A Patriot Woman To Know: Lisa Mei Norton

Beautiful and talented musician, singer and patriot Lisa Mei Norton.

I am pleased to feature this week’s Patriot Woman To Know: the multi-talented Lisa Mei Norton. Lisa is a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant turned political singer, songwriter and activist. She’s had a passion for music her entire life, performing in bands and choirs at school, at church and in military clubs while stationed overseas.

In 1990, she competed in the annual Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Talent Competition where she won “Best Female Vocalist” and went on to compete in regional and worldwide competitions. From there, Lisa was one of the 28 cast members selected from over 200 world-wide finalists to tour with the Air Force’s elite Tops in Blue expeditionary entertainment troupe performing for military families at 137 bases around the globe.

While Lisa may have hung up her uniform, she still takes her oath to protect and defend the Constitution very seriously….and is now using her music to continue the fight. Along with her songmate, BigDawg she’s been composing and recording original songs since the 2008 Presidential election. Their songs have focused on the events that have transpired since then with the goal of motivating others to use their God-given gifts to spread the message of freedom.

Lisa has been very blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to perform at many local and National TEA Parties, rallies, conventions, marches, and political campaign events over the past two years including: an Independence Day Celebration in Charlottesville, VA; the Free Republic National Convention; the Prince William County Republican Committee’s Lincoln/ Reagan Dinner Dance; The National Organization for Conservative Women’s Inaugural Luncheon; The National TEA Party Convention in Nashville; the Code Red Rally in DC; the Stafford County and Washington DC Tax Day Tea Parties; 2nd Amendment March in DC, the Republican Party of Virginia Victory Convention; Keith Fimian Fundraiser with Gov. George Allen; Windows to Liberty’s “Rhapsody Concert”; Freedom Work’s “Take America Back” Convention; Michelle Bachman’s TEA Party (8/28/10); M.O.M. for America’s “An Evening with Michelle Malkin”; The Virginia TEA Party Patriots Convention; Thank You Vets March; Freedom Works’ 9/12 Tax Payers’ March on DC; Smart Girl Summit 2010; a Project Healing Waters Baseball Game; Freedom Ride Across America Rally’s final stop in DC; the Jackson Purchase TEA Party in Kentucky in honor of Rep. Rand Paul; the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2011; the Project Healing Waters Annual 2-Fly Tournament; We the People – An American Event; the American Grassroots Coalition’s Hold The Line Rally; The Columbus County Constitution Day Celebration in NC, The “We Stand With Gibson Guitars” Rally in Nashville, TN, the Richmond Tea Party’s Celebrate Liberty Festival; Tea Party Patriots’ Road to Repeal Rally; a campaign fund raiser for Congressional Candidate Chris Perkins and Virginia Senate Candidate Jamie Radtke; and most recently, the Project Healing Waters 6th Annual 2-Fly Tournament.

Whew!

Having met so many great fellow conservative artists at these events, Lisa and her friend BigDawg saw a need to rally fellow grassroots, conservative artists to help ignite a “Conservative Pop Culture Revolution”. In August 2010, they launched BigDawg Music Mafia, a social networking site to help promote conservative artists and their messages, and to encourage others to join the “fight”. They’ve attracted some amazingly talented patriots and look forward to recruiting many more conservative culture warriors at upcoming events leading up to the 2012 elections. Their songs — ranging from blues to country and pop to rock — have been featured on numerous internet blog sites, local and national news sites, AM/FM radio stations, internet radio (regularly featured on Windows to Liberty), a virtual world called “Prototerra” (featured in the Lone Star Saloon), and in SPIN Magazine’s April 2010, 25th Anniversary Edition.

But that’s not all. Lisa, who resides in Stafford, Virginia with her husband Dan, stepdaughters Brooke and Kelsi, and son Joshua also works full-time as a Systems Engineer contractor for the Defense Department.

This is one busy lady patriot! Which is why I am so grateful she was able to take the time to answer a few questions for me about her career and the conservative pop culture movement and to offer her advice for anyone working to “change” our beloved country back to the vision of our Founding Fathers.

