If you would like to add a comment to any of the threads here on AADB, registration with blogspot.com is not required. Simply click on the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of an essay, and either enter a nickname under ‘choose an identity’ or post your comment anonymously. Serious comments are always welcome.

REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

11/20/2009

The Crumbling Foundation


There’s a difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. And it has more to do with the contrasting seasons of the year. There’s a different sensibility to the two commemorations. It’s a simple distinction when you stop and think about it. Veteran’s Day celebrates those who served. Memorial Day honors those who fell. One comes in advance of the much-anticipated Thanksgiving holiday; the other, part of the first three-day weekend of summer.

And so it was this year as the early-November curtain-raiser for the holiday season approached. This year’s commemoration distinguished itself from the others in that it was the first Veteran’s Day I’ve had off since I’ve been one. It’s one of the few perks that come with working for a school district. The private sector – in which I spent the lion’s share of my working years – bears no such inclination. They suit up and show up, ready for work, Veteran’s Day or not.

Still, a job is a job, wherever it may be found, and a day off is a day off, for whatever the reason. So, I took the opportunity to do something constructive with my newfound free time. I decided to take my aging Honda Accord in to the dealer for a long-overdue cooling system flush. With Thanksgiving coming up, it would be very bad form to find myself stranded halfway between Barstow and Baker, California in the middle of the bleak and barren great desert nowhere.

It was a fortunate choice as it turned out. Because half an hour into my vigil, the service attendant approached me as I lingered in the lounge with an engaging smile that could mean only one thing – bad news. Sure enough, after 180,000 miles, my radiator gave up the ghost. After a pressure test, it turned out my radiator block had a crack in it, and was just this side of busting loose. So . . . $800 later, my Accord had a new radiator, new hoses, new belts, new coolant and a new lease on life. My wallet was considerably lighter in the process, but out here in the golden west, nobody rides for free.

So, as I sat there, watching nothing in particular on the Sony 60-inch plasma big screen – nothing too good for us Honda owners, particularly when we’re spending big bucks on car repairs – I contemplated the upcoming holiday season, and just what I was going to do now that my plans had vanished down the black hole of a big repair bill.

While I don’t spend my time traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house in the literal sense, I have been known to make my way over the mountains and across the desert to Las Vegas to spend time with what passes for family. I think I may have addressed this age-old maxim in a previous commentary. But it bears repeating. During the holidays, when you have nothing to do, no one to see, and nowhere to go, you go to Vegas. That’s been the plan the last few years, and I must admit, it’s worked out well. Not this year. My coach and four just turned into a pumpkin and a bunch of mice, and my glass slipper shattered on the floor of the maintenance bay of the service center.

Just at that moment, I noticed the program on the big screen, offered up for our viewing pleasure. It was CNN. I was astonished. I don’t get much CNN. Never have. Even during the dark, ominous days of George W. Bush, doing his best imitation of a free-spending liberal, all the while selling the country out to globalist, international mega-corporations, and pushing every open-border initiative that came down the pike, I couldn’t quite deal with CNN. Try as I might, while Fox News was busy drinking the Bush Kool-Aid ©, and ever hot, blonde infobabe on the Fox network harbored secret desires of being taken by force by the president, I simply could not go over to the dark side of the cable news world.

So the day was now complete. This repair bill broke me a day after payday, my holiday season vanished at the stroke of a pen, and a full month stretched before me until the school district I laughingly work for would cough up another monthly check. And what did I have on this state-of-the-art 21st century video marvel? CNN. As they told us during our first year home from Vietnam, “Happy Veteran’s Day, Asshole.”

Even the reporterette de jour – Kyra Phillips, who, on those rare occasions I deigned to partake of CNN didn’t seem too objectionable – was quoting the party line straight up and down this morning. It was Veteran’s Day, after all. And Kyra had one news piece after another related to the ceremonies of the day. Among them:

  • Army Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan – What drove him to the Fort Hood tragedy? Was he the real victim? (It was a “tragedy”, not a “terrorist attack”, of course. The word was never mentioned.)

