Friday, July 28, 2006

Colonial Williamsburg - July 28, 2006

Today, I have spent a wonderful day in Colonial Williamsburg with my family. Of course, it was the hottest day of the year so far (upper 90's and high humidity - hot in Williamsburg). Had lunch at the King's Arms Tavern. Recommend the meringue shell - has homemade ice cream, meringue shell, and fresh strawberries. There is a new program in the historic area. The Revolutionary Patriots along with the British governor, et al, enact some of the events on the Duke of Gloucester Street. (glaw-ster) At the moment, I'm planning a few "blog" entries regarding the Founding Fathers and their courage. I learned today for the first time that the Declaration of Independence had been hidden on the back of a picture. Had the original been found by the British, all of the signers would have been hanged as traitors. Where are those brave partiots today? In the terroritories of Iraq and on the southern and northern borders of our great nation. The volunteers in both our military forces and our Minutemen as well as our brave Border Patrol agents can stand tall. They come by their bravery naturally. America is an idea. It is not found on paper, nor only in our flag. The idea is found in our hearts and souls. I met a man today with his young son in Bruton Parish Church. Brimming with the enthusiasm of wide-eyed youth, the son came to his father and said, "Daddy, I just sat in the pew where George Washington sat." His mother scoffed and said, "No, you didn't. It's all phony." Well, the father set her straight. Bruton Parish Church is the original building. Thomas Jefferson's pew (box) was right across from General Washington's. My family and I scrunched into Mr. Jefferson's pew to sit for a few moments in the cool church. Moments later the father and I were talking about geneology. His family is descended from William Byrd III. I did not know of William Byrd III but later that evening while reading of the Ghosts of Williamsburg who did I find but William Byrd III. We continued on, my family and I, taking pictures and enjoying the relatively low tourist volume. Colonial Williamsburg is a place to visit and a place to cherish. The re-enactment in the street infront of the historic buildings, the ladies in long dresses and bonnets, the men in three-cornered hats will fill you heart with joy and hope. The serious nature of their choices, the volatility of their politics, the genius of their creation - stirring times. Reminds me that the more things change the more they remain the same. Til next time, God bless you and God bless America.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thoughts to the Heartland...

Having just completed The Paris Years of Thomas Jefferson by William Howard Adams, I am exhilarated by the industry of Mr. Jefferson. I have broken all sorts of self-imposed rules about not writing in some books. I have written notes in the margins with abandon and feel the richer for it. I have begun reading another biographical book centering on Mr. Jefferson’s years from 1793 through 1801, Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty by Dumas Malone. As is my way, I have first looked at all of the pictures, have read the author’s notes, and reviewed a chronology of events. I have been struck by the idea that perhaps today’s Liberals are more like the Federalists of Jefferson’s time in that they desire the supremacy of the federal government over the rights of individuals and over the rights of states. Of course, in the South, we generally have held to the concept of States’ Rights and the rights of the individual coupled with the responsibilities of the same, said individual. It seems that the most egregious cruelty of the extreme Liberal view is couched under the rubric of “group” rights and subjugation of the individual’s self for the good of the whole, meaning everyone suffers loss. It also seems that the rights of the States have gone by the wayside as have the rights of the individual in direct proportion to the amount of “federal” money that has been used to get the camel’s nose under the tent. In other words, we have sold ourselves and our most precious possession for a few pieces of paper. I would like to take up certain topics as the so-called “Browning of America”, the educational system (of which I have been a part), and the general lack an educational society so identified as crucial to the maintenance of our form of republicanism. It is interesting to note how our tax dollars and other confiscated funds have been used to purchase our conformity. Other topics would be the lack of diversity of intellectual discourse on college campuses or in our public schools, mortality/immortality, a self-help book on dealing with loss(physical as well as emotional), and the list goes on. Having been brought up in a politically oriented family where, from my earliest memory, the discussions at the dinner table were always about events of the day and being a descendent of a husband and wife who left Weymouth Colony in 1630 with their five children in tow for the ideal of freedom of speech (not a concept held dear in the Massachusetts Bay Colony), I come by my outspoken patriotism by heredity as well as nurturing. [More on my ancestors later. Their history is rich and documented to some extent in various logs, county records, and newspapers of the day.] In Jefferson’s day, the tradition was to keep journals. In our day, the web log (blog) has taken the place of journals, political pamphlets, and other forms of handwritten or printed communication. I am saddened by the loss because there is a tactile relationship between writing with pen and paper and thought. There is time for reflection even if brief. There is a connection between the writer and the receiver of the words. There is a connection between reading, the processing of thoughts, and the actual turning of printed pages or fighting a brisk breeze when turning pages of a newspaper – impatience for getting to the next page and gratitude for the breeze. God bless you, God bless America, and God grant the good breeze…

