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Honoring hallowed ground

My husband and I spent this past Fourth of July weekend at Gettysburg, PA. I blogged about it upon my return, but felt then and still feel now that my words were inadequate in describing the experience. As I noted then, the 2 1/2 hour Segueway tour we took on Sunday was the perfect way to see the Battlefield and really get a sense of what happened there. I am ashamed to admit that prior to my visit, my knowledge of the Battle of Gettysburg was woefully inadequate.

In any event, I feel now that the experince of Gettysburg moved me like no other trip ever has. Touring the battlefield’s gently rolling, peaceful hills, while in my mind’s eye, superimposing the images of battle, dead and wounded was an experince I won’t soon forget. Indeed, I am currently reliving it through a book one of my readers recommended, called “The Killer Angels.” Whether I am finding this book so engrossing because it so vividly brings the story alive, or because I found the experience of Gettysburg so emotionally touching, I don’t know, but like my reader, I highly recommend the book (Thanks, Art!).

Prior to my visit, I used to think that the re-enactments had a flavor of hokiness, but after seeing a couple, I have come to view them as a way to honor history and keep it alive. To be sure, the town of Gettysburg has it’s share of honky-tonk attractions: ghost tours, “dramatized” battlefield tours, privately run tourist trap museums, tee shirt shops with pictures of Lincoln wearing an iPod, etc. These things run the gamut from mildly exploitive to offensive, but they all are predicated on what happened at Gettysburg.

So when I heard about a developer who wanted to build a casino on Emmitsburg Road a mere half a mile from the boundary of Gettysburg National Park, it just didn’t seem right. Inky:

The developer of a proposed casino in Gettysburg today called the historic community “the last untapped gaming marketplace” in Pennsylvania, and contended that his project would create jobs and revitalize the area while respecting its rich history and tradition.

David LeVan, the Adams County resident proposing the casino, told state gaming board officials at a packed hearing that his $75 million Mason-Dixon Resort & Casino project would have a “tremendous economic development” impact on the county and would not affect Gettysburg National Military Park, one of the nation’s first “hallowed” grounds.

He also said that many other towns and communities – including Philadelphia, Valley Forge, and Deadwood, S.D. – have shown that gambling and “heritage tourism” can successfully coexist.

“This can be done right,” LeVan said. “This will be done well.”

The “Mason-Dixon Hotel Resort and Casino?” Even the name sounds hokey. And sorry, I’m not quite buying “the last untapped gaming marketplace in Pennsylvania” line. I don’t want to question Mr. LaVan’s motives here, but why Gettysburg if not to capitalize on the tourist base that already comes here to honor history? Somehow the flashing lights and bells of slot machines, cheesy lounge acts, scampily clad cocktail waitresses and drunken revelry don’t seem in to be in keeping with the spirit of sacrifice and destiny that lives at Gettysburg.

Just as there should be no mosque at Ground Zero, just as there should be no shortcut road through Fernwood Cemetary to Spring-Ford High School there are ways to respect hallowed ground and there are definite ways to disrespect it.

After hearing pleas from several members of the public about the potential impact on Fernwood Cemetery, the Spring-Ford Area School Board shelved its plan for an easement for a driveway to connect the high school to Walnut Street.

The board voted 5-3 against a resolution that would have authorized acquisition of an easement on parcels owned by PD Roy L.L.C. and Royersford Cemetery L.L.C. The proposed driveway was intended to reduce traffic on Lewis Road because of the high school.

Monica Rebbie, of Limerick Township, acknowledged that the planned driveway would not have disturbed any graves in the cemetery. But she told the board that the proposed route was only yards from where her baby was buried.

Rebbie said she recognized that there was a need to alleviate traffic on Lewis Road. “I don’t think going through the cemetery is the answer,” she added. Rebbie said the driveway would create noise in the cemetery, and she asked the board members if they would want that to happen where their loved ones were buried.

In the case of Fernwood Cemetary and Ground Zero, relatives of the dead can speak on behalf of the departed regarding how they want them to be honored and conversely, how they don’t want the ground where they died treated. In the case of Gettysburg, we all must speak on behalf of the honored dead. We owe that to the men who sacrificed their lives for this country.

No one is questioning LeVan’s right to build the casino; we are questioning the wisdom of building a casino in this location.  We are asking to keep this ground sacred and remember what happened here, not cheapen it with an exploitive tourist attraction.

No casino at Gettysburg.

August 31, 2010 at 10:15 pm Comments (0)

Vacationing In Avalon? Think Twice!

