Mark Your Calendar for June 19

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Thanks to Ben Evans of Heritage Action for America and Michelle Moore of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition, you have a treat coming on June 19.

Heritage Action/St. Louis Tea Party Social: June 19

On Thursday, June 19 at 6:30pm, we will gather informally at Scarecrow in Chesterfield, 1095 Chesterfield Parkway.  All are welcome.  Appetizers will be provided.  Come down and enjoy the company of fellow grassroots activists.

If you have friends who think Tea Partiers are “too extreme” or “racist” or whatever, bring them along. There won’t be a bunch of political speeches to scare them away. Just conversation about restoring their power so they can keep the republic.  RSVP on Facebook

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Why I’m Changing My Mind About Impeaching Obama

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A lot of good people I know grumble that the House Republicans don’t try to impeach Obama.

I usually don’t say much in response. After the disaster of the ill-conceived Clinton impeachment fiasco, impeachment seems like a superstition. Like a unicorn. I think impeachment is a dangerous tool and should never be used for political purposes.

Besides, Harry Reid’s Senate wouldn’t consider articles of impeachment if they included NSA video of Obama throwing adorable, drooling toddlers off the George Washington Bridge.

Even further, I’m not sure that he’s committed a crime worthy of removal from office.

Until now, that is.

The Bergdahl terrorist exchange changes everything in my view. Everything.

Here’s what we know about the bizarre and troubling Bergdahl-for-murderers swap:

The United States has lost 2,323 troops in Afghanistan. Fourteen of them were reportedly lost looking for Bergdahl in the weeks after Bergdahl deserted–a crime punishable by death in wartime.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s Susan Rice extolled Bergdahl’s honor and heroism on the Sunday talk shows. This was the same Susan Rice who lied to the nation about the video tape after the Benghazi 9/11 massacre. Soldiers who served with Bergdahl prior to his desertion are “appalled” that anyone would call Bergdahl a “hero.”

Add it all up, and you have a pretty clear case. Obama dishonored every man and woman who ever wore the uniform with honor. He released enemy combatants to return to the field of battle and kill more innocents. He did so on behalf of an Army deserter with dubious allegiance to the United States and whose actions reportedly took the lives of 14 soldiers.

For these crimes against the United States and by aiding and abetting terrorists wanted for crimes against humanity, I now want the House of Representatives to start impeachment hearings against the President. The next Congress would have to hold the hearings and trial, but this Congress can get the ball rolling.

The Obama Administration has insulted millions of American service members and veterans. It traded terrorists for one deserter. The President broke the law in his quest to aid the enemy or to make himself look like a badass or whatever. I don’t really care what his motives are. I just want him punished for his crimes.

Memorial Day 2014

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Not all casualties of war die in the field. Or even during hostilities.

We’ve learned that some of our warriors died because they landed on a “secret waiting list.”

Bureaucrats love pleasing their bosses. They live for it. In the case of the Veterans Administration, bureaucrats fired the final shot in the wars of at least 40 American warriors.

Sadly, the American government proved a deadlier foe than Hitler, Tito, Saddam, or bin Laden to some of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

On this Memorial Day, I’ll remember all, but particularly those who gave their last, full measure of devotion right here on the home front, against an enemy that pretends to be the purpose of their sacrifice.

Why Don’t We Have an Anti-establishment Party?

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I’m totally envious of Europe, and I think two American generations can fix it for me.

Gen X (born ~1961 to ~1981) is a thoroughly anti-authority generation. Millennial (born ~1982 to ~2002) is a completely anti-institutional generation.

It’s time for these great generations to get together and form an anti-establishment movement. Maybe even a party.

Check this out:

A new poll surveying young Americans’ political attitudes released by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics Tuesday found millennials have less trust in government than ever before.

Read more:

To an anti-authority, liberty-loving Gen Xer, that’s the most beautiful paragraph in the history of polling literature. As Pete Townsend said, “the kids are alright!”

Not that the Millennial folk will listen to me, but I gotta say they’re 100% right in distrusting government. The US government, their state government, their school board. Every level of government is a trough that big corporations fill for the satisfaction of the elected swine. Government’s like a big pig farm.

