suzanne fields recently said: “Lest we smugly sneer at college seniors for what they don’t know, we should see how we answer these questions ourselves: Where does the phrase the ‘wall of separation’ between church and state appear? What Supreme Court decision ended legal racial segregation in the United States? Why were the Federalist Papers written? What is federalism? What is the Monroe Doctrine? What is meant by a ‘progressive’ tax?”
so i began a week long quest in asking just these questions of those who surround me. appallingly, i found that my 10th grade daughter, tatiana, knew the answers to the most of these questions and she knew only two. in having the discussion on the first question, i actually had a liberal friend of mine accuse me of having a "different version of the constitution than is used by those in the know". apparently i am not in the know as i didn't know there is more than one version of the u.s. constitution.
i spoke to businessmen/women, postal carriers, active military and retired military, retail sales people, homemakers, students from 9th grade through post graduate and while all of them had an opinion on just about every question asked, none knew the correct answer to more than one. mostly the one correct answer was "what supreme court decision ended legal racial segregation...". it, to me, is a sad commentary on what we are teaching our children and the way our history is twisted and mangled by those in the msm. however, it does shed some light on how people come believe the crap spewed forth by the likes of moveon.org, code pink, answer, etc..
to answer these questions (and try to explain some of them a bit).
in regards to the separation of church and state: nearly 206 years ago, the danbury baptist association (representing a religious minority in connecticut) wrote a letter to thomas jefferson complaining of their treatment in their state. specifically that they felt that the religious freedoms they enjoyed were viewed by connecticut not as immutable rights but as "favors granted" by the legislature. thomas jefferson's well researched reply in 1802 pertained only to the national level and is where he coined the phrase "wall of separation between church and state". As you can see in the letter, and in this article analyzing the letter, this is clearly not meant to be taken as a constitutional definition.
regarding the end of legal racial segregation: in 1954, the landmark supreme court case of brown v the board of education signaled the end of legalized racial segregation. it was a complete reversal of 1896 case of plessy v ferguson where the phrase "separate but equal" was coined. in writing for the majority, in brown v board of ed, chief justice earl warren said "We conclude that the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
in regards to why the federalist papers were written: essentially, the 85 essays written by alexander hamilton, james madison and john jay (who collaborated on 6 of the essays) were a huge propaganda campaign intended to aid in the ratification of the u.s. constitution. originally directed at new york, it aided madison in getting the constitution ratified in virginia as well. this group of essays stands as the greatest source for interpretation for the constitution of the united states. some may find it enlightening, as i did, to also read the anti-federalist papers and compare the warnings to where we are and where we appear to be heading.
what is federalism? depending on which country you are speaking of, the definition may be slightly different. but for our purposes, we'll speak in terms of the u.s. it is essentially a way to divide the powers of the government whereby the individual states retain the majority of the power and autonomy of being independent while the central (or federal) government has a very limited set of items that are under its purview. federalist papers no. 44 and no. 46 deal with this issue, as does anti-federalist paper no. 17.
the monroe doctrine proclaimed that european powers would no longer be allowed to colonize or interfere with the independent nations of the americas. if wars between europe and its colonies happened within the americas, the united states would view such action as hostile and react accordingly. this doctrine has been used by a number of people throughout history to support decisions made in regards to foreign policy.
the definition of a progressive tax: "A tax system in which those who earn higher incomes pay a higher percentage of their income than those with lower incomes. A graduated tax is one example." sounds fair, right? wrong. it penalizes those who earn the most money.
how many of you knew the answers to these questions without my answers or without googling the questions for more information? it is true that i am in the middle of the country. however, in addition to random people i do not know, i asked these questions of people i know across the fruited plain and on both coasts. i wonder, if any of you were to do the same type of informal survey, if my findings would bear out.
in what world do the people who have entered a country without going through legal channels have an expectation of a citizen's rights? in the [race] apologists' world. in what country do these people reside? why the united states of america, of course.
among those clamoring for the u.s. to open our borders is the president of mexico himself. by now, i'm sure you've heard that he made some remarks if not the actual words; if this is redundant for you, i apologize in advance. earlier this month mexican president, filipe calderon, gave a state of the union address to his constituents and he said "I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico. And, for this reason, the government action on behalf of our countrymen is guided by principles, for the defense and protection of their rights." talk about imperialistic aspirations!
and yet, although you've heard much from the likes of michelle's gang over at hotair and other bloggers big and small, there has been precious little to expose this man for who he is in the msm. however, i do want to give credit where due so i must acknowledge that chris dodd did speak out against calderon's arrogance. further, there has been no condemnation from anyone in our government - or at least none that i can find. nor can i find any from any of the presidential candidates on either side of the aisle. in fact, the only one i can find who has denounced this at all is walter moore, candidate for mayor of los angeles; hat tip to vanishing american.
