Eat mor chikin?
I’ll do it — and
quietly make a
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The roadside sign outside the local church reads this way:
“Eat more chicken. Don’t be one. Support family values.”
To the uninitiated, the words are just gibberish, but anyone who pays any attention whatsoever to current events will know the background to the message.
The Chick-fil-A restaurant chain is in the news following comments its Christian president, Dan Cathy, made to the Baptist Press. Cathy said the company, known for keeping its restaurants shuttered on Sundays, the Lord’s Day, is “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family” — and not the concocted “gay marriages” now openly supported by our current president. Later, in a radio interview, Cathy said “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ ”
Long the target of militant homosexual groups and rank-and-file liberals for its Christian business principles and financial support of conservative organizations like the Family Research Council, Chick-fil-A is the subject of renewed boycott calls by gay-rights advocates. Leaders of leftist-dominated cities like Boston and Chicago are getting in on the act, too, condemning Cathy’s statements and saying Chick-fil-A isn’t welcome in their business communities.
But, Christians around the nation are fighting back, eating more at Chick-fil-A restaurants throughout the land and planning to heed the call by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, to make this coming Wednesday (Aug. 1) “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” The purpose is to support a company whose executives are willing to take a public stand for godly values.
Huckabee has asked that Christians, and anyone else who supports traditional family values and the traditional definition of marriage, to visit a Chick-fil-A at any time on Wednesday and buy a chicken sandwich or something else on the menu. The idea is to financially and quietly support the company and its leaders — not to make a scene by marching, picketing, shouting or shaking a fist in someone’s face.
I’ve made plans to take part and will gladly drive out of my way to do it. A Chick-fil-A restaurant is coming — eventually — to Winter Haven, but until then the nearest ones to my home are two in Lakeland, one on South Florida Avenue and the other at Lakeland Square, the mall on U.S. Highway 98 North.
Having a delicious Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich is a good enough reason to visit one of the restaurants, but on Wednesday I’ll go for more important reasons: 1. To join the worthy effort started by Huckabee; 2. To patronize a fine company; 3. To support Dan Cathy’s courage and principled stand for faith and traditional family values; 4. To help make up for any economic damage a homosexual and liberal boycott might do to Chick-fil-A; and 5. To quietly but firmly send a statement to the social liberals, including President Barack Hussein Obama, that they won’t be able to force their twisted brand of family values on me.
Will you join me and others for “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”? Will you regularly support Chick-fil-A with your fast-food dollars? I hope you will.
People supporting the Chick-fil-A company and executives in the social war over family values turned out in droves at restaurants all across the nation on Wednesday (Aug. 1), “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” These photos were taken between 8 and 8:30 p.m. at the extremely busy Chick-fil-A on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland (Fla.).
here’s a follow-up
Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — I made good on my plans to participate Wednesday (Aug. 1) in “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” and was pleased to have been a part of the great outpouring of support for this fine company and the moral people who lead it.
I ended up at the Chick-fil-A on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland (Fla.) around 8:15 p.m. and was very happy and perhaps even a bit surprised to see the place jammed with patrons at that late hour. I knew the call for people to support Chick-fil-A, as a response to the attacks it has received from militant homosexual groups and liberals, would bring the company a lot of increased business Wednesday, but I honestly didn’t think “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” would be as tremendously successful as it turned out to be.
My hope is that social conservatives will continue to support Chick-fil-A in the days, weeks and months that follow and not stop with just one special day of action.
Evil in the world
will manifest itself
in terrible acts
Wednesday, July 24, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — “US shocked by cinema mass shooting,” read the big Saturday (July 21) headline in the U.S. edition of a London-based newspaper.
The headline and its accompanying story appeared the day after a heavily armed man opened fire, without warning, inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo, during a midnight showing of the new Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
By now, most everyone knows the tragic story: Twelve people were killed in the carnage and another 58 people were injured, and James Holmes, a 24-year-old former graduate student, stands accused of being the shooter.
In a matter of just a few moments, the lives of 12 innocent souls — people just out for a night of fun and a bit of escapism from the cares of everyday life — are snuffed out and dozens more are left with scars, both physical and mental, that they likely will carry with them for the rest of their days.
About the headline, some people — perhaps many people — in this country and around the world might have been shocked by the shooting, but I wasn’t among them.
Perhaps it’s because my senses have been dulled to such crimes after almost 37 years as a writer, journalist and newspaper editor.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen this kind of senseless violence many times before — and even with a higher death toll. It wasn’t that long ago, in November 2009, that 13 people were killed and 29 injured when a single gunman opened fire on military personnel at Fort Hood in Texas. And before that, in April 2007, there was the shooting spree by a student at Virginia Tech. In that massacre, 32 people were killed and 17 were injured before the gunman committed suicide.
Perhaps it’s because I know and expect these kinds of things to happen — here and abroad — because I know that evil exists in this world and I know it will manifest itself in extreme violence from time to time — maybe even more frequently as people move further away from God, as society increasingly devalues life and as greater numbers of people wallow deeper in their moral relativism or just plain immorality.
Mike Huckabee, the Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate, said it well Sunday (July 22) on his Fox News Channel television show: “Ultimately, we don’t have a crime problem or a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. ...”
Many people would label Huckabee’s explanation for the movie theater massacre as too simplistic, but it really does just boil down to sin. Bad people, sinful people, do bad and sinful things, oftentimes at the cost of others’ lives. And as sin becomes more prevalent in our society, it will lead to more evil acts — just like the one the movie-goers in Aurora, Colo., witnessed in terror on a very early Friday morning and what people around the world are vainly grappling to understand today.
Flag Day 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the
United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice
Obama goes far beyond liberalism,
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. — Speaking Friday (June 8)
during the Conservative Political Action Committee in Chicago,
Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called President Barack
Hussein Obama “the most liberal, most incompetent president
in the White House since Jimmy Carter.”
is correct, of course, but his critical assessment of Obama
doesn’t go far enough.
nearly far enough.
is Obama the most liberal and incompetent president since
Carter, he’s the most dangerous president in U.S.
He’s dangerous because of his idealogy, which,
without a doubt, is the closest thing to Marxism this nation
has ever seen in the White House. He’s dangerous because
of his associations, as a young man and as a lawyer earning his
stripes as a Chicago-style politician, with leftist
subversives, radicals and revolutionaries. He’s dangerous
because of his anti-business, anti-capitalism and anti-America
mind-set. He’s dangerous because he’s very cozy
with Muslims and organizations that would enjoy seeing Israel,
our lone ally in the Middle East, wiped off the map and America
as we know it cease to exist. And he’s dangerous because
he’s not his own man; his handlers and major political
and financial backers — those front and center and those
in the shadows — are even more dangerous than he
on the right — anyone with half a brain, really —
knew all of this about Obama long before he was ever elected to
liberal and as incompetent as Jimmy Carter was during his
presidency from 1977 through 1980 — America's days in
“malaise” — there’s nothing in his
background to suggest that his political ideology was fashioned
by associations with counter-culture types who wanted to blow
up, figuratively or literally, symbols of American order,
tradition, authority, capitalism and national
major difference between Obama and Carter, a man who actually
served his country in the U.S. military, is almost enough to
make a conservative feel some compassion for America’s
Wisconsin vote shows that society’s takers can
Thursday, June 7, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The failure of the
unionists, Democrats and others on the left to remove
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office early was
not an insignificant event.
For one thing, Walker’s convincing victory over
Democrat Tom Barrett in the recall election Tuesday (June 5)
gave rise to the hope that the people who would, with their
insatiable appetite for taxpayer-funded programs and benefits,
destroy our states and our nation economically, can be
Walker was targeted for recall mostly because he dared
to take on the public-service unions in an attempt to put
Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order. But, he also was
targeted simply because he’s a conservative Republican
who won election as governor in 2010 in a mostly left-leaning
Much is being made about the potential negative affect
the Wisconsin vote will have on the re-election campaign of
President Barack Hussein Obama. While the political and
economic issues in Wisconsin might be a microcosm of the
national picture, those who want so badly for Obama to be a
one-term president should be cautioned that the Wisconsin
election was a referendum on Gov. Walker, his policies and his
leadership of the state — not on the person, policies and
leadership of our sitting president.
More about all of this later ...
Conservative columnist George F. Will is shown in a
recent publicity photo.
George Will simply
an extraordinary thinker and writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — George F. Will, the
nationally syndicated conservative columnist, is, in a word,
Consider his most recent piece about the
“childish” Wisconsin progressives — I
won’t be so kind; they’re Marxist unionists —
who forced today’s attempt by statewide election to
recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Will’s column, titled “Wisconsin’s
Peter Pan Progressivism,” was in the local newspapers
Sunday, but if you didn’t catch it, it can be found
The Wisconsin unionists have been mighty unhappy with
Walker’s work, following his election in 2010, to rein in
out-of-control public spending on pensions and health-care
benefits for ever-demanding government employees.
I won’t spoil Will’s column by telling
anything more about it — you really should read it for
yourself — but I will say that it’s quintessential
George F. Will: High quality in writing, substance, reasoning
I use the adjective “quintessential” (go
ahead, look it up) purposefully and in homage to Will, whose
excellent vocabulary and use of the English language lead many
to say — sometimes to complain — that he uses
“too many big words.”
Would-be journalists and writers usually are taught to
avoid “quarter words” when “nickel
words” will do, but in Will’s case, in his writing,
“quarter words” seem to be the most appropriate
words. They seem to work just fine. (And it’s not an
awful thing for a writer to send a reader to a dictionary once
in a while.)
My late father, Harold Dean Braddy, was a politically
active Republican and an avid newspaper reader. Though it often
made him angry, the opinion or editorial page was — as it
is for me — his favorite page in the paper and George
Will was his favorite columnist. But even Dad, as bright as he
was, told me on one occasion that sometimes he had to read a
Will column twice to thoroughly get the writer’s
My career as a journalist and newspaper editor has
provided me with many opportunities to meet and talk with
politicians, pro sports figures, celebrities and other famous
people. To my great delight, George Will was one of
Will was the speaker in 1992 or thereabouts for the
annual Winter Haven Hospital Foundation fundraiser, and I was
fortunate to receive an invitation to ride with the foundation
official whose task it was to drive to Orlando International
Airport, meet Will and bring him to Winter Haven. I was with
the foundation representative when he greeted Will at the
airport terminal, and later I interviewed the columnist (and
regular commentator on ABC’s “This Week”
Sunday morning TV news show) from the backseat of the
I found it interesting that Will, the journalist,
interviewer and commentator (and very nice fellow, by the way),
was being interviewed by another journalist and commentator
Not only is Will a great writer, he’a brilliant
conservative thinker, as evidenced by anything anyone reads
from him. You don’t earn a Pulitzer Prize for commentary,
as he as done, by writing fluff.
In a memorable column from a couple of years ago, Will
wrote about the crisis of federal deficit spending —
expenses currently exceed revenues by $1.3 trillion — and
how people often demand that government follow the example of
American households and “live within its means.”
The point of his column was that government is indeed following
the example of most American households — by living
beyond its means, by spending more than it takes in and by
mounting huge piles of debt.
