Thursday, October 13, 2011

No Retreat, No Surrender!

I know how we all felt when Gov. Palin made her announcement because I felt that too, in the deepest parts of my being.  But I've had time to think and process and I believe, especially given Kevin Ainsworth's recent editorial that this sets up for something more dramatic than any of us has ever witnessed. 

Gov. Palin is a person of principle.  We who support her do so because of this.  She has demonstrated in the midst of the fiercest criticisms and trials to be rock-solid and immovable in her principles.  She has "the stuff" we've longed for in the person we want to see lead our country.  She has done everything and more to prove herself worthy to be the one that is truly capable of leading our country to greatness it has yet to see.  But for this to happen, it has to happen beyond the norm of convention and party politics.  As she said, it's going to take a seismic event for her to run. 

She's doing what God has called her to do.  She's speaking out and her voice is resonating around the world, literally.  This world is thirsty for this United States to be the shining city on a hill.  It's not that now and we see a world that is on the brink.  I'm not saying the US is the answer for the world's ills but we can provide the example that brings back stability to a world in desperate need of it.

I see very clearly our role is to be the hands and feet of that seismic shift.  We can make this happen if we mobilize and see this opportunity for what it is.  By Gov. Palin listening to God, we have been given this chance to do something unprecedented.  It'll make 2010 look like child's play. 

This is our moment; our time to do what is believed to be impossible.  Seize this moment. Remember why we decided to support Gov. Palin in the first place and put to action what we know to be true in our hearts and souls. 

She was made...we were made...for such a time as this.  Let us rise and be the earthquake that rocks the foundation of the corrupt party system that has squandered our resources for their own selfish motives.  We have the authority to shake this backward system to the ground to hold it to account for what it has done.  We have been empowered by the Almighty to fight for what is right.  It is up to us to do what needs to be done so that the America our children inherit is better than how we found it. 

It's not time to settle for the person either party puts in front of us as a candidate.  “We The People” have our candidate.  We choose now what happens...whether we allow them to pick for us or whether we flex our muscle, exercise our God-given rights, and decide who leads us.  

I say we can do better.  Gov. Palin has done her part.  It's time to do ours.  It's time to move the earth beneath our feet and lead this country out of the darkness into the light of its true destiny!

And with that, let me leave you with a word of encouragement:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Fighter

I just watched “The Fighter” with Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams and Christian Bale last night.  It’s not a kid-friendly movie but one I would recommend to anyone.  It’s the true story of Micky Ward, a blue-collar boxer with an interesting family legacy hailing from Lowell, Massachusetts who beat long odds to ascend to the Welterweight Championship back in the mid 90’s.  Much of the film is centered around the dynamic between Micky and his older brother, himself a local legend due to his infamous bout with Sugar Ray Leonard during the prime of his boxing career in the 80’s.  For those of you who haven’t seen it and wish to see it, I won’t give away many more details.  I’ve left out plenty so that you can still enjoy it for what it is…an incredibly moving and inspiring story.  I think though it serves as somewhat of a symbol for what is going on now.  I know I’ve compared Gov. Palin before to Rocky Balboa.  Yes, this is another boxing reference but just hear me out because with all due respect to the Rocky series, it lacks what “The Fighter” has…authenticity.

Authenticity is something that comes at a premium nowadays.  I think when people see it they know it because there are a lot of “packaged goods” that are on display.  Take your pick…from what we watch to what we eat, there’s a lot of “repackaging” to choose from.  As it relates to the Presidential race, specifically to the field of GOP candidates, the majority of candidates look and sound like something we’ve all seen and heard before.  Because of that, Herman Cain is shooting up in the polls right now.  People are hungry for a candidate that actually believes what they say, someone that doesn’t just spout talking points with a glazed look in their eyes.  They want to know that their candidate is not a cybernetic being but a real person who can look them eyeball to eyeball and relate to their world to effect change in it.
Much has been made about Gov. Palin’s delay in making an announcement.  Apart from a recent appearance on On The Record, she has been largely silent.  I know part of that is prep for her upcoming appearance in South Korea.  But I honestly believe she’s preparing for her run at the Presidency.  And I wholeheartedly believe that she’s going to run as an Independent candidate.  I have actually believed this for some time now, even before Adrienne and Nancy put thought to post with their excellent writings.  Unconventional means a lot of things, but think about it.  Specifically within the sphere of politics ask yourself this:  What is the most unconventional thing you can do to run as a Presidential candidate within the structure of a two-party system?  Add to that the potential gamesmanship being played with the moving up of key states’ primaries and what it does is set up well for an unconventional run to be made by probably the only person that can actually pull it off. 
The fact is, Gov. Palin is a bonafide star.  And if we think about this for a moment, in the celestial and social sense, stars have gravitational pull.  Objects move in their direction as they move.  There are millions awaiting her official announcement – those of us who will do what we can to provide her support in whatever way we can as well as those who make their living covering news.  And regardless of what those in the news media would like for us to believe - that her announcement wouldn’t mean much at this point because it’s “so late” in the race - they will be scratching and clawing their way to get in line to follow her every move.  Her star power in a very real sense allows her to not only run an unconventional campaign but to run a successful unconventional campaign. And does it not fit her like a handmade, tailored suit?  She’d run and while doing so be able to do so without help or support from the very system that’s broken in the first place.  Our two-party system is broken and corrupt at both ends.  This way it allows her to run unfettered by that brokenness and corruption and plays to her strength which is running on the support of the people she relates to…those of us (conservatives, moderates and even some liberals) who have been long disenchanted with ineffective Party politics.
There’s a pivotal part in “The Fighter” when Micky Ward decides how he’s going to train for his championship fight.  I’m not going to say what he decides to do but I will tell you he uses his instincts despite incredible outside pressure.  And that makes all of the difference because it leads to powerful moments where the people closest to him have some come-to-Jesus moments with themselves and each other.  They realize what’s at stake and are willing to have the tough conversations and confrontations to get past their issues to focus on the task at hand.
It’s setting up the same way.  Our candidate is preparing for the fight of her life.  And as a result those of us who say we’re supporting her have to look at ourselves in the mirror and identify the things we need to deal with to be effective for her.  In some instances, we’re going to have to deal with each other and have some tough conversations to get to a place where we be the type of support she needs for us to be. 
Don’t lose heart because we’re waiting.  Use this time to get right and understand what’s at stake.  Because we know our champion is going to go with her instincts.  We have to be right and ready to move when she’s ready to move.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear Sarah

I've been busy for the past couple of weeks trying to get some things going.  I've been occupied with my current job search while keeping up with cleaning, my kids and the dog.  I feel hopeful that good things are to come...I've redoubled my efforts and have employed some other options that I believe will yield good results.  As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Hopefully this will prove my belief to be true...that I haven't descended into madness quite yet.

