"I was bold in the Pursuit of Knowledge, never fearing to follow Truth and Reason to whatever results they led and bearding every authority which stood in their way" ~ Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, December 24, 2009

“It’s beginning to look a lot like … Chicago-style politics in Washington, D.C.”

By Clio

The Bold Pursuit wishes everyone a Joyous Christmas and Happy Chanukah. It is our hope that, like Mr. Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, you will find your most desired gifts, wrapped in festive paper and adorned with bright ribbons under your trees. Of course, we also hope that you didn’t ask Santa for a horror of a health care plan that will burden your nation with taxes or raise the debt ceiling a few hundred billion dollars…

We found this quote from an article by Martha R. Gore on Suite101.com (full attribution and permission links below). This paragraph seems very apropos considering the man who occupies the Oval Office learned what he knows of politics from a grand city, one our favorite places, albeit one of the most politically corrupt towns in our country:

“Political corruption in Chicago in 1910s and 1920s flourished as organized crime stepped into the mix with payoffs to policemen. It continued under the leadership of Mayor Anton Cermack and then the Kelly-Nash machine that doled out patronage jobs, political appointments, and broad favors to ethnic groups. They kept the city solvent during the New Deal years by obtaining federal funds as well as resources from organized crime…” 1 (Italics added for emphasis by Clio.)
Does the above have a familiar ring? Trading funds for favors? As noted by a recent guest on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bribes bought enough votes in order to cram through a health care bill that was not thoroughly vetted or debated (the cloture vote last weekend brought that option to a screeching halt), not to mention a bill that the majority of Americans, according to almost every major pollster, do not want. However, the Democrats want to hand Mr. Obama a “win” before Christmas – regardless of the desires or best interests of their constituents. The vote this morning tied a big RED ribbon on this lump of coal. Happy Holidays, Mr. Obama!

According to the Fox News commentator (and I paraphrase), Sen. Bill Nelson’s “sweetheart deal” (NE) or Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (LA) multi-million dollar grab bag, just to name a few of the political profiteers, in any other context would be called bribery; however, in Washington, D.C. this is simply “horse-trading.”

I will refrain from expressing myself on this point, except to say that the first word of my opinion begins with “horse.”

Mr. Obama learned and earned his political stripes in a city that, one could argue, is synonymous with political corruption. Forget former Governor Rod Blagojevich's wiretaps, Obama and Blago chum, Tony Rezko’s convictions for fraud and money-laundering, or infamous Chicago “boss” Mayor Richard Daley tainted reign of Chi-Town; Chicago’s colorful and crooked political history is so rife with generational lawlessness that it is, by some, considered the norm. Of course, Al Capone, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, earned his reputation as one of America’s most infamous early gangsters in Chicago.

“This source of corruption, alas, is inherent in the democratic system itself, and it can only be controlled, if at all, by finding ways to encourage legislators to subordinate ambition to principle.” James L. Buckley

Honestly, I really don’t care about presenting Mr. Obama with a “win” in order to shore up his weak and ill-defined (but frenetically aggressive) agendas. Mr. Obama was elected to govern the American people and act in their best interests – not indulge his own narcissistic needs. Americans have clearly, loudly and emphatically expressed their disapproval of the federal government taking over health care, as well as the broader ramifications that will accompany acquisition of approximately one-sixth of our economy.

The protests heard in town hall meetings, marches, tea party events, letters and phone calls to elected officials fell on deaf and uncaring ears: the bill was passed, 60 – 39, and now goes to conference in which the committee will attempt to merge or reconcile the Congressional and Senate bills.

As we contemplate this next step, it is fair to ask “Are there problems with the current state of health care in America? Do we need new legislation?” Yes. I know this firsthand as an independent, small business owner.

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious illness just nine months after obtaining an individual health policy. My first claims for diagnostic tests and treatment were denied. I didn’t politely accept the denial; I fired off angry letters and rattled every cage I could find. My claims were, in short order, accepted. I am the proverbial squeaky wheel and know how to throw a first-class, window-rattling, indignant fit in order to get past patronizing gatekeepers.

Health care providers: A friend of mine owns an insurance agency. Every year, the premiums increase at rates that range from 20-35%. My friend must pass on these increases to his clients and many opt to drop certain benefits, change providers or drop coverage for all employees – they simply can’t afford the egregious premiums.

Portability: when I moved from one state to another, I was not allowed to keep my private policy. Since I had a pre-existing condition, the possibility of obtaining an affordable individual policy was unlikely.

“Big Pharma”: my first policy did not, initially, include a pharmacy plan. My out-of-pocket costs for medicine were exorbitant – even in 1992. Years later, when my employer went out of business and all of us lost our medical coverage, I tried to purchase medication and was stunned when charged hundreds of dollars for one month’s supply of medicine.

Tort reform, keeping insurance providers and the pharmaceutical industries in check without restricting free trade, offering portability, as well as affordable plans for the self- or unemployed are a few positive steps that could salvage a premier health care industry. With a few carefully considered legislative acts, we could help keep costs in check, expand coverage availability without burdening Americans with more taxes and prevent chasing away qualified medical personnel who will seek employment elsewhere in order to be able to support their families, pay onerous malpractice insurance and repay their expensive student loans. Medical professionals may even opt to choose another profession.

Of course, all of the above has been suggested by president after president to uncooperative, partisan representatives.

Mr. Obama claims that seven presidents before him tried to enact health care reform … and failed. Why did they fail, Mr. Obama? President Clinton also wanted socialized medicine for America, but America didn’t want ClintonCare.

President George W. Bush pushed for tort reform, portability, health care spending accounts and, facing an uncooperative House and Senate, was unable to pass his legislation.

Mr. Obama will claim his “win” through bribery and deceitful practices, learned from his friends and neighbors in the sullied style of the Chicago political machine. In my opinion, that’s not a win or a victory to trumpet –it’s a buyout.

This country does need health care reform – there is no question on that point. However, we should try to pass health care reform that Americans want and need, not pass out political payouts.

Mr. Obama, find your ego-stroking, big-ticket win by governing this country with integrity and hard work. We know you are inexperienced in Washington politics, having served approximately 150 days in the Senate prior to your election, but no one gets to make excuses in the Oval Office. Isn’t it time, Mr. Obama, that you stopped whining and finger-pointing at the Bush Administration and started acting like a true leader? How does one define that? Consider the following:

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Character matters; leadership descends from character.” Rush Limbaugh

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
Norman Schwarzkopf

“Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.” Jesse Jackson

Mr. Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats in the Senate and House: Back room deals and vote manipulation may foist an unwanted partisan plan on our country, but this “win” may very well become a loss when voters go to the polls in upcoming elections. America will let you know what it thinks of your sweetheart deals, bribery and corruption. Your holiday gift may turn into an “unclean” lump of unburnable coal.

Merry Christmas, America!

1 Permission to quote granted by author, Martha R. Gore, M.L.S.Read more at Suite101: Corruption in American Cities: Chicago: From the Great Fire of 1871 to the 21st Century, Corruption Thrives | Suite101.com http://americanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/corruption_in_amerian_cities_chicago#ixzz0aNU01hOe


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sarah Palin Rocks On...

by Clio
November 17, 2009

Former Governor Sarah Palin is a rock star, according to political analysts on either side of the aisle. If that sounds like a glamorous description for one of the most influential and controversial public figures to mount the national political stage since Ronald Reagan, I beg to differ. I believe the media and pols use that term to diminish the former governor, not glorify her status or accomplishments.

There is an old saying, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” If you’re a career politician, taking a definitive stand on anything is something most prefer to avoid. The GOP elite have found that criticizing Palin inflames her supporters and does not diminish her appeal (right, Newt?); her liberal adversaries are just coming around to that realization.

Well, if you can’t beat or join ‘em, consider a third option: spin. “Spin” isn’t just a Hollywood public relations gimmick; it’s a cornerstone of political rhetoric used on both sides of the aisle.

So, how does one “spin” Palin? How does a politician make fence-sitting or even disapproval seem favorable when questioned about the former governor by the media? Easy… introducing, Sarah Palin, Rock Star! If you’ve watched or read recent news reports or comments, it’s likely you’ve heard the governor described in those terms.

Clearly, Governor Palin is popular: “Going Rogue, An American Life” debuts on November 17, 2009. Former Governor Sarah Palin’s autobiography has topped the best seller lists for weeks; more than a million copies of book are pre-ordered. When the release date for the book was announced, almost two months before publication, the book became an instant hit.

