This Veterans Day, I am reminded once again of the wonderful line at the end of the movie adaptation of James Michener’s The Bridges at Toko Ri.
A Navy Admiral is reflecting on the sacrifice of airmen given the mission of destroying a group of heavily defended bridges during the Korean War. The men were successful, but at the cost of their lives, leading the Admiral to famously ask:
“Where do we get these men?”
Today, the question is “Where do we get these men and women?” and last week, the answer was Killeen, Texas.
Killeen is the home of heroes this Veterans Day; men and women who prove that our servicemen and women don’t leave their bravery and selflessness behind on the battlefield.
Killeen was also the site of terrorism last week; proof that we are not immune from Islamic extremism inside our borders, even on our military bases.
Killeen is the home of Sgt. Kimberly Munley, a Department of Defense civilian police officer and an Army veteran.
Sgt. Munley was nearby getting her car tuned-up when the 911 call came in. Without waiting for backup, she was the first law enforcement official to arrive on the scene at Fort Hood.
Much has been written about Sgt. Munley’s heroism, but few have described her behavior in the heat of a confrontation with the Fort Hood shooter better than the editorial writers at the Las Vegas Review-Sun
“Could Sgt. Munley, hit in the wrist and both thighs, really be blamed if she’d ducked for cover? She didn’t. From all reports, she stood her ground under fire, calmly reacquiring her sight picture, putting four rounds right where she wanted, in the advancing murderer’s center of mass. She fired until he dropped. The killing ended.”
This Veterans Day week also marks the celebration of another set of American heroes: The men and women who put their shoulders to the Berlin Wall and pushed — until it finally fell 20 years ago this Monday.
Where did we get these men and women? From all across America and everywhere freedom and human dignity are valued.
For although the revolution in Eastern Europe occurred without a shot being fired, countless Americans — not to mention Britons, Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians — sacrificed for that day.
Before there was a wall in Berlin, there was the Berlin blockade in 1948, when the Communist regime in Moscow tried to literally starve West Berlin to death. President Harry S. Truman ordered an airlift to feed West Berliners and resist Soviet aggression. Seventy-one American and British servicemen lost their lives.
And before there was a victory for freedom, 20 years ago this week, there were unflinching advocates for freedom in Eastern Europe like Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.
These are the heroes we honor today.
“Hero” is not a word we use a lot these days. We have a media dedicated to destroying, not showcasing, greatness. We have popular culture determined to celebrate victimhood rather than heroism. And we have a regime in Washington that seems more at home with international autocrats and dictators than America and its heroes.
But the inescapable fact of America is this: Ours is a country founded and defended, not by conciliation and sophisticated diplomatic gestures, but by honor, bravery and sacrifice.
Our heroes are not incidental to our nationhood but an essential part of it. Why? Because America is not, contrary to what our President believes, merely a nation among nations. We are, on our best days, closer to what Ronald Reagan believed: A shining city on a hill.
The heroes of our city on a hill stretch back from Killeen, Texas, through a bloody 20th Century and a great Civil War, all the way to our founding.
They are the men who left a trail of blood in the snow of Northern Pennsylvania on Christmas night, 1776.
They are the men and women who serve today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So make sure you take the time today to thank a veteran for his or her service. Take the time to remember and honor a hero.
Because in doing so you are answering the Navy Admiral’s question at Toko Ri.
Where do we get these men and women? From a nation that remains worthy of their sacrifice.
Chairman Mao-lovin’, Fox News-hatin’ Anita Dunn is hitting the road. Dunn will step down from her post as Obama’s communication director at the end of the month and Dan Pfeiffer, her deputy, will take over. The official announcement is to come today…get ready for more spin than a washing machine on “ultra heavy”.
Anita’s returning to Squier Knapp Dunn, the consulting firm where she’s a partner, but will remain as a consultant to the White House on the communications and strategic matters. You know, just like Van Jones is.
Is this just a re-shuffling of the same deck? Dan Pfeiffer began working for Obama in 2007 following Sen. Evan Bayh’s decision not to pursue the presidency. He served a stint as the traveling press secretary for Obama’s presidential bid but eventually took a position overseeing the campaign’s communications operation.
Prior to Obama, Pfeiffer worked for Sen. Tim Johnson‘s re-election race in 2002 and on then Sen. Tom Daschle’s disaster of a run in 2004. Michelle Malkin profiled Anita, Dan and the rest of the Fox Warriors here.
Fishbowl DC’s last sighting of Dan was at a special screening of HBO’s “documentary” By the People: The Election of Barack Obama at the MPAA. That’s the film they debuted to the public on election day Nov. 3rd, when the nation was watching the first “Obama referendum” races. I don’t think the distraction attempt worked.
A big nest of the lefty media was sure at the screening, though…New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny, the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza and Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet were all actually IN the documentary.