1. What are three words that describe you best?

Analytical (I try to analyze everything and it drives folks crazy); Resourceful (when I want to do something, even if I’ve never done it before, I will figure out how to do it – mainly through internet research); Tenacious (once I set my mind on accomplishing something, it takes an awful lot to convince me it can’t be done).

2. Have you always been a conservative or was it something you embraced over time? What people/events influenced and/or continue to influence your political philosophy?

My dad was a Catholic Deacon and my mom is from Taiwan. I primarily grew up overseas having attended first and second grade in Bangkok, middle school in Tokyo Japan, and High School in Hong Kong…I grew up not only with strong Christian values but was also exposed throughout my childhood to a strong Asian work ethic from my mom and her family as well as neighbors and friends throughout my school years overseas. I saw how hard work brought success, happiness and pride in one’s accomplishments. I joined the Air Force after graduating from High School in Hong Kong and spending 20 years in the military further instilled that sense of pride and patriotism in me that most conservatives share.

3. For far too long, the right has ceded the arena of pop culture to the left, with disastrous results (i.e. an ill-informed, celebrity-obsessed electorate more aware of celebrity happenings than they are about how our government works, or about issues of vital importance to the USA). Tell us about some of the things you’re doing to turn that tide.

I was never really interested in politics until the 2008 elections when I started researching the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and knew he was bad news. I actually cried when he won the election and was depressed for a while…until the advent of the TEA party movement. That was when I decided to put my love for my country and my passion for music to good use and BigDawg Andrew and I teamed up and started cranking out songs about all the crazy things happening to our country. In doing so, we discovered there are many conservative artists out there doing the same…and we thought we needed a place for all of us to collaborate and network with one another so we created BigDawg Music Mafia and are blown away by the talented, passionate, creative patriots who have joined us. It truly is an honor to be in the company of so many great folks who share the same concerns we have about what is happening in our country and are doing what we can to help wake our fellow Americans up using our God-given talents.

4. Why do you think so many modern-day celebrities — as opposed to yesteryear’s Hollywood patriots (e.g. Clark Gable, John Wayne) –are avowed liberal/progressives?

Indoctrination….in our schools, our news media, and our pop culture. If you read the Communist Manifesto and Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals everything we see happening now is textbook Alinsky and straight up Marxism/Communism. All that is evil is considered good…and all that is good is considered evil…by the progressives. The radicals from the 60s are now in our administration and are hell bent on destroying this great country. Ultimately, I believe this is a fight between good and evil.

5. Tell us about your vision for Big Dawg Music Mafia. How did it get started?

See answer to #3…what started out as a place for conservative musicians, singers, songwriters to collaborate on projects has grown into a one-stop-shop for all things conservative when it comes to the arts and other creative endeavors…everything from music to artwork, to film, radio, and books and blogs like yours!

6. What are your top goals for Big Dawg?

We want to encourage ALL freedom-loving Americans with any kind of creative abilities to join us and use their craft to get engaged in the fight to take our pop culture back from the left…who really only represent a small percentage of our population. We want to make such a loud noise for freedom that they will no longer be able to ignore us or discount us. I am frankly fed up with hearing folks say Conservatives have no talent. I would argue that we have more talent at our site than what I hear on the radio these days. It is our hope that folks will stop supporting liberal artists – especially those who use their celebrity status to bad-mouth our country – and start supporting artists who love this country. And we appreciate all who help spread the word about our site and our mission at BigDawg Music Mafia. We will be launching our own internet radio station, BigDawg Music Radio that will stream music and pop culture related shows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will even have DJs doing their shows live and are very excited about it.

7. How do you plan to make an impact on the outcome of the 2012 Election in terms of the pop culture scene?

Just keep doing what we are doing. Pop culture has such a huge influence on our society and we believe we can encourage more fellow Americans to get engaged in the fight and head to the polls by spreading that message through our music, books, films, artwork, radio shows, blogs, and more. A lot of people don’t pay attention to politics, don’t read political blogs or listen to conservative talk radio or watch Fox News…but they do listen to music, watch TV and go to the movies…and that is the best way to reach them…so that is what we aim to do.