I don’t do the column true justice by trying to
summarize it from memory.
I think back to the wisdom and brilliance of that
column when I ponder what I want to be, who I want to be like,
when I grow up — as a writer, as a commentator and as a
conservative thinker. In the arena of current conservative
columnists and thinkers, George F. Will would be tough to top
as a role model.
Will the preachers flee the NAACP after its decision
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — So, the NAACP now says it
supports same-sex (gay) “marriage.”
In the words of Dana Carvey’s the Church Lady,
“Isn’t that special.”
The Saturday (May 20) announcement, following a
meeting of the board of directors of the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People, was seen as a two-fold
1. To give political cover to President Barack Hussein
Obama, who said about 10 days earlier that he now believes
“personally” that homosexuals should be allowed to
“marry” each other.
2. To help shore up one of Obama’s bases, the
black vote, which some political pundits say could be fractured
because of the president’s new-found enlightenment about
According to the NAACP board, the policy move on
same-sex “marriage” is a “continuation of its
historic commitment to equal protection under the
“The mission of the (NAACP) has always been to
ensure political, social and economic equality of all
people,” said Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the board of
the 103-year-old civil rights organization. “We have and
will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into
Traditionally, the leadership of the NAACP has been
dominated by black ministers, but people who tend to become
“reverends” more for political rather than for
Gospel-spreading reasons. (The “Rev.” Jesse Jackson
and the “Rev.” Al Sharpton immediately come to
It will be interesting to see how many of these
ministers, those in NAACP leadership and those as group members
and supporters, walk away from the organization following its
immoral decision in support of immoral acts — homosexual
behavior and so-called “gay marriage.”
Here, according to a FoxNews.com report, is an
indication of how that’s going to go:
“Black religious leaders — who
traditionally have opposed same-sex marriage — originally
opposed the president’s recent decision but appear to
have softened their position in recent days.
“Pastor Emmett Burns said on the Sunday
following the president’s May 9 announcement that he
opposed the decision but this week reportedly said he would
vote for Obama.
“Burns, a delegate in the Maryland state
legislature, was among the lawmakers who strongly opposed a
same-sex marriage bill that passed in the Assembly this year.
He helped defeat the bill last year.”
This series of events shows a lot of things —
none of them good — but in particular it shows just how
weak and uncommitted to God’s Word the pastors are in
churches — black, white and otherwise — all across
And people wonder why things are going so terribly
wrong in this once-great nation.
If we can’t get some grounding in moralty from
the pulpits and from the White House, where on God’s
Earth will it come from?
Bad choices take toll on individuals but also on our
Sunday, May 20, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — It’s sad to see
people’s lives damaged or destroyed as the result of bad
choices that they themselves make.
It’s tragic when the very bad choices are being
made by kids.
Today we learn that two teenagers have been charged in
connection with false report of a shooting at Winter Haven High
The mid-afternoon report Friday brought out dozens of
law enforcement officers to the high school and led to an
intense, two-hour-long search of the campus buildings. When no
“victim” was found, police knew they were dealing
with a hoax — a really bad and not-funny-at-all
The arrests of the suspects, a 16-year-old boy and a
17-year-old boy, were made Friday night.
Police believe that a radio that went missing from the
school was used to broadcast the false report.
The newspaper article about the arrests indicated that
each of the suspects has a history of being in trouble and that
one of them was a high school dropout. Now, each faces charges
that include a felony — tampering with
Life is a series of choices, and the choices we make
— of every hour of every day, perhaps every minute of
every hour — determine in great part the direction in
which our lives will go. Will we be law-abiding, productive and
socially responsible members of our community, or will we a
burden — maybe even a threat — to society and bring
heartache to our family, friends and those our choices directly
In the case of these hoax suspects, the evidence is
that poor early choices in life have been compounded by even
worse choices as they’ve gotten older — older but
none the wiser. And now, a felony criminal record and jail time
for each is a very real possibility.
It’s situations like this that reminds us of the
saying, derived from a movie title, “Do the right
Just do the right thing, people — no matter how
old you are. You and I and the community in which we live will
be so much better off.
There’s the ultimate life choice that each of us
has to make
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — It’s interesting that within a couple
of hours of the posting above about good and bad life choices,
my pastor was dealing with the ultimate life choice in his
Sunday morning sermon.
presented with the Gospel, the “good news” about
Jesus Christ, “The sensible man will be saved,” the
Rev. Gene Wiggins said here at Central Baptist
asked, would a person choose the Devil over Jesus? Hell over
Heaven? Eternal death in a lake of fire over eternal life in
“It doesn’t make any sense ... ,” he
doesn’t. And it’s sad, disturbing even, to know
that that poor and fateful choice — Satan over Jesus
— is consciously made by millions of people around the
world each day.
family is worse off for it, their community and nation are
worse off for it and, most tragic of all, they personally are
worse off for it — now and, without a change of heart,
Good for them — Polk Countians are arming
Sunday, May 13, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — Here’s the lead headline in this
morning’s local newspaper:
“Gun sales strong in Polk,” as in Polk
here’s the subhead:
“Trends show people are more likely to buy
weapons when it appears a Democrat may be
might that be? Because a Democrat as president is more likely
than a Republican, particularly a true and conservative
Republican, to work on a ban of personal firearms.
Democrats like President Barack Hussein Obama and those of his
stripe have no respect at all for the Second Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution, much less the Constitution in its
presidents like Barack Hussein Obama are more than likely to
nominate anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment and anti-Constitution
people to open seats on the U.S. Supreme Court and lower
Obama’s case, he hasn’t even had to have help from
the Supreme Court and his allies in Congress to act in an
According to an e-mailed alert from U.S. Sen. Rand
Paul, R-Ky., and the National Association for Gun Rights, the
White House has unilaterally banned the re-importation of
600,000 U.S.-made M1 Carbine rifles, the guns that
“carried the United States through World War
Carbine is highly desired by U.S. gun collectors, but,
according to the e-mailed alert, Hillary Clinton’s State
Department is afraid the rifles will “fall into the wrong
the gun-rights lobbies are working to reverse the ban on the M1
Carbine and are requesting signatures on an online “Official Firearms Freedom
In the meantime, it’s good to read that many of my
fellow and law-abiding Polk Countians are exercising their
Second-Amendment right to buy, own and sometimes carry a
firearm. It’s good for the gun-shop entrepreneurs, good
for the local economy and, most of all, good for America.
The citizenry needs to be vigilant about a too-large,
too-intrusive and too-oppressive federal government, and it
needs the means — currently protected by our Constitution
— to arm itself and keep the government
In a twist of a well-known bumper sticker slogan, “If
guns are outlawed, only outlaws — and the government
— will have guns.”
Because of Mom, I heard the Gospel and became a
Sunday, May 13, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — On this day, Mother’s Day, I
can’t help but think about my mother, the late June
hard-working woman of simple means (many times she was eligible
for government assistance but was too proud to apply for and
accept it), Mom died of cancer in late November 2007 after a
not-so-easy life. (Don’t smoke, people!)
can’t be 100 percent sure that I’ll see my mother
in Heaven one day because, while I saw her walk to a church
altar to accept Jesus Christ as her savior and later saw her
being baptized, she lived a life afterward that at many times
could not have been pleasing to God.
this I do know: I will be forever grateful that Mom was a
regular church-goer at one time, bringing me and my sister and
brother with her, and that as a result I was “born
again,” accepting Jesus as my savior in July 1969 at
First Baptist Church in Green Forest, Ark.
father was serving in the U.S. Army in West Germany at the
time. I wonder whether Mom ever told him what had happened to
me — to us — in church while he was
and appreciated my mother for many things and for many reasons,
but I especially loved her for bringing me to church with her
during a period in her life — though brief — when
church and the Lord seemed to be important to her.
What once was considered right is now called
Sunday, May 13, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — One thing I read Friday and another thing I
heard this morning at church together summed up well the awful
state of this nation and this world.
Here’s what I saw Friday, for a newspaper dated
“Obama sets social issues trap for (GOP presidential
candidate Mitt) Romney ... Some believe the president aims to
paint Republicans as cultural extremists ...”
Here’s what I heard from the pulpit from my pastor
during the morning worship service today:
“The more the world goes to the left, the more extreme
our Bible position sounds.”
What was decent, right, good, wholesome, acceptable and
moral — such as marriage only between a man and a woman
— not even a full generation ago is suddenly branded as
“extreme” by the cultural and societal elitists and
our so-called leaders, President Obama among them.
Truth and goodness and the standards for solid and sober
living haven’t changed through the ages, but man has
changed — for the worse. Increasingly, man has deviated
from the good and proper and embraced the hollow worldliness
that leads only to emptiness, ruined lives and sorrow.
In the case of our nation, the path it’s on, the path
chosen by our current government, will result not in continued
greatness but in second-rate status.
Man was warned thousands of years ago that the time will
come when evil is called good and good is called evil. That
time has arrived. That time is now.
U.S.-Afghanistan security deal OK; bring
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — It’s tough to quibble with the
long-term security agreement President Obama just signed on
behalf of the United States with Hamid Karzai, the president of
more than 10 years of war against terrorists based in
Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan, it’s time
for most of the U.S. military personnel there to come
security/military agreement hastens the departure of U.S.
troops from that God-forsaken part of the world, so be it. The
United States has taken care of the security needs in
Afghanistan and the Afghan people for far too long; it’s
time for the Afghans to take care of themselves and, if they
have the will and the stomach for it, to bear the brunt of the
fight against the terrorists and Islamofascists in their
subject of Karzai, it’s interesting that he’s
referred to and has the title of president of Afghanistan.
Given the makeup of that country, with warlords controlling
parts of it, the Taliban controlling other parts and Afghan
forces controlling so little of it, in reality Karzai is just
the president of Kabul, the capital city. And it might be a
stretch to say even that.
Borders, the newly named head baseball coach at Winter Haven
High School, is pictured on a Topps baseball card as a player
for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Forever Blue: Once
a Jay, Borders now the top Devils coach
Saturday, May 5, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — In their new head baseball coach, the
Winter Haven High School Blue Devils are getting someone who
knows just a little bit about baseball.
That’s an understatement, of course. A big
Borders, 48, spent about 23 years in pro ball, 17 of them in
the major leagues. Drafted out of Lake Wales High School by the
Toronto Blue Jays in 1982, he was the starting catcher when the
Jays won their back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and
1993. For the 1992 Series, Borders was named the most valuable
Currently an assistant with the Blue Devils, Borders
has two sons on the baseball team.
Borders’ appointment instantly reminded me of my
sports-writing days as a young newspaper guy and my stint as
editor of Canada News (before the Internet and cheaper
computers helped to put the niche weekly newspaper out of
covered Borders during his star baseball- and football-playing
days for the Highlanders in Lake Wales and, with Canada News,
interviewed him in 1994 at the site of a house he was building
on a nice piece of property near Lake Wales.
only one-on-one encounter with Borders, by then a household
name among pro baseball fans and a majority of Polk County
residents, I found him to be approachable, humble and
It’s nice to know that this former big-time
baseball star has stayed close to his roots and is coaching
ball locally — and not off in some faraway city like
Toronto or Seattle, another one of his stops as a
Here’s wishing Borders, the players he coaches
and the teams he leads much success.
