Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Faith Blog...and the 2 pieces just below

I thought this picture was so adorable and it reminded me that we can ALL use some quiet time with God. Make it personal, speak out loud to Him, use your hands!

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.." Psalms 40:4

And please take a few minutes to read our posts below on Socialism and how it's affected Germans and Armenians. We'd really appreciate your comments. Thanks. z

Happy Sunday, all....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Tale of THREE Countries' People?

Armenians have been coming to America for about 120 years. Though some of you think I might go back that far, no, not quite....My own family are fairly late comers, I'm a first generation on one side and second generation, but I do have some experience with it!

I write this because Mr. Z's account about Germans (article just below this) and how the people became so different after having lived in the East or the West really got me thinking of the situation of my own people.

Armenians, the last 100 years or so, came mostly from Turkey. The largest influx was soon after the massacres. The nightmare some call 'the Armenian genocide' in Turkey lasted through and just after World War I. (There are still Turks who deny the murder of 1.5 million Armenians. Just for your interest, I link this also and add that I'm not fighting that war here at my blog. You must draw your own conclusions about whether the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenian mothers and children was just or deserved.)

Armenians, for the most part, are like Germans. One might say they're known for being highly intelligent and successful in the arts, business, sciences, etc. I've always been very proud to be an Armenian, especially here in California, where the community has contributed in many constructive ways, including William Saroyan or California's two-term conservative governor, George Deukmejian.

Ronald Reagan once said, "America is a shining city on a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere." Armenians were a part of all those immigrant groups who came here to be part of the beautiful dream on that hill. In the early 20th century, we came and learned the English language as fast as we could, even forbidding Armenian to be spoken at home if that would help the children learn their new language faster. I've heard tales by relatives of first setting eyes on that amazing lady in the ocean in New York, the Statue of Liberty, and what that meant to them. They'd arrived! They had a hopeful future, they were actually in AMERICA! They couldn't wait to fit in and wouldn't have taken a handout if they could in any way avoid it, and very rarely did. They are known for their hard work, solid families, and children who went on to higher education. Armenians respected America and were thrilled and grateful to be part of it.

Turkish Armenians aren't Turkish, but it's how we're regarded in contrast to Russian Armenians. What is Turkey now was largely Armenia at one time, many, many years ago. So, those families still in Turkey when borders were moved were known as Turkish Armenians. My mother's family was from Istanbul but, for various reasons, she was raised in Cairo, Egypt. It was during the forties that Armenians in Cairo were encouraged to "Go to Armenia, the land of milk and honey! Go back to your roots!" Many did....only to be stuck there as soon as the Iron Curtain slammed down, with Armenia on the wrong side of it. If it weren't for my mother's brother, our whole family's history would have been rewritten for the worst. He felt something funny was happening and, him being the man of the house after their father had died, he convinced my grandmother not to go there. Many weren't that lucky. They went and joined their fellow Armenians in the Homeland, that land whose capital is Yerevan and which had been the first nation in the world to name Christianity its religion. Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark landed, was once in the area of Armenia. Those Armenians were stuck there for years, two generations were raised under Communism. (I should say that Armenia hasn't been part of the USSR for about 15 years now, it's its own independent country, so I use the term "Russian Armenians" to classify those who were stuck in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia those years back and even who are there now only to contrast with Turkish Armenians; they are technically not Russian Armenians anymore.)

Those Russian Armenians started to arrive in America about thirty years ago. They started coming in droves and settled in pockets of Los Angeles, a large number settled in Glendale, California. I can only talk for Los Angeles, but I think this story here is probably echoed throughout America. I sincerely hope not. I say that because the Armenians who came here from Russian Armenia, in general, seem to have lost their way, they don't seem of the same stock as the Turkish Armenians. How could that be? Their relatives were here for years, no problems for America; if anything, only good came from that. The Russian Armenian counterparts have changed Los Angeles in a different way.

I once spoke to a policeman who told me "You know, we never had an Armenian in our jails ....not for many, many years! Suddenly, half the jails are full of them. They're the ones from Russia." Did their genes change? Was it something in the Russian water? For years, Armenians came and contributed, never took! Suddenly, I'm told the Armenians are coming with the phone numbers and addresses of welfare offices in the LA area. They're coming prepared to live off of this great country which the earlier arrivals of Armenians had revered and didn't want to harm, only wanted to be a part of in the best possible way. We Armenians here today who see what's happening cringe and bemoan the fact that this is happening to our city. We see first hand how much the people must have suffered in Armenia to have adapted to this kind of entitlement mentality.

The same people, the same genes, same intelligence, but the drive doesn't seem to be there, even dignity and following the laws seem to have gone by the wayside. There are those who won't work, the children are not so encouraged to get a higher education, they've created street gangs! I must qualify this: it seems that it's "the more recent the arrival, the most problems"....many Russian Armenians have fit beautifully into Los Angeles over the last 30 years.

Yes, they lived under Communism, they had Black Market mentality drilled into them from an early age. Hard work had stopped paying off in the Old Country years ago, why bother? One must survive. As much as America was, and still is, the land of opportunity and the place which had welcomed millions of contributing and appreciative Armenians for years, suddenly even those Armenians are stunned at this new influx of people who, in general, only want to take, not contribute.

I like to hope that Armenians born here, whose ancestors had been stuck behind the Iron Curtain, will be influenced by those of us who set a good example for them. I hear some good things in that vain, I pray it's so. As America seems to be adapting, more and more, a socialist mentality of entitlement and government-owned companies, free education, free health care, one wonders which group of Armenians will feel most comfortable in this great land in, say, 10 years.