8. Unlike the 2008 Election, conservatives appear to have caught up — and even surpassed — the left in their savvy use of social media platforms like twitter. Does Big Dawg have an active presence on these? Do you think social media will play a big role in the outcome of the 2012 Election?

Absolutely….it’s the “new school” way of doing business. We are on many conservative NING sites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Google+ and many more. I just read an article the other day about how the left is whining about how conservatives have pretty much taken over Twitter. I love it! Since the State Run Media won’t report the truth any more…it is up to us citizen journalists to get the word out on what is really happening…and to help folks learn about which candidates are truly conservative and which ones are not.

9. I first heard about Big Dawg Music Mafia via your excellent single, “Get Off The Stage” which features you and Jana Seantelle sending a clear message to President Obama. Tell us about the evolution of the song.

Fellow BigDawgers Mick and Jon Statham were introduced to us by radio host Alana Burke (another fellow Dawger). They have a song called We R Drinking Tea that is great. Mick then wrote Get Off The Stage and invited BigDawg Andrew and I to be a part of the project. I sang back up vocals and Drew added the keys to the track. Basically we had Mick and Alana out in California, Jon Paddington on lead guitar and Jon Statham on back up vocals, both from Nashville, and Drew did his part from Florida and I did mine from my music room here in Virginia. I love how the internet has enabled us to collaborate on such cool projects. Drew and I have been collaborating this way, for the most part, on all our songs (well over 30 songs now) for years and have worked with other artists at the site in the same way.

10. What are some of the biggest misperceptions about conservative women and conservatism in general?

I think the biggest misperception is that conservative women and conservatives in general are prudes and/or boring sticks in the mud. The racist label we get from the left is nothing more than Alinsky tactics to try to silence us. We are showing at BigDawg Music Mafia that not only are we NOT prudes OR boring but that we are fun, creative, talented and determined to turn this ship around.

11. How do you stay inspired to keep fighting the good fight in an era when conservatives — especially conservative women — are constantly under attack by the left-wing media, pop culture and prominent progressives like Bill Maher? What’s the best advice you can offer to everyday conservative women involved in the effort to take back our country?

What keeps me pressing forward is my unwavering belief that God has our backs….and good always trumps evil….that and the fact BigDawg Andrew happens to be a retired Marine. Whenever I start to get negative or feel like giving up…he gives me a good swift kick in the pants and tells me to knock it off. I am always inspired by fellow conservative women I see running for office…and winning….speaking out on TV and radio…writing great blogs and books (like you!)….and it all started with Sarah Palin when she first arrived on the political stage. She has been attacked more than anyone in recent history and still stands tall…and proud…and Undefeated! Michelle Malkin is another one who inspires me. She said in her keynote speech at the very first Smart Girl Summit in Nashville in 2009, that if you are going to get engaged in this fight, you have to have thick skin…and when they attack…you just have to “man up” and let them know they can’t silence you. If they do, they win. And to that I say…Not on my watch!

Thanks for the opportunity to share a bit about where I’m coming from and what Drew and I hope to accomplish with our music and with BigDawg Music Mafia.

Thank you Lisa — it is privilege and an honor to have you in this fight and I appreciate all that you’re doing for freedom! 

Author’s Note: Be sure to follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMeiNorton; join Big Dawg Music Mafia and like Big Dawg Music Mafia on Facebook . Check out Liberty Bell Radio here.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Patriot Woman To Know: Diane Student

Doing what she does best: entertaining and informing her audience behind the microphone.

I am so psyched to publish my first interview for the Patriot Woman To Know series — Diane Student!

Diane is a conservative libertarian gay blogger and radio host. She not only blogs at her home blog Freedom’s Wings Politics, but also contributes to various blogs and websites around the Internet. Host of the Freedom’s Wings Show launched in January 2009. Co-host of Big Dawg’s Music Hour. She is an original co-founder of the Conservative Alliance Media Network. Member of the Big Dawg Music Mafia Brigade. Active member of GOProud, Smart Girl Politics and Tea Party Patriots. Proud member of the Red State Talk Radio Network, Con Air Radio Network and broadcaster at From The Right Radio and Liberty Bell Radio.