Note: A search of “Pat Borders”
on the Internet revealed some information about
him that I had forgotten. For one thing, he was a member of the
U.S. baseball team that won the gold medal during the 2000
summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. And, during the
latter part of his major-league career, he played for the
Cleveland Indians (1997-99), which means that he spent a lot of
time behind home plate at Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes
Stadium, the former spring training home of the Indians.
Broadcaster’s quote so fit for our
Saturday, May 5, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — A friend of and
contributor to this website, Royal A. Brown III of Winter
Haven, signs off his e-mail messages with the above quote by
Edward R. Murrow.
Murrow was a famous and influential newsman
in the early days of American broadcast (television)
I like and appreciate Murrow’s quote and, as
with Royal, feel the burden to bring more attention to
Given the current political and social climate in this
nation, truer words were never spoken. A truer warning was
never given. Sheep, in the form of too many sleep-walking
Americans, are being led to the proverbial slaughter by
sweet-talking wolves masquerading as participants in the
current U.S. administration and many as members of
The administration’s talk of
“helping” more people should be rightly interpreted
to mean enslaving more people to dependency upon government and
to those with the power to print money, to prop up current
entitlement progams and to create new programs.
(This doesn’t even begin to address the external
wolves at the door — the foreign governments, groups and
powers that will take advantage of a United States made more
vulnerable while the sheep graze blissfully in the
We are fortunate today to still have Murrow’s
words to publish and repeat as a wake-up call to anyone who
would read or hear them. It’s too bad we don’t have
more national broadcasters with the strength of Murrow’s
convictions, his dogged determination to seek the truth, his
love of personal liberty, and his courage to expose the wolves
at the very seat of federal power.
Ronald Reagan be flattered with his name attached to a proposal
for a big-time tax increase on the rich? We don’t think
No, Reagan would not be a champion for the
Thursday, April 12, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — President Obama was arrogant and flat-out
wrong last week when he said the U.S. Supreme Court would be
out of bounds to overturn his “Obamacare” health
insurance legislation. (See the post below.)
Wednesday (April 11), the president was just absurd to suggest
that our late and great former president, Ronald Reagan, would
support the “Buffet rule” tax on the
the socialist, invoked the name of Reagan, the tax-cutting
conservative, in an attempt to promote the “Buffett
rule.” That’s the name given to a proposal by
billionaire investor Warren Buffett to set a 30 percent minimum
tax, with no loopholes, on millionaires and billionaires.
Buffett’s name is tied to the proposal because it was he
who complained publicly that his assistant paid federal taxes
at a higher rate than he did.
in a staged setting, among a group of millionaires and their
lowly paid secretaries, Obama committed what conservatives can
only view as political blasphemy in suggesting that the
“Buffett rule” really be called the “Reagan
could he do that? Someone on his team dug up a 1985 Reagan
speech that had the late president saying it was
“crazy” that in some cases the wealthiest Americans
were paying “nothing” in taxes while bus drivers
were paying “10 percent of their salary.”
record shows that Reagan actually did use the words
“crazy” and “nothing” in a June 1985
speech about taxes, tax fairness and “unproductive”
tax loopholes for the rich. However, the record also clearly
shows that as a governor of California, as a two-time candidate
for president and then as a two-term president, Reagan believed
that Americans at every income level were paying too much in
federal taxes. And he worked hard to get tax rates reduced
— for everyone.
this Reagan quote, from remarks he made in September 1985 at a
symposium at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville:
“Cutting the tax rates has opened the floodgates on
entrepreneurship in our country.”
It’s a quote the Obama team won’t be using
as it seeks to punish the rich.
Reagan support fairness in the U.S. tax code? Absolutely. Did
Reagan engage, like the Obama adminstration is doing, in class
warfare against the nation’s wealthiest citizens?
commentary that can be written about the “Buffett
rule,” federal taxes and Obama is almost endless, but
these points quickly come to mind:
Warren Buffett, among the richest of the nation’s rich,
might very well pay taxes at a rate lower than his assistant,
but the total federal take from Buffett’s annual earnings
far exceed the take from his assistant’s
Buffett’s effective tax rate, the percentage of taxes he
pays, is the result of the work done by the army of expert tax
lawyers and tax accountants he employs. They’re paid not
only to do his taxes but to use every deduction and loophole to
keep them as low as possible. If Buffett did his own taxes,
perhaps with a Form 1040-EZ, he would be singing a totally
different tune about his tax rate.
is nothing in the U.S. tax code keeping the guilt-ridden rich
like Buffett from paying to the government — local, state
or federal — more than their “fair share” in
taxes. If Buffett isn’t happy with his tax rate, if he
thinks it’s too low, all he has to do is break out his
checkbook and make out an additional big fat check to the U.S.
Treasury. But these guilt-ridden millionaires and billionaires
shouldn’t be allowed to force their guilt upon the peers
who are simply following existing tax law and trying to keep
more of what they earn. A friend put it well this way:
“Interesting how most liberals — and some
‘conservatives’ — feel it necessary to impose
their idea of compassion upon other people.”
Obama’s exercise in class warfare is a play to the
“99 percent” crowd, jealous socialists who want for
themselves a big slice of what the rich — most of them at
least — have worked so hard to earn.
Obama’s push for the “Buffett rule” as a
means of tax “reform” comes after three years of
White House support — reluctant though it might have been
— for extension of the George W. Bush tax cuts. Just how
does the president reconcile the two positions?
tax “fairness” is the ultimate goal, then the same
rules should apply to incomes at every level. And fairness is
best achieved when the rules are few and simple. Applying the
simplicity taught by the Bible, everyone is expected to return
10 percent of what they earn to the temple or church. If God is
requiring only 10 percent from us, why should government, run
by lowly man, require anything more?
Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
How dare the U.S. Supreme Court do its job,
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — If for no other reason, the Obama
administration needs to come to a screeching halt in January
2013 to return some humility to the White House and federal
height of arrogance, President Obama last week questioned how
in the world the U.S. Supreme Court possibly could review, and
perhaps overturn, his health-care and health insurance overhaul
legislation. (Here, it’s known with derision as
branches of the federal government signed off on the
legislation, and that should be the end of that, the president
basically said. It was his way of telling the high court,
“Don’t interfere with our plans to to take over
one-sixth of the nation’s economy and control
people’s lives even more.”
frustrating to hear last Thursday (April 5) about the
president’s remarks — and his laughable
denunciatiation of an “activist court” — but
the comments really weren’t surprising. I learned long
ago that, based on his own statements, writings and deeds, this
is a man whose arrogance is topped only by his contempt for
this nation, its laws and its greatness.
frustration gave way to glee the next day when news came that
the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ordered the White
House, via the U.S. Department of Justice, to explain
paragraph of a New York Times story about the court’s
order was well done. Reporter John H. Cushman Jr. wrote from
“The Obama administration conceded the
incontestable to a disgruntled federal court Thursday, formally
declaring that ‘the power of the courts to review the
constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute.’
White House and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder were put on
the defensive after President Obama said on April 2 that it
“would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step” for
the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the health-care
that statement, the president would have to ignore the many
times throughout this nation’s history that the high
court has, in fact, overturned congressional legislation as
one example (and certainly not the best one), does anyone
remember the federal balanced budget legislation that Congress
passed, and that then-President Bill Clinton signed, in the
mid-1990s? A majority of Supreme Court justices found the law
to be unconstitutional, so — Poof! — the law went
away, and now we’re living with budget deficits that
truly are out of control.
Here’s a lesson on how judicial review works: It
happens only when individuals, groups and even government
bodies bring, through their lawyers, grievances before the
courts. And even then the judges on these courts have to agree
to hear the cases. The federal courts, including the U.S.
Supreme Court, don’t create cases for judicial review out
of thin air.
opposition to Obamacare, and its clearly unconstitutional
mandate that everyone buy or be covered by health insurance, is
widespread. Petitions to get it overturned were filed with
several federal courts of appeal, and eventually the case
worked its way up to the nation’s highest court. The
Supreme Court justices agreed to take the case and, having
recently heard arguments for and against Obamacare, currently
are weighing its constitutionality.
here is that the Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare and
halt the federal government’s plans to take over the U.S.
health-care and health insurance systems.
also is that Obama and Co. will get big lessons in humility and
the way our Founders structured our government.
remind President Obama that there are three co-equal branches
of government — not just two — and that one of
them, the judicial branch, is topped by the U.S. Supreme Court,
the body the president would so casually toss aside as being
‘Equality’ doesn’t always
contribute to the good of society
Saturday, May 23, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — I had heard that The Ledger
newspaper in Lakeland had spoken favorably on its opinion page
about President Barack Hussein Obama’s new
“personal” support for same-sex (gay)
Today I finally confirmed that May 12 Ledger editorial, and
I immediately thought about how I would have been run out of
Winter Haven on a rail had I still been editor of the News
Chief newspaper and expressed a similar viewpoint.
The editorial praised the president for “clarifying
his view on gay marriage,” saying it was “a step
forward in favor of fairness and equality in America.”
I have to ask: How is it fair, equal or even good to promote
the breakdown of an institution — marriage — that
was created for a man and a woman and intended to produce
children, create families and promote societal stability? And
how is it fair and equal to promote and condone unnatural and
immoral behavior — homosexuality — and a twisted
form of union between a woman and another woman or between a
man and another man?
The truth is, marriage laws have always been fair and equal
to gays. Homosexual adults have always had the right to marry
— just not to a person of the same sex.
The Ledger’s stance on this issue is decidedly out of
touch with traditional societal norms and decidedly out of
touch with mostly conservative Polk County. Why is this kind of
backward thinking tolerated in our own backyard? Why is the
president’s position on gay “marriage”
Because people who know what’s right don’t speak
out for what’s right.
Because people who once might have had a foundation built on
truth and morality have cracked under the weight of lies and
society’s increasing immorality.
Because people who should care seemingly don’t
Smoking one habit I don’t have to break
As I watch a co-worker struggle to give up smoking
(and as I hope and pray for his success), I am so very thankful
that I never took up the highly addictive cigarette
Oh, I tried cigarettes, as a 10- or 11-year-old, but I
felt so guilty about it that I stopped before I learned to
inhale and never wanted to touch those nasty things
There’s one thing we know about a bad habit, smoking
included: If you don’t start one, you won’t have
it to break later on. — JB (March 29, 2012)
Group promotes core American
Promoting the U.S. Constitution and America’s
core traditional values.
What’s not to love about that?
That’s the general purpose behind the Winter
Haven 9/12 Project Group and others like it across the
These project groups had their genesis with
conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck three years ago. (See the
website here.) The name comes from the premise that
on 9/12/2001, the day following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on
the United States, Americans of all faiths, views, walks of
life and political pursuasions were of one accord and united.
(Remember all the “United We Stand” T-shirts and
The Winter Haven group meets each Thursday, from 7 to
8:30 p.m., in the Poolside Room at the Chain O’ Lakes
Complex at Cypress Gardens Boulevard and U.S. Highway 17.
Meetings are free and open to the public.