Without question, Avalon is one of the best beach towns on the South Jersey coast. Jutting a mile further out in the Atlantic than other shore points, its cool ocean breezes and pristine beaches make for a fantastic family vacation.

That is, unless you happen to cross the Avalon Beach Patrol, who seem to relish acting like storm-troopers.

A case earlier this month illustrates just how out-of-control the Beach Patrol — and by extension, Avalon itself— has become.

As is the case with most shore towns, beach tags are required. This policy has long irked the vast majority of beach-goers, who believe they more than pay the cost of beach preservation by the many taxes and fees levied on them.  And they also believe, not unjustifiably, that the beach belongs to everyone, and no one should have to pay to use it.

Disdain aside, most comply.  Incredibly, though, that wasn’t good enough for the Avalon Patrol.

Most days, beach tag inspectors guard the entrances to beaches, checking to ensure that beachgoers have tags.

On a recent weekend, a woman with three young children — including one with a broken arm — was entering the beach. Asked for her tags, she informed the 14-year old inspector that her husband had them on the loaded beach cart. He was 50 feet behind her, in clear view. The woman’s two youngest then sprinted to an open spot near the life-guard stand, where they always set up camp for the day.

No problem, since the woman and her husband had seasonal tags — just as they had for the past 11 years.

Or so it seemed.

As the husband approached, he showed his tag, and started onto the beach.  The checker asked if he was with “that other woman.” Having no clue to what she was referring, he inquired what she meant. After discerning it was his wife, he showed the second tag (children under 12 do not need tags).

He had no issue showing the beach tags at the entry point, but stated his frustration over continually getting harassed throughout the day by teams of roving tag inspectors. These teams work the beaches, routinely awakening people, interrupting conversations and even demanding swimmers leave the water to show tags (many people have their tags affixed to bags or chairs.)

The point the man was making was simple.   Logic dictates that if tags are inspected upon entry, then inspectors walking the beaches aren’t necessary.

At that point, the inspector snapped, “That’s enough out of you.  Keep quiet. I don’t want to hear another word.”  This, from a 14 year old girl!

That attitude should be grounds for dismissal for any employee, but for a minor to speak to an adult in that manner is utterly unacceptable. This fresh-mouthed child was completely out of line as a representative of Avalon.

The man asked who she thought she was to speak to anyone like that, whereupon she made a beeline to the lifeguard stand and reported that someone actually had the “gall” to speak back to her.

Within minutes, four guards showed up in trucks, and began interrogating the husband and wife, while Little Miss Personality was high-fiving one of the lifeguards.

The Lieutenant — yes, they take that army title way too seriously — then proceeded to demand answers from the man, asking, “Do you think it was right to talk to a 14-year old girl like that?  That’s harassment!”

The man replied that the Lieutenant had not been there, took the word of one of his own as gospel, and didn’t even ask what had actually occurred.  So much for due process.

At this point, the Lieutenant’s “backup” — a Captain, and obviously the real brains of the group — stated that he could have the man “arrested for harassment.”

How so?  Because the husband had his arms folded while he was talking.  This, he was told, “…was harassment.  It’s a defensive posture, and I know about these things, because I deal with bad people like you all the time.”

How’s that for incoherence?

The end result was that the wife was issued a citation for $80.  The “crime?”  Failure to have beach tags.

Even though she had a seasonal tag.

Go figure.

And the icing on the cake?…..

Read the rest at Philadelphia Magazine:

http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2010/08/31/vacation-in-avalon-think-twice/

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on the Philadelphia-area talk radio show, Political Talk (WCHE 1520), and makes numerous other television and radio appearances.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

August 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm Comment (1)

Must Read: Ace’s interview w/ Ladd Ehlinger

If I could force every Republican operative in the country to read just one thing this week, this would be it.

Ehlinger is the guy who made those outstanding Dale Peterson ads for Alabama Ag Commish.

Among other (important) things, Ehlinger gives voice to my persistent irritations about the party’s fetish with self-funding candidates, abandoning potentially viable candidates without so much as an intern or congratulatory email, writing off districts as un-winnable, and in certain circumstances making petty deals with Democrats to keep unruly Republicans out of office.

