Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I have been through some of General Kelley's letters from the Civil War when he commanded Fort Fuller, where Potomac State College stands today. This was a man with confidence and strength in a difficult position. He had to defend a long fixed object, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, against a mobile and usually invisible guerilla enemy. This thankless task is something that our troops today would understand all too well. Kelley did a great job not only in this role, but also later in the war. Ulysses S. Grant mentions in his memoirs a battle in which Kelley's support was important. Kelley was the only Union general to never be on the losing side of an engagement, unless I have heard wrong.
This made the letter I ran across yesterday all the more sad. Kelley wrote to Nathan Goff asking for some job, any job, that would help him to pay his bills. In those days, support for the political party of the president could get you a federal position. Kelley had served on the state Republican Executive Committee and did have a federal job before running afoul somehow of Senator Arthur I. Boreman. He retired to his farm to support his wife and the two children of his son who was killed in the war. Kelley found that his own war wounds kept him from the rigorous work of farming and so he had no choice but to beg for a job, any job, anywhere, that would help him support his family.
There's no partisan political point here. We just need to remember that even years after the wars are over, that our veterans still need help. Many of them have wounds of all kinds that will never heal. The combat may fade into history, but they do not do so nearly as quickly. Even the commanders sometimes return home with problems that will always affect them. Just don't forget.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Some Republicans have learned that they can get their ideas to those same country roads and back hollows today. Speaking and personal contact is still of primary importance, but even Nathan Goff would tell you that you cannot cover every village in a district or in the state. The new media gives candidates that opportunity if they can use it properly.
I don't mean to ruffle any feathers here, but it always irks me when someone announces their candidacy and does not have a website up the day of their official announcement. Many times I have found myself saying "wow, so and so is running for that seat, I'd like to know more about them!" The worst thing a Republican candidate can have happen is that they announce that they are running, people look them up, and only see Charleston Gazette stories about them. On the day of announcement, people want to know who you are and what you stand for. Don't let the Gazette or someone else's news coverage define who you are right off the bat. Get that website up to define your image as a candidate before someone does it for you.
Next, have a presence on at least Facebook. Around the country you see candidates at all levels setting up pages. Rick Perry, running for re-election as Governor of Texas, has a very active site. Betty Ireland is not currently running for anything, but has activity on her page. Statements on current events remind people that she is still around and concerned about the issues. Most candidates will issue regular statements on the issues of the day, then interact little as others argue on what was said. Facebook serves as a comnnection point between candidates and supporters. Extreme reactions can and do sometimes occur, so these pages must be monitored.
The new media is there and candidates should use it to its fullest potential, or at the very least get a minimum level of exposure so voters can use a very convenient media to get to know them.
Monday, February 15, 2010
By standers help bring the driver back to the top of the bank after her vehicle traveled some 150 feet to the bottom.
It first comes from the overuse of the word "hero." A "hero" does something remarkable, using their skills to achieve something positive, often at great risk to themselves. I don't mind calling police officers heroes. I don't mind calling fire fighters heroes. They do put their lives on the line daily. At what point does basketball become a life and death occupation though?
Great individuals need to be remembered and celebrated. Our schools do a terrific job remembering Martin Luther King Jr. He was a true martyr to the cause of individual rights. I do find it puzzling that students know who Martin Luther King was, but not Martin Luther who offered himself to be burned at the stake because he believed Christians had the right to freedom of conscience.
Probably the worst offender is "Presidents' Day." We used to celebrate Lincoln and Washington's Birthday separately until the universal adoption of Martin Luther King Day. Then governments felt three holidays in such a short period of time was too many (an exception being Virginia who already celebrated Robert E. Lee's birthday at the same time, and still do. The two are not so far apart as one might imagine.) Washington and Lincoln got lumped together.
Washington's Birthday was at one point a more important holiday than the 4th of July. More than anyone, he symbolized both the fighting spirit and the political wisdom of our Founding Fathers. He served as hero not just to Americans, but also to colonial peoples everywhere seeking independence. Every leader of a would be sovereign nation aspired to be a Washington for his people. Most failed to meet a standard set so high. Now Washington gets lumped in with the good, bad, and the ugly of presidencies.
Are all presidents heroes? Is the drunken incompetent Andrew Johnson the equal of George Washington?
Left wingers do not believe in heroes outside of their own kind. They tend to hate the idea that an individual can make a difference and change history for the better. History to them is a series of social movements, not alterable at all by the actions of willful, inspired men and women. They truly see little value in celebrating Washington or any other American hero and that is why they have labored so long and hard to eliminate him and other true heroes from our schoolbooks and curriculums. Martin Luther King Jr. gets to stay because it is inconvenient for the leftists to take on a major interest group.
Another left wing concept is postmodern philosophy that emphasizes that all opinions and points of view are equally valid. Postmodernism says that Jackson Pollock dropping pain onto a canvas from a three story building roof is equal to da Vinci and Michelangelo's greatest works. It says that Washington is as much villain as hero because someone, somewhere sees him as an evil usurping slaveowner rather than a symbol of liberty. Left wing academics worship in the religion of postmodernism; it's the only creed they accept on faith alone.
Being aware of these people and their intentions for our culture and country prepares us to battle them. We need to exalt the memories of Washington, Lincoln, Grant, George and John Marshall, George Patton, Andrew Carnegie, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, etc. because they did great things for a great nation. Even Lee and Stonewall Jackson stood for an ideal of rights that is part of our experience and national identity.
Celebrate heroes. Teach our children about great Americans so that they believe they can achieve the same things. Then teach about other heroes from Britain, the rest of Europe, the Christian and Jewish faiths. You need to teach about these people or risk having children never hear about them at all.
6 am EST Tuesday...
The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a
Winter Weather Advisory for snow... which is in effect from 9 am
this morning to 6 am EST Tuesday. The Winter Storm Watch is no
longer in effect.
* Precipitation type... snow.
* Accumulations... 2 to 4 inches today and an additional 2 to 4
* Timing... snow will begin between 9 am and 11 am this
morning... and will continue through tonight.
* Temperatures... highs around 30 today. Temperatures dropping into
the teens tonight.
* Winds... southeast 5 to 10 mph today... becoming west 10 to 20 mph
A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow will cause
travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited
visibilities... and use caution while driving.
141 responded to the question, "Who will you vote for in the 1st Congressional District Democrat Primary?"
Michael Oliverio III (Monongalia County) 80%
Alan B. Mollohan (Marion County) 19%
429 responded to the question, "Who will you vote for in the 1st Congressional District GOP Primary?"
David B. McKinley (Ohio County) 45%
Sarah Minear (Monongalia County) 30%
Thomas Stark (Wood County)13%
Mac Warner (Monongalia County) 4%
Cindy Hall (Ohio County) 4%
Patricia VanGilder Levenson (Ohio County) 1%