Category Archives: life

Forum: What Do You See As The Pros And Cons of Digital Technology?

Every week on Monday, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Do You See As The Pros And Cons of Digital Technology?

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : The advent of digital technology has changed all of our lives. Whether it has changed our lives for better or worse rests on each one of us alone and how we choose to use it. It is a two edged sword. At a time when the information we seek is at our fingertips, it is of utmost importance to be able to cull through pages and pages of data and critically determine what is true and what is not. Researching a subject can draw us into a rabbit hole of such dimensions we can spend hours in our quest for truth. For the autodidact the use of digital technology helps expand our understanding of specific topics of one’s own choosing in addition to history, the world, and world events. The scope of information is truly staggering and I personally love it.

Digital technology is a wonderful teaching tool but I fear there is too much dependence on it too early. I find so many utilize computers doing every task imaginable but they do not really understand the reasoning and methodology behind what they are doing. If we were ever to find ourselves in a situation where we had no access to it the world would suffer; not from the loss, but from the lack of core understanding and knowledge of what should be basic life skills. A simple example would be counting change back in a sales transaction. Today all one has to do is enter in the amount a customer gives to the cashier and the machine tells them how much change to give back to the customer. Without the computer many would not know how much change to give back. As a child of twelve I was taught how to count back change and then put to work in the family drug store. Today I see adults who have not learned to do this in their heads, so completely are they dependent on the technology. Our schools should be teaching these basic skills without use of computers so our children understand how to reason and think critically.

One can use this same technology to self-stimulate by watching movies, listening to music, playing games or communicate with others through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, filling up ones time while never actually doing, learning, or accomplishing anything. It seems many have no desire to actually get beyond this technology and explore or learn what is really happening in the world and engage in a meaningful and purposeful way.

Music has always played an integral part of my life and I find I do not enjoy the whole aspect of using mp3 players or downloading music. Listening through earphones or headphones seems so solitary and isolating. I love music that surrounds me and love sharing my favorite music with my grandchildren. My grandson actually commented he wishes music today was more like what I play for them.

While digital technology has improved our lives in so many ways, it rests on each of us not to be so completely dependent on it that we miss out on the little things in life, or the most important things either. Those are found in faith, family, and love… not on a computer.

JoshuaPundit: Any major technological change exacts a price for what benefits it provides.

Digital technology puts myriads of information at our fingertips, allows instant communication and the sharing of information across the globe, aids scientific research significantly, among it’s other many benefits.

Here’s what we’ve given up as a consequence. Yes, thousands of jobs and even whole industries have been devastated, but that always happens when a major change like digital tech comes along. A lot of the cost has been much more subtle.

While a huge amount of data and information has become available, a significant amount of it is simply bogus and therefore worthless. Mark Twain’s old dictum about a lie being able to travel around the world before the truth can even put its pants on was true when he said it, but it is far more true today than it was then. Essentially, the digital revolution has put deconstructionism, where people manufacture their own facts to fit a political agenda on steroids. Combined with the substitution of education for indoctrination this has been devastating for society in ways we’re just starting to comprehend now.

Another negative change is that society has become incredibly dependent on those little chips. When I was going through the public schools, the New Math was in fashion and I was frequently marked down on tests even though I got the correct answers for ‘not showing your work’ because my dad taught me how to do sums and other math calculations in my head. Nowadays, those kind of skills are extinct.

In society today, our power grid, manufacturing, food and water distribution, security, communications, medical facilities, heating, air conditioning, fuel distribution, access to money, even vehicle travel are all dependent on digital electronics. Eliminating them suddenly through an EMP attack would cause thousands of deaths and a major breakdown in society. I doubt that we have ever been this dependent before on any single aspect of technology.

To a certain extent, the human element in society has been retarded. Many young men and women no longer mix in society to find mates but hit Tinder or some other application and ‘swipe.’ People frequently text rather than calling or even sending an e-mail, forget about letters. Seeking employment in many cases is reduced to sending an e-mail with a resume’ as an attachment and today’s HR software can be programmed to eliminate any of those which contain certain buzz words or ‘triggers’ before a potential employer even sees them. Even sex itself is gradually being affected as more and more sophisticated and realistic robots become available at lower and lower prices.

With the advances in AI, will robots eventually become a new ‘grievance group’ demanding legal rights? I wouldn’t be a bit surprised!

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Excerpt from:

Forum: What Do You See As The Pros And Cons of Digital Technology?


