Archive for July, 2009

2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Contest Finalists

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

The ACFW has an on-going contest, the titles of the finalists seemed quite interesting–as there are so many people so far ahead of where I’ve crawled to the last 3+ years. Maybe next year I’ll be on such a list … or the year after that.

Debut Author
A Passion Most Pure (Julie Lessman)
Courting Miss Adelaide (Janet Dean)
Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)
Hero, Second Class (Mitchell Bonds)
In the Shadow of the Sun King (Golden Keyes Parsons)

Lits
Faking Grace (Tamara Leigh)
Picket Fence Promises (Kathryn Springer)
Single Sashimi (Camy Tang)
Sweet Caroline (Rachel Hauck)
Truffles by the Sea (Julie Carobini)

Long Contemporary
Lookin Back Texas (Leanna Ellis)
One Holy Night (J.M. Hochstetler)
Stuck in the Middle (Virginia Smith)
Summer of Joy (Ann H. Gabhart)
Symphony of Secrets (Sharon Hinck)

Long Contemporary Romance
Along Came a Cowboy (Christine Lynxwiler)
Controlling Interest (Elizabeth White)
The Convenient Groom (Denise Hunter)
Finding Stefanie (Susan May Warren)
Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black & White (Claudia Mair Burney)

Long Historical (6 finalists due to a tie)
The Apothecary’s Daughter (Julie Klassen)
Calico Canyon (Mary Connealy)
Deep In the Heart of Trouble (Deeanne Gist)
From A Distance (Tamera Alexander)
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Cathy Gohlke)
My Heart Remembers ( Kim Vogel Sawyer)

Mystery
The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (A.K. Arenz)
Death on a Deadline (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)
Drop Dead Diva (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)
For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls (Nancy Mehl)
Of Mice . . . and Murder (Mary Connealy)

Novellas
The Cookie Jar (Janet Lee Barton in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
Dressed in Scarlet (Darlene Franklin in Snowbound Colorado Christmas anthology)
Santa’s Prayer (Diane Ashley in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
Snowbound for Christmas (Gail Sattler in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
Stuck On You (Rhonda Gibson in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)

Short Contemporary
Buffalo Gal (Mary Connealy)
Clueless Cowboy (Mary Connealy)
Family Treasures (Kathryn Springer)
Her Unlikely Family (Missy Tippens)
White as Snow (Janice Thompson)

Short Contemporary Suspense
Bayou Paradox (Robin Caroll)
Broken Lullaby (Pamela Tracy)
Countdown to Death (Debby Giusti)
Forsaken Canyon (Margaret Daley)
Killer Cargo (Dana Mentink)

Short Historical
Family of the Heart (Dorothy Clark)
Masked by Moonlight (Allie Pleiter)
Reckless Rogue (Mary Davis)
Return to Love (Susan Page Davis)
Sandhill Dreams (Cara Putman)

Speculative
The Book of Names (D. Barkley Briggs)
DragonLight (Donita K. Paul)
The Restorer’s Journey (Sharon Hinck)
Shade (John B. Olson)
Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy (Theodore Beale)

Suspense
Anathema (Colleen Coble)
The Black Cloister (Melanie Dobson)
Fossil Hunter (John B. Olson)
Lonestar Sanctuary (Colleen Coble)
Perfect (Harry Kraus)

Women’s Fiction (7 finalists due to a tie)
A Month of Summer (Lisa Wingate)
Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)
My Sister Dilly (Maureen Lang)
The Perfect Life (Robin Lee Hatcher)
The Shape of Mercy (Susan Meissner)
Stepping into Sunlight (Sharon Hinck)
Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon (Debbie Fuller Thomas)

Young Adult
The Big Picture (Jenny B. Jones)
The Fruit of My Lipstick (Shelley Adina)
It’s all About Us (Shelley Adina)
The Owling (Robert Elmer)
Trion Rising (Robert Elme

Veterans’ Job Fair in Bossier City

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

The 4th Annual Veterans’ Job Fair is almost here!

