For all his attempts to make himself appear to be a man that respects our nation’s history and the foundations on which it is built, President Barack Obama routinely falls short. Most recently was his recital of the Gettysburg Address in which he omits ‘under God.’
Today is the 150th anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. While not largely well-received at the time, the words have taken a place in our nation’s conscience second only to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
To commemorate the anniversary, filmmaker Ken Burns recorded all living U.S. presidents as well as celebrities and other luminaries to recite those inspiring words.
Obama was asked and agreed to recite a version of the address which omits the phrase ‘under God.’ This despite the fact that contemporary accounts from the day by media clearly reported that the phrase was uttered by President Lincoln.
This is not the first time Obama has omitted acknowledgement of Our Creator. Three years ago when discussing the Declaration of Independence, he omitted the key acknowledgement of God that is contained in the opening words of that revered document.
The Gettysburg Address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
It is pretty rare I find anything from Hollywood (or anywhere in California for that matter) worthy of commending but actor Mark Wahlberg deserves a huge shout out. Following Tom Cruise’s comparison of acting to military service, Wahlberg said, “How fucking dare you.”
- Watch the video below (language warning)
Court papers released recently as part of Cruise’s lawsuit against a magazine publisher show the star show how clueless the man is.
When asked about his lawyer saying Cruise’s absences from his daughter were like someone fighting in Afghanistan, the actor responded, “I didn’t hear the Afghanistan, but that’s what it feels like, and certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal.”
He went on to compare the physical training he had to do to those of Olympians, but only harder.
Along comes Wahlberg who during a Q & A about his film Lone Survivor laid into his fellow actor.
“For actors to sit there and talk about ‘Oh I went to SEAL training,’ and I slept on the — I don’t give a fuck what you did,” Wahlberg said. “You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as somebody in the military’s. How fucking dare you. While you sit in a makeup chair for two hours.”
“I don’t give a shit if you get your ass busted,” Wahlberg continued. “You get to go home at the end of the day. You get to go to your hotel room. You get to order fucking chicken. Or your steak. Whatever the fuck it is.”
Less than 15% of the U.S. population has served in our nation’s military. Those numbers serve to highlight the fact that so many owe a debt of gratitude to so few.
The call to serve the cause of freedom first rang out over 230 years ago. Since then countless men and women have donned this nation’s uniforms as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. They did so not for glory, but for the greater good; they did so for their fellow man.
My father served in the Air Force. My brother and I in the Navy.
The three of us had it easy compared to my nephew who patrolled for IEDs in Afghanistan and was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroism. His wife took a sniper’s bullet in Iraq and bears the physical and mental scars that came with it. Another nephew recently embarked on a career in the Army and is at West Point. He will become the first officer in our family.
Like my family, our veterans have served this nation in all capacities – from desk clerks, to mechanics, to the ground pounding soldiers.
No matter their assigned job, they have served with honor, courage and commitment from back here in the states to places overseas like Tora Bora, Fallujah, Normandy, Anzio, Guadalcanal, Khe Sanh, Inchon and many other God-forsaken hell holes across the globe.
Each has made their own sacrifices for God and country. Sacrifices of time, mind, body and soul.
All of us, all veterans, believe in this country and believe in the cause.
I, as they do, firmly believe that the United States of America is a beacon for all others – where we lead, others follow because the liberties and freedom we have and offer are cherished by all beings and are a God given right.
That spirit of patriotism and loyalty echoes loudly throughout the hills of Arlington National Cemetery and in the voices of veterans you can talk to today.
Our service men and women are the finest examples of what this great nation stands for and all are worthy of the highest praise and greatest honors.
Please take time today to remember the veterans of this great nation and what they have given to all of us – our very freedom and freedom to millions of others.
Another election is pretty much in the bag and while there is at least one race undecided, winners and losers have mostly been determined. Analysis does show perhaps a few disappointing outcomes but all-in-all, statewide and local outcomes were satisfactory.
Colorado Amendment 66: The billion dollar a year tax hike backed by unions, out of state interests and Gov. John Hickenlooper went down in flames. Voters once again demonstrated that they have no stomach for throwing good money after bad in an attempt to fix a broken education system without truly meaningful reform. The outcome on this measure coupled with the high profile school board elections across the state should put liberals and unions on notice that parents expect more from the education system. Sadly they won’t get it.
Colorado Proposition AA: I ignored this issue leading up to the election. Quite frankly I abhor the fact that Coloradans approved the so-called legalization of marijuana two years ago. Increasing access to illegal drugs and then screaming NIMBY when these places setup shop in your neighborhood shows how ignorant voters can be. As for this tax, I am fine with it although I would have made it much, much higher.
