Patriotism Is in the Details

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In January, 2010, I wrote about my attempts to cancel my subscription to Golf Digest when they decided to feature Tiger Woods and Barack Obama on their cover. The issue in question accosted readers, from said cover to pages and pages inside, with ridiculous images of Obama coaching golfer Woods on the fine art of posing for a camera – an activity in which the current president of the United States has spent far too much time.  While Woods, despite his troubles, is a golfer and would belong in a golf magazine, Obama….not appropriate on so many levels.

Well, I am happy to announce that after a year of my repeated cancellation efforts, Golf Digest has finally cancelled this subscription.  We weren’t even paying for it anymore, the freebee no doubt their acknowledgement of a mistaken decision that I have a feeling cost them quite a few subscribers. But I persisted (and let them know why), just as everyday Americans are persisting all over the country, performing small acts of revolt – the small details — that are fueling the rising tide of patriotism we are seeing everywhere.

Beyond the election results, the Tea Party events and the town-hall meetings that have sent elected officials hiding under rocks over the past two years, we find testament to the fact that Americans do not intend to see their nation go softly into the dark night of the left’s efforts to “transform” this country in the details. A few examples:

  • Record sales of guns and ammunition, resulting in Barack Obama being repeatedly named “gun salesman of the year” (and probably the century).
  • Flash mobs spontaneously erupting at Christmastime, with thousands of people singing undeniably Christian Christmas songs – so many thousands that one mall even had to be closed because of the threat to the building’s foundational structure.
  • Thousands of seniors cancelling their memberships with AARP because of that organization’s support of Obamacare with its blue pills and bureaucratic “death panels” that spell doom for America’s elderly.
  • Enraged parents (myself included) contacting the Disney Channel for repeatedly featuring Michelle “let-them-eat-cake/do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do/for-the-first-time-I’m-proud-of-my-country” Obama and her lectures to the peasants about what and how much to feed our children.
  • Car buyers shying away from companies that are owned by a partnership of the United States government and labor unions.
  • Air travelers happily giving their seats on overbooked flights to men and women in uniform flying home to see their families.

Also pervasive in my own life – and in many other American lives as I have discovered – is the effect the current political climate has had on my choice of the movies I see. I am and always have been a profound lover of movies, back in the day attending once a week or more. All that changed post-9/11 when Hollywood’s true colors emerged as never before. From that time forward, I have found it impossible to see past the virulent anti-American, hypocritical rants of certain Hollywood players, despite their lacking expertise in military strategy, economic theory, historical context, or, I suspect, even high-school diplomas — no matter how great their performances on the silver screen.

Show me a trailer featuring one of these nimrods, and my kids roll their eyes, waiting for my own rant to begin, knowing that here is yet another film to be stricken from the list of those for which I would be willing to shell out cash to see. Ignorance being bliss, I carefully guard the names of those performers I love who have not yet to my knowledge spouted off about how our nation should be run into the ground.

What fuels my optimism is knowing I am not alone in my own small acts of revolt, and I encourage those who believe in this country to keep up the good work. Make decisions for the future of our nation, and let those who stand to profit or lose from those decisions know about it. God is in the details, and so is patriotism and the salvation of our country.

Tonight on Discovery: Man vs. Metrosexual

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The attack this past week on the Discovery Channel headquarters by an environmental activist who was inspired by Al Gore and his “documentary,” An Inconvenient Truth, got me thinking about a trend – a convenient truth — I have been noticing this summer. In a nutshell: Men are alive and well, and we still like having them around.

I recognized this trend, this truth, while, at the behest of my son, I was watching Discovery’s reality shows that showcase the fine art of survival, either on the job (Deadliest Catch) or in the wild (Man vs. Wild, Dual Survival, etc.) . These shows are wildly popular, their key players — from captains of ice-encrusted boats seeking Arctic crab, to military-trained experts demonstrating survival tips in case of wilderness isolation or apocalypse — becoming household names coast to coast. Like I said, alive and well.

Which tells me something, too, about all those soft, non-threatening, oh-so-celebrated metrosexuals that grace most of America’s magazine covers: George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and, of course, the illustrious Barack Obama. Sing their praises if you must, but obviously there are still plenty of Americans, men and women alike, who revere the masculinity, self-sufficiency, independence, resourcefulness and virility at the core of the Discovery guys’ popularity (and, in a sense, at the core of America itself).

It’s not that difficult to figure out. Our culture may have been subverted in recent decades by radical feminists who would label men “scum” yet insist that women are their equal, and politically correct philosophies and policies that mandate there is no evil, no right, no wrong, but that does not change who we are fundamentally as animals. When faced with danger and those who would hurt our homes and families, most of us, like our non-human brethren, still look up to those who know how to keep us warm, keep us fed, keep us safe, and keep us alive.

