Saturday, August 23, 2008

Six Boys And Thirteen Hands...

from email

Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history--that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.

Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "Where are you guys from?"

I told him that we were from Wisconsin "Hey, I'm a cheesehead, too! Come gather around, Cheeseheads, and I will tell you a story."

(James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C., but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.)

When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night)

"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.

"Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game: A game called "War" But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out. I say that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old--and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) "You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph...a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

"The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'Let's go kill some Japanese' or 'Let's die for our country.' He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers.'

"The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes was one who walked off Iwo Jima He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero' He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?' So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down at the age of 32. (ten years after this picture was taken).

"The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night.' Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

"The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say "No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back." My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press.

"You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the pain.

"When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, "I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back."

"So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time"

Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.

We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice.

Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom.

Remember to pray for this great country of ours and also pray for those still in murderous unrest around the world.

God Bless You and God Bless America

REMINDER: Everyday that you can wake up free, it's going to be a great day.

PS. One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th grade students in DC that is not mentioned here is that if you look at the statue very closely and count the number of "hands" raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.

Great story - worth your time - worth every American's time.
How do you attract 200,000 Germans to a Presidential campaign?

How do you attract 200,000 Germans to an American presidential candidate's campaign rally in Berlin?

A. With the charisma and reputation of the candidate?
B. With a compelling political message?
C. With lots of advance advertising?
D. With the top two rock bands in Germany giving a free concert with the American candidate coming out for a short speech between the bands?

Answer: 'D' of course

(Did you really think the Germans were interested in him?)

What the American media, following and fawning over Obama, failed to mention about his Berlin speech was why the crowds were really there. 95% of them could care less about Obama or American politics. They came to see a free concert with the German equivalents of Willy Nelson and Madonna headlining. Obama was an unwelcome and boring interruption giving a political speech in a foreign language between the acts which is why the crowd only gave lame applause a couple of times - after all, how many of them spoke English or cared less? Obama didn't care about the crowd either. His speech was really for the American media and the crowd was a backdrop for the photo ops.

And the American media bit on it hook line and sinker and just sorta, kinda forgot to mention the rock bands that really drew the crowds.

On another note. Someone did the math on Obama the Senator. He has only been a Senator for 18 months.

But with all the recesses, four day weekends, campaigning and absences, Obama has only spent about 6 weeks of workdays on the Senate floor as one of the most junior Senators. Most of his votes, about 80% when he was not absent, have been 'present' or 'abstain'. He also chairs a committee that has never met because the chairman has never called a meeting. As a trial lawyer he only tried 14 cases in court - and minor ones at that.

As a 'community organizer' his major cause was getting the asbestos out of a housing project. After 2 years of trying, the asbestos was still there when he left and is still there even now that he is a Senator and presumably has some pull to get things done.

That's it. His entire real world work resume ... 6 weeks work in the Senate with nothing to show for it. Two years as a lawyer and only 14 minor trials. And two years as a 'community organizer' with nothing accomplished.

Who, within their right mind, would vote for this neophyte?

Unfortunately, at this time he does not have the qualifications to run this great country of ours. Maybe in about 15-20 years he should try again.

(The above came from email)

I never really thought about why the Germans came out to see Obama. I guess I followed the hype (if that's what it really was) that they were there to see him. Many Europeans speak more than one language, (such as my Dutch uncle Paul - communicates in seven languages. Some he is fluent in, others he gets by) and many consider it important have English as one of their languages.

Many Europeans are interested in American politics. America is a Superpower after all, and what we do can and does, dominate and influence world events, so it came as no surprise that people come out to see him in whatever nation he spoke in. Add that to the fact that he is making history, and, whether he likes it or not, has a rock-star image, people are bound to want to see him. Shoot, I'd even go out to see him if he appeared locally. I did for Dan Quayle, after all.