it's amazing to me that any candidate for the american presidency would allow this comment to stand unchallenged. but that is a whole other discussion.
here in kansas city, the town where i have now lived for nearly 3 years, we have a skirmish that is reminiscent of some of the larger battles being waged nationwide in this immigration debate. and trust me, i use the word 'debate' loosely.
here in kc, la raza was scheduled to have their 2009 national conference but they are apparently threatening a pull out now. and some of the members of the naacp have questioned the planned 2010 conference, but so far no one from the leadership has said anything about it.
what is all the fuss about, you ask? well, in june our new mayor, mark funkhouser, appointed frances semler to the board of commissioners for the department of parks and recreation. so? well, horrors of horrors, ms. semler is a member of the minuteman civil defense corps. now, la raza and members of the local media as well as much of local lefties are up in arms.
it seems that if you are a member of a group which states its mission statement as: "To see the borders and coastal boundaries of the United States secured against the unlawful and unauthorized entry of all individuals, contraband, and foreign military. We will employee all means of civil protest, demonstration, and political lobbying to accomplish our goal." you are a racist and maybe worse. the number of people gunning for her is seemingly endless.
in fact, for standing up for what she believes to be right, she has even been accosted by illegal-alien supporters in her own home! the thug tactics being employed follow the normal lines of threats and attempting to get the focus off of illegal immigration is no real surprise.
the advocates of shamnesty believe the calderon lie that we, the us of a, have no right to limit those who come into our country. perhaps they actually believe the lie being spewed by oaxaca that we "stole" the southwest from mexico. based on the constant pandering of the various different groups it certainly seems that way to me.
in fact, we've made two purchases of land from mexico getting us Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and western Colorado. when money has changed hands between the rightful owner and a willing buyer, a theft has not been perpetrated. but don't look to anyone in the msm to educate the masses. and don't look for anyone in the msm to stand up for ms. semler. or to speak out against calderon.
they are too busy attempting to cast aspersions on those among us who want to enforce the immigration laws of our country. in researching this post, i found several people who posted these two links as proof that the minuteman organization is a racist hate group: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lOE_LQfWgA and www.minutemenunvarnished.com/minutesite/home.html. i watched them a number of times and i fail to see what they see - but you be the judge and let me know what you think.
in the meantime, i support the appointment of frances semler to the the board for the dept of kansas city's parks and rec. i support what the minutemen are doing. i have written to both to tell them and to funkhouser's office as well.
i believe it is time that all of us who are on the side of enforcing our laws and sealing our borders to illegal entry, to stand up and say so. and i think that we need to make our voices heard that we are no longer going to allow the pro-illegal people in this country (and mexico) to cast us in the light of racists or hate mongers. there is no other country on this earth that would even entertain unfettered immigration, including mexico, and we need to stop the people in this country who would have us believe otherwise.
it seems that [some] people think that we need to get the iraq security force up and running so we can "leave." i agree that with iraq's security force 100% functional we would be able to largely draw down the troop presence in the country, but leave? that simply makes no sense to me.
we have helped to build a national security force several other times in our nation's history. in south korea, the balkans and el savador we finished the job. successfully. and we're still there. in afghanistan we're still working on it.
even though we were attempting to do the same thing in vietnam, south korea is probably the closest thing we have to a comparison for the process in iraq. it's the first place we endeavored to build a national security force from the ground up. in point of fact we did it twice - once before the korean war and then afterwards to rebuild the destroyed armed forces. during the war we were there to shore up the national force and work towards the rebuilding even before the war ended.
did we make mistakes there? of course. in every war, or conflict, mistakes are made. just as in every adult relationship mistakes are made.
it is only hindsight that we can analyze and see what the turning points were, what the biggest successes were and conversely what were the largest miscalculations. often, in hindsight, we see that things we thought were righteous were not and vice versa.
much has been made of the "stupid" decision in iraq to scrap and dismantle saddam's army of iraq instead of using it to form the basis of the new. i believe that this decision was based on historical lessons of our experience in south korea.
in south korea a decision was made to use the colonial police force that had existed under japan (sans the japanese members) to form the basis of the national security force. it seemed expeditious to use these already trained guys to step in and start battling the insurgency. in hindsight it was probably a bad idea because this police force was so hated and feared by the general public that this decision continues to be used as anti-americanism fodder even today more than 60 years later.
i believe that using saddam's army would not have precipitated a quicker out for american forces. i believe it would have plunged the country further into the abyss. of course, had that been done there would have been plenty of people around to comment on the stupidity of keeping his army instead of starting anew...