I don't have the answer for that, but I will say I'm proud to be a part of that group who came earlier, who appreciated all America meant and who, I think, have been part of the building of this great land. Mr. Z said this at the end of his story:

"Same people, same genes, same history; but what a difference under two distinctly different ideologies. America, please benefit from Germany's past. We owe it to you." I'll leave you with this in relating to the Armenian people:

"Same people, same genes, same history; but what a difference under two distinctly different ideologies. America, we Turkish Armenians who've benefited from you will never cease to be grateful. We will try with all our might to make sure America stays the great land it has been; a land which offers opportunity more than any other country in the whole wide world, a land which rewards hard work and integrity, a land that has been so good to those of us who understand your history and live by your laws. We'll try to keep it that way. We owe it to you."


Friday, May 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Countries

Happy Birthday, Germany! ....and how this affects the United States

The year 2009 is a big year for Germany – 60 years after the signing of the Constitution on May 23, 1949 and 20 years after the fall of the wall in Berlin on November 9, 1989. Much has been written in Germany about the 60 years of the Federal Republic of Germany, including some characteristic pictures (one good piece is here in Der Spiegel in English:), so I will leave the account of historical facts to others and concentrate on a personal assessment.

My mother fled the Russians with my brother and me in the waning days of WW II. I remember bits and pieces of Germany in rubble after the war, walking to a British soup kitchen with a lunch pail, stealing some coal from the Brits with my little handcart, only having enough to eat because my grandfather bred chickens and we had a big vegetable garden. There wasn't that much destruction in the little town in Northern Germany in which we grew up. We did know, however, about the difficulties Berlin was having with the blockade and the unbelievably courageous effort by the Americans in trying to save Berlin through the airlift („Luftbrücke“ or air bridge).

Two more things I remember vividly: The 2 Pfennig blue stamp we put on each letter and postcard to help Berlin (called „Notopfer“ or emergency help) and the care packages which were part of the Marshall Plan (I remember my mother was particularly thrilled with the coffee in the package). It was only much later that I understood the full scale of the destruction of the war, including the personal tragedies due to the loss of relatives and being driven from home towns or regions („Vertriebene“).

While we did not have an abundance to eat, we did not go to bed hungry, unlike the people of Berlin, who would not have survived at all if the Americans hadn't started the airlift with the help of the Brits. Amazing and appreciated to this day were the actions of Gen. Clay in pursuing the airlift against all the odds and the humanitarian efforts associated with it, such as the dropping of sweets for the kids of Berlin, an idea conceived by Col. Gail Halverson. These people will never be forgotten by the Germans, especially the people of Berlin. (A really excellent read on this subject is The Candy Bombers)

Germany was effectively governed by the Allied Forces USA; Great Britain, France and Russia. Very soon after the war, it became clear that Russia did not want to cooperate with its Western Allied partners and looked for confrontation in securing their sphere of influence, and they captured one Eastern European country after the other, with Czechoslovakia, in the Spring of 1948, being the one which woke everybody up. The blockade of Berlin by the Soviets in June 1948 was a logical consequence of their previous actions. It was a scary time.... for the Germans, and particularly the people of Berlin, not knowing whether they would be protected against the communists, and for the Americans, because the fear was that of a third world war.

One of the reasons for the action of the Soviets was that the Western Allies (the Americans, for that matter, represented by Gen. Clay) were in the process of setting up a new currency system in the Western part of the country and started to establish the rules for a German government. This is how, in August 1948, 33 selected people (lawyers, intellectuals and members of democratic parties) met on the island of Herrnchiemsee on the Chiemsee lake in Bavaria and ironed out a Constitution for Germany, the so called „Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch“ (BGB, or common law). They did that in only 13 days of seclusion, despite minimal provision of food and drink, in an effort which some people have compared, because of its significance, to the generation of the Constitution of the United States. In the months to come, it had indeed become, under discussion with the Allies and respecting their demands, a very even handed document. This document was then ratified by the Federal Convention, incorporated by the Allies, in the Spring of 1949, and signed by the head of this Convention, Konrad Adenauer, on May 23, 1949. Later in that same year, Theodor Heuss was elected by the Federal Convention to become the first President of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany and, in Autumn, the people elected a conservative government and Konrad Adenauer was elected the first Chancellor of this new State by the „Bundestag“ (Parliament). By that time, the blockade of Berlin was broken down and West Germany started a new beginning, as did, under pressure by the Soviets, the East German country of „German Democratic Republic“, implementing a communist government.

This was, therefore, the starting point for two German States, established under very different sets of rules. And exactly here lies a very interesting point in study: What happened to these two States which started from the same German people, but implemented with opposite political systems? We saw the results almost 40 years later.

West Germany had undergone what we called the „Wirtschaftswunder“ (economic wonder), achieved by Ludwig Erhard through his „social economics“ – which is a capitalist system with social attributes (as opposed to a socialistic system). The social attributes came from the aftermath of WW II, where every individual helped everybody else, in the sense of „if we do it together, we will succeed“. It is,at least to me, unbelievable what really was achieved in the 50’s and the 60’s, building Germany up from unbelievable destruction to a powerful economy. A symbol of this will to succeed is represented by the „Trümmerfrauen“ (rubble ladies) who collected the stones out of the rubble, cleaned them by knocking off the old concrete, and prepared them for reconstruction.

Because of the rapid build-up after the war, Germany became increasingly

wealthy and prosperous, life was excellent. The country grew and flourished until, after about 25 years, and because of a creeping social system which finally went too far, it became rather complacent. When I came back to work with a German company in the 90’s after 15 years of working in foreign countries, I couldn’t believe what I saw – the drive and productivity exhibited by the people during those great years after the war was replaced by an entitlement mentality. If government pay for unemployment is of the same order as a normal salary, the system goes bankrupt and morale suffers. In addition, the burden on companies became so large and employee 'protection' so far reaching, that companies avoided hiring additional personnel and started to relocate company headquarters and production. What

had happened? The conservative government had been replaced by a socialist government, and the subsequent conservative government failed to turn these policies around. The subsequent socialist/Green party government made matters worse, and Germany is now in the process, under conservative leadership, of trying to turn some of these „social achievements“ around for the better again.

