Monday, July 28, 2014

Carrier: warrant issued for possible illegal alien with deadly strain of tuberculosis

illegal alien with deadly strain of tuberculosisUSFinanceReport: Like a scene out of a Hollywood disaster movie, prosecutors in California have issued an arrest warrant for a possible illegal alien who may be carrying a strain of tuberculosis that is highly drug resistant and has the opportunity to affect large numbers of people.

Prosecutors with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office have said they are looking for 25 year old Eduardo Rosas Cruz, a transient who is known to have come from a part of Mexico that is known to be a possess a drug resistant strain of Tuberculosis. The disease is easily spread through the air whenever infected people cough or sneeze. Left untreated the disease can be deadly, however the drug resistant strains are even more deadlier.

According to prosecutors, Rosas was first diagnosed with the disease in March after he went to a hospital for a severe cough. He was instructed to remain in a motel room so a health care worker could bring him his medication and keep him away from the general public. However, Rosas has since disappeared.

Opponents of President’s Obama lack of enforcement towards border security have long sounded the alarm about the danger posted by illegal aliens allowed with impunity to walk among the American people without being screened for potentially fatal diseases.

Border Patrol agents and health care whistleblowers have been warning that the Obama administration has been shipping illegal aliens around the country without proper medical treatment or screening.

In the 20th century antibiotics were developed which resulted in the disease being virtually eradicated in America in the 1960s. However, in recent years the disease has been making a comeback with new strains that are resistant to most antibiotics.

Last year Los Angeles suffered from a persistent strain of tuberculosis that may have been exposed to over 4,500 people. Police officers were advised to wear protective masks while dealing with members of the public who may have been exposed to the disease.

Besides California and Florida, the states with the greatest number of multi-drug resistant TB are Texas and New York. All of these states have large numbers of illegal aliens within their borders. Florida was recently ranked as having the third largest illegal alien population by the Department of Homeland Security. Many of the illegals in Florida come from the Caribbean and other countries in the Southern hemisphere. Some of these countries have widespread problems with tuberculosis.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

VA Hospital Officials Placed on Leave

Story at-a-glance
  • Veterans Affair (VA) hospital patients are supposed to be seen by a physician within 14 days of their request for care, and waiting times any longer than this must be documented
  • VA hospitals in North Carolina, Wyoming, Texas, Arizona, and Colorado are being investigated amid allegations that some patients waited months for care while the wait times were intentionally covered up
  • At a Phoenix VA hospital, a whistleblower alleges the staff had a secret wait list intended to hide delays in care, and up to 40 patients may have died as a result… (and additional information is coming out showing in could be 1,000 around the country.)
  • Many of the same foundational flaws in health care – medical errors, poor care, fraud, and mismanagement – exist at both VA and private-sector hospitals

Health Care System

Dr. Mercola:

Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals across the US are supposed to provide quality health care for veterans who have served the country.

As the population, and especially the veteran population, ages, there has been an influx of people needing care, including veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, not to mention younger generations who have fought in wars during the last 10 years.

Increasingly, VA hospitals are struggling to keep up with the need for care, but instead of coming up with solutions to ensure patients receive timely health care there are allegations of poor oversight, secret waiting lists, and even falsification and destruction of appointment records at several VA hospitals.

VA Hospitals Under Investigation, Officials Placed on Leave Over Inappropriate Scheduling

There are 151 VA hospitals, and 820 clinics, in the US. Each is required to keep records of how long each patient waits to be seen by a doctor so that the Department of Veterans Affairs can monitor and ensure that timely health care is being given.

Generally, a VA patient is required to be seen by a physician within 14 days of their request for care, and waiting times any longer than this must be documented. However, VA hospitals in North Carolina, Wyoming, Texas, Arizona, and Colorado are being investigated amid allegations that some patients waited months for care and, in some cases, the wait times were intentionally covered up. So far:

  • In Durham, North Carolina, an employee came forward claiming that workers had falsified appointment records from 2009 to 2012. Four officials from the hospital have already been placed on leave while the delays in care are investigated.
  • In Phoenix, Arizona, a retired physician said a local VA hospital had a secret wait list intended to hide delays in care. He claimed that up to 40 patients may have died because they didn’t receive timely medical care. Three executives have been placed on leave amid allegations of corruption and unnecessary deaths.
  • In Wyoming, a VA employee was placed on leave following a leaked email in which he directed staff to “fix” the appointments system.1
  • At the San Antonio, Texas VA hospital, workers scheduling appointments said they were “cooking the books” at their bosses’ requests in order to hide wait times of several weeks or months.2

The widespread allegations of misconduct and poor care have prompted some groups, including the American Legion, to call for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down, but so far he has responded that he will take “swift and appropriate” action if the investigations find any wrongdoing has occurred.3

Are VA Hospitals Any Different from Private-Sector Hospitals?

VA hospitals and medical centers, which represent the largest health care system in the US, have long had a reputation for being the bottom-of-the-barrel for health care. In reality, customer-satisfaction surveys suggest that VA hospitals are on par with, if not better than, private-sector hospitals for patient satisfaction.4

Mortality rates are also similar, although VA hospitals have a longer average length of stay.5 Across the board, however, we see many of the same problems with health care at both VA hospitals and those in the private sector. For instance:

  • The VA consistently gives executives cash bonuses, even in the midst of allegations of poor patient care and preventable deaths6
  • The VA has been criticized for putting too much money toward administration at the expense of nursing and patient care. In one example, Dean Billik, former director of the VA in Charleston, South Carolina, allegedly spent $200,000 of taxpayer money to renovate his office and $1.8 million to renovate a building for his own offices after it had already been renovated for patient care7
  • Medical errors and poor practice abound at both VA and private-sector hospitals. At the VA, recent high-profile cases include mismanagement of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, patient overdoses and suicides, and the reuse of disposable insulin pens that infected at least 18 veterans with hepatitis8

Major Health Care Problems Persist in All Hospitals, VA or Otherwise

There's no shortage of evidence that the US health care system is in need of urgent reform, for veterans and civilians alike. It can be argued that medical errors are a leading cause of death in the US—higher than heart disease, higher than cancer.

The latest review shows that about 1,000 people die EVERY DAY from hospital mistakes alone.9 This equates to four jumbo jets' worth of passengers every week, but the death toll is largely ignored. Types of errors include inappropriate medical treatments, hospital-acquired infections, unnecessary surgeries, adverse drug reactions, and operating on the wrong body part—or even on the wrong patient!

One in four hospital patients are harmed by preventable medical mistakes in the US, and 800,000 people die every year as a result. Of those 800,000, 250,000 die as a result of medication errors.

In short, the US does not have a health care system. We have a disease-management system overly reliant on expensive drugs and invasive surgeries. It's a system with a mission to maximize profits, as opposed to helping people maintain or regain their health.

The Affordable Health Care Act is likely to make matters worse rather than better, as the Act does not include any illness-prevention strategies. Nor does it contain any measures to rein in out-of-control health care costs related to overcharges. Instead, it expands an already flawed model of "care" that is one of the leading causes of both death and bankruptcy for Americans.

Even Non-Profit Hospitals Make Major Profits

Most people are aware that VA hospitals are funded with taxpayer money. But you may be under the mistaken impression that non-profit hospitals are somehow in the business of charity rather than profit. Don’t be misled, even non-profit hospitals are businesses interested in increasing their bottom line. For example, at Montefiore Medical Center, a large nonprofit hospital system in the Bronx, its chief executive has a salary of $4,065,000, the chief financial officer of the hospital makes $3,243,000, the executive vice president rakes in $2,220,000, and the head of the dental department makes a not-so-shabby $1,798,000 per year.

Similarly, 14 administrators at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are paid over $500,000 a year, including six who make over $1 million. Most hospitals end up receiving just 35 percent of what they bill, yet they still manage to make tens of millions of dollars in operating profits each year. Some hospitals, including Sloan-Kettering and MD Anderson, who are tougher in their negotiations with insurance companies, end up getting around 50 percent of their total billings, which quite literally amounts to a fortune.

Stamford Hospital reported $63 million in operating profits in 2011, even though about half of their patient base is highly discounted Medicare and Medicaid patients. The actual revenue received was $495 million. As reported by journalist and author Steven Brill:

“…there is the jaw-dropping difference between those list prices and the hospitals’ costs, which enables these ostensibly nonprofit institutions to produce high profits even after all the discounts,” Brill writes. “...[N]o matter how steep the discounts, the chargemaster prices are so high and so devoid of any calculation related to cost that the result is uniquely American: thousands of nonprofit institutions have morphed into high-profit, high-profile businesses that have the best of both worlds. They have become entities akin to low-risk, must-have public utilities that nonetheless pay their operators as if they were high-risk entrepreneurs.

As with the local electric company, customers must have the product and can’t go elsewhere to buy it. They are steered to a hospital by their insurance companies or doctors (whose practices may have a business alliance with the hospital or even be owned by it). Or they end up there because there isn’t any local competition. But unlike with the electric company, no regulator caps hospital profits.”

Stay Out of the Hospital by Taking Control of Your Health

If the idea of succumbing to a medical error, hospital-acquired infection, adverse drug reaction, surgery complication, or condition that progressed because you weren’t able to see a physician in a timely manner scares you, it should. Hundreds of thousands are killed by medical care itself, while others are walking around with far less than stellar health due to conventional treatments. Rates of chronic diseases are through the roof, and we're facing epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other mental health problems, and too many others to list. As a whole, Americans are not healthy – they're tired, depressed, stressed out, and often in pain.

