**********From the LA Times: Memorial Day's Changing Meaning.
To many, it's the start of summer or a day off from work. But as American wars come and go, more families experience Memorial Day in a deeper and more tragic way.Amen.
Where I grew up in the Midwest during the 1950s and early '60s, Memorial Day was no more about remembering the nation's war dead than Labor Day was about honoring working stiffs. It was a "free day." Falling on a Monday, Memorial Day made possible that great innovation, "the long weekend." As a family, we gathered in backyards for barbecues and to celebrate the informal beginning of summer. We did not gather in cemeteries to pay homage.
Three years ago this month, my son was killed while serving in Iraq. His death changed many things, among them my own hitherto casual attitude toward Memorial Day.
For us, personal loss has rendered the last Monday in May into the day of remembrance that it was originally intended to be.
**********David Starr recounts a little bit of American exceptionalism during World War II.
**********Something non-Memorial Day related: the past two mornings we've smelled smoke when we woke. Yesterday we weren't quite sure if someone was burning brush illegally (the fire department isn't issuing burn permits at the moment due to the dry conditions) of if there had been a fire somewhere in the neighborhood. I even called the local fire department to ask and they said something about a forest fire...in Canada.
We checked the news and sure enough there were reports of large forest/brush fires in Quebec. Apparently the fires are so widespread the smoke has caused quite a bit of haze down here in New England. It also explains the smell of smoke. Some have reported the smell of smoke all the way down to the Massachusetts border. The haze has been quite noticeable here and was far heavier than could be explained by humidity (it's been quite low the past few days).
**********The latest report of The Great New Hampshire Blogger Weight Loss Challenge won't be posted until tomorrow. (The program I use to generate the graphic is on my computer at work so it will have to wait until I return on Tuesday).
**********Don Surber's evaluation of President Obama's performance in response to four different crises?
From the London Telegraph, now comes Toby Harnden, who parsed Obama and found, well: "When any political leader feels they have to declare that they are 'fully engaged' in an issue, it is clear that they are in trouble. Talking about it undermines the very point you are trying to make -- not to mention that pesky Oil Spill Cam showing that, 38 days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, not a whole lot had been achieved."Even his nominal supporters are beginning to question his judgment and abilities.
The old if-you-have-to-say-it-then-it-is-not-true truism, which holds that when a president has to remind people that he is still relevant, he is not.
So we have seen Four Crises as handled by The Won in the last 6 months: The Fort Hood Massacre, Christmas Day Bomber, the Times Square Bomber, and the BP Oil Spill.
The president has underestimated the problem each time out.
As we're hearing more and more, Obama is in over his head.
**********Add the Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate to the list of those wishing to kill the First Amendment rights of free speech.
Obviously they think they can get away with it. After all, you do have the right to speak freely...as long as you agree with them.
But another New Hampshire legislator, House Representative Jim Splaine, a Democrat, does not support such an unconstitutional and anti-American move. What's worse is the New Hampshire Democrat leadership apparently does support the move and they have castigated Splaine for defending the First Amendment. Gee, I could have sworn the oath of office all legislators took included the phrase "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Then there's Michigan's ploy to stifle free speech by requiring journalists to be licensed. The proposed law might also include bloggers.
Glenn Reynolds' retort: "How about requiring that all sitting legislators pass a test on the constitution? And maybe an IQ test, too . . . . " That would work for me, and probably the rest of America, too.
We must not forget the federal efforts to regulate journalism, too, using the Federal Trade Commission to do the dirty work.
It seems the First Amendment is under attack from all government quarters. Maybe it's time we explain things to them, if need be, by exercising our Second Amendment rights.
**********Is it any surprise that states rights and the Constitution are affecting local politics? Not around here it isn't.
When the American people feel the politicians in their town, city, state, and country are ignoring them or worse, are condescending, the people will find some way of letting know their displeasure. Quite often it can be seen at the ballot box. But other times the people get angry enough that they organize and push to "throw the bums out", all of them, regardless of party.
We're seeing this in the form of the TEA parties and the 912 Project groups across the nation. We seeing it in angry 'town hall' meetings with members of Congress, where our elected representatives are put on the spot for votes made that spend money the nation doesn't have, raise taxes that further weaken the economy, or weaken the Constitution and the people's rights.
While there have been grumblings for the past few years on the federal government's profligate ways, they finally became outright defiance after the elections in 2008 when we all saw how the President and his allies in Congress sought to shift the entire country to the left in direct opposition to long held beliefs and principles that have made this nation a great power. They saw each move as one meant to turn the United States into a leftist nanny state, where the government would control every aspect of our lives, something anathema to a great majority of Americans. They finally had enough and are moving to restore the founding principles that made America what it is.
**********Seen by Deb on a bumper sticker on a car with Massachusetts plates in Central New Hampshire today: "I Think. Therefore I'm Liberal."
Excuse me? I've always thought it was: "I Emote. Therefore I'm Liberal."
The other bumper sticker on the car: "Have you threatened your children with eternal damnation yet?"
Yeah, I like those open-minded liberals. Yes I do....