You really should go read the whole thing, but here are some of my favorite bits, tucked under the “more” link for mildly salty language (–Ace is in italics, Ehlinger is in standard font):

(more…)

August 31, 2010 at 1:32 pm Comment (1)

Kelly vs. Dahlkemper in Mercer County

Yesterday, AARP hosted a candidate forum in Hermitage, PA where Republican candidate Mike Kelly took on Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper. I attended the event along with a few hundred of my closest friends. I have been interested to see the two candidates take on the issues face to face, and today’s event achieved that perfectly.

While I don’t have the time to devote to outlining all of the details of the event, I’d like to focus on a number of highlights . . . from start to finish.

The Start

The debate began with a coin toss. Mike Kelly chose heads and won. It was his option on who would make the first opening statement. Mike said “Ladies first”. It was cute, but many of us laughed out loud. We all know that this is NOT a race that involves any type of chivalry, so the attempt was laughable.

Kathy Dahlkemper’s opening statements outlined her achievements from her first 20 months in office. She mentioned securing Medicare, improving health care for seniors, and attempting to secure Social Security. Kathy also stated that she didn’t like the “direction that our country was going” and she felt that we need to invest in our children and invest in infrastructure and move forward . . . rather than moving back to the near collapse of our economy. For a minute . . . just a minute . . . she sounded like a TEA Partier. Hmmmm.

Mike Kelly’s opening statement started with “I’m not here as a politician”. I laughed out loud. He went on to say that he would be speaking from the heart today because he, too, is concerned. He highlighted his thoughts by saying things like “things are not good” and “the future is not rosey”. He rallied the TEA Partiers in the crowd by saying that it isn’t “We the People” anymore . . . it is “We the Government”. In closing he stated “the beneficiary should be the American people . . . not a Party”. For a minute . . . just a minute . . . he sounded like an Independent. Hmmmmm.

The Middle

The questions started with predetermined questions from AARP including topics like the economy, stabilizing Social Security, Medicare, and the deficit.

The line of questioning then moved to questions that were submitted by attendees of the forum. Those questions ranged from Cap and Trade, farming, education, tort reform, and international relations.

The topics were diverse, but the answers to the questions from both candidates were extremely interesting. Not so much in what they said but how they said it . . . if you know what I mean.

My Scoring

To explain and rate the general conversation, allow me to provide a few examples and score some of the highlights of the debate accordingly:

Kathy Dahlkemper claimed that the problems that we have were there before she was elected . . . Kelly responded by saying “don’t blame Bush”. [+1 for Kelly]

SCORE: Kelly 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

Kathy Dahlkemper stated that Social Security is the only program that never contributed one cent to the national debt and, instead, it is a source to borrow from. She feels that it needs to be protected in a “lock box” . . . which received groans from the crowd (including myself). [-1 for Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper -1 points

In response to a question regarding the recent cut in Medicare payments by 21%, Mike Kelly blamed health care reform legislation. Kathy Dahlkemper had to explain that Mike obviously didn’t understand the question as the change in Medicare had nothing to do with the recent health care legislation bill that was passed. [+1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

Regarding the deficit, Dahlkemper stated that she is a Blue Dog Democrat and believes in fiscal responsibility . . . and we all laughed. [-1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper -1 point

In response to the same question regarding the deficit, Kelly said “We need to hold elected officials accountable to the people . . . not accountable to the Party”. To this I say “Bravo”, and once again Kelly sounds (for just one minute) like an Independent and not a Republican. [+1 Kelly]

SCORE: Kelly 2 points; Dahlkemper -1 point

In response to Cap and Trade, Kelly didn’t answer the question. [-1 Kelly]
Dahlkemper’s response is that she voted against Cap and Trade [+1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

In an interesting twist, Kelly felt it necessary to say that Dahlkemper only voted for Cap and Trade at 5 minutes before midnight after making certain that her Party had the necessary votes to pass it. For this, Mike Kelly loses points as it was an unnecessary jab and it made him look petty

SCORE: Kelly 0 points; Dahlkemper 0 points

In response to a question regarding helping farmers, Kelly pointed out that a big problem is the death tax. [+1 Kelly]
Dahlkemper, on the other hand, said that the death tax is fair is not problem with a little tax planning. Ugh. Really! Seriously? [-1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly 1 point; Dahlkemper -1 point

Something odd happened during the question regarding tort reform. Dahlkemper stated that tort reform is actually a state issue, but in some strange twist the conversation turned to “Cash for Clunkers”. In the end, Kelly explained that $600,000 in “cash for clunkers” money went through his dealership and was paid TO customers. He stated that he was not a beneficiary of the stimulus money. Kathy Dahlkemper, however, correctly stated that he was a beneficiary of the profits generated from the increased business that came from “cash for clunkers”. Mrs. Dahlkemper clearly won the argument and earned a point. [+1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

The End

In the closing comments, Mike Kelly explained that it comes down to “faith and trust”. He stated the “we have lost faith in the people that represent us”. He explained that they don’t vote for us but vote with their party. (once again . . . for just a minute . . . Kelly sounds more like an Independent than a Republican). He explained that this leads to a lack of trust. He said that when he comes home from Washington he wants to say “I voted the way my people told me . . . not my Party”.