It’s coming to the Bossier Civic Center July 23, 2009. It is from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

University of Phoenix and the La Work Force Commission will also be facilitating three classes:

1. How to Dress for Successful Interviews 10:30AM to 11:00AM
2. Interview Preparation 11:00AM to 11:30AM
3. Introduction to www.la.works.net 11:30AM to 12:00AM
( and how to use it to your advantage.)

Below is the list of attending venders as of today’s date. Please remember we are still accepting venders and that we have some interested in attending that have not registered yet.

Acadian Ambulance Service
American School of Busniess
Army Air Force Exchange Service
Ayers Career College
Bossier City Fire Department
Bossier Parish Comm College Cyber Info Tech Dept
Bossier Parish Comm College Recruiting Office
Bossier Parish Community College
Brookshires Grocery
Caddo Parish Sheriff ‘s Office
Career Technical College
Cellxion
CenterPoint Energy
City of Bossier City
Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Dept
Dallas Police Department
Deltic Timber Corp
Diesel Driving Academy
Dr. Reddy’s Laborotories La LLC
FCI Texarkana ( Fed Bureau of Prisons)
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Gandy Brown VFW Post 4588
Goodwill Industries of N Louisiana
Halliburton Energy Services
Harrah’s Horseshoe
Home Instead Senior Care
Hunt, Guillot & Associates
Impressions Advertising Specialties
In Line Staffing
Jean Simpson Personnel Services
Kansa City Southern Railway
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
KTAL-TV
KTBS Inc
L-3 Communications/MID
LATAN
Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services
Louisiana State University Shreveport
Louisiana State University Shreveport Graduate Studies
Louisiana Technical College
Louisiana Troops to Teachers Program
Louisiana Work Force Commission
LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Minact-Shreveport Job Corps
Navy Reserve Recruiting
NEON (NMLA Employment Opportunties Network)
NW LA Veterans Cemetery
Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
Pathology Resources Network
Praeses
Pride Industries
Primercia
Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino
Sci-Port Louisiana Science Center
Shreveport Area Electrical JATC
Shreveport Fire Dept
Shreveport Police Department
Shreveport Vet Center
SOS Staffing Services
Tango Transport LLC
The Radio Group
Transportation Security Agency
U S Army
United States Air Force Reserve
University of Phoenix
Wells Office Supplies Inc
Wes-Pak Inc

Please Bring your dd-214 or ID card and resumes.

When Do You Have Rights?

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

It appears the United States has slid so far to the left that you may be considered “a right-wing extremist” if you believe you have unalienable rights. At the rate we’re going, even reading this column may put you in that category in the next year or so. If your unalienable rights have been alienated–who’s responsible?

Since unalienable rights–those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and later explained to some degree in the United States Constitution–are given to humans by their Creator, nobody–except their Creator–can take them away.

That doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to enjoy your rights. People can infringe your rights by undermining your free exercise of them, and you can lose them another way. You can forsake them–willingly give them up–but heed this warning: once surrendered, rights can only be regained at great cost.

Since our founding fathers are long since gone, they can’t be asked how much it cost them to regain our rights, those who haven’t already done so will have to read a history book to find the answer–while that’s still legal. If you’re curious about what those rights are, you can read the two sacred documents mentioned above–until that act is eventually outlawed.

Okay, since we have just celebrated the 4th of July, I’ll include some of it here:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


Wonderful words. Who could argue with them?

Wouldn’t the Nazis? Well, sure–but we defeated them decades ago.

Wouldn’t the Communists? Definitely, but we won the Cold War.

What about your local police? Say it ain’t so!

Remember hurricane Katrina–the storm that struck New Orleans in 2005? Much attention was given by the mainstream news services about the federal governments inability to make up for the state’s inadequacy and the city’s corrupt ineptness when it come to protecting the people. A little attention was given to the roving street gangs and the heavy crime and looting that followed the natural disaster. But there was another story that received almost no scrutiny.

Once the local police finally went into action, they spent a lot of time collecting guns from the citizens. The stated goal was to disarm everyone. However, it proved easier for the roving bands of police to collect guns from the people trying to live in what was left of their homes than it was to hunt down the more illusive street gangs.