Article written by: Tom White

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Catchin’ Up Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

Council Alumni and all around great guy Michael Haltman at The Political Commentator is involved with the Heroes to Heroes Foundation, a group of former vets that helps U.S. combat veterans suffering with PTSD, jobs, housing, adjusting to civilian life and TBI. Thia was the group that was featured on Donald Trump’s rally for veterans in Iowa that raised $6 million dollars for Heroes To Heroes and other similar groups and whose Honor ring The Donald now wears. Please read his article on the group entitled ‘22 Veterans A Day In The United States Commit Suicide!’ and remember…these men and women went above and beyond for us, regardless of what you think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The disgusting scandals in the Obama VA have meant that a lot of them have fallen through the cracks. At his rally, Donald Trump made the scathing but accurate comment that the Obama Administration treats illegal migrants better than it does many of our veterans.

I’ve checked this group out and they’re totally legitimate.Click on the above link and do what you can.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Original link:  

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Catchin’ Up Edition


Article written by: Tom White

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Yes,it’s time to present this week’s Statuette of Shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all slimy and despicable, but the votes are in and we have our winner…the envelope please…


Morally Deficient Harris County, Texas DA Devon Anderson!

Nice Deb : I nominate the Houston Grand Jury for indicting the messengers instead of the actual offenders, in the Planned Parenthood investigation.


A Harris County grand jury investigating allegations that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston illegally sold the tissue of aborted fetuses has cleared the organization of wrongdoing and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists behind the undercover videos that sparked the probe.

Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both indicted on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Daleiden received an additional misdemeanor indictment under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced the surprising indictments Monday after a two-month investigation.

Shocking, but maybe not too surprising considering Harris County’s reputation for political shenanigans. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was also indicted by a Harris County grand jury, it so happens.

Talk about shooting the messengers! And as we all know from the videos, the whistle blowers didn’t actually buy baby parts, but merely made and filmed Planned Parenthood’s willingness to sell to them. And how exactly does that clear the local Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing?

The tampering with records charge is based on false IDs David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt presented to the Planned Parenthood officials.

Harris County consists of Houston and the surrounding areas. A fair potion of the city itself is Democrat, while the rest of it and the outlying areas are strongly Republican. If this Grand Jury was assembled in Houston, that could explain a great deal.

Another thing that explains a lot is the presence of one Lauren Reeder as a prominent prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s criminal family law division. Reeder is listed as a non-compensated “Director” on the 990 Tax Form for 2014 filed by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and has been an active fundraiser for Planned Parenthood for years. She is also very close personally to DA Anderson.

Because of the appearance of a conflict of of interest, the Center for Medical Progress, the organization that took and released the videos has asked for a special prosecutor. Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who also serves on the Board of the Center for Medical Progress is calling for a new investigation by an independent prosecutor, and others have pointed out the First Amendment implications.And they might just get what they want.

The State of Texas is still conducting active, additional investigations into Planned Parenthood’s baby parts trafficking. To quote Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, “The fact remains that the videos exposed the horrific nature of abortion and the shameful disregard for human life of the abortion industry.”

Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

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Our Weasel Of The Week!!


Article written by: Tom White

Trump Bashing Cruz Supporters Can Dish It Out, but They Can’t Take It

While Ted Cruz has been mostly silent on criticism of Donald Trump, the same cannot be said about his supporters. There are a lot of people bashing Trump these days but none more vociferous than the Cruzers. And for the record, I am not blaming Cruz for the actions of his supporters.

And the Trump bashers seem to fall into 3 categories.

  • Ted Cruz supporters who are politically knowledgeable, conservative and, unfortunately far too willing to use spin and outright falsehoods to knock Trump down in order to build Cruz up. Many of these are people with whom I share a basic conservative political philosophy and usually find we are on the same team, supporting the same candidate. And I have no doubt that we shall align behind a candidate in the near future. So some of these attacks on my blog, Twitter and Facebook have been rather vicious and vitriolic, and most fail to mention Cruz at all. It takes some effort to draw them out and know their motive for the bashing. And I have been on the receiving end of this behavior for months. It is disappointing to see many of my friends take this tactic to build up their candidate by tearing down another with false information. It is reminiscent of the tactic Eric Cantor used to paint Dave Brat as a Liberal College Professor. And those spreading that lie refused to listen to reason and truth.
  • The RINO Establishment GOP, the Mainstream Media, RINO Blogs and Democrats. This is also a knowledgeable group who are willing to spread lies and make stuff up in a desperate effort to hold onto power. And Trump threatens this power because he will not play by their rules. And they know that. These are people who really do not care about America, just power.
  • The last category are the low information voters. Unlike the first two groups, these people are not trying to manipulate opinion, they are just reacting to what they hear and accept it without question.

