The "O" Word
Conservative by Nature, Christian by Choice
Wait!  Where's the pictures?  They're supposed to be right here!  I swear, you can't find decent help these days...

The NFL, the National Anthem, and the First Amendment

September 25th, 2017 . by Cary

Those of you who have clung bitterly to this blog, reading when I write (less and less often these days – social media seems so much more … immediate … doesn’t it?) and even better – those who interact through comments, know where I have been. I am a Marine Veteran (Cold War Era), my younger brother is a Marine Veteran (Gulf War I), my older brother is an Army Veteran (Cold War), our Dad was a Marine (Korean Era), we have nieces and nephews currently serving, we have a family history of service to this nation going back before there was a nation. We had ancestors on both sides of the Revolutionary War and the War Between The States/War of Northern Aggression/Civil War. In short, my family has stepped up and said “This is our Constitution; this we will defend.”

I believe the Second Amendment to the constitution is very important, as regulars here can attest. Without the Second, the rest would fall like a row of dominoes. The First Amendment is a close second in my mind; you must have the unfettered ability to address what you consider to be a wrong in order to make it right.

That being said, ALL citizens of this nation have the right to freely express their closely held beliefs. They also have the right to consider other points of view without being forced to agree with them, and they have the right to change their closely held belief if they are properly convinced. Yes, this includes actors, comedians, professional athletes, and the people who shill for them announce their actions, introduce their appearance, or award them for their performance.

I will never take a knee while the National Anthem is being played. I will not willfully avoid showing respect for this nation while the anthem is played. I will do my best to model what I believe is correct behavior for citizens of the United States: come to attention, hand salute (as a veteran, I m permitted this action; civilians would place their hand over their heart), and standing quietly until the end of the anthem. If another country’s anthem is played, I will stand at attention, arms to my sides, and stand quietly until the anthem is complete. My loyalty is to this country, I will not salute another country’s anthem or national ensign.

I served in order to preserve the right of people to freely express themselves. You, me, everyone. Including the jerks who don’t know how good they have it for being so well paid to play sports or to act or to entertain (although they are all the same – entertainers, at heart). Yes, I called them jerks – because that is my opinion. I’m allowed to have one. So are you. I empathize with what they are trying to say, but they are using the wrong ways to get their point across. Yes, it’s tragic that there are a few (out of the hundreds of thousands of daily non-violent interactions) police episodes where a person is the victim of bad circumstances and terrible choices. Yes, it’s awful that the perception is that blacks are the major recipients of these interactions.

(Numbers say otherwise – and there are plenty of search engines out there to prove that. Point of fact – number one killer of black males between 16 and 35 is – other black males. Point of fact – allowing citizens the right to defend themselves, instead of removing or restricting the most effective equalizer (hand gun), would reduce murder and other crime rates. The more weapons are in the hands of citizens, the fewer crimes there are. Criminals may not be the smartest cookies, but the do figure odds, and the more armed citizens there are the fewer helpless victims there are. Please see Chicago for the latest proof of this statement.)

While they are free to express their opinions, I feel it is not appropriate to do so on the stage. By allowing the performers to continue to make these personal statements from a professionally supplied pulpit, the owners/managers/agents of those performers are giving their implicit permission to continue. They are free to express their opinions, I am free to not buy their wares. I am not required to spend money to watch or listen while someone tells me I am wrong. Just as they are not forced to listen to me, I am not forced to listen to them. When the revenue dries up the message will be plain enough to them. With great freedoms come great responsibilities, and great consequences.

To allow the continued disrespecting of our nation is to allow the further eroding of our nation. Once all the statues have been removed, and history has been revised, and no one hears the Star Spangled Banner on a regular basis anymore, what will have been solved? People are still the ones who’s hearts have not changed. If anything, every time a statue is removed; every time an historical event is glossed over , rewritten, or removed; or every time a professional entertainer is allowed to disrespect the National Anthem without repercussions, this nation is moved another step away from a Representative Republic, and closer to a Socialist Enclave.

For this reason, We the People must protest right back. We must also be heard – our voices must be included in the “National Dialogue” that those who are pushing for the enslavement of all by the removal of our rights keep insisting on. I find it odd they insist on a National Dialogue and then don’t allow any one to speak who disagrees with them. If We, the People (and we are a majority, I refer you to the 2016 Presidential Election results) will not continue to make ourselves heard, then We, the People will be people without our nation.

