High Praise from a Guy Named Mark

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In the midst of all the commotion of last week’s election, someone who said his name is Mark contacted me in response to a piece I posted several months ago.

According to this guy, Mark, I am a meandering, monosyllabic moron (a new, more clever way, I presume, of labeling one’s rightwing opposition as stupid).  In addition, I am to be ridiculed for my inability to understand the brilliant musings of the extraordinary man who currently  occupies the Oval Office, as well as my support of so-called “real men.” My correspondent went on to say that those “real men,” thanks to their own obviously monosyllabic natures, would naturally find the ramblings on my insipid website appealing.

In response, this meandering, monosyllabic GrizzlyMom says thank you, Mark, for noticing.

Indeed no one is likely ever to reverse my take on the man currently occupying the White House (actually at the moment traveling Asia in a style, says the British press, unseen since the days of the Pharaohs and the Roman Emperors), nor will I ever apologize for my affinity for the so-called real men certain individuals apparently find so threatening. These latter charges did not faze me when leveled against me by feminist college professors way back when, and they pack even less of a punch today.

But how lovely of this guy Mark to notice that affinity – and to assume that, for whatever reason, the men in question might in turn find something of value within my meandering, monosyllabic ramblings. I take it as high praise, as do, I am sure, my readers, men and women alike – regardless of the number of syllables that happen to pepper their speech patterns.

Pathetic Efforts to Rehabilitate Michael Vick’s Rep

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Once again, I log on to my computer and see the smiling face of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, celebrated by mainstream internet homepages and sport media outlets working in concert to erase all memory of Vick’s recent past as a vicious killer of dogs. There he is: vaunted gladiator of the gridiron. Athlete. Warrior. Hero.

Different words come to my mind, however: “permanent record.” Join the Ku Klux Klan…permanent record. Molest a child…permanent record. Leave a woman to drown in a car that falls off a bridge without notifying authorities…sorry, permanent record. No rep rehab for you! The same applies to the decision quarterback Vick made years back to spent his leisure time torturing dogs and seeing them torn apart by other tortured dogs. Permanent record. No question.

Once his illegal leisure activities came to light, Vick went to prison for a time. And now, short attention spans abounding, football fans and sports media hacks have forgiven Vick his crimes — that word “forgive” playing a major role in the familiar story of a man’s ability to throw a football trumping a moral compass. Sorry. It will always be permanent-record territory to me. And I’m not alone in this. Some months back, for instance, Dennis Miller took a call from a young woman on his radio show who insisted in a sweet, sugary tone that Dennis must forgive Michael Vick in the name of Christian goodness. With his usual eloquence, Dennis said (and I echoed with far less eloquence): No way!

What this caller failed to recognize is that it is not Dennis’ place…or mine…or yours…or ESPN’s…to forgive Michael Vick. He didn’t hurt Dennis. He didn’t hurt me. Or any of us. No, he hurt animals we call our “best friends,” animals that had no choice but to endure his torture. He hurt animals I love – dogs – in the most vicious, most heinous, ways possible, without remorse, without contrition. We have heard a feeble “sorry” or two from him in the name of forced repentance and career salvation, but no heartfelt condemnation of dog fighting, no effort to prevent and/or end the suffering of other animals enduring atrocities identical to those he himself once perpetrated. It’s the dogs who need to do the forgiving. And they’re not talking.

So, no, I won’t forgive Michael Vick. It’s not my place. But it is my place to choose a side in battles of right and wrong, good and evil. One look at my resume, highlighted by decades of writings about dogs, children and the link between the abuse of animals and children, and it’s no secret which side I choose.

Meanwhile, Michael Vick moves on, reveling once more, with the help of a complicit media, in his glory as football hero, Super Bowl contender, role model. But I haven’t moved on. And I won’t. And I hope all who love dogs, even those who also happen to love the Eagles, will never forget the permanent record.

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.

Seeing Through Obama’s Latest Speech to Our Wounded Warriors

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I made a conscious decision this morning not to watch Barack Obama’s planned speech today to the disabled veterans. There is only so much I can take, not only of him, but of his lame attempts to appear manly, powerful and pro-military. We know what they say, however, about the best laid plans….

As fate would have it, I found myself sitting in my mechanic’s waiting area for about an hour’s worth of repairs to be completed on my car. Lucky me, that happened to be precisely the hour when Obama gave his speech to the veterans, broadcast by Fox News on my mechanic’s waiting-area television. In a phenomenon akin to a failed attempt to look away from a trainwreck, my clicking away at my laptop could not divert my attention from Obama’s droning monotone on the TV.