At the same time after the war, East Germany implemented the communist system under pressure and direction by the Soviets, where everything was owned by the State and planned through a central government organization, and everybody was „equal“, except, of course, the government and party officials who had all the nicest amenities in life. But the rest of the population was suppressed, spied upon (even for trying to listen to Western radio or TV to find out about the West), and had to eat or consume only what the planning department made available, after the officials had been served, of course.

After the wall opened in 1989, the people of the West were stunned to see the results of 40 years of communism. East Germany was an absolute mess on all levels, personal, infrastructure, government, everything. West Germany has since spent trillions of dollars bringing that part of the country up to the same level as the West. Vast improvements have been made, particularly in infrastructure projects and in support of the industrial basis, but it's not over yet. The main reason is the mentality of some people in the East. There are still some 30% of the population in the East who vote for the ex-communist party – they prefer a government taking care of them rather than a competitive working environment.

Here are lessons for the current situation in the United States:

1. The difference of the social and economic situation between East and West Germany provides clear evidence that the free market system is far superior than a state planned economy or, as otherwise expressed – communism/socialism don’t work.

2. A free society like West Germany, where the economy works because the people take personal responsibility, is far more successful than a system which is built on the suppression of people and opinions.

3. As can be recognized from the evolution in West Germany, a sliding transition toward excessive social benefits has a negative effect on companies which consequently must compensate for that by outsourcing to other countries. The consequence is that the country becomes less competitive.

4. The effect of communism takes at least two generations to reverse.

While Germany is working hard to re-unify the country and to bring increased individual responsibility back to the country through a reversal of excessive social benefits, the United States is doing exactly the opposite under Obama. Each and every one of the actions of this government goes in the direction which East Germany took after WW II, and that does not only include economic actions, such as the nationalizing of companies and putting companies at a disadvantage relative to the unions, but affecting society through trying to suppress civil discourse through the help of the mass media as the fifth column.

While Germany would not have survived the pressure from the Soviets without the unbelievable help of the United States after WW II, maybe the time has come that the U.S. should look back to Germany to see how the West prospered under conservative direction and how the East ruined itself under the Socialist/Communist regime. Same people, same genes, same history; but what a difference under two distinctly different ideologies. America, please benefit from Germany's past. We owe it to you.

By Mr. Z

Basketball tickets...what happens?

THE LAKERS WON (Did you hear me cheering at your house?)
So, you have tickets to the 7th game and it's not played. Do they send you your money back, or???
On Saturday, there will be an amazing piece by Mr. Z on Germany and America after WWII. Please come check it out. I think he's got a fantastic point that you'll want to consider.
Please fill in the blank below, I'm eager to hear your thoughts.....thanks!

Making change.......

Let's say Barack Obama suddenly said "you know what? I have the notion to go back to Chicago, this job isn't the CHANGE I needed and I HOPE to get back to my other life as soon as possible..."

WHOM WOULD YOU PICK to take over? And WHY? Put yourself below that bubble above and fill in what you're thinking! (by the way..the 'whom' is from Mr. Z, Mr. English Grammar...ugh)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by HoosierArmyMom, who's a new commenter at geeeeeZ (thanks!) and who has tagged me to tell her and other readers eight random thoughts or factoids about myself (most of which I have NO idea why I'm including, but....hang in there with me):

1. I've never been a liberal and appreciate the thinking behind the many libs who've become conservatives very much because it's gratifying, reassuring, and edifying, particularly when they're as brilliant as Dennis Miller or Evan Sayet (who I got to meet 3 weeks ago! SUCH a great guy). One of my favorite things said to me is "hey, you aren't liberal like I am, but you really listen and don't just scorn what I'm saying right off the bat". I think that's important and it's made people rethink Conservatives. A least favorite thing I'm used to hearing is "My gosh, I agree with everything you said! But, I could NEVER be A REPUBLICAN" . THIS is the background for how important I think media is in politics and why I don't understand those who don't agree with me on that. Perception is everything, sadly. Something along the lines of this first thought for this tag is, also: If I never had to look at or hear Press Secretary Robert Gibbs again, it would be far too soon. Would that Ari or Tony were there, never demeaning, never mocking, very rarely dismissing anything they didn't feel like discussing.

2. My family means a lot to me. Mr. Z is waaay on top of that list. He IS that list. I come from a super family I'd like to talk more about but don't because of anonymity. Not that we're famous, trust me, we're not, but ...... enough said. You'd LIKE them!! :-)

3. I used to say "too bad kittens have to grow into cats" until I was practically forced (long story) to get two kitties. I had one, my Marcello, for 17 years and his sister died at 20... I miss them both as if they died yesterday and it's been 3 years since we lost Musetta. Sometimes, I look down at my feet here at my desk or picture one of them walking across the desk top and feel I can almost see them still. I'll bet you've had that same feeling if you had cats you loved. People say "Get another cat" but I don't want any other cats but them. Still...when it's time, I'll know. Don't ever ask anyone you're buying cats from if they're declawed. And please, I will NOT have that discussion here. I'm tired of it...geeeeeeeZ!