Even while being caught up in trying to improve my current situation, I am aware with what's going on out in the world.  Beyond the sweltering heat here in Dallas, there is the 14 trillion lb. gorilla in the room named "Downgrade"...or my recently Tweeted tongue-in-cheek jab at our current President "Downgrayed - the newest product from Just For Men inspired by Barack Obama."  Hardly a joking matter, it's something I've been unable to stop thinking about.  Even in the moments when I think I forget, it lingers still like white noise.

It concerns me like many millions of Americans who like me are trying to improve their station in the midst of so much uncertainty.  It seems at times daunting but it's not the first time many if not all of us have been presented with long odds or challenges.  It seems rather more the rule than the exception that this is so.  And while that is the case, we as Americans still have much to be thankful for.  Despite the many challenges we face, we still represent the best, last hope on Planet Earth.  It reminds me of another saying, "To whom much is given, much is required."

That statement places upon me a burden.  I KNOW that which God has given me I must share and use for good.  I am guilty of letting people and what I think people might think dictate whether or not to follow through on my end of the bargain.  To my detriment, I put off working constructively to put myself in a position to share my thoughts, feelings, talents, voice.  I'm actively working towards a construct of how sharing what I have to share plays out.  I don't have it all figured out but I'm getting there.  I have good people around me who love me and who are supporting me.  I know you know full well how important that is.  It has a way of steadying you like nothing else can.

I believe you feel the burden of that statement as well.  Despite all of the things you and your remarkable family have had to endure, it hasn't polluted your ability to see things more clearly than any of your contemporaries.  You have demonstrated that over and over again, providing an especially stark contrast to the tone deafness of President Obama and Washington political leadership across both aisles.  You did it again with your last Facebook post.  Your words stirred inside of me and it struck me how often that happens to me when you speak.  I know there are many like me who share my sentiment.

Real leadership is more than uttering stirring words but it's having the guts to do the right thing even when it means getting flack for doing so.  I can't think of anyone in recent memory who has exhibited that very trait like you have.  Many in the crucible of public life have succumbed to far less.  I know you have a hobbled ankle but I'd never know it if you hadn't shared it otherwise. Your strength, tenacity and focus in the midst of our great national tempest is a source of strength for many of us.  It's why those of us who support you are anxious, maybe even a bit fearful that you are thinking of possibly skipping this election cycle, ceding your candidacy to another amongst the field of contenders.

I can only speak for myself in this although I'm sure I'm not alone by saying that I firmly believe not just anyone else other than President Obama "will do".  This coming election isn't about an alternative but about THE alternative.  And you, Ms. Palin, are THE.  You are THE antithesis and THE anecdote all at the same time.  I don't pretend to elevate you to an unreasonably high status...I simply see that you are uniquely equipped to lead us during a time perhaps like no other.  You see clearly when others don't.  The other so-called contenders simply don't stack up. All of us who aren't blinded by special interests, ivory tower theoreticals and lefty MSM bias see this for what it is.

In the days to come, you will make public a decision that will put to rest all manner of speculation and rumor.  It is my sincerest desire that you come to a decision that when all voices cease, is one that you believe addresses that burden I talked about a bit earlier.  I can't imagine having to decide something with so many ramifications not only for your family but for this country.  I don't say this with the intention of leaning you one way or the other, as if anything I said deserved that much weight.  What I do believe is that your instincts are good ones.  I do believe that this decision will be made like the ones you had to make in times past - with healthy doses of prayer, reflection and counsel.  

And just in case these words do reach you where you are, I'll end this letter quoting a man whose words are much weightier than mine who posted a fairly famous newspaper want-ad many years ago:

Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful - honor and recognition in case of success.

Awaiting your decision...and ready to serve,

Kunta Evans

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Adult In The Room

I grew up as the middle brother of three while my mom worked ungodly 12-hour shifts as an ER and pediatric nurse.  That meant me and my brothers, one older and one younger, spent a lot of time by ourselves.  And you can imagine that we found ways to entertain each other.  For the most part, we were able to stay out of trouble .  I think I was the one between the three of us that got in trouble the most which isn't saying much.  We all had a healthy fear of mom because she demonstrated on a few occasions that "crazy" was just one idiotic decision away from showing itself...and let's just say "crazy" wasn't pretty. To be clear, mom=pretty;  crazy=not pretty

I know Mom spent many nights on her knees praying for her boys.  That, and my older brother, kept us out of a lot of trouble.  Kalvin was the constant male influence/older brother/imagined antagonist that looked out for us when we didn't know better.  I gave him a lot of grief and made things hard on him at times because I resented what I perceived to be his status.  He got to do things and go places which made me envious.  What I didn't realize until later was the pressure and responsibility he had to bear by virtue of our home situation.  He couldn't just be a kid...he had to be the responsible one most of the time because of Mom's work schedule. He was the de facto adult in the room.

As I watch the debt ceiling fight unfold, it's remarkable to see the gamesmanship going on both sides of the political aisle.  There's a lot of posturing, positioning and demagoguery taking place while the rest of us try to press on with our lives knowing a boulder is hanging overhead, much like the one in the Nationwide Insurance commercial.  That proverbial boulder would be the $14 trillion debt monster that's been amassed through reckless, irresponsible spending.  And instead of treating this with the gravity it deserves, we get this kabuki theater of sorts.  Being someone who thoroughly enjoys both games and theater, this is a time for neither. 

Congressional Republicans resemble the keystone cops by presenting plans that compete with each other.  Democrats have produced a lot of hot air.  They've controlled both houses of Congress in addition to the Presidency and managed to not pass a budget in over 800 days.  Leading by example is President Obama who seems to add even more dimension to the term "weakness" with each television appearance.  While taking a condescendingly professorial tone, he blamed Congress for running up the "credit card", offered no plan of his own AND threatened to veto any budget plan that came to his desk which contained a short-term raising of the debt limit.  If there was ever a time to exhibit leadership, it's now.  But ever the class-warmonger, he's been spending considerable time making the case that if we would just pin higher taxes on corporate jet owners and hedge fund managers, we could pull out of this financial mess we're in.  He manages to say all of this with a straight face while NEVER addressing the fact that almost 50% of Americans don't pay taxes. It's odd because I remember him saying something about shared sacrifice. Hmm.

If there was ever an example that showed the desperate need for principled leadership, this is it.  We have a lot of unserious wannabe adults playing games during a time that requires someone with a steady hand and the ability to lead the discussion in a way that builds consensus.  The answer to our debt problem isn't safely locked away in the brain of some ivory tower elite or entrenched career politician, neither of which has much to do with the real world that the rest of us inhabit.  Answers to problems like this are meted out in very common places...like the kitchen table.  Whatever resolution is hashed out between the President and Congress will have less to do with what's truly good for the American people and more to do with political calculus.  Given the nature of the very people in charge of coming up with the solution to a problem of this magnitude, how could we reasonably expect otherwise?

