May 25, 2012

Memorial Day

As we know, this is Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” Duke University’s (Source: Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Those who gave their all.

General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Let us remember our fallen heroes, the members of our military forces who, throughout the history of our great nation, have laid down their lives so the rest of us can live in freedom.

by @ 10:17 am. Filed under America, American Heroes, Honor Our Military Personnel

May 10, 2012

Feds Suing Their Worst Nightmare

From Godfather Politics

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it is going to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, claiming that his department is engaging in racial profiling in its well-publicized efforts to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

The feds have been seeking to bring Arpaio under judicial control and “train” his officers in constitutional traffic stops and how to reassure Latinos that the department serves them as well. Arpaio flatly refused to have his department placed under a court monitor, saying it would undermine his authority by forcing him to seek approval of policy decisions.

How the Obama Administration detests any state or officials therein who dare embrace their constitutionally granted states’ rights, and even worse when said state or official therein deigns to follow the Constitution, a document the incumbent administration holds in utter contempt.

Besides, as we know, the Party of Obama also opposes requiring proof that one is eligible to vote; This way, illegals can help elect and reelect liberal politicians.

“An illegal vote is a Democrat vote”.

He’s right, of course. Everything the “fast and furious” folks at Eric Holder’s Justice Department have been doing in Arizona has been about bringing the sheriff to heel.

Arpaio, whose office has been under investigation by a federal grand jury since 2009 for abuse of power allegations, has been a thorn in the side of Justice and the Obama Administration, first by his enforcement of immigration laws that the feds have refused to enforce, then more recently by his public investigation of President Obama, which found that the birth certificate released by the White House, and possibly other documents, is a forgery.

All of this has put Arpaio under a microscope, and critics have been looking for any excuse to call for his resignation.

Here at Hard Astarboard we consider Joe to be America’s Sheriff. If only more state and local officials stood up to Obama’s bullying.

The legal actions may be coming from Justice, but lurking in the shadows is La Raza, a virulently racist radical group that openly promotes giving the American West to Mexico. It is also a big supporter of President Obama.

Holder’s Justice Department has been giving favors to the Black Panther Party, so it’s no surprise that it would be doing La Raza’s bidding as well.

All that’s needed is for the Obama Administration and Holder to start doing the bidding of right thinking Americans.

At a press conference Wednesday, Arpaio defended himself against the impending lawsuit, saying, “If they sue, we’ll go to court. And then we’ll find out the real story. There’s lots of miscommunication emanating from Washington. They broke off communications.

“They’re telling me how to run my organization. I’d like to get this resolved, but I’m not going to give up my authority to the federal government. It’s as simple as that.”

Go, Joe!

by @ 12:20 pm. Filed under American Heroes, American Patriotism, American Rights, The Border

June 6, 2010

66 Years Ago Today

On 6 June 1944, allied soldiers, sailors and airmen, heroes all, commenced Operation Overlord with the Normandy Invasion, also known as the Normandy Landings, which involved some 12,000 aircraft, 7,000 ships and landing craft and around 160,000 troops, a number that increased to over three million in France within two months.


I thought that the best and most educational way to commemmorate that great day in military history would be to link to a comprehensive site that tells the story element by element, so…

This section of the World War II History info guide is devoted to “Operation Overlord,” the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe that began on D-Day — June 6, 1944 — on the beaches of Normandy, France.

Go make a pot of coffee, then sit back, relax and read all about D-Day.

by @ 2:58 pm. Filed under American Heroes

September 11, 2009

Today Is 11 September…

…and the eighth anniversary of the heinous attack on our nation by the evil forces of the death cult known as Islam.

Normally, “anniversary” denotes something positive, the date of something wonderful, a first meeting, a marriage, something pleasantly or lovingly memorable.

This anniversary does not.

Eight years.

Americans are almost 3,000 days removed from the Sept. 11 terror attacks that toppled the World Trade Center and killed 3,000 people — nearly the same amount of time it took al Qaeda plotters to regroup from their failed bid to take down the Twin Towers in 1993.