  • Barack Hussein Obama at Arlington Cemetery – He shall beat our swords into plowshares and usher in a new era of international peace. (The play on words of Isaiah 2:4 was revolting, but what should I expect? It was CNN.)

  • The War in Afghanistan – War on terror or genocide? (And, in a related story . . . )

  • Soldiers of Afghanistan – Guardians of our freedom or war criminals?

OK. You get the idea. Trapped at the Honda dealership, soon to be relieved of every cent I had at the moment – or at least most of them – and held hostage by CNN.

Then I saw them.

They were an elderly couple. She was stoop-shouldered, white-haired, and frail. She tentatively ambled along with the assistance of a metal walker on wheels that doubled as a wheelchair. Her oxygen bottle was attached to the metal shaft of the chair, its gauges registering in time with her labored breathing. From the look of her, I gathered she suffered from an acute case of osteoporosis. Her husband was at her side all the way, as if he’d always been there and always would.

He helped her fold down the seat of the walker/wheelchair. And he patiently assisted her into the contraption, after which he poured her a cup of coffee from the courtesy window and sat down beside her. He was a slight man, gaunt, thin and short. He wore rimless spectacles, and bore the indelible mark of a man ravaged by the relentless onslaught of time. His skin was mottled, his flesh hung loose on his neck, his hands trembled slightly. On his head, he wore a simple, baseball-style cap with the logo WWII VETERAN on its crown, and as he took a seat next to his wife, I could see his oversized, gold-plated belt-buckle, which bore an unmistakable insignia – the eagle, globe and anchor of a United State Marine.

They sat opposite me, and I noticed – as Kyra Phillips rambled on about racial harassment of the oppressed army major who gunned down fifty of his fellow soldiers, a member of a subjugated ethnic minority, driven to unspeakable acts of brutality, no doubt, due to the inherent bigotry and hate of the military establishment – how they held hands, spoke softly, and the understated loving care they radiated to each other. A love, no doubt, grown deep and lasting with the passing of many years together, and countless joys and sorrows endured along the way.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Normally, I never miss an opportunity to thank this warrior of the last great crusade against evil for his service, particularly because there are so few of them and their numbers are dwindling daily. But there was something about this couple that spoke of the inherent privacy so typical of their generation. No doubt, they were here for the same reason I was – only for them it was perhaps something as simple as an oil change – and stopped by the lounge like the rest of us, to wait and watch and then go about the business of the day.

But it was Veteran’s Day. And he was a veteran. So was I. Nevertheless, I sat there, watching him tenderly care for the needs of his ailing wife, with whom, no doubt, he’d spent his entire adult life.

It was when Kyra was reporting about the shocking disparity of the racial breakdown among troops in Afghanistan, and how minority soldiers – particularly African Americans – bore an inordinate amount of combat operations that I got up, moved across the lounge, sat down next to him and introduced myself.

I told them I had been to Normandy in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, briefly explained how that experience totally reoriented my priorities, thanked him for his service and welcomed him home. It didn’t matter that he’d received a lifetime of recognition for his service to king and country. He was a WWII Marine, and he’d earned my respect.

I was about to ask the specifics of where he served, what he saw, and how he coped, when he extended his hand and said in a raspy voice, “Thank you, son. Horace Gilmartin, 5th Marines, Peleliu.” His hand was bony, warm and dry. His grip was frail, but firm.

Somehow, I knew what a profound admission he’d just given me. And somehow I likewise knew it was all I was going to get. His wife, Emily, smiled weakly. She bore the strained demeanor of an old woman accustomed to living in a world of hurt. We chatted briefly about nothing in particular. Yes, they were in for an oil change. No, they didn’t get out much anymore. Yes, they lived in a local assisted living home. No, he wasn’t planning to attend any Veteran’s Day ceremonies. He didn’t like leaving Emily alone, you see. And she wasn’t up to the strain anymore.