I believe Americans are hungry for someone from the outside who can truly effect change that's rooted in the world most of us live in, the REAL one.  We don't need someone who passes blame elsewhere and uses it as an excuse to continue pushing policies that have their basis in liberal academia.  Instead we need someone who leads the effort of creating policy that really works, yes even the exhaustive work of vetting it from every possible angle to ensure it achieves the desired result.  We need someone that truly understands the importance of transparency when it comes to crafting legislation that affects all of us.  We need someone who knows that there has to be a clear line of division between business interests and governance.  We need someone who actually has done the work of balancing a substantial budget and knows what it means to make cuts based on priorities even if they are unpopular.  We need someone who understands the gravity of spending other people's hard-earned money and takes the veto pen to paper to cut programs that aren't worthy to be supported.  In short, we need someone who knows the difference between sleeping well and eating well and chooses the former consciously. 

The pre-pubescents occupying the halls of government are dreading August and September.  They know that it is going to signal the ending of their schoolyard reign because a certain adult outsider will announce her intentions to run for the Presidency of the United States.  Of course the "kids" won't like it...they'll resent her for her adult ways and thoughts.  Should they be fortunate enough to have the scales fall from their eyes, they'll grow to admire and appreciate her for being the adult that gave them the direction they needed. 

Time and perspective have given me a lot of admiration for my older brother.  His adult influence was a lifeboat for me.  Sarah Palin will be the same for this country.   

"A ship in harbor is safe but that's not why the ship is built."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Undefeated Thoughts

I had the honor and privilege of attending the 9:50 showing of "The Undefeated" in Grapevine last Friday night and I can tell you that I was warmed on the inside by the folks that were in attendance to see the film. And that was just the beginning of my insides being warm.

Before the film started, I had the opportunity to meet several people who were there as part of different chapters of O4P which was inspiring to see. They were there handing out bumper stickers, informal questionnaires, buttons and other items of which I took several copies of each. After getting seated, I heard someone call my name and it was someone who recognized me from the article I wrote just a couple of days earlier. We talked a bit and it opened up the opportunity to meet more people who were sitting in the row behind me which was great fun. One of them suggested that I stand up, announce that I was going to be live-tweeting during the movie as well as announce my Twitter handle so people could follow along.

I was overwhelmed by how many people decided to follow me and the response I engendered during the showing of the film. Everything went by in a blur - but I can tell you as a first time live-tweeter, it couldn't have been a better event to capture in real time.

I've thought a lot about the film since Friday night just processing it to try to put it in its proper context. In full disclosure, I haven't seen Steve Bannon's other films so I can't really compare it to those. I've seen my fair share of films - I've seen really good films, really bad films and one film - The Passion of the Christ - that moved me beyond mere words. Seeing that wasn't like seeing a movie, it was like seeing something else wholly different, like seeing something that "lived" or resonated in a way that other films I've seen don't. For me, The Undefeated was more like The Passion because of the way it resonated with me and others who were in attendance as well.

This is a film that moves you. It doesn't give you the out of just letting you sit there. Moving through the first section, which gives you but a glimpse of the hate that has been directed at Gov. Palin, there was not a sound from the audience. It was eerily quiet...it seemed as though people were shocked by the level of hate and brutality shown her. I have to say that it was shocking to me. I had seen some of it but there were a lot of things I hadn't seen. It made me consider how I would react if I were her having to deal with that. And then being a parent, it led to me think about how I would try to explain that to my kids as she has no doubt had to do to hers.

What makes this section so effective is that immediately after it's over, you see home movies and pictures of her growing up in the natural beauty that is Alaska. It drives home two things - the evil nature of the things that have been said and written about Gov. Palin as well as the extraordinarily ordinary nature of her upbringing. Sans the otherworldly beauty of Alaska, her home footage was something akin to Wonder Years with Fred Savage. Normal has many faces and interpretations nowadays but if you were to assign a set of moving images to it, you'd probably choose that footage.

From there it moves into the seeds that were planted in her that blossomed into full-blown activism during the Exxon Valdez disaster back in 1989. She wasn't trying to get rich or see her name in lights. Very simply, she wanted to make a difference to benefit not only her family but those who would come after her. What can't be overstated enough is that she was rooted by her faith in God, her family and her community from the very beginning and those things were what kept her focused and immensely effective from her time as mayor of Wasilla to her days as Governor of Alaska. Ironically, it was the time spent at the kitchen table with her family that drove so much of the innovation inherent in the policies crafted during her political tenures at the local and state level. What was plain to see was that her time as Governor was benefited by her time as Mayor. She was able to take what she learned as a two-term mayor and translate that into effective governance over the entire state. Simply put, she was a very good mayor and an even BETTER governor.

It was also interesting to see the political environment in which she had to operate and how it's a mirror image to the one that's operating in Washington. The Corrupt Bastards Club, or CBC, is not something that pertains only to the all-boys club that was Alaska politics pre-Palin. It is an accurate depiction of Washington politics today. The elephant in the room wasn't the GOP establishment corruption but the grittiness Gov. Palin displayed in the midst of the firestorm surrounding her as she took it on. It's important to note that she had people around her, a small group of warriors every bit as gritty as she. They're called the Magnificent Seven and they reminded me of an elite special ops unit. They were small in number but each of them had a unique skill set and each was as fearless as their leader. They were tireless in their efforts to right the system that had wronged the people they were called to serve and when the dust settled, they ousted a 26-year GOP godfather as well as the Democratic incumbent to win the governor's seat. That by itself is a remarkable story, one made for the movies - a mom of 5 kids, born of two schoolteachers, launches a bid for public office from her kitchen table that reaches beyond the desk of mayor and chairman of the most powerful state-wide commission to the Governorship of Alaska while defeating entrenched, seemingly unbeatable political special interests along the way. But as we all know, there's much more to the story.

The film did a great job of pointing out the fact of how much momentum Gov. Palin's addition gave to the GOP presidential ticket. Her RNC speech fired the imaginations of many millions of people and that began to build upon itself as she traveled the country and spoke to sold out crowds. She invigorated the McCain campaign and propelled it past the Obama/Biden campaign by a significant margin in the polls which I forgot about (I'm sure I'm not the only one) and which the media never mentions. It could be argued that had it not been for the economic meltdown that occurred shortly before the election that we'd be talking about President McCain and Vice President Palin instead of the current occupiers in the White House.

What is also shown plainly is what Gov. Palin had to face when she returned to Alaska and how her administration was ground to a halt due to frivolous ethics charges, all of which were thrown out. I think anyone who watches this film comes to a better understanding of why Gov. Palin decided to step down to allow Lt. Gov. Parnell to continue the work they had begun. She had become the focus of left-wing hate and as such knew the only way the people of Alaska would be served is if she stepped down. She did it knowing what it could potentially cost - but as she said earlier in the film "in politics, you either sleep well or eat well". Stepping down was by all intents and purposes the end of her political career but it turned out to be one of the best things she could ever do. No one has had more of an influence in the political landscape than Sarah Palin has and she's done it using of all things, Facebook, Twitter and well-timed public speeches.