Out of sheer desperation, many people have taken their health into their own hands by abandoning this fatally flawed medical model and embracing natural modalities that address the cause of the disease, not merely the symptoms. It is through their many success stories that we can discern a clear way out of this flawed and outright deadly paradigm.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about sharing the information on this site about healthy eating, exercise, and stress management with you is because it can help keep you and your family OUT of the hospital. But if you do have to go there, you need to know how to play the game. My primary recommendation is to avoid hospitals unless it's an absolute emergency and you need life-saving medical attention. In such cases, it's advisable to bring a personal advocate -- a relative or friend who can speak up for you and ensure you're given proper care if you can't do so yourself. If you're having an elective medical procedure done, remember that this gives you greater leeway and personal choice—use it!

In the event you do need medical care, seek out a health care practitioner who will help you move toward complete wellness by helping you discover and understand the hidden causes of your health challenges, and create a customized and comprehensive – i.e. holistic – treatment plan for you. Knowing how to prevent disease so you can avoid hospitals in the first place is clearly your best bet, however. One of the best strategies toward that end is to optimize your diet, which you can learn how to do by reviewing my comprehensive Nutrition Plan.

The 10 Best Foods For Energy

The following ten super-charged foods will give you a lot of benefits to your overall health as well as temporary immediate energy.  Eating smaller healthier meals is also a key

10 best foods for energy:

  • Oatmeal: Don’t forget the oatmeal ever! Start your day with oatmeal. This is an excellent healthy food that not only makes digestion easier but also stabilizes blood glucose level (because of its complex carbohydrates and fibre content). Fiber content in the oatmeal helps you to get a steady stream of energy. Oats also contain Vitamin B which helps transform carbohydrates into usable energy.
  • Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and good source of fiber. The soluble fiber in peanut butter prevents dietary fat and helps to control blood glucose. Peanut butter also rich with the amino acid arginine that helps to relax blood vessels and better blood pressure control. (Peanuts and peanut butter do carry with them some perils.)
  • Avocado: Like peanut butter, avocado is also rich with unsaturated fats.  It also contains other nutrients such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and folate.  Avocado is also good for heart as it reduces the chances of heart attack. Avocadoes are very good for the skin as well.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries are high in manganese, fiber and Vitamin K. All these are great to reduce blood cholesterol level and improve condition of the heart. Blueberries are the number one antioxidants fruit. Antioxidants help to get rid of free radicals and balance the protein level.
  • Citrus Fruits: Vitamin C is extremely important for gaining energy.  Also, the minerals and dietary fibre that present in the citrus fruits are necessary for the growth of the body. Besides these, citrus fruits contain fructose, glucose and sucrose and citric acid.  Oranges, grapefruit and lemon are the best citrus fruits for good health. Although drinking OJ will give you a quick shot of energy, it is very high in sugar. Normally eating the fruits in moderation, rather than drinking juice, is the better option for overall health.
  • Watermelon: A refreshing fruit- contains fatigue fighters like, Vitamin C, lycopene, iron, and potassium. Great source of water that keeps you hydrated for a long time. ( Melon of all kinds should be eaten alone,  at least 15 minutes to half an hour before other foods.
  • Yogurt: A highly nutritious food which contains Vitamins B2, B5 and B12. Plus, a great source of protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, iodine. Yogurt is a very good health food, especially Greek-style yogurt.
  • Apples: Another great fruit, rich with Vitamin C and many antioxidant compounds. Apples are fantastic health food and benefit us in many ways. Another fruit that is good for energy boosting is banana. Rich with carbohydrate and potassium- it’s a great energizing snack.
  • Sardines: A lean protein food-contains an amino acid called tyrosine. This helps to improve mental function. Besides sardines, salmon (rich with omega 3 fatty acids) is also very good for health.
  • Spinach: Good source of Vitamin B and folic acid. It’s a high energy food along with sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus. Sweet potatoes are also very energy-boosting. Rich with copper, dietary fibre, iron, potassium, manganese. But that’s not all sweet potatoes are also good sources of Vitamin A, B6 and C. An excellent energy food rich with a lot of valuable nutrients.

Figs, beans, lentils etc. are also good energy-boosting foods. And don’t forget the coffee.

Vitamin B energy drinks can also be helpful, but should only be taken when really needed.

Carbs, sugar and gluten should be eaten in moderation.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Employers ordered to notify workers of cuts to birth-control coverage

Wake-Up people… once ObamaCare is really in effect, nobody is going to get half the services or free stuff they were promised!!!  There are no free rides in this world and all you have to do to verify that is ask anyone who has lived under socialized medicine, which is what ObamaCare is! 

This ‘order’ is just another ploy to make the Republicans look bad.

By Tom Howell Jr.  -  The Washington Times

The Obama administration ordered employers Thursday to notify their workers if they plan to cut birth-control coverage from their health plans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision.

Labor Department officials announced the policy just a day after Senate Republicans filibustered a bill that would have overturned the justices’ ruling, which said closely held corporations can refuse to insure contraceptives they object to on moral grounds.

Congressional Democrats cheered the administration’s move as an important step to give workers a chance to know what obstacles they may face in obtaining free contraception.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, introduced a bill to go even further and require for-profit companies to disclose their policies to job applicants, too.

“Workers should be informed if their employers are restricting the availability of coverage for contraception or any other health care service guaranteed under law,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat.

The Labor Department’s move marked a quiet change in course for Democrats who are trying to use the court-mandated change to Obamacare to their political advantage.

“For plans that reduce or eliminate coverage of contraceptive services after having provided such coverage, expedited disclosure requirements for material reductions in covered services or benefits apply,” the Labor Department said in its posting.

The contraception debate stems from an administrative rule that mandated for-profit companies to cover 20 forms of birth control as part of their company health plans. Dozens of employers objected on religious grounds, particularly to morning-after pills they equate with abortion, resulting in litigation.

Houses of worship are exempt from the mandate, and the administration extended a compromise to faith-based nonprofits that would allow them to waive responsibility for covering contraception. The accommodation has been rejected by some religious colleges and charities and is being contested in court.

Hobby Lobby’s employee health coverage includes 16 of the 20 birth-control methods mandated under Obamacare, including both female and male condoms, along with birth-control pills, diaphragms and spermicides.

Republicans welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision last month to let for-profit employers duck the contraception mandate tied to Obamacare, calling it a win for religious liberty.

But Democrats seized on the adverse ruling to raise campaign funds and whip up progressive fervor ahead of November’s congressional elections. Their efforts seemed to stall Wednesday, when a Senate bill that would require corporations to cover contraception failed to get the 60 votes need to overcome a procedural hurdle.

Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado Democrat, authored the bill to reverse the ruling and is using the issue in his race against his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner. Mr. Gardner has said contraceptives should be offered without a prescription, and Senate Republicans have proposed a bill to study over-the-counter birth control.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said Thursday it strongly supports Obamacare’s approach because it provides birth control without cost-sharing, while over-the-counter contraceptives may remain out of reach for many women.

“Cost is a major factor in a woman’s consistent use of contraception,” the group said, “and many women simply cannot afford the out of pocket costs of contraceptives without health insurance coverage.”

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How GMO Farming and Food Is Making Our Gut Flora UNFRIENDLY

How GMO Farming and Food Is Making Our Gut Flora UNFRIENDLY

Two studies published in the past six months reveal a disturbing finding: glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup® appear to suppress the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, leading to the overgrowth of extremely pathogenic bacteria.

Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder  -  Originally Posted:  Thursday, March 28th 2013 at 5:00 am at GreenMedInfo

Late last year, in an article titled Roundup Herbicide Linked to Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria, we reported on new research indicating that glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup® may be contributing to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, both in GM-produced food and our own bodies.  By suppressing the growth of beneficial bacteria and encouraging the growth of pathogenic ones, including deadly botulism-associated Clostridum botulinum, GM agriculture may be contributing to the alarming increase, wordwide, in infectious diseases that are resistant to conventional antibiotics, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), which the CDC's director recently termed a 'nightmare bacteria.'

GMO Herbicides May Lead To The Overgrowth of Harmful Bacteria, Including Deadly Clostridum Botulinum

Now a new study published in the journal Anaerobe titled, "Glyphosate suppresses the antagonistic effect of Enterococcus spp. On Clostridum botulinum," confirms this herbicide's ability to adversely affect gut bacteria populations (i.e. generate dysbios).[i]  In an attempt to explain why Clostridum botulinum associated diseases in cattle have increased during the last 10-15 years in German cattle, researchers theorized that since normal intestinal flora is a critical factor in preventing Clostridum botulinum colonization in conditions such as infantile botulism perhaps the ingestion of strong biocides such as glyphosate found in GM cattle feed could reduce their natural, lactic acid bacteria dependent immune defenses as pathogenic microbes.

They reported on the toxicity of glyphosate to Enteroccocus, the most prevalent lactic acid bacteria species in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle, and concluded "Ingestion of this herbicide could be a significant predisposing factor that is associated with the increase in C. botulinum mediated diseases in cattle."

Of course, the implications of this finding extend beyond the health of cattle or poultry. The majority of American consumers who don't even have the legal right to know through truthful labeling if they are eating GMOs, are consuming non-organic, Roundup Ready soy, canola, cottonseed or soy on a daily basis, and therefore are being exposed to glyphosate residues year round; additionally, animals fed Roundup sprayed GMO plants will bioaccumulate glyphosate and/or glyphosate metabolites, adding to the consumer's bodily burden of these gut flora-altering, highly toxic chemicals.  