For details about the Winter Haven 9/12 Project
Group, e-mail member Tom Williams at Williams7098@tampabay.rr.com. The group also
has a website at www.winterhaven912.org.
— JB (March 18, 2012)
The website for the all-but-certain Republican
presidential nominee, Mitt Romney: http://www.mittromney.com/
A great book from a former Winter Haven
newspaper editor (and good friend): http://tinyurl.com/77aje5e
An excellent resource for conservatives and
conservative ideas: http://www.heritage.org/
Another good source of news from, for and
about the right: http://www.1776coalition.com/
For fine portraits and quality commercial
photography: http://www.pezzimenti.com/ and http://pezzimentiphotography.com/
An interesting read on our great 16th
president, Abraham Lincoln: http://lincolnlaughing.com/
Anyone who loved our 40th president will love
For great, useful and trendy technology:
A great community project: http://ritzoncentral.com/
A good movie: It’s a low-budget
film called “Fireproof,” starring Kirk Cameron.
You'll cry — if you have any kind of heart at
For breakfast out: Fred’s
Southern Kitchen, 1551 Third St., S.W. (U.S. Highway 17),
Winter Haven. The breakfast buffet is wonderful.
For supper out: Manny’s
Original Chophouse, 1100 Third St., S.W. (U.S. Highway 17),
Winter Haven. The food is good and the prices are
A marquee outside a local personal storage
business: “Land of the free because of the
brave.” (It’s on bumper stickers, too.)
A local church sign: “Spend
less time on Facebook and more time in His
An open invitation to attend: http://centralbaptistchurchwh.com/
Strikes: The biggest and baddest
strikes that can be given go to a federal appeals court that on
May 31 struck down a key provision to the Defense of Marriage
Act. A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals
— located in Boston in the heart of the land of liberals,
socialists, “enlightened” college professors and
Barney Franks — rule unanimously that the section of the
act that defines marriage as being the union of a man and woman
Strikes: To the Obama administration
for not coming to the defense of the federal Defense of
Marriage Act. Of course, we know now that President Obama is
just fine and dandy with the “marriage” of
Stars: For the “Vote 4
Energy” campaign, which was launched Jan. 4 to promote
more domestic energy production and sensible energy policy. A
“Vote 4 Energy” also would mean, by and large, a
vote for conservative candidates, because the liberal version
of energy policy — windmills, limited domestic oil
drilling, oil pipeline opposition, no new oil refineries,
carbon taxes, “global warming” fixes and Chevy
Volts — is anything but sensible. “Vote 4
Energy” is being funded by the American Petroleum
Institute, the lobbying arm of Big Oil, but that’s OK.
Attacked at almost every turn, Big Oil has every right to enter
the political fray and ask Americans to “demand smarter
energy policy.” On the Web: vote4energy.org
Strikes: To “corporate
welfare,” including any received by Big Oil and ethanol
producers. Huge companies don’t need subsidies from the
taxpayers, and besides, our debt-ridden federal government
can’t afford them.
Stars: To Catholic and other church
leaders for taking on the Obama administration over its plan to
require require church-run hospitals and universities to give
their employees free contraception. The plan, since modified by
the administration following mounting opposition, was a frontal
attack on religious freedom in this country.
Stars: To the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission for its approval of the first new nuclear power
project since 1978. Nuclear power sure beats windmills as a
source of alternative energy.
For the pro-choicers, read
this important message
Monday, July 30, 2012
By JACK MURPHY
On Townhall.com on July 21, columnist Ken Blackwell wrote an article titled “President Obama's Covert Zeal.” He makes the point that President Barack Obama is the single most driven president we have had when it comes to the abortion issue. He has even directed efforts at other countries around the world to promote pro-choice policies in their lands. Apparently, the 50 million aborted babies we have seen here do not satisfy him. We are not aborting babies fast enough for him.
In recent times, there have been numerous attempts to legislate the onset of “personhood.” In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court itself has hinted that such an action by Congress would be the way to curb abortion by using the 14th Amendment. It deals with the use of the word “person” to enumerate the protections afforded to each citizen in matters of due process and equal protection of rights. When we define personhood to commence at the point of conception, that child would become protected immediately.
Several years ago, when he was asked about the moment when a person is actually formed, Obama very glibly remarked, “That is above my pay grade.” This is hardly surprising. Much of what he has done since he has assumed presidential office has been above his pay grade. His background does not contain evidence of any business or organizational leadership skills. He served less than one term in the U.S. Senate, voting “present” a large percentage of the time.
In recent years, a number of states have fought to reduce the number of abortions by requiring pregnant women to witness the scanned images of the growing babies within their wombs. This has brought about a slight reduction in abortions. Seeing the beating heart of a living child can have a great impact on a mother-to-be. No longer can she delude herself into believing the baby is only a thing.
I would like something else to be added to the attempts at persuasion to choose life. Ken Blackwell has included a quotation that I have read sometime in the past. Unfortunately, it slipped away into the unknown. It is a keeper that could be as persuasive as an ultrascan image. After describing the actions of the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, he goes on to include the following paragraph:
“Like the Clintons, President Obama opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions. Nurse Brenda Pratt Shafer described what she saw in a partial-birth abortion. It requires re-reading now: ‘I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby’s body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby’s body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby’s head, and the baby’s arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors and he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy. It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen.’ ”
I don’t know how any person could see an ultrasound image and read a description like this and even consider supporting abortion. We all need to support the issue of personhood when it comes up in our states. We need to do our part to stop the next 50 million babies from ending up in millions of medical waste buckets.
The time will come in the future when all of us are going to stand before the Creator of all babies. I would like to be there when President Obama learns the true meaning of the term “pay grade.”
Jack Murphy of Maine is a winter resident of Frostproof,
Fla., and compiler of the “Styles of Smiles”
column that runs monthly in the News Chief newspaper in Winter
Haven. At this posting, he is back at his summertime home in
Maine and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Justice Roberts: Did he ‘go liberal’ or was opinion a brilliant ruse?
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
By JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Our U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), otherwise known as Obamacare.
At the conclusion of Chief Justice John Roberts’ remarks, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia bowed his head, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch's jaw dropped, Glenn Beck went absolutely bananas and Rush Limbaugh used every negative adjective in his extensive vocabulary, throwing in a few well-chosen expletives for flavor.
Their reactions are classic examples of one’s use of tongue before engaging the brain. In all cases, their reaction was the instantaneous response to a judicial decision never contemplated. That’s understandable. What isn’t understandable is that none of America’s pundits have bothered to read Roberts’ remarks! Justice Roberts carefully and purposely outlined the reasons for his decision, which eventually will be classified as one of the most brilliant judicial acts in Supreme Court history!
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, above
left, is being hailed by the left and derided by the right as
the man who, by and large, saved ObamaCare following the high
court’s review of the controversial health-care legislation.
In the other image, submitted by Pixie Rubin, Lady Liberty weeps
as the United States of America becomes the United Socialist
States of America.
ObamaCare clarified as the nation’s largest
Friday, June 29, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The convoluted and muddled
thinking that went into the deplorable salvation of ObamaCare
by the U.S. Supreme Court deserves at least a convoluted and
muddled response by Joe Q. Public.
The following stream of consciousness is not a knee-jerk
reaction to the court’s Thursday (June 28) release of
the 5-4 decision that basically preserves the 2011 Affordable
Care Act, better known derisively as ObamaCare. No, several
hours have gone by since the decision was announced, providing
ample time for a wide and swinging range of emotions, among
them surprise, anger, amazement, disappointment, sadness, melancholy,
resignation, motivation and determination.
Perhaps something here will make sense. If it doesn’t,
it wouldn’t be any different than all the other nonsensical
things going on — and going on with greater frequency
— in this once-great nation of ours.
• When news of the Supreme Court’s decision
came live, between 10 and 10:30 a.m., the immediate reaction
here was great disppointment rather than anger. I was disappointed
because ObamaCare was — and now remains — bad and
overreaching law that will cost the nation and its people dearly
on more than just a financial level.
• Given the negative trend of recent national
developments — on “gay marriage,” immigration,
the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the economy, for example —
I wasn’t surprised that the close vote by the high court
favored President Barack Hussein Obama and the liberals who
gave us ObamaCare. What did surprise me, and surprised me greatly,
was the justice who provided the swing vote — Chief Justice
John Roberts. I thought, like many others, that had ObamaCare
passed constitutional muster, that Justice Anthony Kennedy would
have been the deciding vote. Instead, Kennedy strongly dissented
with the majority, rightly arguing that ObamaCare had no constitutional
ground to stand on.
• Roberts found that while ObamaCare, and its mandate
that everyone buy health-care insurance, wouldn’t be permissable
under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution — Congress
can’t force anyone to buy insurance or any other commodity
— it is constitutional under the taxing clause, with Congress
able to modify behavior and induce social change through the
tax code and tax penalties. Oh, what a can of worms that reasoning
will open! Roberts, the so-called conservative chief justice,
today must be a big disappointment to George W. Bush, the man
who nominated him to the Supreme Court. Aided by the four liberals
on the court, Roberts basically rewrote ObamaCare by judicial
fiat to make it work and avoid rejecting it.
• If, as Roberts and the liberal justices reasoned,
ObamaCare funding has legitimacy as a tax-and-spend enterprise,
the court’s ruling clarifies the health insurance act
as a monumental tax increase — the largest one in U.S.
history and perhaps the largest in world history. And it provides
conservatives, libertarians and Tea Party types with another
mighty campaign issue leading up to the presidential and congressional
• ObamaCare wasn’t sold as a tax measure.
In fact, the president went out of his way on many occasions
before the act was voted on to state that it wasn’t a
tax. He knew the American public wouldn’t accept a huge
tax increase in the midst of a great economic recession. He
also knew that he had pledged no new taxes for anyone with an
annual income less than $250,000. So, what the Supreme Court
has done is to tag ObamaCare with the label that opponents rightly
applied to it before and after it was passed — a tax increase
with huge economic and societal costs. Given that ObamaCare
was sold as a lie, I would like nothing more than to have it
go to a revote in Congress as a tax issue rather than a health-care
and health insurance issue. The big question is: How many Democrats
would support the act a second time around in its proper context
as a tax increase?
• ObamaCare is less of a health insurance and
health-care overhaul than another liberal-socialist ploy to
make more people more dependent upon the government. And it’s
just a transitional step toward the planned-for creation of
a single-payer insurance system with federal government in charge
of all facets of health care in this country. In the run-up
to the 2008 election, Obama made it clear to the unions that
strongly support him that he, too, wants a single-payer system
but that the American people have to be conditioned over time
to accept it. In that effort, the president found an unlikely
ally in the U.S. Supreme Court and, more so, in Chief Justice
Initial great disappointment in the Supreme Court decision
led to optimism that ObamaCare’s survival, and its proper
labeling as the nation’s largest-ever tax increase, will
be the pivotal event that motivates and energizes the right
to work harder than ever to elect more conservatives to Congress
and to help Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (the
“Repeal and Replace ObamaCare” candidate) make Barack
Obama a one-term president. Given its blessing by the U.S. Supreme
Court, the only way now to get rid of ObamaCare is to toss out
of office the people who forced it upon us and the man for which
it is not so lovingly named.