That was some time ago and you might not have paid much attention to it them. If you want to see videos of the police tackling old ladies in their homes and taking their self-protection pistols–take a look at this YouTube video.

It seems unbelievable.

All of us would like to brush-off the Katrina aftermath circus as one-time exception to the American experience. But the problem isn’t constrained to New Orleans and there are more recent examples that should concern most Americans.

Last weekend statements made by a Louisiana elected-politician, shocked me into connecting a few isolated events. You can read the entire transcript here, but here’s a quick summary:

A middle-aged man with a montage of pro-gun bumper stickers on his pick-up truck’s back window was pulled-over for “failure to use a turn signal” and questioned while standing in the street next to the truck in Shreveport, Louisiana. The officer first question was if he had a firearm, which the driver admitted. The officer then entered the vehicle, without warrant or permission, searched for, and confiscated the citizen’s firearm.

Robert Baillio, the truck’s owner and driver, later complained to Mayor Cedric Glover that his second Amendment right to bear arms had been violated. However, it seems to me it was more like an unreasonable search and seizure, which is a violation of his fourth Amendment rights.

Article IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, support by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Even if the officer had sought a warrant, I have difficulty understanding what the probable cause associated with “failure to use a turn signal” that permits an officer to search and seize things from a citizen’s vehicle?

Mayor Glover explained to Mr. Baillio that once he was stopped by the officer he no longer had rights–they had been suspended. He went on to explain that “Upon graduation from the police academy, every officer is told they have the power to suspend [a citizen’s] rights.”

Where does that power come from? Is there a local ordinance, state law, or federal law that overrides the Constitution? If so, how can any law usurp the “supreme law” of the land?

The officer returned the firearm to Mr. Baillio, and did not issue him a citation for anything. The video showed the officer to be basically respectful of the driver, except for the unreasonable search and seizure, which can be viewed here.

Then there was the recent case of a Louisiana state trooper being arrested for aggravated assault, simple battery and false imprisonment of District Judge Lewis Sams after a traffic stop outside the courthouse.

The trooper saw the judge driving without a seatbelt, which has recently been legislated to be a crime. So he pulled in behind the judge with his lights on. After checking the standard license, registration, proof of insurance he told the judge of the violation. The judge told him to write the ticket. Then the officer asked him where he was employed.

According to the transcript of the Mayor Glover’s conversation with Mr. Baillio, “citizens must answer all of an officer’s questions truthfully–or they’re committing a crime.” I guess that old “you have the right to remain silent” only applies to actual criminals and terrorists captured on the battlefield in the war on terror–no wait, that’s called ‘overseas contingencies’ now.

The judge told him, but when asked to show further identification he refused. An argument ensued, the officer drew his Taser, threats were issued, and the judge was eventually bounced off the hood of the patrol car during his arrest.

Yes, there were witnesses.

But this seems a little confusing. If an officer has the power to suspend the rights of a citizen, how could the state trooper be guilty of any crime? After all, people with no rights, have no rights. Right? Evidently, the answer is, “Wrong.”

The judge disagreed. It turned out the judge was proficient in using the law to defend his rights. The trooper was arrested and is reported to be on paid administrative leave. Was this just an isolated incident? Would this have turned out differently if the judge hadn’t been a judge? What if he were … you? Or one of your children?

My grandpa once told me that we should learn from the mistakes of others.

So far we’ve learned not to put pro-gun stickers on our trucks and if you’re a judge you can stand up for your rights, but if you do, you can expect to be roughed up and bounced off a patrol car’s hood during your arrest (a.k.a false imprisonment).

A few years ago during a Mardi Gras parade in Shreveport, someone put up a huge US flag, which blocked the view of many citizens. Because of complaints, an ordinance was issued to ban such large banners and flags during parades. However, officers wound up being briefed to ban all US flags. Thus the police, wearing their badges and guns ordered people to take down flags (even the little ones on sticks), put away chairs with Americana decorations, and even change tee-shirts that had pictures of US flags.