Regardless of what the above has to say, he was speaking to the world when he said he was a citizen of the world. I believe he meant it. And, truth be told, we are all citizens of the world. After all, we do live on Planet Earth and we are stewards of her. Some take the job more to heart than others, but that's another story. Obama wasn't talking environmentally, though. I believe, as a Democrat, it's in his heart to unite not just the different segments of American society, but to unite the world into one large community.

Of course, that would remove all semblance of cultural diversity. And that may be the "master plan", if there is such. To make everyone look alike, think alike and say all the right things. No one will have more of anything than anyone else. And the world government will take care of all of us.

Was Obama speaking to the media? Of course he was. He knew what he said would be reported back to the American public. The American public who needs to be taken care of. The American public who thinks they have been abused and misused by someone else. It doesn't really matter who has been abused and misused, or by whom. He's playing on the victimization of America. If you've been victimized, you should be compensated in some way. Don't worry, the government will take care of you.

I don't believe that American is in nearly as bad shape as Obama and the Liberals want you to believe. Of course there are problems. But you know what? We've had these problems before and we've worked out of them. High gas prices? I remember high gas prices as well as a shortage back in the 70's. We could only get something like 5 gallons at a time and could only get gas on certain days of the week - something like how communities allow you to water your lawn today.

The economy getting you down? You ain't seen nothin' yet - think the Great Depression. Most of us only know the Depression from history books and hearing our parents and grandparents talk about it.

Housing? I remember when my brother was looking at houses back in the 70's - interest rates were double digit. I said at the time I would probably never own a house. Well, I was wrong. I own (with Citimortgage) my condo at a single digit interest rate. Interest rates did drop.

I can't compare the mortgage scandal to anything, but that's something a little different. That was caused by greed. Mortgage lenders loaning money to people who really couldn't afford to buy the amount of house they mortgaged. Who made out? The mortgage companies, of course, who really didn't care about the people they were mortgaging. We had a bank here locally that went under because of shady mortgage lending. One person has already been sentenced to jail time. Other cases are still pending. I anticipate that more loan officers will be doing jail time.

And, let's not forget that the people buying the houses aren't without some blame. Just because the mortgage lender says you can get this much mortgage doesn't mean you really can afford it. But their blame is more in the way of foolishness or, dare I say it? stupidity, rather than greed. Part of the American dream is to own your own house, and if a mortgage lender says you qualify for a $250,000 mortgage and you bring home $75000 between you, you're going to argue? You're so happy to get a nice, new house in a nice neighborhood that you'll worry about the details of how to pay for it later.

Of course, there are also the people who bought houses with the idea that it would go up in value and that they would make a bundle in a few years. I know a couple who did this. Every time they needed money, they would re-fi the mortgage. Not a bad idea, but considering that the mortgage increased every time they re-fied, and then the real estate bust, many people began to owe more than the house was worth. Luckily, my friends are able to pay the mortgage and they had planned to stay in that house for years anyway. So even if they do sell at some time in the future, it will (hopefully) be after real estate has started to boom again.

The question we have to ask ourselves is are we better off than we were four years ago? That's what I call a subjective question. For me, actually, yes, I am better off than I was four years ago. Other people are not. Some of the reason people are not better off or are even worse off is because they made poor personal choices. Some are worse off because of conditions out of their control.

When you ask yourself that question, you need to take an honest look at your answer. Especially if you answer no, you need to ask why. If you can honestly say it's all because of conditions outside your control, then you may want to vote for change. In any case, we all need to take stock of our lives and make honest assessments of why our lives are not where we want them to be.

When we enter the voting booth we can have honest, and well thought out reasons for voting the way we do. Whether you like it or not, we really need to vote with our heads not with our hearts. But, I have to admit, it's nice when our heads and our hearts agree.

It is believed that the Apostle Paul wrote some of his epistles while imprisoned. However, it was only recently discovered how these messages were smuggled out of the jail.