Labeling Palin a rock star isn’t praise, although some might mistake it for such. A rock star is an ephemeral entity that thrives on glamour, spotlights and only sparkles in the delusion of smoke and mirrors. Most rockers are shooting stars whose popularity quickly fades. Very few rock stars, upon reaching the pinnacle of success, remain there for more than a few weeks or months. The list of famous names who continue to glitter under the glare of the lights for longer periods is very brief indeed.

There is nothing ephemeral about Governor Palin; this chick is no rock star. Governor Palin continues to gain in popularity with the conservative base more than a year after losing her vice-presidential bid and almost four months after resigning as governor. Her popularity isn’t based on her attractive looks or charisma; Sarah Palin’s devout following admire her strong and incontrovertible dedication to conservative issues, as well as her independent spirit. Thus far, Sarah Palin has outsmarted and outlasted her critics’ predictions of her political demise.

Liberals and Republicans are scratching deep gouges on their bewildered domes; they just don’t get Sarah Palin’s continued popularity, the fascination by the media or her strong, growing core group of dedicated supporters.

When Governor Palin resigned from office last summer, the political pundits delved into her decision and dissected it with barely-disguised delight. Most major news stories were pushed to the side while the talking heads debated Governor Palin’s political future. The consensus, particularly with liberals, is that her political future evaporated when she signed over the office to Sean Parnell. There were a few conservative and independent commentators who either supported her decision or adopted a “wait and see” attitude.

Almost four months after Governor Palin’s resignation, she is still on magazine and tabloid covers and remains one of the most talked about politicians in the country.

On Monday, November 16th, she appeared on “Oprah,” the first of many interviews in support of “Going Rogue.”

Palin critics have never found anything positive or noteworthy to say about her, so it’s no surprise that they’ve panned the book without reading it (and admitting such or, at best, read sections) and the reaction from fellow Republicans, to Governor Palin, her book and political future spans a critical spectrum from dire to enthusiastic.

Book sales and talk show schedules notwithstanding; Palin is creating a political platform for herself by utilizing an inexpensive but wildly effective means of delivering her views on national issues. Sarah Palin’s Facebook Notes are picked up by national news feeds, discussed and analyzed on the air and in prin. The former governor also uses Twitter to “tweet” brief updates and items about her views and news.

Many political candidates recognize the value and usefulness of the Internet in their political strategies, but haven’t realized the potential of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Facebook, for example, has over 300 million members; Sarah Palin has over 1,006,000 members as of November 17, 2009. Social media is fast becoming the most powerful tool for information dissemination on the planet.

Case in point: the Iranian revolt earlier this year after the much-disputed results of their presidential election. The state shut down most media outlets, including the government-controlled Internet, but details, photos and video of the revolt went global via Twitter, texting, Facebook and other social media outlets. The power of these new media tools is formidable and Sarah Palin is using them with great success.

Governor Palin harnessed the capacity of social media via her Facebook Notes to confront Mr. Obama over aspects of his health care reform and to endorse a third-party candidate, Doug Hoffman, Conservative, for New York’s 23rd Congressional District. Democrat Bill Owens appears to be the victor in this race, but last weekend, we learned that Hoffman trails Owens by only 3000 votes and there are possibly as many as 10,000 uncounted absentee ballots.

Endorsing Doug Hoffman put Sarah Palin back in the top box on the cable news channels and gave her prominent placement in print publications. Pollsters questioned whether Palin’s backing would hurt, help or not even be a factor in what was a three-way race for the Congressional seat.

After Governor Palin’s announcement (former Senator Fred Thompson was one of the first to endorse Hoffman), Governor Tim Pawlenty, Senators Jim DeMint and Rick Santorum joined an impressive roster of political heavyweights and special interest groups supporting Hoffman’s candidacy. The Republican nominee, Assemblywoman DeDe Scozzafava, pulled out of the race after Hoffman surpassed her in the polls. Scozzafava’s parting gift to conservatives and Republicans was to throw her support to her opposition: Democrat Bill Owens.

Did Sarah Palin fail in her first national political endorsement since going to bat for Senator Chambliss in Georgia one year ago? No, in fact, in my estimation, picking Hoffman was a huge success for Palin. This is why:

- Doug Hoffman, a businessman in upstate New York, was an unknown entity, vying for the Congressional seat on third-party ticket. Governor Palin endorsed his candidacy just a couple of weeks before the election. Palin’s pick focused local and national media on this candidate whose poll numbers subsequently soared into a double-digit lead above the Republican Party nominee.
- Hoffman’s sudden and unexpected surge in the polls convinced his Republican opponent to withdraw.
- After former Senator Thompson and Governor Palin endorsed Hoffman, other conservative leaders followed suit.
- Hoffman may have lost (or may not … stay tuned), by only by 3% of the vote. Again, Hoffman is a political newcomer, late to the game and he nearly pulled off a win. I put a check in Sarah Palin’s column for her efforts in this race.

Regardless of the hopes and aspirations of GOP career politicians or the liberal opposition that fears her enduring and growing popularity, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made an impact on America and continues to inspire and lead conservative voters in her focus on national issues. She isn’t sprinkled with stardust, nor is she golden. Sarah Palin is an individual and a force for conservative politics, however, her future goals are known only to her. The only thing of which I can be certain is that she’ll surprise us, she’ll do it her own way and she’ll rock our world – with good, solid strategy and dedication to the best interests of our country.

Stay connected to your laptop and check your BlackBerry or iPhone – we might get a tweet regarding her future plans.

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I'm living on.”
David Bowie


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fort Hood: Terrorism or just a tragedy? Propaganda, Part I

by Clio

In my earlier blogs (“Man-Caused Disasters” and “Grab Your Merriam-Websters…”), I expressed disdain for the Obama administration’s terminology tinkering. “Man-Caused Disasters” focused on taking out terrorism and replacing it with an easier to digest “man-caused disaster.” “Grab Your Merriam-Websters…” examined the new policy of wiping out “war on terror,” giving preference to “global overseas contingency operations.”

When those exchanges were announced earlier this year, I felt so strongly about the White House’s word wrangling that I grabbed my laptop and pounded out a couple of blogs to express my disapproval. I had a feeling that these subtle substitutions marked the beginning of a campaign to change our opinions about the new government’s domestic and foreign policies.

It seems that Mr. Obama believes that if he expunges a certain word, such as “terrorism,” and replaces it with a less offensive term like “man-caused disaster,” the result will negate or change reality.

Reality arrived home last week in the form of an Army major at Fort Hood, Texas. Major Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded 29 others in first act of terrorism on American soil since September 11, 2001. News reports are surfacing regarding Major Hasan’s ties to radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki and Hasan’s attempts to contact members of Al Qaeda. In fact, there is enough information regarding Major Hasan, his activities and statements to launch a Senate inquiry into the shootings; other agencies will follow suit with their own investigations.

How did Mr. Obama respond to last week’s terrorist attack? During a brief press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama spent two minutes acknowledging a member of the audience and touting his health care package before he mentioned the Fort Hood attack: “… some of you might have heard there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas,” he told the assembled guests and cautioned “not to jump to conclusions” about the event.

Mr. Obama used poor judgment in failing to mention the attack on Fort Hood before giving “shout outs” and promoting ObamaCare, but I concur with his prudent advice about jumping to conclusions. Meanwhile, the facts are beginning to emerge and the evidence collected thus far suggests that a thorough examination of Major Hasan and his deadly acts is warranted.

On Tuesday, November 10th, the Commander-in-Chief spoke at a memorial service in honor of the fallen soldiers at Fort Hood Army Base. Again, Mr. Obama refused to use the term terrorism or even his own spin, “man-caused disasters.”

“This is a time of war. And yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great American community. It is this fact that makes the tragedy even more painful and even more incomprehensible.

It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know – no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice – in this world, and the next.

We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.”
Barack Hussein Obama, Fort Hood Memorial Service, November 10, 2009

The attack was a “tragedy,” not terrorism, according to Obama, and Major Hasan is a “gunman” and a “killer,” but not a terrorist. The exclusion of the expunged terms is pertinent because there is significant evidence, not far-fetched right-wing conclusions, that Major Hasan is a terrorist and his words and deeds provide substance to the charge. Mr. Obama may not want to acknowledge that, after eight years without a terrorist attack on America, one just occurred during his first year in office.

“It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion” – Joseph Goebbels

Author’s note: after posting this blog around 4am, I turned on the television. Commentators on FoxNews were discussing Major Hasan’s legal defense and his attorney’s intent to use a mental illness defense for his client. I’m quite certain that Major Hasan suffers from some mental malady (the diagnosis was psychopath, according to the commentators), but that begs the question: are all terrorists suffering from mental illness?