And I get the appeal of Ted Cruz. If Donald Trump were not in the race, Cruz is the only other candidate I would consider supporting. Now I will vote for the Republican Candidate, whomever that may be, perhaps holding my nose again, but I wouldn’t waste my time campaigning for or working for any of the others outside of Trump or Cruz.

And one of the hardest things to do in politics is to back a different candidate than some of the allies you have found on other campaigns. It has happened to me many times over the years and I always intend to “reset” things after an election. We all find different things in different candidates and need to respect one another’s decisions when backing a candidate and make sure we don’t totally burn bridges. We will need each other in the future.

My disdain, contempt and distrust of the Establishment GOP, the big money fat cats that own the establishment politicians and the ruling class elitists is complete and eternal. These people are indistinguishable from the Socialists and Communists in the Democrat party and Ryan’s omnibus bill is absolute proof that the establishment Republicans are no more trustworthy than the Democrats. We worked hard to give these bastards a majority in the House and the Senate and, as usual, our efforts are rewarded with betrayal. And every time we have been betrayed my distrust and ire grows and the American people feel the same, judging by the rise of the outsiders in the polls. Trump, Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina are all manifestations of the traitorous nature of the Republican Establishment’s failure to live up to their promises. It also shows that the GOPe has lost the consent of the governed.

So when it comes down to picking a presidential candidate, I would say in addition to the 4 mentioned above, I would have to add Rand Paul as a possibility. So there were 5 possible candidates for someone looking for a non establishment “outsider” to pick from. Paul has been a horrible candidate and has never picked up steam. Carson and Fiorina have had their 15 minutes and were unable to get past the scrutiny.

Which leaves Trump and Cruz.

As I looked at these two candidates, Cruz has a very short history in the Senate, not unlike our current president. He has no executive experience and as I documented in a post yesterday Cruz offered an amendment to Rubio’s Gang of 8 Bill that would not grant a path to citizenship for illegals, but would provide them “green cards” so they could “come out of the shadows”. He claimed at the time that this was a good faith effort and a compromise that gave the Democrats what they publicly stated that they wanted. And now Cruz calls it a “poison pill” that was designed to show the hypocrisy of the Democrats. So either that is a lie, or he was not being truthful in 2013 about the amendment being a good faith effort. Not a lot was said about this until Donald Trump had the courage to be open and honest about the illegal alien problem. The American public has found Trump’s Politically Incorrect statements on illegal immigration to be what they were all thinking, but afraid to say.

Cruz supported TPA, the trade authority that gives Obama the authority to bypass the Senate on what are essentially treaties. Global Warming, Gun Control, who knows what else? Cruz was for this until public sentiment turned against it.

Cruz wife is a VP at Goldman Sachs. Big money corporations are the difference between big money RINO’s and Conservatives. Very scary money connection.

And I believe Cruz will face many, many legal challenges to be placed on the ballot, as I discussed in yesterday’s post linked above.

These are not B.S. claims, they are facts. We have very little to go on with the first term Senator, but I find these issues to be a pattern. And that is why I could not support Cruz.

And then there is Donald Trump.

I tell most people to disregard most of what you hear about Trump. It is spin, half truths and outright lies. Most of my friends write on Facebook or blog comments “How can you support Donald Trump because he supports …”. Fill in the blanks. And these type of statements are always taken completely out of context, mixed with other things Trump said, culled from 20 year old interviews and spun as if Donald Trump was a politician all his life. And it has been my experience that the Cruz supporters are the most prolific Trump bashers, at least with my statements and comments.

Just a few “for instances”. There are so many lies and distortions I could fill volumes.

Trump is Pro Choice. FALSE. Trump is pro life.

Trump is a Democrat. A Democrat plant. Best friends with Hillary. FALSE. Trump is a Republican. Where the confusion and half truths come in is that Trump was a businessman doing work in the deep blue Northeast. You donate to the people in charge. You mingle with the people in charge. You go to parties with those in charge and invite them to your parties. Schmoozing is the name of the game when you are a businessman. If Trump was a Republican Politician these things would be dis-qualifiers for me. But he did what he had to do to run a very successful business.