If my family were stranded in the tundra, left to our own devices in the aftermath of a natural disaster, or threatened by the consequences of a lawless society, some guy whose skill set consists solely of mugging for a camera lens, reading a teleprompter and matching a silk tie to an Italian suit would be of no value whatsoever. On the other hand, a man who can navigate a ship through a blizzard on an icy sea; who can find water and shade in Death Valley; who would take down a plane hijacked by terrorists before it reaches DC; or who can use a gun and a blade for food, shelter and self-protection.…I’ll stick with him, thank you very much.  It’s a safe bet most of the rest of us would too.

Oscar’s Miracle

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March 8, 2010 | Comments

So I sit out the Oscars last night, and an actual, bonafide miracle occurs after so many years of Hollywood’s wandering the liberal desert. Contrary to the buzz following Avatar and everyone associated with it (including Director nominee James Cameron), into that glittering awards celebration, the Oscar for Best Director went to Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, for the war epic The Hurt Locker.

Though this upset alone would seem a miracle, the true miracle occurred when Ms. Bigelow included our troops in Iran and Afghanistan in her acceptance speech! At the Oscars! Brazenly and unabashedly in front of all the Hollywood elite assembled there.

While some in that building last night might have seen the military accolades that followed that win as a sign of the apocalypse, others, particularly the closeted Hollywood conservatives in attendance (and me — not in attendance), would regard it more as a miracle — or simply the desire on the part of the voters to avoid another “king of the world” speech from favorite Cameron.

Either way, brava Kathryn! And thanks for remembering the men and women and their families back home who dedicate their lives to protecting us, our children, and our beautiful country each and every day. Maybe I’ll give the Oscars another try next year….

Betsy Siino | Comments

Missing the Oscars

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March 7, 2010 | Comments

I do miss the Oscars.  And tonight, I am missing them literally — not watching, not paying attention.

It wasn’t always this way. Back in the day, I was a rabid movie lover with an endless list of favorites. I cut my teeth on Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, To Kill a Mockingbird, Streetcar Named Desire, West Side Story, anything Rogers and Hammerstein, and everything Disney. And I never missed the Oscars.

Once I was out on my own, the little “movie club” my friends and I organized would happily await that magical moment after work when we would purchase our tickets for our weekly “meetings” that introduced us to the likes of Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Verdict, Glengarry Glen Ross, everything from Britain, and anything intriguing and obscure. Afterwards we would discuss the night’s film passionately – what worked, what didn’t – then just as fervently debate our Oscar-night picks.

But in the post-9/11 world, just as plot and character in films were being obliterated by computer generation, the Hollywood elite decided it was their duty not to entertain, but to bash America and scold us for our misbehavior. My viewing habits thus now trend toward kid fare and classic series (Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Pirates, the new Star Trek), with a Sweeney Todd, Blind Side and romantic comedy (The Proposal, The Wedding Date, Four Christmases) thrown in here and there. The rest, well, I just can’t see beyond the characters most actors portray, thanks to their hypocritical, “America-is-bad” preaching off screen.

The same applies to Oscar night. Back in the day, those of us who made the Oscars a major media event would anticipate the inevitable, usually laughable, political showboating. But now it’s no longer laughable, with Michael Moore’s standing ovation and his proclamation that the threat of terrorism is a hoax; Al Gore revered for a film he made about a hoax; Hollywood standing yet again to honor absent fugitive winner/rapist Roman Polanski (apparently none of these Hollywood types have daughters); and, with the exception of Avatar and the annual obligatory nod to George Clooney, a roster of nominees unknown to the movie-loving, movie-going populace.

Needless to say, the Oscar’s ratings have plummeted. And needless to say, I have seen almost nothing nominated this year. I adore scheduled host Steve Martin, and I’m sure he and his partner-host Alec Baldwin are being hilarious even as I write this, but still, not interested.

So, yes, a sad night tonight as I think of Oscar nights passed. Tomorrow I’ll look over the list of winners, and even if I see a surprise or two, I’ll know what I’m missing is the way it used to be.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Dear Toys R Us….

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October 10, 2009 | Comments

A letter I wrote at the end of September to Toys R Us in the wake of Hollywood’s disgraceful support of film director/convicted rapist Roman Polanski:

Dear Toys R Us,

Just when I thought I could not be more outraged by Hollywood’s support of Roman Polanski raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl, topped by Whoopie Goldberg’s idiotic comment that the rape of this child wasn’t “rape-rape,” I realize that Ms. Goldberg also happens to be a spokesperson for your company. As we head into the holiday season during a challenging economy, I trust that the powers that be at Toys R Us are re-thinking their alignment with this woman who has exhibited a complete lack of concern for the well-being of children. And as someone who spends hundreds of dollars at your store each year, I will be waiting to see just how you seek to handle this so I can adjust my holiday spending if necessary….

I sent this letter to two female PR-type representatives of the company. After a week of silence and two more missives from me, I finally received a sparse, rudimentary email from a third woman. Her email address was my only clue that it was even from Toys R Us. This woman thanked me for “reaching out,” and asked where she could reach me to “set the record straight.”