Shortly thereafter, Kyra ran a piece about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror trial being moved to federal court in New York, and the possibility that all charges could be dismissed due to illegal evidentiary collection procedures and the failure of U.S. authorities to properly inform the alleged suspect of his Miranda rights. (She actually used those very words – “alleged suspect”.)

Sure enough, they were childhood sweethearts. They’d been married for 65 years, just before he enlisted in the Marine Corps in their hometown in rural Kansas. Like so many returning Marines who passed through California on their way overseas, Horace vowed that if he ever survived the carnage, this was where they would live. He was discharged in December 1945 and they lived in the golden state ever since.

I asked him about the changes he’d seen over the years, and how he dealt with them.

Well, there certainly had been quite a few. And if it wasn’t for Emily and the kids, the grandkids, and now the great-grandkids, it would have been a lot harder to take. But then, men get old, and they long for the familiar things of bygone times; recognizable artifacts they can hang their hat on and in which they can rest easy. The more times change, he explained, the fewer these treasures are, and the more precious they become.

Kyra’s last item on CNN came up just as Horace’s name was called and he helped Emily to her feet. It was about universal healthcare, and a massive rally held in a Chicago suburb to celebrate the medical coverage that would now be afforded to the oppressed peoples of color of the Chicago projects. She gave particular emphasis to how the rich would finally be compelled to pay their fair share after so many years of largesse due to the lobbying efforts of special interest groups.

Horace didn’t say goodbye. He simply steadied Emily as she rose from the fold-down chair of her wheelchair/walker. He wouldn’t allow me to assist him. He offered no acknowledgment of our exchange, no goodbyes. He wasn’t being gruff, just reserved and private. I watched as Kyra signed off with a final item of how President Obama – due to the profound change he was ushering in to the national consciousness – may ultimately go down in history as the greatest president this nation has ever produced.

So much for Veteran’s Day 2009. I picked up my car, licked my financial wounds, mourned the passing of the holiday season that won’t be, and was on my way. But I couldn’t help but reflect on my encounter with Horace Gilmartin, USMC.

He was the foundation upon which the postwar world was built. Horace, and men like him, came home from the distant battlefields of the world, and erected a monument of prosperity, stability, and wealth. They had the good timing to hit the ground running when an unprecedented period of opportunity was just beginning. During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan spoke of “Morning in America.” It was never more real than for the returning veterans of the bloodiest conflict in history, steadfast patriots and survivors of the Great Depression.

They wasted no time, taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded them by a grateful nation. And those who did not follow the path to higher education and professional careers made their own breaks in the hardscrabble world of the free market. They had witnessed unprecedented destruction, unimaginable poverty and unthinkable uncertainty. And so, they set about the task of building a bright future, providing for the next generation and protecting a country worth defending. If there was a unifying theme or sense of purpose which all of them shared, it was encapsulated in the lament so often heard by their spouses and children in the 1950s – “My children will have all the opportunities I never had as a child.”

And they were remarkably successful. If there was an unprecedented golden age which their children enjoyed in the years to come, it was due to this singular sense of purpose they brought to all matters they encountered. That, and the grace of God.

It is a complex and difficult topic, tinged with frustration and often tragic in its outcome, that the children of this amazing group of Americans were so different from their fathers. The group of pampered, privileged progeny that followed in the wake of the greatest generation was everything their fathers were not. While their parents were painfully aware of the vagaries of life, their children entered the world with a gilt-edged sense of entitlement. Where their parents valued their country, their children had nothing but contempt for it. If their parents spent a lifetime building a world that meant something, their children tore it down in a decade.

The reasons are myriad, fraught with controversy, and way too involved to go into in this commentary. Suffice it to say, Horace Gilmartin lived through some of the most desperate times his country ever faced. He built a life of significance in the postwar years that stood for everything he believed in. His legacy was upstanding, positive, decent, and lasting. And he has lived to see it torn down.

