Denise’s son was ticketed for driving under the influence. He is on probation, gets drug-tested and must perform community service. She pays his rent. At what point should Denise tell him he’s on his own?
This listener, Lidia, was severely injured during her naval service. Her surgery and rehab were botched and, on top of that, her family never visited while she was in the hospital.
Twenty-five years later, her rage over these incidents has returned and she’s not sure if this is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In my opinion, it’s not about her injuries or rehab, it’s about her feeling abandoned by her family. I’ve got a way to transform that pain into something else…
I have had it with Berkeley, California, that anti-American bastion of disloyalty to the values and existence of the United States of America.
In February, 2008, the Berkeley City Council approved a measure calling for Marine recruiters to leave Berkeley, because they “are not welcome in our city.” If recruiters chose to stay, they would do so as “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”
The Council also applauded any residents or organizations that “volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by non-violent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.” And a handful of folks did just that – some held up signs which said “No Military Predators in Our Town,” or “Join the Marines. Travel to Exotic Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People – and Kill Them.”
Closing down military recruiting stations actually disallows freedom – the freedom of choice of young men and women to volunteer for military service if they’re so inclined – without having to go out of town to do it.
And now it comes to the point where I’ve had it, and I am calling for Berkeley, to secede from California and the United States and go form their own pathetic country:
The Berkeley City Council is entertaining a resolution to declare than an Army private accused of leaking some classified information to Wikileaks is….(brace yourselves)…a HERO. City “Peace and Justice” Commissioner Bob Meola, who authored the resolution told the San Francisco Chronicle that PFC Bradley Manning, 22, is a patriot who deserves (brace yourselves again) a MEDAL!
Manning is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of secret cables to Wikileaks. He compromised American interests across the globe, and put the very lives of Afghan allies at risk of torture and death by the Taliban and comprised America’s relationships with its allies around the world.
My research into Manning suggested a kind of unhappy misfit with a huge ego about being smarter than his superiors. I don’t believe for a moment that his motives were benevolent to any cause but his own self-aggrandizement. But that just my opinion.
Nonetheless, what he did is treasonous.
From my perspective, Berkeley has a long history of anti-American sentiments and acts such as attempting to keep its own citizens from having access to volunteer for military service, providing a refuge for illegal immigrants, and ignoring the sovereignty of this nation. It has been a sanctuary for military who are AWOL, and a haven for potheads.
I believe in freedom of speech – not freedom to break laws which put Americans and others at risk for their lives. To call for a medal for a private who betrayed everything he committed to is beyond disgusting.
My contempt for the city of Berkeley knows no bounds. My feet won’t touch their soil again. Besides, I’m certain that if I publicly made it known that I was planning a trip to Berkeley, they would be sure to put together a quick resolution to ban relatively short, sorta blonde, outspoken, conservative mothers of military sons.
I’m certain you’ve heard of the vile, blasphemous, ferociously mean, insensitive, disgusting and downright evil actions of the members of the Phelps family of Topeka’s Westboro Baptist church – a group of trash who give Christianity a seriously bad name. This group travels all over the country, protesting at military funerals, and saying that “the deaths of soldiers are God’s way of punishing the country for homosexuality.” Motorcycle groups like the Patriot Riders travel to these funerals as well, to rev between these slime (who call themselves religious) and the suffering family and friends gathering for the funeral of an American hero, a son, a brother, a husband, or a friend.
I want to know whether there is any organization of Baptist churches which “pulls the member’s card” (if there is such a thing as Baptist excommunication). If there isn’t one, there ought to be. Where are the Baptist churches which send out their own members to stand between this evil group and the innocent?
Phil Roberts, President of the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri has said:
“The Southern Baptist Convention has repeatedly stated its position on homosexuality. The 2000 Baptist faith and message said Christians should oppose all forms of sexual immorality including adultery, homosexuality and pornography. However, since 1980, various SBC annual meetings have passed ten resolutions related to homosexuality including one in 1985 testifying of God’s love for homosexuals. It reads: ‘We affirm the Biblical injunction which declares homosexuals, like all sinners, can receive forgiveness and victory through personal faith in Jesus Christ.’