While former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani says not a day goes by that he doesn’t think of Sept. 11, for most Americans, that crisp, sunny morning of horror seems a lifetime ago, and, frankly, something they’d rather forget.

We must not forget, for the threat of repetition, perhaps not via the same method as the last time, not only still exists, but the satanic beast spawned by Islam that perpetrated that horror has grown exponentially, its tentacles multiplying, franchise-style, each with its own autonymous license to commit mass murder in the name of Allah.

Despite counter-terrorism successes and the absence of a major and dramatic attack in the West, the security threat posed by radical Islamists remains real and dynamic, as al-Qaeda mutates into an increasingly unstructured but no less dangerous entity, according to experts monitoring the organization.

As Americans and others around the world mark the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders continue to elude security forces and intelligence services.

But the threat facing the U.S. and its allies goes far beyond the Saudi fugitive and his coterie, to extremists embracing al-Qaeda’s ideology but largely operationally independent, a situation that complicates efforts to anticipate and disrupt plots.

Over the year since the last 9/11 anniversary, such terrorists have killed hundreds of people in attacks including those targeting the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, and luxury hotels in Jakarta.

“Today, the primary terrorist threat to our country’s interests – persons aligned with al-Qaeda – has evolved from different but related groups into a more coherent movement under a common ideology,” Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess said Thursday.

“Top leaders simply announce their priorities, which the group’s members and allies may interpret and execute against targets of their own choice,” he said in an address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Burgess said these methods enable “a span of terrorist violence across the world that is unprecedented in its unity of vision, regardless of the degree to which the overall command and control is splintered.”

“Hundreds of attacks every year are committed by militants sanctioned by or under the name of al-Qaeda,” he said.

As the Muslim population continues to grow here in the United States, I believe that so does the possibility — hell, probability, of further attacks.

Look at all the other places in the world where the Muslim percentages of the overall populations are high, outside, of course, those countries ruled by Islamic governments.

Almost all of them are hotbeds of terrorist activity, for the Muslims therein realize that their numbers are strong enough to afford them the chance, through their historically bloody methodology, to impose their fascistic brand of religion, politics and social order on the unwilling that constitute the majorities of these places. To force them to submit, which is what Islam means.

The United States has only been spared further attacks due to the diligence of the Bush Administration in preventing them, the efforts of the FBI, our various intelligence agencies and our brave military personnel overseas who fight Islamofascism tooth and nail.

President Obama has vowed the United States “will not falter” in the pursuit of al-Qaida.

Obama has distanced himself from many of the anti-terror policies of former President George W. Bush, but his remarks recalled Bush’s speech to Congress in the immediate aftermath of the attacks: “We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.”

Right. Barack Hussein Obama has promised all sorts of things he has made transparently plain he has no intention of delivering on, while insisting that he will. We, the People, he believes, are very stupid, indeed.

Let’s just hope that on this one issue, he keeps his word so that we do not have another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and that he is able to “rally the world” to the cause of destroying Islamic terrorism, root and branch, everywhere in the world it rears its head.

That said, my prayers go out to all those who died on 11 September 2001 as victims and as those who sacrificed their lives in the course of their brave, selfless efforts to save others.

My condolences and prayers, also, to the families and friends of those lost on that terrible day in Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania.

April 13, 2008

Six Days Ago…

…General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker wasted their valuable time testifying before Congress.

Oliver North tells it like it is.

Five years ago this week, American soldiers and Marines liberated Baghdad from Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard and the foreign fedayeen who had flooded into the despot’s capital. For those of us who were there, it was an unforgettable event. But as Ambassador Ryan Crocker so cogently noted this week while he and Gen. David Petraeus were testifying before Congress, “The euphoria of that moment evaporated long ago.” The assembled lawmakers, perched on their raised daises, barely noted the anniversary — while subjecting the warrior and the diplomat to a 16-hour spectacle. For the general and the ambassador, it had to be an excruciating exercise in patience and bladder control.