As I watched them depart the service lounge, I wondered what Horace thought of Kyra Phillips’ report. He sat there and listened for the bulk of her report before I sought him out. True to the temper of his generation, he said nothing, betrayed no expression, offered no opinion. It could be that’s what happens to men who reach a point where the only thing to look forward to is the next world. After all, there is only so much any man can accomplish – individually or collectively – before being called home to his rest and reward.

But the groundwork he laid was strong. And a strong basis often comes under strong attack. For the brilliance of its luster, it is ironic indeed that the underpinning upon which our current culture was built lasted but one generation. Out of its crumbling foundation is emerging a land filled with resentment, laden with alienation, consumed with hatred.

We live in a country that has no sense of itself; rotted by the corruption of political correctness, denuded by the fraud of multiculturalism, weakened by the onset of globalism. It is a nation in which terror suspects are tried in civilian courts, possibly to be released on a technicality. It is a society in which an Islamic terrorist is not only permitted to rise through the ranks of the United States Army as an officer and a gentleman, but is lauded as a victim of hate by journalists who all but celebrate his acts of murder, and will not so much as own up to what he is – a terrorist. And it is a culture where evil men are hailed as visionaries, while those who stand to oppose them are condemned as extremists.

It is a land in which Kyra Phillips inherits the earth.

by Euro-American Scum
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)
Euro-American Scum can be reached at euroamericanscum@gmail.com.

11/16/2009

In Remembrance of The Six Million
Who Died At the Whim of a Mad Regime


Every year Israelis take a day to remember the Holocaust. At 10:00 AM sharp, they stop whatever they are doing ... driving, reading, living ... they stop and stand at attention. The sirens blast a remembrance of the six million who died at the whim of a mad regime.

I ask you to watch this breathtaking three-minute video and then reflect on two things:

(1) Our President has declared September 11th (the anniversary of another holocaust of its own kind) a ‘national day of service’, this year and every year to come.

(2) The interspersed visage, in the above video, of another madman who has declared as his, and his country’s, destiny the annihilation of the state of Israel.

I offer the following for your consideration, from a post on National Review Online:
______________________________

I am 34 years old, born in the U.S., raised as a (nominal) Muslim in Iran, and returned back to the U.S. in 1990 (thank Goodness). I converted to Catholicism in 2002, and became a reservist in the Navy (through the Direct Commission Officer program) in 2004. Growing up in Iran, religious instructions in schools started in 1st grade. Sixth grade is when our religious instructions began in earnest by the Basij goons (the true believers) and their fellow-travelers. My family and I left Iran after I finished 9th grade, but by that time I had had a steady ideological diet on Supremacy of Islam, the place for dhimmis, the primacy of Jihad and martyrdom for years. With this background, may I offer a few observations:

1) Islam is indeed the problem. Although I can, I will spare you recitation of chapter and verse in the Qur'an were Muslims are called to Jihad and establishing the global caliphate.

2) I agree with you that we should not "out loud" call Islam the problem. There are many muslims which are peaceful, because they actually are NOT either very devout or do not pay particularly close attention to pertinent violent passages. To the extent practical, we should refrain from poking them in the eye over the barbarity of the true form of their religion.

3) Having displayed my "sensitivity and inclusivity" bona fides in point #2, I don't think we should shrink from calling attention to the fact that our enemy is Violent Islam. This is for our own population's benefit. People in the West (and Americans particularly) in large majorities have fully internalize the fact that Violent Islam poses an existential threat to the long term survivability of Western Civilization, and therefore the future of their progeny. It is entirely irrelevant if Violent Islam is the true Islam, a fake one, or a fringe element. What is important is that it's followers be killed or disabled, one way or the other. There is no converting these people, trust me.