GMO Herbicides Kill More Than 'Weeds,' Are Broad-Spectrum Biocides

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum biocide. It does not discriminate by killing only the "weeds" that compete with the genetically modified plants resistant to it. In fact, it has been found to be toxic to human DNA at concentrations 450-fold lower than presently used in agricultural applications.[ii] When combined with adjuvants and other so-called 'inactive' ingredients, the glyphosate-formulations are far more toxic than their component ingredients taken in isolation.[iii] Nor are the toxic effects limited to plants. A 2012 study published in the journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment found that Roundup herbicide has DNA-damaging effects to fish after short-term, environmentally low concentration exposures (6.67 μg/L, or, 6.67 micrograms per Liter).[iv]  For a comprehensive list of the toxic effects of Roundup and glyphosate visit our research page on the topic: Glyphosate formulations.

One of the most concerning adverse effects of glyphosate most relevant to the topic of this article is its destructive effects on the fertility of soil itself. In an earlier expose titled, Un-Earthed: Is Monsanto's Glyphosate Destroying the Soil?, concerning findings published in the journal Current Microbiology were discussed showing that Roundup® herbicide is having a negative impact on the microbiodiversity of the soil, including microorganisms of food interest, and specifically those found in raw and fermented foods.[v]

One of the key implications of this finding is that since many of the beneficial bacteria that make up the 100 trillion bacteria in our gut necessary for health come from our food, and these bacteria-rich foods nourish and help maintain the flora in our gut, the removal of key beneficial microorganisms from the  soil will likely result in profoundly disrupting the bacteria-mediated infrastructure of our health.

 

We Must Reject GMO Farming Practices Or Face Dire Consequences

We must, of course, consider carefully the origin of our food. Conventionally produced produce and animal products are often grown or fed from farming practices that involve the use of factory-farmed manure and raw human sewage. Animal and human excreta today is exceedingly toxic, and contains a wide range of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hormones and antibiotic resistant bacteria and related pathogens that.  contaminate our food and our bodies if we choose to eat it. It also causes us to employ 'food security' technologies like nuclear waste-based food irradiation and bacteriophage sprays try to disinfect inherently toxic food, only generating different and sometimes far more dangerous compounds as a result.

Instead of succumbing to the intellectually unsophisticated concept that disease is primarily caused by germs 'out there,' rather than viewing our risk of infection as primarily determined by immune susceptibility 'in here,' we must shift our understanding radically if we are to survive the wholesale destruction of our biosphere, also entirely refraining from supporting, buying, consuming food produced through GM-based farming practices.  Our body is literally woven from the  molecular fabric of the body of the Earth. And so, when we poison or genetically modify our environment, and we poison and genetically modify ourselves.


Resources

No Hip Replacement… But You Are Covered For Birth Control

Something to think about when your coverage won’t allow you to have major surgery after age 78, you are a single man or a senior citizen and are covered for pregnancy, but you can’t afford your meds, a hearing aid or your Depends… ObamaCare

MGA - THITW

Embedded image permalink

h/t to @BlueGood2

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hobby Lobby: Trying to get DemProgs to understand what it means

HobbyLobbyStowOhio

Support Hobby Lobby With Your Business… And Help Explain the Truth About Them and the Supreme Court Decision to the Low-Informed

Bookworm Room: Impressed by the ill-informed hysterical reaction that my “real me” Facebook friends had to the Hobby Lobby decision, I explained to them that the decision is very narrow and will not (a) ban contraceptives across America and (b) lead to anti-gay lynch mobs. Here’s a slightly revised version of my Facebook post, which still failed to satisfy their paranoia and inability to understand the law.  I’ve also added a little hypothetical that might open their minds.  (No, don’t say it.  It’s improbable, but not impossible, that a DemProg mind can open).

The Hobby Lobby decision addresses one thing only:  whether an administrative rule conflicts with a long-standing law.

In 1993, a Democrat Congress passed, and a Democrat president signed, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (“RFRA”). RFRA holds in relevant part that the federal government may act in a way that substantially burdens the exercise of religion only if it can establish that its action is the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling government interest. Nothing in the Act distinguishes between individuals and corporations.

The administrative rule at issue is the edict from Health and Human Services (“HHS”) mandating that all corporations affected by Obamacare must provide their female employees with unlimited access to all contraceptives available on the market.

Hobby Lobby is a closely-held, family-run corporation. The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, has a strong Christian faith, and is open about the fact that it runs its company in a way that is consistent with the family’s religious beliefs. These beliefs affect every aspect of the way in which Hobby Lobby is run, whether it’s the fact that even the least of Hobby Lobby’s employees gets paid an hourly amount that’s almost twice as much as minimum wage, or the fact that many of the store’s craft products come complete with little crosses attached to them.

Hobby Lobby has long provided comprehensive insurance for its employees. As part of this insurance, it makes available to its employees 16 different types of contraceptives. Moreover, Hobby Lobby has never said (a) that it would stop covering contraceptives entirely or (b) that contraceptives should be outlawed in America. Instead, it made a very narrow protest to the HHS mandate:  It objected to the fact that the mandate would force it to offer, not 16, but 20 contraceptives to its employees.  The additional 4 contraceptives are or can be used as abortion-causing agents.  The Green family’s religious faith means that it is adamantly opposed to abortion, which it considers murder.

The HHS mandate put Hobby Lobby in an impossible position: It could either use its own money to pay directly for abortifacient drugs or it could pay $475 million a year in penalties. It was this dilemma, it argued, that constituted a substantial burden on its exercise of religion under RFRA. Put another way, Hobby Lobby argued that it faced a Hobson’s choice:  directly fund something it opposes on core religious grounds or go bankrupt.  On these facts, the Supreme Court agreed that Hobby Lobby had satisfied the “substantial burden” requirement under RFRA.

There was something else that the Supreme Court accepted as given: For purposes of the ruling, the Supreme Court accepted as true HHS’s claim that forcing corporations to pay for their female employees’ contraceptives (simply because the Obama administration says it’s unfair not to) serves a compelling government interest.

(As an aside, I was thinking about this “unfair” point. According to my DemProg friends, the demand that corporations pay for contraceptives arises because it’s not fair that women have to shoulder these costs, while men don’t. Let’s put aside the fact that the DemProgs can’t explain why it’s fair that corporations must bear contraception costs.  The really important point is that, if the reason to force corporations to shoulder the burden is so that women don’t have to pay more in costs related to their unique biology just because they are women, corporations should also be required to pay for tampons, sanitary pads and, most importantly, chocolate, all of which are costly menstrual necessities that burden women, not men.  Additionally, corporations should be entitled to learn which employees have gone through menopause, so as to scale back on those uniquely feminine costs.  And now back to the Hobby Lobby case…)

With the Supreme Court having accepted that Hobby Lobby had proved that it was being significantly burdened and that HHS had proved a compelling government interest, the sole issue before the Court was whether HHS was using the least restrictive means to advance its compelling interest. Based on this single, limited issue, the Supreme Court concluded that HHS’s birth control mandate did not meet the RFRA test. The Court had a very simple metric for proving this conclusion: HHS itself handed the Court proof that there was a less restrictive way to serve this compelling interest.

HHS created this less restrictive contraception mandate when religious non-profit organizations objected to paying directly for contraceptives and abortifacients. HHS said that religious institutions could avoid the mandate by signing a document stating that their religious beliefs prevented them from complying with the contraception mandate. With this document, the onus shifts to the insurance company to apply the mandate.  (The Little Sisters of the Poor are challenging this workaround on the ground that it cannot apply to self-insured entities.  Likewise, even if the religious entity has a third party insurance company, the insurance company will simply increase its rates, with the result that the money for the contraceptives and abortifacients will still come from the corporation that has religious objections.  The Supreme Court’s eventual decision should be interesting.)

With HHS having already figured out a less intrusive method for getting “free” contraceptives to women, the Supreme Court held that the same workaround that applies to religious non-profits can apply equally well to closely held corporations if the owners have a sincere belief in a core religious issue. And that’s it. That’s the whole Hobby Lobby decision.

My Facebook explanation was clear enough that those who have been brainwashed into being terrified by the Hobby Lobby decision had only two defenses left. The first was that religious fanatics will use the decision to justify myriad things such as banning birth control nationwide, revoking the rule that corporations must pay for women’s contraceptives, and refusing to hire gays (a fear based upon this letter from a religious leader who clearly hadn’t read the Hobby Lobby decision himself).

The second defense, which I’ll address in the remainder of this post, was that the entire decision is wrong because, as a predicate matter, it treats a corporation as a person. “Corporations aren’t people” my DemProg friends cry, as they’ve been programmed to do since the Citizens United decision.  In other words, Hobby Lobby has no conscience and therefore cannot be treated as a conscientious objector.

I came up with a hypothetical scenario — a probable hypothetical scenario — that should have DemProgs insisting that, yes indeedy, corporations can and should be people — or, at least, Leftist corporations can and should be people.

The year is 2026. Since 2020, Republicans have majorities in Congress and a president in the White House. The wars in Syria and Iraq long ago merged, starting a conflagration that constantly threatens to spill over into every region of the world. The result is the Islamist caliphate equivalent of the Cold War, with the U.S. trying to put out small Islamic fires all over the world in order to de-fang the Sunni and Shia monsters without having to engage them directly on American soil.

The military is more central to American life and survival than ever. Defense costs have therefore skyrocketed, so Republicans went looking for new ways to equip the military. To this end, they noted that America’s business class was arguably benefiting most from the military’s efforts, because businesses were able to carry on and profit primarily because the military kept the Islamists far from American shores. It therefore would be logical for corporations to subsidize a significant part of the war effort.