1. What are three words that describe you best?
Funny, driven and intelligent
2. Have you always been a conservative or was it something you embraced over time? What people/events influenced and/or continue to influence your political philosophy?
I grew up in a Democrat home and most of my friends were Democrats, so I thought I was too. I was not very political when I was younger and I had wishy washy convictions.  September 11, 2001 changed everything for me.  I embraced a love for America and I had a burning desire to figure out who these people were that attacked us and why.  I realized that I WAS a person of convictions and principles and common sense and so I realized I was a conservative at heart and became firm in that pretty quickly.  I jumped head long into political blogging and activism during the 2008 presidential campaign.  Andrew Breitbart was a big influence on my life as well as Glenn Beck for a time. Rush Limbaugh is my main influence when it comes to radio. I liked the way Glenn Beck used to present his radio program as a place to talk politics and have fun at the same time and I liked that Rush did his shows mostly without guests – just him, callers and the audience.  I would have to say the great friends I have made through my activism have helped shape some of my political philosophy.
3. For far too long, the right has ceded the arena of pop culture to the left, with disastrous results (i.e. an ill-informed, celebrity-obsessed electorate more aware of celebrity happenings than they are about how our government works, or about issues of vital importance to the USA). Tell us about some of the things you’re doing to turn that tide.
When I started my blog, my main goal was to inform people and convince them that conservativism was something to embrace.  I launched the radio show as an additional outlet for that.  It was in 2011 that I started to change my thinking that we had to change Washington DC to change the way things were going in America.  I realized that it was the American people who needed to change and then Washington DC would follow.  At the beginning of this year I got more involved with a group I had joined in 2011 called Big Dawg Music Mafia, which is a group of patriots that call themselves culture warriors and that use the various arts to take back the pop culture.  I help by sharing the music of the artists there and I started playing the music on my show.  I have collaborated with several other “Dawgers” to create a patriotic comic and co-host Big Dawg’s Music Hour that features conservative music and an interview with a conservative artist.
4. Why do you think so many modern-day celebrities — as opposed to yesteryear’s Hollywood patriots (e.g. Clark Gable, John Wayne) — are avowed liberal/progressives?
This is a tough question cause I really don’t understand since they have to work hard to get where they are and usually have a lot of money.  Progressives don’t like success, don’t want people to work hard and dislike rich people.  Makes no sense.  Part of the problem is that “sex sells” as they say.  Even though conservative movies and books do extremely well, Hollywood rejects conservative principles.  Part of the problem is the indoctrination in schools, culture peer pressure and a fundamental socialistic undercurrent in Hollywood.  Many big name stars spend a great deal of time living outside of America as well.  Hollywood is a reflection of society and society has leaned more to the left in modern times.

Happy Warrior: Diane smiling in front of the Supreme Court at the Road To Repeal Rally in March, 2012.