4. I have learned that widows need more caring attention than we give them. That's all I'll say on that matter. No, I'll add...'please do it, contact a widow today, especially a recent one....listen, take her for coffee, have her for dinner.' (medium rare...heh)

5. ABC's commenters and the referrees at the Lakers games are very biased against them. I know, it sounds unsportmanlike to say that so I hesitated, but Mr Z and I keep looking at each other with "What was THAT? Why didn't they compliment the Laker who just did a better dunk than that Nugget did who they just waxed joyously over?" or "what do you MEAN two hands on Kobe's back 'looks like a problem', didn't you see what we saw? When is pushing with two hands while shooting not a problem?" Even Kobe, a consummate professional who doesn't complain, looked puzzled at the calls from time to time the other night. I walk away from the TV feeling like "What's the point?" and wondered if Kobe feels like that. Later, we said this is how we feel about America sometimes. The inmates are in charge of the asylum and fairness is out the window. I felt exactly the same physical feeling watching the bias toward the Lakers as I do watching the media against Republicans, half of this country. As if I were helpless; I have difficulty watching the games now because "what's the point?" At least, with the Lakers, it's just a game. (I'm a huge Lakers fan but this topic isn't something I'd have chosen to write on unless we REALLY noticed the ABC/referree bias...and if I hadn't noticed the similarity between that and our political situation)

6. I love music. People ask "What kind do you like the most?" My answer is "Anything in my key!" Yes, I'm a singer. Mostly, I sing jazz. While I like some instrumentals, I'm more about the words, I guess. But, I love classical, too, and singerless jazz. But, not too heavy jazz........Chet and Thelonius need not apply. And don't pluck piano strings, I don't call that music! There is no better feeling than singing with a big band or four other women, knowing that, if the tight harmonies you've rehearsed 45 times are giving YOU goosebumps, the crowd must really love it. That 'after the concert' feeling is beyond sublime. A secret I'll share is I rarely LISTEN to music. I've never known quite why. I'm more a TV and talk person, I guess. I don't come home and flip some music on and I don't enjoy listening to the indiscriminate music some DJ picks for me over the radio! (except for AM1260 on LA radio on Sundays, when it's all music from the forties, OR that Sunday night country station that plays REAL country classics). I do love MAKING music, whether it's singing jazz/old forties stuff, or playing classical piano, which I do fairly often. Playing two-handed classical piano (anybody want to try the Clementi sonatinas?) and singing in studio is beyond rapture.

7. I'm addicted to blogging. I can't walk by our office where the computers are without 'just checking' for new comments; even if I'm having a dinner party downstairs ( I mean WHILE people are at the table talking and eating, etc.!) or I'm turning in or have bills to pay or HAVE to go somewhere. This once incredibly punctual woman is now late to EVERTHING. I hate that. (sort of!) Mom was here recently with relatives from NY. Ten minutes after they came (they were still standing saying hello to my siblings who were here, etc.) I went upstairs JUST to check on my lipstick or something and just happened to check my emails (for five minutes)! When I came down, Mom said "you weren't on your COMPUTER, I know you weren't!!" ooooh, yes, I was :-)

8. Faith means more and more to me. I was born a Christian and my folks were great in taking us to church, etc. More than great, though I hated it as a teen, oh, brother, DID I!! I've asked myself ALL the questions you nonbelievers (and believers) have asked yourselves and still do...believe me. . But, too many things have happened that I have to stop looking at them as COincidences and start acknowledging GODincidences. The more I do that, the more they are happening. I'm learning the difference between immature and mature Christians and glad to say I'm maturing in baby steps. I believe this level of maturity is what separates the churches and why certain denominations are splintering off...babies from adults; baby food to real food, as Hebrews tells us. We need to get more Christians to read the Bible and get more mature....and fast. And we must stop secularists from taking away the right to believe. Faster, folks!

So...thanks for hanging in there. The minute I publish this, I'll think of far more interesting, funnier stuff, but...........I hope you at least enjoyed reading it.

Always On Watch tagged Mustang, Beamish and The Merry Widow! Great choices all! I can't WAIT to hear from them. I have choices I don't THINK would do it, but am happy to announce 3 blogger buddies I think I have a better chance with.......I hope so:

I am officially tagging...(trumpet music, please!)....Susannah, Heidianne and Bloviating Zeppelin


Have a laugh on Luigi!


At New York's Saint Rocco's Catholic Church they have a weekly husband's
marriage seminar. At the session last week, the Priest asked Luigi, who was approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes & share some
insight into how he had managed to stay married to the same woman all these

Luigi replied to the assembled husbands, "Wella, I've a-tried to treat-a her nicea, spenda da money on her, but besta of alla is that I tooka her to
Italy for the 25th anniversary!"

The Priest responded, "Luigi, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell us what you are planning for your wife for your
50th anniversary."

Luigi proudly replied, "I'm agonna go get her!"

(I don't know, that just cracks me up!) z

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

To Elbro and the rest of you LUCKY listeners....THE GREAT *BLACK/HISPANIC* DIVIDE

Yes, I'm a big THE BAND fan.........a DIVIDE came up in conversation today (see below) and I couldn't resist a chance to play THE BAND. From THIS ARTICLE:

Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is a historic milestone for Latinos, but it resonates well beyond Hispanic pride. It is perhaps the most potent symbol yet of a 21st century rapprochement between the U.S.'s two largest minorities, Latino Americans and African Americans, who in the 20th century could be as violently distrustful of each other as blacks and whites were.

Elmer's Brother
asked me "IS THERE A (Black/Hispanic) DIVIDE?" apparently.........a GREAT DIVIDE.


"Put another candle on my birthday cake, my birthday cake.."

$100,000 birthday parties for 2 year olds? Do you think that's excessive? A FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR CAKE?

I was waiting for the article to say "....and they're all Republicans.."! Ya, all of Hollywood is Republican, right?