Based upon this reasoning, in 2022, the Republicans successfully passed a new law, known as the Act for an Affordable Military (“AAM”). The Acts’ supporters affectionately call it “Adopt A Marine.” Its detractors refer to it disdainfully as “America’s A Monster.”

AAM goes far beyond traditional military funding, which relied upon tax revenues funneled to the Pentagon. Instead, AAM directly engages corporate America as an essential part of equipping the American military. Immediately upon the Act’s passage, the Pentagon was tasked with creating rules under AAM (a 3,200 portmanteau document written in vague and broad terms) that would shift onto corporations primary responsibility for equipping troops.

The Pentagon immediately issued a rule mandating that henceforth every corporation will be responsible for outfitting Marines with everything a Marine at war could need:  uniform, pack, weapons . . . the whole megillah.  Moreover, the number of Marine Gear Kits (or “MGKs”) that a corporation must assemble will be equal to the number of employees the corporation has. Thus, a corporation with ten employees must put together 10 MGKs, a corporation with 50 employees must put together 50 MGKs, and so on. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2012 Obamacare decision, this kind of . . . ahem . . . “tax” (i.e., forcing taxpayers to purchase a product, even if they don’t want it themselves) is perfectly legitimate.

Corporations that fail to comply with the MGK mandate will be assessed an annual tax equal to $10,000 per MGK, with no maximum cap. That means that, if a corporation with 50 employees refuses to put together its designated MGKs, it will pay an annual penalty of $500,000. A corporation with 30,000 employees could find itself on the hook for $300,000,000 annually.  Again, the Supreme Court’s 2012 Obamacare decision legitimized this “penalty” for failure to “pay” the “tax.”

Something else has changed now that the Cold War against the new Caliphate is being carried out by Republicans:  The DemProg peace movement is resurgent. Two of the most active peaceniks, Sol and Luna Giggleweed started out in their home office in 2020 (when Republicans finally re-took Congress and the White House following Elizabeth Warren’s ill-fated four-year presidency), designing, creating, and marketing bumper stickers, window signs, mugs, toilet paper . . . anything that could advance the pacifist cause.

With business booming, the Giggleweeds incorporated, calling their new business “Pacifists United Together Zone” or “PUTZ.” They now have 50 full-time employees working in their green-compliant factory in San Francisco’s SoMa district.

Thanks to the Giggleweed’s business acumen, you can now walk into any trendy store and buy one of PUTZ’s $25 king-size mugs emblazoned with “Live Peacefully or Die.”  If that’s too expensive, for $10 you can get a set of 10 bumper stickers reading “Peace : The New Caliphate Wants It Too.” PUTZ also manufactures the usual complement of sweatshirts with peace signs on them; posters urging people to “Visualize World Peace” or “Pray for Israel’s Destruction”; and the ever-popular Naughty Underwear set, in both multigender and cisgender versions, with “Make Love, Not War” glitter-stamped on the crotch.

For the Giggleweeds, peace isn’t just a gimmick to make a motive; it’s also their core ideology. Both Sol and Luna attended the Bush-era anti-war protests, and they oppose Republican-led wars with every fiber of their DemProg beings.

Significantly, even the Giggleweed’s faith is driven by their pacifism. They are ardent members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (aka “PCUSA”).  In 2018, PCUSA’s governing board formally voted that “We, the PCUSA, oppose all wars, except for those wars dedicated to Israel’s destruction.”

Nobody quite knows how it did it, but PCUSA asserted that this vote reflected a core religious principle derived from the Books of Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  PCUSA’s revised doctrine is immune to challenge thanks to the tattered remnants of the First Amendment (which, in 2018, was amended to state that “Except as to matters of human sexuality and gender identity, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . .”).

PUTZ employees are as devout as the Giggleweeds. Indeed, many of them came to the Giggleweed’s attention during the Bush War protests.  Without exception, all of the employees belong to PCUSA or affiliated faiths. Their strong anti-war beliefs (unless, of course, the war is waged against Israel) infuse every aspect of their lives.  They are grateful to work at PUTZ, a corporation with a business model that puts pacifism on the front line, so to speak.

For these reasons, the Giggleweeds and their PUTZ employees were horrified when AAM became law and, even worse, when the Pentagon explicitly passed to corporations the responsibility for providing MGKs. PUTZ therefore joined with PCUSA and other like-minded churches and mosques, which are also on the hook for MGKs, to object to the mandate that they directly invest in MGKs or pay a substantial penalty to help fund the “Republican Anti-Caliphate War Machine.”

The Republican establishment was unmoved by anti-AAM protesters. Instead, it took great pleasure in reminding the protesters and litigants that, thanks to agitation from this same cadre of people in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, Congress in 2016 (Year One of Elizabeth Warren’s disastrous administration) amended RFRA to state explicitly that it does not apply to corporations, regardless of the corporation’s size or whether it’s publicly traded or closely held. There is no way out for the Giggleweeds and PUTZ: they either put together MGKs for the Marines, or they pay $500,000 so that someone else can put the MGKs together for them.

To the Giggleweeds and their ilk, the Republicans have only one thing to say:  It’s always nasty when your own chickens come home to roost.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

'Border'Line Emergency - Starnes: Tuberculosis Found At Refugee Camps - Fox & Friends

Video: 'Border'Line Emergency - Starnes: Tuberculosis Found At Refugee Camps - Fox & Friends

Immigration crisis: Tuberculosis spreading

Fox: Are the thousands of illegal immigrant kids housed in detention facilities happy and well fed -- or are they living in disease-infested compounds shrouded in secrecy?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seems to think the children coming across the southern border are remarkably healthy. It's a sentiment shared by BCFS -- the Texas-based agency formerly known as Baptist Child & Family Services contracted to run camps at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

My source said there are children showing classic tuberculosis symptoms -- spitting up blood, a constant cough and chest pain.

More than 7,000 children have been processed through the two camps, according to a BCFS official. They allege that only 119 children have been treated for lice, 22 for scabies, and one for the H1N1 Flu. BCFS says the most common illnesses seen at Lackland are fever, headache, upper respiratory cold and ingrown toenails.

However, at least a half dozen anonymous sources, including nurses and health care providers who worked at Lackland, allege that the government is covering up what they believe to be a very serious health threat.

Several of my sources tell me that tuberculosis has become a dangerous issue at both the border and the camps.

"The amount of tuberculosis is astonishing," one health care provider told me. "The nurses are telling us the kids are really sick. The tuberculosis is definitely there."

Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey, M.D. says state health officials have seen only three cases of tuberculosis, the Associated Press reports. One of my sources with close ties to the Texas HHS tells me all three cases were reporte n Austin.

However, nurses at Lackland in San Antonio, said they know of at least four teenagers in their camp who have tuberculosis.

"The nurses are telling us the kids are really sick," the source told me. "The tuberculosis is definitely there."

My source said there are children showing classic tuberculosis symptoms -- spitting up blood, a constant cough and chest pain.

BCFS officials deny that any child at Lackland has been diagnosed with TB and the state health commissoner downplayed the health threat. While confirming their had been three cases of TB, Lakey said it was not unusual, the Associated Press reported.

Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at New York University's Langone Medical Center and a Fox News A Team medical contributor, said tuberculosis appears to be spreading through several counties in southern Texas. He told me that some counties are reporting twice the usual average number of cases.

"Some of the tuberculosis that comes from Central America is drug resistant," he told me. "It's not easier to spread but it is harder to treat. I'm concerned about that."

And while, TB is not that easy to spread, he warned that all those children living in close quarters could be a ticking time bomb.

"It is a disease that needs to be carefully monitored and screened for -- something that is not possible under the current circumstances," Siegel said.

HHS released a statement neither confirming nor denying what the nurses are telling me: "When unaccompanied children come into the Department of Health and Human Services program, they are given a well-child exam and given all needed childhood vaccinations to protect against communicable diseases,” the statement read. “They are also screened for tuberculosis, and receive a mental health exam. If children are determined to have any communicable disease or have been exposed to a communicable disease, they are placed in a program or facility that has the capacity to quarantine."

This is the same HHS that previously denied there were any cases of scabies. They make it sound as if there are very few health problems among the illegals. They even downplay the lice epidemic -- just 119 “officially confirmed” cases.

“They are lying,” one nurse told me. “We treated that many kids with lice on a given day. We would put 20 kids in front of us – 10 in each row. You could see the bugs crawling through their hair.”

Another former staff member told me it was like working in a giant emergency room.

“They had children in the infirmary that had been there several days,” the former staffer told me. “You were on your feet nonstop. They had chicken pox, measles, and there was a concern strep was spreading.”

BCFS denied any of the children had the measles. They said public health authorities “have inspected our facility and had access to freely converse with our medical staff and children.”
Health care providers tell me the Lackland facility is like a giant orphanage. And while lice and scabies abound -- they warn that the bigger problem lurking is tuberculosis.

"Lice and scabies are fixable," a nurse said. "TB is the real problem here."

It's impossible to know the full extent of the communicable diseases that have come and are coming across the border. Nurses and other care givers tell me they've been told to keep their mouths shut. Those caught divulging information are subject to immediate dismissal -- and all my sources said they were told they could also be arrested.

BCFS won't even allow random inspections of their facilities by the media or members of Congress.

Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstein was denied access last week to the HHS facility at Fort Sill – another facility run by BCFS.

“There is no excuse for denying a federal representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held,” the congressman said in a statement.

