Yes We Did!

Published by Parcbench on January 21, 2010:

The title of my post comes from a popular Facebook profile photo that began showing up everywhere in the exhilarating aftermath of Scott Brown’s incredible victory last night. Along with many other South Florida conservative activists, I cheered the election returns at Wings Plus in Coral Springs, where we took over an entire room and greeted every election update with the same kind of uproarious exuberance I recall from childhood and adolescence — whether watching Ronald Reagan give a speech, or the Philadelphia Eagles score a touchdown.

That Brown’s Rocky-style victory in the final round occurred on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, and as a result of the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy earlier this year only intensifies the satisfaction and excitement among tea party activists across the country. It is also quite fitting that Massachusetts — site of the original Boston Tea Party — would fire the opening shot in a crucial mid-term election year.

Building on the momentum of New Jersey and Virginia’s gubernatorial races last fall, the second American Revolution ushered in 2010 by electing a candidate who believes in cutting taxes, limiting the size and scope of government, defeating Obamacare, and keeping the USA on offense against radical Islamic terrorism (even going so far as to defend waterboarding) — in the most liberal state in the country!

Who’d have thunk it?

Now I understand that many of us are to the right of Scott Brown on some significant issues. Like the majority of my tea party friends on Facebook, I too wish he held a pro-life stance, although he opposes partial-birth abortion and supports parental consent for minors. However, given the perilous circumstances we as a nation find ourselves in as a result of “hope and change”, it is even more critical to judge each race on its own merits.

A special-election senatorial race in liberal Massachusetts is quite different from a special-election congressional race in upstate New York. In the latter case, Republican party bosses — not the people — hand-picked a candidate who was at least as far to the left as her Democratic opponent. The situation was further exacerbated when Newt Gingrich inexplicably endorsed Dede Scozzafava for simply having an “R” after her name, but otherwise supporting odious legislation like Card Check, among other affronts to American freedom.

In that particular situation, supporting a true conservative like Doug Hoffman, the man the Republican establishment should have coalesced around, sent a clear and necessary message to the GOP elites in Washington that their conservative base was no longer willing to go along to get along. And they’ve further crystallized that message by refusing to donate to the RNC, in favor of donating their hard-earned money directly to conservative candidates.

But with the USA on the precipice, quibbling with Scott Brown for not being an ideologically pure candidate in a northeastern state where “unaffiliated voters” (i.e. Independents) and Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans would’ve been counter-productive and self-defeating. Aside from the fact that abortion is a states’ rights issue, in an age of radical Islamic terror, out-of-control deficit spending, government takeovers of private industry, Cap and Trade, Obamacare, milquetoast foreign policy and disturbingly weakened national security, it is but one of many in a long list of evils.

As the cliche goes, battles must be chosen wisely, and in politics, strategy sometimes trumps ideology. In the areas that matter in terms of defeating the Dems’ statist agenda — strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes and limited government — Scott Brown is in alignment with conservatives. And the fact that grass-roots conservatives have mastered the internet (a medium previously utilized almost exclusively by the left), is a testament to the power and determination of everyday Americans when they recognize the urgent need to fight like hell for their freedom. If we didn’t see it before, we now know for certain that no matter where the race is run, its outcome affects us all.

Will Scott Brown possibly disappoint conservatives at some point in the future? Given the fact that, like everyone else in public office, he is also a politician, chances of that are pretty high. There are no perfect human beings, and therefore, no perfect candidates.

However, with Obama and the Dems in meltdown mode, Obamacare on the ropes and the rest of the administration’s radical plans for America in jeopardy as a result of a principled guy in a pick-up truck who didn’t consider it beneath him to shake hands with his fellow citizens outside in the cold at Fenway Park (and otherwise work his tail off to actually earn their votes), any future disappointment will be tempered by the euphoria of the moment they called the race for Brown.