5. Tell us about your excellent internet radio show Freedom’s Wings. How did it get started? How long have you been on the air? 
I launched the show in January 2009 as a verbal outlet for my blog and I have been on the air for 3 1/2 years now.  I always wanted to be a radio host and one day I noticed on a blog I visited that they had a show on Blog Talk Radio.  After listening to various shows for a couple months, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at internet radio and I loved it from the very beginning.  My show is meant to entertain people while I inform them trying to use humor to bring levity to the very serious issues our country faces.
6. What are your top goals for Freedom’s Wings?
My main goal has always been to inform people whether it is vetting candidates, discussing legislation and talking about activism, so I hope that I am doing that and I want to reach as many people as I can.  I get several thousands of listeners a month and I would love to see that grow.  I have no desire to launch into terrestrial radio like many hosts.  I like doing my own thing and I know that the New Media is the wave of the future.  I merely want to help restore this country back to constitutional principles and rid her of Marxism.  I won’t lie though…I hope one day to get my 15 minutes on Fox News. Ha!
7. How do you plan to make an impact on the outcome of the 2012 Election in terms of the pop culture scene?
Part of our pop culture is social media and I think conservatives have learned quickly how to use those tools. I will continue to use those and something very exciting for myself and Big Dawg Music Mafia is that we are getting ready to launch a 24/7 conservative music radio station -something never before done.  I will be one of the DJs hosting a one hour show live each week to begin with, Shawty’s Sugah Shack, and then moving into a second hour each week presenting pop culture conservative talk.
8. Unlike the 2008 Election, conservatives appear to have caught up — and even surpassed — the left in their savvy use of social media platforms like twitter. Do you have an active presence on these? Do you think social media will play a big role in the outcome of the 2012 Election?
Guess I jumped the gun here – ha!  I absolutely think social media will have a huge role just as it did in 2008.  I have an active presence under my name as well as one for Big Dawg Music Mafia on Twitter and I spend a good amount of time every day on Facebook.
9. You happen to be one of those Americans the left swears does not exist: a gay conservative/libertarian. Can you share with us a bit about what that’s like in terms of how you’re treated by both conservatives and liberals? Do you believe the tide is turning with respect to gay Americans and their political outlook?
Unlike other minority groups that are quickly embraced by conservatives, gay conservatives experience a tad bit of push back from the Religious Right part of the conservative movement.  For the most part though, conservatives have been very supportive of me and I know that many of my listeners would never have believed that they would find themselves spending three days a week listening to a gay person on internet radio.  But I think they realize that I am mostly just like them and do not have a political agenda like the gay left.  I think we are seeing more gay conservatives “come out” as they realize that it is okay to embrace conservative values and that conservatives legitimately like us and need us, whereas liberals use us.  For me I am a Christian conservative who just happens to be gay.  I don’t focus on that part of my life and don’t talk a lot about it on my show.  We have more serious issues to deal with!  As for liberals – they don’t like me, think I am a self-hater and I stopped counting how many times I’ve been unfriended.  It’s funny how many people assume you are liberal because you are gay.  I have so many that talk down Republicans and expect me to join in and are shocked when I start defending Republicans.
10. What are some of the biggest misperceptions about conservative women and conservatism in general?
Just as gay people are expected to be liberal, so are women.  Particularly if you are a strong woman.  A woman can be a feminist and be conservative.  To me being a feminist means being equal to a man in everything, except physical aspects.  That is why I dislike women being catered to on strength things like military drills and tests for public safety jobs because we are not equal to men in those ways.  I think the world thinks women who are conservative are subservient and we know they think we are stupid or nuts based on what liberals say about Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and other conservative women.  To put it in straight forward terms: The world thinks conservatives are nerds, but conservative is cool!
11. How do you stay inspired to keep fighting the good fight in an era when conservatives — especially conservative women — are constantly under attack by the left-wing media, pop culture and prominent progressives like Bill Maher? What’s the best advice you can offer to everyday conservative women involved in the effort to take back our country?
First of all, know that we all have our bad days.  I do get frustrated and sometimes feel like we are taking one step forward and three steps back.  But to give up means to lose our country.  We cannot do that!  I don’t have children of my own, but I have nieces and nephews I fight for.  My fellow conservatives inspire me as well, which is why it is nice to get to a rally every so often for a re-charge.  We didn’t get here overnight and it will take time.  Having Romney as our nominee has been very frustrating to me, but keeping my focus on getting Obama out of the White House and taking the full Congress keeps my fire burning.  If ever you find yourself feeling lost, contact a friend on Facebook or do something activist like writing your Congress person.  Try reading something historical in nature about our founding and see how difficult it was for the Founders and how few of them managed to not only gain our liberty, but put together a government system unique in all the world that has lasted over 200 years.
Editor’s Note: You can also check out some of Diane’s work here in the Freedom Forum.
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Water Signs: Countering The Culture of Self-Absorption

 

No mere love story, Water Signs celebrates the values that made America the “last, best hope on Earth.”

In today’s climate of government irresponsibility, where the same “leaders” who helped cause the economic meltdown (e.g. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank vis-à-vis Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are not only absolved of all culpability, but actually permitted to retain their posts; and an increasing number of citizens erroneously believe it’s the president’s job to pay your mortgage and put gas in your tank, it is easy to lose sight of the enduring principles upon which our country was founded. Try as I might, in the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I cannot extract anything remotely resembling a health care, employment or housing mandate on the part of the federal government.

