Patriotism

Opinion: A Purple Heart for disgraced FBI agent Strzok? The very suggestion is an insult to the military

If medals were awarded for disgraceful, disrespectful and downright dumb statements by members of Congress, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., would surely be awarded one for his ridiculous comment Thursday to disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok. Strzok was questioned by members of two House committees about the clear contempt and hatred for presidential candidate Donald Trump he expressed in numerous text messages with his then-lover and FBI attorney Lisa Page during the 2016 presidential campaign. Committee Republicans quite understandably wanted to know if Strzok’s intense anti-Trump bias influenced his work on the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia to help elect Trump, or influenced his work on the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. These are surely legitimate questions, since Special Counsel Robert Mueller is relying on the work of FBI investigators in his Russia probe. But Cohen joined other Democrats on the committees in leaping to Strzok’s defense and showering him with praise like he was some great hero, while bemoaning the attacks on him by Republicans. And then Cohen made his stunning and absurd comment about the questioning Strzok was undergoing. “If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would,” Cohen said to Strzok. “This has been an attack on you and a way to attack Mr. Mueller and the investigation that is to get at Russian collusion involved in our election.” Quite a statement. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of our armed forces wounded in combat while fighting to keep all of us safe. It was established by Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War and represents the respect we offer as a nation for that sacrifice. To demean this award by using it for any other purpose is wrong. To do so in support of a man who is testifying because he abused the trust of the American people and appears to have used his position at the FBI against a political candidate he opposed is obscene. Cohen received a torrent of criticism for his abhorrent comment – as he should have. The Nashville Tennessean newspaper reported: “A group of veterans in Memphis has slammed Cohen’s comment Thursday as an ‘insult to every service member’ and are demanding the Memphis Democrat apologize for his ‘disrespectful’ words.” That and other criticism of Cohen in Tennessee media prompted him to beat a hasty retreat: “I regret mentioning the Purple Heart medal at yesterday’s hearing. My intent was to speak metaphorically to make a broader point about attacks against the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into a Russian attack on our country,” Cohen said Friday. “I have nothing but the highest respect for members of the Armed Forces, especially those who have been awarded Purple Hearts, as well as the hard working men and women at the FBI. We are safe because of their service and sacrifice,” Cohen said. Too bad that Rep. Cohen, who has zero personal experience with the military, didn’t think first before making his comment to Strzok a day earlier. The Purple Heart is an exceptionally well-known award. Any decent person should have known to steer clear of mentioning it unless referring respectfully to recipients of the medal. To compare the suffering of a heroic member of our military wounded in combat to the experience of Strzok sitting at a table and underdoing questioning by elected officials for his misconduct is unbelievably insulting. As an Army Special Forces veteran – and as the son of a soldier who fought in the Vietnam War – I know firsthand that there is near zero tolerance among the military community and most patriotic Americans for any abuse of military awards, symbols or service. While Cohen went further than any of his colleagues in praising Strzok, plenty of his fellow Democrats joined in the lovefest for Strzok. For example, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said we should be “honoring” Strzok. Far from showing any remorse for personally destroying the FBI’s reputation for trustworthiness and impartiality, Strzok is acting as if he is beyond judgment. At the House hearing he absurdly claimed that he was not biased against Donald Trump and for Hillary Clinton, and took no improper action in his FBI investigations – despite the many biased texts he wrote. The voluminous record of hate-filled anti-Trump texts Strzok sent his partner in adultery, Lisa Page, tell another tale. They describe a rogue senior FBI official so blinded by partisan political rancor that he has been suspended from his job and may face criminal charges in the future. As for Rep. Cohen, if a Congressional Medal for Stupidity is ever created, he’s already earned it.

Agreed!!  And well said, Jim.  Former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier Jim Hanson is the author of that op/ed.  Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) needs to simply apologize for his offensive, and breathtakingly stupid comment….without the political disclaimers and equivocating he did the first time.  That apology should first and foremost go to those who have actually received the Purple Heart, and then to those who have served in combat.   Then, whoever faces him in November should use his spectacular blunder to beat him.  The good people in his Tennessee congressional district have an opportunity in November to fire him.