Surely, strapping explosives to one’s chest and walking into a building filled with innocent adults and children qualifies under that presumption. Piloting airplanes filled with highly explosive jet fuel and frightened passengers into skyscrapers and government offices – those 19 terrorists on September 11, 2001 were clearly mentally disturbed, as well as terrorist militants who engage in variety of murderous activities.

It all makes perfect sense to me; anyone who shouts “death to America” or carries signs that read “America is the Great Satan” is obviously a few nails short of a dirty bomb.

Will psychological illness become the new defense for terrorism? If so, what will that mean for those who were detained at Guantanamo Bay or tried, convicted and jailed for their attacks on America, its people and military? Should we release all of them for humanitarian reasons or ship them to a mental hospital to be tended by trained psychiatric staff?

If Major Hasan’s legal defense is successful, this could open a Pandora’s box in the prosecution of terrorism.

Psychopath or terrorist? Oh, here we go again… Shall we just trash our dictionaries and let liberals tell us what words mean and what we should or should not believe? It’s PROPAGANDA, my friends, an insidious ploy to stage manage our perception of the world and its dangers.


The Hitler/Goebbels Legacy; Mr. Obama and his Thesaurus… Propaganda, Part II

by Clio

Recently, we learned that “stimulus plans” are now “safety nets” – the latest addition to the Obama argot of more palatable phrases. In essence, there is nothing wrong with “stimulus plan,” except that it is now linked, in our collective mindset, with bailouts and trillion-dollar taxpayer debt. “Safety net” makes you feel protected, comfortable and less-stressed about the government incurring an astonishing national debt and that’s the point: safety nets are good things, like money saved for a rainy day, a bulging piggy bank, 401k or a reliable benefactor.

On the other hand, stimulus plans bring to mind Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, AIG, CitiBank, automobile manufacturer bailouts, exorbitant executive severance packages and luxurious corporate spa vacations. All of these issues and catastrophes are fresh in our minds and we remember that stimulus plans were put in place to, supposedly, salvage our economy and restore equilibrium in the marketplace.

Shall I put this language massage in context? It’s called PROPAGANDA.

“Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.” – Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell, “Propaganda and Persuasion”

To be fair, propaganda is a tool that groups and individuals have used since time immemorial; every country has used propaganda at some time, in some way – including the United States.

The current administration uses propaganda in a very traditional manner, much like the Nazi’s did during WWII. Obama propaganda seeks to influence our thoughts, opinions and beliefs by taking seemingly unpleasant facts or words, regardless of proper usage, and replacing them with gentler, less scary or threatening expressions.

The relationships and attitudes of the current administration bring to mind the relationship between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda architect and head of Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Hitler valued Goebbels brilliance as a propagandist and installed him in a grand office near his own; they met often to discuss how to present information to the masses in a way that bolstered their political goals.

The purpose of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was to promote the Nazi Party line and control German culture and society through its media and artists. All members of the media, writers, and artists were required to register with the Ministry and obtain permission before publishing or broadcasting their work. The Nazis also produced films, books and posters to support their party, enhance Hitler’s deified public image (courtesy of Goebbels) and propagate Nazi precepts.

One cannot over-emphasize the importance that Hitler, Goebbels and the Nazi party placed on the usefulness of propaganda in their military objectives. The Nazi propaganda campaign was successful in creating a messianic image of its leader and justifying its strategies to the populace, but Germany lost the war due to Hitler’s tactical miscalculations, his narcissism and belief in the infallible “der Fuhrer” persona that Goebbels created. Of course, Germany’s inability to repel the determination and might of Allied Forces also contributed to the Nazi military failure. (That’s my over-simplified recap; I don’t want to write a thesis on WWII.)

It is not truth that matters, but victory” – Adolf Hitler

Can you visualize a similar scenario with Obama and David Axelrod or Rahm Emanuel?

Luckily for Mr. Obama, the mainstream media, including Internet news and blog sites, are already onboard with the administration’s propaganda policies. In fact, they volunteered prior to the election, thus negating the need for our own Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda – for now.

It’s important to note that the Obama White House is currently engaged in a “war” on Fox News, accusing the news organization of being in league with or an arm of the Republican Party, while other conservative broadcasters and writers are routinely denigrated or denied interview requests by this liberal administration.

We know that past presidents had “feuds” with various media due to unflattering reportage, but declaring war on a particular organization is alarming; our First Amendment rights are precious and we cannot be passive as Mr. Obama puts our Bill of Rights in his sights.

Conservative journalists and broadcasters are concerned about attempts by the left-wing to revive the Fairness Doctrine which requires broadcasters to provide opposing views on issues of national importance. Many fear the federal government mandating debate and opposing opinions to views expressed by our media and with good reason; it’s a first step to controlling our freedom of speech.

The Fairness Doctrine was abolished in 1987 during the Reagan administration. Last February, Republican Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina, proposed the Broadcaster Freedom Act; legislation that prevents the Federal Communications Commission from re-instating the Fairness Doctrine. Sen. DeMint’s bill passed, 87-11. However, Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat, Illinois, countered with an amendment that essentially negates Sen. DeMint’s amendment. Sen. Durbin’s amendment passed, 57-41.

While Mr. Obama professes to oppose the Fairness Doctrine, it has not deterred liberal senators from attempting to revive it through cleverly crafted “stealth” amendments, such as legislation that encourages media diversity. Regardless of Obama’s public position, we must be vigilant and wary of our leaders’ true agendas.

“Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.” – Adam Smith

Language management falls in line with message manipulation; when the government takes charge of the media, our First Amendment rights are annulled.

You’ve heard this cliché before: words have power. Under Mr. Obama’s governance, words are manipulated to mislead and mask potential dangers to our lives, economy and our country’s security (see aforementioned blogs). His propaganda is verbal kool-aid for the masses; drink deeply and consume great quantities and you’ll find yourself taxed to financial insolvency and vulnerable to the very real threats our nation faces.

This is my third blog on the topic of our new government’s propaganda/language wrangling; the unapologetic exploitation of information in order to make us acquiesce, accept and agreeable to Mr. Obama’s plans is organically offensive to me.

Those of us who work in communications-related professions understand that words are the proverbial two-edged sword; one can influence, in a positive or negative manner, opinion by the choice and use of vocabulary. We understand and respect language – it is our livelihood, passion and domain. Messing with the message, particularly by politicians and news outlets, is commonplace and it is not harmless. It is a form of brain-washing and in the hands of Obama’s administration, media sycophants and czars; it is dangerous and inexcusable to use liberal newspeak to dupe the American people.

A word of warning for those who will listen: don’t allow yourself to be comforted or misled by some clever lingo legerdemain – demand honesty, in plain, unadulterated expression from the powers that be and always listen between the lines … that is where you may find the truth.

“How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.” – Adolf Hitler


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama’s Insensitive Photo Op: Coffins and Cameras...

by Clio

This morning I watched flag-draped coffins carried past an honor guard and Barack Obama at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Mr. Obama recently rescinded the ban on photographs and media coverage of the arriving coffins.

The ban was put in effect by former President George H.W. Bush in February 1991 during the first Gulf War (there are reports that the ban may have started earlier, in 1989). Using a split-screen technique, the media broadcast images of the President at a news conference, appearing to joke, while juxtaposing the solemn ceremony reserved for fallen soldiers at Dover. Media coverage was curtailed after that insensitive stunt.

President George W. Bush further tightened the ban on media coverage at Dover, preferring to meet in private with the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. President Bush was often accompanied by First Lady Barbara Bush.

While Mr. Obama stood at attention amidst the honor guard at Dover, delivering a slow, solemn (and nicely choreographed) hand salute to the flag-covered caskets, the photographers snapped away and film crews documented the event. Mainstream media reporters submitted their homage to Mr. Obama’s pre-dawn attendance at the base, lamenting that he “inherited two wars” and was bearing witness to the results of war “directly.”

I reviewed reports from ABC, AOL, Associated Press and numerous blogs that characterized this “historic” occasion as noble, pivotal, heart-rending and a “dramatic image” not seen in years. Gushing with tributes and honor for the great sacrifices by Mr. Obama (he pulled an “all-nighter” in order to make the visit the Dover, Delaware base), this was a perfect occasion for the Obama administration to do a little image-polishing after his popularity and health care initiatives were tarnished by performance disapproval, Tea Party demonstrations and strong opposition to health care reform and a myriad of other issues on his agenda.

The reporters were correct in their description of the return of our soldiers’ remains; it is a heart-rending, solemn and moving experience. However, the media also took this somber moment to condemn former President George W. Bush for not allowing media coverage of the caskets; President Bush preferred to respect the privacy of the grieving families.

