Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Memorial Day.


There are 1,541 American men buried in Suresnes, France. In the cemetery at Meusse-Argonne, 14,246. At St. Mihiel, there are 4,153, and in Lorraine lie 10,489 of our military dead.

There are others in France: in Somme, in the Rhone valley, in Aisne-Marne and in Brittany, all hallowed ground where the mortal remains of fathers, sons and husbands sent by their countrymen to defend freedom, lie under stark, white crosses, a silent testament to the goodness and greatness of the United States of America.

They died in Sicily - almost 8,000 are buried there, and in Florence over 4,400; men who fought to liberate Italy from the tyranny of fascism. And there are more than 5,000 American dead in Luxembourg.

At Henri-Chapelle lie the bodies of 7,992; in Ardennes, 5,329, and to end this incomplete list, 528 Americans are buried where they fell – in Flanders fields, where poppies grow. These three cemeteries are in Belgium.

All are in Europe. I have not even touched upon the war in the Pacific. To do so would be almost incomprehensible; in total, American military deaths during World War II alone numbered over 400,000.

Let the numbers wash over you – don’t permit yourself to be so overwhelmed that they become meaningless. Think hard, concentrate on the magnitude of the sacrifice, feel the pain of so many tens of thousands – hundreds of thousands - of mothers who watched their little boys answer the call to defend freedom everywhere – because that’s what Americans do. And make no mistake, no matter what their age, to those mothers they were all just little boys.

Close your eyes for a few moments and think about these things, and you will find when you open them that Memorial Day will mean something just a little different than it did before.

There are almost no words to describe the debt we owe to those men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion to the cause of liberty, a debt that is owed by free men and women everywhere, because without the armed forces of the United States, there would be freedom nowhere.

Reflect on the magnitude of America’s sacrifice to the world. We were not fighting for our own liberation – we were fighting for others bound to us by a single tie: a belief that freedom and liberty are the natural state of man, and that tyranny is to be fought and defeated no matter the cost.

We can honor them in no greater way than to dedicate ourselves to those principles. We can never forget them, we can never lose our way, and we can never permit anyone to tell us we are the problem, not the solution.

We must condemn and reject those who suggest it, whether the calumny be uttered by a foreign potentate or, sadly and inexplicably, a member of our own government.

And above all, we must never, never apologize for America’s role in the world, and we must vow to never let freedom slip through our fingers. To do so not only cheapens the lives of those we honor today, it condemns them to the pure hell of having died in vain.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Staten Island CONSERVATIVE Party?

The Staten Island Conservative Party has accelerated its rush to irrelevance with its Executive Committee’s endorsement of a liberal Democrat in the race for New York's 13th Congressional District. In a bizarre move eerily similar to the Republican Executive Committee's decision to endorse the non-candidacy of Vito Fossella, it proves once again that principle has very little to do with the "good ol' boy" decision-making process.

How any party that calls itself "Conservative" could endorse the continued majority status of a Democratic Congress that is bankrupting our country, trampling our individual liberties, crushing private enterprise and expanding the powers of the federal government far beyond ANY interpretation of the Constitution, is a complete and utter mystery. The Staten Island Conservative Party Executive Committee has shown that they are not forward-thinking individuals interested in conservative principles and values, but rather are the sad, old remnants of an incestuous club.

Statement's like Carmine Ragucci's "he can deliver for the district" sound more like the acceptance of a Tammany-era bribe than political astuteness, and represents the most reprehensible sort of political quid pro quo. The Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress, of which Rep. McMahon is part, are stealing the wealth of America, and America's children, and America's grandchildren, and giving it to their disciples to distribute in return for endorsements and votes. This represents “crony governance” more at home in a banana republic than the United States, and bears little resemblance to the representative republic founded by our forefathers over 200 years ago.

In the ossified thinking of Staten Island Conservative leadership, pork trumps principle every time.

Though he does so roughly 90% of the time, Representative McMahon is to be commended for not voting in complete lockstep with Nancy Pelosi. However, he unfortunately lacks the clout to either change or derail any draconian legislation. If voting against his party’s leadership is merely symbolic and cannot change the outcome of the Obama administration’s far-left legislative agenda, he may “get it,” as Mr. Ragucci has said, but has little to show for it except pork-barrel projects funded with money pinched from the pockets of taxpayers, stolen from the treasury or borrowed from future generations of Americans.

I would urge any and all members of this "party" who are rightly disgusted by the decision of your Executive Committee to act on the courage of your convictions and denounce this disgraceful endorsement.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What It Means To Be a Democrat Today...

It means that in a joint session of Congress, you permit the leader of a foreign nation to come before you and bash the Governor and the citizens of one of your states - a state under attack from that same foreign nation. And then you give the man a standing ovation.

It means that you permit the leader of a foreign nation to come before you and lecture you about putting the interests of foreign criminals ahead of the interests of citizens of the United States. A man whose own country has some of the strictest immigration laws in the world - which are methodically and brutally enforced. And then you give the man a standing ovation.

It means that you permit the leader of a foreign nation to come before you and mischaracterize a law that protects the sovereignty of the United States, in essence telling you that your borders no longer exist, and therefore, your country is no longer a sovereign nation. And then you give the man a standing ovation.

We will remember in November.