As I was unfortunate enough to discover, his speech was the same telepromptered tripe we have come to expect from this man: the complete lack of emotion, the bobbling of the head from side to side, from teleprompter to teleprompter, as though he is watching a tennis match; a few lame jokes and applause lines and his embarrassing pause awaiting the appropriate response.

But one segment stood out above the rest: his carefully scripted greeting to the Vietnam veterans in attendance. He, as usual, feigned undying support for all they endured then and what they endure now. He scolded those in this country who abused these warriors when they returned home from their tours of duty, verbalizing mechanically his outrage that Americans would dare to treat them so.

On it’s face, it was an appropriate tribute to those Vietnam vets — until you remember that it was being spouted by a man who has made his career out of aligning himself with those very people — the radicals and appeasers and left-wing tyrants (to name a few) — who perpetrated those unforgivable acts against our troops.  He has boasted of these alliances repeatedly, celebrating them, documenting them in his goopy biographies, appointing these individuals his czars and advisors. This did not stop him today, however, from offering our wounded warriors this shameless tirade. All in all, classic Obama.

Those of us who revere the Constitution and the greatness of America never bought his rhetoric. Ever. We ignored his script and his cadence, directing our collective attention instead to the man’s actions, his history and his alliances, knowing those would tell us exactly who he was and who he is. And they did. Wayward souls who weren’t originally so attentive join us daily in their own discoveries and  revelations, now seeing clearly, as well, the context, agenda and surreptitious tyranny that was right there in front of them all along. So save the pretty words, Mr. President. We’ve heard enough.

Accountability and Regretful Americans

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I wish I could laugh, hearing that captains of industry now regret the millions they donated to Barack Obama, arming him with the power to decimate American industry and the free-market system. I wish I could smile when I hear the lapdog media reporting with shock that confidence in this President is plummeting across the board, and that even members of his own party are realizing they have made a terrible mistake by pledging him their blind allegiance. I wish I could at least grin upon hearing that millions of voters now admit they would vote differently if given the opportunity to go back in time to November, 2008.

But I’m not laughing, and neither am I feeling the relief I suppose I should upon hearing that these Americans have recognized the terrible mistakes they made. Because of the devastation those mistakes, those choices have caused our country, our families and our children, I feel no relief, no sympathy. This is permanent-record territory, so anger is all you’ll get from me.

From sea to shining sea, well-educated, highly skilled, Constitution-loving Americans are admitting they regret their votes for Obama now that their eyes have opened to the true character and agenda of the man. We just don’t understand what happened, these individuals invariably plead.

But why don’t they understand? What’s the big mystery here? It’s really quite simple: They and so many others just don’t want to acknowledge the part they played in the current attacks on our country. They did so knowingly, and probably at the time with a big goofy smile of do-gooder, guilt-relief on their faces.

Though my own conscious is clean, I find the simplicity of this tragic situation staggering. Here you have thoughtful, highly skilled, professionally experienced people who have worked very hard for what they have achieved in this life. I know these people. You know them, too. Now along comes this guy running for President. To spare my own sanity, I’ll skip the description of his lack of experience, his mysterious past, his frightening associations, and his childhood scars.

Now, given this man’s thin resume and problematic personal background, let’s ask our regretful yet accomplished, hard-working, professionally experienced Americans, including friends and family members of our own, if they would ever hire this man to work for their companies, their practices, their shops. Of course they wouldn’t. And they would say this without hesitation, I’m sure. Yet millions of these same accomplished, professionally experienced friends and family members, also without hesitation, entrusted the futures of our precious nation, our families and our children to this same incompetent individual.

And they should be ashamed. Not shocked. Not disappointed. Ashamed.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to shed my own anger over what they did to us – beginning with what I hope will be a redemptive election for our country come November. In the meantime, all those regretful Americans out there can take their first step toward their own redemption by acknowledging their guilt – not regret, guilt — and then doing all they can to make things right again.

Obama Tries to Be Manly and the Left Goes Gaga

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Following the advice of his handlers, pollsters and a bunch of celebrities, Barack Obama tried to get tough this week and “show his anger” with the oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico by dropping the A-word. Apparently the belatedly scripted shot of him walking along an oil-spattered beach in his spindly designer suit, his dress shirt rolled up at the sleeves, concern emanating from his furrowed brow, just wasn’t enough to suggest that he is powerful and competent.