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Monticello and Liberty

During the middle of June (2006), my husband and I traveled down to Charlottesville, Virginia. Having had a grand few days canvassing the area – University of Virginia, housing, and the dog-friendly downtown mall, it was time to visit another home – Monticello – and literally walk into the late-1700’s. To my relief, Buddy-roo was allowed on the grounds. As a happy Advanced Basic Obedience class graduate, in training to be a therapy dog for children and patients in hospice, he (14 months old) won the heart of Molly (a 17 month old toddler in her ball cap, pink-T, and toddle-sized denim shorts). He behaved exactly as he should have and Molly petted him, scrunching her chubby fingers in his thick fur and floppy ears with glee and bubbling laughter. A win for Buddy-roo! The charmer. As I walked through the rooms of Mr. Jefferson’s home knowing he had walked, worked/written, and mourned there for the loss of his wife, Martha, I was again awed by the fragility of this wonder we call life. We know that life is short yet as we live we cannot imagine a world without us in it, yet I stood in his bedroom-office where he had passed away on July 4, 1826, scanned the books in his library, stood in his dining room and then stood in the Madison Room, the guest room used by the same Dolley Madison who protected the art work in the President’s House which was put to flames by the British around 1812, as was the Library of Congress. When my tour was complete, I walked with my Maltese friend across Thomas Jefferson’s lawn, and sat on the grass in the shade of a large, old tree next to the fishpond waiting for my husband to complete his tour. Facing the home, I flipped open my cell phone and called a friend in Valley Center, Ca. It was noon in Virginia and 9am in California. I told him of the view. He said, “You are in the cradle of our republic.” Yes, I was ⎯ sitting on Mr. Jefferson’s lawn, taking in the clean, crisp air he had breathed, musing on the accomplishments of the men who risked their fortunes and their lives in the American Revolution to give birth to a new nation. Had the American Revolution failed, their heads would have been hoisted on stakes, their fortunes gone, and we possibly would be colonies of the Queen. Allow me one digression here. I am sad that Louis XVI lost his head largely as a matter of the debt France incurred getting our revolutionary breeches out of the fire. When my husband’s tour ended, he joined us on the lawn and, after a brief stop for water and a cold drink, we trekked down the path to the family cemetery. A large monument marks Mr. Jefferson’s resting place. Today, people toss coins upon the steps of the monument and make wishes. We were no different and tossing coins alongside a couple from Massachusetts, we each made our respective wishes. In the shade of ancient trees whose limbs touched the sky, I tossed a coin upon the flag-decorated steps. I made two wishes. The second one was for my family. The first one was for our nation. In that quiet, wooded place, with the sounds of small animals rustling the brush, birds chirping and flitting around us, my words came as a silent prayer, “Mr. Jefferson, thank you for our nation. I pray we will be able to keep it.” Leaving the cemetery, we followed the dirt path down to the parking area. The white fur on Buddy-roo’s paws and legs soon took on a reddish tint from the dust. The heat made the going rough, but he forged ahead down the path, leading his women folk. The pathway was dappled with sunlight. After a few turns at the base of the mountain, we found ourselves on Interstate 64. Traveling backward and forward in time in the space of a few hours takes its toll on the soul but we are richer for the journey. I believe it was Ben Franklin or perhaps Edmond Burke who said something like, a people who will give up liberty/freedom for security will end up losing both. To me, that is where we are in America today. Our journey to Monticello reminded me how great the accomplishments of our Founding Fathers are and how fragile have become the scales upon which our freedoms rest. As our presidents say, "God bless you and God bless America!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Shuttle Diplomacy Again!