Trump is a bully. Trump is brash. Trump is outspoken. TRUE! Trump is a New Yorker. I spent a lot of time in New York in my life and I will admit the facade a lot of people living in The City adopt can be a put off. Loud. Braggadocios. Conceited. But if you think about it, all of these things are the opposite of Political Correctness. An acquired taste for sure. But I believe we need bold and loud to be heard above the spin, lies and deception. And does it work? Damn straight it does. The press hangs on every crude and outrageous statement. And all of these crude and outrageous statements are exactly what needs to be said and exactly what people are looking for. The normal flow for whatever “outrageous” statement Trump makes is:

  • The media reports the latest outrageous statement.
  • The media and the GOP sit around and talk about how this will be the one that finally sinks Trump
  • The people love the statement and cheer Trump for saying it.
  • Trump goes up in the polls.
  • His detractors sink because they are siding with political correctness.
  • His opponents finally adopt the same idea.

How many times we gotta do this before you get it?

Trump wants to shut down the internet. FALSE. Trump wants to control the Terrorists ability to use the internet to communicate and recruit.

Trump hates Muslims and wants to round them up and kill them and their families like Hitler. FALSE. These are two statements made at different times. Trump said let’s “pause” immigration from Muslim countries until we can get a handle on this. Pretty much an intelligent thing to do. Trump also said we need to stop worrying about collateral damage with airstrikes. These people use human shields, even their own family. The terrorists need to know if they kill us and our families, we will hunt them down, those that helped them and kill them. Right now, Obama is not giving the green light – often even buzzing ISIS convoys of oil carrying vehicles so the people will get out and run. They are selling oil for ISIS to fund terrorism. Blow them to Allah. Trump never proposed rounding up and indiscriminately killing Muslims here.

Trump will send blacks back to Africa. FALSE. And yes, I even heard this. I have no idea where this came from but I suspect it is something circulating on black radio. I would NEVER support someone with such a notion.

Trump is not a Conservative. Maybe. But then Eric Cantor always said he was a Conservative. He spoke eloquently of conservative principles and values. And the need for smaller government, lower taxes, bla, bla, bla.  So did John Boehner. And Mitch McConnell. In fact, pretty much all Republicans say this. And then they do the opposite. There are few exceptions to the fact that pretty much every Republican lies about being conservative. Dave Brat is one of those exceptions. And I do not know enough about Ted Cruz in his short time in the Senate to say he is not going to be the next Paul Ryan.

And I love the people that demand to know how Trump will build a wall, bring back jobs, kill ISIS and Make America Great Again.

Funny. No one asks Trump for his specific plans and details when he says he is going to build a great golden tower that will be the envy of the world. Or a hotel. Or golf course. They don’t ask. He lays down the vision and puts the right people in charge and it happens. No one doubts him. It happens.

So why doubt him on the wall, jobs, economy, etc.?

Many people try to look at things Trump said and did as a businessman and hang it around Trump’s neck as his current political policy. Trump could have eschewed any business dealings that were not 100% conservative, refused to use eminent domain and told Bill and Hillary to go to hell. But then he wouldn’t have a successful company. Someone else would have profited from the business he gave up. And he would probably be living an obscure life in a tri-level 4 bedroom in Hoboken.

So when you say Trump is not conservative, I don’t care. Neither are the rest of the Republicans once they get to DC.

When you say Trump supports this or does not support that, I don’t care.

We have been betrayed by the Republican Party time after time. I have reached the point that I do not believe most of them and don’t trust them either. So Trump supporters like me don’t worry about the minutia and litmus tests and playing those “gotcha” games of Trump said.

If Trump builds the wall and stops illegal immigration, brings back jobs that were sent overseas by our overly intrusive government rules and regulations, actually takes the fight to ISIS and other terrorist groups and understands that war is hell, then I will know America is turning around. When we make political correctness incorrect, I will know America is turning around.

I don’t give a rat’s butt at this point about eminent domain, 20 year old health care statements, donations to Democrats, spitting on the sidewalk or anything else. We are being over run by Terrorists and Illegals who likk us and take our jobs. They flaunt our laws and spit in our faves because we are weak. America is an exploited country. So to my Conservative friends who want to know why I support Trump and could care less about the minor stuff, it is the big stuff that is killing us.

Trump has brought up more major issues than all of the rest of the candidates combines.

Trump will be anything but business as usual. So while my conservative friends focus on their conservative checklist that will be tossed in the trash bin as soon as the swearing in is over, I am perfectly fine with Trump accomplishing the major tasks that has him sop far ahead of the pack. Once the country is safe and secure and prosperous, we can turn our attention to the Conservative Checklist.

And that is why Trump supporters are unwavering. We understand that while the rest of the candidates are fighting over insignificant issues and who supported amnesty and who didn’t, and counting angels on the head of a pin or pining for George Bush and apologizing to the Muslims who are killing us, Trump has his finger on the pulse of America. Jobs. Security. Prosperity.