Between that and the fact that the “truthers” on Facebook are having hysterical fits over Brown’s “we win, they lose” approach to Global Jihad, it’s a richly satisfying victory, indeed.

 I can hardly wait for November.

Truth(er) and Consequences, Facebook-style

Published by Parcbench on January 14, 2010:

One of the few silver linings in the otherwise dismally bleak consequences of the 2008 Presidential Election has been the nationwide revival of commonsense conservatism. With a renewed appreciation and respect for the United States Constitution, Americans from coast-to-coast have joined forces and channeled their energies into a productive, passionate movement now recognized as tea party activism – inspired by patriots like Seattle mom Keli Carender, and further incited by CNBC’s Rick Santelli. Throughout 2009, the momentum steadily increased in size and scope, as cities and towns all across America held passionate protests against massive government spending.

In tandem with this revitalized sense of patriotism, concerned right-leaning citizens finally mastered the medium that the left had used so effectively to propel their chosen “historic” candidate into office – social media and the internet. From Facebook to twitter to countless excellent blogs, conservatives began to employ technology to effect meaningful “change”.

Using this powerful, 21st Century tool, they found other like-minded Americans with whom they could disseminate important information on issues, candidates and meetings; take action wherever necessary; and generally keep each other energized and motivated for the long battles ahead.

As one of the aforementioned, I joined Facebook sometime in 2008, right around the time House Republicans took a stand for domestic drilling, but weeks before John McCain thankfully chose Sarah Palin as his running-mate (a woman whose career I’d been following for the better part of a year). I delighted at the ease with which I located other well-informed members of the citizenry, who were also horrified by the prospects of an Obama presidency, and equally angered by the fiscal recklessness we’d witnessed with the previous administration and congress.

Having the ability to communicate, plan, instruct, and otherwise commiserate with them was a welcome source of comfort and strength in an age of stimulus, czars, government takeovers of private industry, tax cheats, apology tours, and slobbering media sycophants.

And then came the truthers.

Oh I’d read about these folks on reputable blogs like Gateway Pundit, who documented nut-job radio host Alex Jones’ attack on Malkin at the DNC in August, 2008. Along the way, I’d even come across an excellent City Journal piece, Conspiracy of Crackpots, in which John Avlon chronicles the surreal – but not to be underestimated – nature of the movement, which at the time of his September, 2008 article, comprised over thirty percent (!) of the population, according to a Scripps poll.

In spite of YouTube evidence of their hero Ron Paul’s attendance at a 9/11 Scholars for Truth meeting in 2007 – during which he promised to investigate the “real” cause of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks with none other than Dennis Kucinich – it just never occurred to me I’d inadvertently “friend” any of these conspiracy loons on Facebook, thanks to a philosophical overlap on economic policy. For this same reason, I’d also friended “non-truther” but in most cases, no less fanatical, Ron Paul supporters. However, for the most part, we’d all co-existed in harmony, mainly focused on curtailing and ultimately destroying horrid legislation like Cap and Trade and Obamacare.

That all changed the day after the underwear bomber from Yemen tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on approach to Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. Object of truther-worship Ron Paul appeared on CNN where he openly – and might I add, stupidly – blamed the attack on “US occupation of Yemen and Nigeria”, a statement that is patently absurd. No matter: immediately following Paul’s treacherous appearance, the truthers who’d been lurking in the shadows of my friends’ list posted video of the entire Ron Paul versus Ben Stein spectacle on my profile page, enhanced with paeans to Paul’s alleged “brilliance”, and Stein’s apparent ignorance in branding the Texas congressman an anti-Semite.

The debate threads that ensued contained such delusional comments as “Al-Qaeda is a CIA fantasy”; the Tea Party Movement was started by “libertarians” but hijacked by “neo-cons” (every truther’s favorite pejorative for anyone who accepts the reality of Global Jihad); and my personal favorite, “Everyone knows Bush and Cheney hired the Israeli Mossad to fly the planes into the buildings!”