So many complaints were made in the days following the parade that the city reported there had been a miscommunication and it wouldn’t happen again.

But think about it.

If the citizens had refused to remove their small flags, what would have happened to them? Would they have been tased, pepper-sprayed, beaten, and/or arrested?

If so, for what crime?

Maybe for failure to comply with an officer’s instructions–an officer who has been told he has the power to suspend your rights. Do citizens really have to do everything an officer tells them to do? Really? Something is very wrong with a society that allows even the lowest qualified law-enforcement officials to single-handedly, suspend the rights of citizens.

Maybe you don’t own a firearm. Maybe you don’t display the flag or wear teeshirts with red, white, and blue colors. Maybe you and your family don’t go to parades. Maybe you think you’re safe. Think again.

Let’s suppose all officers actually had the power to regulate the rights of citizens–just like they’re told they can in Shreveport as they graduate from the police academy. What if they stopped your car because you didn’t use a turn signal or you have a bumper sticker that expresses an opinion they didn’t like?

What if they took your cell phone? Since some people send porn pictures over their cell phones, it is possible that you could have obscene pictures on your phone. The police could just flip through your files and make sure you’re not breaking the law. He could also check to see if you were talking or texting while driving–that is a crime in some places. After all, your rights have been suspended. Right?

Why should the police have to wait for you to get in your car? They could stop you in stores and shopping malls, maybe even in the theater to check your phone. Have you been recording some of the movie–that’s a copyright violation. Better check. Just to make sure.

Why stop there? Why not just a simple pat-down of people as they’re walking around? After all, they can suspend your rights, and some people may be carrying drugs, guns, or stolen material.

Don’t worry, you can have your phone back when you bring your purchase-receipt down to the station. You saved it, didn’t you?

Let me see your papers!

Come to think of it, why should the police have to wait for you to leave your home? A lot of people might have porn on their home computers, or guns in their attics–guns they don’t have receipts for. Maybe a few old guns have been passed down for generations in your family–why should you have those? You might use them for a crime. Maybe they need to be inspected to make sure they’re safe. What’s wrong with that?

While they’re there, they probably need to go through your files to make sure you’re not cheating on your taxes. They could check your computer to see if you’ve been dealing in interstate commerce via Ebay or Craig’s list and then they could check your 1040 to make sure you claimed the income. Wouldn’t want to let tax-evaders get away. While they’re at it, they could sniff around to see what else you’ve been up to. Law abiding citizens should have nothing to worry about. Right?

Imagine the crimes they could catch you and your neighbors doing if they just suspended your rights and searched your homes. You wouldn’t want to stand in the way of law enforcement would you?

After all. They’re there to protect you.

I’ve always had high regard for police officers. They do a vital, tough, and often times dangerous job. Unfortunately, young police officers, like young soldiers, tend to do what their superiors tell them to do–even in America.

And in a police state, the police do what ever they want to do.

“…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


Young police officers, like young soldiers, need competent leaders telling them what to do. Those leaders need to know they only have power from the consent of the governed. They also need to know the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The electoral process is the best way to ensure our government is filled with elected-officials who will remain true and faithful to protecting the Constitution against all enemies–foreign and domestic.

Americans have rights all the time.

It just makes sense.

Busted up D-Model

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

picture-16.pngI’m not sure where I got this picture, I think Andy might have left it on a computer in 8AF … I’m pretty sure it is from Guam. When I was at Dyess, several D-Models were chopped up next the runway and eventually hauled away (I was too naive to take pictures back then) … but this doesn’t look like controlled demolition, rather an old war bird that limped home and was then pushed to the side.  However, since the wing is laying at at odd angle … it might be part of the 1981 unilateral 25% reduction in US long range bombers.

Can anybody shed some “for sure” light on it?

It’s the 11th!

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Wow, I’m actually writing on the 11th!