The moment in the film that seemed to encapsulate what she's all about is the footage of her giving the "Game On!" speech up in Madison, WI back in April. There she was, speaking from her heart, shouting over the artificial noise of wingnuts protesting the Tea Partiers gathered, in the frozen rain, focused eyes peering through glasses covered in frozen mist. Despite the hostile conditions around her, there she stood, on the side of the people delivering a fire from her belly that rang in the ears of those in attendance. History was repeating itself all over again because with every political office she's campaigned for, she's battled adverse conditions and hostilities from all sides only to come out of it all stronger for it because her cause was the right one - her cause was and is the people's cause.

The light from her star casts a shadow that extends all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and they cannot even escape it. Her cause is true. Her record is unmatched and unmistakable. Her spirit, like the spirit of so many Americans, is Undefeated. That cold drizzly day in Madison was a shot across the bow of the current Corrupt Bastards Club in Washington, D.C. that a reformer was on her way to reclaim the White House and this country back on behalf of the people.

She's done it before...and she's going to do it again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

History

From the time I was a little boy, I was enamored by Michael Jackson’s music. I remember racing home in anticipation of watching the world premiere of Thriller on MTV. I had butterflies, anxiety, nervousness – all of it, bubbling just below the surface as I plopped down on the floor in front of the TV to watch something unlike anything I had ever seen.

As it turned out, that video forever changed the way music videos were produced, financed and created. It was the first video on MTV featuring a Black artist. In case you were wondering, the year was 1983. It still is the longest music video in duration ever to air on the network, now infamous for many things among others not playing much music. The fact that music videos now have taken on, artistically, a life all on their own is related directly to the bigness of Thriller – the scope, the budget and choreography of it was beyond what had been done before.

Fast forward twenty-six years and the Thrilla from Wasilla entered the room of the country’s collective conscience. It was a seminal moment in American politics and pop culture. Her announcement as Sen. McCain’s running mate generated a lot of skepticism and curiosity. Who was she and why did he pick her seemed to be the $25,000 questions on everyone’s minds. And then she gave the speech at the RNC that ignited the campaign and the imaginations of so many people, me included.

I felt myself transfixed to the screen as she spoke; much like that night so many years ago that Thriller debuted. I was too young then to fully appreciate what it was I was watching at the time. Thankfully watching Gov. Palin that night, I was old enough to realize that I was party to another piece of history, watching her star being born as she spoke with clarity, conviction and contagious passion. As I took in her speech, it made me think about what it was that made me the conservative I had become. There wasn’t a moment that stands out to me but rather resembled more of an evolution over time.

It all started in high school. I went to a small private school on the Southeast side of Houston that taught Biblical principles and for me I had to start with the fundamental question of life and its origins. I had come to believe as a young person that Christ was above and over all and that He was the Creator of all living things. If that was the case, then I imagined that it must move Him to sadness to see our treatment of the millions and millions of unborn babies who were never given a chance at life. What about them and what did it say about us that our policy towards abortion was a signal of the kind of progressive, secular society we had become?

Perhaps it was too simplistic but I noticed that many who belonged to the Democratic Party supported women having abortions and I didn’t agree with that stance. On the flip side, it seemed that many who believed that abortion was wrong associated themselves with the Republican Party. Something else I had to consider was that Dr. King quoted Abraham Lincoln – the Emancipation President - in his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Those factors were plenty enough for me to fall on the side of the pachyderms. Then as time went on and I learned more about conservative principles – limited government, low taxes, free markets, fiscal discipline, strong defense, and individual responsibility – it seemed sensible to me. It. Just. Made. Sense.

Back to Gov. Palin – it was her plainspokenness that stood out to me beyond her striking looks and exuberance. She didn’t speak like a normal politician much like another unconventional political figure who came before her and revolutionized the Republican Party with his aura and substance. Like him, she didn’t talk around you. She talked TO you. She made sense. There are a lot of things that have happened to her and her family since that night that haven’t made sense…the attacks, the cruelty, the threats. But with EVERYTHING she’s endured, here she stands on the ready to inject herself into the 2012 Presidential race and make it as compelling as any monumental long-form genre-bending music video.

Speaking again of the King of Pop, there was another song he penned in the mid ‘80s. It was a song he and his brothers performed during the infamous Victory Tour of 1984 called “Can You Feel It”. It’s actually my seven-year old daughter’s favorite song. She’s got good musical taste, what can I say?

Should Gov. Palin throw her 50-gallon hat in the ring, November 2012 won’t begin an ill-fated victory tour. It will mark another revolution in the Republican Party, fitting of her luminary GOP predecessors. She will usher in a new era that will bring back America’s vitality, restore our hope in the future of our country and unleash the greatness of the people she’s been called to serve.

THAT will be something to see.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Exposure

People often say that their biggest fear is public speaking. For many people, the very thought of it is enough to bring on an anxiety attack. There are those that even have nightmares of standing alone on a stage in front of a large audience to deliver an important speech only to forget their words from fear of the moment. It is something that has a way of exposing you that can be very uncomfortable and for many, something that inspires all-out dread.

It's kind of hard for me to understand. In full disclosure, I've always been a bit of a showboater. As a kid in 1st and 2nd grade I was the kid that was not only faster than you but to prove how much faster I was, I would turn front handsprings and run backwards while you were chasing me just to erase any doubt. As I grew older and played athletics, it morphed into an ability to be able to perform well under stress. It carried over into over activities involving presentations and public speeches. Sickly enough, I relished those times. It was, as in my athletic days, something I took on as a challenge to prove to myself and to those in attendance that I had what it took to perform under pressure.

Exposure is tricky and big media wields it like a weapon. But unwittingly, they have participated in their own undoing especially in the last few years coinciding with the rise of a relative unknown from a little town in Alaska. Sarah Palin burst onto the scene in 2008 at the Republican National Convention and, this is key, the MSM didn't know who she was. Oops! She wasn't even a bleep on their radar. Of the potential VP candidates, she wasn't anywhere the top of their list of those that would be chosen. And since they were, you know "the smartest people in the room", they surely had the inside track since that's their job and all.

They were caught with their proverbial pants down. So when she gave that speech and wowed all of us, of COURSE they had to marvel at it. They played nice at first because, well, to characterize her speech as anything short of brilliant would've been insane. It was there for all the world to see. She was fresh, beautiful, magnetic, commanding, passionate - AND a genuinely proud wife and mother. It was hard to get more Norman Rockwellian than that.

But that goodwill lasted about 12 hours, if that. Many began to descend upon Alaska to dig up what they could. The attacks came viciously...first target was her uterus, then her family, then her intellect - all in rapid succession. As she traveled the country with John McCain and energized the Republican base, the media scrutiny grew each day. Then the Katie Couric interview came and SNL was close to follow and before you knew it, a new caricature began to emerge, the not-so-flattering one that many people hold onto even to this day.