The difference between Fred Phelps and the Southern Baptists is vast. Phelps has a heretical position because, indeed, we are commanded to go and make disciples of all people. That means all religions, ethnicities, and moral categories, realizing that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Homosexuals need Jesus Christ just as everyone else does. The sin of homosexuality is a forgiveable sin…..
….Phelps apparently is quite willing to do God’s work for God in terms of condemning them all to hell without mentioning that redemption awaits everyone who comes to faith in Christ….
…[This] man is not representative of the Christian community.
I have a huge problem with this. Roberts is arguing about whether or not homosexuality is a sin; whether it’s forgiveable. This is so not the point!
Whatever your philosophical or spiritual religious notions are about homosexuality, these people supposedly representing the Baptist Church are going from funeral to funeral, disrupting the mourning, the pain, the lives, and the ceremonies to cherish a lost warrior in the name of their religion. It is blasphemous to speak for God or do something evil in God’s name (and that’s from a little Jewish girl).
The Phelps family has been emotionally and psychologically terrorizing military families in mourning for years using the banner of free speech. I love free speech (as you know if you listen to my program), but since you can’t yell “fire” in a movie theatre when there isn’t one, I propose we have laws that prohibit protests at funerals within a five mile radius. The pieces of crap called the Phelps family would then be out of shouting distance, but still have their freedom of speech!
What triggered my writing about this is that one man, Ryan Newell had enough and apparently decided to do something about it since no one else would. Mr. Newell is a decorated military veteran who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. He received many medals for his service, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He is being charged with five misdemeanors, including stalking and three counts of criminal use of a firearm, as well as impersonating a law enforcement officer after he was found following a van that carried the Westboro church members. The Westboro creeps say they feared for their lives.
What?? They can dish it out but can’t take it? A number of lawyers have volunteered to defend Mr. Newell pro bono. Good for them.
But I’m asking for more than lip service from the Baptist churches around the country. This sort of reminds me of CAIR, the Council of American-Islamic Relations. They go ballistic and start bullying and threatening any time someone speaks their mind about Islam. I don’t, however, see them muscling the bad guys in their midst. I don’t hear about it. I don’t hear them digging out cells or undermining attempts to blow us up. I don’t hear about that. What I hear from CAIR is lip service – defensive, hostile, bullying lip service – and I want to hear MORE from the Baptist churches than the proclamation that “folks need to realize that this man is not representative of the Christian community.” Why not put your body where your mouth is? If he’s blaspheming God in your name for years and years and years, I really have the expectation that you’d clean up your own house.
I’m pretty exasperated with these people being allowed to do what they do. It’s America – I know, they’re allowed to protest. I get that, but where are the Baptist churches sending people in buses, trains, cars and planes every time the Phelps family announces that they are going to be somewhere? I would expect Baptists to stand up against blasphemy and to stand up for the families of our fallen American heroes. Lip service is bull. Talk is cheap. Do something about it. Do something legal, do something moral, but do something.
Volunteering for the military means a number of important things:
- It’s a noble act of patriotism
- It means accepting authority over every aspect of your life
- It’s a seriously dangerous job
- It’s not exactly a high-paying job
- You get benefits during and after service
- You have a community of support
- It involves structure and discipline
- It’s a heroic endeavor
- It is an honorable, self-sacrificing career
- It is worthy of great respect
So, when someone wishes to volunteer for relatively low pay and high danger to protect you and me, I say “THANK YOU” and “huzzah!”
This business of being concerned over whether or not a person is gay is utterly ridiculous, in my opinion. Homosexuals have served in the military since we had our ragtag guys in the forest dealing with Indians and British. Straight men and women have fought next to gays eaten in the chow hall next to gays, PT’d next to gays, bunked next to gays, and even died next to gays, whether they knew it or not.