For this Mike earns another point in my book [+1 Kelly]

SCORE: Kelly 2 points; Dahlkemper 0 points

In Dahlkemper’s closing comments, she stated that there are two things that she looks at when she votes. (1) her conscience (2) her constituents. It all sounds nice as a sound bite, but she seemed to offend a huge number of her constituents with her health care vote and it never seemed to bother her conscience a bit. I won’t discount her points for it, but it makes me say “Hmmmmm”.

However, in a horrible display of lack of self control, Mike Kelly made a series of annoyed faces in reaction to many of Dahlkemper’s remarks and markedly so during her closing remarks. I found the move distasteful and I have to discount a point for it [-1 Kelly]

Final Score

In the end, Kelly earned 1 point, and Dahlkemper ended up with 0.

Comments and Suggestions (even though no one asked for them)

Dahlkemper looked good. She looked calm, cool, collected, and confident. She held her own and kept her composure. If she can maintain this, she will do well. When she gets shaken, she makes mistakes. Mike managed to do it to her once during the debate, and the general anger of the crowd seemed to concern her (and rightly so). This could be her weakness.

Mike looked nervous, flushed, angry (something I’ve warned him about on multiple occasions), and (at times) frustrated. He needs to calm down and keep his composure. He needs to be the “loveable teddy bear” that we all like so much, and his alter ego (the “angry football player”) needs to stay tucked away for the next few months. If he can do this he will do VERY well. If not, he will self destruct.

What did I like?

I enjoyed seeing that Dahlkemper made attempts to sound like a fiscal conservative, although actions speak louder than words. So far she has demonstrated that she is only a fiscal conservative in the press . . . but not in real life.

I enjoyed hearing Kelly make numerous statements that it is about “We the People” and NOT the Party, but again . . . actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, Mike has demonstrated that he is all about “the Party” and he is prepared to march with the GOP (even if it is off the next cliff). Why? Because that is where the money is.

Most of all, I think it is really funny that everyone wants to paint themselves as a “fiscal conservative Independent”. Unfortunately, we all know that there is only ONE of those in this area . . . and SHE is running for State Senate!

:-D
August 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm Comments (0)

Montco’s Jim Matthews: Then & Now

Then (Jan 2008):

Ultimately, my experience and priorities influenced Joe Hoeffel in his decision. Unfortunatley, some people left out of courthouse influence, one with ambition to be MCRC Chairman and others who think they will by your anger, would like you to believe that I caved-in on my budget and my platform to get Joe’s vote. First of all, the county is neither a dime nor a person over budget since reorganizing. For example, Jim Maza and the new Assistant Solicitor, Jeff Albert (Incidentally both Democrat friends of Joe Hoeffel… and Albert’s predecessor never left. ed), joined the staff at less cost than their predecessors. Second, there is no cost to discussing the others team’s ideas, which will all be subject to public scrutiny and my tight-fisted record.

Now:

it would be hard to imagine how the government could continue to function if 750 of its 3,000 workers were given pink slips.

And Matthews agrees wholeheartedly.

“That’s absolutely not an option,” he said.

His extreme one-in-four proposal Tuesday was meant to illustrate the “absurdity of the choices” facing officials this budget cycle.

“You can’t cut a quarter of your prison guards, your registered nurses, you can’t cut aging and adult services,” he said. “We have reached the point of the absurd.”

Having kept property taxes down for nearly a decade, Matthews said he’s reached the inescapable conclusion that next year, tax rates will have to rise if residents want the county to keep the parks, trails and libraries open to the public.

“There is no choice but to raise taxes,” he said. “If there are any alternatives, I want to hear them.”

How much can we get back of the $105 million that was sent to the patronage filled “Economic Development Fund”?

How about trimming the patronage jobs that have been larding up Norristown since January 2008? He cites the savings on Maza & Albert, but went ahead and created a CFO position, increasing that salary by nearly $40,000 over the Finance Director’s.