4) The long term solution to Violent Islam, I sincerely believe, is some form of mellow nationalism. In Iran, the teachings of the Basij people had relatively little impact on any of us. One of the chief reasons is because Iranians have a very strong sense of nationhood. They consider themselves Iranian first, Muslim second. Doctrine of Jihad has relatively shallow influence on someone with mooring in something other than Islam. Notice that you see very few Iranian suicide bombers. You don't see many Turks pulling the chord on their suicide belts either. The Iranian regime financing and support of terrorism is another matter entirely.

5) Having said that, inculcating and nurturing a sense of nationhood in Arab lands, Pakistan and Afghanistan is an exceedingly difficult task. There is a very nebulous sense of nationhood in these places as I am sure you know. What binds people is tribalism and Islam, which is as noxious of a combination as you can get. Whatever the mechanism, the West has to encourage the formation of as secular a notion of nationalism as it possibly can in these places. I instinctively cringe at the concept of secular nationalism (which is poisonous to the West), because you often end up with effete bunch of pantywaists like the French, or brutal aggressors like the Germans or Russians. But if somehow we could inculcate the French-pantywaistism in Muslim lands, maybe they would be too busy complaining about the cloudiness of the wine or runiness of the hummus to consider murderous Jihad. I am of course being flippant, but honestly, short of turning the whole place into glowing radioactive glass, I don't see any other cure which preserve the life of our own citizenry in the short- to medium-term.
______________________________

It’s time to stop the insanity by filling America’s positions of leadership with those who will call evil by its rightful name ... and those who will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with America’s allies rather than incessantly pandering to those who seek their, and our, destruction.

    Get it all on record now ... get the films ... get the witnesses ... because somewhere down the road of history some b@$&^*d will get up and say that this never happened.

    ...General Dwight David Eisenhower,
    Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Europe 1945
~ joanie

11/10/2009

The Ant and the Grasshopper


OLD VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , ABC, CNN, and the rest of the MSM show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house while the news stations film the group singing, ‘We shall overcome.’ Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug-related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackled, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood.

The entire nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010.

11/07/2009

Report on a North Carolina Tea Party


I served as the spokesperson for my area of North Carolina at a Tea Party that was held at our representative’s office (Heath Shuler) on Thursday afternoon.

A neighbor went with me, but nobody else from my neighborhood accompanied us. We got there early, and were admitted into to the Congressman's office to speak with his public relations guy. I explained that we intended to give him a bunch of letters to the Congressman, written by people in my area, and we agreed to have the 'ceremony' out on the back steps at 12:15. He told me he had received a 'statement' from the Congressman, which he would read, and I thanked him and asked if he would also tell the crowd what he intended to do with the letters, and would the Congressman ever read them since the vote was to be on Friday.

About 150 people showed up, which was more than I was expecting, and I continued going around gathering letters. A lot of folks didn't get the word to bring them, but one gentleman with foresight had brought a stack of note cards and envelopes so people took those and scribbled messages on them. One person even took a tiny page out of my pocket memo pad and wrote something on that. We stuffed it all in the 2" deep cardboard box I had made, which ended up bulging with over 80 letters in it. (I kept a tally on the back of the box because this reporterette who showed up wanted to know how many there were.)




When the appointed time came, we all assembled on the back steps of the Congressman's office. One person gave a short speech, we all sang America the Beautiful and God Bless America, and then it was my turn. I introduced the PR guy to the crowd and then said in my best spokesperson voice:

‘On behalf of these citizens who have peaceably assembled to petition their government for redress of grievance, I present these 80 letters to be delivered to Congressman Heath Shuler, our elected representative.’
That was it. The PR guy then read Shuler's miserable statement which basically said, ‘I haven't made up my mind yet.’ Snort...what a miserable loser. Then he told us that the letters would be faxed to DC that afternoon (before shredding, no doubt).




We all then walked down the hill to the busy intersection below, and held up our protest signs for about 45 minutes. This corner is near the entrance to a main hospital, so there was a lot of traffic. It was my sense that we got a lot more 'thumbs up' this time than in August. I didn't even see any extended middle fingers!