I stood up to defend our Constitution. I stood up so jerks can prove how ignorant, willfully or otherwise, they are. I stood up so every one could continue to voice their opinion, including those who don’t agree with the rest. This doesn’t mean that I have to stand quietly by and let those opinions go unanswered, it means that those with dissenting opinions – from BOTH sides – must be allowed to present their case, their beliefs, and their reasons. Common Sense should prevail, but that’s a post for another day.

One thing I am sure of – no matter who is in the White House, God is on His Throne. I already know how this story ends. What I don’t know is how it plays out along the way. As a God-fearing Christian, I place my trust in the Lord. As a citizen of this nation, I will defend my Constitution, using the First and Second Amendments as needed. Yes, peace in our time – but not at the cost of our freedoms and responsibilities as citizens of this great nation.

Chat ya later…

cary

P.S. – All these protesters are free to take their complaints on the road. There are literally hundreds of countries in the world; they should do their research and find one that more closely aligns with their belief system – and move there.

Thanks for stopping by, In GOD We Trust, and Wear Red on Fridays!

Project 2,996: Yin Ping “Steven” Wong

September 9th, 2017 . by Cary

From the Legacy.Com site:

The crooning ballads by Cantonese pop stars reminded Yin Ping Wong of his childhood in Hong Kong. Mr. Wong, known to his friends as Steven, immigrated with his family in the late 1970’s to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, from Hong Kong. He was 12 years old, the sixth of seven children and spoke only a little English. It was a difficult transition for a boy with a gentle soul.

At that time, Brooklyn’s Chinese-American population had not congealed yet and Manhattan’s Chinatown was smaller than it is today. But as the community grew, Hong Kong culture became more accessible, and Yin Ping would buy CD’s and rent concert videos of his favorite singers. He liked Alan Tam and Sam Hui for their poignant lyrics and robust voices. “He liked people who really can sing,” said Nicole Wong, Yin Ping’s younger sister. “He preferred voice over looks.”

Bensonhurst now has its own thriving Chinese community, but Canal Street in Manhattan remains the bustling commercial center of choice. Yin Ping would stop by its fruit stands, bakeries and video stores on the way home from Aon. His mother loved to watch serialized Chinese dramas, but when new episodes were not available, he would bring home American movies.

Another life, cut way too short. Another family, missing a piece that can never be replaced. This nation will always remember you.



On September 9, 2017, as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, it was an honor to stand a flagline for the second annual Stephen Siller Tunnel To Tower 5k held at the Tempe Town Lake Healing Fields in Tempe, Arizona.

The magnitude of the loss of life that day was echoed on the fields of flags. The sense of remembrance as one walks though that field is palpable, heavy, yet uplifting. If you have the opportunity, go.

Project 2,996: Yuk Ping Wong

September 9th, 2017 . by Cary

Yuk Ping Wong, 47, died when the World Trade Center was attacked on the morning of September 11, 2001. “Winnie” was training to be a tax auditor for the State of New York in the Department of Taxation and Finance, a position she had been hired for the previous June.

Yuk Ping Wong had moved to the United States from Hong Kong after marrying Chung-Ping Wong. She was a mother of two, Eddie, now 26, and Christopher, now 22, who were living with their father in Brooklyn. They had divorced in 1996, and Winnie pursued her dream of a college education, graduating in 1999 with honors with a degree in accounting from Bernard M. Baruch College in Manhattan. She was a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Golden Key Accounting Society.

Winnie worked on the 86th floor of the south tower. She was last seen by co-workers on the 78th floor, waiting for a transfer elevator to the ground floor.

She had been taking classes in preparation for baptism at the Chinese Alliance Church, where a memorial service was held on October 13, 2001. According to her sisters and her co-workers, she felt she had found her niche and was devoting her life to her job; she sang in the choir at the Chinese Alliance Church; she was cheerful, happy, and brilliant; a person who loved shopping and dining out.

Besides her two sons, Yuk Ping Wong was survived by her mother, Yue-Ying Leung, and her father, Siu-Tak Leung, of Brooklyn; a brother, Wai-Hung “Daniel” Leung of San Francisco, and five sisters: Ariane Yuk-Ling Leung, Kit-Ching Mak and Tsui-Sim “Zoe” Leung of Brooklyn; Fuscat Yim-Fong Leung of Hong Kong, and Jacqueline Leung of Vancouver.