Sunrises over the Atlantic were great vacation
Thursday, June 21, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. —— I took a brief vacation
trip to a beach on Florida’s east coast recently, and
among my most enjoyable moments was the time I spent watching
the sun come up over the Atlantic Ocean on back-to-back mornings.
is a photo I took on the second morning. It was a beautiful
and glorious morning indeed.
It occurred to be me later, on the drive back
home to Winter Haven, that I’ve seen a lot of sunsets
over the Gulf of Mexico, but I can’t recall a previous
time that I awoke really early at an Atlantic-side beach and
watched a sunrise over the ocean.
In all of my almost 52 years, I’ve been
missing out on some truly wonderful treats.
Wanted: Many good people to counter cumulative
Sunday, June 10, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Though there is nothing in
his many speeches or writings to prove that these exact words
are his, the often-used quote above is largely attributed to
Burke (1729-1797) was an Ireland-born statesman,
author, orator and political philosopher who, after moving to
England, was elected to the House of Commons in the British
According to some information found on the Internet,
the quote familiar to so many of us is a summary of sorts to
something Burke said during a speech he made to the House of
Commons on April 23, 1770:
“When bad men combine, the good must associate;
else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a
Regardless of the way the statement Burke
originally made evolved into the quote we know today, the truth
of it cannot be denied. The warning cannot be any more clear,
and neither can it be ignored.
From this vantage point, the once-great United
States of America is spiraling down toward mediocrity,
irrelevancy and even has-been status at an astonishing and
frightening pace — a pace that sometimes takes the breath
Though there are rays of hope, such as the
recent vote of confidence Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker received in an election conjured up to recall him, each
day that goes by, government — government at all levels
and in all branches — chips away at our individual
liberties, saps away our economic resources and chomps away at
our once-strong moral foundation.
Our fallen warriors: Are their lives given or
Monday, June 4, 2012
By JACK MURPHY
In his remarks at Arlington National Cemetary on
Memorial Day 1982, President Reagan said, in part, “...
the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly
for their country.”
That choice of words has always seemed a “little
off” to me. I don’t mean to sound critical of
President Reagan, because I admired him greatly. This reference
to the deaths of the fallen in war is commonly used by many
writers and observers of conflict.
I have felt for some time that these heroes have not
really given their lives in the strict use of the word. No one
wants to give away his life. In certain circumstances, like
those who have covered the body of another with their own, or
thrown themselves on a hand grenade, it certainly would apply.
The person clearly knows the result of his action in these
cases. In most situations, though, members of a fighting force
are focussed on fighting the enemy, achieving victory, and
returning home to their families alive and well, as they
When a life is lost to an IED, a rocket burst or a
bullet, it might be more appropriate to say the life was taken
rather than given. This places more emphasis on the enemy, who
is fully responsible for the resulting death.
Our fighting men and women bravely place themselves in
danger from the evil forces that threaten their families and
other citizens. Saying that they go there “to give their
lives for their country” is not that flattering, in my
opinion. It gives the anti-war cynic an opening to inaccurately
portray what is happening here. Those who seek personal empowerment
by belittling those engaged in war can characterize it as throwing
away a precious gift casually.
Anyone who willingly acts to protect the helpless by
entering into a situation fraught with life-ending events
merely seconds away, during every moment of every day, is
certainly deserving to be called a hero. Even if his body
escapes physical harm externally, he returns home with a badly
I don't want any young people going off to war
“to give their lives” for me. I want them to return
to their wives and children, mothers and fathers, sisters and
brothers. If some of them do not return, I want the record to
show clearly that their lives were taken from them by those
with evil in their hearts.
Jack Murphy of Maine is a winter resident of Frostproof,
Fla., and compiler of the “Styles of Smiles”
column that runs monthly in the News Chief newspaper in Winter
Haven. At this posting, he is back at his summertime home in
Maine and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If alcohol is involved, it’s not ‘‘family
Saturday, May 26, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. —— Well, this is disappointing.
The powers-that-be at Legoland Florida have asked for
and received from the Polk County Board of Adjustment
permission to sell alcoholic beverages.
So much for “family
The new theme park had sought an exemption from a
county code that bars the sale and consumption of alcohol
within 1,000 feet of a church or school. The exemption was
necessary because two churches are located nearby.
According to a newspaper report, Legoland
Florida General Manager Adrian Jones told the Board of
Adjustment on Thursday that the company eventually wants to be
able to sell beer and wine at a resort hotel planned for a
later phase of park development. But he also said a restaurant
in the new water park the attraction opened to the public today
(May 26) might soon sell beer and wine to adult guests.
Jones said hotel guests would expect to find
there a restaurant that serves alcohol, and he said park guests
have indicated in comments it was “almost expected”
that beer and wine would be sold at a water park.
And besides, park officials, the park’s
alcohol advocates and most members of the Board of Adjustment
say, all the other theme parks are selling alcohol.
Perhaps we should get comfort in knowing that
Legoland Florida isn’t seeking a state license to sell
distilled beverages. You know, hard liquor — vodka,
whiskey, rum and the like.
I’m not comforted by any kind of alcohol
being served at this “family” theme park, one at
which the target guests are children ages 2 through 12 and
their parents (and a business I really want to like for its
local economic benefits). And it seems quite contradictory that
a company that prides itself in providing wholesome
“family entertainment” would seek permission to
sell adult beverages, no matter how strong or light the alcohol
Family entertainment and alcohol are not
compatible. More than that, family and alcohol are not
compatible. I have some experience with that, having grown up
quite unpleasantly at times with parents and, briefly, a
stepfather who drank irresponsibly and often.
Unless the only interest is money, and the love
of it, nothing good in the long term comes from the sale and
consumption of alcohol — especially when children are
part of the mix.
Moral clarity? Don’t look for it in the
Thursday, May 10, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — That big “SMOOOOOOCH!” you
heard Wednesday night was the collective lip-locking of gays
and lesbians all over the nation — perhaps all over the
world — as they celebrated President Barack Hussein
Obama’s new-found position on homosexual
president, a “committed Christian” as described by
his staff, now supports same-sex “marriage” after
not supporting it just a few years ago.
“At a certain point I’ve just concluded
that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and
affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get
married,” the president said in a Wednesday interview
with ABC News.
only is Obama the first black U.S. president, he’s made
history again as the first U.S. president to openly support gay
That’s just so … so … progressive
of our esteemed and enlightened president. So forward-thinking,
the homosexuals say. And, according to some pundits, so very
bold and courageous of Obama — especially in an election
very, very wrong.
president’s statement on gay “marriage” was
set up unintentionally or intentionally — the latter
probably is more the truth, given the cold calculations of this
White House — by a comment Vice President Joe Biden made
over the weekend.
said on one of the news shows Sunday that he is
“absolutely comfortable” with same-sex
Obama’s team initially raced to distance the
president from Biden’s “personal” view,
saying the vice president’s comments did not reflect a
change in administration policy on the issue of gay
“marriage.” But then the president and his handlers
saw in some twisted way what they thought was a political
opportunity and seized upon it.
now-shared view by Obama and Biden on same-sex
“marriage” — “marriage” in this
context is in quotation marks because anything other than a
union of a man and woman is not marriage — really is not
a surprise, knowing the kind of anti-tradition, cross-cultural,
anti-social, anti-moral and un-American people that voters
ushered into high U.S. office four years ago. This issue is not
the reason to vote in new, better, stronger more moral
leadership this November, but it’s yet another reason to
do just that.
mistake, Obama and Biden are wrong in their support of same-sex
“marriage” because the basis for it, homosexual
behavior (a choice, not a predisposition), is wrong.
of God, natural order and just plain common sense tell us that
homosexuality is not natural and that gay
“marriage” makes no sense.
God, and we find that not only is homosexuality a sin, it is a
sin of the highest order — an abominable sin.
That’s not man, commentary writers or even
preachers talking; that’s God on high talking.
Obama, the “committed Christian,” and Biden, a
self-described Catholic Christian, would reach for their family
Bible, dust it off and turn to Leviticus in the Old Testament,
they will find these verses (God speaking through
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is
abomination. — Leviticus 18:22
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both
of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put
to death; their blood shall be upon them. — Leviticus
of creation, the God of the Bible, the God of righteousness and
justice and the Author of morality and salvation is supreme,
and His Word is the first and final authority on matters such
as this. But, it appears that our president and vice president,
after three and a half years in their lofty positions, think
they know better.
arrogance! What foolishness!
president said his new position on same-sex
“marriage” represents an “evolution” of
thought on the matter — from once opposing gay
“marriage” to now embracing it. More accurately, it
represents a further devolution of the American culture, a
further breakdown in societal structure and another giant crack
in the moral foundation of this once-great nation.
Don’t expect greatness from America and
don’t expect blessings from on high when we as a people
and the people who lead us don’t act with moral
From God’s perfect joke comes a pair of
Saturday, May 19, 2012
By JACK MURPHY
particular Friday night, after watching the 11 o’clock
news, I went to bed. As a man with apnea, I can’t sleep
on my back, so I habitually sleep on one side or the
night, I had trouble clearing my head of all my computer plans
and couldn’t get to sleep. After lying on one side for a
while, I felt the need to turn over. Often I play a sort of
game where I try to guess the time on the digital clock across
the room before I turn over. This time I closed my eyes and saw
12:15. When I turned over, there it was exactly — 12:15.
I was amazed and amused.
lying there a while longer, I again felt the need to turn over.
I closed my eyes and concentrated. I saw the red numerals,
12:35, as clear as anything. I turned over, and to my
amazement, the clock said exactly 12:35.
was really impressed!
the possible numbers I could have chosen, guessing these two
times with complete accuracy — right to the minute
— was far beyond the laws of chance. No way could this
have happened without some kind of spiritual
thought occurred to me that maybe it was possible that God was
planning to grant me some kind of special power to foretell
numerical choices. I thought how wonderful that would be and
actually spoke to God directly, asking for such a thing to take
place. I assured Him I would treat such a power with respect
and only use it for good.
tried to relax and go to sleep despite my excitement. Before
long, my shoulder felt a little stiff and I needed to turn over
again. This was it. This was the big one.
The lead image on the website of French
President-elect Franois Hollande has a simple message of
“Merci” — “Thank you” — to
the voters of France. The added inset images are the French
flag and the rose-adorned logo of the French Socialist
With election of a socialist, French say
‘Give us more’
Monday, May 7, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — So, the French have elected a
socialist to be their president.
Franois Hollande, 57, a former Socialist party leader, will
be moving into lyse palace in Paris and single-term President
Nicolas Sarkozy will be moving out.
According to the news reports, Hollande will be the first
Socialist party member in 17 years to serve as French
president. Big “S” Socialist? Perhaps. But little
“s” socialist? No.
What the people of France actually did Sunday was elect as
their president someone who wears the “Socialist”
label on his sleeve rather than re-elect a socialist-light like
Given the political and social mind-set in France and its
deeply embedded big-government welfare and entitlement
programs, only a socialist to one degree or another will ever
be elected president over there.