I’ve got another idea. This one is comes from the “no cost to discussing the other team’s ideas” pile. Two Damsker-Hoeffel campaign promises.

* “Property tax cut in 2008 AND creating a rainy day fund.”

* “Competitive county contract bidding”

Tight-fisted.

More like a open handed slap in the face of the county’s voters.

August 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm Comments (3)

Sweet sweet justice

What with all the attention focused on the reprobates in Washington and our efforts to depose them, let’s not forget about all our own reprobates in Harrisburg and the fact that some of the have gotten their due.

As a powerful state representative, Mike Veon for years was perfectly coiffed, wore $1,000 custom-made pin-striped suits, smoked expensive cigars and sipped Makers Mark bourbon with lobbyists. He zipped around on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, attended conferences in Las Vegas and flew back and forth to Harrisburg in a state plane.

He dispatched a legislative staffer to retrieve his dry cleaning, arranged for his clothes to be tailored every time he lost or gained a few pounds and never wore the same tie twice on days the Legislature was in session.

Times have changed.

These days, the former House Democratic whip wears a brown Department of Corrections uniform, gets monthly haircuts from the prison barbershop and shaves with a 95-cent disposable razor bought from a prison commissary.

His leisurely dinners have been replaced by food mixed in huge vats and served on trays passed through a slot in a Plexiglass wall that runs between the kitchen and prison dining room. Inmates file in and sit four to a table. Talking is allowed, but there is little of it because inmates scarf down food in the precious few minutes allotted to eat. Meals lately have included hot dogs, braised chicken, baked beans, roasted potatoes and watermelon.

Oh, Mikey. How far you’ve fallen. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Admittedly, as I read the article, it occurred to me that this facility is more daycare than prison, but still there are no lobbyist lunches, no limousines, an no rubbing elbows with the high and mighty. In fact, it looks like Mike Veon Inmate #JP4741 is getting
a taste of what it’s like to be a plebe just like the rest of us.

August 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm Comments (0)

Could School Choice Prevent Cop Killings?

On a recent weekday at Annunciation B.V.M. Church in Havertown, a Mass was celebrated to pray for and honor police officers — both those on the front lines and those who have fallen in the line of duty.

It was an emotional service, especially given the number of police who have been brutally slain in the last several years.  The thought of a lonely and distraught spouse raising young children — including some unborn who never even glimpsed their father— was so heartbreaking as to be unthinkable.

The worst part is that there’s no rational way to explain, let alone overcome, the absolute senselessness of why these officers were slain.

Where is our country headed when cops are being killed with abandon?  

While all innocent human life is sacred, there is something different about shooting a law enforcement officer. It breaks down the last barrier of respect, and it violates the code that most criminals follow – you don’t take shots at police. Period.

Like anything else in life, once that taboo is broken, all bets are off.  In Philadelphia’s case, it is now obvious that cops are fair game. The breakdown of the city is virtually complete.

With civility and respect quickly becoming a faded memory, further imperiling our children’s future, people are increasingly asking what, if anything, can be done to reverse this deadly course.

The answer is simple.  It’s just not easy:

School choice.

*****

We have just witnessed the murder trial of cop-killers Eric Floyd and Levon Warner.  Both owners of long rap sheets, they heinously gunned down Officer Stephen Liczbinski in 2008. These animals deserve the death penalty, plain and simple, but that doesn’t answer how you stop such an atrocity from occurring in the future.

If you’re looking to politicians for help, you’ll be blind before that happens.

Every time there’s another crime in the headlines, Mayor Michael Nutter spews the same monotonous babble that the violence epidemic will be curtailed.

But nothing has changed. In fact, despite all the resources put into fighting crime, it’s only getting worse.

Whether its flash mobs, citizens getting gunned down, brutal subway attacks —or cops in the crosshairs, it’s clear that respect for authority is non-existent, and no one is off-limits to the predators.

Philadelphia’s murder, violence and homeless rates are among the highest in the nation, and there’s absolutely nothing to indicate that the situation will improve anytime soon, if ever.

Three things have become readily apparent:

1) The way we did things in the past hasn’t worked.

2) What we’re doing now isn’t having an impact.

3) Unless a bold leader takes steps to institute true reform and eschew band-aid solutions to gaping wounds, the city —and the region —will continue its plummet into the abyss.

Here’s the part no one wants to admit. There is NO short-term solution.

*****

We can talk all day about fairy-tale feel-good “solutions” by invoking vague rhetoric: community partnerships, town watches, more police, and of course, the ultimate panacea, banning guns.