in august of 1948 the republic of korea was established and the end of the american occupation arrived and major troop draw down began. thereafter, we established a military advisory group to train and consult with the new army and national police force; the group was known as the Korea Military Advisory Group (kmag) and it was very similar to the structure we currently have in place in iraq. prior to august of 1948 we helped to create a constabulary force to help the national police force conduct counterinsurgency ops against the leftist guerrillas.
between august 1948 and and june 1950, on the eve of the invasion by north korea, the security forces had largely contained and neutralized the insurgency. the insurgency was primarily suppressed by june 1950.
in korea there were many conflicting factions as there are in iraq today. in iraq you have different flavors of muslim plus the foreign and national insurgents. in korea they had more and different factions. largely it was right versus left, but these divisions exacerbated by region, religion (christian vs. communist) and class. it's not that korea had so many different factions, it's that those factions weren't mirrored in the security forces who learned to become a cohesive force.
look, i'm not arguing that we did everything right in south korea any more than i'm arguing we've done everything right in iraq. there were certainly things that were at least questionable in terms of purges (was the kmag involved? probably) and what equipment was used and how they were trained. but almost certainly [at least] some of the things some think are all wrong at this juncture will be proven out by history to have been brilliant. conversely the same is true of the opposite. history is always the judge.
from our advise and consult roll in korea we became a major partner with them and remain so even today. some argue that we should pull out of south korea now as we are no longer needed. but is that really true? officially, the two koreas are still at war; there was only a ceasefire agreement signed and no end of hostilities. additionally, there have been attempts from the north to assassinate south korean leaders and sabotage different organizations in the south as late as 1986. do people honestly believe that the north would suddenly straighten up and fly right (as it were) if we just removed ourself from the region? no way.
no more than the terrorists or iran (i'm sorry for the redundancy) or (fill in the blank here) will simply turn from their hatred and intent of harm against us. and us includes all of the non-muslims of the world; the u.s. is just the largest target.
we will be in iraq for a long, long time if what we want is to quiet the drums of war against us. i fear that if we leave, we will not get the chance to go back. if we leave before they are self-sufficient they will never be so and they will fight tooth and nail to keep us out in the future. and no one, over the entire planet, will ever believe us at our word again.
i do. so do our braves sons and daughters standing in harm's way around the world. and so do the terrorist.
sitting here, working from home, watching the memorial services and it's all so fresh. from the first moment of silence at 08:46 (EDT) to the last one at 10:20 (EDT) the tears just flowed and i couldn't have done anything to stop it had i tried.
right now we have an exchange student from the czech republic. he's getting a unique perspective that he could never have received in europe. it's [probably] highly unlikely he'd get this same experience with any other host family here. from his surprise that we fly the u.s. and federalist flags everyday, the flying of the flag at half-mast today, he's been just one question after another.
we have exchange students every year and it never ceases to amaze me how skewed is their concept of free. i can't help but think that our founding fathers would find what passes for freedom in our current reality, here in the u.s., to be unacceptable. and yet, we are still the most free country on the face of the earth.
six years ago today, i stepped out of the shower to the image of the first tower burning. moments later i watched, live, as the second plane crashed into the second tower. it was then that i realized the first tower hit wasn't an accident. we were truly under attack.
at the time, we were living in houston about six miles from nasa. when the plane hit the second tower, i left to get my children from school. no matter how irrational, i just wanted my children with me. my oldest daughter, katerina, was waiting for me. seems she "knew" i'd be coming as soon as they made the announcement at her high school. no idea how she knew, but i guess i've always been neurotic about the safety of my kids. my other two children, jesse and tatiana, were younger; they really didn't understand why mom and dad were so upset. i'm not sure they yet have any idea. kat gets it. she remembers.
but honestly, i don't think that most people remember. certainly the msm doesn't remember. sure they remember that it happened, but not the significance of it all. they don't remember the pain of realizing our innocence, as a nation, was gone forever. they don't remember the horror of not knowing who it was or why or if more was imminent. do you?
we don't see those video images on the t.v. any more - seems the experts are worried that viewing the destruction will breed anger and hatred. apparently they are correct as islamist terrorists are seemingly using the videos for recruiting more jihad. they remember. they don't want you to remember.
they want you to believe the conspiracists. they want you to belive the msm and george soros and his moveon organization. they want you to believe the talking heads in the democrat party. they want you to believe that the war in iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror.
they know that if you believe the lies being passed off by these groups that you will be more likely to think we're safe here no matter what the "warmongerers" are telling you. they know that if you believe you're safe that you'll be more likely to pressure washington to abandon iraq. and maybe even afghanistan. and maybe even ignore any dangers from iran, if it comes to that.