NBC’s Betsy Fischer and Athena Jones, MSNBC’s David Shuster, WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, Time’s Karen Tumulty, Talking Point Memo’s Christina Bellantoni, Monocle’s Sasha Issenberg, ABC’s Sunlen Miller, Tammy Haddad and Richard Wolfe attended. And from the White House: communications director Anita herself, deputy press secretary Bill Burton, economic advisor Austan Goolsbee and Obama’s Iowa political director Mike Blake. Whew.
The obvious, most burning question is…. will BTP:TEOBO get an Oscar nod? Before you answer, remember that Nobel thing.
More on this one to come. I’m sure Beck is on it.
>”The man who will go where his colors go without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in a jungle or a mountain range, and who will suffer and die; in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legends are made. His pride is his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a legionnaire, he held the gates of civilization for the classical world…today he is called United States Marine.”
Lt. Col. Fehrenbach, USA, in “This Kind of War”
The USMC is 234 years old today! When Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on this day in 1775, he probably never thought he would see them turned into one of the worlds finest fighting forces in the world. They are a fierce brotherhood, with the most respected unwritten rule of all: “Never Leave a Man Behind!”
Ft. Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan’s Islamic extremism was no secret to his colleagues and superiors. No, Nidal’s carrying-card, shown above– has it spelled out for all to see. After the traditional “M.D.”, Hasan added “SOA.” and “SWT.” “SOA” stands for “Soldiers Of Allah”, “SWT” used when writing the name Allah; Muslims often follow it with the abbreviation “SWT.” These letters stand for the Arabic words “Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala,” or “Glory to Him, the Exalted.” Muslims use these or similar words to glorify God when mentioning His name.
Hasan passed this card out before he went on his jihad against the brave men and women at Ft. Hood, many of them his colleagues. That awful morning, he also passed out copies of the Quran, and gave away the food in his house.
Hasan was devout, all right. He went to the mosque every day. he hated the troops, proselytized his co-workers and patients, planned his jihad and completed his mission. His head was shaved. IF his body was shaved like his head, then the military guys and law enforcement know that this was jihad, and they are continuing to play the politically correct role that got 13 soldiers killed at Ft. Hood.
Business card not enough proof of Hasan’s radicalism? How about this:
instead of giving a lecture on a mental disorder, as required for his psychiatric studies…he gave a chilling slide-show presentation on his radical Islamist beliefs. This took place at Walter Reed Hospital while Hasan was a senior-year psych resident in June 2007. The Washington Post has the slide presentation here. YOU MUST SEE IT. It’s incredible that anyone could have sat through this obvious jihadi-apologetics lesson and remained silent.
The Post details that:
As a senior-year psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic of his choosing as a culminating exercise of the residency program.
Instead, in late June 2007, he stood before his supervisors and about 25 other mental health staff members and lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, both Muslim countries, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by The Washington Post.
“It’s getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims,” he said in the presentation.
“It was really strange,” said one staff member who attended the presentation and requested anonymity because of the investigation of Hasan. “The senior doctors looked really upset” at the end. These medical presentations occurred each Wednesday afternoon, and other students had lectured on new medications and treatment of specific mental illnesses.
He also sought to “Describe the nature of the religious conflicts that Muslims may have” who serve in the U.S. military and to convince the Army that it should identify these individuals.
Other slides delved into the history of Islam, its tenets, statistics about the number of Muslims in the military, and explanations of “offensive jihad,” or holy war…
…Under a slide titled “Comments,” he wrote: “If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the ‘infidels’; ie: enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc.” [sic]
The last bullet point on that page reads simply: “We love death more then (sic) you love life!”
Under the “Conclusions” page, Hasan wrote that “Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please God, even by force, is condoned by the Islam.”
Holy PC crap. This guy could not have been more transparent. Islamic extremists have made no secret of their goals to infiltrate our military and bring it down from within. Meanwhile, Army Chief Of Staff General George Casey continues to dither and dance around the obvious truth, first by claiming that the army hadn’t “missed anything” in regard to the in-your-face warning signs Hasan exhibited… that he was a fanatical Muslim jihadist and an imminent threat to our troops. Even more frighting is Casey’s admission on Meet The Press that the army’s diversity policies had trumped its security policies, and worst of all– his making this statement:
“As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
Astounding. This man is who we are entrusting our nation’s most precious assets to. The very same Senate panel now investigating the Hasan attack warned of an eerily similar scenario way back in May of 2008.
Our sons and daughters in the military must not be endangered from within. The political correctness must stop, and the truth must start now. The worst terrorist attack on our soil since 9-11 must not be sugar-coated because of idiotic “diversity policies” that put our entire nation in grave danger.
This weekend, “One Year Recall Rallies” were held by patriots and tea-partiers all across the nation. I had the honor of speaking to ours in Nashville, filled with dedicated conservatives sending “pink-slips” to Congressmen who have refused to act responsibly, ethically or in obedience to mandates from their constituents. Many of them will be coming home in 2010…and won’t be getting any more chances.