That caricature cemented itself after the VP campaign was over and she had to return to her duties as governor. The frivolous ethics charges ground her administration to a halt and as a result, decided to resign instead of spend her time and political capital fighting these complaints to the detriment of the people of Alaska. Add to this toxic cocktail was the shooting tragedy that unfolded in Tucson which claimed the lives of several people and very nearly a US Congresswoman. Who was to blame? Well Sarah Palin of course...because of a map her PAC used on a website preceding the 2010 midterms "targeting" strategic districts for the GOP to capture back from Democrats. There were several in the media who blamed Gov. Palin for what happened that day because her "violent" rhetoric was the reason for all of the vitriol in the political conversation and somehow motivated the actions of a murderer.

You can imagine that all of this would create a healthy sense of skepticism within her when it came to MSM coverage. And yet, this exposure to such hostility reinforced in her a valuable lesson. She learned that the best way to handle the MSM was to use her starpower against them by going straight to the people knowing they would be close behind following her every move. Her books and her recent One Nation Under God bus tour allowed her to get in front of normal, everyday people to talk to them without her words or persona being distorted. She even used the bus tour as a way to show the media she wasn't afraid of them by holding 17 off-the-cuff interviews. She spent enough time answering the media that some of them even ran out of questions to ask.

On the heels of all of this is the release of the 24,000 pages of e-mails during her time as governor which have been all too hastily poured into by big media and their hired help so desperate to find more fodder to spread to the masses. But all they've seemed to uncover is overwhelming evidence that she was a hardworking, fiercely loyal, tough, savvy chief executive that had total command of the issues facing the people of her state. None of this was a surprise to me or anyone else that have decided to throw our support behind Gov. Palin. It was a treat though to get to hear reporters say as much, perhaps surprised at what they found.

The same is occurring as The Undefeated is released nationwide as word spreads and demand dictates that more theaters buy rights to show it. It gets to the truth of who Sarah Palin is and what she stands for. It vehemently contradicts the slanderous, libelous, trashing of a rock-solid, honest, servant-hearted warrior. I, for one, can't wait to see it and will drag as many people as I can to see it with me - even people who are convinced she and Tina Fey are one and the same.


What an interesting piece of irony that the increased exposure of Sarah Palin during the last few months is creating momentum for her that defies the concerted smear campaign waged by the MSM, the very same MSM who's being exposed for forsaking among other things fundamental American decency.

Exposure is a double-edged sword, is it not?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cakes and Circuses

The Roman Empire was perhaps the greatest empire the world has ever seen. It doesn't take a trained eye to see how Roman civilization has impacted the world over and still does. You can see Ancient Rome's fingerprints all over our culture here in the States. Our very government and rule of law has its foundations in Rome - i.e. division of power between branches, election of representatives (Senators), the courts, passage of legislation, political campaigns, etc. We even imitate Roman architecture in our State and National seats of power (i.e. capitols).

The similarities with Rome don't end there. Our successes as empires have been unique in our respective human eras. Other empires before Rome paled in comparison in terms of power and size. For the last 234 years, there has been no other nation on the face of the Earth like the United States of America. Have you ever heard of people flocking to Europe to pursue "The European Dream"? And with that uniqueness comes a burden of a different sort. We, like the Romans, had to contend with rising powers from without regularly. Unfortunately for Rome and maybe our society as well, the Achilles heel lies within our borders. Rome's success and lust for power made it into a bloated, drunk animal vulnerable to a neighboring enemy desperate enough to topple it (Gauls). It became slovenly in large part because those at the top of the political food chain realized they could have all the power they wanted by simply giving the people enough "cakes and circuses" to keep them occupied, content with the way things were. Their plan worked to perfection but it paved the way for an unintended consequence - the fall of their beloved empire.

Fast forward a couple of millenia and we have, seemingly, the same thing playing out again in the US. As of right now, we are the world's lone superpower. We are the standard for what a functioning, democratic society looks like. Our soldiers have spilled blood for the cause of freedom the world over and has fought back against tyranny, oppression, fascism and terrorism. Our soldiers continue this effort to this very moment so we can enjoy the freedom and liberty our founders so wisely framed via the Constitution (
not too bad for a bunch of White guys eh Clare Shipman?) We would do well to mimic the resolve of our fighting forces to take on those within our society who wish to consolidate power for themselves to achieve their self-serving purposes. I believe there are influential, powerful people both in politics and the media that have an agenda that is destroying this country from the inside out. They, like their Roman predecessors, know that they can hold sway over the great unwashed masses with the modern-day version of cakes and circuses called entitlements and entertainment.

And it is this that could be our nation's undoing if we as citizens allow it to be. Our future is at stake because our economic situation is in dire condition. We are in the midst of a debt crisis with a President and a Democrat-controlled Senate at the controls who feel we need to spend more to right the ship - the very same side of the aisle who have made it their
mission to deride Paul Ryan for putting forth a serious plan to deal with our debt and excessive entitlement spending without coming up with a plan of their own. Couple that with the sensational nature of our media and it makes for a cocktail of destruction. Instead of holding our elected officials accountable for the fact that there are now 44 million (almost 1 in 6) Americans on food stamps, the MSM is spending countless hours diving through 24,000 pages of a certain non-elected citizen's e-mails.

There's nothing we can't do as Americans. We proved that time and time again. But if we think we can take our way of life for granted by choosing to focus on what fills our bellies and keeps us entertained, our fate will be no different from the Romans. Noted philosopher George Santayana stated, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
We must take seriously the responsibility that comes with the freedom we enjoy by being vigilant and understanding the part we play in ensuring that the America our children inherit is determined by what we do today.

Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
LinkMatt 4:4

Monday, June 6, 2011

Inspiration

It's a feeling that is hard to put into words - it's something you know more by feel than anything. When I see greatness, it creates a buzz within me that finds a way to bubble out. I can't sit still or stay quiet. I jump, yell or laugh until I make myself cry. Art and beauty inspires me more than anything I can think of. There's something about a one-of-a-kind performance delivered by some uniquely gifted talent that creates a sense of awe and wonder within me that inspires me to do the same.

I would consider myself a Sylvester Stallone fan. He has managed to create an incredible career by creating believable characters that are very human. They bleed, they hurt, they lose - but if you push them enough, they'll kick your ass. One of my favorite movie experiences was going to see Rocky IV as a preteen with some of my extended family - an uncle and a few of my cousins. The Rocky-Drago fight goes down for me as one of the best movie fights of all time. Sure the outcome was predictable, but the drama during the match was choreographed masterfully. By the end of the fight, me and my uncle and cousins were standing up with other people in the movie theater shadow-boxing as Rocky took it to Ivan Drago, the unbeatable, 'roided Russian. That moment had a magic to it that I'll never forget. Can you imagine if something like that happened during a movie today?

There is something about underdogs that Americans love. It speaks to us at a place deep within us. I think we can relate because we've all been there at one time or another. Each of us can probably recall a time in our lives, whether long ago or more recently, when the odds were not in our favor. That usually doesn't portend great and wonderful things for us but characters like Rocky give us hope that normal people like us, unremarkable in a lot of ways, can beat the odds and do what most people would consider impossible.