Bridenstein said he was told that unannounced visitors are not allowed – even if they are elected officials – and that he would have to make an appointment to visit the facility.

“What are they trying to hide?” he asked. “Do they not want the children to speak with members of Congress?”

He was told to come back for a pre-arranged and heavily scripted dog-and-pony-show tours -- but those events were fact-free fact-finding missions. I’d say the congressman has a better chance of getting into GITMO.

BCFS blames HHS for the shroud of secrecy. Sources within the organization tell me they’ve been ordered not to talk to the media and not to let anyone inside the camps.

In spite of everything my sources are telling, a BCFS representative describes the facility at Lackland as a place where children are happy, well-fed and engaged in daily activities.

Meanwhile, several San Antonio pastors who dropped by unannounced at the Lackland camp, have shared with me a rather unsettling discovery. The ministers told me the facility was under heavy guard from security personnel. 

To be honest, we have no idea what's going on at that fenced facility but I have a feeling it's not good.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Whistleblower VA Center Purge 10,000+ Veteran Applications For Benefits

I find this even more appalling than normal because many Veterans, including my father-in-law, a Veteran of the Korean War suffering from heart disease and Alzheimer’s who has been turned down for benefits many times, just received a whole new set of forms to fill out (based on a former declined application).  It was conveniently sent out after all the Veterans Affairs ‘secret lists’ death scandal came to light.  Everyone I know immediately said… “Yeah, just something for the VA to give the appearance that they are now doing something to try to take the sting off the scandal and to give Veterans false hope.”  This newest revelation just supports those thoughts and feelings. THITW

Video:  Whistleblower VA Center Purge 10,000+ Veteran Applications For benefits

Yet… 1,295,571 Obamacare Enrollees Are Illegals

The Biggest Threat to Obamacare Yet is Right Around the Corner: Halbig vs Burwell

obamacare-irs-cartoon

Halbig v. Burwell is based on an illegal action taken by the Internal Revenue Service in 2012

By: C. Steven Tucker  -  Gulag Bound  -  TruthAboutObamacare.com  -  h/t to the NoisyRoom

A case about to be decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit could stop Obamacare dead in its tracks in 34 states. Halbig v. Burwell is based on an illegal action taken by the Internal Revenue Service in 2012. Below I will outline that illegal action and the two sections of the PPACA (Obamacare) that are relevant in this case.

State-based exchanges and federally facilitated exchanges

Section 1311 of the PPACA describes state-based health insurance exchanges. That section outlines the powers granted to the IRS to provide APTC – “Advance Premium Tax Credits” (a.k.a. ‘subsidies’) that will be used to artificially lower the high cost of health insurance offered in a state-based exchange. Tied to those APTC’s is also the power granted to the IRS to levy a $2,000 or $3,000 excise tax (non-tax deductible) on all employers with 50 or more full-time employees (first 30 employees waived) if they do not provide PPACA approved health insurance. This is a lot of new power granted to the IRS and this is the primary reason the IRS is hiring thousands of new agents.

Section 1321 of the PPACA describes federally-facilitated exchanges and state-federal partnership exchanges – like the exchange the state of Illinois has chosen to establish. In these types of exchanges, the IRS is granted no authority to provide APTC’s or to levy excise taxes on any employer in that state for not providing PPACA approved health insurance. Since the crafters of the PPACA assumed that every state would willingly establish a state-based exchange, there was no money appropriated for federally-facilitated exchanges.

Thus far 34 states have chosen not to open a state-based health insurance exchange. As such federally-facilitated exchanges have been implemented in those states regardless of the wishes of those state’s legislatures.

The illegal action taken by the IRS

Here’s the kicker, in order to ‘fix’ this legal ‘opt out’ that section 1321 provides to states that choose not to open a state-based exchange. The Internal Revenue Service finalized a proposed rule on the 2 year anniversary of the passage of the PPACA that offers APTC’s -Advance Premium Tax Credits – through exchanges “established under section 1311 OR 1321 of the PPACA. Those six characters—”or 1321?—constitute as Cato’s Michael Cannon correctly describes “an unconstitutional and as such illegal rewriting of the statute.” By issuing tax credits where Congress did not authorize them, this rule triggers billions of dollars in taxpayer provided “subsidies” and imposes excise taxes on employers with 50 or more full-time employees in all 50 states. Whether they have a state-based, state-federal partnership or federally facilitated exchange. Since the IRS is not a Legislative branch, this action was illegal. It was not authorized by Congress and as such it should not stand.

Worse yet, President Obama is following this new proposed rule as if it was codified law. This illegal action taken by the IRS and President Obama’s support of it is the crux of the Halbig v. Burwell case. If the U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the rule of law in this case it will mean the end of Obamacare in 34 states. In turn, it may be the final death blow to an unconstitutional and wildy unpopular law.

1,295,571 Obamacare Enrollees Are Illegals

I believe what makes me the maddest about this particular situation is that I have 3-friends, Americans in their late-50’s and early 60’s (in California) who have lost their jobs over the past few years, and all 3 have been turned down for coverage under ObamaCare.  Then they were told that they would be contacted my MediCal for possible coverage… and after 6-months, not one has heard a word from them or anyone.  Welcome to Obamaland… Welcome to ObamaCare… Welcome to Socialized Medicine and Progressivism.  Now people in Central America are being told that America’s borders are open and to come in now…

by Wynton Hall – Originally Posted on 1 Jul 2014 at Breitbart.com:

A devastating new Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General report released on Tuesday reveals that the Obama administration has yet to determine whether 1,295,571 of the over 8 million Obamacare enrollees are U.S. citizens lawfully in the country.

The finding, located on page 11 of the report, states that 44% of the remaining 2,611,780 application "inconsistencies" are related to verifying "Citizenship/national status/lawful presence." Another 960,492 application inconsistencies were related to verifying whether subsidy applicants provided accurate income information. 

Moreover, the Inspector General report only covered the federal Obamacare exchanges to determine how the Obama administration resolved verification problems through December 2013. As for the 15 state-run Obamacare exchanges, the report says four--Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Massachusetts--are simply "unable to resolve inconsistencies." 

As the Washington Post reported in May, as many as one million Obamacare enrollees may be receiving incorrect taxpayer-funded subsidies due to Obamacare's continued technical failures and inability to properly verify income and citizenship eligibility. 

One year ago, conservatives warned that the Obama administration's decision to use the so-called "honor system" for income eligibility was merely a backdoor way to get as many individuals on the public dole as possible.

The Office of Inspector General determined that "the federal marketplace was generally incapable of resolving most inconsistencies."   

Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next ten years.   

Related:

‘Humanitarian Crisis’: Obama Refuses To Visit Border, Illegal Alien Child Holding Centers While In Texas For Fundraiser

Enforcing the Secrecy of Obama’s Refugee Camps

Buses of Illegal Aliens Turned Away in Murrieta, Protestors Block Road – Updated  

Rick Perry with Bill O’Reilly… Gov Perry Explains His Law Enforcement Surge on the Border

Cloward-Piven at Our Border…

Capsizing the Republic – Cloward and Piven on the Southern Border

Friday, July 4, 2014

America’s Patriotic Season - Happy 4th of July

When there is strife within ones community, or worse in ones country, the stress level goes up for all.  Many people in America are feeling the stress of uncertainty, fear, joblessness and even hopelessness.  One of the best remedies is to get involved…

Video: Ronald Reagan on the 4th of July

Video:  President Reagan's Address to the Nation on Independence Day - 7/4/86

By Marion Algier – Ask Marion - Re-posted by request – Originally Posted on May 28, 2013

Memorial Day kicks off both America’s summer and longer patriotic season that ends with Veteran’s Day in November.  Although there is never a time where Patriotism and Freedom should not be at the forefront of our minds, this period including Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor America's FutureDay, Veteran’s Day, Election Day and the lazy days of summer and summer vacations affords us the the opportunity to spend more time with our kids and grandkids. While we are on vacation; visiting historical venues; going to the national parks, out on road trips, and off the the theme parks; or sending our kids on group trips to Washington D.C. or Patriot Camp from late May to early November… before rolling into the ‘holiday season’ for most Americans, it is the perfect time to educate ourselves and our children about this great country and to get involved.

The uncovering of events over the past years from Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate, Press-gateSebelius-gate, EPA-gate, Fast and Furious, Veteran’s Affairs List-gate, created chaos at the borders, voter fraud and the list goes on, has finally caused many Americans to take a second look at what is going on in Washington D.C. and the latest wave of eye-opening news for many about the Common C.O.R.E. educational program has more and more parents and grandparents questioning what is happening in our public schools. (Be sure to attend Glenn Beck’s ‘We Will Not Conform’ Event on July 22nd and July 29th 2014 in a theatre near you.)

So the ‘patriotic seasons’ of 2013 and 2014 could be a turning point in America’s apathy and a return to founding principles, fiscal responsibility and a demand for an accountable government at all levels, especially with the realization that most grass-roots, tea party and patriotic groups and organizations have been thwarted for several years, by the activities of the IRS, now coming to light, which very possibly affected the outcome of the 2012 Election at every level.

As we start our journey into summer and holidays we can each initiate change by taking time to really talk to our kids, grandkids and young people in general and choosing both our and their activities wisely to incorporate both fun and learning at the same time.

One of the greatest challenges in relating to and involving the present generation in activities is getting past their addiction to using media and electronics.  So perhaps including some of the aspects of their attachments for positive is one way to relate?!?