Then again, I am a third-generation offspring of a family lineage in which faith, determination and hard work are the only things you need to find success in a free and democratic nation. My relatives are hardly unique in this regard, as America’s Founding Fathers—and most of yesteryear’s immigrants—shared the same philosophy. Their spirit of self-reliance lives on through my book’s main characters, many of whom are based on real-life people.

Take Ken Lockheart, for example. A handsome young man of 18, he wants more out of his life than his sleepy Jersey Shore town can provide. Unfortunately, Ken’s working- class parents are unable to assist with paying for the formal education he so ardently desires. Moreover, his father misinterprets his son’s ambition as a personal insult, threatened by his industriousness, and enraged that he would dare forge a different path from the one set out for him by his three older brothers.

An optimist by nature and a patriot at heart, Ken defies his father by enlisting in the US Navy, where he serves his country honorably. Upon his return to civilian life, he accepts the employment opportunities he discovers—not because they align with his ultimate career goals—but because they offer a means to meet his financial obligations and develop a reputation of accomplishment and reliability, even as he strives to attain something better.

Although he faces formidable challenges, it never occurs to Ken to be envious of others who don’t share them, or to whine to the government for assistance. Having seen first-hand the brutalities of some foreign regimes in faraway lands, it is enough for him to live in a country where anyone can rise above their circumstances through sheer force of will.

When Ken unexpectedly meets the beautiful Madeline Rose, he not only falls deeply in love with the sweet and frustratingly self-effacing young woman, but also with the successful family from which she hails. In particular, Ken regards renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Rose as the embodiment of notable achievement tempered with affability, humility and sincerity.

Like Ken, Dr. Rose enters life as one of four sons in a blue-collar family, though he faces the added challenge of being a child of immigrants. While the good doctor’s upbringing is filled with love, it is also lacking in the financial resources necessary to pay for college and medical school tuition. But rather than cry about the unfairness of it all, Joseph relies on his own diligence, perseverance and sacrifice, working three jobs while maintaining a stellar academic record. He eventually earns a reputation as a top neurosurgeon in Philadelphia.

Both Ken and Joseph embody the American Dream, a concept that has been completely distorted in modern times, where it is not only commonplace, but completely acceptable to wallow in “victim-hood.”

Personal responsibility, patience and a Higher Power be damned! We want it all and we want it now!

The character of Erin Maloney exemplifies our current culture of self-absorption. Though married to a faithful man and devoted breadwinner who loves her dearly, Erin becomes thoroughly intertwined in the negative aspects of the Boca Raton lifestyle, with its obsessive focus on plastic surgery, designer clothes and extravagant mansions. In a futile attempt to retain her youth by means of endless surgical procedures, she ultimately causes the disintegration of her own family. Of the three transplants to South Florida, she’s the only one who loses sight of her traditional values.

Lastly, in the character of Madeline Rose, we find the internal conflict of desire versus morality, driven by the difficult challenge of honoring one’s moral upbringing while functioning in the contemporary dating world. Exacerbating the situation is her stubborn resistance to seeing herself as the lovely young woman she is, rather than the chubby child and adolescent of her past. Contemporary women’s magazines—none of which seem to reflect her viewpoints as a female and a Christian—only compound the problem by extolling the virtues of casual sex, size-2 figures and artificially enhanced breasts. Yet Maddy stubbornly upholds the high standards that have shaped her very existence.

When presented with a heart-wrenching moral dilemma, she chooses the honorable path, hiding her feelings for Ken so as to avoid hurting another woman. In the process, she inadvertently lays the groundwork for the darkest period of her life. Yet in the end, Maddy emerges victorious by holding firm to her faith in God, nurturing her personal relationships and moving through obstacles with resolve and determination.

Perhaps if America were exclusively populated with citizens like Ken, Joseph and Madeline, economic bailouts, unscrupulous politicians, moral relativism and the looming specter of socialism would be the stuff of horror films, instead of just another day in D.C.

Note: This piece was also published by Smart Girl Nation.

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

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