Where will these kids go for a kick when they're SWEET SIXTEEN? Marakesh for a year of hookas and shish kebab with 20 friends?? Well, maybe these parties don't leave much carbon footprint.... that'll make the parents feel much, much better.

Abbigail and the Marine

A dear friend and commenter on this site, WV DOTTR, sent this story to me and I had to share it with you. It took place in "the Upstate South Carolina" as I was told. She wrote:

I have to tell you a little story:

My grandniece, Abbigail...she is 5 years old.
Yesterday, she and her mother sat watching GAC , which is a country western music video channel, and there flashed a video of a particular singer, performing for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The GI's were wearing their combat uniforms, the BDU's , or camouflage.

Abbigail asked her mother why the people were wearing those clothes, and so Amanda, my niece ( her mom) told her that they were soldiers, and that they were fighting for freedom, to keep her free in America so she could live a good life, go to school and so on. Amanda told Abbigail that these people put their lives on the line for us, and some times, they did not get to come home, and that some people do die. Also Amanda explained to Abbigail that her own grandpas and uncles had been soldiers, and that she came from a long line of people who had fought for America.

So, today, Amanda and her daughter were in Target looking to kill some time, and Abbigail spots a US Marine in his dress blues, and tells her mother excitedly that there was a soldier.
Before Amanda knew what was happening, Abbigail went up to that Marine and touched his arm and said in her very distinct southern accent;..

" I want to thank you for everything you have done for me and my country."

The marine sort of knelt down, to her level and said to her, "you're welcome. It's my job."
Can you believe it?? I am so proud of that girl.

Z: So are WE, WVDOTTR....thanks! And, Mothers and Dads, Grandpas and Grandmas, Aunts, get the picture.............teach the children......America deserves it. And so do our soldiers. BIG time


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Heidianne's got a new post at Big Girl Pants....since she's rarely had time lately to post, I figured I should direct you on over there to make sure you know she's BAAAACK! And it's worth it!

Litmus Test for SCOTUS? and watch the new video

UPDATE: Obama says our constitution was written TWENTY CENTURIES ago. (See, I told you guys it's based on the Bible? heh)

Sonia Sotomayor
has to be 'empathetic and understanding', she has to feel a woman's pain and a poor person's sadness and a Latina's feelings of be a good Supreme Court JUDGE?

The president said a Hispanic on the court would mark another step toward the goal of ``equal justice under law.'' But, isn't the constitution based on equal justice? How is her appointment 'another step'? All in italics is from the linked article:

In his remarks, Obama made no mention of his earlier statement that he wanted a justice with empathy, although his remark that compassion was needed came close.

``I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging,'' she said in a speech in 2002. ``But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.'' Is there a new constitution based on Latina women, or? What's she mean? This morning, Obama said she will serve with 'impartial justice.' oops.

From the moment Souter announced his resignation, it was widely assumed Obama would select a woman to replace him, and perhaps a Hispanic as well. But, he's supposed to just pick THE BEST PERSON, isn't he? darn.

This will be the leftist mantra for the next few months:
"She was first appointed by a Republican, President George H.W. Bush, and won Senate confirmation without dissent." Suddenly, those Bushes who the Left despises for erring in war, in the economy, in.....well...breathing.....suddenly just can't have made a mistake in selecting Sotomayor, right? Wait for it.

At least Bush promised "no litmus test"...this new president's all litmus test. A constitutional professsor!? Were his textbooks wrapped in brown paper and concealing Das Kapital or something? He couldn't have been reading the constitution. Bush said, back then, ``I will pick'' someone ``who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not use the bench to legislate.'' I wish Obama could have at least SAID that.

Just found this and thought I should add it here: There's a LITTLE 'light in the tunnel' info here.....but not much. Here's hoping she'll be able to judge by the constitution, not from the litmus test obama seems to have used. And, let's hope he met her another time because one hour seems kind of short to me?

Frogburger; Third in the Continuing Series....

Thanks for your great support of this series! Here is the THIRD ANSWER in our continuing series with Frogburger. For those of you who didn't see the first two answers or what prompted this interview series, please click HERE , make sure you read the excellent comments there and then come back and read this one....I know you'll appreciate this French new- American's insights:

3. When did you first start to get a feeling something was changing for the worse in America?

I don’t have a specific event or date in mind. Obviously 9/11 was a terrible moment to live through, especially because I was in DC and worked close to the Pentagon. However, I did not realize at the time that this event would trigger so many real changes.

It is mostly by talking to friends -- who are mostly Democrats or Liberals since I have lived on the coasts – that I felt socialist ideas may take place in this country. The healthcare issue has made people confused. They confused healthcare with welfare and think they go hand in hand. That is why a lot of people think the European model is wonderful without making the intellectual effort of looking at what it really entails.

But beyond socialism I fear a greater danger is looming: fascism coming from the left, which some people on the right could very well join at some point because they are either opportunistic (big businesses like GE) or do not believe strongly in individual liberties.

History has shown fascistic ideas, wrongly associated to the right, are rooted in Marxists and populist ideologies and are far from advocating free market, globalization and personal freedom. Hitler was a national-socialist. Mussolini started his political journey as a Marxist and even the French revolution, revered by the French left, established years of bloody dictatorship.

The French revolution cannot be compared to the American Revolution, for it was fascistic in nature and replaced a monarchy with State terror. I personally despise what the French revolution did past 1789. It was one thing to freed people from aristocracy, it was another to commit genocide against its own citizens (Vendee) and cut the heads of many moderate opponents (Robespierre’s Jacobins vs. Danton’s Girondins) in the name of enlightment.

