Sunday, June 06, 2004

Now THIS is art. I bought this fine triple portrait at a discount store in the early 90's for $5. It was one of about 200 in the box. I know I could get at least $3.50 for it now. This wonderful Sally Evans pastel was very useful for confusing crunchy art students who saw it in my apartment when I was in art school in the early 90's. Since then it has adorned the men's room at Artifact, my former company in Atlanta, GA. It now resides in my permanent collection of high art in my office.

It's nice to see that Reagan's legacy seems to be surviving the onslaught to make him look like he was an inept fool while in The White House. There's a lot of people who's ideological universes don't make sense with an intelligent Ronald Reagan in existence. As for me, I think he is one of the best examples of the right man at the right time in American history.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I have two things that I want to say upon learning of President Reagan's death tonight.

I feel deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to meet President Reagan during his second term of office. From my very limited time with him, I can tell you that he was a quietly confident man, very warm and engaging. What I remember most about him was that although I was only just turning 16 at the time, he treated me as if I were as important as any other adult. I knew that many of the people around him thought that it was either "cute" or "PR" that he bothered to take a minute to ask me if I enjoyed my job (I was working for Governor Sununu at that time in NH), and to tell him something about myself.

I was a kid who had started as a summer high school intern and turned into an assistant to the Press Sec for the Governor, and I have always hoped that Reagan recognized in me the hard work and commitment that I tried to live by, and that he stood for. I had worked on the Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Fund (for those of you who don't remember McAuliffe was the teacher from NH that died in the Challenger explosion) and both Reagan and then Vice President GHW Bush spoke with me about how that had affected us, as individuals and as a country. And when Reagan listened, he really made you feel like he was absorbing everything about you.

President Reagan has always been connected in my mind with my grandparents. My grandmother was extremely fond of him, and was terribly bothered by protesters that would come when he spoke, at that time Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant was the big issue in NH when Reagan came to town. She used to say, "free speech is fine, but there ought to be a certain amount of respect and decency for the office of the Presidency". More than what these people held for signs standing outside of where the President was going to speak bothered her, was the fact that they shouted during his speaking, that they dressed inappropriately for such an event, etc. I was very young the first time that I went to see Reagan speak with her, and like most 12 year olds, I thought that she was just "old fashioned". Now, I wish that I could tell her that I understand, that her respect for this man who never took off his jacket and tie in the oval office was well placed, but I can't, because like Reagan did, my grandmother suffers from Alzheimers. So I guess that tonight the best thing that I can do is what Reagan asked us to do when he found out of his slide into this disease, to take care of the family that suffers alongside silently. I will go write to my grandfather, and then I will say a prayer for Ronald Reagan and his family.

The second thing that I wanted to say was-
Scott, get that portrait ready for a vigil! Reagan's life deserves celebrating, for certainly we wouldn't have the lives that we do today if it weren't for his leadership.

America was blessed to have him, and we will never forget him.

Friday, June 04, 2004



Thursday, June 03, 2004

George Tenet resigns. Not that you can blame all of the bad things that have happened on his watch on him, but this has been a long time coming. You have to think there was more than a little suggestion going on within the Bush admin to get Tenet out before the election. I'll bet this guy's blood pressure drops 80 points after he is officially out.

Abolish War

My family and I went to our local Memorial Day parade in Brunswick, Maine on Monday. In addition to the usual military representatives, high school bands, local clubs, etc. marching in the parade, there was one float titled "Peace is Patriotic." I couldn't tell who the sponsor of the float was, but suffice it to say it was some kind of peace activist organization. They were all wearing black, and their float consisted of a black flatbed covered in a grid of white crosses, simulating a cemetery. While I was sort of amused by the cone of silence that overcame the crowd as the float passed by (pretty much every other float was getting at least polite applause) I really didn't have much of a problem with this float. They were displaying the American flag, which surprised me, and they refrained from the immature "Bush is Hitler" type slogans. A message of peace doesn't seem contradictory to the celebration of Memorial Day, even if these folks were pushing their agenda as opposed to honoring the true spirit of the day.

One thing that did bother me (you knew there had to be something) was a banner that some of the members of this group carried. Written on the banner were the words "Abolish War." The more I thought about it, the more this irritated me. Just what the hell does "Abolish War" mean anyway? Do these people really think that is some kind of solution? That's kind of like saying "make happiness mandatory." Nice thought, but completely outside of reality, and not a solution to anything. (The question comes to mind that if you pass a law abolishing war, and someone breaks it, how do you enforce the law? Perhaps a UN resolution?)

I don't know too many people who actually like war. While I realize political slogans are often oversimplified for impact, it's scary to think there are people out there that vote who think that the world is so simple that you can just be completely passive and all of the evil bastards around the globe will have a revelation and give up their Jihads based on your fine example. Pacifism is nice for winning little moral victories inside your own head, but historically its track record for encouraging evil is frightening. Abolish war? Let's abolish stupidity first.


This is what you get when you work a 14 hour day and are too wired to sleep. Hopefully I won't regret this in the morning...

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Post away guys, I gave my plug, but this is a compilation blog, and equal time, so now it's your turn guys.

Monday, May 31, 2004


Two weeks ago, I announced here that I was going to be working for Spirit of America. In exactly what capacity at that time, I didn't quite know. What I did know was what capacity I wanted to be working for them in...


I had a great talk with Marc Danziger, Spirit of America's COO, (aka to those in the blogoshere as "Armed Liberal" at the well respected and incredibly well written Winds of Change site) and I was hooked. You talk with anyone involved in this organization, and you'll be hooked as well.

