The Left silences our heroes

Wausau’s American Legion canceled its annual ceremonial tribute to our fallen soldiers scheduled for today, July 4. They usually have speakers and a 21-gun salute.
This year, following the Legion’s events, the Wausau Tea Party Patriots were to hold their own events, protesting high taxes and selling merchandise to support families of fallen soldiers.
But the Legion canceled its event after, according to the Wausau Daily Herald, it received about 30 anonymous phone calls from people threatening to boycott the Legion’s golf course.

First, there simply has to be more to the story. I have a hard time believing that this bastion of hardened battlefield veterans was scared off by people threatening to withhold golf.

Second, this is another example of intolerance from the Left when it encounters a viewpoint with which it disagrees. If you don’t like the Wausau Tea Party, then after the Legion is done with its events … LEAVE!
Or have ACORN gather up some of your like-minded sycophants for you and stage your own rally (what, in FAVOR of higher taxes? selling trinkets to support the families of fallen terrorists? seriously, what the hell is there to hate about what the Tea Party plans to do?).
The Left should be very proud.

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New look at an old hero

This isn’t exactly news, but I just watched a two-disc set on the battle at Iwo Jima (February 1945) and was reminded that one of the six soldiers photographed in the iconic image of the men raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi was from Wisconsin.

John Bradley was born in Antigo, raised in Appleton, and ultimately died back in Antigo (July 10, 1923 to Jan. 11, 1994). He was wounded in battle after the flag-raising and was pulled from the front to help sell U.S. war bonds. While he was horrified by what he witnessed on the battlefield, particularly as a Navy corpsman, he did portray himself in the 1949 John Wayne classic “Sands of Iwo Jima”.

He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was haunted by the torture and death of his friend from Milwaukee, Ralph “Iggy” Ignatowski. The two had been holed up during battle on Iwo, when Bradley lit out to assist a fallen Marine. When he returned to where he and Ignatowski had been, his friend was gone and no one seemed to know where he’d gone. It wasn’t until days later that Bradley and others discovered Ignatowski’s body, which had been dragged down a tunnel by the Japanese. Iggy had been tortured beyond belief, and Bradley never really recovered from the episode.

Following is his citation for the Navy Cross:
“For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy at Iwo Jima on February 21, 1945 as a hospital corpsman attached to a Marine Rifle platoon. During a furious assault by his company upon a strongly defended enemy zone at the base of Mt. Suribachi, Bradley observed a Marine infantryman fall wounded in an open area under a pounding barrage by mortars, interlaced with a merciless crossfire from machine guns.”
“With complete disregard for his own safety, he ran through the intense fire to the side of the fallen Marine, examined his wounds and ascertained that an immediate administration of
plasma was necessary to save the man’s life. Unwilling to subject any of his comrades to the danger to which he had so valiantly exposed himself, he signaled would-be assistants to remain where they were. Placing himself in a position to shield the wounded man, he tied a plasma unit to a rifle planted upright in the sand and continued his life saving mission. The Marine’s wounds bandaged and the condition of shock relieved by plasma, Bradley pulled the man thirty yards through intense enemy fire to a position of safety. His indomitable spirit, dauntless initiative, and heroic devotion to duty were an inspiration to those with who he served and were in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Naval Service.”

Bradley’s story is recounted by his son James in the 2000 book ‘Flags of Our Fathers,’ which Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood turned into a 2006 movie of the same name.

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NCAA champion!

Conquered one pool – tops out of 20 – and came in fourth among 300 in another. Woo-hoo!
NC beat the hell out of Michigan State in the final, extinguishing any semblance of drama after about … oh, the opening tip.

Now it’s on to fantasy baseball, where I’m 2-0 in our head-to-head league. Getting my ass handed to me this week, so it could be a long season. But we’re onto Phase 2 of the Triple Crown.

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A title within reach

OK, so Lord Bubba’s Cup may have eluded me in my fantasy football league last fall. But 2009 is offering hope I can believe in, as I’m holding a narrow lead in my NCAA bracket pool, thanks to my having three of the Final Four correct – Michigan State, UConn, North Carolina, and Villanova upset my pick of Pittsburgh.
If UConn beats Mich St and UNC beats ‘Nova to meet in the championship game, I can win it outright if UNC beats UConn. But if UConn beats UNC, it’ll come down to our total-points tie-breaker.
Exciting stuff, even for a lukewarm basketball fan.

And since we just drafted for a fantasy baseball league for the summer, it could be the start of an unprecedented Triple Fantasy Crown; the March Madness pool, fantasy baseball, and finally the coup de grace, fantasy football.

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NCAA may be SOL with BHO

Stomping all over my lofty mood after having gone 26-6 and 13-2 through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Congress apparently is threatening to examine the anti-trust protection of the NCAA to force it to hold a playoff.

