Book Review: “Killing the Rising Sun”

killing-the-rising-sunBill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have another successful addition to the “Killing” series. I have read all six of the books in this series, and it is difficult to select a favorite. Written in a way that gives the reader a birds eye view of the unfolding story, their style of writing is pure genius. “Killing the Rising Sun” transports the reader to one of the most pivotal periods in world history and to the second deadliest war for Americans. The detailed description of the torment and torture that our patriots suffered at the hands of the Japanese is almost beyond comprehension.

Every American should know the supreme sacrifice these brave men made on our behalf. Many of them were still teenagers when they were sent thousands of miles from their home and family to fight a brutal enemy. They earned the distinction of the “greatest generation” because they had no sense of entitlement. They were honored to serve their country and to fight for something they believed was larger than their own life.

High Schools throughout the United States should make this book required reading. Then, perhaps, we might see an end to the current trend where the self-centered denigrate the memory of our fine men and women in uniform every time they burn a flag or take a knee during our national anthem.

Anyone with an interest in history or in World War II will enjoy the book’s unique insight into the minds and character of world leaders as well as lesser known individuals who had influential roles in the war and its outcome. Sincere thanks to Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Dugard for their time and effort in bringing this historical period back to life for current and future generations.

 

Founding Fathers Got It Right

God governs in the affairs of menBen Franklin

The following paragraph appears in “Light in the Darkness”, by Father Jonathan Morris. The speaker is Benjamin Franklin, and he is addressing George Washington at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Apparently, the founding fathers were clear on who was in charge of the process of making America. I think it serves as a great reminder for all of us during this contentious election cycle.

The small progress we have made…is, I think, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding…I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing Constitutional Conventionproofs I see of this truth, that GOD governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”

The Character of a Leader

Senator Rubio shows strength in crisis…Rubio

In a time of national tragedy, Americans seek comfort in God, in each other, and in the support of our allies. We are reassured by the knowledge that our country has always been on the right side of what is good and decent in this world. We are heartened by the leadership and strength of the man we have chosen to guide our nation and direct our path. Such was the case after the horrific events of September 11, 2001, when President George W. Bush shared in our suffering and encouraged us with words he spoke from the heart, as he stood atop a pile of rubble near ground zero. He issued dire warnings to those who perpetrated the senseless act of violence against us, and to anyone who would threaten the safety and sovereignty of our country. No one doubted his words or his stalwartness.

In the early hours this morning, June 12, another tragic event took place in our country, this time in Orlando, Florida. It was another terror-driven action that took the lives of fifty people and injured as many more. Just as we took solace fifteen years ago from the words of our leader, President Bush, today we took solace from the words of Florida senator, Marco Rubio. Interestingly, it was not the words of our President, Barack Obama, that consoled us today. His words left most of us cold and filled us with even more anger than we already felt. He sought to blame this murderous rampage on those who disagree with the lifestyle choices of the LGBT community. He politicized the suffering of countless individuals in an effort to further his anti-gun war. Once again, he stopped short of condemning Islamic terrorism or even mentioning the term. He did exactly as he has done during every incident of crime and loss that has happened during his eight years in Washington; he took the focus off of the perpetrator and placed it squarely on the shoulders of the average law-abiding American citizen.

It was Senator Rubio who issued the warnings today to Islamic terrorists, and who raised us up as a country by praising the heroic response by the citizens of Orlando. It was Senator Rubio who pointed out that we are ALL Americans, and as such, we share each other’s grief. He was quick to remind us that we are not judged by our individual lifestyle choice, nor should that affect the care and concern that we show our fellow citizens. It should not limit our grief or our outrage over the events that took place today in our country. It should, however, unite us in our efforts to fight these acts of terror, and pledge our support to those in our government and in our military who serve to protect us from further harm.

Today, Americans saw the actions of the man we need as our President. We saw the emotion in his face and we heard the sincerity in his voice. The machinations of a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton have no place in Washington. They have no business occupying the highest office in our country. They are not worthy of our trust, our loyalty or our vote.

Hitting A New Low

Governor McCroryMoral Decay In America

After the past weeks’ media furor over what I like to call, “bathroom gate”, it is evident that America has hit a new low. For those who choose not to tune into the national news, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made headlines with House Bill 2 (HB2), signed into law in late March, which essentially states that a person may only use the public restroom which corresponds with his or her biological sex. WOW! Crazy stuff! Even crazier: they had to pass a law to state the obvious. Crazier still: People act like this is something new and different.