Neither color nor sexual orientation should bar anyone from fighting for their country, nor should it eliminate them from being part of the band of brothers.
Being homosexual does not mean that every man is a turn-on; even straight men in the showers compare…”notes.” The rules against fraternization are there for everyone – men and women – whether they are straight or not.
Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military no longer asks a person’s sexual orientation upon enlistment (it used to be a question on enlistment forms). The military no longer investigates claims that a person is homosexual. They can, and do, investigate allegations of homosexual conduct, which is still grounds for an honorable discharge. “Conduct” includes not only sex acts while on active duty, but also includes telling others you are homosexual (the “don’t tell” part of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”).
A long-awaited report from the Pentagon on this issue was released last week, and the conclusion was “repealing the policy would have some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, but the effects would not be long-lasting or widespread.” That was probably the same result when blacks and Hispanics were integrated into the military ranks also, and that has evolved positively. It will take some time. Meanwhile, we will be expanding our ranks of the brave and resolved to fight for our country.
Of course, it isn’t all that simple. There are issues of benefits for domestic partnerships, and whether they will be recognized as married men and women. I assume that will eventually be worked out.
My main point is, in spite of the White House’s absence of an Executive Order to immediately allow gays to serve openly in the military, it is time to recognize the desires of all people competent to serve in our military, and afford them the opportunity to contribute to this noble, sometimes thankless, necessary profession.
Last Saturday, September 11, I was one of about 1000 motorcycle riders participating in “Ride to the Flags,” from Ventura Country to Malibu, California, where a display of almost 3000 flags will honor the lives lost to Islamic suicide bombers on September 11, 2001. The ride was hosted by the Gary Sinise Charitable Foundation, and the proceeds go to the children of those who lose their lives in the service of our country’s defense against terrorism. Pre-ride entertainment was offered by Glen Campbell, and Ann-Margret (a veteran of Vietnam-era USO entertainment) was there to send us all off with her kind words of love and support.
It was a fascinating experience. This was the first major ride I’d done, and I’d never before witnessed over 1000 bikers and their spouses get together and mingle. I pointed out to my friend Patrick (a Harley newbie) and my husband (a Harley veteran) how affectionate the couples were. There were scores of husbands and wives, quite seasoned by time and riding, all in leather, chains, boots, head scarves and chaps, holding hands and wrapping arms around each other. The amount of affection between couples was mirrored by the affection between “regular folks” – mostly strangers to one another. It was the friendliest assemblage I’d ever had the pleasure to be with.
I was chatting with one woman who’d come over to introduce herself as a fan of my radio program. Later, one of the organizers came to me and asked me if I’d be willing to ride a Gold Star mom on my bike. For those of you who don’t know, a Gold Star mom is one who has lost her military child in the war on international terror. I, of course, agreed on the spot, saying I’d be honored. Well, who walked over to my bike but the mom I’d been chatting with. I had no idea she had lost her child, and I just about collapsed in a heap of sobs.
As we rode through the windy mountain roads, I was very aware I had treasured cargo behind me on my bike. It never left my mind she had produced a warrior who gave his life for me and you and every American. As I have a son who was also in combat in Afghanistan, I kept thinking I could have been one of those moms, instead of one who is anxiously awaiting her son’s visit in a month or so. I felt so bad for her, and worked so hard to drive the bike perfectly around those curves so as not to worry her. When we reached Malibu, I hugged her and said, “What can I say? I am your friend.” We exchanged email addresses, and she will forward me a photo of us taken on my bike before the ride. I’ll post it on my website.
I considered her “hallowed ground,” and that is why I can’t understand why the Imam who wants to place a mosque near Ground Zero doesn’t get that is hallowed ground as well.
I was honored to take care of a Gold Star mom – a mom who made the ultimate sacrifice, not willingly, but nobly nonetheless.