But once he dropped that A-word, making it clear he would be finding whom to blame (rather than finding solutions), his minions in the lapdog media went wild, cooing that their President had not only exploded in emotion, but had also given the masses a quintessential show of masculinity. To be fair, they really aren’t all that familiar with masculinity, so I suppose they can be forgiven for so blatantly misidentifying it here, yet it’s sad to think that Chris Matthews’ leg is probably still tingling.

Of course, those of us who do admire true masculinity, and still consider real men to be valuable assets to our culture, found Obama’s attempt to show some belated manly behavior in response to this devastating tragedy inappropriate, completely lacking in leadership, and downright embarrassing. We the people would have preferred to see him jump on the disaster at its onset; acknowledge its potential impact; and pass up a few tee-times, fundraisers, teleprompted speeches, and rock concerts in the White House. Oh, and for the record, Mr. President, a real man, a genuine American leader, would have told the aging Beatle that it was not the time, nor certainly the place, to bash the man who occupied the Oval Office before you did. Now that would have made my leg tingle.

When not tingling over their President’s show of manliness, the lapdogs are similarly celebrating the masculinity of Joe McGinniss, the so-called journalist who has courageously moved in next door to Sarah Palin to spy on her and her family and gather dirt. Again: What can you expect from a gaggle of clowns who have only the likes of Keith Olbermann, our tingly friend Chris, and David Letterman (to name only a few) as their masculine role models?

Unfortunately, it’s a lost cause even to imagine the left ever figuring out that stalking, cursing, blaming, avoiding, evading and hand-wringing do not a real man make. Nor are they components of a leader, particularly an American leader. And a leader, man or woman, is what we Americans need right now. We need a fearless American at the helm of our nation who genuinely loves, respects and cherishes this country and her laws. These are qualities that cannot be faked. We know them when we see them, and we look forward to the day when we will see them in the White House, in the halls of Washington, and in the State Houses and City Halls of this great nation once more. We pray that day will come soon.

Happy Mom’s Day!

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On this day I pray for all children to be blessed with nurturing, loving moms, who not only give them the care and cuddles and guidance they need each and every day, but also protect them and their families with the fierceness embodied in our legendary mom Grizzly. There is no greater calling.  

Wishing a happy day to moms everywhere — moms, grandmoms, sisters, aunts, foster moms, moms-to-be, wannabe moms, grizzlymoms, and every mom in between. And a happy day to all who love them.  Cheers!

Dear Congressman Stupak

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Dear Congressman Stupak:

I write this today on behalf of both pro-choice and pro-life Americans who oppose the monstrosity of a so-called health-care-reform bill that you helped shepherd through the House Sunday afternoon. I don’t think I have to remind you that the vast majority of Americans oppose this government takeover of our health-care system, but there you were, front and center, making it happen.

It was no secret on Sunday that your leaders wanted to make sure the vote would be nicely padded to ensure that no single “yes-voting” Congressperson could be “blamed” for the bill’s passage. But we’re not fools, Congressman. You were the deciding vote. No matter how you have tried to spin it, we know it, and you know it, too.

I’m sure you’ve grown weary of the phrase “30 pieces of silver” by now. You just have to understand that most of us were furious to hear that you had finally caved and would do whatever Pelosi and Obama mandated. After your week of pathetic “they’re being mean to me” moaning and whimpering, though, and given your record of doing your leadership’s bidding, we weren’t all that surprised when you betrayed your country. You could have been a hero. You could have voted “no.” Now that would have surprised us.

You claim to be a “pro-life” moderate democrat, which, after Sunday means nothing, of course, but this goes beyond the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” To be blunt, Congressman, you have sworn your allegiance to a man who spent all of 5 minutes as a State Senator, the same amount of time in the U.S. Senate, and practically the only time he ever bothered not to vote “present,” was to vote repeatedly to deny medical care to a baby who survives an abortion. Does the “Born Alive Act” ring a bell? It better.

Before Obama was elected, I never even thought about this. His voting record, however, brought it into my consciousness, and I have no choice but to proclaim it evil. Pro-choice or pro-life, I would think, have to think, that all would agree on this. Well, all but you, of course. And your President.

Unlike most run-of-the-mill voters who may not have even known about Obama’s fundamentally inhuman position on this profoundly human issue, you have pledged your allegiance to this man. When you took the bribe. When you feigned outrage. When you cast your vote.

Decent, genuinely compassionate people have no choice but to condemn Obama’s voting record – and thus his character. Ignore it, overlook it as you have, and there is no hope for us. Too bad you didn’t have the guts to stand by moral principle. Your failure to do so, told us all we needed to know about where you stand. And who you are. Your mistake was believing we wouldn’t see this.

Please Stop Talking, Mr. President!