Last night, I took my son Patrick to Ballpark Village on our way home from Fast Eddie’s Bon Air.  It was his 21st birthday. BPV is an awesome place, but it was bought with taxpayer dollars–and without taxpayer input. In other words, Fox Sports Midwest and the DeWitt family stole Missouri’s ATM card and PIN and withdrew 19 million of your tax dollars to build an amazing sports and drink palace.

The DeWitts (and others) get the profits; you get the costs. Wonderful.

That’s an example of why Millennials think government is the cousin of lies. And that’s why America needs an anti-establishment movement, if not an anti-establishment party.

This movement or party, or both, will have a very narrow focus: reducing government activity to a few, necessary tasks. Kinda like Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution.

The party will ignore the “issues” establishment uses to keep us divided. Stuff like gay rights and public prayer. Those are important issues, but the establishment uses them to keep us fighting about minutiae while it steals our power and freedom. So we won’t play their game.

We won’t field our own candidates. Instead, we’ll cast negative votes in both establishment parties to deny them their traditional constituencies. Negative votes might include voting for third party candidates or skipping offices where the choice is more of an echo.

Most importantly, we’ll use our personal power to influence public officials. We won’t harass and protest; we’ll smile and converse. We’ll lobby like paid lobbyists, even though we’re just people.

We’ve learned our lesson. Yelling at politicians only makes them stronger. We’re not doing that anymore. Now, we’re talking. And smiling. And connecting.

Look, Gen X and Millennials together are an overwhelming force. We both hate the establishment. Let’s get together and destroy it, shall we?

Bob Marley

When Did It Get So Late?

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I knew it was getting late. I was leaving work, walking to my car, when I got a text message. My nephew scored two tickets to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.I texted my son, Patrick, to see if he was home. I planned to fly home, put on my Blues sweater, grab Patrick, and fly down to the Scot.

But Patrick didn’t need a ride or a ticket. He was already on his way to the game with a friend. He bought his own ticket and drove his own car.

Time flies.

May 24, 1993, was a cold, gray day in New London, Connecticut. The winter had been mild but damp, as had the previous summer.

My wife had an appointment with the OB/GYN at 9 am. I don’t remember if it was a routine exam or if she’d asked to see him. I assume the latter, because I stayed home to go with her. I was on shore duty, so getting a few hours off wasn’t the hassle it had been when I was attached to a submarine.

“It’s time,” the doctor said.

That day was long. Someone was watching our other three–Amie, Jack, and Benjamin. Probably Patty Fellows or the Emblidges. I wasn’t concerned about that.

The other kids had been born in shiny new hospitals, but Lawrence and Memorial Hospital was old, like the older parts of St. Mary’s where my mom used to work. Compared to those modern hospitals, this one had more wood and marble, less metal and carpet. The walls of the delivery room were hospital green, the floors institutional marble. The ceilings were high–probably twelve feet. Heavy oak framed the lone window.

The television looked out of place in this ancient room. It was a hulking Zenith from about 1979, mounted high in a corner of the room where everyone could see. Everyone except the patient, my wife. Well, she could were she in a condition to twist her body to the right and hang off the side. But not on this day.

As my wife sucked on ice chips, I looked through the window at the nondescript afternoon. Though summer was right around the corner and the school year was almost over, everything about the day looked like a winter scene in a Dickens novel. I looked down, expecting to see men in stovepipe hats and bridge coats pushing carts of coal up the cobblestone street, dodging horse dung on their way. Instead, I saw Toyota Camrys and Dodge Omnis cruising down smooth asphalt.

Another difference between this birth and the others: all the doctors were men. The OB/GYN, the anesthesiologist, the nurse assistants. Maybe one woman came into the room the whole day, but that was it. And they didn’t stay long.

Thinking back on that day, time flew. Probably not for the woman in labor. But I remember glancing at my watch and finding it was already 6:00. Julie was stuck at seven centimeters. The anesthesiologist, who looked like Dick Butkus, was administering an epidural to ease the pain in hopes of accelerating dilation and delivery. And I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

Since my wife was semi-conscious between medication, epidural, pain, and endorphins, the doctors and I decided hockey would be the best diversion to relieve some of the tension in the room. The New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens in game 5 of the Wales Conference finals. I was pulling for the Canadiens, but I kept that on the down low.