I have to say that watching Sarah Palin this last week has been a thing of beauty. She is a phenomenon in the most literal sense, effectively dragging the media along for the ride of a lifetime armed with her beautiful family, charisma, wit and yes, her smarts. What she's doing is very unconventional - waging a multi-front war campaign against the media machine that was caught unaware back in 2008 and has been trying to play catch-up by smearing her good name and record ever since. One front, the obvious one, is the bus tour. She's dictated the terms of engagement by not telegraphing to the media her every move. They've had to play along and oddly enough have seemingly found a new level of respect for her. Sure they've whined and complained a bit and at times have resorted to their old bag of tricks but overall have treated her with more fairness lately than at anytime since the 2008 campaign.

The second front of this kinetic military action would be the upcoming full-length feature helmed by Stephen Bannon called "The Undefeated". Mr. Bannon himself, a former Goldman-Sachs lawyer turned filmmaker, decided to finance the project out of his own pocket after meeting Gov. Palin and learning about her story. Preliminary screenings have revealed this piece of filmmaking to be a potential game-changer for Gov. Palin's presidential ambitions as it effectively presents her as a person and as a public servant from those who have served with her and have seen the effects of her principled leadership firsthand. It tells her remarkable journey from PTO board member, to city council, to mayor, to governor and finally to Vice Presidential nominee as well as the obstacles she faced at every stop along the way.

Things seem to be lining up nicely for our modern-day Rocky. She's waging a very effective campaign to wrestle the narrative back from the media who have tried mightily to delegitimize her from the start. My sense is that she sees her momentum gathering against the backdrop of a grossly incompetent President whose policies have done nothing but create 9+% unemployment, a looming double-dip recession, a record-setting run of declining home values, record levels of debt, gas nearing $4/gallon and a precipitous erosion of credibility within the rest of the world. Oh he's had help and I'm not talking about GW43. The assist goes to the MSM who through their soft bigotry of low expectations has literally pushed open the door of the Oval Office to a gross incompetent - a person that has no business occupying the office in which he sits.

What awaits for him in a few months is a challenger that in stark contrast is worthy of the office of President, who has paid a price few, if any, has politically. She has defied the odds and has seen her share of battles. She's been hurt, she's been bloodied, she's even been left for dead. And yet the courage of her conviction gives her steady legs and an unbowed heart. Her unlikely story will inspire many millions of people all over again to support her in her path to the Presidency.

My apologies to Rocky Balboa but there's another underdog who has captured my imagination. I'm thinking she's going to be creating some magic of her own between now and January 2013.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Agendas

Everybody has an agenda. It's like that joke that says, "An opinion is like a (insert certain bodypart here), everyone has one." We're human - it's just part of the territory, a by-product of who we are. Businesses have agendas. Governments have agendas. Organizations - whether they be charitable, non-profits, etc. - have them too. The media - who has been front and center in what seems to be an ongoing culture war - is not exempt. There are many folks, on the left and right, who decry certain news organizations who lean one way or the other. For instance, Fox News and MSNBC are easy targets for those of opposing ideologies. As it stands, Fox News consistently dominates cable news ratings on a nightly basis because this country is predominately center-right, although they do enjoy viewership from a growing number of Independents and even some who identify as liberal.

Having an agenda isn't an inherently bad thing. It's not a bad thing for a business to have the agenda of making a profit. What makes that agenda bad or good is how they go about accomplishing that agenda. What is the nature of their business practices? How do they treat the people that they employ and their customers? Charities should have the agenda of raising money for the cause they endorse as well as growing awareness among the populace as to the issues confronting the cause for which they fight. The press' agenda SHOULD be to inform the public about the issues confronting them, reporting on issues that are meaningful to all of us. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what issues are meaningful to American citizens.

Progressives decry Fox News because they resent the fact they have opinion journalists that lean to the right. Conservatism represents an affront to their very existence. Progressives want everyone to follow them down the memory hole. The problem is, conservatives like myself are stubborn enough to not make that mistake as well as remind them with history how progressivism does nothing but leave a path of scorched earth in its wake. Conservative principles, what this country was founded upon, have shown throughout history what it's meant to the propagation of freedom and hope throughout the world. Does that mean that the US is without its closet skeletons? We all know the answer to that question.

Let's go back to the press for a second. The press is deemed "the third rail of our democracy". Their role is vital to providing a check and balance on government by being an instrument of impartiality and reporting on newsworthy items that affect all of us, directly or indirectly. If there is rampant collusion between the press and government, then you have something resembling state-run media instead of a free press operating in a democratic society. One could make the argument that the press has always had a liberal-leaning undertone. Back during the days of Cronkite and Murrow, there was more of a concerted effort to report the news without delivering ideological slant. But modern politics has outed the MSM to its liberal leanings and the populace has seen it for what it is. As evidence, I submit the rise of Fox News, particularly on-air personalities like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. There is no surprise that as ratings for network television have plummeted, cable news - namely Fox News - has been the biggest beneficiary, receiving the lion's share of those choosing to get their news elsewhere. In it's simplest form what we see at play is an inverse relationship between network news and cable news. As one has fallen (network news), the other has risen (cable news i.e. FNC).

There are types of stories that don't get the kind of play among the MSM that makes viewers question their intentions, their agenda. Case in point is this story from Nigeria where at this very moment Christians are being massacred en-masse at the hands of Muslims (WARNING: link shows graphic image) as they protest the result of their recent presidential elections. What is going there is utterly horrific. Go look at Google for yourself to see the coverage this story has enjoyed from the major news networks. What you will also notice is that this story arc (Muslims and their actions/intentions towards other non-Muslims) does not get much attention from the MSM. You might ask why that is. You might also ask why the White House has been silent on this issue. Sure, the White House is very busy and has a lot on its plate with two wars plus an ongoing kinetic military operation, high unemployment, a disastrous housing market, an ever-weakening dollar, a mostly stale economy, unrest in the Middle East spreading at a dizzying pace and countries like China and Russia growing more powerful by the day. But when you combine what the press is neglecting to do by not giving voice to stories like the one mentioned above with the silence from the White House on this issue and others like it, people are going to start drawing conclusions.

What certainly doesn't help the growing perception problem the White House and the MSM currently suffer from is when they both take part in going to war with Fox News. It's one thing for FNC's competitors to directly go after them by making accusations or exaggerations to slander and defame. It's entirely another issue for the Administration of a sitting President to engage in a full-on attack of a network, trying to isolate and marginalize it because it doesn't play the same game the MSM has played with the White House - that is, sacrificing their fundamental agenda of accountability at the altar of access.