Mitterrand is another example of how the fascistic and leftist ideas are intertwined. Mitterrand was the most celebrated man in France when he got elected as president in 1981. After years of a bad economy due to the two oil crises, France wanted hope and change and elected the leader of the Socialist Party (Parti Socialist or PS). But the interesting thing to know is that the first French Socialist Party was created by the founder of a very far-right nationalist movement called Croix-de-Feu, which Mitterrand joined in his youth.

Even the current National Front in France and its leaders like Jean-Marie Le Pen or Bruno Gollnisch, defined as right extremists, are for big government and support a strong welfare state for the “true French.” Their electoral success in the 80s and 90s was actually due to their ability to take votes on the left, especially amongst the working class folks used to vote for the French Communist Party (PCF).

You’re getting my point: fascistic ideas are not a right-left thing. It actually blurs the lines created by political parties. When our two party system is becoming pretty much one party, when Specter becomes a Democrat for his career, I think there increasingly are signs we may very well be on our way to fascism. Here are signs that make me think that way:

• Willingness to not only control the economy but also human behavior (anti-tobacco laws, tax on transfats, etc…) to purify society from unhealthy behaviors that are costly to the State. (That is why nationalized healthcare is not a good thing.)
• Increasing criticism of true free-market as a model on the left and the right.
• Anti-CEO or “anti-bourgeois” sentiment helped by rare episodes like the Enron and Maddoff. (Another common trait about extreme ideologues, fascists and the left: they transform rare situations into generalities.)
• Corrupted officials who disrespect the Constitution and think it’s a living document. It would be very convenient to some if freedom of speech was a living concept, wouldn't it? In that case the Fairness Doctrine would be respectful of the Constitution, n'est-ce-pas?
• Increased corporatism of the past and current administration with the banks bailout, the “Goldman Sachs connection”, car makers and GE.
• Fascination and admiration for strong leaders like Chavez and Ahmadinejad, and veneration of Obama
• Increased anti-Israel stance on the left evolving into European anti-Semitism
• Fight to eliminate religions in our society and replace it with State morality, very much like the French revolution and Hitler tried with either the Cult of Reason or Paganism. (I’ll try to address the separation of Church and State through the other questions because I have a lot to say about this.)

Doesn’t it feel like the 1930s and what happened in Europe when fascistic movements in France, Italy and Germany were getting stronger? I may be ultra pessimistic but if the world community decides to change the global currency because of the money printing business devaluating the dollar, and if the economy worsens, it may very well feel like the Weimar Republic.

I hope I am flat out wrong. But when Liberals and Obama sympathize with gangsters like Chavez, organize parties for Ahmadinejad, bow to a Saudi king but don’t show much respect for Western allies or Israel, I think it shows our leaders don’t have much concern for Freedom or have their “rationality” pretty messed up. Europeans thought Hitler was a clown in 1938 or actually liked his socialistic ideas and we know what came next.

Am I saying Obama is Mussolini or Hitler? Obviously not. But some of his policies are fascistic. Firing a CEO is an Il Duce-like decision. Having GE serve your purpose and your economic policies to later reward them is fascistic. Even the bank bailout started with Bush and the fact that no citizen can have a say or sue the government for legalized robbery is corporatism, which is of fascistic nature.

If we as citizens don’t react to all of this, this can only get worse. The government will think it can do anything. Socialism, communism or fascism only lead to greater corruption and less freedom. That’s my #1 concern for this country right now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kevin Bacon........

.......was mugged. Since he's on my blog (find him!), I thought I'd better make mention :-(

Last minute thoughts and pictures for Memorial Day........

Pictures from the Westwood VA Cemetery ceremony today....from afar (every one of the 86,000 graves have flags on them), a little closer in the second shot (note the choir to the left and the bandstand), and a little girl running free because of the men lying in rest under her feet. The chaplain closed the ceremony with " God we pray, in the NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES..." No, happily and surprisingly, he was not arrested shortly after the service. 14 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are at rest very near UCLA. They should have gone there to college instead. School, family, love, joy......all sacrificed.

When I got home to post these, a friend had sent this poem. What could be better?

A Memorial Day Poem
By C W Johnson

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As TAPS began to play.

The Chaplain led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.

They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.

I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.

Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,

Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore

God bless them all.
Please see Sparks from the Anvil's AMAZING video.


Have a great Memorial Day.........

Our dear friend Mustang, about eight months ago, emailed me his version of an HONORARY MARINE proclamation. Mr Z printed it and framed it and it hangs in our living room. When I first saw it, it brought tears to my eyes. We all know it has nothing to do with the huge honor of a real Marine proclamation of ANY kind, but he said he gave it to me for my work here at the blog and was I thrilled. Reading it hit something very deep inside me. Those tears reminded me of how much I knew I didn't deserve even a 'mock' proclamation, how much I admire the immense courage and sacrifice of our soldiers, and how it felt that someone actually went to the trouble of doing something like that because in this TINIEST way, because of blogging, he thought I measured up (super, considering they'd have had to chisel my hands off those boats in Normandy before they got me in those waters facing Germans on those coasts, TRUST me). Mustang doesn't know quite what it meant to me, but, considering it came from him, someone I so admire for his service, his love of America, and so much more, I'm telling him now it meant a LOT. There are others among you who're reading this who served our great country and I thank you. But, I have the privilege of knowing Mustang the best, so this is for him. This is a Memorial Day salute to Mr and Mrs Z's 'family soldier and friend'. You make us proud, Mustang. Semper Fi, SIR. (Please read Mustang's Sunday post...and his others...amazing) Thanks also to ALL you patriotic bloggers who do so much for our country. I send an unwritten proclamation to YOU...I admire each and every one of you.