My friend and I left a little early because he has a bad foot (car accident), and we're both old and tired. On the way home we stopped at a BBQ place and pigged out. While we were eating, I got a text message from Erika, the head of the Asheville Tea Party who was up with Michelle Bachmann in DC, asking how it went. I texted her back with "Great! 150 people and 85 letters".

After I got home, got furiously licked by our three dogs (they missed me), I settled in to watch Glenn Beck followed by Fox News to see how it went in DC. I was disgusted to see another ‘balloon boy’ media frenzy over the murders at Ft. Hood. Sure, that was a big story, but why not wait until you actually know something before blaring it all over the airwaves?

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say that Muslim killer chose the time of his attacks specifically for the purpose of preempting all news coverage of the DC ‘House Call’. But maybe it was just the phase of the moon... Thank God for the Internet or we'd never know anything.

So what did Rep. Shuler do after getting all those letters from Asheville and a personal visit from twelve of his constituents who drove all the way to DC to meet with him? He and the other ‘Blue Dog Democrats’ ate dinner with Obama at the White House.

Remember the scene near the end of Braveheart where William Wallace was betrayed by William the Bruce? That's how I feel at the moment: Betrayed.

by John Cooper
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

11/03/2009

The Greatest and Most Spontaneous
Outpouring of American Political
Activism Since the Vietnam War ...


Below is a copy of a letter that a good friend of Rick’s and mine wrote today to his congressional representative in North Carolina. I am posting it here on AADB in the hopes that John’s activism will spur others to do the same.

It’s easy to claim that writing to our ‘leadership’ in D.C. won’t make a difference (and I suspect that that claim is correct more often than not). But if we sit back and do nothing more than complain, then, after the fall of America as we once knew it, we may ask ourselves ‘What if I had voiced my opinion more loudly and forcefully and often? Could I have made a difference?’

Regret is one of the most painful, and useless, emotions. Get up off your couches. Turn off your television sets. And do what you can, before the opportunity to do so evaporates before your very eyes.

Here is (one of) John’s valiant attempt(s) to make a difference:
___________________________

Dear Rep. Shuler --

Are you crazy?

On just about every issue of our time, you are working AGAINST the wishes of the people who elected you, and FOR the far left agenda of Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco.

We want jobs, and you give us tax increases and more regulation.

We want common-sense health care reform, and you intend to curse us with a Soviet-style medical bureaucracy loaded with massive taxes, free care for illegal aliens, death panels, and taxpayer-funded abortions. (Don’t tell me all that stuff isn’t in the bill because, unlike you, I’ve actually read it.) And then you have the gall to send us the tab for $1.3 trillion and tell us it’s "deficit neutral".

We want America to become energy independent and yet you and Pelosi block drilling for oil and natural gas here at home. You block the construction of nuclear power plants and hydroelectric projects. Your only instinct is to slap massive taxes on gasoline and electricity via the foolish Cap and Trade bill that YOU voted for. (Your vote and one other were responsible for the passage of Cap and Trade.)

In these tough times, we want the government to spend less and budget more like the rest of us have to do in our own lives. But instead you vote for more wasteful spending and massive deficits at every opportunity - debts that can never be repaid. And you have the nerve to put a “National Debt Clock” on your website.

We want tort reform but YOU want to tax states that enact tort reform. (That’s in Pelosi’s health care bill, too.)

We want less government intrusion into our lives, and you’re using your office to increase the power and influence of the federal government at every level.

You don’t even read the bills before you vote on them. (Apparently you just vote the way Ms. Pelosi tells you, which must make your job a lot simpler.)

You took an oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, but your leader Nancy Pelosi says, “Are you serious?” when asked where in the Constitution is Congress granted the power to force citizens to buy health insurance.

You’ve seen the greatest and most spontaneous outpouring of American political activism since the Vietnam War, and your response is to run and hide from your constituents - you won’t even meet with us or listen to what we have to say.

All I can say is keep walking that plank. You’ll be reaching the end of it come next November.

-- John Cooper