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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Friday, June 29, 2007
 
The Voice Of The People
by Cordeiro
Some 220 years ago a group of 55 men spent the sweltering summer in the closed chamber of Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia. Those were the days before motorized ventilation, to say nothing of air conditioning. Though their working conditions were less than ideal, these men toiled for over four months to create a form of government never before seen on earth.

What they produced, ordained, and established was the Constitution of the United States of America.


Over the past few weeks this country has witnessed one of the most contentious debates ever to have taken place under the Capitol Dome. A so-called “bi-partisan” group of politicians, including (I’m sad to say) W, attempted to dramatically reform the way this country handles those people who seek to come here from abroad. This group of politicians – for one reason or another – believed they knew the best course of action on this hot button issue and attempted to bypass the normal path of legislation and make it law.

The Founders, patriots whose dream did indeed “see beyond the years” took measures to protect the people from such bursts of misguided legislators by enshrining basic fundamental rights in the very first amendment to the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Those 55 could not have foreseen the advent of blogs, talk radio, or other forms of mass communication. Never the less, I’m sure they would have approved of the way the people made their opinions known to their representatives who make their living bantering on the Senate floor.

The Voice of the People is not always easy to listen to. Some Senators don’t like to hear their constituency – especially when said group disapproves of their senator’s actions. We’ve hear a lot of complaining from spineless senators – Trent Lott, John “Lurch” Kerry, Babs Boxer, Hillary, etcetera and so forth. Liberal ideology is so much easier to enact if you don’t have to listen to those who don’t want it.

One very important detail to note about the First Amendment: The right of free speech, press, and assembly are protected – but nowhere to be found is the right to be heard or listened to. Over the past 20 years, conservatives have come to own the talk radio markets for one simple reason – people listen to them. The products advertised by Rush, Sean, and Blogfather Hugh (and others too numerous to mention) are bought by their audiences. If nobody listened to these shows, sponsorship would dry up and somebody else would take to the airwaves. That’s the way free markets work.

Liberals don’t like free markets – especially in the area of the media. Conservative talk radio reaches millions of Americans every day. Liberal talk radio – even though NPR has more stations than Rush or Sean – can’t say that. The ratings prove otherwise. The liberally slanted Air America put forth ratings so pathetic they could hardly be measured. The lack of ratings spelled doom and bankruptcy for the so-called network. Many excuses were given for this spectacular failure – check Radio Equalizer for all the mind numbing details – but the bottom line is simple – Nobody listened.

There may indeed be a coming storm brewing about the “Fairness” Doctrine. Make no mistake about it, dear reader, there are those in DC who have grown very weary of being verbally filleted by talk radio and bloggers on a daily basis. Their solution is not to find out the view of their constituents, but rather to silence those voices. Some senators took stock of their weary phone staff and the melted ruins of the Senate Switchboard Server and realized they were on the wrong side of the immigration battle. Others saw the same things and made up their minds to silence their critics via federal regulations.

The days when hastily crafted landmark comprehensive legislation could be drafted, passed and signed under cover of darkness and implemented before anyone outside the chamber had actually read the document and questioned it are gone. The Freedoms of Speech and Assembly were used in exactly the way the Founders hoped they would be – and that is a good thing for America.

It may not be such a good thing for Dusty Harry and his merry band of Senate Jackasses and RINOs.

Personally, I’m ok with that.

Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
 
The WaPo’s Big Time Series
by Cordeiro

I don't really believe in coincidences, especially where the Washington Post is concerned.  Its not a big secret in DC, but for those of you who live outside the bubble, the Post doesn't like the Vice-President of the United States, affectionately referred to on this blog as Big Time.  I'm pretty sure Big Time reciprocates this feeling, albeit on a less than public level.   Big Time reserves such public displays of animosity for people like Leaky Leahy.

 

This week the Washington Post unveiled its multi-part series Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency.  It's a lengthy read and although it contains some interesting anecdotes and interviews, the whole effort pretty much follows the MSM script associated with Big Time.