And now, the annual printing of my poem from 1998......(like it or not, it puts me in the mood for Memorial Day)

Memorial Day at Frank and Ellie's
Windermere, Florida

The lake bumped the sand, causing the water to wrinkle at the end of the long grass slope
that started back up at the house

The slope was lime green and shadow leaves swayed across it in the breezy heat...the barbecue was smoky with hamburgers, and the table was piled with bowls of cole slaw, potato salad, pickles, catsup and mustard

We sat under towering oak trees with black angled branches and a white blue sky that held the heat in like the lid on a pot of corn on the cob

Bessie the dog ran through the trees and into the lake while the four small boys splashed in the water and Grandpa shouted advice about their plastic raft, him being an old navy man

The furniture in the house was American Primitive, dark wood-spoked chairs on an intricate wood floor and bright orange crate labels from the family business hung framed against pine slat walls

A small American flag waved out of the large spoon pitcher on the stove next to Grandma's three layer chocolate cake, and the childrens' popsicles were red, white and blue and left their mouths patriotic with color....It was Memorial Day that warm Florida Monday. We didn't mention it, but it was there. Z

For a really good laugh, don't fail to see Zack's Diversity Lane cartoon..........wonderful.

Enjoy your day....while we have the freedoms our soldiers fight for!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Have FAITH in America...Please READ THIS by Breitbart

When you get discouraged, blog HARDER. Read this and get your blood flowing. America deserves it. Just saw THIS..... They don't know, or they can't face the truth? KEEP BLOGGING.

Sunday Faith Blog...

"....For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us, If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Media's SHOCKED at Republican treatment of Pelosi

Have you seen what Republicans are saying about Nancy Pelosi? I think some of it's over the top, myself...but when one considers what awful things the Democrats said about Bush and Cheney (and never seem to want to STOP, including a sitting president, for goodness sake, THAT's class, eh?), can the media be so shocked that they say things like "RNC's below-the-belt shot at Pelosi"?

The article adds "Not only is it bad form, say Democrats and women's advocates, it's bad politics."

THAT's funny...I found it very bad form when "women's advocates" did nothing for Miss California when a liberal called her the 'c' word and 'bitch'... Or how they shied away from much outrage over Clinton's sexual forays, or when they don't stand up for muslim women's rights .... or when they fawn over and champion Ted Kennedy, the "Chappaquiddick Water Walker".... you pick one, you're probably better at it than I.

I'll add that if this kind of childish behavior by Republicans is what's going to be happening, they don't represent me.....or, probably, many of you. And, don't be blaming the media for unfairness anymore if you agree with what's been said about that horrible Pelosi; this stuff does deserve some indignation. READ the article, don't just guess it's me bashing Republicans, it's BAD. And it has to stop. Now, give me your 'what for'...I can take it. I think!


Please do NOT forget..........

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day is Monday.........

And, did you see this? Some soldiers have a wicked sense of humor! What do you think?
And please make sure you read Frogburgers interview below, the third answer of which will be published early next week....thanks!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A French Perspective by Frogburger

Frogburger is a Frenchman we met about 2 weeks ago. As we lived in Paris and we're all conservatives, we had a lot in common. Our caring for America as much as we do gives us a lot more in common. So, I've asked him 18 questions, two of which he's answered here, the start of the FROGBURGER CONTINUING SERIES: We hope you enjoy it.

1. What prompted you to leave France in the first place and how old were you then?

I left France in 1999. I was in my twenties and was blessed with a gift from God, for I won the Green Card Lottery in 1998. I then followed the process and passed the final interview at the U.S. Embassy in Paris where I got the precious residency visa.

That day, a dream had come true after years of longing as a teenager who was in love with American sports, including football, and as a young adult who had not much hope for a better future because of the poor economic and social conditions of France. I was getting extremely tired of the pervasiveness of government in my private life, whether it was through extremely high taxes and what we call “social changes”, or through regulations such as the 35-hour workweek.

Since my youth, unemployment has been around 10% on average. When the economy would get better, unemployment numbers would barely improve. Work regulations were so strict that hiring young people was the last thing on any company’s mind—it was too risky since they could not lay them off if necessary. Note that I’m using the past tense but it hasn’t changed since my leaving the country.

You have to understand how inflexible the French job market is and why so many companies have moved their headquarters or offices to countries like Ireland. On average, a worker costs a company 3 times the salary it is paying to him. So for every euro paid, the company must pay 2 additional euros in various taxes and insurances to finance the welfare system. Likewise, the worker has to give between 20 and 25% of his paycheck to the government in healthcare insurance, unemployment insurance and other fees. Those charges, detailed on a 3-page long paycheck, are not the income tax, which comes later. So for every euro paid, the company must pay 2 additional euros. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that all this plagues the economy and prevents companies from hiring people. If they hire them, they usually pay low salaries, likely just above the minimum wage for young graduates. Or they use some contracts with a set duration sending people back to the unemployment line when the contract has expired.

So, in addition to being in love with the American way of life, I wanted to feel free and flee socialism. I could go on and on but this is a blog, right? So it has to be short.

2. What were your first impressions of America?

I moved to DC first and loved it right away even though my first two weeks were very challenging. I had to find a place and the dotcom boom was making it very difficult since all the apartments in DC were rented and I had no credit history or social security number yet.

My first impression was the goodness of the people. Everyone was extremely friendly, positive, accepting and ready to help. Then, once I started working, I definitely loved my environment. The work ethic here is incredible, especially on the East Coast.