President Bush was noted for private visits, without fanfare or media entourages, to military families, wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the survivors of the September 11th terrorist attacks and other victims of disasters:

This is my duty,” he said. “The president is commander in chief, but the president is often ‘comforter in chief,’ as well. It is my duty … to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish.”

Comfort can come in many different forms, the president said. “Comfort means hug, comfort means cry, comfort means smile, comfort means listen,” he said. “Comfort also means, in many cases, assure the parent or the spouse that any decision made about troops in combat will be made with victory in mind, not about my personal standing in the polls or partisan politics.”
Some military families objected to the ban, but most appreciated the consideration for their privacy shown by President Bush.

I was disturbed and saddened as I viewed today’s reports and video footage of the caskets; many members of my family have served in the Armed Services. My brother, who segued from a tour in the Army to the National Guard (he recently retired after 20 years of service), was called up to serve at the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003. I’m grateful for his service and safe return to our family.

Along with other Americans, I honor the men and women who fight and die for the cause of liberty and offer prayers for their families.


Doug Hoffman for Congress – Endorsements

by Clio

The Bold Pursuit is pleased to add our endorsement to a growing list of respected Republican and Conservative leaders, as well as the New York Post and other conservative interests, in supporting Doug Hoffman, Conservative Party nominee for New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

Governors Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin, former Senator Fred Thompson (TN), Senator Jim Demint (SC), Senator Rick Santorum (PA), former House majority leader, Dick Armey and Dr. James Dobson and others (click here for the full list of endorsements) are pledging their support Doug Hoffman.

Hoffman is a Managing Partner of Dragon Benware Crowley & Co., an accounting firm in northern New York State, as well as oversees Hoffman Family Enterprises of Hoffman (a diversified investment firm).

Governor Palin distinguished Hoffman from his opponents in her Facebook Notes by observing that Hoffman was “not … anointed by any political machine” (in contrast to his Republican and Democrat challengers). She further commented:

“Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.”

Clearly, Hoffman’s conservative political ideologies appeal to national conservative, Republican and independent leaders and New York voters; Hoffman leads Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) by 11 points in today’s (October 29) polls and is in a dead heat with Democrat, Bill Owens.

Doug Hoffman’s home page includes a link to a list of his positions on a number of issues, including the Stimulus plan, health care reform, cap and trade, bank bailouts and tax reform. Click on this link for the full details on Hoffman’s political views: Issues

TheBoldPursuit.net is a conservative blog; TheBoldPursuit.com, our web site, will be launched this year. Our mission is to provide a forum for political coverage and commentary, as well as motivate and support efforts to protect our country, its citizens and our Constitution.

Words from one of our nation’s Founders, Thomas Jefferson, inspire our vision for TheBoldPursuit.com: fearlessly, honestly seek truth and offer it for discussion or debate.

“I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.” - Thomas Jefferson


Friday, October 9, 2009

Skohl! Nobel Committee Aligns with Kool-Aid club …

by Clio

I awakened in the middle of the night and found that my television was still on, tuned to Fox News. Moments later there was breaking news: Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. I pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming (I’ll have bruises for days), made a cup of tea and went back to my television. Of course, I couldn’t fall asleep again – could you?

My thoughts and feelings are doing battle with my pragmatic, analytical side (granted that occupies a small part of my predominately “creative” brain). I felt a sense a déjà vu this morning, remembering how I felt after the election results were announced last November. How could this have happened? How could Obama, an inexperienced politician with shady friends, a communist mentor and sealed birth and college records prevail against a war hero, former POW, a respected senior senator with notable legislative experience who had a dynamic and accomplished running mate at his side?

After the election, the easiest way to describe my feelings was to create an analogy with a computer that has been fed bad information; it doesn’t compute, it slows down the machine and causes internal dissonance. I feel some internal dissonance today…

May I say it? Un-freaking believable! (I have some other, more colorful, observations, but shall restrain myself.)

When I first started this blog, I intended to write about the nascent conservative movement that is gaining momentum and attracting millions of concerned Americans. This movement, in my opinion (shared by many conservative commentators) is on its way to becoming a revolt. As a former political wallflower, I want to support this movement, in whatever (peaceful) direction it travels, but first let me express my thoughts about today’s news. I’ll publish another blog, The Conservative Tsunami: A Fight for Freedom, on Monday.

Back to today’s news…

According to news reports, Mr. Obama’s nomination for the prize (the person who nominated Obama will not be identified unless he/she voluntarily steps forward) happened within twelve days after his inauguration. The deadline for nominations was February 1, 2009. The Nobel Committee sent out invitation letters to individuals qualified to nominate in September 2008, two months before the election.

“Whatever their motives, the decision of the committee to give the peace prize so early to President Obama was perverse and premature. The prize, the most prestigious of its kind in the world, should be given in either of two sets of circumstances.” – London Times (Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary, 1992-1997. He is MP for Kensington and Chelsea.)

As I peruse news web sites and blogs, I find that most conservatives and many liberals share my internal dissonance and question what has Obama done to deserve this honor?

“Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America's first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.” – London Times

Around the globe and across the Internet, on conservative and liberal sites, there is confusion and questions about the appropriateness of this award, at this time. Forget the fact that Mr. Obama was nominated a week and half into his presidency; what did he accomplish in those twelve days that warranted a nomination? What has he done since then to merit such an honor? Something is stinky in …Sweden (and Norway)…

The consensus is NOTHING. Yes, he’s been very busy closing Gitmo (that closure is currently delayed. Obama never defined an exit strategy for Guantanamo Bay or its detainees), travelling aboard Air Force One for world-wide apology tours (and dates with his wife), as well as devising a massive, expensive health care plan that he intends to foist on Americans – whether they want it or not. If you don’t want it – too bad; he will “fine” you if you choose not to buy health insurance (not tax, “fine.” The difference is very subtle, in my humble opinion).

What Obama has done is drive our country into unprecedented debt, bailed out the automobile and banking industries with hastily written bills that were expeditiously forced to a vote without allowing our representatives time to read the legislation and deceived us about his socialist intentions regarding wealth redistribution plans. Let’s not even mention his promise of “transparency in government.”

In brief (trust me, the list is overwhelming) Obama has, so far, failed to live up to many of his campaign promises, including his determination to focus on winning the war in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama continues to delay a decision regarding additional troop deployment requested by General McChrystal. Our troops must wonder how committed their commander in chief is to their personal safety and the completion of a successful mission.

“The Nobel Peace Prize has come too early for Barack Obama. The US president cannot point to any real diplomatic successes to date and there are few prospects of any to come.” – Der Spiegel, Germany

A fellow conservative blogger, Upinak The Palination -- http://www.thepalination.com, is more concerned with the morale and well-being of our troops than in today’s farcical announcement about the Peace Prize. Upinak urges the blog’s readers to copy and paste portions of the following into their own blogs and posts. I’m happy to do so:

“…I have more to worry about than an ignorant attempt at someone who has no concept of peace in this time. How about the low morale that our Marines and Troops are dealing with at the moment? Or the fact that Obama will not help OUR Military!

At this moment, I have had numerous emails coming in to ask to help. Help Sarah Palin, help our Troops and Marines. Just help out in general and since Track Palin had his mom, Sarah come to the ceremony to welcome his unit home from Iraq and the fact I have a friend who is back home due to a horrible family accident, yet is stationed in Afghanistan, I and a co-worker of mine have decided to give back.

With your help… and to make a statement to Obama, the administration and to all those who do not care about our Marines, Troops and those over in Iraq and Afghanistan who are doing what is told, even if they do not agree.

Let us shower them with packages and remind them they are not forgotten. So how should this work? Adopt a Soldier, Squad, and a Platoon and here is how you can do it:


You can have monthly Church groups stuffing boxes. Your office can donate a few bucks a month to send a box. Or even have whatever organizations you are affiliated with send their own.

This link is a great source of information on what to send to your "adopted soldiers and marines".


I have been adopting soldiers and marines for years. This is the best defense against those who are on the offense concerning Iraq and Afghanistan. Who can you trust? The soldiers and marines who are there or the administration and Obama who do nothing? I pick our military! You will NEVER feel bad about helping those who need a good laugh and a package of love.”

Thanks, Upinak, for the perspective and advice.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Hail Victory, Obama! Starting with the kids…

by Clio

If you’re a conservative, you may notice a feeling of sentimental yearning for the good old days … of Bill Clinton’s presidency. In contrast with the current administration, Mr. Clinton’s era in the Oval Office almost seems benign and uncontroversial. We are in a new era of American politics, one that I believe will make Watergate and other scandals involving sexual and fiscal indiscretions seem almost mundane in comparison.