A true conservative as defined in the United States —
someone who believes in capitalism, free markets, low corporate
and individual tax rates, personal liberty, individual
responsibility, a strong work ethic among the people, national
sovereignty and limited government — likely will never be
elected president of France.
Analysis of Sunday’s election indicates that in
electing Hollande, the French made Sarkozy another victim of
the anti-austerity wave that has swept Europe and swept out
leaders who have tried to undo some of the great economic
damage done by decades of socialist policies.
In rejecting “austerity”— in reality just
a minor rollback in government spending to help right their
nation’s sinking economic ship — the French have
re-embraced liberal spending policies. And they have embraced
Hollande, who has promised in many ways to give them just that.
That’s what a socialist does.
Laughingly, Hollande said during the presidential campaign
that he wants to promote “growth” alongside the
nation’s austerity drive. “Growth” in France
and in most of Western Europe means only one thing: Growth in
government spending on social and entitlement programs —
not economic growth. “Growth” in that sense and
“austerity” cannot co-exist.
The French didn’t do themselves any favors by electing
Hollande as their president, but, then again, the French
haven’t done much right since the nation backed the
American colonies in the Revolutionary War against Great
Since then, the French have become lazy, weak, unproductive,
selfish, self-absorbed and difficult-to-like whiners, content
to feed off whatever they can sap from their government and the
few economic producers their nation can muster.
But, perhaps that’s too harsh. Perhaps that’s
being way too tough on the French. Because what they did Sunday
wasn’t any different than what voters in this nation did
nearly four years ago — elect a socialist as
Back Romney for president and send Obama
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — During the primary election season, I
wasn’t an enthusiastic supporter of any of the Republican
candidates for president. All of them fell far short of the
standard set by Ronald Reagan, by far the best conservative in
the modern era to ever run for and win the
that the path has been cleared for the 2012 GOP nomination of
Mitt Romney, I will back his candidacy for president and
enthusiastically vote for him come Nov. 6.
ask that my fellow conservatives and Republicans, and
independents, libertarians, conservative-to-moderate Democrats
and anyone else who truly loves our nation, to do the
should we support Romney with our time, energy, money, prayers
and, ultimately, our vote at the ballot box on Election
On most of the issues, particularly those dealing with the
economy and defense, he’s decidedly
Romney is a later-in-life politician, meaning he orginally made
a living outside of government as a highly successful
businessman. That experience in the real world can be and
should be extremely valuable when matters of the economy, job
creation and federal budget are considered.
His election should slow considerably the nation’s
dramatic lurch to the left and drive toward destructive
socialism, all led by the current administration of President
Barack Hussein Obama and — shedding some truth on the
matter — his Marxist/communist handlers.
Since his inauguration, Obama and his policies have been an
economic, financial, national security, social and cultural
disaster for the United States. An unrestrained Obama in a
second term very well could put the nation on an unrecoverable
path toward mediocrity or, even worse, eventual ruin. Why take
• Romney is a capitalist and not ashamed of it. He
understands full well that capitalism has been a crucial
component of this nation’s strong foundation through the
years and that capitalism will help keep the United States
economically strong, vibrant and free.
• I believe in and love America and, unlike the current
occupant of the White House, Romney also believes in America
— so much so that he’s made it his campaign
• Mitt Romney isn’t Barack Obama — the
point can’t be made strongly enough — so given the
choices we’ll have for president on the general election
ballot (and, to be sure, there will be plenty of fringe
candidate options for America’s top job), what reasonable
choice other than Romney do we have? (Not voting doesn’t
count and might even hurt the conservative cause.)
May God help us during this election cycle. May God be with
us. May God bless America.
On the Web: http://www.mittromney.com/
or tragically sad? This image, which is making the rounds on
Facebook, shows the politically, socially and culturally blind
being led off the cliff by President Barack Obama and those in
his administration. “Forward” is the new slogan for
the Obama re-election campaign. Interestingly, the slogan “Forward” has its roots in European
Marxism, according to people familiar with such things.
Coincidence? We think not.
Read his lips: ‘Fairness’ an Obama
call for tax hikes
Friday, May 4, 2012
By ROYAL A. BROWN III
HAVEN, Fla. — President Obama’s messages
about economic “fairness” are nothing more than
class warfare, pitting those considered to be rich against
those who pay no taxes.
His socialist policy of redistribution of wealth by
increasing taxes on the wealthy, using the proposed
“Buffett Rule” to increase capital gains taxes to
30 percent and marginal tax rates to 50 percent, will only
drive investments offshore and further reduce the number of
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this will
result in only $500 billion being collected toward the $16
trillion (and growing) national debt over 10 years. Robbing
wealth from those who provide most of the jobs, while
destroying individual initiative and motivation to work hard,
is a very poor tradeoff.
Obama developed this new “fairness” message
because he can’t run on his record of failures, some of
which are listed below:
• Obamacare — A high costs to taxpayers, a
reduction in health care and unconstitutionality.
• No tax reform — Fifty percent of Americans pay
• No immigration reform — The federal government
is suing the states for enforcing federal laws that the federal
government won’t even enforce.
• No energy policy — Wasting taxpayer funds on
“green” projects that supply less than 2 percent of
our energy needs and lying about who increased domestic oil
production and drilling.
• An apologetic and appeasement foreign policy —
Leading to the “Arab Spring” and more radical
• Government regulation — Unconstitutional
federal czars and executive orders replacing leadership.
• Disregard for the U.S. Constitution and individual
liberty — Example: Ordering Catholic institutions to
• Poor economy — Unemployment still more than 8
percent unemployment (17 percent underemployment);
foreclosures; allowing two years of unemployment pay.
• Transparency in government — Not.
• Debt — Increases of $5 trillion and growing; a
budget plan with a $1.3 trillion deficit; the use of military
assets to support vacations and junkets; no entitlement
• Fostering a European-style entitlement society
— A record 44 million people on food stamps and increases
in other government giveaways (cell phones, housing subsidies,
Medicaid, Social Security Supplemental Security Income [SSI],
• Attempts to reduce our national sovereignty through
the United Nations.
• Irresponsible actions by the U.S. attorney general
— The “Operation Fast and Furious” weapons
sting; Black Panthers; and the use of the United Nations to
declare that the United States violates human rights.
Royal A. Brown III is a retired career U.S. Army veteran
and a retired educator. He taught in the Army Junior ROTC
program at Winter Haven (Fla.) High School.
Many in government want control over our private
pension and retirement funds and our free Internet. Are we
going to let them have it?
Be wary of government’s moves on
Thursday, April 26, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
HAVEN, Fla. — Words to the wise:
They’ve already come for, taken and corrupted
most of our children through a public education system —
grade school, secondary and post-secondary — that long
ago kicked out God, the Bible, discipline and sound
higher-ups in our “benevolent” federal government
are gunning for our Internet-related freedoms and our privately
held pension and retirement funds.
Don’t let them have them. Don’t let them
government moves in on the Internet — the World Wide Web
— not only will it grab the ability to tax financial
transactions currently out of its reach, it will control the
individual’s ability to freely post content to the
’Net and, as a result, limit the rich content — be
it good, bad or ugly — that all of us are now free to
view, research, download and interact with.
and quite scary terms, the government would end up controlling
both the medium and the message.
Two of our presidents: Abraham Lincoln, No. 16, left,
and Barack Hussein Obama, No. 44. Given a choice, who would you
trust most to steer the ship of state?
Obama like Lincoln? Let’s paint a picture of
April 21 , 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The television news had a
blip the other night about our nation’s 44th president,
Barack Hussein Obama, and yet another in a long line of
references he has made through the years to our 16th president,
This time, apparently, President Obama was drawing
similarities between himself and Lincoln.
(It wasn't the first time he’s done this. Back
in mid-March, our Democrat president said that he’s more
like Lincoln, the nation's first Republican president, than any
of today’s crop of Republicans. And he suggested that
Lincoln would feel more at home with today’s Democrat
Party than with the modern-day GOP.)
Without even trying to understand the
president’s logic or reasoning for making the comparison,
except to say the self-absorbed one likely has motives tied to
a re-election bid, it might be more instructive to note the
striking contrasts between him and Lincoln.
To the atheist: Just look
to nature, to the heavens
April 24, 2012
By JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
WINTER HAVEN, Fla.— Atheism is a religion to the same degree as
all other faiths. Webster’s Dictionary describes atheism
Atheists are free to practice their religious beliefs, but they
certainly are not free to impede or prohibit the free
exercise for those who have a different belief.
This commentary will neither ridicule nor proselytize, but it
does provide a metaphoric discussion for consideration by both
those of “faith” and those who believe in the
religion of atheism.
Nov. 6, 2012, a pivotal date for the future of our
Thursday, March 29, 2012
By PIXIE RUBIN
AUBURNDALE, Fla. — It is evident from watching
the Republican presidential debates and the fight for the GOP
presidential nomination that many people do not understand the
significance of the upcoming presidential election. Issues such
as gay rights, a candidate’s faith and alleged personal
baggage are irrelevant to the greater issue.
The presidential election of Nov. 6, 2012, will
present a choice between freedom and socialism. We are now at
the point where the nation’s survival as a prosperous
society will be decided. If we turn right, back toward this
nation’s founding principles, we have an opportunity to
remain free and restore this country to its former greatness.
If we continue to move left, toward the European socialist
model, we might lose our freedoms in this country
We are 10 years behind Europe’s example of what
our future will look like if President Barack Obama is
re-elected: Austerity measures and rioting in the streets by
those whose attitude is, “You owe me.” Think
Wisconsin and the state union members’ outrage at being
asked to contribute to their own pension plans.
Before I kick the bucket, I have a list to
Saturday, April 7, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — As a
journalist/editor/writer, I deal daily with words and phrases
— let’s call it the language — and have been
doing that for almost 37 years. It might be a surprise,
however, to learn that the term “bucket list” was
only vaguely familiar to me up until a couple of years
That’s when I watched on the small screen a
tearjerker of a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan
Freeman and titled — Guess what? — “The
Bucket List.” It’s about a couple of terminally
ill, cranky and seemingly incompatible old guys who befriend
one another and decide together to do a few things — some
of them wild — before they “kick the bucket.”
Hence, the Nicholson and Freeman characters create their mutual
bucket list and cross off the line items as they do them
— and have a blast along the way.
I’ve started a bucket list, too, though at last
check my life was terminal in only the normal and basically
healthy kind of way. At this stage, I don’t have on my
list any of the more daring kinds of things the Nicholson and
Freeman characters did (While it might be a rush, I doubt that
my limits for adventure will have me parachuting out of an
airplane.), but I do consider my list to be reasonably
challenging, especially with time and money being key
The Quran of Islam
is a dangerous book
Saturday, March 17, 2012
By JACK MURPHY
FROSTPROOF, Fla. — I originally wrote this in
response to an article that listed only positive statements
from the Quran (or Koran), the guiding book of Islam. The
article described 10 positive statements made by Muhammad, the
founder of Islam. Those statements, according to the writer,
show the commonalities among Islam, Christianity and
The writer avoided the Quran’s contrary
The Quran, quite frankly, is a very dangerous book.