 

Historically, the Vice-Presidency has been one of the most boring jobs in government.  The VP only has one constitutional role – that being to serve as President of the Senate and to cast a vote in the event of a tie.   That's it.  Other than the obvious role as being the man "a heartbeat (or lack thereof) away" from the Presidency, there are no other prescribed duties.   Its no wonder the office of Vice-President was referred to by one of its first occupants as a "bucket of warm spit."

 

The role of the VP changes depending on who sits in the Big Chair, but for the most part, VP's do very little.   If you want to challenge my assertion, please list for me five memorable accomplishments of Al Gore during his eight years as Clinton's #2 Man.  Just for the record, bringing the term "No Controlling Legal Authority" into the DC Lexicon doesn't count.

 

Big Time changed the way the Vice Presidency worked for one simple reason – he had and has no designs on ascending to the Oval Office.   Come January 2009 he'll return to life as a private citizen.  This freed him up to redefine the office how ever he saw fit – much to the chagrin of many people in the DC establishment.   Read the WaPo's series and you'll find many mentions of Big Time calling up mid-level federal workers for specific information on an issue they were working on which he was interested in.    In the business world that type of action is heralded as paradigm shifting leadership.  To the DC established bureaucracy it was unheard of.

 

Big Time's critics, legion is their name, have saved no expense in their effort to bring down the man they feel is behind all the evils of the W Administration.   He's responsible for the Iraq War, Global Warming, Torture at Guantanamo, Warrantless Wiretaps, and Male Pattern Baldness.  Leftists from all walks of life publicly bemoan the fact that he hasn't been assassinated or dropped dead from what would be his sixth heart attack.   As far as they know he has no heart at all.

 

Cheney is without a doubt the most active man ever to hold the office.  He knows the ropes in DC like few others and isn't afraid to enter the fray and get his hands dirty.   His enemies have gone to great lengths to bring him down.  Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald redefined over-zealousness in his efforts to bring Big Time to "justice" only to succeed in ruining a decent man over a process crime.   And yet, Big Time remains in place.  This very fact infuriates the left to a degree they make little sense. 

 

The MSM dreams of Big Time's demise so much that sometimes they put their dreams in the public square.  The WaPo's Sally Quinn had a waking dream where she remembered Barry Goldwater going to Richard Nixon and telling him it was time for him to resign.   Somehow this fantasy morphed into a GOP delegation led by Virginia's John Warner marching up to Big Time's office and telling him his time was up.    I don't know what Sally Quinn is drinking, but it must be some really strong stuff.

 

The timing of Quinn's fantasy and the WaPo's Big Time piece cannot be coincidence.  Its just another example of the MSM's never ending battle to bring down a man who simply doesn't care about the conventional wisdom of the Washington beltway elites.  This is what truly infuriates them.  Big Time simply ignores them – like most of the country does.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007
 
A Two Block March?
by Cordeiro
I very seldom cross the Potomac to brave the nightmare that is DC traffic. I’m at a loss to explain how anybody ever gets a speeding ticket in the District because every time I drive there my speed never exceeds 10 miles per hour.

Yesterday I had an errand to run, and DC was the only place it could be done, therefore I crossed the Potomac and ventured near the Capitol Building. The area within two blocks of the Capitol was packed with tour busses – thus making driving a near impossibility. It was a very hot and humid day and I wondered what all the tourists had show up for.

Turns out there was a rally of sorts yesterday. Senators Dusty Harry (D-Circus Circus), Dick Durbin, Hillary, and Scotch Kennedy showed to speak before the Rented Mob which had marched all of two blocks to listen to their warmed over, union thug talking points.

Yes, dear reader, today’s definition of a “March on Washington” is little more than being dropped off by a bus two blocks from the Capitol and walking a short distance – pre-printed placard in hand – and listening to empty suits tell you what you want to hear.