Haven’t we always had to use the public restroom that corresponded to our biological sex? As long as I can remember, I’ve looked for the door with the figure in a triangle dress. In restaurants, I’ve looked for the sign that says, Male or Female. I’ll admit, some restaurants are tricky. The signs might be in Spanish, French or Italian, so you have to really think before you just open the door. Basically though, it’s a no-brainer.Restroom sign

Apparently, a lot of folks and businesses out there didn’t get the memo. I guess they’ve been unsure all these years about which door is appropriate for them to open. As far as the “LGBT” community and sympathizers are concerned, this is total discrimination. Bruce Springsteen is so distraught over this law that he cancelled his concert in North Carolina. Companies like American Airlines, Bank of America, Google, Marriott, Apple, etc., have written letters expressing their extreme displeasure with Governor McCrory for stating the obvious. PayPal came absolutely unglued, and reversed their plans for an expansion project in North Carolina, which will cost the state 400 jobs.

The Target Corporation; well, they just got even. They came out last week and announced that trans genders can use whatever restroom they “identify” with. It doesn’t matter what kind of plumbing they have. They should feel free to use the restroom or dressing room that suits their inner-self. Really? Why is this an issue? To quote Governor McCrory, “I don’t even know why we’re talking about this.”

As far as I’m concerned, if a woman wants to dress, act and think she’s a man, go for it. If a man wants to dress, act and think he’s a woman, go for it. I don’t care. That is their decision; their business; their right. However, when they begin to think that their rights take precedence over everyone else’s rights, we have a problem. From the beginning of time, it has been male and female, period. The end. For as long as stores or restaurants have had more than one restroom, they have been clearly marked, “male” and “female”, period. The end. This is not a new concept, folks.

What this is though, is another example of the Liberal Left trying to shove their twisted views down the throats of the Conservative Right. They are taking something that has never been an issue or a concern, and spinning it into their go-to word, “discrimination”. However, like Newton’s Third Law of Motion, (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) every time the Left screams “discrimination”, the Right can scream, “reverse discrimination”. That is exactly what’s going on here. Those of us who accept ourselves as God made us, far outnumber those who do not. Their needs do not trump ours. (No pun intended)

The bigger issue here is protecting everyone’s right to privacy. The biggest issue is protecting our children’s safety. Parents have the right to take or send their son/daughter into a public restroom or dressing room without worrying they will be traumatized by seeing a half-clothed member of the opposite sex. In Governor McCrory’s words, “It’s the basic expectation of privacy that I hear from Moms and Dads, that when their daughter or son goes into a facility, they expect people of that gender to be the only other ones in there”.

Having this policy in public venues is an open invitation to sex offenders. They can walk into a restroom, a dressing room or a locker room, presumably in keeping with their transgender identity, and perpetrate heinous acts against children and even adults for that matter. This is just a risk that is not worth taking.

The critics say there have been no documented cases of abuse, but they are mistaken. To name just a few, in February, The Daily Wire, reported that a Seattle man cited the new law and entered a women’s locker room when young girls were changing into their swimsuits for swim practice. A Toronto man, claiming to be transgender, sexually assaulted several women in a women’s shelter.

Appearing on The Kelly File Thursday night, Governor McCrory found himself in a debate with host Megyn Kelly, as she argued that there is a “misconception that transgender people are more likely to molest”. That may be true, but the concern is not focused strictly on the transgender. This is about anyone who would take advantage of a situation that gives them easy access to the opposite sex in a private setting.

There are some things that are better left unchanged, and this is one of them. I applaud Governor McCrory for having the courage to stand up for what is right, regardless of the fallout. He has a spine, a conscience and a mind of his own, and those are rare these days. The outrage that this issue is causing is another reminder to all of us how fundamentally our country has changed over the last eight years. Think about it. Were we discussing these kinds of things when President George W. Bush was in office? Or his Father? Or President Reagan? I don’t think so. Whether or not we realize it, our president has a lot to do with setting the moral tone for the country. We may not like or approve of him, but he still holds the ultimate leadership position in America, and his power and influence extend far beyond the beltway.

A president who has liberal social views is more likely to encourage changes in this area, or at the very least, not discourage them. Under Barack Obama’s watch, we now have legalized gay marriage. He is complicit in attempting to redefine traditional marriage, something that has been understood and accepted since the beginning of time. He has pushed the LGBT agenda by forcing school districts to allow boys who identify as girls to have full access to girl’s locker rooms. Sound familiar? He has condemned counseling for those students who struggle with same-sex attraction.

Shortly after taking office, Obama repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and called for an open gay policy in our military. We now have states with legalized recreational marijuana use. We are releasing convicted drug offenders early, because President Obama thinks their prison sentences are inordinately long. We are struggling for our religious freedom due to the birth control and abortion policies of Obamacare, and the list goes on. Little by little, Obama has worked to undermine traditional values in America and set us on a path of moral decay.Emperor's New Clothes

We now have a pervasive “Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome in this country. Remember that story? Swindlers convince a vain, clothes conscious Emperor to let them weave a fine garment for him from special cloth only visible to the highly intelligent and those well-suited to their rank. Since no one, including the Emperor, wants to appear stupid or unfit for their position, the townspeople pretend he is clothed in splendid attire. Of course, the whole time he is walking around naked. Finally, a little child has the courage to point and say, “he hasn’t got any clothes on”.