We will remember this sickening image.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Speech In the Crosshairs

Do you remember what it was like before the internet and talk radio and Fox News?

Do you remember the suffocating cocoon in which we felt wrapped and trapped, desperate for someone, anyone, to simply tell the unspun truth about the direction in which our country was headed? To express an understanding of the love we felt for a proud America who need not apologize to any nation or people, unashamed of its independence, vitality and free markets?

The Obama Administration remembers those days; so does the Left; so does the Mainstream Media.

They long for those times – times when they could empower the march to Marxism on a daily basis, news cycle after news cycle after news cycle. They are desperate to return to that era of control over the shaping of the political agenda, and as their electoral prospects dim, their anxiety grows.

The Tea Party Movement is their worst nightmare.

It is becoming a mighty river of public opinion and voting trends, flowing from the confluence of talk radio, cable news and the internet; it is Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Heritage.org writ large; it is, indeed, the awakening of the sleeping giant . It is the message of conservatism gone viral; it is a longing to return to constitutional principles that is sweeping that portion of the populace that reveres and believes in the documents that are the foundation of this great country.

The Tea Party Movement empowers people who wish to halt the “fundamental change” being wrought upon this nation. Fundamental change? Why would any person who believes in the sanctity of human life and liberty want to fundamentally change a nation that has done more good for more people than any country in the history of the world?

Because of these things: the internet, talk radio, Fox News and Tea Party rallies, the silent majority now has a voice and feels empowered to push back. Worse for the left, it appears that we don’t merely wish to keep the statists in check – we mean to make fundamental changes to our government by disabusing it of the insane "entitlement-as-a-right" atmosphere that has pervaded Washington since the sixties.

And so, for the march to Marxism to continue, we must be stopped.

A seed was planted back in the ‘90s, when Bill Clinton tried to lay the impetus for Oklahoma City bombing at the feet of Rush Limbaugh, a seed which has been fertilized and watered by Democrats, the mainstream media and the Left countless times over the years.

It was nurtured again last week by Mayor Bloomberg, whose first instinct was that the as-yet-unidentified Times Square bomber was someone who was unhappy with the recently-passed health care legislation - code words for a disgruntled Tea Partier.

Then a few days ago at a graduation ceremony, President Obama said, “Meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t rank all that high on the truth meter...[snip]...Information becomes a distraction, a diversion...”

Information a distraction?

These are not isolated events; these are puzzle pieces which the Left hopes to fit together, and I can guarantee you that we will not like the picture that emerges after it is assembled.

Right now, the Tea Party movement stands atop a three-legged stool that is comprised of talk radio, cable television, and the internet. From this vantage point, at rallies throughout the country, grassroots groups espouse an obedience to the Constitution that is anathema to this Democratic Congress and their radical agenda – but all attempts to collapse this stool have thus far failed.

The collective wheels of the Left continue to spin, however, and therein lie my worst fears.

There is one thing which will give the Left, championed, as it is, by this Democratic Congress and the media, a shot to silence once again the silent majority: a major domestic terrorist attack that can be hung around the neck of the Tea Party movement.

Forget, for a moment, that a single kook with deranged purpose can erupt within ANY ideology – that truth that will be ignored. The sad truth is that the agenda of the Left is advanced by any act of violence that can plausibly be connected to an American that has expressed or implied Tea Party connections.

And if that happens – watch out.

Expect the Left to drag out the Fairness Doctrine, and use it as a cudgel to beat conservative voices into silence. ALL conservatives will be blamed for the attack, even humble bloggers, and all will be condemned as the enablers, the instigators, the progenitors of a deranged, right-wing monster.

They will shout that under such circumstances political candidates must disavow the Tea Party movement at every turn, that rallies must cease – or even be outlawed as an incitement to violence – and that mainstream America is obligated to turn away from the conservative principles in which we so passionately believe.

Say goodbye to Limbaugh, Levin, Malkin, Krauthammer and the rest if the Left finally gets the inaccurate and disingenuous "hate speech" moniker to stick.

To ensure that a movement such as ours will not rise again, they will systematically cut off every leg of the stool, every voice of the movement, and they will do it through legislation or simply by fiat. All they need is one kook.

My fear is that they, the Left, will provide him.

Already, one outlier has exhorted “infiltration” of the Tea Party movement to discredit it – but that was a single nut without a real plan, and without the brains to keep his intentions secret. There are other, smarter and more dangerous individuals out there, to whom a human life – or a hundred, or a thousand – is a small price to pay to quash a Constitutional movement that threatens to unravel decades of planning for "fundamental change."

The disturbed individual that tried to exhort his followers to infiltrate and discredit the April 15th Tea Party events with racist and violent signs became neutralized when a bright light was shone on his shadowy plot. That one was easy. The next one might not be.

The next one may carefully infiltrate the movement, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary Americans at rallies, may carry the appropriate signs, talk the talk, walk the walk - and then strike. His Tea Party bona fides will appear to be impeccable, but his heart will be filled with duplicity, hatred and death.

Be vigilant. Stay strong. And if, God forbid, such a thing were to happen, stand firm in your commitment to our country, our flag, our Constitution and the goodness of America. We cannot let the actions of a madman, whatever his motivations, be the excuse this Administration is seeking to marginalize - and worse, criminalize - this movement of free Americans.

Frank Santarpia
Staten Island, NY