Watching the news (7/18/06) from the deck and being drained by the heat and humidity, I heard Dr. Condeleeza Rice indicate that she will go to the Middle East when she can do the most good. Sounds like a positive change in diplomacy so that instead of hopping around from region to region, Dr. Rice will remove herself from the fray as she now seems ready to do, stand above it, and let meeting with her be the last step before meeting with our President, not the first. Shuttle diplomacy may have worked (obviously short-term) for Henry Kissinger as he was traveling back and forth between Middle Eastern nations but not now. The analogy to the recalcitrant teenager would seem appropriate here to discuss the behavior of some in the Middle East if the situation were not so serious. The terrorists are ruthless but you have to give them credit for telling the truth. They don’t mince words. They want to drive Israel into the sea and they are determined to destroy Western civilization. If history is any indication, we must take them at their word. They are absolutely serious regardless of their motivation, their education, or anything else. If 9/11/01 does not prove that they will kill indiscriminately and that a person’s religion is no shield, then the killings in London, Madrid, Iraq and Indonesia should prove it. They despise weakness. I appreciate some of the geopolitics involved in the current hostilities but, for goodness sake, we send taxpayer dollars to just about everybody including Palestine. Do we send money to Lebanon and Syria too? Why? Scuttle shuttle diplomacy. One does not send a woman no matter how bright or how daft to negotiate hardball with men who appear to hold women in low esteem. To give her credit, Dr. Rice has style and class and does not wear frumpy hats from hell or gaudy brooches but even dress, style, and intellect belie the point. And here the feminists will shriek. When we need a strong man to go in and say “What the hell are you boys doing?”, we send him in with a Louisville Slugger on his shoulder and the authority to use it backed up with a few precision guided missiles at his fingertips and the ability to put a stop-payment on our checks. [Let’s face it girls, men and women are different and we need to re-enforce men’s strengths not feminize them into ineffectuality.] The world stage seems to be lacking strong women such as Golda Mier, Indira Gandhi, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth I or Eleanor of Aquitaine (my all-time favorite). But then, these women had the power to send in troops and in several cases they led their troops into battle. For right now, send in the men! Meeting with the Secretary of State of the United States should be the reward in this situation, not the opening gambit. So, Dr. Rice, stay home! Let them come to you by invitation only and in the case of Lebanon when they have established themselves as a sovereign nation not a pawn of Syria or Iran. And keep the UN out! That said, let’s stay out of Israel’s way and say, “Good luck, God’s speed, and the materiel you need is at your dock!”

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thomas Jefferson and Buddy-roo!

As you might suspect, Buddy-roo is a friend. Actually, he's around 10 pounds, full coat of white fur, a devil disguised as a precious, bundle of Maltese. An imp, a charmer, a good walker, and a complete, full-on dog. He's had 7+ months of obedience training of the good, gentle variety and he has passed Advanced Basic THREE times. He has been with other doggy friends such as Bailey the Akita, Maddox the Great Dane weighing in at 135 pounds, and who could leave out Beauregard(sp) the dobbie. Buddy-roo was always on his toes. I don't know if he was so active because he was just into it or because he had a much greater concern - keeping from being sat upon by Maddox - the loveable lug. The time indicator seems to be off on my postings so if you read anything else except 4:15 am or so, then it is wrong. Been enjoying the heck out of a migraine for a day and a half now and just got up for a moment to take Buddy-roo out for a moment. Thought I'd drop a note to the world - the half of the world that is asleep and the half that is awake. I have been accused of being a cynic (not bad from my point of view), of having a dry sense of humor (not right), as well as being naive and an incurrable optimist. I suppose many descriptions can fit each of us from time to time depending upon our mood, howmany bills we still have to pay, or who died(and didn't leave you in their will). Buddy-roo now needs my attention. No politics this morning but after the trek with my little friend, I plan to return to the migraine and Thomas Jefferson. Yes, Tom is in my bed - a biography about him that is and his years in Paris. Reading several books about Jefferson right now and I'll no doubt bring a few quotations of his into this blog. A word about quotations. It makes my skin crawl when someone says, "Here's a quote from Tom Jefferson." WRONG-OH. Quote is a verb as in "Let me quote from Thomas Jefferson." Quotation is a noun as in "Here's a quotation from Thomas Jefferson." It's just the little things isn't it. While I'm here though, let me recommend a recent oped piece from Michelle Malkin in Saturday's Washington Times and 199 other national newspapers. Her editorial was about the money spend today by the administration on funding separatists/segrationist schools in the United States with tax dollars. Ms. Malkin did the research and wrote the article and she gets the credit. Just thought you'd like to see your tax dollars at work yet again to divide and polarize our nation. Wait! Maybe Al Gore got it right when his mis-translated "e pluribus unum"! A man ahead of his times? How I will miss you while I'm gone!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel, Oh Israel - Fight on!