My tribute to the Marines during the Tet Offense of ’68 is marching along…the “tank” is build and I’m working on the “men”.  The tank is a member of the 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, Alpha Company that was en route to Hue at the outbreak of the offensive.  I’ve been corresponding with a former Marine M48 tanker who saw action in the Battle for Hue.  It was a pleasure corresponding with him and gaining insight into their operations.  He gave me a few pointers on my M48.  I did take a hit on the name that I stenciled on the 90mm gun barrel; MS JUNE.  I chose June because Heather was a June baby, but the “MS” to quote the old Marine; “did not appear until Gloria Steinem & the sweethearts from N.O.W. had not burned their first bra”.  Other than that he thought the tank was a piece of art and that I did a good job…

MS JUNE MS JUNE MS JUNE Mr. Modeler

My daughter & I took a road trip up to Nashville at the end of June.  She wanted to get away for a few days before school starts in August.  Her husband couldn’t get away, so I used it as an excuse to visit some Civil War National Park sites.  She on the other hand saw some of the Nashville music industry – “Grand Ole Opry”, the “Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum”, “Country Music Wax Museum”, etc.

1st up was Brice’s Cross Roads National Battlefield Site in the upper northeast corner of Mississippi along with Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center – mainly focused on the battles in and around Corinth, MS.  Brice’s Cross Road was not well laid out or organized as other Civil War National Parks.  Not to mention the temperature was over 100!

Next came the bigger one, Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.   This battlefield is well laid out and easy to travel & visit the sites.

 Shiloh National Military Park

Then we made our way into Nashville: spent one night in a 5-star hotel a few blocks from the 5th Grand Ole Opry – the Ryman Auditorium (from 1943-73) and the main street where all the honky-tonks were that the greats all hung out at either before or after their show at the Ryman.  As I mentioned we went to the “Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum” which included a tour of the RCA Studio B where Ellis produced over 200 of his songs and other great legends got their start making the “Nashville” sound.  Then we took the tour of the 6th Grand Ole Opry which was built in ’73 because the Ryman was getting pretty old and rundown. 

The picture of Kathleen & I is center stage.  The round circle was cut from the Ryman and set in place to “continue the legend” that current members of the Grand Ole Opry would be able to perform on the same stage as the “Legends” did.  The group that owns the Grand Ole Opry recent bought the Ryman and had it restored.  Concerts are still held there today.

The Grand ole Opry, center stage!

On day four, we headed for Stones Creek National Battlefield Park – southeast of Nashville a smaller park like Brice’s Cross Road, but better laid out 7 organized!  Plus by now the weather is a bit cooler which makes visiting this site a pleasure.

 Stone’s River National Battelfield Fort Donaldson National Battlefield

Our last day of the trip was visiting Fort Donaldson National Battlefield Park – northwest of Nashville.  This battle would bring to Lincoln’s attention of a general who wasn’t afraid of fighting and could win battles – U.S. Grant.  Side note what does the U.S. stand for?  For most it is Ulysses Simpson, but to the southerners it was Unconditional Surrender.  It was at this battle that he penned the words; “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.”

As we watched the short videos at the different battlefields, I was and still in awe of the sacrifices made to keep this nation together…the mere fact that men would go line abreast and walk/charge into deadly cannon & musket fire for their beliefs, whether to preserve the union or states’ rights.  It still is humbling to walk those hallow grounds.

O’ BTW…my daughter graduated from LSU-S in education and was hired by the school she student taught.  She’ll be teaching Ancient World History.

Unitl next time…

Fly Safe!

Andy

11 July 2009: The Chuck

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Hey guys,

We’re at the beginning of a hot summer in LA. I know the rest of the county is supposed to be covered with snow, but that’s not what it’s like here. The wx folks say 100 and 99, but thermometers often say 103 and 105. Not quite Saudi hot, but definitely makes me glad we invested into an 18 SEER air conditioner a few years back.

Our baby girl turned 20 yesterday. That was a quick 2 decades. Anything for another excuse to eat cake and ice cream.

