Palin, Haley and the Palmetto State Primary

Published by Parcbench, June 28, 2010:

When it comes to Sarah Palin, one thing’s for certain: her critics on both the left and right are incapable of constructive criticism. To the everlasting shame of the current state of our cultural and political landscape, we’ve become tragically accustomed to the depraved, illogical and relentless attacks on her from the Obama-worshipping crowd hell-bent on destroying their messiah’s most vocal, principled and courageous opponent.

But as the reaction of many Facebook conservatives to the South Carolina primary results indicates, at least some on the right have either lost the ability to respectfully debate on substance, or fallen victim to a less virulent, though equally unattractive strain of Palin Derangement Syndrome. If they are disappointed in Palin for endorsing Nikki Haley, it necessarily follows that her entire proven track record of reform, good governance and principled leadership suddenly disappears in puff of self-righteous indignation.

Thus the woman who successfully triumphed over Alaska’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” (CBC) is chastised as a “sell-out”, a self-serving member of the establishment and—most reminiscent of our friends on the Left—a dumb hick who, on second-thought, really doesn’t bear that much of a resemblance to Ronald Reagan after all. Never mind that Reagan often endorsed candidates with whom he had a few policy disagreements.

One of the most passionate South Carolina Palin-bashers decries her fellow Palmetto State voters for not considering the issues when pulling the lever, blindly voting for Nikki Haley simply because Sarah Palin—carpet-bagging endorser who has no business getting involved in state races anyhow—told them to. Forget the smug dismissal of the 65% who voted for Haley, it seems to me this Barrett supporter’s anger is more than a little misplaced.

Was South Carolina’s good ol’ boy GOP establishment “sticking to the issues” when they embarked upon a smear campaign against Nikki Haley, wherein the married mother of two was falsely accused of adultery with at least two different men, ethnically slurred as a “raghead” thanks to her Sikh ancestry, and insidiously accused of not really being a Christian? Talk about validating the Left’s perpetual stereotype of the Right as nothing but a bunch of Bible-thumpin’, racist yahoos! For that offense alone, I’d have voted for Nikki Haley over Gresham Barrett, yet the Palin-bashing/Haley-hating/Barrett-loving Facebook crowd conveniently overlooks these glaring campaign realities.

But since they’re all about “sticking to the issues”, let’s look at a major one shall we?

As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted the other day, the albatross of TARP has been weighing heavily on many incumbents who supported this decidedly anti-conservative, anti-capitalist legislation—Gresham Barrett being just one example. Perhaps in addition to the slimy political tactics that made their state a laughingstock during this campaign, South Carolina voters were simply disgusted with Barrett’s go-along-to-get-along mentality. Along with other members of the GOP “bi-partisan” establishment, Barrett’s TARP vote helped pave the way for the Obama Administration to floor the accelerator on the road to a massive 13-trillion-dollar US National Debt.

Further, South Carolina voters might have also been motivated to pull the lever for Haley because of her Palin-esque efforts to shine the light of transparency on the South Carolina legislature by mandating roll-call votes—a crusade for which proud bigot Jake Knotts tarred her as “f*&)*@ing raghead”, among other repugnant smears. If this is what passes for acceptable political discourse in the minds of Barrett supporters, condemning Palin for backing Haley is the least of their offenses.


Hey Newsweek, looks like we’re all conservatives now!

Published by Parcbench in June of 2010:

Or more accurately, according to the latest Gallup poll, 42% of us self-identify as  conservatives now, a full seven percentage points ahead of moderate (35%) and a whopping 22 percentage points ahead of liberal (20%). I am picking on Newsweek for an obvious reason — their egregious cover story on February 7, 2009 in which they prematurely touted the triumph of socialism in America as a result of Barack Obama’s “historic” election. Eighteen months later, the joke’s on them.

If the magazine’s editors failed to recognize in their drunken Kool-Aid euphoria that the “hope and change” illusion was a necessary construct of the Obama campaign in order to win over a center-right country, they’re sure getting it now. Formerly besotted Americans have quickly sobered up as a result Obama’s reckless spending, blatant disregard for the US Constitution,  Chicago-style thuggery (“you’ll get government healthcare and like it, peasants!”), endless apology tours and perilous lack of leadership in the aftermath of the Gulf oil disaster — just to mention a few in an ever-expanding list of grievances.

And if the 2010 elections we’ve seen thus far are any indication, the petulant-child-who-would-be-president is in for a very rude awakening come January, 2011. If the speculation about Obama hating his job now is accurate, just wait until he’s dealing with a conservative majority in Congress.

Come to think of it, Newsweek’s not the only one who needs a reminder: Hey RINOs/GOP Beltway-insiders/DC go-along-to-get-along crowd, ignore this Gallup poll at your own peril. I suspect the number of self-described conservatives will only increase as we inch closer to November — which cannot get here quickly enough.