Thornton City Council: Retreads Mack Goodman (Ward I) and Val Vigil (Ward II) were reelected, a very un-noteworthy accomplishment since they ran opposed. Sam Nizam will be taking the seat in Ward III, largely because he essentially had no opponent beyond a write-in candidate who didn’t campaign. In Ward IV, Jan Kulmann delivered a massive slap down of union-backed Adam Matkowsky and will replace Randy Drennen on the dais. Kulmann will provide a much-needed counter to the leftists on council and Matkowsky can now feel free to move on to whatever his next job / location will be.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education: Rico Figueroa will retain the district 4 seat after union-backed Amy Speers was booted off the ballot due to her illegal entry into the race. The race for School Director District No. 3 is still up in the air with Kathy Plomer currently leading Debbie Christensen by 784 votes. However, Adams County reports that there are 8,000 ballots left to count so there is still a glimmer of hope that Christensen can knock off union patsy Plomer.
Thornton Ballot Issue 2B: Voters approved an extension of the open space / parks and rec tax. This is good news for the community.
Thornton Ballot Issue 2C: Once again voters knocked down self-serving politicians’ desire to have a ‘seat for life’ on city council. Council term limits will stay at two terms as they should. Future councilmembers would do well to remember this is the second time we have told them no – don’t try again.
Thornton Ballot Issue 2D: One young, noisy Thornton resident thankfully failed to get his way and age limits for city council will remain as-is.
Thornton Ballot Issue 2E: Voters went ahead and bailed out council and their inability to perform their job under previous provisions of the city charter in the event of a mayoral vacancy. With this measure passed, the battles for Mayor Pro Tem are going to become highly contentious and should a vacancy occur, council will be one person short of a full body until the next election cycle.
Thornton Ballot Issue 2F: The commonsense measure to handle continuity of government in the event of a disaster passed with ease.
Thornton Ballot Issue 2G: Unions were given more members within the fire department ranks by the voters due to the expansion of the definition of ‘fire fighter.’ This is disappointing. Voters don’t often understand the repercussions of issues like this unless they do some research.
Note: As mentioned above, Adams County still has thousands of votes left to count. The conclusions reached above on the local races are based on tallies as of Wednesday morning and while any of the outcomes could change as the balance of ballots are counted, it seems unlikely (other than the one school board race). It is disappointing that yet again our clerk and recorder has failed to provide timely results from an election.
On the net: Adams County election results
Breaking: Colorado Secretary of State determines that votes for ineligible candidate will NOT be counted
Updated, 5:40pm: In a very commonsense ruling, Scott Gessler has issued an emergency ruling to resolve whether or not votes for Amy Speers will be counted.
Speers signed an affidavit saying she was eligible for Adams 12 Five Star Schools Director District 4 and appears on the ballot. However last week it was discovered she does not live in the district.
Today the county clerks of Adams and Broomfield counties said they would count the votes for the ineligible candidate but Gessler has rightfully overruled them.
The rule issued says:
10.7.5 If the designated election official determines, after ballots are printed, that an individual whose name appears on the ballot is not qualified for office, the votes cast for that individual are invalid and must not be counted.
This is of course the only sensible decision that could be reached. As I wrote earlier, it simply makes no sense to think that votes for a candidate who cannot even hold the office would be tallied and reported.
Speers broke the law by swearing to be eligible for office when she very clearly was not. Time for her to just go away now.
Original Story, 4:15pm: To count or not? County clerks say they will count illegitimate candidate’s votes, Secretary of State yet to weigh in
The disaster that is the Adams 12 5 Star Schools race for Director District 4 continues even as the hours wind down to the polls closing. Union-backed candidate Amy Speers has refused to withdraw despite her illegal entry into the race and election officials are still hashing out how to handle it.
It would seem to be a pretty simple matter. You screw up, you owe up to the mistake. Instead, Amy Speers has refused to withdraw even after it was determined she filed to run for an office which she isn’t eligible.
Following her refusal, Adams 12 sent a letter to the county clerks of Adams and Broomfield counties asking the clerks not to count any votes for the illegitimate candidate.
This afternoon the clerks said they would proceed and report the vote tally anyway.
In a statement on the county website, they wrote, “Without having received a written withdrawal from the candidate, it appears that our duty as Clerk and Recorders under the relevant law is to continue to count and report the results of a given race. We thus intend to continue counting votes and reporting the results of the Adams School District 12 race between Rico Figueroa and Amy Speers. The school district is the ultimate decision maker regarding what to do with these results.”
Waiting in the wings is the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the ultimate arbitrator of state election law. I would expect Scott Gessler will be weighing in on the issue in the coming hours.
Certainly common sense would dictate that since Speers is clearly not eligible any votes cast for her should not be counted or reported.
The county clerks have in essence chickened out and by passing the buck back to Adams 12 are setting a horrible precedent. Their actions would pave the way for any person, eligible or not to make their way onto the ballot and have votes for them counted. It also serves to undermine the law and the legitimacy of our ballot.
Speers, at the direction of her union overseers, is to blame for the entire episode. She is nothing short of an ineligible candidate and violated Colorado law by submitting an affidavit claiming she was eligible when she was clearly not.
It is a shame the union and Speers want to continue their slash and burn campaign. Rather than use this is an opportunity to show that they truly are interested in doing what is best for the community, they are opting to further divide it.
The union is of course trying to cover its own behind for being dumb enough to endorse an ineligible candidate (and give her tens of thousands of dollars). Speers is not able to see she is being used as a pawn to further the union’s agenda and once this election is over, she will be thrown out with the trash.