So don’t believe most of what you hear about Trump. Look at the big picture.


Article written by: Tom White

RAH for Del. Rasoul – He Has Introduced a Proposed Constitutional Amendment Requiring Term Limits!

There may have to be a new contender for “Sandy’s Favorite Democrat:  Del. Sam Rasoul

Here is what (according to this report in the Roanoke Times – I actually owe a hat tip to Blue Virginia  – it’s where I found it) Del. Rasoul has come up with and let me encourage him a bit to go a bit further:

Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, announced plans Monday for a slate of bills he described as good government proposals.

Rasoul said he’ll carry legislation in the new year to impose term limits on General Assembly members, adopt a “top-two” primary system and continue the pursuit of an independent redistricting commission.

Now I am not sure I am for the top-two primary system in that it can hinder small parties and independents and may weaken party strength.  But it would open up a local political system like Hanover County where the GOP primary is tantamount to election and many like African-Americans and Democrats might feel disenfranchised due to their party affinity.

Still:  It’s a great point to debate.

I also am intrigued by the independent redistricting commission.  But I had a discussion with Senator McDougle and he persuaded me that redistricting must be done by those elected to do so.  If you set up an “independent” commission, you have to see who sits on the commission and it moves the politics to the commission and that would be even less transparent (if that is possible!) than it is now!  Again, good point to debate.

But the cream of the cream is the term limits – twelve years in each house and 24 years over all.  (I would even consider eight years but any limit is better than none.

Now my fellow Republicans:  Time to say YES to term limits.  It has been a tea party favorite for years.

Del. Rasoul wants to open up the political system:

“We must give more power back to the voters and restore trust in politics,” Rasoul said in a statement. “The current system often results in little competition and choice for citizens, which does not give people the best representation and transparency.”

I agree 100% with Del. Rasoul’s intent.

Finally we have this juvenile sentencing bill that I am not sure about:

He previously filed HB 53, which would create a path to early release for certain juvenile offenders serving long-term prison sentences.

The bill would apply to juveniles who committed a crime other than homicide after parole was abolished in 1995 and who were sentenced to life in prison or to a term that would keep them incarcerated until after they were 60.

Those inmates would be allowed to petition a panel of judges for a change in sentence at age 35 or after serving 20 years, whichever comes later. Inmates convicted of homicide wouldn’t be eligible for consideration.

This is to forestall a potential change in constitutional law based on the case of Graham v. Florida, where the US Supreme Court said in non-homicide cases involving juveniles there cannot be life without parole but must be a “reasonable possibility” of release.  The Virginia Supreme Court limited Graham by saying that the geriatric parole possibility in statutory law meets Graham’s constitutional muster.

Now I did not agree with the original Graham decision.  Juveniles can and do commit heinous crimes.  But studies do show that juveniles are more likely to take risky decisions and do not always understand the ramifications of their actions.  And with European law trying to now say a life sentence is a human rights violation, I am not crazy about liberal sentencing laws.  BUT, I can see perhaps a opportunity to show repentance but I would place it at 45 years of age or 30 years behind bars.

Sam Rasoul is a legislator of vision.  Let me encourage him to at least introduce my political party defining bill that I called for recently in the Style Weekly (I just got the check for the article – yes I got paid – $125!  Advocacy can pay!) and make it easier for ballot access.

Can thank Del. Rasoul for his advocacy at DelSRasoul [at] house.virginia.gov.  Ask him NICELY to adopt the Sanders ballot access bill, too.

And urge your delegate and senator to sign on to this term limits bill.  We can have term limits on the ballot by 2017 or 2018.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.”
– Alexander Hamilton

“When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death – that is heroism.” – Robert Ingersoll

“I had the good fortune and opportunity to come home and to tell the truth; many soldiers, like Pat Tillman… did not have that opportunity. The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype.” – Jessica Lynch

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman Philosopher and Statesman

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This week’s winning essay,The Noisy Room’s Harry’s Heroine Hikes 1,000 Miles For Wounded Troops… She’s An American Warrior All The Way [Video] is a story of heroism, of not giving in. Here’s a slice:

Meet Kirstie Ennis, one of the bravest Americans out there. Her story moved me to tears and I wanted to share it with you.

Kirstie is a 24 year-old Marine Corps veteran who toured in Afghanistan. Her life changed dramatically on June 23rd, 2012 when the massive Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that she was riding on as the door gunner crashed. She survived, but woke up to a living nightmare that she almost didn’t make it through.