Social networking site Tea Party Nation is playing a key role in connecting conservatives across the country. Patriot groups have exploded in every state. Websites have exploded. Email servers in Washington are exploding. We are not in Kansas anymore.
The health care battle is far from over; the narrow margin that Pelosicare passed in the House is proof of the tenuous grasp liberal Democrats have on their own party. Barack Obama broke some arms and cut some deals on Saturday to get the bill through, just like we would expect a Chicago pol to do. That he can do it with a straight face is evidence of his naked ambition.
The Senate, however, is a whole new ballgame. Joe Lieberman isn’t gonna play ball with his former party. There will be huge pressure on the conference committee, who will try to merge Pelosicare with whatever comes out of the Senate. The “Public Option” is a big, big problem that could stop any final bill in it’s tracks. The Stupak amendment ensuring no federal funds would be spent on abortions was a huge shot over Pelosi’s bow. Red State’s Dan Perrin elaborates:
The desperate position the Speaker must have been in to have to accept the Stupak amendment should not be understated. She and her pro-abortion pals understand that Stupak was a huge step down the path of America becoming a pro-life nation. They have imposed upon themselves and their ilk a negative precedent which cannot be undone.
Dropping the Stupak amendment in conference, should the bill pass the Senate, which I doubt — will mean the conference report will fail on the House floor.
Just think of the desperation of the Speaker, to be FORCED to accept this political price. She pivoted on abortion, and decided the Stupak amendment was worth the price to pass the bill.
For the Jamestown Kool-aid brigade of Dems who voted with the Speaker who are from Red States — you will die a hard and agonizing political death of your own making. Whatever rationale you used to vote for this politically and fiscally toxic bill $3 Trillion spending ObamaCare bill — you are wrong and you are TOAST. (Here is the Congressional Budget Office letter on the $3 Trillion in spending number.)
This will all make for some must-watch CSPAN moments…too bad we can’t see the horse-trading that’s going on behind locked doors.
The nation is engaged as never before. The people have had enough. It’s not about the “R”, or the “D”, or the “X, Y or Z” after your name any more. It’s about whether you have a “C.”
In the video below, Daniel Henninger discusses the results of the November 3rd elections, where conservatives came back in a major way… and what they say about the state of American political leadership.
Pelosicare Will Mean Rationing Via Politics: WSJ
The Fort Hood Shooter’s 9-11 Connections: UK Telegraph
How To Divide The Democrat Party In 3 Easy Steps: Real Clear Politics
Barney Frank Gets Caught Up In His Lover’s Pot Bust: Fox Boston
That was the final vote count last night, in a historic late vote, as Democrats squeaked Pelosicare through after an incredibly heated debate. Republicans, one after the other, implored the House to listen to the people and defeat the insanity. Democrat women had meltdown after meltdown at the mikes, while the chair let them eat up the clock.
Unfortunately, the Kool-Aid drinkers and cowards on the other side of the aisle cobbled enough votes together to take the plan to the next level: attempting to work out a compromise bill with the Senate.
On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plan will likely cost you personally. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.
• Sec. 399V (p. 1422) of the bill provides for grants to community “entities” like ACORN, with no required qualifications except having “documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers” to “educate, guide, and provide experiential learning opportunities” aimed at drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity. “Each community health worker program receiving funds under the grant will provide services in the cultural context most appropriate for the individual served by the program.”
The lone Republican who voted for the bill was Anh “Joseph” Quang Cao, a Representative from Louisiana; born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 39 Democrats joined the Republicans in voting NO.
Here’s a list of who voted for the bill, and who voted against it. You can click on their districts, and go through to where you can contact them and give them either a high-five, or a pink-slip warning.
The Stupak amendment, tightening up prohibitions on federal funding for abortions in the bill passed with no problem. The problem? It may just be a shell game. Pelosi has promised that the language WON’T be in the compromise bill that gets hammered out with the Senate. Tax-cheat Charlie Rangel danced all around the issue when John Boehner confronted him; Rangel was trying his hardest to look ethical. What a freaking joke.
The battle is not over. Now, more than ever, your calls and emails are critical. Gear up and plug in like you never have in your lives. Target the Democrats who voted “Yes”, support those who voted “No”, and encourage them to stand their ground. The future of generations depends upon it.
Watch the Pelosicare vote going down now on CSPAN. The Stupak amendment, which will ensure that no federal funds go for abortion, has just passed. 240-194, with one member voting “present. Next up, a 5 minute vote on the Republican alternative. Then, the big showdown begins.
Not too late to call and email your Reps. KILL THE BILL!
When I watched this live yesterday, my mouth dropped. Our president’s priorities are certainly transparent. Can you imagine Bush doing something like this on 9/11? He would have rightly been eviscerated.
Investigative reporter John Stossel is known for presenting the facts and digging for veracity. He does a great job here of telling the truth about socialized health care. Innovation would stop. Waiting lines would be epidemic. Doctors would leave the field; medical students would become scarce. This is NOT change we can believe in.