That is how so many Americans are reacting to what is happening in our country. No one wants to be singled out for being a “bigot” or “anti-inclusivity”, so we just go along to get along. We pretend the outrageous is now acceptable. The problem with this attitude is that sooner or later, you find yourself in a society you no longer recognize; a society where anything goes, and where there is no standard of decency. As my very wise Mother has frequently said, “The more you are exposed to immorality, the more you become inured to it, and things begin to lose their shock value”. I think we are coming dangerously close to that point.

The Deportation Myth

The Trump and Cruz Plans

The donald     Most Americans are anxious about our fluid borders and the number of illegal immigrants currently residing in our country. Next to the economy, the immigration issue ranks highest among voters. With approximately 11 million illegals, some of whom engage in criminal activity, it is a valid concern.Ted Cruz

Over the course of this primary season, we have heard all the candidates state their position on immigration reform, and though they differ in their approach, they all agree that we must first secure the border before any real improvement will occur.

The current frontrunner, Donald Trump, has grown his popularity with voters largely because he is so outspoken on this issue. He has called for a “ban on all Muslims” entering the United States, as well as promised to deport all 11 million persons here illegally. In his words, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” His harsh rhetoric scores points with voters who like his tough stance.

Senator Ted Cruz has also portrayed himself as being very hard-lined on the issue. He stopped short of Trump’s “mass deportation”, until this past Monday. In what some believe is an effort to gain the support of Trump voters, Ted Cruz now states that as president, he will also actively hunt down and deport the undocumented, but unlike Trump, he will not allow the “good ones” to reenter the United States legally. They will be permanently ineligible for citizenship.

Appearing on the O’Reilly Factor Tuesday evening, Cruz said he would have ICE agents systematically arrest and deport ANYONE that is here illegally. When Bill O’Reilly gave him a hypothetical scenario of an Irishman illegally residing in New York for decades, but working and law-abiding, and asked if Cruz would deport him as well, Cruz answered affirmatively. There will be no exceptions.

Now, I personally believe that we must seal our border to prevent further immigration issues, not to mention the risk of terrorist infiltration, but I do think there is a more humane approach to those already here, who have no criminal record. For the sake of argument, is a so-called mass deportation even plausible? Aside from the obvious emotional toll of breaking up families, perhaps leaving children with only one parent, is it even legal? As appealing as it may be to some voters, if is not possible to enforce, then it is just another political maneuver designed to attract votes.

According to guests on last night’s O’Reilly Factor, John Yoo, formerly of the DOJ under President George W. Bush, and Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law attorney, everyone here in this country is entitled to due process. It does not matter if they are here illegally. If they are on American soil, they are entitled to make their case before a Judge. ICE agents can legally apprehend them, but they cannot immediately deport them. They must first take them to a detention facility until they can appear before a Judge. There are exceptions for those apprehended at the border and denied entry, and for those who choose to leave voluntarily.

Currently, we have 242 immigration Judges in the United States, and hundreds of thousands of cases pending. There is a backlog of one and half years to three years, depending on the state. Judge Dana Leigh Marks, of San Francisco, said, “I have over 2,400 pending cases…my first date on the docket is three and a half years from now.”

The time and costs involved in deportation cases is significant, including the cost of transportation by air for those here from countries other than Mexico. A more efficient system, with a substantial increase in the number of immigration judges would improve the timeline, but no matter what, this issue is a logistical nightmare. The idea that under a Trump or Cruz presidency, we will witness an exodus of millions of illegals as they disappear over the horizon is mythical.

For Trump and Cruz, it makes for good copy, and it certainly garners votes. It is a contentious issue, and Americans impatiently await a resolution. When a candidate promises to round these people up and ship them out, it sounds like a welcome and swift solution. However, we all know that the wheels of justice turn slowly, and the reality is there is not an easy answer. If this happens to be your “go to” issue when selecting a candidate to support for the Republican nomination, you might want to educate yourself on the probability of them following through on their campaign promise.

 

Sources:

 

“Immigration Controversy”, The O’Reilly Factor, FNC.24Feb2016.Television

Kelly, Erin. “Immigration Judges Call for Reform.” USA Today, 27 Aug. 2014. Web.