How about using positive message and historical movies as an activity to watch together?  Then discuss and perhaps make the leap to doing some research and reading a few books that expand on the themes that interest them and you from there?  Investing in some of those movies and books to have on hand throughout the summer and ‘patriotic season’ could be a great investment. Movies that apply to our history are great anytime, any will generally apply directly to Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, and much of what is going on in the daily news, so can be a great bridge into discussions and further study, conversations and activities.

Choosing vacations to presidential libraries,  Washington D.C., battlefields, national parks and the like and then discussing the activities from a historical point of view or tying them into current events are positive activities as well.  Even a trip to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm can lead into discussions about history, changes in culture, family history and possibly to research and reading after the trips, as well as items from the daily news.  Just this past week Jean Stapleton passed away… a discussion of both her life and her character as Edith, the wife of Archie Bunker on All In The Family, could lead to a fascinating discussion about changes in our culture, in politics and in the affects on our lives.

On the July 4th 2014 Weekend, get to the theater and see Dinesh D’Souza’s America  And check out what Mark Steyn and Thomas Sowell have to say about America today.

A few added suggestions for long weekends, vacations and the patriotic season, in general, would be:

  • Start reading a book about our Founding Fathers, American History, or something related to present day politics, current events or the economy. (Some Suggestions Below) Read the Declaration of Independence (Download a copy of the Declaration of Independence), the U.S. Constitution and The Federalist Papers.
  • Have everyone in your family read a different book and discuss what everyone has learned each afternoon or evening over lunch, dinner or dessert.
  • Rent or buy some patriotic movies and watch them with family or friends and then discuss them. (Most of the movies and books listed herein worth owning.)
  • Take a trip for the day at a nearby U.S. Presidential Libraries or historical site.
  • Attend or participate 4th of July Freedom March: Showing Your Support for the Constitution… or the like.
  • Visit a National or Historical park and explore some of the history of the park or area.
  • Attend a local parade, rally, reenactment or patriotic event over the weekend.
  • Research a candidate, patriotic group, group supporting an issue or the like to volunteer for, support and/or donate to and make your kids part of it.
  • And listen to a mixture of music this weekend: patriotic music, oldies, show tunes, marching band favorites, jazz and other truly American music.
  • Begin your personal or family preparedness program.
  • Consider joining TheBlaze/TV. It is the media adventure of the decade and will supply valuable information leading to the November Election and preparing you for possible events and emergencies before us.
  • Rent, watch and discuss patriotic and historical movies.

A Patriotic Salute to the Movies

(Below is a compilation of movies originally compiled by Advancement of Education that stopped in the 1990’s and missed some very important films… that we at AskMarion filled in and enhanced. Sorry if I/we missed your favorite!!).

Hollywood has a long history of paying tribute to the nation’s glory on screen and a long history of protesting against it off screen but of course they have often taken artistic license with history in their films especially lately; some harmless that makes a better film, some intentionally political. But for those who don’t read or only read and watch fictional tripe the list of movies below would serve as a reminder or even a new look at America’s history, especially for the young that are no longer being taught history or a sanitized version in school. It is a place to start.

Reading and reading original sources is the best way to learn about America’s rich history; the good and the bad, but sometimes movies can spark an interest. M~

FOR TWO GENERATIONS in my family, the required Fourth of July movie-viewing experience has been “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942 academy award winner), the biography of patriotic songwriter and playwright George M. Cohan starring James Cagney. Later with teenagers, the holiday began to necessitate a flag-waving double bill of “Yankee” and Will Smith’s world-saving turn as an American hero in the fittingly entitled “Independence Day” (1996).

Unlike the natural correlation between some holidays and a matching film genre such as Valentine’s Day and romantic comedy (and of course even there, there are some cross-over like the The Way We Were) or Memorial Day and war films, there is no comparable one-on-one connection with regard to the Fourth of July. Nevertheless, there are five categories or themes which provide a high proportion of holiday viewing: biography, populism, westerns, war movies and, most predictably, patriotism.

Most significant is the importance of World War II when discussing patriotic films. While not all Fourth of July movie screenings are connected to that conflict, a high percentage of the pivotal examples have that shared subject. There are several reasons for this preponderance of patriotic pictures with World War II ties. First, as the title of historian Michael C.C. Adams book, The Best War Ever, suggests, fighting the forces of Adolf Hitler and Emperor Hirohito was a no-brainer where patriotic wars are concerned. Unlike the moral morass associated with the containment wars in Korea and Vietnam, World War II films set a standard for patriotism which still applies, as demonstrated most recently with “Saving Private Ryan” (1998).

A second reason for the special patriotic hold of pictures from and/or about the 1940’s war years is they address viewing habits. Pre-1930 silent films are largely a lost art form for most modern audiences (yet 2012’s Oscar winner for best picture was the silent film The Artist… with digital or Blu-Ray   ). Thus, epics like director D.W. Griffith’s still impressive take on the Revolutionary War, “America” (1924) silent… America (1924) talkie, (and a new version of America which has just been produced) or director John Ford’s celebration of Pres. Abraham Lincoln and the building of the transcontinental railroad, “The Iron Horse” (1924) or part of the Ford At Fox Collection, are all but unknown to today’s audiences. Moreover, the pivotal American movies about World War I, both in the silent and early sound eras, were patently anti-war pictures, often keying upon the soldiers of other nations, such as “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930), from Erich Maria Remarque’s eloquent novel (Journey’s End) of German boys as soldiers, and “Journey’s End [VHS]” (1930), from the R.C. Sheriff play about British troops. Therefore the more recently made, The Patriot with Mel Gibson, is a good addition to the movies about the Revolution.

Considered by many one of if not the best movies, and definitely civil war films, ever mad was Gone with the Wind (1939) with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. The mini-series North and South made in (1986) with Patrick Swayze is also a great depiction of the Civil War era, as well as Tom Berenger in Gettysburg / Gods and Generals.

A third reason for the dominance of 1940s-related patriotism is that the U.S. was struggling with the Great Depression for much of the 1930s. The country’s basic values were often being called into question, which is not exactly the best mind-set for making patriotic pictures. It was not until the late 1930s that a new sense of nationalism began to surface, fueled by America’s weathering of the Depression and a sense of approaching war.

With these parameters, I would posit that a patriotic parade of films best begins with director Frank Capra’s watershed populist work, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939). A 1999 newspaper poll documented this homage to American idealism as the country’s favorite political picture. Besides being a touching comedy showcase of the values upon which the U.S. is based, with Jimmy Stewart’s career-making turn as the patriotic Jefferson Smith, the movie is most rewarding when it freely shows flaws such as political corruption in the system. Throughout the years, a hallmark of American populism has been a willingness to show weaknesses as well as positives of a democratic state. This is best demonstrated years later by the Capraesque “All the President’s Men” (1976), which movingly illustrated how a free and open nation could uncover and ultimately attack a crime against democracy like Watergate. (A great discussion point would be why that could happen then versus why Leakgate and Fast and Furious is now being buried.)

Other patriotically pivotal Capra pictures would include “Meet John Doe” (1941) and “State of the Union” (1948). The former has Gary Cooper’s title character initially being duped by, but then fighting, an American fascist (Edward Arnold). The latter has Spencer Tracy running for president as a Wendell Willkie-like idealist. (Willkie was Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s Republican opponent in the 1940 election. After his defeat, the former liberal Democrat Willkie acted as a presidential emissary abroad during World War II. His 1943 best-selling book, One World, was a popular articulation for liberal internationalism shortly before the founding of the United Nations.)

The Willkie mix of patriotism and internationalism in “State of the Union” was nothing new to Capra. In his 1971 autobiography, The Name Above the Title, he makes it clear that his populist movies are in the cracker-barrel Yankee tradition of Will Rogers, a personal Capra hero. As early as 1930, Rogers’ character in the film version of “So This Is London” (George M. Cohan starred in the original play) (book: So This is London, A comedy in three…) observed, “There isn’t much difference in people World over [they're] just about the same [good].” The picture closes on the shared harmony of Rogers singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” while his British counterpart sings the English lyrics for “God Save the King” (both of which are set to the same music).

Capra seems to footnote his ties to Rogers with his pivotal casting and utilization of actor Harry Carey to play the president of the Senate in “Mr. Smith.” Besides bearing a striking physical resemblance to Rogers, Carey’s folksy mannerisms–the slouching posture, the bit of hair falling on the forehead, the half-suppressed smile–are especially reminiscent of the humorist. Though Carey’s is a small part, his largely visual support of the filibustering Smith is both entertaining and central to this segment of the film. Fittingly, Capra’s stars–including Stewart, Cooper, and Tracy–are now seen as archetypal American actors

In 1939, the same year as “Mr. Smith,” Hollywood’s other key populist director, John Ford, made two classics: “Young Mr. Lincoln” and “Drums Along the Mohawk,” both starting Henry Fonda. Lincoln, the ultimate real-life cracker-barrel figure, often turns up in populist films (Ford alone uses him in several pictures), though “Young Mr. Lincoln” is uniformly considered the portrayal of the country’s favorite president, by Ford or any other director. As with “Mr. Smith,” the movie shows a less-than-perfect America, including Lincoln talking down a lynch mob. Still, by working within the system, justice ultimately triumphs. Even this, however, is tempered at the picture’s close by a gathering storm, symbolizing Lincoln’s future Civil War trials, as well as the threat of World War Il.

Drums Along the Mohawk” is a beautiful Technicolor tapestry of frontier life at the time of the Revolutionary War. The perseverance of the pioneers as they flip-flop between farming and fighting the enemy is as moving a tribute to the American spirit as Ford has ever produced. At the close, the settlers are told the Revolutionary War has been won and they see the Stars and Stripes for the first time. After one of their number observes, “So that’s our new flag,” it is proudly raised to the highest point at the fort. While “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” plays on the soundtrack, the principals return to farming. Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves – Extended Cut gives a little different perspective on the wilderness and interaction with the native Americans.