After the epidural, Julie fell asleep. A nurse sat by the bed monitoring the machine that goes BEEP. The doctors and I huddled in the corner under the TV so we could hear with the volume set low. Late in the second period with the Habs pulling away, Julie woke up and the nurse beckoned us back to the bedside. The baby was on his way.

Patrick Conor Hennessy was born during the second intermission. He was big, remarkably healthy, and seemed to be happy. His mom was out like a light shortly after Patrick was born. So after he was cleaned up, APGARed, and dressed, the nurse handed him to me to hold. To bond.

I knew he’d want to watch the end of the hockey game. So I carried him over to the TV. His eyes were closed–mostly–but I knew he was listening as the Canadiens scored two goals in six seconds to ice the game and the series.

Later, as the teams shook hands after the game, Julie woke up and asked to hold the baby. I transferred the bundle. And missed him for the first time.

How, Lord, could Patrick be a man already? Is it possible that he’s driving himself to hockey games? He’s my baby.

Then again, his brother Jack is a Petty Officer Second Class in the Navy,closing in on the age I was when Jack was born.

And Ben just got a new job. I’m so proud that he’s getting his bearings.

But the youngest. Damn.

Getting older doesn’t scare me. Seeing my hockey buddy on the verge of striking off on his own does.Our children depend on us for so much for so long that we miss the moment when we become dependent on them.

And the regret. I can’t tell you how many times I left them. “If I make more money,” I thought, “I can afford to take them all over and buy them all kinds of things.”  “If I don’t help save the country,” I rationalized, “they won’t have an opportunity.”

So fast. Those evenings I chose to work instead of reading to them. The nights I went out with friends instead of watching the game with them. They never complained, of course.

They just got in their cars and drove themselves.

It’s not fair, I know, to whine like this. We have to let them go. Let them go so they can keep making us proud as they do better than us. Jack made Second fast than I did. And we’re so happy when we do the math and realize they’ve outdone us in every way. We cheer when they finally beat us at one-on-one hoops.

But when we realize that the last one is a man or woman ready to leave our home and start their own, it’s not mortality we feel cloying at our souls–its loneliness. A loneliness no friend or spouse can fill. They’re not our kids. When they come into the world, we don’t know how we’ll find the room for another one. When they go, we don’t know what to do with the space.

Happy Birthday, Tiger. I love you. And thank you for being my friend. You’re a fine man.

Why I Cried and Made My Bed

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I cried this morning. At work. Tears of shame.

Every day when I get to work, I go through a thirty-minute routine. I write down the 3 things I want to accomplish that day. I write down my appointments. I write down a one-sentence prayer. I copy a quote to guide me. With the time remaining, I learn one new thing.

Today that one thing I learned was humbling. Shameful, actually.

I found a video of a commencement speech by Admiral William H. McRaven, USN, at University of Texas-Austin. Admiral McRaven’s title is Commander, US Special Forces Command. He’s the HMFIC of the Navy SEALs. He gave a short speech, which I’ve embedded below. He told the Class of 2014 how to change the world in 10 easy steps.

Stupid people don’t make Admiral. Misguided people don’t make SEAL. Admiral McRaven’s frist tip on changing the world is so simple and so obvious only a brilliant man with impeccable bearing could recognize it.

Here’s the transcript of the first tip, via Business Insider:

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.

If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

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I didn’t make the bed this morning. And, yes, I was the last one up.

Over the years, I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving the bed unmade. No one ever sees it. Who cares?

When I heard Admiral McRaven’s reason for making the bed every day, I cried. I’m worthless. I’m too lazy to make a bed? Seriously?

I watched the rest of Admiral McRaven’s incredible speech. The best commencement speech I’ve ever seen Ever. I watched it again. I cried more. Admiral McRaven needed only about 10 minutes to expose every one of my character flaws.

Yesterday, I wrote about things I did wrong with the Tea Party in the last five years. Today, Admiral McRaven told me why I did them wrong. I got sloppy. I turned my back on what I learned in boot camp in Orlando, Florida, in 1985.

So I came home from work and made the bed. I made the bed before I changed clothes, worked out, read the mail, or worked in the yard.

Of all the countless things I’ve done wrong in my life–all things I should cry about and ask forgiveness–I’d never have guessed that making the bed would make me cry.

Only a brilliant warrior-leader could point out the enormity of such a seemingly tiny flaw.

Thank you, Admiral McRaven.

Here’s the video: