Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving


Cultures throughout the world have held and continue to hold feasts at the close of the growing seasons after the final harvest. Usually these feasts involve giving thanks to whatever divine being(s) the particular cultures acknowledge. In the United States, the tradition loosely relates to the first “Thanksgiving" feast held by the English settlers at Plymouth, Massachusetts


The original one hundred or so settlers consisted of members of a separatist church who refused to worship in the England’s established Anglican Church. They arrived on the Mayflower in November 1620, just in time for the onset of winter. After an exploratory party located an advantageous site, the settlers came ashore that December. The site selected had been a Patuxet village that the natives abandoned after its decimation by small pox. By March 1621, however, about half of the English settlers themselves had perished from diseases contracted spread during the voyage or the harsh winter living conditions.


The new settlement took root that year with assistance from the local Wampanoag tribe. Their help had been secured through the efforts of Squanto, a Patuxet native. (Years before he had been captured and brought to England as a “specimen” by an English explorer. While living in England he learned the language. Later he found himself back in his native land. He served as a translator). That fall, after a successful harvest and hunting, a feast was held with some of the Wampanoag neighbors.


One settler preserved an account in a journal:


"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."


And so a local tradition, although inconsistently practiced, began. Other parts of the English colonies celebrated their own traditions on different fall days. These gradually became unified through proclamations of the government.

Here are a couple:

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation (3 October 1789):


Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789



And below is Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation (3 October 1863):



The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the everwatchful providence of almighty God.


In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.


Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.


No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.


It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.


In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.


Thanksgiving became a federal holiday after President Franklin Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress 26 December, 1941.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

If You Like Your Illegals, You Can Keep Your Illegals

Thousands of American businesses-especially "small businesses"--depend upon immigrant laborers to operate at the profitability level their owners desire. These laborers include both legal and illegal immigrants. More often than not, these businesses require workers with low education and low skills. The most common types of employment include farming, landscaping and grounds keeping, construction, house keeping, and janitorial/custodial work.

These are not, however, jobs that Americans will not do. In all of these occupations, the majority of workers are native born.

President Obama announced to these business owners that if they like their illegal workers, they can keep their illegal workers.

Of course, the President made this announcement in starkly different terms.

He opened his remarks with an optimistic view of America as the land of opportunity for all. In this way, he portrayed  his actions as conforming to the best of America's traditions.

"For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities –- people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose."


Of course, for 200 years America experienced a labor shortage, when demand for labor far exceeded the supply. And for 200 years, America had no national welfare system distributing financial benefits to immigrants--legal and illegal--who struggle to make it. And for most of those 200 years, America  had not been suffering through financial crises during which Americans struggled to find employment. So to "welcome" millions of illegal aliens under contemporary circumstances hardly conforms to American tradition. (And why is a progressive appealing to "tradition" anyway?

The President went on with numerous other banal brayings about immigration:

"our immigration system is broken -- and everybody knows it."


Not really, It was never designed to absorb this many immigrants who simply disregard the processes for legally immigrating to this country. Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador that are broken. The leaders of those countries. should be embarrassed that so many of their citizens leave their homeland for the United States.


"All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America."


Apparently not. Scores of activists and politicians excuse the first responsibility of anyone coming to live in America: obeying the laws regarding immigration.


"And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows."


Most undocumented immigrants illegal aliens do not live in the shadows. They show up for work everyday. Most experience little fear of being detected and deported. Maybe they live their lives not quite in the shadows, but in the penumbra, where they can still work but are unable to register to vote for Democrat politicians and apply for federal benefits.


"When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system."


The President manifest no such commitment either as a senator or as president. When his party enjoyed control of both houses of Congress, it spent its political capital on ramming through the ACA, Now they are politically bankrupt and are a legislative minority. Obama must now deal with Republicans.


"I’ll make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed."


This crisis is not about skilled entrepreneurs; the issue is uneducated and unskilled immigrants pouring across the border illegally looking for jobs that we may not have for them.


"And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids."


Do these alleged gang members carry cards to identify themselves as gang members? Moreover, a greater problem is illegal aliens joining gangs after their arrival in the United States.


"These people –- our neighbors, our classmates, our friends –- they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America’s success."

Some come to work; some come to ride. Few, however, are moved by some idealistic notion of "America's success." They work for the success of themselves and their families--even families back home where they send much of their earnings. Most native Americans--save those in the military--give little thought to how their jobs contribute to America's success.


"I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law."


He believes the best way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is to pass a law with provisions that he supports, not one that contain provisions with which he disagrees.


And that is why he issued his new, questionable executive order expanding the scope of his old questionable executive order, effectively excluding perhaps five million illegal aliens from the threat of deportation.




Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Stupid Party

One of the behind the scenes architects of the Affordable Care Act has just experienced his fifteen minutes of fame. Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber repeatedly made  cynical observations  about our political processes and condescending remarks about American citizens in the run up to the implementation of the ACA.







Gruber's  delusions as a political analyst are exceeded only his incompetence as a drafter of the ACA.

Gruber spoke with pride about the political shrewdness of the authors of the ACA and how they deceived everyone regarding the workings of the ACA.  He most controversially referred to the American voter as  stupid.

Who was really deceived and who was really stupid?

Not conservative analysts. They repeatedly warned about just the things that Gruber acknowledged---and even more.

*   the lack of transparency
*   the transfer of wealth
*   the higher costs
*   the threats to existing insurance policies
*   the removal of  crucial health care decisions from the patients

Not even the average voter appeared deceived and stupid.

Americans voted for Obama to punish Republicans for presiding over the worst economic crisis since the great depression. They did not vote for Obama to bring revolutionary changes to our health care delivery systems. And as the voters learned more about the ACA, the threw out dozens of Democratic Party office holders in the 2010 and 2014 elections.

So who were really the deceived and and stupid voters?

They were the Democratic politicians in the House of Representatives and the Senate who voted for the Affordable Care Act without any understanding of what it entailed.

And the poster child for the deceived and stupid party? This woman of course:






Meanwhile some other websites have aggregated Pelosi=Gruber connection:


From 2009:





From 2014:



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans of Holllywood




Happy Veterans Day Hollywood! Er, old Hollywood:



James Stewart , US Army Air Corps. Bomber pilot who rose to the rank of
General.


Ernest Borgnine , US Navy. Gunners Mate 1c, destroyer USS Lamberton.


Ed McMahon, US Marines. Fighter Pilot. (Flew OE-1 Bird Dogs over Korea as
well.)


Telly Savalas , US Army.


Walter Matthau, US Army Air Corps., B-24 Radioman/Gunner and cryptographer.


Jonathan Winters, USMC. Battleship USS Wisconsin and Carrier USS Bon Homme
Richard. Anti-aircraft gunner, Battle of Okinawa ..


Paul Newman, US Navy Rear seat gunner/radioman, torpedo bombers of USS
Bunker Hill


Kirk Douglas , US Navy. Sub-chaser in the Pacific. Wounded in action and
medically discharged.


Robert Mitchum , US Army.


Dale Robertson , US Army. Tank Commander in North Africa under Patton.
Wounded twice. Battlefield Commission.


Henry Fonda , US Navy. Destroyer USS Satterlee.


Lee Marvin US Marines. Sniper. Wounded in action on Saipan . Buried in
Arlington National Cemetery , Sec. 7A next to Greg Boyington and Joe Louis.


Art Carney , US Army. Wounded on Normandy beach, D-Day. Limped for the rest
of his life.


Rod Steiger , US Navy. Was aboard one of the ships that launched the
Doolittle Raid.


Tony Curtis , US Navy. Sub tender USS Proteus. In Tokyo Bay for the
surrender of Japan .


Larry Storch. US Navy. Sub tender USS Proteus with Tony Curtis.


Forrest Tucker, US Army. Enlisted as a private, rose to Lieutenant.


Robert Montgomery , US Navy.


George Kennedy , US Army. Enlisted after Pearl Harbor , stayed in sixteen
years.


Mickey Rooney , US Army under Patton. Bronze Star.


Burgess Meredith , US Army Air Corps.



Robert Stack , US Navy. Gunnery Officer.


Tyrone Power, US Marines. Transport pilot in the Pacific Theater.


Charlton Heston, US Army Air Corps. Radio operator and aerial gunner on a
B-25, Aleutians .


James Arness , US Army. As an infantryman, he was severely wounded at
Anzio, Italy.


Efram Zimbalist, Jr., US Army. Purple Heart for a severe wound received at
Huertgen Forest ..


Rod Serling. US Army. 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific. He jumped at
Tagaytay in the Philippines and was later wounded in Manila .


Gene Autry , US Army Air Corps. Crewman on transports that ferried supplies
over "The Hump" in the China-Burma-India Theater.


Wiliam Holden, US Army Air Corps.


Alan Hale Jr, US Coast Guard.


Harry Dean Stanton, US Navy. Battle of Okinawa .


William Conrad , US Army Air Corps. Fighter Pilot.


Jack Klugman , US Army.


Frank Sutton , US Army. Took part in 14 assault landings, including Leyte,
Luzon, Bataan and Corregidor .


Tom Bosley , US Navy.


