9 Reasons to be Cheerful

The good old US of A is going to Hades in a fanny-pack. So, what else is new? Government bloats, G-men snoop, and so it goes. The culprits reign from both sides of the two-party grand neoclassical aisle and the likelihood of realignment died on the corner of Sane and Not-so with carbon monoxide-weary Don’t Tread on Me flag-wavers trying to ignite a 21st Century “Tea-Party.” And the hope of a competitive third party in the near future, alas, retired with the good Dr. Paul. As much as I’d like to blame our woes on just about everyone currently in political office, history suggests we were doomed not long after Benjamin Franklin declared (and warned): “A republic if you can keep it.” But rather than bemoan our continuing predicament, I thought it might be time—and healthful—to focus on the positive for a change. In that spirit here are 9 reasons to be cheerful…hercules

1. The pro-life movement in the U.S. is on fire. Largely because of a brave, fierce, uncompromising young warrior…

…and graceful 22-year-old woman. Lila Rose, at 15, founded Live Action, a nonprofit that has deftly employed investigative journalism in ways that make the folks at 60-Minutes and Dateline look like amateurs. Lila and Live Action have done more than any other organization in recent history to expose the sins of the abortion industry (principally Lila Rose - Live Action FounderPlanned Parenthood)—including and beyond the obvious killing of 1 million+ human beings in the U.S. every year. Lila and her colleagues have uncovered the willingness of abortion clinics to cover up sexual abuse and trafficking, to promote race-based and sex-selective abortions and to commit infanticide—all in the name of “choice.” The battle, of course, is far from over, but with science, Lila and God on the same side, there will be less peace for the wicked, more pro-life converts and, most importantly, more than a few new beautiful babies born.

2. 64% of voters think the U.S. is “heading in the wrong direction“—at least according to the pollsters at Rasmussen. What exactly the “wrong direction” means I can’t ascertain, and, yes, this would seem to be bad news, but I’ve heard that admitting you have a problem is an important positive first step.

3. 50% Americans see U.S. Involvement in Middle East as bad for the U.S. OK, so there’d be much less threat of terrorism if this number were upwards of 90% among voting Americans, but we have to start somewhere.

4. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk has been relieved of his duties allegedly for admitting that he opposes same-sex “marriage.” While this is ostensibly a depressing story for those predisposed to sanity, three cheers for Sergeant Monk for standing up to the PC thought police who have now infiltrated the ranks of our senior military brass. Note: where are the Marines?

5. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. As a conservative firebrand in my teens during the final days of the Cold War, I reflexively cheered secrecy in the name of “national security,” but as I’ve come to distrust the Federal government on almost everything, FOIA is, indeed, welcome, if frequently stymied.

6. Pat Buchanan. My libertarian, left-wing and neo-con friends will, no doubt, pop a meniscus in a fit of extreme knee-jerkedness, but c’mon, you have to like the guy—regardless of your politics. Pugnacious yet gentlemanly, erudite yet colloquial, pessimistic yet undiscouraged, hard-boiled yet cheerful. Unapologetically American and always fun to read and watch! A good example for those of us inclined to wear our opinions on our sleeves.Ron & Rand

7. Sen. Rand Paul probably listens to his dad at least a little bit.

8. Duck Dynasty. OK, I’ve never actually watched the show, but if only half what is being reported about the main characters is true—their strong Christian faith, public opposition to abortion, promotion of adoption and praying on camera—then let’s hope the Ducks continue to rule the ratings.

9. Pope Francis and his message of God’s infinite mercy. Much has been reported on the Pope’s comments regarding homosexuals on his flight home from World Youth Day in Brazil: “If they Pope Francisaccept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them?” Rainbow warriors around the globe and their fellow-travelers in the Fourth Estate have gone gaga over this one, but maybe lost in all the misguided enthusiasm from non-Catholics and journalistic-spin-o-matic hullabaloo is Il Papa’s clear and encouraging message: We are ALL sinners, but God wants to forgive us and WILL forgive us. If only we will seek Him.

OK, I know you’re wondering, why “9” reasons to be cheerful? Doesn’t the title even make you a bit uncomfortable? Lists require 10, dang-it! Well, a curbludgeon can only be so cheerful. Besides, shouldn’t you come up with at least one reason of your own to be cheerful?

Sec’y Panetta – Part I: A Republocrat in Vietnam

As the great equalizer Leon Panetta wraps up his tour as Secretary of Defense by “opening up” combat to America’s mothers and daughters, let’s take a closer look at another of his recent recklessness before addressing G.I. Jane.  Take a deep breath and follow me closely… Leon Panetta (a Democrat), who used to work for President Nixon (a Republican), who was ultimately held responsible for the war in Vietnam (by Democrats), which was started by President Kennedy (a Democrat) who believed in the “Domino Theory,” which was coined by President Eisenhower (a Republican), but later ridiculed by anti-Vietnam war protesters (Democrats) only after Nixon (a Republican) became president and by anti-anti-(that’s not a typo) communists opposed to the foreign policy of President Reagan(a Republican), which is irrelevant now (that is, the “Domino Theory”) because we’ve seen the end of the Cold War—begun during the administration of President Truman (a Democrat), but really the fault of President Roosevelt (a Democrat—not his cousin, also a President and not a Democrat) and continued by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson (yep, Democrats), but not opposed (by Democrats) until continued by Presidents Nixon, Ford (Republicans)—skip President Carter (a Democrat)—and Reagan (a Republican)…Back to Secretary Panetta (still a Democrat, used to be a Republican), who visited Vietnam last year to finagle the use of our former Navy base at Cam Ranh Bay (opposed by anti-war Democrats during the Vietnam war)—originally established by President Johnson (a Democrat)—in order to “reposture our forces”—a term that sounds like it was invented by Secretary Rumsfeld (a Republican) under President Bush (a Republican, but not his father, also a President and Republican) and served under President Nixon (a Republican) at the same time as Secretary Panetta (still a Democrat)—to counter the “threat” from China, a communist country praised by anti-anti- (still not a typo) communist Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s, but with whom diplomatic relations were launched by very anti-communist President Nixon (a Republican) in 1972—and a country with whom we are not currently at war and which is as close as a drunken crow flies to Cam Rahn Bay as Miami is to Havana, but not to worry because Secretary Panetta (still a Democrat) swears the “increased U.S. involvement in this region will benefit China”—which again sounds like Rumsfeld (still a Republican, but not in power—but might as well be)…and interestingly, Secretary Panetta (still a Democrat and no longer a Republican) offered that diplomatic gem while visiting every ally in the region except our biggest, Pakistan—a country which has been courted by both Democratic and Republican presidents, but with whom we are now “reaching the limits of our patience” because the country isn’t doing enough to stop terrorism—even after President Obama (a Democrat) showed them we mean business by bombing Pakistani civilians from drones—with which Democrats seem to be OK, unlike Napalm in Vietnam, helicopters in Central America and landmines anywhere, which, of course are Republican weapons…and, by the way, we are not at war with Pakistan and it is, still in fact, an ally, but that shouldn’t be too surprising because Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama (still a Democrat), who vehemently opposed the War in Iraq when it still belonged to President Bush (a Republican, but not his father, also a President and Republican who started the other war in Iraq), has Commander-in-Chiefed us into war in Libya, Syria, Yemen and maybe soon…Iran.