Following the patriotic populism of “Mr. Smith,” “Young Mr. Lincoln,” and “Drums Along the Mohawk,” the early 1940s saw the release of three pivotal nationalistic biography films: “Sergeant York” (1941), “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” and “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942), about baseball legend Lou Gehrig. Each presents its patriotic message in different, but complementary, ways. “York,” with Cooper in the title role, depicts the extraordinary evolution of a man from conscientious objector to war hero. While ostensibly about a reluctant World War I patriot, it is just as much about getting America prepared for World War II.

Yankee Doodle Dandy” takes a patriotic entertainer, whose heyday was the World War I era (Cohan’s “Over There” was the period theme song), and plugs his needed values into the then new conflict. Thus, Cagney’s Cohan visits the White House by the picture’s close and receives a tribute from FDR. Once he is outside again, a passing parade is marching to “Over There.”

Despite the battle deaths of the Sullivans, the film spends little time with them in uniform. Instead, it is a movie about growing up in heartland USA–Waterloo, Iowa. The constantly scrapping brothers (thus the title, “The Fighting Sullivans“) are likable, funny, and loyal to their siblings. They could be anyone’s children, and that is just the point–populism is about the common man and woman always being available when democracy is in danger. (The True Story of the Fighting Sullivans…)

Countless other pictures dealt more specifically with battle. A good literary starting point is the 1943 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s 1940 novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Although the book was about the Spanish Civil War, this conflict was the dress rehearsal for World War II. By having as the central character an American (Cooper) who sacrifices his life for freedom, the movie puts a positive patriotic spin on a conflict that should have generated more attention from the democracies of the world.

The novel also had a more direct impact on World War II motion pictures. When the lone America sacrifices his life for others by manning a machine gun against impossible odds, the world of war movies had an inspired icon of resistance. By the time Cooper replicated the stirring finale in the film version, variations of the conclusion had already occurred in “Wake Island” (1942) and “Bataan” (1943). A more upbeat take on this scene occurs in “Sahara” (1943), when Humphrey Bogart and company keep a detachment of German infantry from a source of water.

It was not, however, just a man’s war. There were several excellent pictures keyed on the bravery and sacrifice of women. The most memorable was probably “So Proudly We Hail!” (1943), which chronicled American nurses at the siege of Bataan. At the time termed the first film tribute to women in World War II, it starred Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, and Veronica Lake. An excellent companion picture is “Cry, Havoc” (1943), also focusing on American nurses and women volunteers at beleaguered Bataan, starring Margaret Sullavan, Joan Blondell, and Ann Sothern. For a different slant on heroic women at war, there is “Ladies Courageous” (1944), a saga of the WAFs (Women in the Air Force) and the part they played in air warfare. The picture starred Loretta Young and Geraldine Fitzgerald. (This is a collector’s item if you can find it.)

This female perspective was especially pertinent going into the cynical post-World War II era, when trusting patriotic populism was sometimes revitalized by casting a woman in the focus role. Witness the Academy Award-winning performances of Loretta Young in “The Farmer’s Daughter VHS” (1947), Judy Holliday in “Born Yesterday” (1950) and Three Came Home (1950) with Claudette Colbert. “The Farmer’s Daughter” was originally called “Katie Goes to Congress.” As “Mr. Smith” used a real, martyred president (Lincoln) as an ongoing inspiration for a young idealist in trouble, “The Farmer’s Daughter” works, in large part, through its celebration of Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s insight in supporting the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. A watered-down version of this phenomenon–which might be labeled “Ms. Smith Goes to Washington”– occurred much later in Goldie Hawn’s “Protocol” (1984).

By the mid 1950s, Ford’s vision of the West would turn dark as he questioned the country’s treatment of Native Americans. Although his earlier frequent cinematic battles between cowboys and Indians would later be labeled politically incorrect by some critics, this is a shortsighted take on his artistry and misses the moving sensitivity of earlier pictures like “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1949), with Wayne as a cavalry officer about to retire. Ford’s celebration of the longtime ties of U.S. men in uniform, as filtered through Wayne’s character, has seldom been rivaled.

The 1950s are a difficult time in which to find patriotism in Hollywood films. Between the Cold War and the climate of fear and blacklisting created by the communist witch-hunting (or maybe not… Read: Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies – It proves that McCarthy was actually telling the truth) of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, there seemed to be little about which to raise flags. Nevertheless, a few movies slipped by, including one from a most unlikely source–the normally cynical writer/director Billy Wilder. His biographic film of Charles Lindbergh, “The Spirit of St. Louis” (1957), is an inventive portrayal of the famous flight by that celebrated American hero.

Other 1950s biographies with a patriotic twist would include “The Jackie Robinson Story – In COLOR & B&W…” (1950), with the future Hall of Famer playing himself in an engaging look at breaking the color line in baseball, and “Story of Will Rogers” (1952), an often poignant take on the country’s favorite pre-war entertainer/ ambassador-at-large, with Will Rogers, Jr., playing his father. An interesting variation on the 1950s flag-waving biography is the World War II drama, “To Hell and Back” (1955), with Audie Murphy, the most decorated U.S. soldier of the war, playing himself in a movie based on his best-selling autobiography. Murphy also starred in director John Huston’s classic 1951 adaptation of Stephen Crane’s Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage.

Even though Korea was the decade’s hot war, patriotic film depictions of conflict still keyed on the noncontroversial World War II. The best straight drama on the subject was “Twelve O’Clock High” (1949), a taut examination of American flyers in England starring Gregory Peck. Not to be outdone, 1955′s comedy-drama “Mister Roberts” proved equally entertaining, with Fonda in the title role, Cagney as the overbearing captain, and Jack Lemmon taking home a best supporting actor Academy Award as Ensign Pulver. After playing the part for years on stage, Fonda was able to re-create movingly for the screen his restless cargo officer anxious for combat action. (After almost two decades of working together, Fonda and director Ford had a falling out, and Mervyn LeRoy eventually finished the movie.) Being reared in a Clark Gable-loving family, I would be remiss if I did not mention “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958), possibly the best World War II submarine film. There is also a great World War II Heroes Film Collection … And in 1957 Disney released Johnny Tremain

Until the escalation of the Vietnam War in the second half of the 1960s, the “flower child” decade had its fair share of patriotic pictures, too. Again, “the best war ever” produced the most high-profile pictures. Critic Leonard Maltin has called “The Longest Day” (1962), about the Allied invasion of Normandy, one of the “great epic World War II films.” The following year saw the production of another World War II blockbuster, “The Great Escape,” an imposing depiction of a massive POW escape plan from a German prison camp. Both movies had large international casts, with the latter making actor Steve McQueen’s career.

Cinematic depictions during the 1960s of earlier conflicts included John Wayne’s debut as the director (with uncredited assistance from Ford) of the epic “The Alamo” (1960), with Wayne also starting as Davy Crockett. (Remade by Dennis Quaid; The Alamo) Before Italian director Sergio Leone’s anti-establishment “spaghetti westerns” changed audience expectations for the genre in the mid 1960s, the traditional horse opera was still being made at the onset of the decade. This was best demonstrated by the blockbuster American event, “How the West Was Won” (1962), whose all-star cast included Wayne, Fonda, and Stewart, with narration by Tracy. (Ford directed the Civil War sequence.)

In the world of patriotic biographies made in the first half of the 1960s, it was largely a Roosevelt story. For example, Dore Schary adapted his acclaimed play to the screen in “Sunrise at Campobello [VHS]” (1960) with Ralph Bellamy re-creating his Tony-winning stage performance as FDR, heroically battling through both polio and politics. In 1965, (Re-make: Sunrise At Campobello), “The Eleanor Roosevelt Story” won an Oscar as the best feature-length documentary. This inspiring account of the former First Lady also broke new ground by making several top-10 lists, territory normally reserved for fiction films. Truman with Gary Sinise completes that era.

Reclaiming American pride

Patriotic movies during the second half of the 1960s and throughout the 1970s were relatively rare, as the handling and reporting of Vietnam and Watergate did much to drain American pride. Still, there were some memorable exceptions. In 1970, a year that produced such watershed antiwar pictures as “M*A*S*H” and “Catch-22, (hard to find)” And the mini series Roots gave us a better look at the black American history George C. Scott gave the performance of a lifetime in “Patton,” his portrayal of the complex patriotic American warrior. This milestone biography is mesmerizing from film frame one, when Scott as Gen. George Patton gives the ultimate battle pep talk in front of a huge American flag. Despite the period’s antiwar climate, the critical and commercial success of “Patton” should not be seen as a total surprise since the politics of World War II sometimes put limitations on the controversial general’s ability to wage war, and there was MacArthur and Tora! Tora! Tora! After all, part of the frustration centering on Vietnam, at least from the conservative right, was that politics limited the U.S.’s war-making abilities in Southeast Asia. John Wayne made a patriotic Viet Nam War move, The Green Berets. And The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now round out the war movies of that era. The National Archives released: Immigrants in America, 1970 and The Immigrant Experience gives us another look into American immigration. And Fess Parker released Daniel Boone a collection of his favorites of this top hit TV show of the 1950’s where every child was wearing a coon skin cap and knew the stories of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett and A&E released the The Crossing, about George Washington.