Yesterday, I watched a video clip of children singing and chanting an ode to the Great One – Obama. My mandible joined the chorus of conservative jaws dropping across the nation with the unspoken thought (remember, our jaws are still gaping, frozen in disbelief. I know that my TMJ is going to give me grief later), “OMG, what is next?”

“Barack Hussein Obama. He said that all must lend a hand to make this country strong again, mmm”

The first coherent (and polite) thought that comes to mind is that we are watching the advent of Obama’s Hitler-Jugend (Hitler Youth). Obviously, my opinion is not unique; as I searched the Internet for information about HY, I found numerous blogs, essays and reports that posited on the same notion.

“Barack Hussein Obama, he said we must be fair today; equal work means equal pay, mmm”

Comrades - We are living in momentous times” – James Larkin

I studied German in high school and college and remember watching the “World at War” series as part of my high school curriculum. I don’t have perfect recall, but the footage of 80,000 children saluting, singing and marching for der Führer is an image that leaves a strong imprint. However, I feel that it is important to verify information that I publish online and not rely on my dusty high school German class memories, so I spent the afternoon online, sifting through search returns and visiting history and blog sites.

If I have any praise for Mr. Obama, his administration and policies it is that they served as a catalyst to push me into historical research: the American Revolution, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, the pamphleteers (today, one would call them Internet bloggers) and patriots who informed and fomented the movement to oust the oppressive British rule and create a new nation. While all of us studied these facts during in our early school days, the facts fade and blur with the passing of time.

“Barack Hussein Obama, he said we must take a stand to make sure everyone gets a chance, mmm”

Thanks to Mr. Obama, I have rediscovered the richness of our history; the protests, riots and confrontations that led to the Revolution. I acquainted myself with words of the Founders of our nation and felt a sense of awe as I read the wise and almost eerily-relevant words of Thomas Jefferson.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

Last year, during the presidential campaign, another video surfaced in which teen-aged boys, dressed in paramilitary garb, marched in unison and chanted pro-Obama propaganda. I was discomforted as I watched the video and, later in the year, alarmed when television reports on November 4th, Election Day, broadcast footage of bereted Black Panthers at polling precincts.

At that point in time, I knew enough about candidate Obama to base a decision to cast my vote for his opponent. I had grave concerns about his lack of experience, sophomoric grasp of international politics and hints of socialist ideals in his wealth redistribution statements.

My earlier viewpoints, I feel, were vindicated within days of his Inauguration. Sadly, he has now surpassed my worst expectations and I find myself aligned with people who expressed a ‘gloom and doom’ Obama presidency; a “game-changer” for America’s future.

“Barack Hussein Obama, he said red, yellow, black or white, all are equal in his sight.”

Does the above have a familiar ring? It should if you’re a Christian and attended Sunday School at least once: “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World.” If you’re not agape or aghast, you’re not paying attention.

Wake up, countrymen!

It is incumbent upon every American, every patriot of our great nation, to fight to protect our country from the idiotic and dangerous politics of the left. We must protest Mr. Obama’s agenda, support candidates who view America’s Constitution as an inspired document and revere it as such.

We must zealously guard our Bill of Rights (and avail ourselves of its provisions) before those rights are eroded or revised to support the ethos of liberal extremists. If you think this can’t happen, stay seated on the sofa, rant at the television, but do nothing … just wait and see your country, your life changed forever.

I implore you: engage and speak out on behalf of our country before the rapacious agenda of the far-left destroys or alters the foundation of this shining city on the hill and extinguishes a beacon of hope and democracy to the world.

Seig Heil, Obama! (Hail Victory, Obama!)

Saturday, September 10, [1938]over 80,000 Hitler Youths marched into the city stadium and performed military-style parade maneuvers, which they had been practicing for an entire year, ending with a grand finale in which they spelled out the name 'Adolf Hitler' in the grandstand. After a tumultuous welcome, Hitler gave a speech in which he spoke candidly about his own youth and painful adolescence and then ended by telling them, "You, my youth, are our nation's most precious guarantee for a great future, and you are destined to be the leaders of a glorious new order under the supremacy of National Socialism. Never forget that one day you will rule the world!" http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/hitleryouth.aspx

Lyrics to songs to Praise the President:

Song 1:
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Song 2:
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say "hooray!"
Hooray, Mr. President! You're number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!
Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country's economy number one again!
Hooray Mr. President, we're really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!
So continue ---- Mr. President we know you'll do the trick
So here's a hearty hip-hooray ----
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

(note: at publication, I have not been able to determine the author of these lyrics – Clio)


Friday, September 11, 2009

An Inconceivable Violation...

by Clio

On September 11, 2001, I awakened late in the morning to another sunny day in Calabasas. Sunlight seeped through the slats of my bedroom blinds as I put on my robe and stumbled into the kitchen to make my morning cup of tea.

I didn’t rush or worry about getting to the office on time; I was recently unemployed. My company, a subsidiary of large privately-held publishing group, laid off its entire staff a few days earlier – the result of a depressed economy.

The light on my answering machine blinked, but I ignored it – probably another call to a company that used to have my phone number or a telemarketer.

After retrieving the newspaper, I closed my front door with one hand and pressed the play button on the answering machine with the other. I froze as I heard my mother’s voice, urging me to stay calm, that she and my Dad were okay and to not be afraid… end of message. My parents live in Portland, Oregon, so many thoughts raced through my mind: St. Helens erupted again, their house was on fire or there was a car accident.

I remember thinking that if it was St. Helens, it would probably be on the news, so I looked for the television remote while punching in my mother’s phone number: busy. I dropped the phone and turned on the TV.

Sights and sounds exploded before my eyes on CNN; my knees weakened and I crumbled to the carpet. With shaking hands holding the remote, I surfed the cable news channels, only to see the same visions of panic and pain. News anchors reported assaults on the Pentagon and New York and planes crashing in Pennsylvania, it was clear: America was under attack.

I watched terrified people running, covered in gray dust; my television screen filled with images of flames and buildings collapsing, creating tsunamis of dust and debris. I didn’t know that the pandemonium and horror in front of my eyes took place three hours earlier – everything seemed immediate and confusing.

I tried to reconcile my mother’s voice mail message with the television footage, the barrage of reporters’ words and alarming sights … bombs, the Pentagon, fires … Initially, I thought our country was the target of an invasion (based on my mother’s reassurances from Portland) and tried to think of who would have the audacity to launch an attack on America?

Eventually, news reports put the words and pictures into context: there were terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon, as well as another plane crash, its mission unfulfilled due to a courageous coup by the hijacked passengers, into a vacant field in Pennsylvania.

Professionally, I’ve been a publicist, business development executive and, now, a media consultant and writer. That morning, as I watched jet-fueled planes, filled with innocent civilians, deliberately driven into the Twin Towers, the only words I could verbalize were “oh, my God, oh my God” – literally, a plea or a prayer, but not a phrase I used frivolously or with disrespect.

Unable to move from my spot on the floor, I sat and watched the reports for hours; silent tears streamed from my eyes. I was numb with the horror of what my brain told me was inconceivable.

In the hours and days that followed, the true culprits were revealed: a terrorist group, Al-Qaeda.

2,975 innocent lives were lost on September 11, 2001 (I won’t add the deaths of the 19 terrorists to that toll; they don’t deserve, in my opinion, to be counted among their victims).

The terrorists rejoiced at their success, but I knew they had made a huge mistake. The fiends who planned and carried out their heinous attacks seriously underestimated or misunderstood America. There would be retribution for their lethal schemes and it would be swift and decisive.

While examining the rubble and remains of the Twin Towers in New York City, President George Bush draped his arm around a fireman, and, with megaphone in hand, addressed hundreds of workers and rescuers at the scene. A shout from the crowd; someone couldn’t hear the President’s words:

“I can hear you. I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”
- President George W. Bush, September 14, 2001

He kept his word. On October 7, 2001, a strong and effective military strike, Operation Enduring Freedom, was successfully mounted against the terrorists and their supporters in Afghanistan.

“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend – even a friend whose name it never knew. “
- President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001

Eight years after the attacks, I can still recall every emotion I felt that morning, as well as the intensity of the anger and grief that permeated every waking moment. I remember the sight American flags flying from every house, apartment or car – even billboards. It was hard to find an American who wasn’t a patriot – an angry, indignant and injured patriot.

My personal belief system encourages me to forgive and forget, but September 11th is my personal exception. I will never forget and I pray that Americans and the rest of the world will never forget what happened on that day. Sadly, we must continue to keep these memories alive, to remember the fallen – the victims and the heroes. We must remember for the safety of our country, for the protection of our freedom and way of life.