 

Vermont Church Slams America, Desecrates “God Bless The USA”

There is outrage from the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee after a Methodist church in Vermont rewrote the lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s beloved song, “God Bless the USA,” and turned it into a “bash America” anthem. “I look around this America but not everybody’s free. And I won’t forget all those who died beneath our fear and greed,” a singer crooned during Sunday “worship” at the First United Methodist Church in Burlington. “God forgive the USA.” The singer went on to ask forgiveness for ripping families apart at the border and taking land from the Native Americans and the way we treat LGBT citizens. “For the native tribes we conquered – Sioux, Lakota, Cherokee – for the slaves we beat and tortured for the interned Japanese,” the singer warbled. “For the women and the children for the lesbian, gay.” The confession of America’s alleged sins went on and on and on and on. “Mr. Greenwood’s song is emblematic of pride in and prayer for blessing of our country,” Pastor Mark Demers told me. “Changing the words to make it also a prayer for forgiveness and healing served to expand the meaning, thus reflecting with the anthem the theme of our worship service.” He did not seem at all bothered that the church had desecrated a beloved patriotic anthem. “Confession is a central part of Christian worship, as is prayer for healing. The lectionary text and sermon for the day told of two healings requested of Jesus – one a person of power in the community and the other a person impoverished by her illness,” the pastor told me. “The text lends itself to the idea that all, of every station in life, individuals and communities alike – including churches – stand in need of forgiveness and healing.” I reached out to Mr. Greenwood’s publicist who told me the church did not seek permission to alter the copyrighted song. Nor did the church let Mr. Greenwood know in advance they would be taking great liberties with the lyrics. “It’s illegal to do that,” Greenwood told One America News. However, the United Methodist Church pastor defended the atrocities they committed against Mr. Greenwood’s song. “A change of lyrics such as was done does not violate copyright law, falling under the category of parody,” he said.

Perhaps..   Perhaps not.  Mr. Greenwood should seek the advice of counsel, and if they think a copyright law was infringed upon, then he should sue this UMC in court.  Either way, what this idiot pastor did was at best hugely offensive.  Shame on him.  Thanks to veteran culture warrior Todd Starnes for sharing this head-shaking story with us.

Trump hails ‘American heroes’ who helped U.S. win independence

President Donald Trump wished America a happy Fourth of July holiday Wednesday and reserved special praise for the “American heroes” whose sacrifice he said helped the nation win her independence 242 years ago. Trump tweeted a short video that included well wishes from him and first lady Melania Trump. The Trumps were hosting a White House picnic for military families later Wednesday, followed by a concert and viewing of the fireworks on the National Mall. “Our freedom has been earned through the blood and sweat and sacrifice of American heroes,” Trump said. Trump left the White House on Wednesday morning clad in a white short-sleeved shirt, dark slacks and a cap and was driven west across the Potomac River in the direction of the private golf club he owns in Northern Virginia. The White House did not immediately confirm that Trump is at the club. Reporters were not allowed to accompany him to his destination, as is the case with virtually all presidential travel. Trump got into the Independence Day spirit a day earlier by celebrating active-duty service members during a military tribute Tuesday night in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At the “Salute to Service” charity dinner, Trump praised “Americans of every generation” who have served in the armed forces.

Happy Independence Day!!    🙂

Texas city to fly 40,000 American flags, one at every home, on 4th of July

A North Texas city will proudly display its patriotism by flying more than 40,000 American flags that will be displayed in front of every home, business and place of worship on the Fourth of July. About 300 volunteers are hitting the streets of Irving, Texas this weekend to place thousands of flags around town. Nell Anne Hunt, founder of The Great Flag Caper, who is responsible for the patriotic display, told Fox 4 that it all began when she started putting some flags in front of her neighbor’s homes shortly after she moved to the area. “So I bought 200 flags and went in a concentric circle around my house and put flags in everybody’s yards,” Hunt said. “Well, the next year everybody liked it so much I bought 400 flags so it went a little further.” “And then before we know it, the whole city said, ‘Count us in. We want to do it, too,’” she said. The idea, she said, is to bring the community together – regardless of background – and remember their common values. “We all want the same thing for our country and our families,” Hunt said. “We want safe neighborhoods and we want children to be educated properly and so we’re all alike under the flag. And so we come and celebrate that.” For more information, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/Great-Flag-Caper-87306023868/