The hearings — two in the Senate and two more in the House — all were choreographed carefully to give maximum exposure to the potentates on the Potomac. The masters of the mainstream media all were gathered. Professional protesters were present. The solons, all carefully prepared by their staffs, made their little speeches and then shamelessly angled for the best “gotcha” question to win the sound bite sweepstakes — and the honor of being replayed repeatedly on the news and entertainment channels. Like so many of these hearings, it was a bit like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Greatest Show on Earth” — without a ringmaster. I know — as they say — I’ve “been there, done that.”

Yeah, he’s “been there, done that”, all right (and I can’t say I envy the man for that particular ordeal, when I worked on Wall Street some quarter century ago, my immediate supervisor, who had gone through a congressional grilling over the Hunt Brothers affair, told me in graphic detail what that’s like), though I don’t know if he was ever issued the tee-shirt. I’ll say this though: Despite the rhetoric of our political left, the man is the kind of patriot this country needs a hell of a lot more of, and the kind of journalist the media should be proud of (fat chance of that!) — the kind who calls it like he sees it and retains the perspective that he is an American who knows what it means to serve his country in time of war. The kind of guy who would rather cover a combat situation with shrapnel and bullets whizzing past his head than sit in a lounge in the “Green Zone” and get his information second hand, or buy photos from some photographer who may or may not have Photo-Shopped them to favor the enemy’s propaganda campaigns.

Sadly, the attending members of Congress evinced little interest in hearing from a decorated general fighting a bloody military campaign or a skillful U.S. ambassador trying to help a democratically elected government survive against brutal foreign and internal foes. Rather, it seemed as if our elected representatives would have preferred hearing from soothsayers who could read palms and interpret horoscopes. That our Congress has sunk to such a level is a sad testament to the state of our political process.

Sadly, indeed.

Our Democrat-run Congress isn’t interested in facts, only in a political agenda that hasn’t got room for the concept of victory or for the elements of common sense necessary to protect our country from future terrorist attacks. In order to appeal to their political base, which consists of a Code Pink/Michael Moore/Cindy Sheehan (remember her?)/George Soros/Jane Fonda/Barbra Streissand mentality, they are more concerned with an agenda that would involve our abandoning the Iraqis to an Islamic extremist take-over and the resulting Taliban style rule that would transform Iraq into what would amount to a terrorist stronghold with “legitimate” nation status.

This is a very liberal “progressive” point of view. Let’s enjoy instant gratification without giving the proverbial rat’s hind quarters about whatever tragedies it will present for us down the road apiece.

So rather than ask pertinent questions or seek the truth about our brave troops’ progress in Iraq…

When will it end? When will we be out? When can we take the money we’re spending on the war and divert it to bailing out our constituent borrowers and lenders caught up in the subprime mortgage mess? Petraeus and Crocker came equipped with facts, maps, charts and progress reports, but for this crowd, they should have brought Ouija boards, tarot cards and a crystal ball.

I don’t know, though I can guess, how fellow right thinkers and other sane Americans feel about this, but speaking for myself, I find it rather chilling that the majority of those we’ve elected to lead our country seem to be addressing this grave responsibility we’ve bestowed upon them using a far left field (perhaps pre-adolescent would be a more accurate term) approach.

They apparently don’t see fit to apply any sort of reality to their reasoning, that’s for sure, it’s more like “screw the down-the-road penalties, get the votes now!”

Well, good for them! When suicide bombers, briefed in Baghdad, walk into restaurants, theatres, shopping malls and other crowded places in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and Duluth and blow themselves up along with scores of men, women and children, our fearless leaders can always “blame Bush”.

Speaking of whom…

While Congress was berating the general and the ambassador, the commander in chief was honoring one of the more than 4,000 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq. In an Oval Office ceremony, President Bush presented the Medal of Honor — our nation’s highest award for valor — to the parents of Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy SEAL. Mike — as his fellow SEALs called him — was killed Sept. 29, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq, when he threw himself on top of an enemy grenade in order to spare the lives of his fellow SEALs.

