Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reasoned Thinking

Reasoned, sensible thinking seems to be out of vogue these days.

There is a national groundswell of opposition against the building of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. As I said in a previous article, the folks who own this building have the right to build a mosque if they so choose. But for the Imam responsible for this project who professes to be a “bridge builder,” this is clearly a bad idea. Nancy Pelosi believes anyone who opposes the building of the mosque ought to be investigated! So, let me see if I have this straight: If I don’t agree with Madame Speaker, she believes I should be investigated. Why? Beats me. It was always my understanding that the First Amendment guaranteed us the right of free speech. You remember the First Amendment, right? “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” My speech reflects my beliefs. And I believe erecting a mosque at or near Ground Zero is insulting and offensive. Did you know there are already one hundred mosques in New York City? And why is the only church destroyed at Ground Zero (St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church) unable to receive permission from the Port Authority to rebuild? Ms Pelosi, if you don’t like what I believe, send your goons to come and get me. But I wouldn’t be too quick to do so, because I am expecting that you will be out of a job come this November.

St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church,
Ground Zero, New York City
Medal of Honor
What really got my goat today was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that if a person lies about being awarded the Medal of Honor (MOH), there is no harm in it. “The decision involves the case of Xavier Alvarez of Pomona, California, a water district board member who said at a public meeting in 2007 that he was a retired Marine who received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration.” Now, listen to the rationale of the court in its decision to overturn the Stolen Valor Act: “The Majority said there’s no evidence that such lies harm anybody, and there’s no compelling reason for the government to ban such lies.” No harm in lying? Allow me to touch on the harm in lying. First, such a decision undermines every parent who teaches their child to always tell the truth. Second, lying about receiving so sacred an award as the Medal of Honor denigrates the award, cheapening the medal in the minds of everyone. Third, in the vast majority of cases, those awarded the MOH, received it posthumously. It is painful enough for the family to have lost a loved one who performed valiantly in war, but to have this award minimized merely compounds the hurt. Should you be thinking that this is no big deal, there are a staggering number of people who claim to have served in the military, or earned medals in combat who never even wore the uniform.

Brian Dennehy
There was a book written a few years back by Vietnam Vet, B.G. Burkett, entitled, Stolen Valor. Ever heard of a guy by the name of Frank Dux? He was supposedly a world class fighter in the martial arts claiming to have won a contest in Kumite (movie, Bloodsport, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme), in the Far East where the purpose was to defeat your opponents by killing them in martial arts combat. He also claims he served in the Marines in Southeast Asia. These claims were challenged by the Los Angeles Times, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, and Burkett in Stolen Valor. “His service record indicates that Dux had been referred for psychiatric evaluation due to 'flights of ideas and exaggerations.’” Then there’s actor Brian Dennehy: “In the 1998 book, Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History, co-author B.G. "Jug" Burkett exposed as false Dennehy's claim that he was a once-wounded veteran of the Viet Nam war. In the book, official records reveal that the actor was (a Marine) stationed in Okinawa at the time, and consequently nowhere near the war. When publicly confronted about his lie, the actor apologized for his false claims.” Ha! But then Dennehy tells a reporter in 2007 the same old lie again that he had served in Vietnam!

Lastly, there’s the story of one of my heroes: Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. The FBI recently reported that a telephone threat from a Mexican drug cartel coming out of Mexico made on a disposable phone said there was a “hit” out on Sheriff Joe for a cool million. How does our 78-year-old lawman react to this? He said it’s not unusual for him to receive death threats. The last bounty against him was for five million! “The economy must be bad down there in Mexico," Arpaio said, referring to the $1 million offer for his life. What a guy!

But wait! There’s more! Now the Feds want to sue Sheriff Joe for alleged civil rights violations. Our government wants to punish this man for enforcing the laws of the land. A man who is serving and protecting the people of Arizona and all of us. Go figure! He’s very strict on illegal immigration. This makes him a lightning rod in our Politically Correct environment. I’m confident that Sheriff Joe will hang tough. Nor am I surprised he is threatened by Mexican drug cartels. But hounded by our own government? Because he is doing his job? And guess what? The Feds have come up with nothing.

We need our leaders to be reasonable thinkers, who exercise common sense. Keep this in mind when you go to the polls to vote this November. All branches of the government need a good house cleaning!

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