The butt of her gun went through her jaw and ripped it off. She was missing half her face and she was swallowing her teeth. All that happened when her 50-caliber machine gun smashed through the left side of the chopper when it crashed. Her legs and arms were crushed. Kirstie had brain and spinal damage. She thought she was going to die and that it was over for her. They don’t know why the helicopter crashed, but it was fast. When you fall at 150 ft. per second, there’s no time to wonder why. That was the day her career as a Marine ended. It was all she had wanted to do her whole life and now all she wanted to do was survive.

When she woke, she was choking on her own blood in her throat and nose. There was screaming. A medic told her not to close her eyes and stay with him. She knew that if she closed them, she would never open them again. They made it back to Camp Bastion and her long fight began. They really thought she would not make it, but Kirstie is a true Marine… a fighter and she hung on. She was so terrified, she kept throwing up on herself. She knew she would never be the same.

38 surgeries later, Kirstie has her life back. Her left leg has never been right and she lives in constant pain. The doctors wanted to amputate it below the knee this last summer, but Kirstie had one more thing to do before they did what needs to be done and they fit her with a more comfortable prosthetic. She strapped on a carbon-fiber leg brace and declared she was going for a 1,000 mile hike for Prince Harry’s Walking with the Wounded. She walked from Scotland to Britain and found in Prince Harry a kindred soul and a new lifelong friend.

Half a dozen wounded warriors made the trek. Kirstie was the only woman on the walk. She made the amazing journey, pain and all. And when she was done, she knew they would take her leg and she was cool with that. She just wants to get on with her life. It’s been three years since she almost died and they told her she would never walk again. Kirstie had other ideas and proved all of them wrong.

On losing her leg:

I can’t walk more than a quarter of a mile without it and I can’t run. My feeling is if this leg’s going to impede me then let’s get rid of it.

For me it’s about quality of life. I want to have kids one day and be able to run around the yard with them. Having this brace is a constant reminder of what I can’t do.

When I told my doctors I was not going to have the operation until later in the year they were pretty stunned, especially when I told them I was planning to walk 1,000 miles across Britain. It is the hardest thing I’ve done apart from my rehabilitation.

There have been four expeditions of Walking with the Wounded and Prince Harry has been on all of them. He really cares about veterans and I admire him a great deal. The expeditions have visited the North and South poles and Everest. Then there is this one that went from Scotland to Britain. The Walk of Britain has raised a great deal in public donations.

On this hike, the team was made up of British soldiers Stewart Hill, Matt Fisher, Alec Robotham and Scott Ransley, and American former serviceman Andrew Bement, along with Marine Kirstie Ennis. All of them are disabled in one way or another and received their injuries in the line of duty. All of them are incredible heroes and inspirational.

Kirstie looks wonderful these days. Blonde, tan and fit, the only signs that she was horribly injured are a scar on the left side of her face and her leg brace. She has never let being injured rule or destroy her life. She has had three years of intense rehabilitation and speech therapy. She had to learn to speak again. Now, she has a Masters in Business and Psychology. She’s also a stockbroker. She has a boyfriend named Brian, who is also a Marine who was horribly injured in a bomb blast. They’ve been together for a year.

Kirstie is an expert snowboarder and she was just named to the national team for paralympic swimming. She will compete in Prince Harry’s Invictus Games in 2016 for wounded servicemen and women in Orlando next spring:

Confirmation about the national team came through while I was walking with Prince Harry in Norfolk. Harry was really proud and very excited for me. He loves to see veterans excel and overcome their disabilities, that’s what drives him and you can really see that.

Harry met Kirstie at the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013. Those games were the inspiration for his Invictus Games. They became fast friends on The Walk of Britain. Soldiers are instantly brothers and sisters… more than just friends in fox holes, they share a common bond from the battlefield:

He seems so engaged and committed. He wanted to know my story and I felt I could open up to him and that he really listened. It was just like walking with a friend, or a brother.

The military is a family in that respect. It’s a brotherhood. It really meant something to have Harry walk with us. There were no feelings of superiority. We spent two days together, one walking in Shropshire where we kicked a ball around with [former American football star] Dan Marino which was pretty surreal and another day walking in Norfolk which was so beautiful and very special. There were no cameras that day and I told Harry about my time at Camp Bastion because we were serving in the same place at the same time.

We talked about our shared love of aviation and I asked him when he knew he wanted to be a soldier.

He said from when he was a little boy and that it had always been his dream and that the military has been the greatest thing for him. I was the same when I was a kid. All my dolls were dressed in Marine Corps clothes.