Somehow, Paul obtained a bow and arrow from a guard. He would attach his epistle to the arrow's shaft. Then, he would launch it through a window. Outside, a disciple collected and delivered the epistles.

It was the birth of the first guided missive.
For Your Consideration

Friday, August 22, 2008

Redefining The Problem Won't Make It Go Away
By Linda Chavez
August 22, 2008

If ever we needed proof that having an advanced degree doesn't correlate with common sense, we got it this week. A group of college presidents from some of the most prestigious schools in the nation have called on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age. They call their effort the Amethyst Initiative. Why Amethyst? On their website, the erudite group explains to those of us who aren't fluent in ancient Greek, the word is derived from the prefix "a" -- meaning not -- and "methustos," which means intoxicated.

"Twenty-one is not working," the group claims. "A culture of dangerous, clandestine "binge-drinking" -- often conducted off-campus -- has developed," they say, as if the law prohibiting underage drinking has created this culture. Apparently the group believes that if we'd simply lower the drinking age to 18, college students will magically stop binge drinking.

By that reasoning, why not lower the drinking age to 14? That way, we could wipe out binge drinking among high-school students as well. Heck, maybe we could cure alcoholism by eliminating age limits on drinking altogether. Start kids early and they'll learn to drink responsibly, right?

The facts suggest otherwise. According to a 2007 survey by the U.S. Surgeon General, 45 percent of high-school students reported drinking alcohol within the previous month, and more than one in four said they were binge drinkers. In 2005, drinking led to 145,000 emergency room visits by kids 12 to 20 years old for injuries related to their drinking. Of the nearly 7,500 traffic deaths involving 15- to 20-year-olds in 2005, more than 2,000 had been drinking. And young people who start drinking before they turn 15 are five times more likely to become problem drinkers or alcoholics later on.

Lowering the drinking age to 18 won't solve these problems -- and would likely make them worse. So why do these college presidents want to open this Pandora's box? It's simple. They don't want to be responsible for enforcing the law on their campuses.

Back in the Dark Ages when I started college (1965), colleges assumed the role of in loco parentis, acting in the place of parents for students who were not yet adults. By 1970 when I graduated, most universities had dropped virtually all the old rules. Once forbidden to do so, students were allowed to entertain members of the opposite sex in their dorm rooms (and soon, those dorms would be co-ed). Curfews were gone. Indeed, the only behavioral rule colleges seemed willing to enforce after the tumultuous Sixties was the prohibition against drinking on campus. Now, more than 100 college presidents have asked to be alleviated of even this responsibility.

College should be a time for students not only to acquire knowledge and earn a degree but to form character. College presidents could help fulfill their role in that endeavor by promoting less, not more, alcohol on campus. The National Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have outlined several proposals to reduce underage drinking. Among their recommendations are increasing alcohol taxes, reducing youth exposure to alcohol advertising, and enforcing underage drinking laws more aggressively, not less. And they call on colleges and universities to collaborate and implement programs to prevent underage drinking.

The average cost of a four-year public college was nearly $13,000 a year in 2006 and more than $30,000 for a private college. You'd think for that kind of money we could get college presidents to do something as simple as to discourage underage drinking on their campuses. Instead, too many don't only look away but want to define the problem out of existence by lowering the legal drinking age.

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in our culture. It ruins lives and kills thousands of Americans every year on our streets and highways. Alcohol devastates the health and well-being of those who abuse it and destroys innocent family members. We need to do everything we can to discourage drinking, especially among the young. The last thing we need is a bunch of college presidents to pretend that redefining the legal drinking age is a step in that direction.

Linda Chavez is the author of "An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal."



Am I dreaming? Didn't we do this (at least) once before? I seem to be the only one to remember the drinking age was dropped to 18 in the early 70's. A friend of mine was mighty upset about it; she turned 21 the day the law went into effect and didn't "benefit" from the age drop at all. I was never much of a drinker, so the age drop didn't make much difference to me.