The record looks pretty straight to me. On August 20th of this year, Toys R Us unveiled a new catalogue for kids with special needs, proudly displaying on the cover a lovely photo of Ms. Goldberg and a young girl with Down Syndrome. Weeks later, Ms. Goldberg, joined by the likes of her View buddies and other Hollywood moral authorities, defended the film director and derided the child he attacked.

I thus responded to this rather unprofessional and confusing response:

I trust you are referring to my message to Toys R Us regarding the company’s choice of Whoopi Goldberg as a spokesperson — especially in light of her cavalier and disgraceful comments regarding the rape and sodomy committed against a 13-year-old girl by a 40-something film director.  You say you would like to “set the record straight.”  You are welcome to do just that, as I would hope the company has taken some sort of position, and I would welcome you sending that my way.

So far, I’m sorry to say, no one has sent anything my way. I have continued to check for any public announcements from the company like those made when they celebrated their new alliance with Ms. Goldberg, but no, nothing. Not surprising, I suppose, when you consider how much money Toys R Us spent on assembling and distributing that catalogue and purchasing the image of their illustrious spokesperson. The only bright spot has been seeing that other outraged parents have discovered this story. Toys R Us has apparently even told one group representing children with special needs that they are looking into the matter (I’m sure they have also thanked the organization for “reaching out”). We’ll see. But as with so much that is happening today in this bizarro world of ours, I won’t be holding my breath, and I hope they aren’t holding theirs either.

Betsy Siino | Comments

New Week, New Name

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October 5, 2009 | Comments

Sheesh, I take a week off to re-tool my site in honor of a new name – Grizzly Mom – and, as is so common these days, the world changes at light speed:

  • Led by the President of the United States, world leaders and diplomats gather in New York City at the U.N. to sing the praises of said President and to trash the U.S. and Israel. The U.S. President, reveling in the adulation, makes speeches that would once have seen the American delegation leaving the room. Only Israel’s leader and the Canadian delegation behave with dignity and courage.
  • After trashing Sarah Palin, the war in Iraq (and, by extension, the men and women in our military), and, deservedly so, every politician who has engaged in adulterous affairs, David Letterman confesses to a giggling, rapturous audience that he has engaged in sexual liaisons with female underlings. But as poor David tells it, again to mass applause, he is the true victim here – the victim of extortion attempts. His mom must be so proud.
  • While our troops are dying each day, Mr. and Mrs. Obama, spurred on by hometown cronies and a slobbering NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC and company, fly to Copenhagen to beg the Olympic Committee to award the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. Despite his heartfelt stories of how Chicago celebrated his coronation, and her stories of dad’s MS, the IOC dismisses Chicago in the first round, ultimately naming Rio the winner. Shocked media groupies weep, the IOC is obviously racist, and it’s all George Bush’s fault.
  • In the wake of his Olympic defeat, the President, doing his best Commander-in-Chief impersonation, swallows his pride and meets with General McChrystal, our commander in Afghanistan, on a London tarmac (in response, no doubt, to critics’ claims that the President is foresaking our troops and ignoring the General’s request for an increase). For only his second meeting with the General, Obama’s customary metrosexual skinny  suit stands in stark, wimpy contrast to the General’s desert fatigues (especially love the boots!). Though the President offers the General only minutes of his time, the General’s attire sends a clear message to those of us in his and his warriors’ camp. 
  • After decades of luxurious exile in Europe, film director Roman Polanksi is arrested in Switzerland. Years ago he escaped punishment in the U.S. for drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl, 30 years his junior. The morally upstanding community that is Hollywood jumps to his defense, led by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Toys R Us spokeswoman Whoopi Goldberg. Apparently winning an Oscar trumps child protection.
  • In a related story, we discover – by the man’s own documented admissions — that the President’s safe school czar (whatever that is) at least once ignored his mandate to report a child in danger, counseling a 15-year-old boy who was hooking up with older men at bus stations to enjoy and be safe. We hear more is coming.
  • The U.S. dollar begins a global decline. Members of Congress and media hacks berate General McChrystal, demanding he just “shut up and salute.” The U.S. Congress continues to drive their un-read nationalized health-care plan that will decimate small business, extend coverage to illegals, ration care, punish doctors, limit care offered to seniors who have outlived their usefulness to the collective, tax us into oblivion, provide….

That’s enough. I can’t stand anymore. Too much rage percolating in this Grizzly Mom’s gut. But it’s a good rage. A rage for country, liberty and what we know is right. A rage that stems from the sick feeling in the stomach when all is not right in our country and the despicable efforts of those in power, when our Constitution is being shredded, our children’s futures destroyed. But it’s also a rage that can make things right again. For now, we’ll just have to call it a week and look for signs of light in this beleaguered country of ours, perhaps in the week to come (though I won’t be holding my breath for that one).

Betsy Siino | Comments