I soon realized it is impossible to employ logic with those who are willfully illogical. After many painstaking attempts, most of which included a timeline of terror predating and following September 11, 2001 (1993 WTC bombing, Embassy bombings, USS Cole, Madrid bombings, London Subway bombings, etc); and then inquiring as to whether all of these were also “inside jobs” on the part of the US government, I finally gave up. They would simply ignore my question and respond with another rant about Israel, or another diatribe against “Darth” Cheney.

Good riddance to trash, right? You betcha!

However, there is one type of RP supporter even more disturbing than a truther—that of the holier-than-thou, Bible-quoting variety. This type uses scripture to back up the insane belief that we have no right to defend ourselves against radical Islam, as God is “punishing” us for the scourge of abortion. Now, let me state forthrightly: I am ardently and fervently pro-life. I believe life begins at conception. I believe that innocent life is sacred, regardless of circumstances (e.g. handicaps, financial situation of the parents, etc). I also believe that from a procedural standpoint, Roe versus Wade is unconstitutional, and should be overturned, thus sending the abortion issue back to the states, where it rightfully belongs. Sounds libertarian enough, no?

Voters of each state should determine the legality of abortion for their state, as well as decide on the ancillary issues, like restrictions on the procedure after the first trimester, and parental consent for minors. Yes, abortion is evil. So are beheadings, honor killings, rape rooms, stonings, destructive and deadly riots over Danish cartoons and suicide bombs strapped onto two year-olds. But try explaining that to a true Ron Paul believer.

To attribute the cause of Islamofascism – a rabid, hateful and oppressive political system wrapped up in a strident religious ideology – on the legalization of abortion in America is beyond ludicrous. Muslims have been attacking western civilization for centuries, long before the United States even existed. The difference is that they now have the benefit of modern technology to assist them, requiring evermore vigilance on the part of freedom-loving people everywhere. And as the leader of the free world, the American President has a solemn duty to do everything within his power to prevent the United States and our allies from experiencing further acts of bloody, murderous aggression at the hands of Jihadists.

As a self-professed Christian, Ron Paul has an obligation to speak out against evil. It may be enough for the Christian Paulnuts I’ve bumped into that their guy is “pro-life”, but it’s certainly not enough for this lifelong Catholic. Paul was the ONLY Republican to vote against sanctions on the Iranian regime; I guess he’s ok with the mullahs unleashing a brutal reign of terror against their own people for the “crime” of wanting their freedom.

Hey, if President Obama can go out for ice cream on a hot summer night while innocent Iranians are shot and killed on the streets of Tehran, why shouldn’t Paul vote against sanctions?

When my Christian Ron Paul supporter sanctimoniously inquired if I was a follower of Christ, my response was “Yes, and I’d like to stay that way. However, the ultimate goal of Global Jihad is to impose a worldwide Muslim caliphate in which infidels either submit to Allah or die. Therefore, I will only vote for candidates who espouse a sane foreign policy that includes staying on offense against radical Islamic terror.”

Again, no response to my statement; just some blathering about how it’s all God’s will anyway.

I patiently replied that obviously, whatever God wills ultimately prevails, but that the Almighty also expects us to speak out against evil; that we have an obligation to confront it. I then asked why she wouldn’t support Paul’s primary opponent, Tim Graney, a man who is simultaneously pro-life, pro-limited government and pro-national security. Why settle for someone who may be economically sane, but woefully naïve at best and perilously ignorant at worst, in matters of foreign policy? She offered no useful rebuttal, other than to malign me for my dislike of “the good doctor” who is after all, a “Republican” like me.

Gee, all this time I believed groupthink was only a requirement for lefties!

In the aftermath, I’ve been exercising my God-given and Facebook-approved right to approve or deny friend requests, delete and block friends who’ve become abusive or  illogical, and screen all friend requests for truthers and Ron Paulnuts prior to approving. For that I’ve also been condemned by some as (you guessed it) “un-Christian” and in many cases “anti-American” (Choosing the friends with whom you associate is now considered “blacklisting” in some circles. Who knew? My poor mom, a woman who always taught me that people judge you by the company you keep, will be devastated).