Ariane Leung wrote in a tribute, “News of the World Trade Center attack terribly impacted our family. We have, however, found much hope and comfort in the midst of the tragedy. We know Winnie has moved onward, to the sweetest home in heaven, a place where she is happily staying. There we shall all meet again one day.”

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My condolences go out, again, to all the family members of the victims of the coordinated terrorist attacks on 9/11/01. We cannot ever imagine the loss you have suffered; we can only remain vigilant against such an attack in the future.

I would like to thank Carl MacGowan of Newsday for the bulk of the information included in this memorial, also available here.



On September 9, 2017, as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, it was an honor to stand a flagline for the second annual Stephen Siller Tunnel To Tower 5k held at the Tempe Town Lake Healing Fields in Tempe, Arizona.

The magnitude of the loss of life that day was echoed on the fields of flags. The sense of remembrance as one walks though that field is palpable, heavy, yet uplifting. If you have the opportunity, go.

Project 2,996: Charles J. Houston

September 9th, 2017 . by Cary

From the Legacy.Com site:

Charles Joseph Houston was 6-foot-1, weighed 225 pounds and had a thick mustache. “He had a rough exterior, but inside, he was such a mush, especially around children.” said Linda Houston, his wife.

He frolicked in his backyard pool with his 2- year-old nieces, read to his 9-year-old nephew, and in general “snuggled with them.” He went for walks with them and took them to movies and malls. “He was like a second father,” she said.

“But he was a pull-no-punches type of guy,” she added. “What you see is what you get. He wouldn’t sugarcoat on anything. If you asked him for an opinion, he’d tell you what he really thought, sometimes even things you didn’t want to hear.”

He and his brother-in-law, Otto Diodato, the father of his nieces and nephew, used to be efficient handymen in their two houses, merely a few yards apart. They’d be constantly concocting projects (redoing the kitchen countertops, building fences, changing the bathroom tiles) and actually finishing them. But shortly before the September attack, they had become more like “Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble,” his wife said. “They would joke around, enjoy each other’s company, and the projects would last forever.”

Mr. Houston worked on the 84th floor of Tower Two, for Euro Brokers, Inc. He was a member of Council 5989 of the Knights of Columbus. May God continue to give peace and comfort to his family.



On September 9, 2017, as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, it was an honor to stand a flagline for the second annual Stephen Siller Tunnel To Tower 5k held at the Tempe Town Lake Healing Fields in Tempe, Arizona.

The magnitude of the loss of life that day was echoed on the fields of flags. The sense of remembrance as one walks though that field is palpable, heavy, yet uplifting. If you have the opportunity, go.

Project 2,996: Joshua Aron

September 9th, 2017 . by Cary

From the Legacy.Com site:

At age 7, Joshua Aron would sit at the kitchen table bent over a copy of The Wall Street Journal, analyzing the stock tables with his chocolate milk. “I explained what makes it go up and down,” said his mother, Ruth Aron. “He loved to do puzzles, and to him it was just another puzzle.”

Fast forward two decades. Mr. Aron was an equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, facing a bank of computer screens. When there was a break in the action, he sent love notes to his wife, Rachel, by instant messenger. “We were best friends,” Mrs. Aron said. “Everything just came naturally.”

Mr. Aron’s intense, childlike enthusiasm made him a blur of activity in the kitchen, on a bike, or researching new fascinations on the Internet. He delighted in life’s details, repainting his Upper West Side apartment, installing a 200-bottle wine closet and a 90- inch projection-screen television.

Even in the high-stakes world of finance, Mr. Aron, 29, remained playful, quoting liberally from Austin Powers movies (“Would they be ill-tempered sea bass?”). If Mrs. Aron was upset, he would cheer her up by promising to help get back at her tormentors. “You want to get ’em?” he would ask with mock intensity. “Come on, let’s get ’em right now.”

We will never forget the many lives cut short on that fateful day. It is my prayer that Mr. Aron be remembered forever as one of the first heroes in the Global War on Terror. May God continue to give your family peace and strength.



On September 9, 2017, as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, it was an honor to stand a flagline for the second annual Stephen Siller Tunnel To Tower 5k held at the Tempe Town Lake Healing Fields in Tempe, Arizona.

The magnitude of the loss of life that day was echoed on the fields of flags. The sense of remembrance as one walks though that field is palpable, heavy, yet uplifting. If you have the opportunity, go.

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