Breaking! Orlando highway named for Obama leads to new theme park — The Marxist Kingdom!

Published by Parcbench, June 22, 2010:

The “Happiest Place on Earth” just got a little happier—at least for people who abhor the concepts of personal responsibility and individual liberty. Thanks to the City of Orlando, and the tax dollars of diligent Americans who actually work for a living (otherwise known as “stimulus money”) such folks are finally getting their just due. Yes, even though they thought it couldn’t get any better than to elect a president who fills your gas tank and pays your mortgage (to paraphrase the words of a Florida resident during the 2008 campaign), the good Kool-Aid sipping leaders of the city made the day of entitlement creatures nationwide by announcing the construction of a new highway bearing President Barack Obama’s name.

As if that alone weren’t enough cause for celebration in entitlement land, Orlando officials also proclaimed that the stimulus-funded road will lead directly to a new theme park, The Marxist Kingdom. Tossing aside such antiquated, capitalistic notions like paying for your own admission, those who wish to enter the park will be able to force others to pay for it before returning to their productive jobs including, you know, actually running and maintaining the place.

Once inside, nanny-staters can choose from a vast array of attractions including Tyranny Square,an improvement upon Disney’s abhorrently “jingoistic” Liberty Square; It’s A Totalitarian World After All, featuring animatronics of Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Josef Stalin, assorted suicide bombers, jihadists and other “freedom fighters”; and Stoning Mountain, a rollicking ride back to the 7th Century, where thrill seekers can virtually witness and/or participate in such uplifting activities as violently hurling rocks at infidels until they crumple into a heap of blood and broken bones. InBarack’s Haunted Mansion, those brave enough to board the ominous, black transport can experience the satisfaction of hearing America’s Founding Fathers roll over in their graves, while their plaintive wails of “We staked our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor for you lazy, ungrateful fools?!” pierce the air.

From Maim Street to Sharia-Ella’s Castle, there’s an endless array of attractions for the useful idiots to enjoy. And when they’re ready to take in a good, old-fashioned musical production, they can choose from several, including Burka and the Beast and The Lyin’ King. The Marxist Kingdom, coming soon to a failed socialist state near you—unless the events of November 2010 and November 2012 necessitate a fundamental “change” in its transformational blueprints.


Maddy’s Men In Water Signs: A Comparison and Contrast

Maddy’s Men In Water Signs: A Comparison and Contrast

I’ve noted in other posts and places the dire cultural consequences we’re currently dealing with as a direct result of the so-called sexual revolution and women’s liberation of the 1960s. In a two-part column entitled Cyberspace and the Single (Conservative) Girl, which appeared in Parcbench, I explored the ramifications of the “turbulent” decade for traditional women like me, based on a real-life experience with a guy I’d met online last year.

Sadly, for those of us who were raised to actually demand respect from men, believe in the joys of sex within the confines of a marital — or at the very least — an exclusive, committed relationship, and appreciate such antiquated courtesies like a man holding open a door, picking up the tab for a meal or offering his seat on a bus, dating in the contemporary world is daunting at best, and depressing at worst.

While the men who engage in bad behavior are by no means unaccountable, their confusion is certainly understandable. Women who falsely claimed to speak for their entire gender — people like Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Betty Freidan — made it crystal clear through their activism that “girl power” meant having meaningless sex with multiple partners, procuring abortion on demand for any ol’ reason (no matter how dubious), diminishing the important role of fathers in the lives of children, condemning all acts of war regardless of the facts, and overall zealously subscribing to the gospel of liberalism.

Never mind that that female pioneers like Susan B. Anthony were staunchly pro-life and pro-family, with a focus on holding men accountable to their crucial roles as husband, father and family provider.

Maris, me, my sister Carolyn and my mom Rose in Boca Raton, 2007.

Having been raised in a traditional home with parents who fall somewhere in-between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers, I am eternally grateful for my upbringing and for my first-hand observation of what it means to have a loving, respectful marriage and household. Unfortunately, it also meant that I was in for a very rude awakening when it was time to participate in the dating rituals of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.

Without rehashing the Evolution of Water Signs here, I will just note that when the flood of memories initiated an almost out-of-control stream of consciousness that demanded the creation of a novel, I realized just how dramatically different my experience with the real-life Ken had been from just about every other guy I’d ever dated. Therefore, I purposely included many of them as fictional characters, for the purpose of setting up a contrast to the Ken character, and to assist (no matter how painfully) in Madeline’s personal growth and spiritual development.