This “march” was a shin dig for labor unions without whose thugs the Democratic Party would cease to exist. George Will talks about the irony of Democratic senators who were elected by secret ballot fighting for legislation which would deny that same process to workers voting on the question of whether or not to unionize.

Believe it or not, there are some people out there who don’t want to be part of a union. There number is growing every day and the Labor Unions are willing to resort to thinly veiled thuggery to stop the union’s shrinkage.

As for myself, I didn’t stick around to hear the Union Thug Talking Points from Hillary, Scotch, and Dusty Harry. I took my gas guzzling SUV over the median and hightailed it back across the Potomac. I did find a picture of Scotch Kennedy doing what he does best.


If you can figure out what that is, please tell me.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
 
Required Reading – Michael Yon
by Cordeiro

Today as you begin your morning, some 10,000 US troops are in the process of finding, killing, and destroying al Qaeda thugs in Iraq. I point you to the Reuters report so you can see what the MSM is reporting. According to Brigadier General Mick Bednarek,

The end state is to destroy the al Qaeda influences in this province and eliminate their threat against the people.
Other than that, the Reuter's reporter toes the MSM line – writing in a way which all but predicts failure.

It is for that reason that again I commend to you the work of Michael Yon. At the time of this writing he is at the forefront of the offensive, bringing you a point of view the MSM is both unable and unwilling to offer. He is far more descriptive – and hopeful – than Reuters ever could be. Perhaps that's because he reports from the front line and not from some fortified bunker in Baghdad's Green Zone.

A few key graphs from Yon:

By the time you read this, our artillery will be firing, and our tanks moving in. And Humvees. And Strykers. And other vehicles. Our people will capture key terrain and cutoff escape routes. The idea this time is not to chase al Qaeda out, but to trap and kill them head-on, or in ambushes, or while they sleep. When they are wounded, they will be unable to go to hospitals without being captured, and so their wounds will fester and they will die painfully sometimes. It will be horrible for al Qaeda. Horror and terrorism is what they sow, and tonight they will reap their harvest. They will get no rest. They can only fight and die, or run and try to get away.
Read the whole thing.

There are those across the Potomac in Washington who believe this war is lost and that our brave men and women are being led by incompetent bumbling generals who don't know when they've been beaten.

Yes, Dusty Harry, I'm talking about you – you spineless jellyfish masquerading as a leader.

Personally, I put my faith in men like General Petraeus and those following him into battle. Their actions speak louder than the words of any politician ever could. For them I can say only three things as they begin the battle against the Islamofacists:

Good luck. Godspeed. Good Hunting.

May the Lord watch over you and grant you success over your enemies.

Here endeth the lesson.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007
 
Straightjacket Order For Dusty Harry Reid and The Pelosi
by Cordeiro

The most commonly accepted clinical definition of insanity is a person repeating the same act time and time again expecting a different result. Well, the head shrinkers can now replace that jumble of words with a two people:

Senate Majority Leader Dusty Harry Reid (D-Circus Circus) and House Speaker The Pelosi.

Remember a few weeks ago when Dusty Harry and The Pelosi tried to masquerade as Commanders-In-Chief ? Dusty Harry took to the nearest microphone and declared that the Iraq War (and by proxy the Global War on Terror) was “lost” and the time had come for retreat and surrender. The Pelosi and her merry band of Congressional Jackasses, working in concert with Dusty Harry and the Senate Jackasses, sent W a military appropriations bill laden with $20 billion in pork and a timeline for surrender. Ok, they called it “phased re-deployment” but here at SOTR we call a spade a spade.

What was the result? W vetoed the bill, Dusty Harry and The Pelosi found out the American people hate losers and they ended up with job approval ratings even lower than W. I didn’t know a 19% approval rating was possible, but somehow Dusty Harry pulled it off.

I believe now that Dusty Harry and The Pelosi are clinically insane. Today they sent a letter to W informing him that

As many had forseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results.
The arrogance of this statement is appalling. Dusty Harry and The Pelosi are so intent on declaring defeat they can hardly contain themselves. The final battalions tapped for the Surge have barely arrived in Iraq and already they’re being told they’ve lost.