I’m pinging a little as I try to get my novel in shape for the ACFW’s writer’s conference in Dever come September. I’ve planned for a professional critique group to help me with the manuscript in August … which is almost here. If I can show up with a world class manuscript I’m hoping to pitch it and move closer if not all the way into a real contract.

I joined the national Romance Writers of America (RWA), which is a huge professional organization. While this first novel is more of a Biblical Thriller with plenty of action–the follow-on novel could very well be written as a romance, albeit one with plenty of warfighting and giant smashing action.

I started a Facebook account this month. I’ve noticed a few of our BOB Blog brethren on there.

I keep talking about writing. Anybody want to talk about flying? Beer? Politics?

I pray the 11th finds all of you safe and well.

Zelaya of Honduras–Good Guy or Bad Guy?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Soldiers stormed the palace occupied by José Manuel Zelaya Rosales on June 28, disarmed his guards, and arrested the Honduran president. The Supreme Court had ordered the army to remove Zelaya for “treason and abuse of authority, among other charges” according to the chief lawyer of the Honduran armed forces. He went on to say, “It was a fast operation. It was over in minutes, and there were no injuries, no deaths. We said, ‘Sir, we have a judicial order to detain you.’ We did it with respect.”

Then why is the US President denouncing the event?

For most Americans it’s a blur, which is understandable in part as we are saturated with the news of Michael Jackson’s, Farrah Fawcett’s, and Karl Malden’s deaths along with the weight of a 9.5% unemployment, a falling stock market, a $1.85 trillion deficit, and many communities lacking the funds for fireworks on the celebration of the 233rd anniversary of our independence–we barely have time to notice our troops pulling out of Iraq’s urban areas and the big troop push against the Taliban in Afghanistan, much less for what is happening where the Mayan’s used to live.

The Mayans? Yes, they used to live where modern-day Honduras is now found. You might have heard something about their calendar and the year 2012–but lets save that topic for some other day–instead we’ll just talk about Honduras.

Honduras is a Central American, democratic constitutional republic, which means the citizens there regularly cast ballots in accordance with the laws in their constitution to elect representatives for the purpose of administering their government in accordance with their constitution. Countries that have a constitution as their supreme law of the land have the potential for respecting individual freedoms.

Hondurans have traveled a rough road to liberty and pursuit of happiness and still have miles to go. Though independent since 1821, it wasn’t until 1982 that a freely elected civilian government came to power. During the Era of Reagan, Honduras was a haven for contras fighting the Marxist Nicaraguan Government and an ally to El Salvador as it fought leftist guerillas. Thus they were an important American ally in containing Soviet-sponsored communism during the decade that brought the Cold War to an end.

Hondurans are a young, literate, and poor people. Numbering over 7.7 million, their median age is just barely over 20 years-old with a per capita GDP that ranks 149th in the world. Unemployment was last reported at 27.8% with inflation at 11.9%. Thus, their misery index is 39.7%–which means most Americans really can’t relate to how bad it is for the typical Honduran. Such conditions encourage corruption and illicit drug activities, which are found in Honduras.

America buys over 67% of their exports, which is mostly coffee and bananas. They are heavily dependent on the health of the US economy. Certainly anything that compromised our trading relationship with them would be very important to them.

But these are a free people, and since 1982 their constitution has ruled them with elected representatives in a three branched government: an Executive (president elected to a 4-year term), a Legislative (National Congress elected for a 4-year term), and a Judicial (Supreme Court of Justice appointed for a 7-year term by Congress and confirmed by the president).

After a quick flashback to your high school government class, you’ve probably noticed that all of that sounds much like the American government setup. But there are some differences. For example, the Honduran President is only allowed a single term.

And there’s the rub.

Zelaya’s Liberal Party won the elections in 2005 after campaigning on “citizen power” and increasing “transparency in government” while promising to combat drug-trafficking and to maintain macroeconomic stability. But 4 years can pass quickly.