The best thing news networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN can do as they continue to shrink in the shadow of Fox News is to go back to reporting the news with journalistic integrity. Short of showing more deference to the center-right, it's the best thing they can do to slow the erosion of viewers to Fox News. The best thing the White House could do is not demonize center-right leaning networks/news outlets like Fox News because of their wide viewership. By doing so, they end up insulting and alienating the voter blocs they need for support - most importantly Independents - who somehow always seem to decide the outcomes of major elections. Don't marginalize the people that have the power to vote you in or out of office. In more simpler terms, don't bite the hand that places the ballot in the box. It's the surest way to have your agenda traded in for one that more closely matches their own.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

15 Minutes of Fame

Most people seek out fame and the spotlight for their "15 minutes of fame". Reality TV is filled with such people. The embodiment of this is the cast of Jersey Shore - the oily, tanned New Jerseyites whom viewers can't seem to get enough of. Famous and headline grabbing for all of the wrong reasons, they inspire those of us desperate for attention to follow in their footsteps to gain their share of fame. They are the proverbial flash in the pan...the antithesis to substance.

Speaking of substance, I just finished listening to Sarah Palin's speech today in Wisconsin. It was electric. I got goosebumps listening to her address the Tea Party patriots in Madison. She projected strength, intelligence, confidence and a command of the issues that confront our country. She took the establishment GOP to task for their budget compromise, the MSM for their ineptitude and the President for his dangerous and reckless policies.

She was pitch-perfect. She sets the tone that the other GOP front-runners struggle to consistently create. But this is what she does. Time and time again when the MSM talking heads collude to attempt to bully, intimidate and corner her, she takes the air out of their lungs by delivering leadership from a place of substance that they can't do anything with. She stands up and speaks clarity in a way that none of the other front-runners can. Dana Perino, I have a lot of respect for you, but you're wrong. She wears authenticity like a well-fitted jacket. She's taken the slings and arrows that others have done little to defend her from. It's no wonder that so many women believe chivalry is dead. Watching her male counterparts stand idly by while she gets teed up by the media is stomach-churning. Men should be inspired by strength, not intimidated by it. But when you're a pretender, that's what you do.

I don't know if this speech is her announcement to run for the White House in 2012. If it was, it was one heck of a way to do it. Talk about a perfect convergence of style and substance. If there was ever a textbook example of this, it's Gov. Palin - glamorous AND doggedly determined to stand and fight as the day is long. There has been no one in American politics like this Sarah Palin. She and those familiar to sports have knowledge of the term "eyeball test". There are athletes that make it difficult at times to articulate their greatness - you just know it when you see it. In other words, they pass the eyeball test. Sarah Palin does that and more. When you watch her or listen to her, she reminds you in case you forgot that she's something special. She doesn't just pass the eyeball test, she crushes it.

Her detractors only wish she had just fifteen minutes of fame. Unfortunately for them, this is no Jersey Girl. The "Thrilla from Wasilla" is no sideshow. She's got staying power...and her eye on the prize in 2012.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Identity Crisis

Even if you truly do live under a rock, you'd still know that we live in perilous times. Here in the US and abroad are real threats to our very way of life. Countries all over the globe are having to deal with struggling economies, high unemployment, political unrest and radical Islamic terrorism.

The US is no stranger to these issues as they are front and center in the minds of all of us. Even in spite of these issues, there is a tremendous opportunity for us as a free, democratic nation to lead the rest of the world. Unfortunately we seem to be squandering the opportunity because we have leadership within government that is apparently of the belief that our exceptionalism is nothing special. I guess turning the tide in two world wars, rebuilding nations, freeing people from despotic tyranny and being the most generous and prosperous nation the world has ever seen doesn't count for much these days.

What is disconcerting is to see our government completely tone deaf to the very issues of our time. Every day we see and hear more evidence that they just don't get it. When it comes to our border with Mexico, our policy towards illegal immigration, our stance on the war against terror, our foreign policy, our fiscal policy and our energy policy, we seem to cut off our nose to spite our face. We're told by our President and his administration that the way we're proceeding is the best way forward. But is it?

Looming ever-present is the mortal danger faced by those on the southern border and those who cross into Mexico. It seems that every week we hear of our citizens going missing or dying at the hands of the warring drug cartels. We have an on-going drilling moratorium in the Gulf which has forced people out of work and companies to go elsewhere. And as the drama unfolds in the Middle East in oil-rich countries upon which we are dependent, we pay an ever-growing price at the pump. We can't tap into our own natural resources like ANWR and the Natural Petroleum Reserve, a separate area in Alaska the size of Indiana, and instead are having to finance the pursuit of energy sources that are expensive and inefficient. We are presented with a federal budget that doesn't even pretend to address the massive debt burden we've accumulated amidst the backdrop of 9+% unemployment and 17% underemployment as far as the eye can see.

I believe there's a better way. We are at a crossroads in our history as a nation, a watershed moment in time if you will, that will say a lot about our future. We have to decide whether or not we deserve better than our current trajectory. We have to decide if our current leadership is our best option to position our nation to succeed and lead the world moving forward. Say what you will about "American exceptionalism" but the cold truth is if we don't lead, someone will. So we have to ask ourselves, what will the world look like with countries like China and Russia in the driver's seat? Is this in the best interest of our nation or world?

If there was ever a time for decisive, sensible leadership, it is now. We literally cannot afford another four years of reckless domestic and foreign policy dictated by a worldview completely disconnected from the reality of the world we live in. We need someone with common sense, practical wisdom regarding the world as it is, legitimate business savvy, respect for allies and a mindset to hold enemies to account, the mettle and toughness that only comes from fighting against corruption and special interests and the humility to truly serve the people governed.

There's one person in my mind that is uniquely positioned to deliver on these qualifiers. Her name is Sarah Palin. She's not perfect but is ideally suited for a time like this. Despite being dissected and vilified in every way possible, left for dead politically more than a handful of times and attacked in sometimes coordinated fashion by those who wield the power of pen and opinion, here she still stands - immovable, rugged, battle-tested, steely. She is the embodiment of what has defined America's greatness for the last 220 years. And it is that and nothing less that is required of our leadership if we are to move through this time of peril in our history to greater heights yet unknown.

We just have to make the decision that our greatness as a nation isn't something to be ashamed of but something we should be inspired by because we live in a world that needs it. It's the very reason why we need her.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What Have We Become

DC Talk was a group I discovered during my high school years. Considering what they accomplished as a Contemporary Christian group is remarkable...even more so is how they did it. They started out creating cheesy Christian dance, hip-hop tracks and then as time passed, they evolved their sound, polished it and created something that was substantive with the kind of crossover sound that afforded them mainstream acclaim.

Their landmark album, Jesus Freak, featured a track titled "What Have We Become". The words of the chorus seem to provide an accurate description to our world's current climate:

What have we become?
A self indulgent people, what have we become?

Tell me where are the righteous ones?

What have we become?

In a world degenerating, what have we become?

The lyrics above seem particularly prescient considering the recent news coming out of Philadelphia regarding Kermitt Gosnell and his abortion house of horrors. If for whatever reason you don't know who he is, go here. Read every word...even take time out to read the report attached to the link that details out the charges made against Gosnell.