Fittingly, two additional patriotic movies from the period opened in 1976 — the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence: “Rocky (Full Collection) and “All the President’s Men.”, but also 1776 and Liberty’s Kids, a collection for the children. As a footnote to the latter picture, Robert Redford’s involvement as both actor and executive producer foreshadowed a proclivity for his future involvement in other Capra-like populist films. “All the President’s Men” lost the best picture Oscar to “Rocky,” a fact which now seems surprising because Sylvester Stallone subsequently went to the “Rocky” well too many times (five installments), but the original was fundamental sports populism at its best.

Rocky Balboa was the classic American underdog, topped off by his being from the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence–Philadelphia. The only one of the sequels to rival the patriotism of the original was “Rocky IV” (1985), wherein Stallone’s aging boxer battles a Soviet fighter and capitalizes on Pres. Ronald Reagan’s U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. Cold War brinkmanship. One might best close the decade out with the Capraesque populist comedy “The Electric Horseman“(1979) … not a favorite of mine, but which among its charms, includes a scene where Redford and Jane “antiwar activist” Fonda are engaged in singing “America” (with “purple mountains’ majesty” in the background).

The 1980s gave the U.S. two types of patriotic military pictures–the contrived romantic melodrama, which focused primarily upon looking good in uniform and having a “top-10″ soundtrack, and the phenomenon one critic labeled “the genre of Idiot Action Movies.” The former group would include “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982) and “Top Gun” (1986), while the “Idiot” category is defined by Stallone’s “Rambo Trilogy” (1982, 1985, and 1988). With the exception of Lou Gossett’s Oscar-winning performance as a tough drill instructor in “Officer,” these are mainly pictures about Richard Gere and Tom Cruise as beautiful boy toys, set off by all that jet plane gadgetry in “Top Gun.” The Cruise picture, as well as Stallone’s “Rambo” exercises, are largely comic book in tone and are inspiringly spoofed in “Hot Shots!” (1991) and “Hot Shots! / Hot Shots! Part Deux” (1993). 1991 also gave us Kevin Kostner’s JFK – Director’s Cut.

For those viewers who brought a brain to the 1980s, Redford introduced a mythic dimension to American populism in “The Natural” (1984) and “The Milagro Beanfield War” (1988). The former has Redford starting in a poignant fantasy set in the national pastime (baseball). “Milagro” has director Redford applying Capraesque populism to people of color in yew Mexico–underdogs vs. corporate land developers, with the assistance of an old, white-haired, poncho-draped angel.

We Were Soldiers and Black Hawk Down take us into the the next phase if war movies.

A complementary closer for the decade would be “Field of Dreams” (1989), another populist baseball film with links to “Milagro” as well, including a pivotal character of color (James Earl Jones’ writer) and a foundation in fantasy. A more controversial choice would be “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989), which heralds a new twist on patriotism (in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau and civil disobedience). Cruise is electric as he moves from Vietnam vet to anti-war activist while playing real-life hero Ron Kovic. With a title that plays upon George “Yankee Doodle Dandy” Cohan’s old claim to being “Born on the Fourth of July,” Cruise and director Oliver Stone have never been more patriotically provocative. Then look back to the Reagan era, Rendezvous with Destiny, was made after the millennium, looking back.

A must read (Nineteen Eighty-Four) and watch (1984) considering the times we are now living in is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four1984“. His predictions have become ever more true; it just took a bit longer to get here.  Some prefer the re-mastered version original “1984”.  Turning this trend back is part of what the 2012 Election, at all levels of government, is about.

By the 1990s, Hollywood seemed much more willing to embrace patriotic themes. The decade began (2001) with The God Father Part III…Series which gives a look into Italian immigrant (Mafia) life Several large-scale, big-box-office hits are peppered through the decade, starting with the unlikely critical and commercial smash, “Forrest Gump” (1994), with the title populist simpleton played so effectively by Tom Hanks. Then there was the nation’s ultimate science fiction patriot, Will Smith, saving the planet from aliens not once, but twice–in “Independence Day” and “Men in Black” (1997). The runner-up trophy in this All-America category goes to Bruce Willis’ take on saving the world–”Armageddon” (1998).

Populist American movies from the 1990s were bolstered by veteran filmmaker Redford and young director Ron Howard. Growing up on the ultimate populist television program “The Andy Griffith Show,” 1960-68 (Andy passed away yesterday on 07.03.12 at age 86) and then Happy Days. Howard’s best film work falls in this genre, from homage to his Irish immigrant heritage in “Far and Away” (1992) to the updated Yankee ingenuity (synonymous with America’s earlier cracker-barrel philosophers) so pivotal to getting “Apollo 13” (1995) back to Earth safely.

A River Runs Through It” (1992, director) and “The Horse Whisperer” (1998, director and title character). While both deal with families in crisis, the salve for these wounds, in standard populist tradition, comes from the grandeur of the American West. One might also link Redford and Howard’s 1990s work to writer/ director Barry Levinson’s “Avalon” (1990), a movingly patriotic look at his immigrant family.

A final look at patriotic films of the 1990s would key on today’s two most archetypal American actors, Hanks and Harrison Ford. As novelist Tom Clancy’s ex-CIA agent Jack Ryan, Ford has made the world a safer place in “Patriot Games” (1992) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994), while “Air Force One” (1997) casts him as a two-fisted president who cannot be held hostage for long. Two-time Oscar winner Hanks has scored great critical and commercial success in “Forrest Gump,” “Apollo 13,” and “Saving Private Ryan,” as well as the World War II-era salute to a women’s baseball team, “A League of Their Own” (1992). And then there was Primary Colors with John Travolta (1998) (hard to find) the story was based on the Clintons.The new century has a rich and varied patriotic film legacy upon which to build.

There has been a reduction in patriotism, conservatism and history focused entertainment in Hollywood in the 2000’s, but nevertheless there are some good works. Beginning with HBO’s Mini-Series: John Adams and (2004) Tom Selleck’s Ike – Countdown to D-Day. Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman shows us another side of politics. A Nation Adrift and The American Heritage Series are good reminders of where we’ve been and where we are. Pearl Harbor (2001) with Ben Afflick plus Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima are WWII classics produced by Clint Eastwood and Gran Torino starring Eastwood is a comment on our times. The Hurt Locker brings us to our present war and the The Blind Side shows us our better side. 2010 also brought us America and 2011 gave us the mini-series The Kennedys, (Blu-ray) that almost didn’t get made or seen.

Band of Brothers, The Pacific, War and Remembrance, and The Winds of War are all mini series that take us back to WWII. And The Shirley Temple Ultimate Collecti… takes us back to simpler times and her films are definitely a great addition to your library. Biography – Shirley Temple

And 2012 – 2014 additions:

The Iron Lady’ [Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo). The story of Margaret Thatcher which includes her political relationship with Ronald Reagan and their hand in ending the Cold War.

Argo (CIA Operations – Iran): A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.

Lincoln (Civil War Era): Covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on the President’s efforts in January 1865 to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives.

Zero Dark Thirty (War on Terror): Billed as “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man”, the film dramatizes the United States operation that found and killed Osama bin Laden leader of al-Qaeda.

The Monuments Men (WWII):  A positive war movie based on a true story… George Stout, puts  together a mission to preserve, and protect the world’s greatest art. The Group is named ‘The Monument’s Men’ who are sent on an almost impossible mission as they risk their lives, in a race against time to avoid destruction of the art, and return it to their rightful owners. The art is trapped behind enemy lines, with the German Army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell. This movie is based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, as the artistic Masterpieces are planned to be rescued from Nazi thieves.

American Soldier: The Complete History of U.S. Wars : As Seen On PBS : Complete 4 Disc Box Set -With Bonus : A Historical Overview Of American Weapons

Wes D. Gehring, Associate Mass Media Editor of USA Today, is professor of film, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. -  COPYRIGHT 2000 Society for the Advancement of Education  and The Gale Group

We all know that Hollywood leans to the left and even more so at certain times during our history… like now. But if you have watched some of these classic movies (and there are plenty more good ones and not so good ones out there); read some of the books on the lists below, visit some historical spots in our Country; keep up on what is going on; get involved and talk about it all to your children, neighbors, and friends… we just might be able to re-start the “great discussion” (American style… where people discussed politics, history, religion, philosophy and their thoughts regularly at the kitchen table, at work and with their friends, families and neighbors… and weren’t afraid of repercussions because of political correctness) to save the “great experiment”!

There are some great books out right now that are filled with valuable information for Americans of all ages, but especially for voters.  Nothing like a great book to take to the beach or a park event and a perfect season to start a weekly reading night with the family or friends where everyone can share and discuss the book they are reading.

Some  Suggested Reading:

The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the United States Congress, The Amateur, Screwed!, Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say , Hostile Takeover, The Jefferson Lies, Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic, What the (Bleep) Just Happened?: The Happy Warrior’s Guide to the Great American Comeback, Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns

Here are few older suggestions: Being George , Killing Lincoln, Original Intent, The Original Argument, Stop the Islamization of America, The Shadow Party, Bonhoeffer, Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot

Books by or about Obama: Dreams from My Father (try to find a copy published before the re-written 2012 election version),  The Audacity of Hope, The Obama Nation, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, Where’s the Birth Certificate?, The Plan, Obama Zombies, The Manchurian President, The Case Against Barack Obama, Welcome to Obamaland, Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas and Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment

You Cannot Love and Honor What You Don’t Know or Miss just like you cannot honestly  and effectively vote for what you don’t understand, including the consequences thereof, yet for far too long we have cheated ourselves and future generations of the knowledge needed for America to survive.

Happy 4th of July!!

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