During that time, Zelaya managed to forge a regional alliance with Fidel Castro (of Cuba) and Hugo Chevez (of Venezuela) in the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ABL), which is designed as a counter to the trade and security policies of the United States. His presidency is linked with an increase in crime and corruption scandals. His remaining supporters were the labor unions and the nation’s poor–everyone else feared he wanted to follow Ortega’s example in Nicaragua and Chavez’s progressive movement in Venezuelan to make it possible for him to serve unlimited terms–in other words to become President for life.

Of course, in order to make that happen–their constitution needed to be changed.

Zelaya wanted to conduct a national poll on whether to convene a Constitutional Assembly to draft a new constitution, however the Supreme Court ruled that to be unconstitutional since the constitution of Honduras requires a two-thirds vote of Congress to take such action.

Since the electoral process in Honduras refused to cooperate with Zelaya, he improvised. With a little help from his friends (i.e. Chavez) he got the ballots, along with sealed ballot boxes, presumedly to be administered by Zelaya’s volunteers and community organizers. Then Zelaya ordered the ballots and boxes to be distributed by the Honduran Army, through it’s commanding general (Vasquez Velasquez), who refused because he knew it was unlawful.

But that couldn’t stop Zelaya. He fired him and sent his community organizers on a mission to get the ballots out to the people. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court reinstalled Velasquez and decreed that Zelaya be arrested and removed from power.

What didn’t happen?

A general didn’t shoot the president in the head and declare himself to be the new president–that would have been a military coup–generally considered illegal.

What did happen?

The president of a republic intentionally overstepped the limits of his constitutional powers–generally considered a high crime. Then the Supreme Court, operating in concert with the Attorney General of Honduras, issued a legal document to remove the President from office. And when that was complete, Congress appointed a temporary President to fill the void until after the upcoming national elections in November.

While that’s not exactly the way we do things in the United States–because our Constitution is different–it seems to fit with their constitution. So the entire process appears to have been a lawful act.

But then the other shoe fell.

The President of the United States sided with Zelaya and suspended military ties with Honduras, though he did stop short of severing our diplomatic relationship with the vulnerable republic.

It’s difficult to second-guess the President of the United States, as he is privy to much more information than the average American. Since that is so, you’d think he would have also known about Zeyala’s anti-US activities along with his illegal actions inside of Honduras–but the United States wasn’t doing anything about it. So there must be more to this.

Recently we’ve seen the United States announce a policy with Iran to not “meddle” in their affairs while the Iranian government–which by the way has been sponsoring and supporting a terrorist war against us–violently put down a massive civilian uprising. But now, in contrast, it appears as if we’re meddling in Honduras as they try to protect their constitution from a domestic enemy, who has garnered foreign support.

Confusing.

There is an old axiom about how you can be judged by the company you keep.

When we see Ortega of Nicaragua, Castro of Cuba, and Chavez of Venezuela (who has threatened to invade Honduras)
very upset with the actions of the Honduran people and their lawful government, is it too difficult to come to the conclusion that maybe Zelaya is a bad guy?

It just makes sense.

The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America …

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
·         For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
·         For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
·         For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
·         For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
·         For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
·         For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
·         For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
·         For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
·         For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.
·         We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
·         We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.
·         We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare.

That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,

and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;

and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,

and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

July 2 almost a memorable epoch in history

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author.  On the 3rd of July, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail :

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

However, Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. Thus, Adams’ prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

One of the most enduring myths about Independence Day is that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The myth had become so firmly established that, decades after the event and nearing the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had come to believe that they and the other delegates had signed the Declaration on the fourth. Most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. In a remarkable series of coincidences, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States’ 50th anniversary. President James Monroe died exactly five years later, on July 4, 1831, but he was not a signatory to the Declaration of Independence.

Obama’s Passport

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

I received an interesting email from a friend today. It revisits the question of Obama’s citizenship. Before you hit the delete key or the next button, I’ll assure you that this is more than a discussion about the series of lawsuits demanding proof of his citizenship be presented in court–at least something more than the photoshop image of what a 1961 Hawaiian birth certificate might look like–but doesn’t when compared to other birth certificates of that era. I even checked out Snopes.com before writing this article–they got nothing!