Now, I’m as big an advocate of a D-I playoff as you’ll find. The BCS honks (as Jim Rome so lovingly calls them) will never convince me their position is the right one, nor that more money can be made off individual bowls than off a tournament format. (The men’s basketball tournament entrenches my belief every year when even non-hoops fans scramble to fill out brackets.) But federal intervention is a sign of nothing less than desperation.

After passing an $800 billion “stimulus” bill that no one in Congress read – a bill that even the vice president admits has about “a 30 percent chance” of working – after unveiling a budget that will add roughly a trillion dollars to the National Debt EVERY YEAR, and while scratching its collective head over how/what to do over rising unemployment and a housing market that’s been circling the drain for almost two years, Congress now wants to debate over how college football should crown its champion.

But before we storm the Bastille to lynch those filthy liberal Democrats for daring to bastardize our new national pastime, we need to keep one thing in mind: The College Football Playoff Act of 2009 (HR 390) was introduced by Joe Barton, a REPUBLICAN from Texas. Just when you thought Republicans from Texas were done taking a beating in the national media. … In this, Barton deserves every snide barb Keith Olbermann and his ilk are likely to hurl his way.

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President-elect Obama

Supporters of Barack Obama gather near Grant Park in Chicago to celebrate his victory in Tuesday’s presidential election.

It always sounds weird to hear that phrase, regardless of whose name it includes. We get used to four or eight years of hearing “President So-and-so,” and then the new name inserted there hits us with all the oddity of looking at a weather map from another state.

But there it is; President-elect Barack Obama.

And so ends the long national nightmare that is … no, not the Bush presidency – still nearly three months of that – but this seemingly eternal campaign for the presidency. I, for one, am simply glad it’s over. It’s like a visit from the in-laws; you don’t actually hope anyone dies, but you’re REALLY glad when they’re gone.

Anyway, my guy didn’t win. … I don’t mean McCain, he was never my first choice. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney were well ahead of him in my eyes.

Regardless, this offers an interesting opportunity. I suspect many of my Republican buddies will rally around Uncle Rushie as a lonely beacon of hope over the next four years.

As for me, I’m going to try to take a little different approach this time. Rather than the endless cycle of spin and parsing semantics, I’m going to do my best to give Obama a clean slate. He wasn’t my first choice among Dems, and was well down my list in general, but he’s there now. So I’m going to try to understand the policies he puts forth. Sometimes I may agree with him. Sometimes I may wholeheartedly disagree. I will be vocal about both.

But if 52% of voters felt it was time for this mercurial concept of “change,” then I think even a traditional conservative such as I could make an attempt to be the change we seek in others.

I watched on CNN the massive gathering of Obama supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park and was simply stunned at the spectacle of it all. I don’t know how this guy will govern, but between this and his August DNC speech at a packed Mile High Stadium in Denver … there’s no question this guy knows how to put on a show. It made me wonder what the hell it would look like if Obama would’ve gone on to lose, but despite that … even I have to admit it was a pretty awesome sight.

So now the Dems have a firm grip on the Senate, the House and now the White House, and even on the state level, they now hold the Senate and – for the first time in 14 years – the Assembly. This in addition to the governor’s mansion.

The Dems have no real roadblocks to implement the promises they’ve made.

No excuses.

And that’s got to scare more than a few Dems.

P.S. I found an interesting interactive map at JSonline, which shows how each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties has voted for president since 1964.

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Countdown to history

Within 24 hours of this posting America will have indicated its preference for its first African-American president.
RealClearPolitics shows Obama with a 278-132 lead in electoral votes among states whose polls are outside the margin of error one way or another. When throwing every state to one candidate or another, regardless of margin of error, puts Obama way over the top at 338-200.
Obama’s election would be a pretty remarkable feat considering it was barely 45 years ago that blacks couldn’t even be assured the opportunity to vote in every part of this country.
No less than Ward Connerly – he of crusades against racial preferences – even proffers hope at Obama’s election, in that it could mean a fundamental change in the definition of Affirmative Action. Connerly seems to think Obama would shift this definition from racial to socio-economic.
This is something I’ve said for years; that one’s ethnicity doesn’t enable him to inject “diversity” into any setting, but one’s socio-economic status does.
Consider: Two kids – one black and one white – could grow up next door to each other, go to the same schools and graduate from the same college with the same degree, and some companies would be more likely to hire the black kid just because he represents “diversity.”
Continuing to focus on race-based diversity ignores the significant gains minorities have made, socially and economically.
Shifting that focus to classes of Americans who are struggling with the emasculating effects of joblessness and poverty, however, could be just the change our country needs.

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