It is vital that we remember every minute of that day, from the moment we first glimpsed those visions of horror on television, as well as the sadness, anger and resolve for retribution that we, as a nation, felt in the days and weeks ahead. We must remember, so we can make sure it doesn't happen again.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Torture Outrage!

by Clio

While reading accounts of physical and psychological torture inflicted on political detainees, one can’t help but feel sympathy and concern for those who were held for such a long period of time under the most inhumane circumstances.

Such reports prompted me to research some of the cases of alleged abuse; some of you may be familiar with this information, but it bears repeating, if only to shine a light on the atrocities these people experienced at the hands of their captors.

Yes, there are claims that the “detainees” were, initially, treated kindly and respectfully. One guard was quoted as being offended by even being called a guard, saying that it was “too cruel.” The guards told the detainees that they should consider themselves as guests!

Perhaps the initial treatment of these people was humane – even if the “guests” were taken against their will and imprisoned. However, as we now know, the detainees were bound, often for days or weeks; some endured long periods of solitary confinement, forbidden to speak to one another, stand, walk or leave their areas unless they needed a bathroom break.

Frequently, the detainees expressed that they were threatened with execution – and they took those threats seriously. Torture is not limited to physical abuse (those incidents are well-documented), but emotional and psychological cruelty leaves scars and wounds that may never fully heal.

One night was extremely terrifying for the detainees: their guards donned masks and rousted them while they were sleeping, led them to another location, searched them, forced them to strip to their underwear in preparation for a mock execution. The guards loaded and prepared their weapons to fire, then ejected their cartridges and told the prisoners that it was just a joke, something that the guards “had wanted to do.”

Can you imagine the fear and agony these people experienced while waiting for their captors to pull the trigger? They were helpless and under the total control of the guards.

Of course, these are just a few examples of the barbaric treatment the captives endured and it must be noted that many of them suffered enduring physical and psychological damage.

One captive went on a hunger strike, two tried to commit suicide: one by breaking a water glass and slashing his wrists after being locked in a dark room; another banged his head against corner of a door, knocking himself out and cutting a deep, bleeding gash in his head. The latter suicide attempt goaded the guards to make this prisoner a target for abuse which included creating a mock electric chair with wires, taunting him with a horrifying execution.

Other prisoners reported threats to boil their feet in oil, cut their eyes out, or kidnap and kill a disabled child and `start sending pieces of him to your wife.`

Finally, after 444 days of captivity, the 53 imprisoned hostages in the American Embassy in Iran were released on January 20, 1981; moments after President Ronald Reagan took the Oath of Office.

The captors, primarily Iranian students who called themselves "Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line," demanded that the United States return the deposed Shah back to Iran for trial and execution. However, the Shah died during this period and that negated their primary motivation for the protracted captivity of the hostages. Negotiations continued and, finally, the Embassy hostages were released, flown out of Iran and welcomed home with a ticker tape parade through New York’s Canyon of Heroes.

On September 11th, 2001, operatives of the al-Qaeda terrorism network, hijacked four airplanes, flew two of those planes into New York’s World Trade Center Twin Towers, one plane was crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth plane plummeted into a field in Pennsylvania after an onboard passenger revolt. The number of deaths from the plane crashes and the collapse of the Twin Towers: 3017.

Approximately one month after the attacks, the United States led a broad coalition of international forces in the removal of the Taliban regime for harboring the al-Qaeda organization.

The United States set up a detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to hold what they termed "illegal enemy combatants" who were captured during the strike on Afghanistan or arrested due to information gleaned from prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay (Gitmo) facility.

On August 24th, 2009, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced he would conduct a preliminary investigation into whether some CIA operatives broke the law in their “coercive” interrogations of suspected terrorists in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

These coercive interrogations, or torture, as many consider the treatment, include the following, according to an ABC News investigation:

"They would not let you rest, day or night. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Don't sleep. Don't lie on the floor," one prisoner said through a translator. The detainees were also forced to listen to rap artist Eminem's "Slim Shady" album. The music was so foreign to them it made them frantic.” (author's note: Americans are also subjected to this type of torture when we tune our radios to the wrong channels – we feel their pain.)

Below are descriptions of some of the techniques used by a small group of trained CIA operatives to obtain information from the prisoners:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.
2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.
3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.
4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.
5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.
6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.
(source: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Investigation/story?id=1322866)

Perhaps listening to a rap album or even water boarding goes beyond what any human should have to endure, however, let’s put a few things in perspective: the 53 Embassy hostages were subjected to similar, if not worse treatment than the enemy combatants held in Gitmo – and they were innocent victims.

A terrorist group in Iran targeted and carefully planned the takeover of the American Embassy and did so with the consent and approval of their leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini and militants supporting the Iranian Revolution.

In contrast, the prisoners at Gitmo were taken on the battlefield or arrested for aiding or abetting al-Qaeda in its unforgivable act of violence against innocent civilians. (Please remember that attacks on September 11th were not the first or last acts of terrorism by anti-American, Muslim militants.)

George W. Bush’s administration instituted strong measures to ensure the safety and well-being of American citizens, including creating a Department of Homeland Security and instituting the Patriot Act. These measures and strategies helped prevent planned terrorist events from taking place and kept our country safe for eight years.

Torture should be abhorrent to any civilized society, however, coercive interrogations, including forcing prisoners to listen to rap music or open-handed slaps in the face, seem mildly appropriate. Militant groups, such as al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban, to name just a few, are avowedly hell-bent on attacking and killing innocent citizens while brazenly shouting “Death to America, ” – make no mistake: the terrorists mean what they say and intend to make it a reality.

What measure is too strong to take against those who have boldly stated their intention to destroy our country and murder its citizens?


Bowden, Mark, Guests of the Ayatollah: the first battle in America's war with militant Islam, Atlantic Monthly Press, (2006)




Saturday, August 22, 2009

While Rome Burns ...

by Clio

… We sit in our easy chairs, watch or read the news on our computers. Every day, elemental aspects of America are being changed, manipulated and excised, and most of us sit, watch, read or perhaps engage our family or colleagues in discussion or debate about our country’s transformation.

Throughout my life, I also watched, read and, when I felt my company might appreciate my perspectives, expressed my views. I guess I was a political wallflower.

My earliest memory of a national news event was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I remember the somber mood in our home as my parents spoke with relatives and friends about the tragedy.

As an adolescent, the riots of the 60s raised the issue of racism at our dinner table; I read accounts of the Vietnam War protests and Watergate (resulting in President Richard Nixon’s resignation) in one of my favorite magazines, Rolling Stone. I remember the slogans and chants and probably repeated some myself. I was a typical teenager in many respects: naively judgmental and relatively uniformed.

My high school Social Studies class covered the feminist movement and explored our deep concerns about nuclear proliferation. The U.S.S.R. was our Cold War enemy and the films and novels of the day reflected American fear of a smirking Russian with a ready finger on the nuclear “red button.”

Skyjacking, Libyan-supported terrorism and Muslim extremists replaced the smirking Russian in our nightmares and newspapers. In 1979, the American Embassy in Iran was invaded and Iranian students held 53 Americans hostage for 444 days. President Jimmy Carter organized a disastrous rescue attempt (“Operation Eagle Claw”), but the hostages were freed only minutes after Ronald Reagan, who defeated Carter in the election, took the oath of office.

President Ronald Reagan took bold steps to end the Cold War and did so without a single shot being fired. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Reagan demanded; a bold command that reverberated around the world, changed the course of history and led to the lifting of the Iron Curtain.

There are many memorable events in the Reagan presidency, however, his election was particularly poignant for me because I became a Republican, voted for the first time and chose Ronald Reagan to lead our country.

I remember how empowered I felt after I left the voting booth on November 4, 1980. Later that evening, I watched the election returns and as the final votes were tallied, it occurred to me that if I hadn’t voted there would have been 43,903,229 instead of 43,903,230 votes cast for Ronald Reagan and his vice president, George H.W. Bush. My one vote would not have affected the outcome of the election, but it was counted! I took part in democratic process and was proud to be an American.

During the Persian Gulf War, I read newspapers, watched a war on television 24/7 and marveled at seeing reporters speaking to us “live” from various parts of the world, via satellite, on cable TV news stations. We watched the War as if it was a primetime series (“Operation: Desert Storm”) and combat vernacular (smart bombs, Scud and Patriot missiles) became part of our water cooler conversations.

Such was the extent of my political “activism” until the 2000 Presidential campaign. I joined the Bush-Cheney grassroots effort and created a virtual precinct. I attended some parties, was quoted by a Village Voice reporter and cast my vote. I did something, made an effort, but felt that I had more to give and wanted to give to my country.