I also seem to remember that most of the 18-to-20 year-olds that I knew weren't much impressed. Most of the ones who drank did so because it was illegal. Thje fun was in thumbing their noses at "The Man", at the authority figures in their lives. Changing the law only took away the "forbidden fruit" factor. They either kept drinking or quit.

Is that what this is all about? Take away the "forbidden fruit" and they'll e quit drinking? Yeah, sure, and I have oceanfront property in Missouri you might like to invest in. College kids will drink (if they're so inclined) simply because it's one of the things you do in college.

College is the time that kids use to experiment with growing up. They're away from home for the first time. For many of them, they will never return to Mom and Dad's house except as a "guest", a well-loved and welcomed guest, but their home will be somewhere else from now on. The college years are when kids are really beginning to find out something about themselves; they are learning who they really are. They are learning to live without the rules that were set by Mom and Dad. They are learning to live by the rules they have to set for themselves.

"Twenty-one is not working," the group claims. "A culture of dangerous, clandestine "binge-drinking" -- often conducted off-campus -- has developed,"


"If they're old enough to die for their country, they're old enough to drink"

are arguments that were used 30 years ago. Changing the age doesn't change the maturity level. An 18 year old is still 18. Twenty-one is the age that for centuries, I guess, has been the milestone of becoming an adult. And no, turning 21 doesn't grant automatic maturity. I'm well over 21 and still have some maturing to do. I wish I was as mature at 21 as I thought I was. I wish all 21 year-olds were as mature as they think they are.

Binge drinking is not a new phenomenon. It's been a factor of (college) life for, probably as long as alcohol as been in existence. Entering the military and putting your life on the line at 18 doesn't make you any more mature that it does by turning the magical age of 21.

Maturity comes with age. Scotch may be mature at 18; most college freshmen are not.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wanna-Be President Of The World
By Henry Lamb
August 18, 2008

It has to be a concern when a U.S. presidential candidate arranges to make a campaign speech in Berlin, where he tells a crowd of German youngsters that "I come to you as a citizen of the world."

Why was he campaigning in Berlin?

Why does he identify himself as a "citizen of the world?"

What does this say about the man who wants to be President of the United States?

For one thing, it says that the curriculum advanced by the UNESCO and the National Education Association for more than half a century has been effective. Since 1949, UNESCO, supported by the NEA, has been promoting a
world core curriculum that teaches students that national sovereignty is evil, and that world citizenship is a virtue. This twisted idea is advanced by the International Baccalaureate program, and a close study will reveal that the Civics textbooks produced by the Center for Civic Education promotes global citizenship rather than national sovereignty.

Obama learned his "global governance" lessons well.

It has to be a concern when a U.S. presidential candidate chose to spend 20 years worshiping at the feet of a man who preaches what he calls "black liberation theology." The bottom line of this so-called theology is
condemnation of America.

It has to be a concern when a U.S. presidential candidate admits that his mentor during his formative teen-age years was
Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA, controlled directly from Moscow. Davis was identified as a "bitter opponent of capitalism" in a report submitted to a Senate committee investigating the scope of Soviet activities in the United States.

It has to be a concern when a U.S. presidential candidate, whose platform is nothing more than "change that we can believe in," supported by orchestrated chants of "yes we can." His background and his public performance, such as it is, strongly suggest that the "change" he has in mind is nothing less than a transformation to socialism for the United States. What's worse, is his apparent intention to change the United States from a sovereign nation to an obedient member of the United Nation's global neighborhood. Why else would he be campaigning in Berlin and Europe and telling his audiences "...this is our moment; this is our time."

The last Democrat administration embraced and advanced global governance. It revived the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. It signed the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Kyoto Protocol, and the U.N.'s International Criminal Court. It implemented Agenda 21 with no Congressional debate or approval. And it called on UNESCO to invoke the World Heritage Treaty to block the development of a privately owned gold mine. Each of these initiatives surrenders a measure of national sovereignty to the United Nations.