What you will find is beyond disturbing. The level of brutality and the duration of it is staggering, especially considering that this monster was allowed to practice "medicine" for over four decades and reap a considerable fortune off of poor, inner city residents while the Philadelphia Department of Health looked the other way knowing what was going on.

In case any of you weren't aware, I don't see abortion as a matter of women's reproductive rights. I see this issue as a matter of life and death, a matter of protecting those who can't protect themselves. That, by itself, is enough of a reason for me to see this issue the way I see it. But I also see this in another light. I view this issue through a racial lens. And I hope that by the end of this post, you'll understand why.

You might have noticed that Mr. Gosnell is Black. If you followed the link I provided above, you might notice that there's another Black abortion practitioner out in California that's being investigated for committing similar acts to Mr. Gosnell's. Make no mistake, there are more stories out there waiting to be told. Time will unfold these stories and bring to light even more unspeakable horror. For me, it's not just that these incredibly brutal acts are being committed under the guise of reproductive choice. What makes this even more repulsive to me is that these acts are being committed by Black men, whose ancestors were brutalized in much the same way at the hands of their White slave masters.

Please know I don't point this out to engender more White guilt. Lord knows there's plenty of that going around. What's done is done. The savage acts of White slave masters hundreds of years ago does not need to be carried on the shoulders of present-day White Americans. There will always be racism because of the condition of men's hearts. But by and large, we live in a very diverse society with more people of color in positions of power and influence than at any other time in our nation's history. This could not happen in a fundamentally racist country.

What I contend is that Blacks - who not that long ago were brutalized, tortured, even murdered because they were deemed as not fully human - should be especially sensitive to the plight of the unborn and the inequality shown them. There was a time when we could not speak to make our case for why we deserved equal protection under the law. Thank God that there were people who decided it wasn't above their pay grade to see our cause as a worthy one to take up. They saw a part of Creation that was stamped, like they were, with the very fingerprint of God Himself.

These little babies are no less stamped as we are. We, like them, were knit together in our mother's womb. They are just as deserving of equal protection under the law and they deserve, as we did, for someone to come to their rescue and speak for them in a way that they can't do themselves. Before this can happen, we have to wake up out of the malaise we've been in for the last 40+ years, conditioned to believe the promises of a political party that was to deliver us our balancing of the scales after years of inequality. It has helped create the conditions now seen in much of the Black community - disproportionate rates of single-parent families, paternal abandonment, teen and unwed pregnancy, incarceration, violent crime, unemployment, under-education...and last but not least, abortion. Blacks, while they compose 13% of the US population, represent 40% of babies being aborted.

What have we become? We (Blacks) have, in large part, become a people that have swallowed whole a debilitating mindset that has created far-reaching consequences that are destroying us. And to make matters worse, we willingly participate.

What we must become? We (Blacks) must awaken to this reality and grab hold of a better destiny than the one we believed for so long was entitled to us. We must fight for ourselves in a way that does away with giving credence to people and organizations we cede leadership to who are only interested in lining their own pockets and centralizing power at the expense of everyone else.

Towards the end of "What Have We Become", DC Talk asks:

What about love?

What about God?

What about holiness?
What about mercy

Compassion and selflessness?


So then...what's it gonna be?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sticks & Stones

You remember the nursery rhyme don't you?

Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words will never hurt me

What is it about certain people that have no regard for other people's feelings and just spout off at the mouth?! I can't begin to try to understand it.

I suppose some people just feel like they're smarter than everyone else in the room and that what they have to say is so important that it just has to be said, regardless of what's being said and how its being said. They just don't care. Their vast, expansive knowledge and self-importance trumps all of the rest of us mere mortals so we are just privileged to hear what they have to say. Because, again, they are so vitally important to the rest of us.

We all know what happened in Tucson, whether the MSM ever gets it right or not, we don't need them to tell us what happened. Six people died, including a precious 9-year old little girl. Many, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords were shot at point blank range at the hands of a likely paranoid schizophrenic who was fond of such literary works as Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto.

Before the spilled blood of victims had dried on the pavement in the Safeway parking lot, Sheriff Dupnik, the presiding law enforcement officer over the case, began the narrative that this was an act caused by heated political rhetoric courtesy of the Tea Party. From there the political hot potato was carried by the likes of The New York Times, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC but shifted more specifically to Sarah Palin who was instantly made into Public Enemy #1 because of a map produced by her political action committee during the most recent election cycle (the same kind of map created by Democrats on numerous occasions). That became her "Scarlet A" and had every liberal talking head's finger pointing in her direction as the ultimate cause for the rampage that occurred. As Markos Moulitsas (founder of The Daily Kos) so eloquently quipped via Twitter, "Mission Accomplished Sarah Palin".

And not to be outdone, progressive sympathizers have littered the social media universe with pleasantries like:

"When will the crosshairs fall over Palin?"
"Sarah Palin and her family are the #1 choice to get dic* cancer this year"
"I hope Sarah Palin dies an ugly death..."
"Sarah Palin's website kills people; I hope she dies gnashing her teeth"
"I hope Sarah Palin dies and gets cancer in the next two years"
"Got your wish bitc*. Join us in praying to God that Sarah Palin contracts cancer and dies!"
"My hatred for Sarah Palin continues to grow. I think this woman should be assassinated."
"I hope Sarah Palin dies a slow and painful death. That c*nt has blood on her hands."
"Abort Palin"
"She's gonna get gang-raped by my big black brothers!"
"Turncoat bitch
"
"Whore"

Ding dong the witch is dead!

And despite all of this, Sarah Palin still exhibited grace, dignity and restraint in the face of absolute cruelty and vile. Despite the fact that there isn't a shred of evidence remotely linking anything Sarah Palin has done with the Tucson shooter, still the MSM falls short of setting the record straight to absolve her of any responsibility. They smear, gawk and libel her without remorse because of their utter contempt for her.

The progressives and MSM don't seem to understand, while held hostage by their own arrogance, that Sarah Palin connects with the rest of us in a way that they simply can't. Besides grow up in a small town in Alaska, play high school basketball, win a beauty contest, marry her high school sweetheart and have 5 kids together (and actually decide to give birth to a child she knew would have Down's Syndrome), graduate from college, join the PTA, become a city council member, get elected mayor of a small town, become governor of Alaska, take on big oil and corruption even within her own party, receive the Republican VP nomination, run a successful fishing business, pen a couple of best-selling books and challenge the establishment by standing for her convictions, what great evil has she perpetrated to warrant such venom?

What we've seen happen to Sarah Palin is on par with nothing we've seen in the history of modern politics. It's precisely the reason why she is uniquely positioned like no one in the field of candidates today to take up the mantle of leadership for our country during this crucial moment in history. It is this kind of leadership that will be necessary to restore our position in the world in the face of growing threats on our borders and elsewhere. She won't bow in deference to others, she won't shy away from the tough decisions whether it be concerning social security or budget discipline, she won't play political games at the expense of people's livelihoods and she will use her words...wisely.

Because few people in modern history know the distinct impact of words like she does.

Sticks and stones.