Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

The photo above was suggested as the photo of the day by The Corner's Kathryn Jean Lopez. It's a fitting reminder of what Memorial Day is all about. Here's the story behind the photo from The Tennessean:

MURFREESBORO —Heather Southward Golczynski pulled six more letters out of
her mailbox Tuesday, sent from across the nation by people touched by her
husband's sacrifice and her son's courage.

Her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. Marcus "Marc" Golczynski, was killed in Iraq on March 27. At his funeral in April, Daily News Journal photographer Aaron Thompson captured Marc Golczynski's teary-eyed son, 8-year-old Christian, accepting a U.S. flag from his father's casket.

It was a picture of a moment that moved many Americans and stirred national
interest in the Golczynskis' story.

"I see all of Marc's heart in him. I'm proud he stood up," Heather Golczynski said of the now-famous photograph. "Even in the absolute sadness of it all, he was a brave kid — he has the heart of his daddy."

For a month, well-wishers have sent condolence letters, blankets and stuffed animals to Marc's family. Others, many of whom the Golczynskis have never met, have set up trust funds and scholarships for Christian, who will grow up without a father.

Heather Golczynski, who lives in Maryland, will add the most recent stack of heartfelt mail to an expanding pile of more than 400 cards and letters, most of which tell young Christian how strong and courageous he is. "I'm in awe of the public's generosity," she said in an interview.

For Christian, the comments are bittersweet. "It makes him proud and he'll smile. But he still cries," Heather Golczynski said. "He's still looking for a new normal — normal doesn't exist for us anymore."

Marc's father, Henry Golczynski, also is struggling to put his son's death behind him. Henry and his wife, Fay, who live in Murfreesboro, still receive sympathy cards and letters almost daily.

"That picture portrays a very brave young man," Henry Golczynski said.

Hat tip: Powerline

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Digesting the Debate

I actually sat down to watch last night's Republican presidential debate. (Memo to Fred Thompson: you really need to run especially after yesterday's video response to Michael Moore - you would have easily beaten the other ten guys on stage)

While there will be much debate on which candidate was triumphant the clear winner last night was Fox News. The questions were sharp, intelligent and tough. The questioners (particularly Chris Wallace) did a good job of pressing for more direct answers when the candidates would evade the questions. Just check out the video montage at National Review's Media Blog to see the difference between last night's debate and the first debate on MSNBC.

Democrats would be well served to rethink their position about not holding any debates on Fox News. If you can stand up to a few tough questions from the best political reporters in the business how are you ever going to stand up to America's real enemies?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dead

One of the most prominent American evangelicals, Jerry Falwell, died today. He was a polarizing figure throughout his career as a minister, televangelist, and political activist. Dr. Albert Mohler has a fitting tribute to Reverend Falwell. (hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fred Thompson's Excellent Adventure

I must admit up front that I don't know who I'm going to vote for in the presidential election next year. To me, it seems way to early to even think about the election even though my state will have its primary in just nine months. Even though I'm not willing to go out on a limb and declare support for any particular person, I am intrigued by the increasingly successful candidacy of former Tennessee Senator, actor and radio commentator Fred Thompson.

Mr. Thompson is a fairly busy guy between his duties on NBC's Law and Order and his daily radio show on ABC. He's also going around the country making numerous political speeches and drumming up quite a bit of support for his yet-to-be-declared candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Consider two separate polls in the last few days (hat tip to the indispensible Jim Geraghty for both). A few days ago, Mr. Thompson came in second to Rudy Guliani in a North Carolina poll drawing 25% of the vote. Over the weekend, Mr. Thompson won the Washington straw poll.

Do these polls matter at this stage in the game? My answer would be yes and no. They matter in that they show there is a groundswell of support for a Thompson candidacy and a general dissatisfaction among Republicans with the current crop of candidates. However, because Mr. Thompson has not declared and consequently hasn't raised any money it's unclear whether he can stage a viable bid for the nomination.