Dear People of Israel: I read of the missiles flying into your nation, into your homes and I say, "Fight on, oh Israel! Fight on!" From my view, there will be no peace in the Middle East until once and for all, you have exerted your right to be and to live in peace as a free, democratic nation. I live in the United States and I hear on the cable news that our government would not allow a hostile nation to amass bombs and missiles along our border. I hear that our government would not stand by and allow our homes and cities to be attacked by missiles and do nothing. That view is questionable. Certainly in the context of missiles that would be true but the damage inflicted by missiles would be visible and difficult to deny. Our national plight is more subtle. Our government allows drug cartels to carry poison to our citizens. Our government is allowing the creation of a new "slave" class, and our government is allowing this invading force to drain our financial resources. Our working poor cannot compete against this invading force for jobs primarily because of our laws regulating business. I read just the other day that even in some cases once the illegals become "legal", businesses will be able to pay them more than the native-born are paid. I could have this wrong but the way things are turned upside down here, it sounds right. Americans have never been against legal immigration but what we have is an invasion of illegal aliens. With the exception of our Border Agents and the brave men and women of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, we are totally vulnerable to the entire change of our language and our culture aided and abetted by our federal administration. A total change and why? For the establishment of a region without borders. I marvel in that the only nation on the brink of losing its sovereignty will be the United States. Our national guard troops assisting the Border Patrol are not even allowed to carry weapons, and yet we know that the drug cartels and smugglers are heavily armed and manned. We, in America, live in a time of insanity and national suicide. It is a felony to have a 7 gallon water tank installed above our toilets. We must pay taxes each and every year but the legislation passed by our Senate recently says that it is not a felony for illegals to forge documents, to cross our borders, to diminish the meaning of citizenship, and oh, by the way, the illegals will only have to pay a fine and then pay back taxes for 3 of the past 5 years they were here "illegally". Presto, change-o, and citizenship will be theirs. It is slightly more complex than that but the bottom line is that our Senate (the greatest deliberative body on earth - must have been a Senator who coined that phrase) legislation is designed to weaken our nation. In it, there is a provision that we essentially have to get permission from Mexico if we want to build a wall to slow down the invasion. Go figure! Many brave citizens have joined the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps ( and are assisting the Border Patrol. These brave men and women have been dubbed "vigilantes" by the president they elected. I am proud of the Border Patrol as I understand their work and mission. I am proud of the Minutemen. But the purpose of this posting is to speak to you in your present situation. I read that some Israelis do not support the efforts of your government and military but I assure you that appeasement will not work. It has been tried before leading up to World War II. You were the pawn and the appeasement. Clearly, it didn't work. Please, do not let it happen again. The countries of the Middle East work overtly and covertly for your destruction. The Christians of this nation support you and pray for your survival. I cannot speak to the horror you are enduring as citizens but I know your foe is implacable. I beseech you to stand and fight. Only you can assure your survival. God helps those who help themselves, who husband their resources, and who protect their women and their young. No doubt, I will have more to say on this issue but I pray for your survival. If you survive, I know we can.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My View from the Beach

The beach scene here is the view from my home of the beach at sunrise. Our nation has so many spectular scenes and so much about it that is uplifting. It is this glorious scene and so many others that keep us going. I have lived in many areas of the world, most notably the Far East. Yet, several days ago when walking my friend, Buddy-roo along the boardwalk, I met a lady from Malta. She said nothing could compare to the view from my beach. I hope that you will enjoy the view and find it uplifting as well.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

Dear American friends and neighbors: Happy Birthday, July 4, 2006 Just a short time ago, our Founding Fathers signed a Declaration of Independence designed to remove us from the tyranny of Great Britain. The date was July 4, 1776. Remembering those brave men today, it is fitting to note that when they signed their names they were signing their death warrants had the King of England's forces been victorious. By standing together, they eventually became successful and did win the war for our independence. Today, on our birthday, our job is to celebrate today and then work tomorrow to keep the nation the Framers bestowed upon us. Fittingly, my daughter, my friend, Buddy-roo, and I visited the home of Thomas Jefferson just a week or so ago. It was heart-warming and uplifting to sit on the lawn at Monticello and later see Mr. Jefferson's bedroom/work room - The Cabinet - where minus the tools available to us today, he drafted letter after letter many of which have come down to us today. Today is our birthday and it is my day to begin to learn to "blog". On this day, we are to celebrate the birth of our nation. Not the democratization of the world - a lofty goal, but not one the Founders shared. Our job is to keep our nation as a free, sovereign nation with borders, a unifying, common language that ensures our mobility within our nation, and the American culture that is unique to each of us even as we celebrate our ethnic heritage. That ethnic heritage is part of our American culture, but only a part. It is the combination of a shared American history and heritage, a common language - English, and a defended national border called out several times in our Constitution as the primary job of our federal government. I humbly wish to thank all of the men and women who have served on our military forces and who in our early years worked behind the scenes to fight for our nation. Today is our celebration - Our Happy Birthday! Today is for celebration. Tomorrow is for working to keep the Constitution sound and for keeping the republic we were given. As our flag flies over our land reminding us of our brave men and women who have fought and are fighting still for the ideals that are America, the torch has been passed. Thank you to all the moms and dads who have sent their sons and daughters off to defend other nations' borders and national sovereignty. More on this and many topics later. Today is for CELEBRATION and fun with our American families and friends - you, the men and women and children who stand tall and keep our nation working. Happy Birthday, United States of America!

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