U.S. Troops Celebrate Independence Day amid Unrelenting Threat in Afghanistan: ‘We Fight for It’

U.S. service members in Kabul took a moment’s respite from the wave of terrorist bombings in Afghanistan in recent months to enjoy a lunchtime ceremony in honor of America’s 242nd Independence Day on the Fourth of July. “It’s an important holiday because we fight for it,” U.S. Army Cpl. Ruby Cruz of the 191st Regional Support Group Forward from Fort Allen, Puerto Rico, told Stars and Stripes in Kabul. Acknowledging that she missed the celebrations back home, she added, “But we have fun here, too, so it’s not too bad.” A barbecue dinner in the evening is expected to follow the Fourth of July ceremony at the headquarters of the U.S.-NATO mission known as Resolute Support (RS). “American flags could be seen in all corners of NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul on Wednesday as U.S. service-members celebrated Independence Day,” Stars and Stripes reports. Honoring the birth of the United States at the ceremony in Kabul, U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, declared: ” For American servicemen and women who are deployed overseas, this day holds a very special significance, and it reminds us of the tremendous sacrifices made by previous generations of patriots in all of America’s wars in defense of liberty at home and abroad. …We hope Afghans will remember this, that reconciliation is possible between rivals.” Reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban is the primary goal of U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy to end the nearly 17-year-old war. In recent months, both the Afghan Taliban and its alleged rival, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), have heavily targeted the Afghan capital of Kabul, including a meeting of the top Islamic scholars in the country last month. The U.S. military has deployed a brigade that consists of about 800 military advisers and a few hundred additional soldiers to tackle the wave of bombings that have been targeting Kabul, the Washington Post reported on July 1. In March, Gen. Nicholson expanded the American mission to prevent massive bombings in Kabul..

So much for that reconciliation..  Having spent some time in Afghanistan, myself, I can say with certitude and experience that the Taliban (and certainly ISIS) has NO intention of reconciling.  They’re just waiting us out, so they can take back control after we leave.  So, as long as we’re there, we should be using all of our resources to totally intimidate, humiliate, and crush the Talian and the rest of the Islamo-wackos there.  As for the troops celebrating our Independence while “down range,” we’re all thinking of you.

Celebrate Fourth of July by supporting these veteran-owned companies

Fourth of July is a time when Americans look for ways to give back to the 2.1 million active duty and reserve members of the U.S. military who choose to make sacrifices for the country. One way to give back is by supporting veteran-owned businesses, which number in the hundreds. Click here to see three worth checking out:

🙂

Charlie Daniels: I believe the American Dream is still alive, I live it every day

As I sit here pondering what the 242nd birthday of the greatest nation the world has ever known means to me, my thoughts wander back to a cold cloudy December day in 1941. I was five years old, it was shortly after noon and my family was gathered around my Grandaddy’s big floor model radio, listening to a scratchy overseas broadcast that informed us that Pearl Harbor had just been attacked by Japanese bombers and fighter planes. It was my first experience of having to come to grips with reality, sensing the commitment of America’s people and the patriotism amongst the masses that came as natural as breathing, as our nation launched into a long and bloody conflict fought on two oceans and several continents, lasting over four years and costing over 400,000 American lives. My most formative years, five to ten years old, were during World War II and would help shape my patriotism and my attitude toward my country for the rest of my life. After over eight decades of living, working, traveling and experiencing my nation’s mood swings, mistakes, and unfortunately, the division encouraged by self-serving politicians and radical organizations on the fringes of both the right and the left, that patriotism and love for America burns as brightly as ever. Even with our warts and blemishes, our deep, passionate, political differences, our petty prejudices and our disagreements about how to solve domestic and international problems, deep down, when our nation is threatened, there is an indomitable love of country in almost everyone. I believe that the American Dream is still alive. I live it every day, in a nation where opportunity abounds for those with the guts and tenacity to pursue it, where our leaders are chosen by votes, not guns, and you’re free to pursue your dream, no matter where it may lead. No other nation in the world can rival our diverse population, our monolithic beauty, our will to win. America the free, America the beautiful, America my home. God bless America, stand beside her and guide her.

Thanks to music legend Charlie Daniels for sharing that inspiring piece.  For more of his musings, click on the text above which will link you to his web site “soap box.”  Excellent!    🙂