His platoon commander, now a lieutenant commander with whom our Fox News team has been embedded, said of the 25-year-old hero, “He made an instantaneous decision to save our teammates.” Though wounded by shrapnel in the explosion, one of those with him that terrible morning said of Monsoor’s unhesitating action: “He never took his eyes off the grenade. His only movement was down toward it. He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs’ lives.”

Monsoor is just the fourth member of our armed forces to be awarded the Medal of Honor since war was declared against us Sept. 11, 2001. Call your grandstanding members of Congress and ask whether they know the four names.

Hmmmm, let’s see, there were Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Paul Smith and Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, Iraq, and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, Afghanistan.

Saying “Thank you” is not nearly enough.

I wonder if Representative John Murtha knows these four names or, for that matter, if he even cares. Probably not.

August 16, 2006

Farewell, Marine

This beautiful tribute to our brave United States Marines came to me in an email a few hours ago.

Grateful H/T BJS.

by @ 10:33 pm. Filed under American Heroes

June 15, 2006

Many Noses To Go “Candyless” This Month

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, a 378 foot high endurance cutter nailed a vessel carrying $53,000,000.00 worth of cocaine the other day.

While on a routine patrol, the 378-foot Coast Guard Cutter Chase encountered the suspected drug trafficking vessel, commonly referred to as a “go fast” vessel, 2,500 miles south of San Diego in international waters, and recovered the cocaine from the water after the five suspect crewmembers set their vessel on fire and jumped overboard.

Go, Coasties!

The Chase has a crew of approximately 160 people, and its primary missions are maritime law enforcement and search and rescue. Last year, the Chase’s crew prevented more than $400 million of cocaine from reaching the United States.

by @ 5:23 am. Filed under American Heroes

April 13, 2006

Lick A Stamp, Send A card

This kid came back from Iraq the sole survivor of his unit and in really bad shape, like healing one thing complicates another. He served his country in a way that few have served and fewer can understand — he faced the reality of war for the rest of us and is suffering wounds that will painfully complicate the rest of his life.

His name is Kevin Downs and he’s a young patriot from Tennessee. Please pray for him, thank him a million times a day for his sacrifice on behalf of all Americans and send him a card or a letter at

Sgt. Kevin Downs
Brooke Army Medical Center
3851 Roger Brooke Drive
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234

Hat tip and profound thanks to blog pal Romeo Cat for letting us know about Sgt. Downs and the situation in which he has returned home from combat.

Kevin Downs has both my prayers and my gratitude, as an American and as a patriot. God bless him.

by @ 1:19 am. Filed under American Heroes

November 18, 2005

A New Post By Michael Yon

Freelance journalist Michael Yon’s latest online magazine entry covers the soiree held by the fierce warriors of the Deuce Four, celebrating their return home from Iraq, and is titled, The Punishers’ Ball.

Bruce Willis, one of the few right thinkers in Hollywood and truly supportive of and popular with U.S. troops, attended as a guest speaker.

by @ 5:06 am. Filed under American Heroes

August 4, 2005

An Old Tradition Explained

Here’s something I didn’t know, and I’m probably not alone, so I’m going to share it.

If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were played; this brings out a new meaning of it. Here is something Every American should know. Until I read this, I didn’t know, but I checked it out and it’s true:

We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, “Taps”. It’s the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be Interested to find out about its humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.

During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.

The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.

The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth’s uniform.

This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as “Taps” … used at military funerals
was born. The words are :

Day is done..
Gone the sun.
From the lakes.
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Fading light.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
Gleaming bright.
From afar.
Drawing nigh.
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise.
For our days.
Neath the sun.
Neath the stars.
Neath the sky.
As we go.
This we know.
God is nigh.

I too have felt the chills while listening to “Taps” but I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn’t even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn’t know if you had either so I thought I’d pass it along.

Hat Tip, Jodee, and many thanks.

by @ 1:55 pm. Filed under American Heroes