Simultaneously, this avid Tea Party protester will continue to fight against Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and every other travesty the “gangsta” congress and president try to ram down our throats, she’ll also continue to stand up for freedom by calling out “truthers”, condemning Global Jihad and supporting only candidates with the moral rectitude to do the same.


New Reagan Comic Book Chronicles the Exceptional Life of America’s 40th President

Published by Parcbench, December 23, 2009.

Building on the success of their Female Force collection featuring biographies of influential women like Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton; and their Political Power series chronicling the lives of such well-known figures as Colin Powell and Barack Obama,  Blue Water Comics will release the 32-page Ronald Reagan comic book biography at the end of December. Here’s how Blue Water describes their latest issue:

“Was the Soviet Union an ‘Evil Empire?’ Was President Ronald Reagan at the right place and right time when it collapsed? Or was he one of the shrewdest occupants of the White House? Find out how this Mid-Western-turned-actor-turned-President went from B-movies to orchestrating the total collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Such were the questions comic book writer Don Smith sought to answer in his brief re-telling of the story of the man countless Americans remember with utmost pride, respect and admiration.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Don about his latest effort, his foray into comic-book writing from newspaper journalism, and any future Blue Water projects he’s collaborating on.

In the interest of Full Disclosure, I also had the opportunity to read and review the Reagan comic back in October, per Smith’s request:

“In his own inimitable mixture of wit, creativity and humor, Don Smith pens a striking comic book biography of the man I consider to be America’s greatest modern President,” said author Daria DiGiovanni.
“Both those old enough to remember Ronald Reagan and those for whom he’s simply a chapter in a history textbook will delight in Smith’s vivid recollection of out 40th President’s remarkable life and impressive eight-year tenure. Thank you Don, for introducing him in such a brilliant way to a new generation of Americans, and for reminding the rest of us about Reagan’s patriotism, courage and integrity,” she noted.

Love him or hate him, Ronald Reagan is an American icon. What are your thoughts on him as president and human being?

My first thoughts regarding him being a President was that he really loved this country. I mean he constantly was saying, “The United States is a city set on a hill…” He constantly would say, “The United States’ best days are still ahead.” I mean that is amazing!

As for him being a human being, I think he was very much typical of being what is called an adult child of an alcoholic. I think on a public level he connected really well with the common man. On a private level, I know Nancy Reagan probably saw the “true Ronnie.” And I think his two kids from his first marriage had completely different reactions to him then his two children from his second marriage. Both Michael and Maureen are (were in Maureen’s case) conservative and Christian, whereas Patty Davis and Ron Reagan Jr. on different levels at different times took contradictory paths. Was this because Reagan was distant to them as a father? I don’t know and I dare not speculate here.

But the facts, as I said in the comic, speak for themselves. I mean I really wish I could’ve included them in this comic, but I did not have the space. And I really, really wanted to just keep some  things private. But all in all, Reagan loved America and he could relate to the common man and he seemed like he genuinely liked the common man, and to be able to do that, takes a man wonderfully rooted to his faith, family and country.

Did you have any difficulty remaining objective during the writing of the comic book?

I’d say about as much as any of the other authors of the Bluewater’s “Female Force” and “Political Power” series. I mean, I obviously have some conservative leanings of my own, and they did come out. But I did not quite want this to be the “Worship-fest” that sometimes can be seen on a Rush Limbaugh show or a Sean Hannity show. But also, I did not want to turn him into the “clueless old fool” that he was portrayed as for years while he was in the White House and afterwards. I did not think that was fair.

How did you come across the opportunity to pen the Reagan Comic for Blue Water? Have you always had an interest in comic books?