Both these people are a disgrace to the offices which they hold. They are so intent on losing they aren’t even willing to wait until General Petraeus reports his results in September. They want to lose now.

So, Dusty Harry, go right ahead. Repeat your misguided attempts to hamstring US forces. It worked so well last time, perhaps on this go around you can finish your swan dive and end up with a negative rating.

Americans cannot and will not tolerate a loser. Between Dusty Harry and The Pelosi, it’s a toss up as to which one is the bigger loser.

Here endeth the lesson.

UPDATE: Cue the Steam Shovel. Dusty Harry has now declared the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Peter Pace, and the Commander of US Forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus to be "incompetent". Memo to Dusty Harry: Are you sure you want to pick this fight?
Photo Hat Tip - Uncle Jimbo

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
 
Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987
by Cordeiro

On this day 20 years ago, Ronald Reagan stood before a divided Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate. He delivered a speech that was broadcast around the world – as several American Presidents had before him. The year was 1987. It was the height of the Cold War. The conventional wisdom of the time stated the Iron Curtain would remain in place and the best anyone could ever hope for was a prolonging of the status quo.

Ronald Reagan didn’t believe that. He believed in confronting the enemies of freedom – and so he went to the Brandenburg Gate armed with four words. His staff didn’t want him to say those four words. It simply wasn’t done. One could not stand before the Soviets and demand the Berlin Wall be torn down. Reagan didn’t care. He said what he went there to say, consequences be damned.

I have read and listened to Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate Address many times. I thought to be able to summarize it for you, but I can’t find where to edit it. I guess that’s what happens when you come across one of the truly great works in the history of speechmaking.

So, dear reader, I quote for you here today the Gipper – at his rhetorical best. You may read, or listen as you like.
Thank you. Thank you, very much.

Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, and speaking to the people of this city and the world at the city hall. Well since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn to Berlin. And today, I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American Presidents, because it's our duty to speak in this place of freedom. But I must confess, we’re drawn here by other things as well; by the feeling of history in this city -- more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer, Paul Linke, understood something about American Presidents. You see, like so many Presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: “Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin” [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, I extend my warmest greetings and the good will of the American people. To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin.]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic South, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same -- still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state.

Yet, it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly; here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world.

Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German separated from his fellow men.

Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President Von Weizsäcker has said, "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed." Well today -- today I say: As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.
Yet, I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air-raid shelters to find devastation. Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State -- as you've been told -- George Marshall announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall Plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: "Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. I was struck by a sign -- the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: "The Marshall Plan is helping here to strengthen the free world." A strong, free world in the West -- that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium -- virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth; the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty -- that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders -- the German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany: busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of parkland. Where a city's culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there's abundance -- food, clothing, automobiles -- the wonderful goods of the Kudamm.¹ From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on earth. Now the Soviets may have had other plans. But my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn't count on: Berliner Herz, Berliner Humor, ja, und Berliner Schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner Schnauze.²]

In the 1950s -- In the 1950s Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you."
But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind -- too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.
And now -- now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty -- the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.
There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev -- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!


I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent, and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So, we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.

Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter-deployment (unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution) -- namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter-deployment, there were difficult days, days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city; and the Soviets later walked away from the table.
But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then -- I invite those who protest today -- to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. Because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative -- research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend; on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled; Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place, a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete.

Today, thus, represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start.

Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.
To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.
With -- With our French -- With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control, or other issues that call for international cooperation.

There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I'm certain, will do the same. And it's my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.
One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea -- South Korea -- has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West.

In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You've done so in spite of threats -- the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there's a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there's something deeper, something that involves Berlin's whole look and feel and way of life -- not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something, instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence, that refuses to release human energies or aspirations, something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says "yes" to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin -- is "love."

Love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront.

Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw: treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere, that sphere that towers over all Berlin, the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.
As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner (quote):

"This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."

Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I've been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they're doing again.

Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you.
Where is the Wall which Reagan so forcibly helped crumble? Well, I found a few pieces of it in a very unlikely place, unless you understand and appreciate the efforts made by America's Cold Warriors. At the US Army Intelligence Museum in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona - an obscure place if ever there was one, are found two slabs of the Wall. Here's one:


So much for conventional wisdom.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, June 11, 2007
 
Dennis Miller Teaches Dusty Harry The Meaning Of Evisceration
by Cordeiro

Most of the SOTR SiteMeter Rated 16 readers know there is no love lost here for the bumbling Senate Majority Leader, Dusty Harry Reid (D-Circus Circus).   Personally I find his incessant cheerleading for America's defeat to be downright embarrassing.  The people of Nevada should be outraged and ashamed to have him as their Senator.

 

It turns out that I'm not alone in my disdain for Dusty Harry.  The incomparable Dennis Miller took to the Fox airwaves over the weekend and opened a three-minute can of WhoopAss on the person of Dusty Harry.   Miller's voracious vocabulary no doubt transcended Harry's ability to comprehend that he was being savaged by an intellect far superior to his own. 

 

For those who missed it, check out HotAir's clip of Miller's well calculated stiletto rant.  Dusty Harry is left standing in a tattered suit wondering where to find Thermopoli on a map.

 

Well done, Mr. Miller.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007
 
June 6, 1944
by Cordeiro

In Memoriam to those whose “lives fought for life…and left the vivid air signed with your honor”.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge--and pray God we have not lost it--that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

Strengthened by their courage,heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.
-- Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984 (Exerpted and Emphasis Added)
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
Mocking Azzam
by Cordeiro
Earlier this week, al Qaeda released yet another video message featuring their poster boy Adam Gadahn. Brian Ross & the ABC Blotter Crew immediately released the video for the world to see. Not much new was in the video. It was a laundry list of old demands and badly delivered propaganda. Evidently the Islamofacist Murdering Thug video producers have now discovered how to record in widescreen even though Gadahn – now known as Azzam the American – won’t ever see the inside of a theater again.

Gadahn now finds himself under indictment for Treason. He holds the infamous distinction of being the first person indicted for that crime in nearly 50 years. Congratulations, Adam. By the way, treason is the only crime specifically designated by the Constitution as worthy of death.

And, as long as I’ve got your attention, Adam, it’s a good thing there aren’t many American traitors over in those rat infested caves with you. Any competition for the role of AQ Spokesman would probably rule you out. Didn’t you ever learn to look directly at the camera? Your English is getting progressively worse, by the way. Say it with me “Sufficient”. There you go. I knew you could do it. By the way, I noticed you don’t use your left arm very much – if at all. Shrapnel keeping you from using it much?

Just so you know, nobody on this side of the world is cowering in fear of you. I know your story, Adam, and frankly I’m not too impressed. By all accounts you were a loner loser through most, if not all, of your childhood and adolescent years and as far as I can tell not much has changed since then.

In your videos you complain mightily about the mocking you had to endure from ordinary Americans. They laughed at you. They teased you. Girls couldn’t stand to be in the same room with you, let alone date you. Society rejected you.

Well, Adam, I’m here to tell you that we still mock you. We still laugh at you. You’re still the loner loser. A turban, robe, and a scraggly beard won’t change that – no matter how many people see that pathetic excuse for a video diatribe you allowed yourself to be pimped for. Yes, Adam. You’re the prostitute and Al Qaeda is the pimp.

I thought you should know we get a kick out of mocking you. Michelle and the crew over at Hot Air have put their own spin on your video – and they did it with far more skill than you ever could. By the way, the woman behind this mocking video is also a Jew. She’s laughing at you, Adam. She’s mocking you.

Mull that over in your feces encrusted cave.

Here endeth the lesson.


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