Whether the votes are reported tonight or not, they will almost certainly be counted at some point.
There is little doubt that the union will spend more of its members’ money and cost the taxpayers untold thousands of dollars as they pursue legal action. Of course their reasoning is faulty as they simply have no ground to stand on – their candidate cannot hold the office.
For them however it is all about power and wanting to continue their stranglehold on Adams 12 and the education of our children. They do this for their own self-preservation, not out of some concern for parents or students.
Of course an ideal outcome would be that when the votes are counted Rico Figueroa and Debbie Christensen win their races by a landslide. That would put the issue to bed very quickly and put the union on notice that this community will no longer be bullied by them.
In recent weeks I have penned a number of stories about the candidates and issues that will be appearing on voters’ ballots this year. From a billion dollar a year tax hike and a half dozen local issues to very contentious local elections for school board and city council, much is at stake.
For easy reference, below are links to the stories grouped by race / issue.
Thornton City Council
- 2013 local elections showcase worthlessness and lack of credibility of union endorsements
- Thornton City Council Democrats rake in campaign contributions while running unopposed
- Thornton City Council Ward IV election pits self-funded candidate versus big money unions
- Thornton’s 2013 City Council elections to feature stunning lack of depth
Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education
- 2013 local elections showcase worthlessness and lack of credibility of union endorsements
- OUT: Speers determined ineligible for BoE; District, unions, Dems left with egg on their faces
- BREAKING: Adams 12 BoE candidate Amy Speers not eligible to run in district 4
- Compare and contrast: Figueroa and Christensen school board literature hits the nail on the head
- Amy Speers & Kathy Plomer school board campaign mailers big on unions, not so much parents and kids
- Alternative education: Will Amy Speers bring Klingon language experiment to Adams 12?
- Big bucks: Unions try to buy Adams 12 Five Star Schools board seats
- Adams 12 Five Star Schools board races pit reform against unions and their big bucks
Colorado Amendment 66
- Outside money pours in to push passage of Colorado’s Amendment 66 billion dollar tax hike
- Colorado Amendment 66: Billion dollar tax hike would do nothing to solve state’s education woes
Thornton Ballot Issues
- 2013 Thornton Ballot Issue 2B: Open Space and Parks and Recreation tax extension
- 2013 Thornton Ballot Question 2C: Extending term limits for City Council and Mayor
- 2013 Thornton Ballot Question 2D: Reducing age requirement for city council and mayor
- 2013 Thornton Ballot Question 2E: Charter changes in the event of a mayoral vacancy
- 2013 Thornton Ballot Question 2F: Thornton continuity of government
- 2013 Thornton Ballot Question 2G: Expanding definition of ‘fire fighter’ in city charter
- Bevy of municipal ballot issues await Thornton voters
Labor unions are big time players in elections and at the local level are always the biggest donors to campaigns. This election cycle has shown just how questionable these endorsements are and demonstrates why voters should cast a wary eye on them.
Elections for Thornton City Council and Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education have drawn a great deal of interest from unions in 2013.
With their membership numbers on a 50-year decline, unions are desperate to bolster their ranks. They have thrown tens of thousands of dollars at a handful of candidates and put their name behind them.
In the Thornton City Council race for Ward IV, East Coast transplant Adam Matkowsky is the union-financed candidate. As far back as February unions were announcing their ‘endorsement’ of him and a half-dozen or so labor groups have followed suit.
How well did they vet Matkowsky? Surely these esteemed organizations evaluated all candidates, deliberated, and gave a great deal of thought into who deserved their support.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools confirmed late Tuesday night that Amy Speers, candidate for the Board of Education, was ineligible to run for the Director District 4 seat. The announcement ends her candidacy and reflects very poorly on the school district, the teachers union and the Adams County Democrats.
In a statement posted to their website, Adams 12 said, “The district’s designated election official has informed Speers of her ineligibility, and has made the clerk and recorders of both Adams County and the City and County of Broomfield aware of the ineligibility.”
This is a shocking development and one which ensures Rico Figueroa will remain in the District 4 seat even before ballots are counted.
In an extraordinary development this evening, it has been discovered that Amy Speers, candidate for the Adams 12 Five Star Schools District 4 seat, is not eligible to run for that office.
The latest Director District map shows that address is in District 2. District 4, the office for which she has filed to run and is on the ballot for, has a northern most boundary of 112th Avenue.
- Update: Adams 12 announces Speers is ineligible, unions and Dems end up with egg on their faces. Click here for the latest.
It would appear Speers has made a fatal miscalculation by running for an office she is not even eligible for.
With one fell swoop, two billionaires from outside the state of jumped in and pledged $1 million each to push for the passage of Amendment 66. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a recent meddler in the Centennial State’s affairs, joined Bill and Melinda Gates and Obama’s political machine in helping push the tax hike.
Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns invested heavily it trying to stop the recall of state Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron. Their effort failed miserably as Coloradans rejected their outside interference.
Joining the two outsiders is President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action. The Political Action Committee sent out emails asking for voters to support the billion dollar tax increase and soliciting volunteers to help pedal the measure.