 

Taken From Inside

 Los Angeles

Once again, they have us on defense. The number one tool of terrorists is to incite fear, and that is what appears to be happening right now in Los Angeles. The second largest school district in the United States, with over 655,000 students, is closing all schools today after a school board member received an “electronic threat” in the early hours of the morning. The threat was not to just one or two schools, but to “many schools” according to the Superintendent, Ramon Cortines. He said the message mentioned “backpacks and other packages”, and the email the district sent out to parents referred to it as a bomb threat.

Obviously, this is paralyzing the city, and affecting hundreds of thousands of students, parents, and school and law enforcement officials. The Superintendent went on to say they often receive threats, but none of this magnitude. He cited recent events in San Bernardino, and the national and international climate as deciding factors in determining his course of action. He is not taking any chances with the welfare of the students. There is no definitive word on where the email originated, but a law enforcement official said it appeared to come from “overseas”.

There is not enough information yet to call this a “terrorist threat”, but it would not surprise me. The easiest way to take over a country is from the inside, and what better way to start than by shutting down major cities. Terrorists do not need a military presence to defeat us; they can do that by impeding our ability to function.

What will happen if they select Washington D.C. as their next target? As American’s, we better take a stand against the ineffectiveness of our so-called leader, and demand that he or someone with backbone put this country on offense where we belong.

 

Remembering Reagan

ReaganI just finished reading Craig Shirley’s book, Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan, and it is amazing! I am a huge fan of Ronald Reagan, and a huge fan of Craig Shirley’s writing, so it was a win/win for me.

This book does a wonderful job of filling in for the reader those 10 years between President Reagan’s announcement of his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 1994, and his death in 2004. The book provides a lot of interesting background information on the planning and implementation of President Reagan’s state funeral, and his burial at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.

Shirley reports directly from Reagan’s closest friends, and the aides who knew him better than anyone else, save Nancy. To read the description of the hundreds of thousands of everyday Americans who lined the streets to watch the motorcade bearing the body of the late President make its way through the streets of Washington, D. C., and California, is to remember what it was like to have a true statesman as our President. To hear of the thousands of people who waited long hours in the hot June sun just to walk past the casket of President Reagan, is to realize the love and respect that Americans had for this extraordinary man.

Craig Shirley also authored, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America, again a fabulous book that gives an in-depth look at the effect that the “citizen President” had on a nation experiencing the malaise of the Carter Years. In order to really appreciate the character of Ronald Reagan, it is well worth the time to read about his life as told by those who had an up close and personal view.

Ronald Reagan penned his autobiography, An American Life, after he left the White House, and in it he gives a fascinating account of his journey from a child in Dixon, Illinois, through his college years at Eureka College and ultimately Hollywood and the White House. In reading the book, and hearing him tell the story of the events and changes of fortune that ultimately led him to politics, I believe I was most overcome by his humility.

One of my favorite anecdotes about President Reagan took place when he was in the hospital recuperating from the assassination attempt in 1981. He had spilled some water on the floor in the bathroom of his hospital room, and he got down on his hands and knees with paper towels to clean it up. About that time an aide came in and said, “Mr. President, what are you doing? We have people for that.” President Reagan said, “No, it’s my mess, I don’t want a nurse to have clean it up.”

Bill O’Reilly’s, Killing Reagan,  has been in the news and at the top of the bestseller’s list since its publication a few months ago, but after reading it, I can honestly say that it pales in comparison with these other books. Do yourself a favor, and take the time to read about one of our greatest presidents, and what he accomplished out of a sincere love of country, and belief in American exceptionalism.

Warning: After reading about Ronald Reagan, and remembering the pride and prestige that he brought to the office of the presidency, Barack Obama will seem even more ignominious.

 

 

 

Things must be really bad…

The following article appeared Feinsteinin The Hill, and after reading it, I couldn’t help but think that the situation has to be pretty serious for the likes of Dianne Feinstein to openly disagree with President Obama…

By Jesse Byrnes – 11/16/15 04:45 PM EST

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Monday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) isn’t contained to its territory in the Middle East, presenting a sharp contrast with President Obama’s remarks on his strategy to combat the group.

“I have never been more concerned,” Feinstein said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” calling for additional U.S. troops on the ground to combat the militants.

“I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained, ISIL is expanding,” said Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.

“They just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country,” she added, referring to ISIS’s warning it would target the U.S. and other countries carrying out airstrikes in Syria.

Obama maintained during remarks at the G-20 summit earlier Monday in Turkey that the U.S. remained committed to defeating ISIS, but said it would be a “mistake” to use troops on the ground.

The president’s vow that ISIS had been geographically “contained” was broadcast hours before last Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris that left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Obama insisted Monday “there has been progress” against ISIS, while Feinstein cast doubt that airstrikes alone “can really make a difference” in the campaign to defeat the group in Iraq and Syria.