Despite many positive religious instructions, it contains many
that validate the actions of terrorists around the world, and
it degrades women.
Since the Quran uses the same chapter-and-verse format
as the Bible, I will include the same style to support my
statements. Readers can verify them in the Qurans found in any
library. Or, you can download your own copy free of charge.
There are many free sources on the Internet. I downloaded my
first copy from the Gutenberg site that has thousands of free
books for downloading. The translator of my copy was J.M.
Rodwell, a minister as I recall.
In the Quran: “We send not a prophet with
miracles, but to strike terror” 17:59; defines infidels:
“who say Jesus is a messiah” 5:17; slay infidels:
“strike off their heads …” 47:4-6.
The Quran teaches male superiority, 4:34 and 2:228;
women have only a half vote before a jury, 2:282; instructions
for scourging one’s wife, 4:34; wives may only inherit
half of what males may inherit; authorizes polygamy, 4:3;
validates slavery, 33:50; permission given for sex with any
owned slaves, 4:24.
The Quran teaches religious intolerance: Only Muslims
enter Heaven, 3:85; Muslims forbidden from taking Jews or
Christians as friends, 5:51; lying is permissible to
one’s enemies, 24:11.
Many “perpetual” virgins (They will become
“freshened” to virginity continually) await Muslims
in Heaven; 56:35; wine, forbidden on Earth, will be abundant in
Heaven, 47:16 and 82:25; and it will never make one drunk,
37:45. The story of 72 virgins is not true precisely. The
number was added by Muhammad’s followers later. The Quran
does describe “wide-eyed” maidens for their
pleasure. If boys are preferred, they will be provided. I
swear, this is true.
These things are not in my Bible. Are they in yours?
Jack Murphy of Maine is a winter resident of
Frostproof, Fla. He can be reached by e-mail at
Targeting oil ‘speculators’ an
energy policy sideshow
March 5, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Bill Nelson is the perfect
example of the politician who will attempt to score some quick
and easy election-year points by pushing frivolous and gimmicky
“solutions” to very real and very serious national
In a recent e-mail blast, Florida’s senior U.S.
senator reminded us of the painful reality of rising fuel
prices and news reports that a gallon of gasoline could cost
motorists $5 or more by summertime.
“That’s outrageous — and
unjustified,” Nelson the Democrat wrote in dramatic
But in the balance of his message, Nelson didn’t
direct his fury against an abominable U.S. energy policy that
stifles domestic oil production. He didn’t rant against
national leaders who scorn “Big Oil” and hold oil
companies up to public ridicule. He didn’t boldly take on
the environmentalists and “global-warming”
alarmists and truthfully tell about their role in making
America a nation too dependent on foreign energy sources and
weak in the process.
We wouldn’t really expect that of a senator with
liberal leanings, would we? That’s not in their
No, Nelson’s “fix” for high fuel
prices is proposed legislation that targets the new energy
bogeyman: The oil “speculator.”
Following recent events, will Susan G. Komen for the
Cure and Planned Parenthood be forever linked in our
Komen group came so close to doing the right
Feb. 4, 2012
By JOE BRADDY
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — I had plans Friday
to write a piece about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure
foundation and how pleased I was to learn that the
nation’s leading breast cancer charity had severed
financial ties with Planned Parenthood.
I’m glad I didn’t. A follow-up would’ve
This morning I read that the Komen foundation leaders, under
intense criticism and pressure from social media and other
corners, had reversed course. The foundation will continue to
provide grant money to the abortion-providing Planned
Parenthood, supposedly for its breast cancer-screening
Not only has my pleasure with the Komen foundation turned to
displeasure, I am truly disappointed and disheartened that its
leaders, fearing loss of the almighty funding dollar, succumbed
under Planned Parenthood-led pressure to retain the
foundation’s original grant rules. Those rules flow allow
the flow of foundation money to Planned Parenthood, while the
grant rule changes announced earlier in the week would’ve
cut off that flow.
In essence, the Komen foundation leaders took what amounted
to be a highly moral stance toward its relationship with
Planned Parenthood and then retreated, coming down squarely on
the side of mammon — the pursuit and love of money.
season and presidential politics combine to fire up the debate
about the U.S. tax code and options for replacing it.
Scrap the tax code; ponder move to national
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012
By JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
HAVEN, Fla. — Reducing the federal budget to
meaningful programs is only one of the many chores
required of a U.S House and a Senate that, conservatives hope,
both will be controlled by Republicans following the Nov. 6
Confronting the Internal Revenue Service — and
its 40,000-plus pages of rules and regulations — will
test the political fortitude of the newly elected. But, it must
Department of the Treasury employs about 150,000 individuals,
including the new 16,000-member IRS audit force, which will
cling to their leader’s economically disastrous tax
agenda to the ruination of any return to full employment.
must be virtually eliminated. The income tax must be
The Guardian Angel was painted by Pietro
da Cortona in 1656.
Let me tell you about my guardian angel,
Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012
By JACK MURPHY
FROSTPROOF, Fla. — One of the things enjoyed by
children is being told that each of us has a guardian angel
watching over us. When young, we have fun thinking of something
like that, and it stimulates our imagination. As adults,
though, I think many people would be embarrassed to admit to
believing in a guardian angel. The world of adults has hardened
us to focus on the toughness of realities, causing many of us
to relegate such ideas to the shadows and privacy of our
For a large part of my life, I rarely spoke of
religious matters. I am not sure how long I was outside the
church of my youth, but it had to be 30 years or more. Still,
the roots of my childhood training stood waiting patiently for
the chance to come to life. Sometime in my early senior years,
I found my way back with help from my late wife. The time was
right. The roots sprang to life.
It was a while, though, before I developed a
relationship with my guardian angel. That happened in my 70s.
What made me more aware of my angel was those little memory
events we seniors are prone to — forgetting car keys or
the grocery list when leaving to go shopping, for example.
Forgetting why I entered a room is another one. It
doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to the bathroom
for some reason; just other rooms.
I found myself saying “Thank you” each
time I would be reminded where these things were, or why I
entered the room. It seemed as though my childhood angel was
letting me know he was still hanging around. He had not
forgotten me even if I seemed to have forgotten him. As a
retired guidance counselor, I had enough psychology courses to
expect folks to give scientific explanations for the memory
When I think of memory prompting, I think of all the
cartoons depicting a little angel on the right shoulder and a
little devil in the red suit with his pitchfork on the left.
Freud would say that his Superego (conscience), Ego and the Id
(“it” in German) were at work. These would be
forces from within a person. I prefer the more spiritual
At one point, I asked my angel what his name was. I
told him I didn't want to say “Hey, you” when
speaking to him. After a few weeks with no answer, I grew
impatient. I said I would give him a name. I remembered reading
a story told by Joan Wester Anderson about Mother Angelica, the
television nun. She was said to have chosen her religious name
because of having had an angel-contact experience. I decided
that I would call my angel Angelo. I told him that I hoped he
Several weeks passed with me using that name, until
one day when I received a memory prompt that what I wanted was
in my trailer. As I moved from my Florida room up the steps
into the trailer, I said “Thank you, Angelo” as
usual. This time, however, the name “Andrew” popped
out of my mouth. I was stunned. I had not used that name for so
many years, I could not remember.
I said, “OK. I get it. Andrew it is. I guess
you’re not Italian.”
Some would classify me as crazy. It doesn't bother me.
I have developed a thick skin when it comes to criticism. I
know I am right. That is what matters. I think that God’s
grace has strengthened me in these recent years. Not only have
I been a regular church-goer, but for five years, I have even
served as a eucharistic minister, helping to serve the blessed
sacrement at mass most weekends.
When I was in college, I had an inflated opinion of
teachers and professors. I felt that they were all
“brains” who got nothing but A's for marks. Well,
one day my professor, a man with a doctorate degree, admitted
that he was terrible at math and had failed it. This fact
impacted me. It helped change my life. I have since recognized
the value of personal honesty as a means of helping people to
acquire realistic perceptions. Hence, this article.
I encourage all of you reading this to fight the
tendancy to conceal any relationship you might feel toward your
guardian angel. You might never get a message coming from your
own lips as to what his — or her — name is, but
please acknowledge your angel’s presence and willingness
to help you.
Jesus might have given you a get-into-heaven-free card
by accepting Him as your Savior, but remember that we can blow
it all by acting in an irresponsible and sinful manner. I think
it pays to have someone on the inside to keep reminding us of
things. Angels don’t just remind us of car keys. They
also remind us of the good things that our Lord expects of
Jack Murphy of Maine is a winter resident of
Frostproof, Fla. He can be reached by e-mail at
Weight loss possible when exercising some
Saturday Dec. 31, 2011
By JOE BRADDY
“17 USED TREADMILLS”
That’s the message I saw on a sign outside a
used sporting goods store I drove by in Winter Haven a couple
of weeks before Christmas.
Motorists passing my truck at the time might have seen
the wry smile that came to my face.
“Now, that says a lot,” I
me that the store likely paid almost nothing for, and probably
was asking top dollar for, several treadmills that people
wasted their money on and wanted to get out of the
me that the store was taking advantage of the holiday buying
and gift-giving season to help ring up some sales — not
that there’s anything wrong with that.
me that the store also was timing the treadmill sales to the
coming new year and the penchant among many people to resolve
to lose weight and get fit.
told me that at least 17 people in the area likely gave up on
their resolution and didn’t want to have a treadmill
around the house to remind them about it.
many more people are there who gave up on their fitness
resolution but still have a treadmill or some other large piece
of exercise equipment taking up space in the family room or
I’m here to say that anybody — anybody
— can lose weight and get fit and that nobody —
absolutely nobody — needs to waste hard-earned money on
expensive exercise equipment to do it. (Sorry, manufacturers
The irony of it all
piece of art, created in the wake of the recent protests
against corporate America and Wall Street, is making the rounds
on the Internet. It shows well the irony of the protests and
the hypocrisy — idiocy? — of most of those doing
the protesting. You can go here for a larger version of this
Barack Hussein Obama is the president of the United States, but
can Americans trust this man to keep the nation strong, well
defended and free? (U.S. government photos)
On cue, ‘Obamaspeak’ follows
failure of budget ‘Super
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011
By JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Recently, President Barack
Hussein Obama proposed a “Super Committee” to
provide the nation that which Congress could not. Namely, a
federal budget that would simultaneously reduce America's $15
trillion indebtedness while continuing the expansion of Barack
Hussein’s entitlement programs.
By definition, there could be no budget acceptable to
both the Sociocoms (aka “Democrats”) and alleged
conservatives (aka “Republicans”). There should be
no surprise at this ideological impasse. It came off as planned
by the Sociocoms.
How’s that again?
What’s the truth about Social Security? Is it a
Ponzi scheme or is it a perpetually viable and dependable
financial safety net for older Americans? (Illustration by Joe
Social Security (1935-2011): Where is the
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
By JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Recently, there has been
some controversy regarding the administration of Social
Security. One Republican presidential candidate had the
audacity to suggest it was a Ponzi scheme. Another Republican
presidential candidate suggested otherwise.
Let history be your guide. Since 1935, when President
Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law,
the trillions of working-men and women dollars, placed in trust
for their eventual retirement have, indeed, been faithfully
doled out to retiring workers.