Claude Akins , US Army. Signal Corps. , Burma and the Philippines .


Chuck Connors , US Army. Tank-warfare instructor.


Mel Brooks , US Army. Combat Engineer. Saw action in the Battle of the
Bulge.


Robert Altman , US Army Air Corps. B-24 Co-Pilot.


Fred Gwynne , US Navy. Radioman.


Karl Malden , US Army Air Corps. 8th Air Force, NCO.


Rock Hudson , US Navy. Aircraft mechanic, the Philippines .


Harvey Korman , US Navy.


Aldo Ray. US Navy. UDT frogman, Okinawa .


Don Knotts , US Army, Pacific Theater.


Don Rickles , US Navy aboard USS Cyrene.


Soupy Sales, US Navy. Served on USS Randall in the South Pacific.


Lee Van Cleef , US Navy. Served aboard a sub chaser then a mine sweeper.



Ted Knight , US Army, Combat Engineers.


Jack Warden , US Navy, 1938-1942, then US Army, 1942-1945. 101st Airborne
Division.


Don Adams. US Marines. Wounded on Guadalcanal , then served as a Drill
Instructor.



Brian Keith , US Marines. Radioman/Gunner in Dauntless dive-bombers.


Fess Parker, US Navy and US Marines. Booted from pilot training for being
too tall, joined Marines as a radio operator.



Raymond Burr , US Navy. Shot in the stomach on Okinawa and medically
discharged.


Hugh O' Brian , US Marines.


Eddie Albert , US Coast Guard. Bronze Star with Combat V for saving several
Marines under heavy fire as pilot of a landing craft during the invasion of
Tarawa ..


Clark Gable , US Army Air Corps. B-17 gunner over Europe .


Charles Bronson , US Army Air Corps. B-29 gunner, wounded in action.


Peter Graves , US Army Air Corps.


Buddy Hackett , US Army anti-aircraft gunner.


Victor Mature, US Coast Guard.


Jack Palance, US Army Air Corps. Severely injured bailing out of a burning
B-24 bomber.


Robert Preston , US Army Air Corps. Intelligence Officer


Cesar Romero, US Coast Guard. Coast Guard. Participated in the invasions of
Tinian and Saipan on the assault transport USS Cavalier.


Jason Robards , US Navy. was aboard heavy cruiser USS Northampton when it
was sunk off Guadalcanal . Also served on the USS Nashville during the
invasion of the Philippines , surviving a kamikaze hit that caused 223
casualties.


Steve Reeves, US Army , Philippines .


Dennis Weaver, US Navy. Pilot.


Robert Taylor , US Navy. Instructor Pilot.


Randolph Scott. Tried to enlist in the Marines but was rejected due to
injuries sustained in US Army, World War 1.


Ronald Reagan. US Army. Was a 2nd Lt. in the Cavalry Reserves before the
war. His poor eyesight kept him from being sent overseas with his unit when
war came so he transferred to the Army Air Corps Public Relations Unit where
he served for the duration.


John Wayne. Declared "4F medically unfit" due to pre-existing injuries, he
nonetheless attempted to volunteer three times (Army, Navy and Film Corps.)
so he gets honorable mention.


H/t Woodsterman. Unverified Internet Story

Monday, November 10, 2014

In Other Election News . . .

While all the pundits weigh in on the meaning of last Tuesday's Democratic debacle, they seem to have forgotten the fate of the poster child of modern Progressivism: Sandra Fluke.

Fluke secured her "fifteen minutes of fame" as a law student at Georgetown University. She prospered somewhat like a parasite, receiving the benefits of a Georgetown University education while leading a group calling themselves Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, with worked to overturn the school's policy on providing reproductive services to students.  She knew about the universities policy on birth control benefits long before she enrolled.

She became a Progressive poster child when Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee refused to allow her to testify at hearings regarding religious exclusions from birth control mandates required by PPACA. She testified informally before Democratic Party members. After the testimony, Rush Limbaugh made her famous by calling her a slut.

After graduating from Georgetown, she relocated to California. This year she ran for a seat on the California State Senate. Under California's primary system, all candidates for state office run together without regard to party. The two top finishers, regardless of party, the face off in the general election.

Fluke finished second in the primary and so moved on to the general election. She faced fellow Democrat Ben Allen, another lawyer who previously served on the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education.

Allen defeated Fluke 60.8% to 39.2%.


Time will tell if this is the end of Fluke's meteoric political career.







Fluke's political career falling over the skies of California




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Republican Revolution?



Republicans score big in the mid-terms, recalling 2010.





Conservative need to recall also, however the observation of P. J. O'Rourke from some years back:

"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it."