nearly 3000 people dead on our soil. six years ago today. nearly 5000 american service men and women dead in this war on terror since oif started more than 5 years ago. many related terrorist plots foiled (worldwide) by our allies and our own country in the past six years.
in the new tape released, today, obl says that the only way the u.s. will escape further wrath from the islamists is if we all convert to islam. but don't look for this statement to change the dribble spewing forth from the defeatists. don't look for them to admit that the terrorist hate us not because of our capitalism or any other reason than the fact that we are not an islamic state. it doesn't fit their policy of cut and run, so look to even this statement being ignored.
already, today, i am hearing claims that obl isn't the man in charge any more. where before these same people were calling on the president to abandon iraq because the "real war" is wherever obl is, my guess is that these people will now start trying to make the case that there is no "real leader" and therefore we need to go back to treating the terrorists as criminals, not combatants. this will be the new justification for abandoning iraq and not fighting any more.
i, for one, will never forget. i will remember until the day i die that morning when my view of the world changed forever. i will always remember the innocence of the world i grew up in, snatched from my childrens' hands before they even knew it. i will remember, with pride, for as long as i live the brave souls on flight 93 who said "let's roll" and then did. i will remember fear i felt wondering if my friend was safely out of the pentagon when flight 77 hit (thankfully she was late that day and parking as the plane came in).
i will remember the horrors, the fear, the pain, the disbelief and the pride always and i will try to communicate that frequently to everyone i meet who does not remember. will you?
people are all abuzz with the latest video release from obl. it's important to note that this is a potentially important video. for one, there is no change in the stance of islamists. and i don't say "radical islamists" because that is a misnomer. all practicing muslims are potentially "radical islamists" simply because islamic law compels them to be.
islamic law requires the muslim to invite you to recognize the supremacy of islam by converting. if you refuse, you may be invited to become a dhimmi (sort of a second class citizen paying duty to the muslims for allowing you to be there) and if you refuse that then the muslim is to go to war with you (Sahih Muslim 4294).
consider the prosecution, in new york of the pace university student who flushed a koran. while i am not defending this young man as having done a worthy thing, this young man thought he was exercising his first amendment rights - albeit with someone else's property. i imagine he was surprised to find that it is free speech if you desecrate a christian icon or jewish icon, but if you desecrate a like islamic icon it is a hate crime.
with each finding of sensitivity towards the islamic demands, we are giving away a greater piece of who we are as a country, as a people. when the washington post declines to print "comics" deemed offensive to muslims, but harbors no such reserve towards christians or jews, the press is agreeing to forfeit some of its freedoms.
we non-muslims must stand up and say "enough!" until we stop worrying about the sensitivities of islamists as more important than our own culture, beliefs, indeed our very country, we will continue to cede our freedoms to "them".
our society is secular, true. our law is based on the belief that the government cannot tell us where to go to church or how to worship. this is in direct opposition to the laws of islam which is a political and social system all rolled into one with a religious faith. we cannot even marginally embrace this without completely altering the nature of our society and indeed that of all western society as well.
with each compassionate nod to islam here in the united states our "ness" is eroding away. compare the freedoms of woman under our laws versus that under sharia law. can you imagine your mothers, your sisters, your wives, your daughters being subjugated in this manner? because make no mistake, they will not change their views to be more open in that regard. the religion of muhammed has changed very little since the dawn of time and that is a point on which islamists are very proud.
robert spence examines a great deal of this in his book Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't but it's getting precious little notice anywhere as so many are afraid to remark on islam in a non-pc manner. this reticence is promoting the fallacy that "they" don't like us because we're capitalists. or we're arrogant. or we're "intolerant". or whatever other name is placed on "us" by the msm - both here at home and in much of the world. they don't like us because we don't follow sharia law. they don't like us because we are not an islamic nation.
i know this all sounds like the lunatic ramblings of some ditsy blond, but consider these things. obl predicted on a number of occasions that the u.s. would start a fight with al qaeda, but that we were nothing more than a paper tiger and we'd be unlikely to finish it. meaning that all the islamists need to do is bide their time and we'd eventually quit and they would win. consider also that in europe the only group producing at a growth rate is muslims - if they wait long enough they'll "win" europe by default: they'll be the only ones left standing.
but seriously folks. we are in a war for our very survival - here and in the west as a whole. but most of the democrat caucus, indeed much of the socialist world, doesn't have a clue. this is one we must win.
and make no mistake. if we in any way indicate that we are not there to finish the task in iraq, or afghanistan (or iran if it comes to it) the monsters that are beyond will be here. the edge of the map will be redrawn to the united states. and we will be hard pressed to recover.