The Bush administration slowed the rush to global governance a little by revoking the U.

S. signature on the International Criminal Court and withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. But he rejoined UNESCO, and launched the Security and Prosperity Partnership to build a multi-national regional economic unit in the same pattern as the European Union.

Barack Obama makes no pretense about America being first in the world. He touts his intention to elevate the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world. The only way to do this is to yield to the demands of the rest of the world. These demands include Obama's
Global Poverty Act which will increase U.S. contributions to U.N. relief programs by $845 billion. This bill will make the U.S. conform to the U.N. dictate that each nation contributes .7 of one percent to international aid. The U.S. already out-gives the rest of the world by far.

Obama has already announced that he will yield to the demands of the rest of the world by unilaterally disarming. It has to be a concern when a U.S. presidential candidate campaigns with a promise to reduce
America's military capability. This is precisely what Iran, North Korea, and the rest of our enemies want. It is precisely what the Islamic terrorists want. This may be why Obama is the preferred choice of all these countries for the presidency of the United States.

It is more than a concern; it is downright alarming that these realities can be overlooked by a major political party, and by a large number of American voters. There is no virtue in change when the change is certain to be toward a socialist economic system that embraces global governance. Change that moves away from capitalism, free markets, private property, strong defense, and absolute reliance on the U.S. Constitution, is change that must be rejected.


Henry Lamb is the Chairman of
Sovereignty International , and founder of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO).
read it here
The Bear Is Still In The Woods
By Doug Patton
August 18, 2008

As Barack Obama continues to remind voters in those equivocal yet reassuring tones of his why he is completely unqualified to be president, John McCain shows why he should win this election by a landslide.

The contrast between the two men during the forum at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church was stunning. As usual, Obama was tentative, vague, stammered through his answers and was simply wrong on every issue. McCain was surprisingly quick, sure of himself and knew exactly what he believed - and why. When Obama was asked what he thought about the nature of evil in our time, instead of talking about terrorism, the invasion of Georgia or the danger of a nuclear suicide state in Iran, he rambled on about child abuse in America. Asked the same question, McCain immediately pointed to Islamic extremism and naked Russian aggression.

In view of that Russian aggression, as well as the other international minefields that will be waiting for the next occupant of the White House, the McCain campaign should give serious consideration to running the 1984 Ronald Reagan "bear in the woods" commercial (web site)

Here is a transcript of the simple but effective commercial:

"There is a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don't see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it's vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who's right, isn't it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear..."

The commercial ends with Ronald Reagan's picture and the words, "President Reagan, Prepared for Peace." Change that to McCain's name and photo and you have a commercial that would only have to run once in order to have the tongues of every pundit and political hack in America wagging.

It would also highlight Barack Obama's weak, pathetic first reaction to the brutal invasion of the democratic republic of Georgia by Vladimir Putin's Russian Army. Obama, caught like a deer in the headlights, first responded by telling the invader and the invaded that they should both "show restraint." (Is it any wonder Obama has boxed himself into a corner on the issue of Iraq and cannot tell - or won't admit - the difference between invasion and liberation?)

When looking at the Obama and McCain candidacies, consider the hot spots brewing in the world:

Iraq -- A fragile, still-struggling democracy, the only one in the Arab world.

Iran -- A country run by crazed Islamic extremists with nuclear material, thumbing their noses at the civilized world.

North Korea -- A starving people ruled by a despot who has already figured out how to split the atom.

Venezuela -- A South American nation run by an America-hating tinhorn dictator sitting on a sea of the world's most precious resource - oil.

China -- An emerging economic and military colossus which, despite our best efforts to bring about reform, persists in persecuting its own people and supporting America's enemies around the world.

Russia -- A third world nation with an aging arsenal of nuclear weapons, run by a cold-blooded former KGB bureaucrat who thinks he is the next coming of the last czar.