Let me start with the second part first, “Sweet mother yes!” My first memory was of being a child throwing a Batman toy up in the air and that just stuck with me. I always loved comic books and I can spend hours talking about my favorites and so forth and so on. But I ended up meeting Darren Davis, the publisher of Bluewater Productions, through my friend Neal Bailey and I wrote a four-issue series for them and then I was on the phone with Darren and he said, “Would you like to write the Reagan comic?”

I said, “Well…” And, “BOOM”! several months later, “Reagan”.

What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process? Was there anything you learned about Reagan that took you by surprise?

The most difficult was hands down the research. I mean I got my hands on DVDs, books and videos and just trying to learn everything I can at such a quick pace. Then I had to cram his entire life: growing up in Illinois, then Hollywood, then first marriage to Jane Wyman, his days as president of the Screen Actors Guild, second marriage to Nancy Davis, his days with General Electric, him running for Governor of California, him getting a second term, him running for the GOP nomination in 1976, him running for President in 1980, his first term, him running for reelection in 1984, his second term, him leaving office in 1988, his post Presidential career, him announcing he has Alzheimers, finally his death in 2004. Try cramming that into a 24 page script!

But what surprised me was how much he cared about kids. He actually had a pen pal in Washinton, D.C. and he would encourage the kid to read. You can see this in one of the books that collected his letters, it was cool.

I also had heard a story about how during one of the peace summits with Gen. Sec. Gorbachev, Reagan was staying in a family’s home in Iceland. One of the fish ended up dying and Reagan panicked. He called in Secret Service, Nancy and everyone to help him out with it. But remember Reagan was in the process of walking away from the table during this trip, so this was pretty funny. Not to mention, when he returned to speak to Congress after he was shot, he read a letter from a second grader that said, “Get well or you will have to smake a speech in your pajamas…”

That was cool.

When will the Reagan Comic be available and how can people get it?

“Political Power: Ronald Reagan” will be available at the end of December and if they wish to purchase it, they can go to my website, where they will find a link to where they can buy it.

Have you written about any other iconic American figures either in politics or culture?

Let me say, yes I have. But I am no hurry to announce it just yet. I though I have to admit, we worked hard to get out fast. We were rushing to finish this comic. Ahem.

Who is the subject of your next comic book and what other projects are you involved in?

Right now, I am working on three different comics. One is a personal super hero story I am hoping to have six issues scripted by the New Year, the second one is an idea I have and I am working with a friend, and the third series is about more American history, and I think that is all I can say.

However, it was announced, and I can talk about this, I worked on a project turning one of S.E. Hinton’s book into a graphic novel. Hinton is famous for “The Outsiders” which was made into a movie with Patrick Swayze and Ralph Maachio, but she wrote a book called “The Puppy Sister” and it was a book about a dog who becomes human. It was a cute story and a lot of fun.

Any thoughts on what Reagan would have to say about our current deficit, radical Islamic terrorism, pop culture and the Tea Party movement?

Let me take them one at a time…Reagan would’ve cut taxes and regulations to help the economic cycle get to an even keel which is what he did in the early 1980s, hence the “greedy 80s.” Reagan’s motto was “The Government is not the solution, it is the problem” would be his battle cry once again with this.

Regarding radical Islam terrorism, I think his philosophy would be “We win, they lose,” just as it was regarding the Soviet Union back in the 80s. And frankly, that kind of moral clarity is desperately needed right now!

I think with pop culture, he barely had time for it when he was President, he would have even less time for the paparazzi-fueld-reality-television obessessed world we live in today. I think he would keep his distance.

As for the Tea Party movement, personally, I think Reagan would’ve loved it. He would’ve been very proud of his fellow Americans. Frankly, the tea parties have been the only thing that the average American has had to retake the power from the socialists and cowards running this country.

Have you received any feedback from Nancy, Michael, Patty or Ron Reagan about the comic book?