Through these last 10 years, I’ve been able to get a better grasp of America. One thing that really struck me is the pioneer mindset. Symbolic of this is the famous “You need to move on” phrase people like to use. To someone coming from France, the past is an important part of our psyche. Moving on doesn’t happen that quickly. So when people got laid off around me and everyone had a positive attitude, including the ones who lost their job, I found that remarkable. In France, people would have likely complained, gone on strike, become aggressive or violent or undermined the company and management. I have never been like that nor have I protested with the leftists or unions in France, but I still had to work on this mental switch. The demise of the dotcoms made me realize the strength of Americans as well as how tough, for a European used to a comfortable welfare system, the American society could be.

Despite this lack of comfort, I noticed how much compassion and decency American people have. I've seen more decency here than in France in relationships at work or between people. Since life is not as easy, people give second and third changes, or are less black and white in their judgment. There's also more generosity here than in France, where the government takes care of everything. I would even say the Frenchman is selfish while the American is individualistic. To me, being individualistic means taking care of oneself or one's family. Being selfish simply means satisfying your needs by taking from others without having to give. The heat wave that killed so many people in France a few summers ago perfectly highlighted this. Instead of worrying for their elders and family members, the French blamed the government for failing at preventing the deaths while they were vacationing in August. I also personally give more money to charities here than in France, not only because I have a lot more disposable income but because this is part of the American spirit of helping the community and choosing the charities you want to help. I’m actually a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of L.A, something that I would have never done in France. That is why I get really upset when Obama lectures people or wants to use the government to force people to give back. Because this will eventually backlash.

So my impressions were great. I love the American spirit because it makes people focused on creating a better place for themselves or their loved ones. By having the government take care of everything, on top of destroying the religious aspect of society -- whatever the religion is -- I can safely predict this aspect of America will be destroyed. And my dream will definitely be shattered.

Z: Comments, folks?

Beamish Alert: On GITMO

Beamish does it again on the Gitmo MUST read it and the very funny comments by a great bunch of thinkers..........enjoy!

The California election........tighten your belts?

On the radio Wednesday, I heard a female politico from this great state say that the election 'went wrong' because she simply couldn't reach enough people to educate on why we needed those measures to pass.

She added that Californians were obviously "CONFUSED". This is the new mantra of the Left, I guess; disagree with them and you're CONFUSED.

Then they interviewed the head of the Teacher's Union here in Los Angeles. He's none too happy, either! After all, we all know how throwing more money at the teachers helps educate our kids, right.....No matter that the statistics show that's not true? (I can't resist plugging the relevant film FREEDOM WRITERS here, please put it on your Netflix list, or STAND AND DELIVER) But, I digress. He went on to say they might have to cancel SUMMER SCHOOL this year! I love that idea! Kids home this summer might force their mothers home this summer. Maybe they'll tighten their belts and realize they LIKE being home. Let the kids have a summer, let the moms have some time off, too. I absolutely recognize that not all families can afford Mom not to work, but maybe if some families just tried to get creative or fire the nanny or give up an expensive vacation or bigger house or better car? Just a thought. Maybe our kids will do better in hard financial times?

This tightening belts in California or across the whole nation might have been a better solution than throwing nonexistent, or somebody else's, money at everything, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm a DANCING QUEEN after hearing the news below the video..........join me!

I'm having some fun here because I'm FINALLY in a very good mood because of THIS NEWS!

Californians voted higher taxes DOWN

If anybody thinks THIS didn't send a message to obama, they're wrong. Anybody seeing any pieces in any newspapers making this point? I'd love to see them, thanks.

The only State Measure that passed was banning raises for state officeholders while California is running a deficit. (or until the 9th Circuit again overturns the will of the people, of course). Imagine needing a Measure for that common sense policy?

Here's a guy with no agenda! Looks like the reporters are working overtime to blame the people now. Check out anywhere which might include how many billions Californians are paying for illegal healthcare and other services. This journalist 'forgot' to mention it. Get this, from this article: Worst-case scenarios also call for the release from state prisons of up to 19,000 illegal immigrants, who would face deportation, and the transfer of up to 23,000 other prisoners to county jails. That's a 'worst-case scenario?' Get the buses.

I'm guessing it'll take a year or so before all Americans will be saying NO MORE TAXES. Would that Washington will hear that. I'm not thrilled that California's facing these problems, but I think this sends a message Washington might be fearing long about now......Arnold was there yesterday.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Beamishism:

"The CIA takes the time to brief members of Congress on interrogation techniques it isn't employing?"


'nuff said. unless you want more, and you should...


China and India are on TOP of the ECO index?

India first, China second....ever see pictures of the AIR in China? Here's one:
Germany ranks 10th in the chart above, Americ's 17th. Um........Ever been to Mexico? It placed 6th. Here's what Mr. Z has to say on the subject:

This demonstrates how utterly idiotic the ECO index is, assembled by National Geographic (Are they paid by Gore to distribute lies like this?!).

Let’s take Germany: The country has put a very high importance on ecological good behavior (too much for my taste and study on the subject, but that’s not the point). Germany was beaten by countries like India and China, and Mexico for that matter, which are all absolute ecological messes; there is no other way to describe it, but they win over Germany because the people walk or use public transportation instead of driving (because they're so poor they can't buy cars!) and don’t drink bottled mineral water. And Germany is mainly “punished” because of their love for bottled mineral water. Anybody with half a brain could have figured out that there is something major wrong with the model. This study and its outcome have probably been ordered by the UN, with our money, I might add – which demonstrates directly why the U.N. and all related organizations need to be abolished or, more simply, the money resources need to be stopped – IMMEDIATELY.

I recommend we orient our eco behavior to the frontrunners. I demand that their exemplary behavior be integrated into our laws (yes, my tongue's stuck in my cheek here!). Nancy Pelosi can implement that, can’t she?

Z: This is almost as hilarious as WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON as SPECIAL ENVOY to.................HAITI!! I am STILL laughing since I heard it last night.