And then there is the shadowy specter of Islamic terrorism, most visible in the form of al-Qaeda, still run by the malevolent hand of Osama bin Laden, a seventh century barbarian who sees the struggle in terms of decades instead of the nanoseconds that characterize the American attention span. We demand that our McWars be over in the blink of an eye so we can return to watching the Super Bowl or the latest reality show; otherwise we whine until a naive "leader" like Barack Obama arises to tell us what we want to hear.

On January 20, 2009, either John McCain or Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Setting aside all of John McCain's aggravating faults, which of these two men do you think is prepared on day one to deal with the bear still lurking in the woods?

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online, and, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at
read it here
Union Cry-Babies Demand Unfair Playing Field
By Chuck Muth
August 17, 2008

I really can't stand labor unions. Despise them, actually. Then again, I'm sugar-coating it because I hate to use the word hate.

They promote Soviet-style collectivism. They promote a herd mentality while quashing independent thought and action. They lie, cheat and steal. They beat people up. They destroy private property. They've undermined the American work ethic. They've dampened the American entrepreneurial spirit. They've ruined the American public education system. They've destroyed the American steel industry. And they've devastated the American automobile industry.

But other than that, unions are great.

And their #1 political goal today is to eliminate secret ballot elections.

The misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" is anything but. How can you make a free choice in a union organizing election if some brass knuckled goon is looking over your shoulder watching who you vote for rather than being allowed to cast your ballot in the privacy of a voting booth? This bill would be better named the "Employee Intimidation Act."

Of course, the reason Big Labor is pushing for the end of secret ballot elections is because in the private sector union bosses are consistently losing secret ballot elections. Private sector employees, unlike their not-too-swift brethren in the government sector, are rejecting the "benefits" of union membership like never before. Today less than 10 percent of private sector employees are unionized. So if Big Labor can't win elections fair and square, the only thing for them to do is try to tilt the playing field. Thus their push to eliminate secret ballots.

And if Obama wins in November, he's already said he'll commit the full power and prestige of the White House to passing this very un-American, anti-worker, anti-consumer piece, legislation.

Enter Wal-Mart.

The retail giant, thanks to its excellent pay and employee benefits, has been able to successfully keep organized labor out of its successful operations - no doubt a big factor in their success. Big Labor hasn't been able to win secret ballot elections to unionize the company, but the Employee Intimidation Act could well change the situation.

Unionizing Wal-Mart would hurt the company, hurt the company's workers and hurt consumers. So it should come as no surprise that the company opposes the proposed legislation as well as the man running for president who says he would sign it.

But being true to form, Big Labor isn't content with fighting opponents of the Employee Intimidation Act on a level playing field. You see, while Big Labor is busy extorting MILLIONS of dollars from union members' paychecks to be used to elect more Democrats to Congress and Obama to the White House, they are also whining like little babies over some Wal-Mart managers allegedly telling Wal-Mart employees that a vote for Obama is a vote against Wal-Mart and their jobs.

According to the Associated Press this weekend, "The AFL-CIO and three other labor rights groups have asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unlawfully pressured employees to vote against Democrats in November because their party would help workers to unionize." The malcontents, according to the AP story, claim "Wal-Mart broke federal election rules by advocating against Democratic candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in meetings with employees."

As you bear in mind the fact that Big Labor will spend millions upon millions of dollars this campaign cycle urging workers to vote for Democrats from Obama on down, consider the absolutely anti-business bias of the federal election laws, as described in the AP story: "Federal election rules allow businesses to push for specific political candidates to shareholders, executives and salaried managers, but they prohibit such actions for hourly workers."

An employer paying the wages to its workers is not allowed to advocate specific candidates to those workers, but the union leeches can? What's wrong with this picture? Why can Big Labor spend millions of dollars to influence federal elections, but private employers can't even talk to its own employees about candidates whose political agenda could be harmful to the workers' jobs? Why are unions more equal than everyone else? Inquiring minds wanna know.