No, I have not. And to some extent I don’t know if I would want it. I think they had such a vastly different view of Ronald Reagan than the rest of the world had, I would hate to dredge up anything again for them. But, if say, Mrs. Reagan, saw it and liked it, that would be sweet.

However, I believe in letting the Reagan family enjoy their privacy, and I hope that if they did see it, they would see I treated him respectfully. After all, he respected the country, I wanted to do right by him, as he did by us.


A US Navy Vet’s Response to a Seriously Misguided Journalist

Published by Parcbench on December 16, 2009:

In yet another example of a liberal journalist bemoaning the concept of American pride and exceptionalism, Nick Fierro of the Chicago Tribune offers this response to the question, “What sports tradition would you like to see eliminated?”:

The national anthem should be eliminated from all but the most important sporting events in this country, such as Super Bowls, World Series and Ultimate Fighting title bouts.

Just kidding on the last one, but you should get the idea by now that having to stand for this song at every event and every level of sport from T-ball to the pros has become just a little ridiculous.

At one time, such as when this tradition began during World War II, it might have been a good idea to promote patriotism. Now, all it promotes is … nothing. It has become a mindless exercise.

Mindless exercise? Perhaps for people with no understanding of history and no concept of the miraculous circumstances surrounding the birth of a country founded by ordinary, courageous men who took on the world’s greatest power and risked certain death because of an unwavering commitment to freedom.

At great personal peril, our Founding Fathers forged ahead, spurred on by their deep conviction for Judeo-Christian principles and the right of individuals to control their own destiny. Pardon my patriotism, but I am proud to celebrate and acknowledge the fact that — well over 200 years later — I am a benefactor of their passion, determination and willingness to die for the cause of liberty. Singing the national anthem at a sporting event is a privilege, not some meaningless act “promoting nothing”.

Not surprisingly, Fierro caused quite a bit of controversy, particularly among US veterans and active-duty military, who know a thing or two about commitment to a cause greater than self. One of them, a friend and US Navy vet, penned the following to Mr. Fierro:

Nick Fierro,

I am not sure how you could write such a disheartening column/debate today especially while our country is at war. How can you say singing the National Anthem is a waste of time? You obviously have never served in the military, have no pride or appreciation for our veterans, or are simply looking for attention.

Honestly, everyone I attend games and events with are proud of the moment when we are offered the opportunity to demonstrate how proud we are to be Americans. Singing the National Anthem is an opportunity to bring a diverse nation together. Have you ever been to a game when there may be four or five different conversations going on sometimes in Spanish, French, Japanese, English or the many other languages locals and visitors alike share in our community? Yet when the Anthem is played all rise and speak one language or at least respectfully remain quiet. Maybe you are too busy or to weak to stand in the press box?

You wrote, ” having to stand for this song…… at every event has become ridiculous.” Then you go on to say, “all it promotes is…. nothing.”

This song promotes nothing??? This song is our National Anthem! I am disgusted by your words…I think about the meaning of  The National Anthem everyday, as do millions of thankful Americans.

Finally, there are 14 houses on my block. At least half have the American flag waving but only three of my neighbors have your newspaper delivered. It is my promise that by tomorrow, there will be 14 American flags flying, but ZERO tribune subscriptions delivered, thanks to your column.

I can understand your ignorance to a certain degree I guess, but your editors must and will be held accountable. I believe an apology to your readers and all the men and women sacrificing their lives for your freedom is in order.

Should you not, I promise to contact every news source possible regarding this matter. To think of the lives lost for YOUR freedom of speech and this is how you choose to show your gratitude. I am quite disgusted to say the least. I am not in the journalism business and my grammar may not be spot on but I have read youth blogs more profound than your garbage today.

P.S. I have served our country and have also witnessed my brothers die for your freedom, so yes, I am biased.

Ted Burke
Boca Raton

God bless our United States Military during this Holiday Season and always! And may journalists like Nick Fierro take the time to seriously ponder and absorb the significance of The Star Spangled Banner.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...