So let’s take a look at them in-depth, shall we:

Jake Winston – Jake is modeled after a guy I’d dated after college, my first “long-term” boyfriend. Although in reality, this relationship lasted about a year-and-a-half, in the book I changed that to two years. More than any other non-Ken suitor, Jake is also an embodiment of the novel’s theme of forgiveness, and the sole non-Ken suitor with any real redeeming qualities. Like his flesh-and-blood counterpart, he is overly and cruelly critical at times of Madeline’s appearance, as well as her family’s cherished customs, including getting dressed up for holidays. Thanks to Jake, Maddy’s insecurities have been intensified to the point where it’s all but impossible for her to trust in Ken’s sincerity during their first go-around. But to his great credit, this character (like the real man) eventually undertakes a self-imposed, spiritual housecleaning, prompting him to call Madeline out-of-the-blue to genuinely seek her forgiveness years later. Although there’s no desire on her part to reignite that relationship, she truly appreciates and respects his courage in taking such a bold action, and offers her complete absolution.

Gary Snyder – Gary is also inspired by a real-life character I met while conducting outside sales calls for an employment agency in suburban Philadelphia. Like so many I’ve encountered, he committed the ol’ bum’s rush, apparently noticing (and liking) me as I gave my best sales pitch to the receptionist at the insurance company whose business I’d been seeking. Although I saw him pass by briefly, I’d hardly given him a second thought — that is until I received an unexpected delivery of white roses upon my return to the office. Actually, that’s how it went down for Maddy in the book; in real life, it was quite a comedy of errors as he’d inadvertently sent the flowers to the wrong woman. However, for both Madeline and me, the rest of the story is the same: after a few good dates where we’d seemed to connect well, we made plans to meet up at the Jersey Shore. But when I showed up at his rental in Ocean City as agreed upon, he couldn’t get rid of me fast enough. And that was the extent of my interaction with Gary “white roses” Snyder (and yes, I did change his name for the book).

Jim Russo – Ah Jim, bless his heart, another high-powered businessman I unknowingly attracted during yet another outside sales call when his friendly, gate-keeper receptionist took my card and promised to call if they ever had a need for a temp. And just like me, Maddy follows up with him the next week with a promotional gift. That leads to the flirtatious Jim asking her out, initiating series of lunch-only dates and cutesy faxes to her office but curiously, no after-hours get-togethers. In the book, a suspicious Maddy finally gets to the bottom of it via Jim’s receptionist, who informs her that he not only has a serious girlfriend, he’s about to get married; in real-life, I never did get a straight answer out of the guy and thus, ran as far away as I could. Real name changed for the novel, although most everything else is true to life, including the upscale lunch at the famous Duling-Kurtz House. And yes, my sister-in-law (Vanessa in the book) was very impressed by his choice of venue, though not so much his behavior.

Mark Donnelly – Next to Jake, Mark is probably the most significant non-Ken suitor. In a slight departure from real life, this character is the very first guy Maddy dates in South Florida (in real life, I’d gone out with a quite a few guys, though nothing serious, before meeting him) — right around the time Ken breaks her heart by announcing his engagement to Erin. Physically, Mark shares many of Ken’s characteristics: six-foot, masculine build; blue eyes; sandy blond hair; and an irresistible smile. These similarities prompt her to project many of her true love’s qualities onto him. Like Ken, he’s also quite charming and initially, very persistent in his pursuit. And just as it went down with the others, Maddy is tending to her own affairs, participating in a business networking function where she unknowingly catches Mark’s wandering eye. True to reality, when he calls her at the office to ask her out a few days later, she cannot for the life of her remember even meeting him, in spite of the fact she’d written him a follow-up note.

Like the others, Mark also comes on strong, then abruptly disappears, although the circumstances are a bit more complicated. In contrast to the other suitors, he’s the first divorced man with children that Madeline dates, causing a great deal of sexual tension, thanks to the intense, mutual attraction they share. And while it’s safe to say he’s quite curious about Madeline’s moral virtue, unlike Ken it’s not something he respects or is willing to deal with for any extended amount of time. This is after all, South Florida, and if Maddy thought other women were way ahead of her up north, it was about one-hundred-thousand times worse in paradise — where pretty girls are not only a dime-a-dozen, they’re more than willing to put out for a successful guy with the means to afford fancy cars, boats and designer clothes.

Mark’s penchant for breaking engagements and loving-and-leaving-’em is regrettably an accurate reflection of the actual person. And although this character’s time in Maddy’s life is short, it is pivotal in her character development, serving as another descriptive example of the conflict between normal, human desire and ingrained morality — but this time in a scenario lacking in any genuine feeling on the guy’s part. To Mark, Maddy is just another attractive girl in a sea of hotties. In fact, their 10-year age difference, coupled with Madeline’s innocence and insecurities, leads him to view her as a “babe in the woods”, not a serious contender for a real relationship. Yes, his name has been changed. And yes, Chapter 23 is — well — an embarrassing, albeit instructive, experience straight out of real life. Enough said.

Well, this post has gone on a bit longer than intended and I still haven’t discussed the characters of Ray Smith and Tag Russell. To be continued.

Preview and purchase Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal on

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