Some people such as Philip Berg are still ringing that bell, but did you know that each state has a sworn government official who’s job it is to verify a person is qualified to be on a ballet before they’re placed there.  If the Obama machine didn’t shown a valid birth certificate to those people, then we have at least 50 anti-constitution activists in positions of power.  I suspect a birth certificate that appeared to be authentic was presented where it was required.

But what if it was a fake?

And not just a cheap fake–like what was posted on the “elect Obama” web site–but one that was good enough to fool all of the officials in 50 different states–and you know that there is no way that all of them are controlled by Democratic Party activists.  Would there be anything other than hear-say evidence about who was where when he was born?  Well, it seems the answer to a single question might be more important than “seeing” a birth-certificate that has already fooled experts.

What passport did Barack Obama use when he was shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi?


The email gave a little background information using a question and answer format:

How did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981, without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with the price of a round-the-world trip just a month later? And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi, what passport was he offering when he passed through Customs and Immigration? The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions, they must have answers. It makes the debate over Obama’s citizenship a rather short and simple one.

Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?


A: Yes, by his own admission.

I found some discussion on this subject here and here and here.


Yes, he went there. He used the trip as an example of his international experience.

Q: What passport did he travel under?

A: There are only three possibilities. 1. He traveled with a U.S. passport, 2) He traveled with a British passport, or 3) He traveled with an Indonesian passport.

Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. passport in 1981?

A: No. It is not possible. Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department’s “no travel” list in 1981.

Conclusion: When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a British passport or an Indonesian passport.

If he was traveling with a British passport that would provide proof that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.

And if he was traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or American, prior to being adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know how he managed to become a “natural born” American citizen between 1981 and 2008. Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.

I found an intriguing remark on “dailymusings” as it contends that Pakistan was “banned” from travel.

But I’ve been having some trouble finding “banned countries.”  The state department does have a list of travel warnings–but you can still go to them.  Even with Cuba there are legal ways you can still go there.

So I’m not so sure if the statements about Pakistan being “banned” from travel in 1981 are correct.  You’d think Snopes.com would have posted this by now.

Back during the election of 2008, there was a big deal made about people “snooping” in passport records of the three front running candidates.

Obama called for an investigation into the matter.  Somebody even said the FBI was doing just that.  Interestingly enough, we haven’t heard much about that investigation since.  What were those unnamed folks looking for?  Why would they do that?  What happened to them?

Reportedly the two State Department employees peeked at passports file under the motivation of imprudent curiosity, were fired and third employee was disciplined.  And that was it.

It seems that if somebody had found evidence that Obama had traveled on foreign passports when he was young, that would have already been made available to the American public.

Maybe some Americans believe that if Obama could just be proven to be an illegal candidate for POTUS, he would be removed from office and we could go back to an America that doesn’t have $1.8 trillion deficit, and printing billions of dollars to buy up the auto manufacturers and banks, and moving towards government rationing of our medical care.

Maybe some Americans believe that if Obama could just be proven to be an illegal candidate for POTUS, he would be removed from office and we could go back to an America that doesn’t have $1.8 trillion deficit, and printing billions of dollars to buy up the auto manufacturers and banks, and moving towards government rationing of our medical care.

Hello?

This is bigger than who the President is.  The ideology of “more power to the government” is being driven home by a massive majority in the House of Representatives–led by Nancy Pelosi–and a super majority in the Senate, with yesterday’s addition of Minnesota’s Al Franken, led by Harry Reid.  Having a POTUS who supports and signs their bills is just an enabling factor.  Joe Biden would follow suit.

These people were voted into office.

If enough people aren’t happy with the spiral America has entered, then the solution is to win back the legislative branch in 2010.  We the people can constitutionally replace the entire House of Representatives every two-years if we want to, along with a third of the Senate.   In a couple of elections, a super majority for a new ideology could be in place to reverse the process that has put us where we are today.

As long as our Constitution remains the supreme law of our land, we can take back our government and our country.  We can do it peacefully, constitutionally, without fakery, and we can do it pretty quickly if we vote with our brains.It just makes sense.