For several decades, more dollars flowed into Social
Security than required for disbursement. Naturally, our elected
officials (aka “politicians”) couldn’t help
but notice the mounting pile of (formerly) silver certificates.
They were fast to take advantage. Rather than expose these
silver certificates to the vagaries of the (gasp!) stock
market, where, from one day to the next, who knew what fate
awaited the innocent!
watching this space and see the bird as it takes on new
personalities in a series drawn by James W. MacMeekin III.
(Exclusive rights are granted to PolkCommentary.com for
publication of this cartoon series. No other publication is
permitted without the written consent of the artist.)
“There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” —
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), 40th president of the United States
“Enslave the liberty of but one human being and
the liberties of the world are put in peril.” —
William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), American
abolitionist, journalist and social reformer
An excerpt from remarks by President Ronald
Reagan during Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National
Cemetery, May 31, 1982:
... I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the
silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for
their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day,
for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation
that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and
who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for
“Yet, we must try to honor them — not for
their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay
the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must
strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led
them to battle and to final sacrifice.
“Our first obligation to them and ourselves is
plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it
stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and
prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought
cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they
whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we
— in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to
give of ourselves. ...”
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing
is not enough; we must do.” — Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe (1749-1832), German writer, pictorial artist,
biologist and theoretical physicist
“The moral imaginations of Americans, which is
so much a part of our national character, is inseparable from
our religious roots.” — Paul
Greenberg (1937-), columnist and political
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the
whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike,
especially when young, how to use them.” —
Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), American
statesman from Virginia and signatory to the U.S. Declaration
“There is nothing wrong with America that the
faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens
cannot cure.” — Dwight D.
Eisenhower (1890-1969), American World War II hero and
34th president of the United States
pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” —
The Pledge of Allegiance
bend in the road is not the end of the road ... unless you fail
to make the turn.” — Anonymous
“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in
importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s
teeth.” — George Washington
(1732-1799), Revolutionary War hero and first U.S.
believe with all my heart that one cannot be America’s
president without a belief in God, without the strength that
your faith gives you.” — George H.W.
Bush (born 1924), 41st U.S. president
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t
have to see the whole staircase, just take the first
step.” — Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. (1929-1968), American civil rights
“Democracy is worth dying for, because
it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever
devised by man.” — Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004), 40th U.S. president
“My God! How little do my countrymen know what
precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no
other people on Earth enjoy!” — Thomas
Jefferson (1743-1826), author of the Declaration of
Independence and third U.S. president
“It’s never too late to be what you might
have been.” — Mary Ann Evans, aka George
Eliot (1819-1880), British novelist
only regret that I have but one life to lose for my
country.” — The final words of Revolutionary War
hero Nathan Hale before he was hanged by the
British on Sept. 22, 1776
“One has to remember that every failure can be a
stepping stone to something better.” — Col.
Harland Sanders (1890-1980), founder of the Kentucky
Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do
not care who gets the credit.” — Harry S.
Truman (1884-1982), 33rd U.S. president
“If we all did the things we are capable of, we
would astound ourselves.” — Thomas
Edison (1847-1931), American inventor, founder of
be to God for his unspeakable gift. — 2
Corinthians 9:15 (KJV)
pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist
sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” —
Winston Churchill, former prime minister of
“Try not to become a man of success but a man of
value.” —Albert Einstein,
mathematician and physicist
“America will never seek a permission slip to
defend the security of our people.” —
George W. Bush, 43rd U.S. president
“Work spares us from three evils: Boredom, vice
and need.” —Voltaire
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” —
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th president of the United States
“It is incredible how as soon as a people
becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness
of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of
regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is
led to say, on beholding such a situation, that this people
has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement. —
From the “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude”
(1548) by French political philosopher tienne de La
“The problem with socialism is that eventually
you run out of other people’s money.” —
Margaret Thatcher (1925-), conservative
British politician and first woman to serve as British prime
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the
gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat: ...” — Matthew
7:13 (the words of Jesus Christ in the Sermon
on the Mount)
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
— James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937),
Scottish novelist and dramatist and creator of Peter
“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.”
— Written by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul,
R-Texas, a 2008 and 2012 candidate for the Republican
presidential nomination, in his book, “The Revolution: A
“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination
of nonessentials.” — Author Lin Yutang
in “An Academic Sparks Giving to
a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will
not depart from it. — Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
“Integrity has no need of rules.” —
Albert Camus (1913-1960), French author,
philosopher, journalist and Nobel Prize winner for
“The price of greatness is
responsibility.” — Sir Winston
Churchill (1874-1965), British statesman and prime
successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with bricks
that others throw at him.” — David
Brinkley (1920-2003), American broadcaster
“Many Christians have gone on to an untimely
death because they got out of the will of God.” —
Dr. Gene Wiggins, pastor, Central Baptist
Church, Winter Haven, Fla., in a March 4, 2012, sermon
the Bible ... “In regard to this great Book, I have but
to say, it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good
Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this Book.
But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most
desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to
found portrayed in it.” — Abraham
Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th president of the United
“There are two cardinal sins from which all
others spring: Impatience and laziness.” —
Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German-language
author of short stories and novels
“The love of wealth makes bitter men; the love
of God, better men.” — W.L.
“The reason Christianity is the best friend of
government is because Christianity is the only religion that
changes the heart.” — Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), author of the Declaration of Independence
and third U.S. president
nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded
men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
— Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968),
U.S. civil rights leader
“America will never be destroyed from the
outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because
we destroyed ourselves.” — Abraham
Lincoln, 16th president of the United States
“The higher our position, the more modestly we
should behave.” — Marcus Tullius
Cicero (106 B.C.-43 B.C.), Roman philosopher,
Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach
to any people. — Proverbs 14:34 (KJV)
“Lost time is never found again.”
Benjamin Franklin, American patriot, statesman
Man: “So, do you want to go out,
maybe?” Woman: “Sorry. I don’t date outside
What’s the world’s most popular wine?
“I don’t like Brussels sprouts.”
A gossip is someone with a great sense of
smuggle cars into the country, are you trafficking? —
Contributed by Jack Murphy
I started out with nothing and still have most
of it left.
is the U.S. economy? Jury duty is now considered to be a
Artificial intelligence usually beats real
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked; the
good fortune to run into the ones I do; and the eyesight to
tell the difference. — Contributed by Jack
Did you hear about the red ship and the blue ship that
collided? Both crews were marooned.
think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple
A laugh for dieter No. 1: Losing weight is a
triumph of mind over platter.
in my own little world, but it’s OK; they know me
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times I let her
I didn’t fight my way to the top of the
food chain to be a vegetarian.
peanuts were walking down the road and one was a
Oh, for the good old days when people would
stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money. —
Anonymous, but contributed by Jack Murphy
“If you had to specify, in one word, why the
human race has not, and will never achieve its full potential,
that word would be meetings.” — Dave
A retired husband is often a wife’s
I’ve got to get in shape. Yesterday my
imagination ran wild, and today my arms and legs are sore.
— From the collection of Jack
Did you hear about the two radio antennas that
got married? The wedding was terrible, but the reception was
IRS might be targeting Tea Party
headline doesn’t give us a warm and fuzzy feeling about
our federal government:
“Numerous Tea Party chapters claim IRS
attempts to sabotage nonprofit status”
According to the report (read it here) by Perry Chiaramonte of Fox News,
“Tea Party chapters around the nation are blasting the
Internal Revenue Service after the federal agency sent them
letters demanding information about their politics,
contributors and even family members.”
government, conceived more than 200 years ago on the premise
that everyone has the right to “life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness,” has gotten to be too big, too
intrusive, too overbearing, too coercive and, increasingly, too
too late to dial back the size and reach of the federal
government? I hope not. — Joe Braddy (March 4,
Post-rapture Earth won’t be
lately that the words that disturb us the most are found on
stickers on vehicle rear windows or back bumpers.
Recently, this space addressed a bumper sticker that
said: “Instead of being born again, why not just grow
Here’s what was found Feb. 17 on a car being
driven by someone with obvious anti-Christian
“Bring on the rapture. The rest of us will have
the Earth to ourselves.”
person with the sticker, and those who find it amusing, have no
comprehension of what the rapture is and the terrible events it
brief and to be clear, post rapture, Earth will not be a
pleasant place. No, it will be an awful place.
the word “rapture” isn’t in the Bible, it
conveys the biblical teaching that at some point, perhaps soon,
Jesus Christ will call the living Christians — and the
dead in Christ — out of this world to meet him in the air
and be taken away to Heaven. The Holy Spirit’s influence
in the world will be removed as well. And afterward will come
seven years of “tribulation,” a word that
is found in the Bible. God will judge the world and
those who have rejected His offer of salvation.
who would want to be left behind to live in a world void of the
evil-restraining influence of Christians and the Holy
Apparently, the answer is those who would adorn their
vehicles with bumper stickers that mock the rapture and, in
essense, mock God. — Joe Braddy (Feb. 19,
It’s all God’s handiwork
very much rising early, going outside, praying, meditating and
soaking in the freshness of a new day.
morning, as I looked east and watched whispy white clouds go
from pink to orange with the rising sun, a belief I’ve
had since childhood was reinforced — again.
There’s absolutely no way the wonder, beauty,
perfection, greatness and majesty of Earth’s nature and
the universe came about by accident, a “Big Bang”
the eggheads call it.
as it says in the Bible, in Genesis 1:1, “In the
beginning, God created the heaven and the
About that I can be certain — even without a degree in
science. — JB (April 10, 2012)
The message is challenging
by my church Saturday while running some errands and saw the
new sign message that someone had put up:
“Will anyone be in Heaven because of
It’s a challenging message for all Christians
— me included.— JB
(March 25, 2012)
The stars are
by accident tonight, I stumbled across the big, bright and
knew they were up there in the heavens, hung perfectly by God
in His glorious creation, but tonight they seemed extra
change of routine, I went outside around 7:30 p.m. to cool down
in the cool night air following a round of exercises, and when
I looked out and up, there they were. Those stars.
because the light of the moon wasn’t around to interfere,
and the sky was so clear, the stars seemed to be extra bright.
And extra big. And extra beautiful.
thankful for the stars — and the little time I could
spend with them tonight. — JB (Jan. 16,
the holidays , I heard for the first time a song that hints of
a Christmas message but clearly delivers a gospel
two talented ladies at our church, “Immanuel” was
made popular by the contemporary Christian trio Point of
“Immanuel, our God is with us, yes he is with us
still. Immanuel, he has not left us, and he never
course, Immanuel (or Emmanuel) means “God with us”
and is another name for Jesus Christ.
up references to the song, I came across a performance of it by
Point of Grace on YouTube. You can find it — and, I hope,
enjoy it — here. — JB
“His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.”
— From “His Strength Is Perfect,” a song by
Steven Curtis Chapman
“He was there all the time ... waiting patiently in
line.” – From “He Was There All the
Time,” a contemporary Christian song
“In times like these I have a Savior, In times
like these I have an anchor; ...” — From “In
Times Like These,” a gospel hymn