The political timeline continues with great accomplishments and disappointments: recessions, recoveries, bear and bull stock markets, technology and Internet booms and busts, the space shuttle program launches Columbia on its maiden flight; later, the Challenger shuttle crash claims seven lives. We endured and observed more terrorist attacks … and, then September 11, 2001. Do I need to say more?

Last November 4, 2008, we witnessed a looming American tragedy: Barack Hussein Obama won the presidential election and ushered in a new era of extreme liberal agendas, supported by majorities in the House and Senate.

Six months into his presidency, Mr. Obama has made swift, drastic and expensive changes to this country without few impediments. Our venerable system of checks and balances in this administration is compromised and the current administration has free rein (or is it “reign”) to plunge our nation into a multi-trillion dollar debt, appoint cabinet officials, “czars” and judges with spotty records with little or no opposition, attempt to institute a government-sponsored health care industry – an ineffective, costly socialist-type of program that has failed to be effective in other countries.

Obama’s health care bill, like the TARP program and industry bailouts, will be a financial burden for generations to come. Experts tell us that H.R. 3200 will create a huge bureaucracy that will amount to 1/6th of our national economy. There are frightening aspects of this bill that may affect the way we treat senior citizens, ration care, create diminished quality of care and will negatively affect small businesses through tax increases and other measures.

Health Care Reform Bill, H.R. 3200 shares some commonalities with Obama’s other hasty endeavors (TARP, corporate, banking and auto industry bailouts): his administration presents lengthy and complicated legislative bills (H.R. 3200 has over 1000 pages) and then applies pressure for an immediate vote. Our representatives in Washington aren’t given enough time to read the entire complex and hefty legislative literature, leaving our representatives no choice but to blindly vote on the measures and their constituents in the dark and at the mercy of Mr. Obama’s aggressive plans.

However, something unexpected (at least to Mr. Obama and his minions) is taking place: seniors and other citizens are verbalizing their concern and anger over the more pernicious parts of the bill. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin recently wrote forcefully about the health care rationing on her Facebook Notes:

“… who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi compared the protestors to Nazis and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused them of trying to "sabotage" the democratic process. As a nation, we’re in trouble when our leaders try to trample on our First Amendment rights and attempt to suppress our freedom of speech by impugning our patriotism and intentions with inflammatory comments and slander.

I applaud the patriots who raised their voices in outrage over the health care reform bill and I admire those who attended recent “tea parties” to protest tax increases and the burgeoning national debt.

Former Governor Palin has taken more abuse from Obama and his staff than any politician in recent history, but she is unafraid to stand up to his administration and condemn this latest deeply-flawed piece of legislation – her actions and leadership command my respect.

While “Rome” burns, we can sit, read, watch and wait until someone else tries to stamp out the flames or we can, as a country, take a stand and demand better leadership from Washington’s enthroned elite.

It isn’t necessary for all of us to march on Washington, D.C., engage in protests or attend tea parties – we can throw our own Revolution if each of us will just take some kind of action, such as write to our elected officials, send a letter to the editor, attend a town hall meeting or even post a notice on our church or community bulletin board.

We can achieve tremendous results and perhaps douse the flames that threaten this great democracy if we get out of our chairs and start walking our talk... even small efforts can bring remarkable changes.

If the ire of a few of our senior citizens can attract international press coverage and one former governor’s strong statement, via the Internet, prompts a change in the bill, surely we can make a difference in the future of our country if we just stop talking about what we don’t like about the current state of affairs and do something in defense of America. We must act now, before we have nothing left but the ashes of a divinely-inspired Constitution and a charred and ruined country.



Friday, August 14, 2009

The Bold Pursuit...

by Clio

Earlier this year, I stumbled upon a quote by Thomas Jefferson: “I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.” The words of this great patriot resonated very strongly with me.

In the months leading up to the creation of TheBoldPursuit, I was actively involved with a political network. One of the network’s primary goals was to sort out inaccuracies and confront rumors with facts on blogs, mainstream media and liberal web sites.

These efforts, while noble, took us into places where vulgarity was the native tongue and lies and deflection the common vernacular. Visiting these sites left me feeling nauseated and defeated; it is pointless to offer an intelligent, factual comment or response to those who simply aren’t interested in the truth. The denizens of those mendacious and polluted places are there for confrontation – truth and accuracy are of no concern to them.

I knew there had to be a better, more effective way to represent and defend the causes in which I believe and that is when I started working on a concept: “The Bold Pursuit.”

This is an excerpt from my first, private, brainstorming session:

"TheBoldPursuit aspires to be a conservative news, commentary and blogger portal; a place where intelligent and thoughtful perspectives are invited, as well as a setting for relevant and respectful interaction. Our beliefs are rooted in the United States Constitution. We support a conservative agenda, but welcome all points of view."

Website Concept:
  • We are patriots.
  • We love our country and present TheBoldPursuit as a venue for expression of patriotic and political views.
  • We value truth
  • We accept all points of views
  • We insist that blogs, articles and comments are presented thoughtfully and respectfully
  • We reserve the right to remove any comment, blog, article or advertisement that is offensive, regardless of political or philosophical beliefs.
  • We reject intolerance or abusive behavior and will ban anyone who engages in such behavior from TheBoldPursuit.
  • We endeavor to create an atmosphere of respect
In anticipation of creating TBP – a conservative news/commentary/log portal, I purchased domain names, hosting – all of the elements that one needs to start a web site. I also created a publishing group: TBP Publishing.

A first attempt at launching TBP.com was unsuccessful due to technical issues with the template and internal differences within the group that I assembled to create the web site. (There was a soft launch of the site on July 27th.)

We can learn from our failures, perhaps even more than from our successes. I took some time to consider the options for TBP, as well as the need for another conservative web site. My conclusion is that the concept for TheBoldPursuit is sound and vital. TBP is capable of evolving as a refuge for thoughtful exchange, intelligent commentary, insightful articles and investigative reportage. We are already underway with a new “test site,” a place to refine and define the site so that it is relevant and useful to its visitors.

Why do I believe it is time to embark on this journey, this bold pursuit?

There is, at last, a slow “awakening” in America to the deception and mishandling of our government by the current administration. Our countrymen are beginning to hear the alarm that bloggers and conservative reporters and commentators have been sounding throughout the past eight months: the rush to implement questionable and fiscally-irresponsible legislation is leading this nation into a crushing debt that, at best, will be passed on to future generations.

The president's true agendas are emerging – Mr. Obama has transformational plans that will nullify the America we know and love … A country founded in the wisdom and blood of patriots and for which generations of men and women have fought, died and sacrificed.

President Ronald Reagan once called America that “shining city upon the hill.” ‘America’ is more than a country; it is a concept, an icon – a brightly shining beacon of hope and democracy for the world to see. However, that “shining city” is becoming obscured by the dark and blustery clouds of a disingenuous regime. Our shining city may become the dark fortress of Obama and the liberal left.

We cannot be silent or allow the aggressive agendas of the current White House to take effect without protest or objection. We must demand the transparency in government that we were promised. We need to attend town hall meetings, tea parties and other events to ensure that the ‘powers that be’ know that we are aware, informed and ready to fight for what we believe.

If we are “bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way,” we may reclaim our country, protect its Constitution, fundamental values and conservative principles.

I hope you’ll support TBP and those who believe in the words and intentions of our Founding Fathers – fellow patriots who love their country and express it in word and deed. We’ll unite in The Bold Pursuit of knowledge, integrity and accountability in government and our voices will be heard!

Publisher, TheBoldPursuit.com


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grab your Merriam-Websters and some red pens. According to Obama and crew, it’s time to update our dictionaries!

March 24, 2009

Man-Caused Disasters and other irritating issues (Part II):

The Obama administration is playing fast and loose with our language again. Are you ready for this? The “global war on terror” is just an icky name, according to Mr. Obama’s regime. We’re now going to call it, and, no, I’m not making this up, the “Overseas Contingency Operation.” I know the new phrase will make the Iranians, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and every malcontent willing to strap a few sticks of TNT to his or her chest feel all warm and fuzzy about America.

In the spirit of reciprocity, I fully expect that Muslim extremists will cease to call us the “Great Satan” and use a less incendiary substitute, such as “kinda big demonically-inclined” or “super-sized malevolent one.” Perhaps we could start a contest for best alternative language for “Great Satan?” (“Big Bad” is already taken by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” While the show is out of production, the term is closely associated with Buffy and the Scooby Gang.)

The announcement regarding the Overseas Contingency Operation comes on the heels of a language modification by our Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. I was taken aback when I learned that Napolitano decided to tinker with the term “terrorism,” declaring that it was now just “man-caused disasters.”

I simply cannot find the words … however, I’m certain that Obama et al will find an appropriate way for me to express my feelings.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait for the publication of the new, revised American Dictionary according to Obama.

Link to the Washington Post article:


Man-Caused Disasters (Part I)

March 17, 2009

This isn’t a blog; this is just me, taking a moment to absorb what I just heard on “Hannity” this evening:

I turned off my laptop less than an hour ago, planning on spending some quiet time with my pet, watching the news and relaxing after a long day.

During a FoxNews commercial break, I surfed over to “Larry King Live” a few minutes, just in time to hear Larry’s guest, Donald Trump, stroking his ego over claims that he warned us two years ago about the imminent economic disaster. Thanks, Donald.

Mr. Bush, Trump whined, ‘left us with an awful mess.’ Someone should inform Mr. Trump, tycoon-extraordinaire, that this “awful mess” is grounded in legislation and tactics put in place by former presidents Carter and Clinton. Trump went on to predict that Mr. Obama would eventually do okay… well, that’s comforting, isn’t it?

Turning back to Fox, Sean Hannity was recapping the news of the day; one story mentioned that Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is taking on the august task of changing American English to reflect her disagreement with the “policy of fear” of the previous administration. Terrorism, she proclaims, should be renamed as a “man-caused disaster.”

Are … You … Kidding … Me? (Expletives, sighs, gasps, groans and sounds of human suffering deleted.)

I’m not sure if the tears I feel on my cheeks are from repressed hysterical laughter or from a deeply-felt fear of what the future holds for Americans under this administration.

For example, Obama closed Gitmo, but doesn’t know what to do with its prisoners – he isn’t even sure where to send them or what to call them. Mr. Obama decided that the term “enemy combatant” is too impolite for the um, guys we arrested on the battlefield in Afghanistan (GWABAs?).

I used to be a press agent, so I understand how subtle manipulations of words and sentences can change and affect the intent of a message. Secretary Napolitano’s use of a “nuance” to camouflage a serious and on-going threat to the safety and security of every American is frightening – and she is the head of Homeland Security.

While we’re here, shall we open the floor to other politically-correct concerns and demand that Secretary Napolitano explain why terrorism is a “man-caused disaster” and not a “female-caused disaster?” I’m waiting for Gloria Steinem to chime in on this one.

I’m not known for snarky diatribe, but I was, initially, speechless after learning of Napolitano’s terminology tampering. I had to grab my laptop and express my incredulity … I don’t have high expectations for the Obama administration, but it pains me to see so much effort expended to undermine the well-being of our nation.

Here’s the link to the original report on FoxNews:

If you want a good laugh or cry, try reading the Detroit Examiner’s story about Obama’s soft-hearted and weak-minded terminology adjustment regarding GWABAs, formerly known as enemy combatants. If you have time to post a comment to this article (the feature is heavy on insults to President Bush – can you imagine what would have happened without George Bush at the helm during the 9/11 attacks? Could Gore, Kerry or Obama have coped with the pressure of that vicious man-caused disaster?), feel free to flame. Here’s the link:


Good News! There are anti-Sarah hate groups on Facebook…

January 27, 2009

Did that subject line get your attention? If so, please don’t start to hyperventilate, froth at the mouth or begin writing an angry retort. Please allow me to explain why this is a good thing for the Governor.

A couple of days ago, I decided to join the burgeoning crowd of Facebookers and start my own page. While searching for groups and friends, I typed in the keywords “Sarah Palin.” The search rendered three pages of results: “Women Against Palin,” “Why We Hate Sarah Palin,” “People with no idea why, but Hate Sarah Palin” (okay, I made up the last one).

My search also yielded links to pro-Palin groups, as well as the Governor’s official Facebook page, too. Some of the groups favoring Sarah had a few members, some had a few thousand, some had tens of thousands and the Governor’s page had hundreds of thousands of members.

What struck me as important is the polarity of public opinion about Governor Palin. You love her or hate her (hate is such useless and spiritually/intellectually destructive trait, wouldn’t you agree?), but few people are indifferent. Indifference doesn’t get votes.

Sarah Palin creates controversy and attracts supporters who admire her “Mainstreeter” style, devoted to her because of her values, achievements and promise for a reinvigorated GOP. She is a positive portent for change in the coming years.

Some newscasters have noted that months have passed since the election and we’re still talking about Sarah Palin. She continues to be newsworthy and has a growing, significant support base. The McCain/Palin ticket failed to win, so why didn’t she quietly fade into obscurity like other vice presidential candidates?

While some of the established good old boys of the GOP would like to downplay the Governor’s importance and impact on America, it would be foolish to ignore or dismiss Sarah Palin as a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon. Celebrity fads fade fast and this rising star has just begun her ascent.

BTW, my background is in entertainment, not politics. This is the just the POV of a former celebrity publicist: she has star power. Yes, she has many strengths and a sharp mind, but she also has that elusive quality that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Do you remember watching her acceptance speech at the RNC convention? I felt the exuberance of the crowd through my television and got chills. The previous evening, Mr. Obama gave his acceptance speech to a teary and cheering crowd. He was on his game and even I felt moved by his words. However, the next evening, Sarah Palin made America (and even the media) forget the Styrofoam Greek columns of the Altar of Obama and we embraced this sharp, self-assured and savvy politician from Alaska. Yep, a star was born that night.

What is star quality or star power? Let me give you one example, one I’d personally not like to use, but you can’t deny he has “it”: Barack Obama. Few people outside of Illinois were familiar with Mr. Obama (aside from William Ayers, et al.) before the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama’s skill as an orator wowed the crowd and, while people stumbled over his exotic name, the liberal left noticed and anointed a new star, making him their very own political construct and hope for the White House in 2008.

We must be fair to Mr. Obama; when he gives a speech, he really delivers. There is no doubt that he is talented in delivering the rhetoric. Regardless of our powerful, intense and, apparently, accurate measures of the man, he also has “star power.” I think that’s why many opined that Obama was running against Sarah Palin – not John McCain.

Personally, I feel it’s too early for the Governor to announce her intention to run for office, but she’s right on track with creating a PAC, getting a book deal and taking steps to create a positive pubic image. If Governor Palin gets a strong team behind her, creates a solid plan for her political future and raises the funds she needs for a successful campaign, there is good reason for the liberal left to tremble.

Do I believe Sarah Palin, a controversial, conservative and charismatic politician can achieve our nation’s highest office? You betcha.


Feminism and Palin Panic

October 13, 2008

I first declared myself a feminist at the age of 14. In reality, I knew very little about feminism, but the ideal resonated with my strong sentiments about personal freedom. My activist English teacher discovered my interest in feminism and guided me to books by all of the popular feminist authors of the day. It was a lot for a young girl to absorb and understand. My teacher urged me to join the Student Senate, so that I could endorse her class on activism in our high school. At that time, I didn’t understand her motivation; I was just barely in my teens and still quite naive.

Today, my personal definition of feminism is very similar to what I believed in my youth; it simply means that a woman should be able to choose her own life path, work in a profession of her choosing and receive fair and equal compensation. A woman shouldn’t encounter or accept discrimination because of her gender.

So, why are feminists and others (still) alarmed by the popularity and respect so many have for Governor Palin? I find it baffling because I view Governor Palin as an example of my definition of a true feminist: she’s smart, savvy, ambitious, courageous and patriotic. She sought the highest office in her state and won. She is a mother, a Christian, a governor, a reformer and the first Republican woman nominated for the Vice Presidency.

My point is that she chose her own life path; she’s a mother and has a career. I thought that’s what feminism was all about – to be free, without discrimination, to choose our lifestyles, professions and interests. I believe Sarah Palin is one of the best feminist role models we have in public life.

While reading various blogs and message board posts, I am surprised by the comments and slurs by some posters. You don’t have to like her, agree with her or vote for her. You certainly don’t have to accept or even understand my endorsement of Governor Palin on the basis of feminism, politics or qualifications (and, yes, I thought she was very qualified) for the vice presidency. However, a little cool-headed discussion and/or disagreement would be more appropriate in your forums.

Let’s be honest – very few people are swayed by radical, epithet-ridden pointless diatribes. Just reading these puerile posts is depressing: are these messages representative of the collective American political mindset? Aren’t we capable of exchanging thoughts and disagreeing in principle without resorting to schoolyard bullying and name-calling?

If you're one of the hatemongers, please feel free to disagree with me, but tell me why – what is your position on my message? If you’re not bright enough to come up with some intelligent dialogue, well, I guess the only appropriate response, one that you’ll understand is: sticks and stones may …