He’s so down to earth and very easy to get along with and he fitted right in with the group, especially with Scott (Ransley) who is blind in his right eye. He’s also very kind and when people came up to say “hi” he made the time for them, especially the kids and you could see it really made their day.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mike Adams at TownhallGet Out of My Class and Leave America submitted by Bookworm Room . Let’s just say that it’s astonishing that a college professor with have to make these points to students at a major university who are supposedly young adults.

Here are this week’s full results. Fausta and The Razor were as unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Original source: 

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results


Article written by: Tom White

Review of War Room Coming!

I did like and I do recommend War Room – every believer ought to see it and be inspired by the Spirit to a deeper walk with Him and a deeper prayer life.  I will have details later in week.  Stay tuned!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Much Ado About Abortion

The following video of a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the harvesting and selling of unborn children’s organs, tissue, and extremities has reignited the abortion debate in this country. A “third-rail” topic and a Republican fund-raising topic (Republicans raise millions of dollars off of the abortion debate every year and do absolutely nothing about it), abortion is a difficult topic to grapple with. (damn prepositions)

Click here to view the embedded video.

We Libertarians are split on abortion, between those who believe that the government should keep its’ collective nose out of a woman’s pregnancy and those who believe that using force against unborn human beings is just as wrong as using force against born human beings.

I have written many papers, participated in debates, and read everything there is on abortion ethics and abortion commentary; and I think we often gloss over the fundamental realities of what abortion is all about, why it exists, and why abortion really is as awful as some people claim it is.

abortionThe reason abortion exists, is because of the fiscal and emotional costs and responsibilities associated with pregnancy and with raising children. Human beings love sex, but they do not want to take care of every single baby that results from their sexual activity. Women and men alike, both have a vested interest in contraception and abortion – whatever it takes to prevent the human consequence of sexual activity from taking place and becoming a reality in their lives. I know that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about the murder of a human being, but most people are raised to believe that a person does not develop rights, as a human being, until after they are born and after they have proven themselves capable of sustaining life after birth. So, we aren’t talking about cold hearted killers. We are talking about irresponsible people – people literally unwilling to take responsibility for the sustenance and life of their conceived children.

We try hard to pretend that these babies aren’t “people”, as if some one event in the life a person results in their person-hood. This is pretense. There is no sound philosophical or medical or ethical argument which has ever successfully demonstrated that human life starts anywhere but at conception.

When we talk about justifying abortion, we have to talk about what we’re really talking about – which is killing those of our children we are either ill-equipped or ill-prepared to care for. The only reason we cannot have this discussion, is that people who favor legal abortion do not want to have a debate wherein they must recognize that we are talking about killing a person when we talk about abortion. The rationalizations are absurd and I don’t think anyone really believes that their babies aren’t ‘alive” or “people” until after they are born. People aren’t that ignorant.

So, could we stand to live in a world where every healthy baby conceived was born? People complain about all the babies poor people have that we, as a society, are forced to pay for; how much worse would this be if it were not for the fact that we kill so many of these children before they are born? Honestly, societies are always interested in procreation, because we have to deal with every person born, good or bad, brilliant or less so, dependent upon the state or a member of the tax-base.

We argue that open borders can’t work, because of our welfare state. If it cost us nothing to accept immigrants, that is one thing. If two out of three immigrants are sucking up our tax dollars, that’s another thing all together. Is it not the same with children?

Do we truly want every 12 and 13 year old girl, who gets knocked up, to actually have and raise those children?

Do we truly want every poor person who seems to get knocked up every year or so to have all those children?

Do we really believe that forcing women to go through with their pregnancies will actually put an end to women killing their children?

Do we really want to go back to an age of back-ally abortions? Coat hanger abortions? Drug-induced abortions?

The answer to each of these questions is, that no human being has the right to murder another human being. I understand that if killing our unborn children is rightfully considered a crime, that many of our lives would look a great deal differently than they do today, and that our society would experience an untold number of complex and difficult problems; but if the only answer we have is to kill a living human being, then maybe we’ve got deeper problems than we’ve even considered. That we have to kill 3,300 children every day is a remarkably horrific reality.

We should be dealing with the causes of this reality, not with laws or murder, but with reason, morality, and individual responsibility. I know, it seems impossible to imagine that adult human beings can be trusted to behave responsibly, sexually, but I cannot accept, or stomach, the idea that abortion is a solution we can live with.