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February 1, 2010 | Comments

Responsible mom, responsible American, that I am, given the current state of the American economy, I worry for the people who need and want jobs and have none. I worry for the lack of common sense and capitalist know-how that seems to drive the current administration. I worry for the future of my children — and yours – as they are sentenced to suffer the consequences of the radical, even criminal, economic agenda currently at play. I worry about the punishing debt that is being heaped upon our children, and I worry for the lack of opportunity they are doomed to face, thanks to the current regime in Washington, DC.

Given these worries, I wish the President would just stop talking!

Case in point: Last Friday, mid-day, the stock market was plugging away, enjoying an increase of about 60, 80 points…doing okay. Then the President, ever a moth to the camera’s flame, stepped up to his podium to regale us with yet another televised montage of his golden words. Instantly the market plummeted, never to recover that day.

Today, recent history repeats itself, but with a twist, as we witness the release of the President’s record-breaking, $3.8 trillion 2011 budget. So, yes, he’s scheduled to take to the microphone once more. In response to this scheduled speech, traders on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange (several having stated recently that “we all hate” this President for the effect he is having on the economy), are confessing that minutes before their fearless leader begins to speak, they will place “put” orders. In other words, they will bet that the market will fall in response to this President’s voice, a voice proven to damage stocks and profits – and, by extension, jobs and a robust economy.

A recent survey conducted by business entity Bloomberg, revealed that 77 percent of investors think this President is anti-business. This budget isn’t likely to reverse those results, despite the sugar-sweet words the President uses to pacify us. Indeed words, like elections, have consequences, too.

Betsy Siino | Comments

The Morning After: Watching an Angry President

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January 28, 2010 | Comments

Last night I felt we had just witnessed the spinning of a desperate man offering up a glorified campaign speech under the guise of a State of the Union Address. Today I awaken with a truer insight. What we actually witnessed last night was the pathetic tantrum of an angry President who does not understand – or simply does not want to understand — the basic tenets of the magnificent country he serves.

As someone on our local talk radio station said yesterday afternoon, this President needs to learn the difference between a leader and a ruler. I say that even if he does understand this, he has convinced himself that he was ushered into office with a landslide mandate (which he was not), an event, he seems to believe, that endows him with the title “ruler,” and, perhaps, “supreme being,” as well.

But last night’s disconnected, disjointed performance gave evidence that he realizes he is being regarded as mortal after all. Thus the root of his anger. He has forgotten, or simply chosen to ignore and disparage, the basic foundation of our nation – the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government – a separation that in every way offers us the ultimate safety net. Last night he lashed out at that safety net like a spoiled child, revealing to us once more how little he thinks of this nation, her system, and, yes, her people, who have had the audacity to stand in the way of his transforming America in his own image.

In one of the most inappropriate moments of all presidential history, he blasted the Supreme Court Justices seated as a group at his feet. With a nasty sneer, he berated their majority for daring to pass down a ruling that upholds our sacred right to free speech, a ruling with which he disagrees. He then urged the Congress to fight this ruling (by whatever means necessary, perhaps, Mr. President?). The members of the legislative branch in attendance who are in his camp responded with a rousing ovation.

But he berated the legislative branch, as well, scolding them for failing to push his agenda through swiftly and secretly. As a result, he found himself standing before the nation, unable to announce his long-coveted government takeover of the American health-care system. And now, it just won’t be that easy. The democratic supermajority has been squelched, he whined, thanks to the election of a man he did not name. His dominance of all three branches of the U.S. government has been destroyed, he said in so many words, and the republicans can now take the blame for standing in the way of progress.

Which led him to the target of his most ardent anger. He is angry at us, folks, the American people, and he didn’t even try to hide it. We dared to steal that supermajority – and, in turn, the unfettered power it offered him as a ruler. He bared his hostility toward us loudly and clearly, essentially obliterating any other message he tried to cloak in false sincerity and folksiness. And we will not forget that. I don’t think those Supreme Court Justices – particularly Justice Alito – are likely to forget either.

So I suggest the President consider, perhaps, getting himself to an anger-management class. Even more importantly, though, he needs to go back to school for a basic civics lesson. Time to refresh his understanding of the separation of powers, a concept he swore to honor when he pledged on his inauguration day to uphold that “flawed document” (his words), the Constitution of the United States.

If, as we hear, this President truly was a lecturer on constitutional law in his former life, this certainly makes me wonder what he taught his students in those classes. After hearing last night’s lecture to the American people, if I were the parent of one of those students, I’d be asking for my money back today.

Betsy Siino | Comments