim terrorist wannabes are busted again and again. And we’re assured that "Islam’s a religion of peace."
I guarantee you that the Obama administration’s non-response to the Ft. Hood attack will mock the memory of our dead.
I agree. Political correctness is killing this country, from the avoidance of labeling Islamic terrorism terrorism, to the relabeling of Christmas. It has got to stop.
This is an extremely informative event, no only for candidates, but especially for activists like you. I can't recommend this training session enough! The information you will receive is amazing.
Again, I highly encourage anyone interested in politics, whether as an activist or a candidate, to attend. You can email Trait Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
Who's Got The Crystal Ball?
Most of us have watched old movies about individuals that prey upon people who want to know what their departed loved ones from beyond the grave would tell them. The fortune tellers would often use a variety of means to accomplish their task of communication. Some would use some type of cards to convey the message while others would gaze into a crystal ball. Far too often the mediums are someone who has the ability to size up their clients and tell them what they want to hear. It seems to me that the fortune tellers and many of our politicians have a lot in common.
In the next few days there will be bills before the US congress concerning the health care debate in this country. It seems like the politicians have read many of the American people and are merely telling them what they want to hear. In America we have some of the most advanced medical treatment in the world but it can be very expensive. Many people want the advanced care but they want someone else to be responsible to provide and pay for it. The responsible people in our country understand that you don’t get anything for nothing. I can remember that there were campaign promises to post new legislation on the internet for the Americans to review and voice their opinions on the issues. We understand that these proposed laws will have costs and someone will have to pay for them. Recently there was a request for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) version of Obamacare to be posted for the American people to view his proposal. Government should be open and transparent, after all our system is supposed to be a government of the people and by the people. 40 Senators signed a letter asking Reid to make all materials he sent to the Congressional Budget Office public. Senator Reid responded, but not with transparency. Sadly he refused to make public any of the proposals that were sent to the Congressional Budget Office.
Some estimates project that the cost of the healthcare reforms to the American taxpayer will be as much as $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years. I have also noticed that very seldom will the cost projections cover the actual costs. Since Mr. Reid doesn’t believe in transparency, we can always go back to the fortune tellers and look into the crystal ball and get more information.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at email@example.com.
I started blogging on July 31st, 2008. Now, some 418 posts later, I'm glad I did this; it has certainly been a very interesting experience.
Thank you so much for your readership - without your input (and visiting), none of this would have happened, and I probably would not still be blogging. Through this time, I have made many friends in the blogosphere, for which I am grateful.
Thanks again for reading the many Musings of a Muskogee Politico.
The Muskogee Politico Blogmaster
Friday, November 6, 2009
Exclusively from the Muskogee Politico - breaking news from the Tulsa Mayoral election...
With election day coming on Tuesday, the Tulsa mayoral race is heating up in more ways than one. Not only are the Republican and Democrat candidates waging a negative television ad war, with an Independent candidate attempting to capitalize off of weariness of partisanship and negativity, but new developments have arisen today.
A source within the Dewey Bartlett campaign is reporting that a group (allegedly volunteers for Democrat Tom Adelson) is calling registered Republicans in Tulsa and giving out false voter information, such as incorrect polling locations and early voting times, while claiming to be with the Dewey Bartlett campaign. In addition, some of the phone calls are occurring at odd times of the day, such as 2:00am. This has resulted in negative responses to Bartlett volunteers' phone calling, which brought about the discovery of this fishy business.
Officials with the RNC, who are working alongside the Bartlett campaign, say that the calls could be against state law.
We will update you on any new developments to this story.
The Muskogee resident and doctor announced on June 1st that he will seek a second, and final, term in the United States Senate. So far, he has drawn no open opponents, although speculation is that Tulsa mayor Kathy Taylor may make an attempt at the seat.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It's another crucial election night again, with key gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, and special elections in New York's 23rd Congressional District and California's 10th Congressional District.
Republican Bob McDonnell appears to be cruising to a huge win in Virginia, the same state that gave Barack Obama 52.6% last November. The latest polls had McDonnell up by 12-15 points. RealClearPolitics polling average has him up 13.
New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie, the GOP candidate, has held a very slim lead in the latest polls (RCP has him up by 1 over incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine). The twist in this race (besides notorious New Jersey voter fraud) is Chris Daggett, the Independent candidate, who has bee drawing as much as 15% in recent polls.
This race has been a real roller-coaster! Initially, ultra-liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava led in this three-way race. However, the Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (a registered Republican) attracted national attention, and received endorsements from high-level conservatives such as Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin, and Tim Pawlenty.
The NRCC spent nearly $1M in ads supporting Scozzafava and/or attacking Hoffman. Meanwhile, Hoffman took the lead, jumping over Scozzafava and the Democrat, Bill Owens.
Last week, Scozzafava suspended her campaign (she had dropped to the low 20s/upper teens in polling), and then, in an unexpected twist, endorsed Bill Owens. The last polls showed Hoffman, now with the GOP united behind him, in the lead.
Republican David Harmer is running in a heavily-Democratic district, but has been polled within 10% of the Democrat nominee. A victory here would be unlikely for the GOP, but the Democrat historically gets support in the mid-60s.
This should be a good night for the conservative movement, and the GOP. A three-state sweep of NY, NJ and VA is very likely. That would be a crushing defeat for the Democrats and President Obama, especially in the Republicans can win in New Jersey, and to a lesser extent, California.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Russia continues to take an aggressive stance towards Eastern Europe, in attempts to bully them to bow to Moscovian pressure.
Russian military, in conjuction with Belarus, recently conducted war games simulating an attack on Poland involving amphibious landings and nuclear missile launches. Fresh in the minds of Poles is the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, which was just a few months ago.
Vladimir Putin seems to be pushing Russia back to the "good old days" of the Soviet Union. Will President Obama and the West stand up for eastern Europe against the newly-revived Russian Bear?