We are killing 3,300 people every day and planned parenthood is selling their organs, tissue, and extremities for god-knows-what, and we consider ourselves civilized or moral? We are barbaric. We have actually decided that murder is a just act, insofar as it alleviates responsibility. This is madness. This is evil. And this has to stop.

Abortion is a gruesome cruelty. I understand why it exists and why we accept it and why we don’t want to talk about it – but it is wrong. We must begin holding ourselves accountable for our actions, and stop excusing our worst sins by virtue of the fact of our unwillingness to deal with reality and the consequences of our actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

Five Ways To Make A Difference in Politics

If you are scouring Virginia Right this evening, or tomorrow morning, I can assume two things: First, that you are interested in politics. Second, that you tend toward a more conservative political philosophy. So rarely do we get to celebrate victories on our nations’ conservatives blogs, and yet so long as the fight continues, people will still read, still hope, still pray, still desire to have an impact, for the better, on our nations’ political landscape. I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad you are here. Being here isn’t enough.

There are five ways to have a real impact on politics in Virginia and in the United States of America.

The first and most important thing you can do, is to get involved in everything. Show up to school board and county/town supervisors meetings. Become a members of your local political party’s infrastructure. Personally meet with your state delegates and senators, your congressman, and your Senators. If there is a convention, be a delegate. If there is an opportunity to contribute your voice amongst those empowered to make those decisions, be there in person, and add your voice to the discussion. Decisions are made by those who show up. If you can, run for something. If you win, fight for what you believe in.

Second: Become an organizer. Raise money for candidates that support your political philosophy, get more than just your own family to the polls on election day, help at polling stations, knock on doors, hand out fliers, donate money to local, state, and national leaders who represent your interests in their deliberative bodies. Have an itch to talk to your Congressman about an upcoming vote? Take twenty people with you.

Third: This should be first, but if you aren’t willing to do the first two, than the third doesn’t really matter. Third – know everything you can about everything you can when it comes to local, state, and federal politics. It is not enough to merely understand the debate, you’ve got to understand the political process, know who all the players are, who’s behind the curtain, who’s pulling the strings, and who might just listen to you if you exert enough political pressure?

iStock-WORKPLACE-Time-for-Action1Fourth: Do not be afraid to talk about these issues in your daily life. Silence is submission. If you know what you are talking about and you understand what’s going on, then you absolutely need to share that information with others. Not everybody has the time to be organized. Some people have more time than others for political events, for TEA Party meetings, for Board of Supervisors meetings, etc. So talking to the people you meet everyday will have an impact, especially if those people trust you more than they trust CNN or FOX NEWS or Josh Earnest.

Finally, do not be a hypocrite. Your family, friends, and acquaintances, your congressmen and delegates, your senators, and even the editors at your local newspapers, are not going to listen to you if you are duplicitous in your beliefs. Be Principled: through and through! Have integrity in your personal life. Have honor in your personal life. Demonstrate respect, honesty, courage, and every other virtue in your personal life, and your opinions will be more highly esteemed than the opinions of those who cannot live up to your character.

You may have noticed that I have not included blogging, or writing your local newspaper, or using your VoteSpotter App (which your should do, btw), or commenting on the latest article posted at your favorite blog. Voting on polls advertised on Facebook or on Newsmax or wherever, so that someone somewhere has a better understanding of how the public feels, and more importantly, access to your email, isn’t exactly effective political activity.

What I do here doesn’t qualify as effective political activity. Preaching to the choir has its’ purpose. Being a cheerleader has its’ purpose. Writing a letter to your editor or calling your Congressman has its’ purpose. But the impact is small.

Do you really think that David Brooks, the extremely well paid New York Times editorialist really has an impact on national politics? I have no idea, but I bet he is one of the most well paid Republican writers in media and, I don’t know this, but I suspect that he has not convinced a single person anywhere in America to change their opinion on anything. He’s a cheerleader and a propagandist and that isn’t bad. In fact, he’s one of the best! Kudos to him! If you don’t think I wouldn’t want to quit my job and get paid to write articles for a living, you are out of your mind. But let us be honest about our real impact, locally or nationally.

Sam Scoville, a professor at Warren Wilson College, repeats, ad nauseam, that age old truth, Neither Logic Nor Sermons Convince. Disappointing, but so often true! In my heart, I believe that if I bang upon the bells of truth hard enough and long enough, there might just be some folks who weren’t interested or inclined to hear what I have to say, actually hear and understand what I have to say. But saying ain’t doing.

Decisions are made by those who show up, in one way or another.

If you truly want to have a real impact on politics, locally or nationally, the five actions I noted above are it.

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker