Friday, May 30, 2014

Rat Parade on the Ropes

He gave Baghdad Bob
a run for his money. 
Are Eric Shinseki and Jay Carney the beginning of the Conga line preparing to leave the Obama administration? Like rats running down the rope line from a sinking ship, it will be a good start.

To be fair to Shinseki, he was a fine patriot and soldier, but he was a terrible choice by Obama to administer the Veterans Affairs department, a victim of Obama's incompetence and inexperience in being any sort of executive himself. Jay Carney, on the other hand, was simply a paid liar, a spinmeister extraordinaire. Had Carney been made to face real journalists -- people like Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein -- he would have been swallowed up whole in his first week on the job.

Carney told some real whoppers during his tenure, and all with a straight face. And the lap dogs in the White House press corps (not pronounced corpse, I might add) basically let him slide time and again. Perhaps his resignation is the result of a few reporters who had finally had enough of Carney's ... malarkey toward the end and began to actually challenge him. It's hard to remain stoic when ones lies are questioned thoroughly and doggedly, like Fox News' Ed Henry and ABC's Jonathan Karl began to do.

I must say I will almost miss Jay. Not because he began to grow on me, but because I will never get to see him crack under the questions on some You Tube video.

As for Shinseki, I am concerned that his sacrifice will satisfy the Gods of News, who will then move onto some other story while our veterans continue to wallow in the pathetic system that is the epitome of government controlled health care. People in general are much too involved with their own lives to care beyond the last headline, and they must remain engaged through a diligent press lest they forget all too quickly.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Day That Will Haunt Me Forever

Rose Catherine Wood
It's May 21st, a day that should signal new life in our lives as the grass begins growing anew, beautiful flowers of all colors begin to bloom, and summer is but a mere month away, raising us out of our winter doldrums and preparing us for a fresh start to a warm, new year. Yet today, the woman who gave me life, who raised me from an infant, has departed this world for a new adventure of her own.

My brother Bob and I are now orphans, though that is not the source of my lugubriousness, as we are still fairly healthy in our advancing years. I am saddened by the distance between us all, my once close family and me, for there are roughly 2300 miles that separate us from one another.

I would wager that as families go, ours was the most idyllic I could imagine. We lived on Long Island, and my brother and I were raised in a small town on the eastern portion -- away from the big city, and therefore insulated from its influences -- in the early 1950's and early 1960's. We were far from rich, living a simple life not far removed from a typical Walton's episode. While my mother never worked after marriage -- and while my father fretted over the finances -- my brother and I thought we were rich anyway.

My father always had a boat when we were kids, and my mother loved that thing. In the summer time, every Friday my mother would shop for groceries, both for the home and for the boat. Friday afternoons, my father would return from work, collect my mother and us, and we would head to the marina and sail to Fire Island for the weekend. Other than my own marriage -- and the births of my three children -- those were the best days of my life. As I mentioned earlier; idyllic.

My father finished our basement when Bob and I were kids, which was big in our neighborhood. It was a time when kids were still safe outside, even at night, and parents liked to party in one home or another. My father played the piano and organ, and my brother and I played drums. My mother sang, and she had a beautiful voice. (And she loved Connie Francis).

Her whole family sang, and they were prone to break into spontaneous --albeit inebriated -- song at the near conclusion of most family barbecues, and while we as kids rolled our eyes at them, it is today a source of great memories.

Mom could be tough, though, make no mistake. When we boys were young, she would make sure we were on our best behavior, and those lessons remain with us today. But as we moved into our late teens and early adulthood, and beyond, she became more friend than mother, perhaps recognizing that her real work was done and it was time to relax a bit.

She did teach us one very important lesson though, perhaps inadvertently, or perhaps clandestinely, and that was what a family means. It is ingrained in us now -- my brother and me --  and the lesson we received is not learned like a subject for a high school exam, but is rather absorbed, and it stays with you forever. When we were all alive, we would have died for each other. Today, we orphans -- for lack of a better term -- still hold that lesson.

Thankfully, my brother was in a position to move our mother to Texas to be with him, and he gave a lot to make her transition to the ethereal world as comfortable as it could be. For that I will always be grateful. God gives us incredible strenghth seemingly just when we need it most. I will also be eternally grateful for His grace.

Some people get angry and lash out at God when He takes a loved one. I have long ago learned that His will is a blessing, no matter how painful it seems to our personal wish to cling to those we love. I have learned that life is a gift, love is more powerful than anything, and God's gift still has an expiration date. Some live long and pass almost unnoticed, while others live briefly, which is the most painful experience, and one that elicits the most rage towards God. Forgive Him, for He will ultimately forgive us all.

I spoke with my mother in her days leading up to the end thanks to the technology of Skype -- and to my brother's calling me to chat with Mom -- and while I am sad today to be without her, I am grateful for His mercy in sparing her from further humiliation due to her advancing dementia. And I am grateful that He has restored the balance of our family. My mother is back home with my father, and my brother and I still stalk the realm of Earth.

It's kind of funny how we cling to life, which is increasingly painful to endure in today's world, yet embrace God's embrace at the end. Perhaps He intended it that way.

God speed Mom. We will always love you and all you did for us, but we are glad that you are with Dad again, and in the arms of the Lord. I love you.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

That Lump Under the Rug

Houston. Problem.
The story that refuses to die has gained new legs, and the Obama administration will soon feel the heat as a result of such tenacity. And while the White House apologists scramble to perfect their damage control message, the fact remains that the fabric of the support mechanism in place for the past nineteen months seems to be eroding faster than the shoreline of an Asian country after an earthquake in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Benghazi has recently reared its ugly head once again, and while the White House staff is in full defense mode, there can be no doubt that something is seriously wrong here despite the reticence of the main stream media to cover any of it. It seems that a coordinated effort between this White House and the major news outlets has isolated Fox News as the lone news organization covering Benghazi and therefore easily accused it of conducting a witch hunt.

Herein lies the problem: between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton screaming, "What difference, at this point, does it make?", and Tommy Veitor's recent "Dude, that was like two years ago" comments, the efforts to sweep Benghazi under the proverbial rug has resulted in an undeniable lump that cannot be ignored. And so Congress is revitalized in the investigative process, and seems poised to name Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) as a chairman to a select committee to further probe deeper into this scandal. Much to Hillary Clinton's chagrin, this is not going away.

It is superbly ironic that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently called Benghazi a "political circus" in which Republicans seek to gain ground leading up to the Congressional elections later this year. Poppycock. This whole issue exploded anew after Judicial Watch finally obtained emails in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that show how the White House politicized  the attack -- and subsequent reaction to it -- to protect Obama's re-election.

Defenders of the White House and State Department continually claim that they have provided every bit of information to House investigators, yet why has it taken a lawsuit by Judicial Watch to drag these emails out of them? Why were they withheld to begin with? Someone is trying to hide something and it is incumbent on the House to discover what it is and who is responsible. Sorry Harry, that a circus does not make.

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