Let me tell you one of the key secrets to this organization's appeal: it crosses both sides of the political and ideaological aisle. Heck, I cross both sides, when it gets right down to it. I vote a person, not a party. You could say that I subscribe more to nation building than to the "Ledeen doctrine". However, I temper that with I want to help others help themselves. I want to help them be able to grow all of the opportunites that we have here in America. How do you do that? By providing the tools needed. Crayons, soccer balls, books, TV cameras, computers, all of this and more Spirit of America supports and helps to provide. Read this fantastic piece by Dan Gillmor (whom I personally disagree with ideologically on many subjects, note that this organization is one that we can both support) that was published this past Sunday, and you'll understand perfectly what I am talking about.

I now have the best job of my life: Director of Procurement/Logistics at Spirit of America. I work early mornings and late nights. I work weekends. It's not work. It's the kind of fulfillment you get from making a difference. Oh, sure, I know, this sounds like "liberal mumbo jumbo" to some of you. But here's the reality: not very many people on either side of the aisle have actually spoken with Iraqis or Afghanis. Know why? Sure you do, because when you get personally involved with people, it makes it much more difficult to generalize. There are way more shades of gray that come into the picture. Now, think of what our armed forces people face every day. They face the humanity of the Iraqi people, and they face making black and white decisions that greatly affect both the lives of those people, and their own lives.

You know, when I made a promise to Zeyad at Healing Iraq on a day that he was despondent over the continued violence marring the country, and I said "though my eyes are full of tears, I will not look away" I was making a promise to more than Zeyad. I was making a promise the the people of Iraq. A promise to the people of Iran, and all of the others in nations oppressed by dictators and tyrants, who are fighting for a democratic form of government. A promise to my own two boys to try in what small way I can to make this world safer, to grow trust and friendship between nations. A promise to my husband to honor the service that his family has given our country, and those of others.

I made a promise to myself.

Make the promise.
Make the promise that Jeff Jarvis has made.
Make the promise that Britt Blaser has made.
Make the promise that Jim Hake has made.
Make the promise that Marc Danziger has made.

Make it because you support the troops, make it because you support the Iraqis, make it because you support having a free and prosperous Middle East, make it for whatever reason you want.

Because whatever that reason is, it's the right thing to do.
And Spirit of America is doing it.

Ok, normally I don't elaborate this long on a given subject but since the following upset me very much at the time it happened I thought I'd answer these questions from Larry:

1.)Is this devastation of free speech indicative of your surrounding EU members?

Well, in May 2002 there was this Dutch rightwing politican Pim Fortuyn who dared say that The Netherlands were "full" (having absorbed more than its share of non-integrating immigrants and with 16,000,000 people crammed on 36,000 square kloms, I can understand that).

He was shot dead by Volkert Van Der Graaff, a 32-year old Radical Green-Left activist.

"Fortuyn, 54, was shot in the head and chest at least three times at close range at 6 p.m. Monday as he was leaving a radio station in Hilversum, 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Amsterdam."

"Fortuyn, an openly gay former TV analyst, was a plain-speaking politician who targeted fears over immigration. Saying that the Netherlands was "full up," he criticized Muslims for not embracing Dutch culture."

Members of Fortuyn's party apparently had reason to be afraid too.

Okay, it's old news now, but it is says a lot of the way things have become for anyone who dares challenge the established views of the politically correct elites. But slowly, times are changing: France recently banned some extremsit clerics, Denmark put legislation into effect restricting the influx of radical Imams, and the Dutch will expel 26,000 illegals over the coming three years (it really, really has become too bad over there). From what I see, it's rather Belgium that, as so often, is at the tail of the movement to address the immigrant problem in a thorough way.

2.) Michael- I find this information mind-boggling.
Stephen Pollard's site mentioned the Vlaams Blok(VB)party advocates secession from Belgium and the establishment of a Republic of Flanders...Could you elaborate a little on that?
Where will conservatives seek refuge when sharia law is instituted if secession is not realized?

Well, I'm glad you bring that one up Larry. It is indeed true that the Vlaams Blok advocates nothing less than the breakup of Belgium as a nation and the creation of an independent Flanders. To be sure, I am against that. We are already so small a country, why divide it even further? It is however important to consider their rationale for such a bold claim. Flanders, the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, DOES transfer huge sums of Social Security money to sick brother Wallonia, the southern, French-speaking, purely socialist run part of Belgium. I think the amount per 4-person household has been calculated as being something in the neighborhood of the price of a small family car, say a Ford Orion, every four years.

Basically Flanders keeps Wallonia afloat through an imbalanced redistribution of federal funds. The federal government is raking in much more from Flanders than it does from Wallonia and then diverts it mostly to Wallonia - small wonder, in Wallonia 1 active person in three "works" for the state, the other two depend on social security. Marc Dutroux, this horrible child molester and murderer, who was just dandy, had somehow managed to get himself declared unfit for work and got 80,000 Belgian francs per month (some 2,000 US$) from Social Security - NOT KIDDING!!!

Still I think breaking up Belgium would be a bad idea. You might ask why I have joined the Vlaams Blok. Well, because it was the only party that vehemently OPPOSED granting the right to vote for municipal councils to non-Belgian immigrants - read the hundreds of thousands of Moroccans, Tunisians, Algerians and Turks who live here since decades but of whom a majority still does not speak our language, of whom many don't abide by our laws (slaughtering animals at home during Ramadan, e.g., although law says they should do it in one of the designated slaughterhouses etc...).

For me the point about the voting right is right now much more important than the Vlaams Blok's unrealistic claim that Belgium should cease to exist - it will never happen, a grand majority of Belgians like it just as it is.