But since we’ve been hearing that for decades, ad nauseum, here’s a newsflash to our leaders: none of these things work. And they’re not going to, either, because they are tactics without the benefit of a strategy.

Enter school choice.

The dire situation in which we find ourselves boils down to our horrendously bad educational system, and, as a direct result, the lack of hope in our young people.

With no possibility of receiving a quality education, and the prospects for a…..

Read the rest at Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Post:

 http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2010/08/24/could-school-choice-prevent-cop-killings/

Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on the Philadelphia-area talk radio show, Political Talk (WCHE 1520), and makes numerous other television and radio appearances.  He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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August 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm Comments (0)

Photos From Restoring Honor

Plus a video from the Rally!

August 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm Comments (0)

We Too Shall Overcome: Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor

MLK March August 28th, 1963

Restoring Honor, August 28, 2010

Dr. Martin Luther King, would be proud of the Americans gathered for Restoring Honor, keeping his dream alive.  His niece, Alveda King spoke to the 100,000 gathered on the anniversary of MLK’s speech.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the organizers at Independence Tea Party Association for organizing buses to this event. They filled 28 buses for this rally! They deserve a huge round of applause for this herculean effort.

This was a curious event for my to cover, as I’m not overtly religious and try not to mix politics with my faith. As most of the speeches were televised on CSPAN, I decided to take a closer look at the attendees. The crowds near the jumb0trons and the stage were nearly impossible to push through, so I wandered through the crowds between the WW2 Memorial and the far edge of the reflecting pool. Media of all description were interviewing attendees and I stopped to listen to some of the interviews. I even taped a snippet of one as well. Please note that you will have to turn your volume up to hear the interview; more importantly the focus of the interview was health care, not religion.  Every attendee interview that I encountered appeared well versed in the subject matter of the questions directed to them. The best interview I witnessed was one conducted by a French news agency with two counter protesters. The ‘man’ dressed as Sarah Palin, when asked by the reporter, admitted he felt safe to don his costume in this crowd. How ironic is it that another ‘man’ with the same political outlook as this tool feel free enough to assault me at a Sheepdog rally in 2008. It gives you a real clear idea of where todays political climate of hate and violence really stem from.

My good blogging buddy, Andrew Ian Dodge, has stated in his review of an event he did not witness:

As a result of this event ( Ed. Note: Restoring Honor), Republicans will not win the Senate and it may also hurt their chances to win the House.

I have to vehemently disagree with Andrew on this. What I found at this rally were American patriots from all walks of life who are concerned with this administration’s fiscal instability, over-reaching government intrusion in private industry, and the Obamacare disaster. Oh, they just happen to be openly religious and vote. So what. Somehow, Andrew Ian Dodge finds that condemnation enough.

This gathering of  primarily evangelical Christians, most well informed on the issues, clearly and politely made their case to the lurking main stream media at this event.  I even spied GOProud stickers at this event and missed the opportunity to photograph the stickers as I’m damn sure the MSM ignored it.

What happened at this rally was one not-so-religious blogger found common ground with with the overtly religious.  No, no one tried to convert me (Thank you very much!), but common ground was found in fiscal responsibility, limited government intrusion in our personal lives and in replacing Obamacare.  Even from differing religious perspectives, the uplifting principle of Americans free to build their dreams and creating a better nation for all was clearly communicated at this rally. It is truly the resurgence of the American Dream.

That is the take home message from this rally. Martin Luther King, Jr would be proud of this day and proud of our nation.

I look forward to  November.

FYI: As always, the rally area was left cleaner than it was that morning and safer than normal. I had a great opportunity to remind folks of this at the rally. While walking to the rally, a woman a several feet in front of me unknowingly dropped a considerable amount of cash on the ground. A man behind me quickly alerted her and I could not resist in reminding the crowd around us that if that had happened at an anti war rally, her money would have been history. Quite a few chuckled in agreement, including the lady who recovered her funds.

August 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm Comments (0)

Altmire Given Permission to Bash Pelosi

Keep this in mind when you see his ads in the coming weeks. He’s so independent of the Democrat leadership, they’ve given him permission to distance himself.

[Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen] also indicated that Democratic leaders had given vulnerable members permission to distance — and in some cases outright criticize — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in campaign ads, as Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly, Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire and North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre all have done.

“I think the Democratic leaders have said the job of the members is to reflect the views of their constituents as best as they are able,” he said.

August 28, 2010 at 9:05 am Comments (0)

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