One other thing: the media has focused a great deal of attention on Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain by essentially declaring them the frontrunners (and, by implication, the only men who have a real shot at winning the nomination). Despite all the attention these three have received, Mr. Thompson is still faring pretty well despite the fact he's not officially a candidate.

I think Mr. Thompson could succeed in winning the nomination. First, he is a staunch conservative that has a great deal of name recognition. This is a combination of attributes that seems to be missing from the current field. Most of the candidates are either well-known or conservative but not both.

Second, Mr. Thompson is a very straight shooter who tells you exactly what he's thinking. There is no equivicating or parsing of words. He tells you like it is. Whether you agree with him or not, you know exactly where he stands. Such clarity is woefully absent in politics. This gives him an appeal all across the political spectrum that is lacking in the other candidates.

Hopefully Mr. Thompson will end the mystery soon and let us know his intentions. If nothing else, a Thompson candidacy will give us bloggers a lot to write about.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rules of the South

The following was sent to me via e-mail. I normally wouldn't post this but it was too good to pass up. Thanks to Mike G. for sending it along.


If you are going to live or visit in the South, you need to know these rules:

1. That farm boy you see at the gas station did MORE work before breakfast than you do all week at the gym.

2. It's called a "gravel road." No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Navigator. Drive it or get out of the way.

3. The red dirt -- it's called clay. Red clay. If you like the color, don't wash your car for a couple weeks -- it'll be permanent.

4. We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi. We got over it.

5. Go ahead and bring your $600 Orvis Fly Rod. Don't cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle. We have a name for those little 13-inch trout you fish for -- bait.

6. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards (ducks) are making their final approach, we will shoot it (the phone). You might want to ensure it's not up to your ear at the time.

8. No, there's no "Vegetarian Special" on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.

9. Tea - yeah, we have tea. It comes in a glass over ice and is really, really sweet. You want it hot -- sit it in the sun. You want it unsweetened -- add a LOT of water.

10. You bring Coke into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.

11. So, you have a sixty thousand dollar car. We're real impressed. We have a quarter of a million-dollar combine (it's farm equipment) that we only use two weeks a year.

12. Let's get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it's red. We may even stop when it's yellow.

13. We eat dinner together with our families. We pray before we eat (yeah, even breakfast). We go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays and we go to high school football games on Friday nights. We still address our seniors with "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am," and we sometimes still take Sunday drives around town to see friends and neighbors.

14. We don't do "hurry up" well.

15. Greens - yeah, we have greens, but you don't putt on them. You boil them with salty fatback, bacon or a ham hock.

16. Yeah, we eat catfish, bass, bream (pronounced brim) and carp. You really want sushi and caviar? It's available at the bait shop.

17. They are pigs. That's what they smell like (money). Get it -- pig farms -- income -- money? Get over it. Don't like the smell? Interstate 75 goes two ways. Interstate 20 goes the other two. Pick one.

18. Grits are corn. You put butter, salt, and maybe even some pepper on them. If you want to put milk and sugar on them, then you want Cream of Wheat --go to Kansas. That would be I-20 West.

19. The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer season or dove season. Both are holidays. You can get pancakes, cane syrup, and sausage before daylight at the church on either day.

20. So every person in every pickup waves? Yeah, it's called being friendly. Understand the concept?

21. Yeah, we have golf courses. Don't hit in the water hazards. It spooks the fish and bothers the gators...and if you hit it in the rough, we have these things called diamondbacks, and they're not baseball players.

22. That Highway Patrol Officer that just pulled you over for driving like an idiot...his name is "Sir," no matter how young he is.

23. We have lots of pine trees. They have sap. It drips from them. You park your Navigator under them, and they'll leave a logo on your hood.

24. You burn an American flag in our state, you get beat up. No questions

25. No, we don't care how you do things in California or up North. If it is so great, why not stay there?

26. And no, down here we don't have an accent. You do.