O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Whether sung by a talented artist with the Star Spangled Banner or recited by me or others in a reading of Francis Scott Key’s poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry,” that phrase brings chill bumps to my skin. I learned at a young age that those words meant something. My Dad used to tell me stories about his Uncle David, a man he never knew because Uncle David lost his life in North Africa in WWII when my Dad was about 2 years old. Even though my Dad has never stated a reason, I’ve always felt the stories my Dad heard from his Dad about his brother is the reason why my Dad began using his middle name of David instead of his given first name.
In the Hungarian Settlement there were many WWII Veterans during my childhood. Some had served in the European Theater and others in the Pacific. They talked about what they saw, heard, and felt, but they politely declined to talk about what they had done beyond a general dictionary like description. I remember being with a friend in high school when his Grandfather passed away. He was helping his Mom organize her Dad’s belongings at his house a few days following the funeral. We found his Grandfather’s strongbox inside the old cedar chest inside a bedroom closet. Opening the locked box was not a problem as his Grandfather used Duck tape to attach the key to the underside. Military decorations filled that box. Neither my friend nor his Mom had ever heard anything beyond where he served and “I did what I had to do.” One of the men who acted as an honorary pallbearer at the funeral told us my friend’s Grandfather and his courage and bravery in battle. The pronounced limp that we had been told happened from a car wreck actually represented 1 of the Purple Hearts and 1 Star as the limp resulted from a souvenir obtained by single handedly taking out a machine gunners nest while his squad was pinned down.
I learned about the free and the brave in Livingston Parish. I saw these men and women as they were as senior citizens, you know my generation’s grandparents. I sat inside that strawberry packing shed and heard the bits and pieces of information the men had learned about events in Hungary in 1956. Some had been born in Hungary and others like my Grandfather and his twin brother here in the United States. Whether born here or later naturalized like my Grandmother, these people were Americans who believed and lived that concept of free and brave.
Today I began reflecting on what they might say if they still walked this Earth.
What transpired in the House of Representatives today was appalling.
Put aside any of this liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, or whatever label BS.
The crux of the matter is whether or not you believe that unlimited amounts of anonymous should be allowed to influence elections and legislation.
Is politics some type of social welfare or charity or is it a service which is often accompanied with being a for profit job?
Profiling did take place. We know today that this “scrutiny” was more widespread than first thought. We also know that with all the groups seeking the “nonprofit” tax exempt 501(c)(4) status that some type of automation would be necessary in the approval process. Both so called liberal and conservative groups got flagged. Personally, my issue is that all were not flagged and required to produce “proof” that they are primarily social organizations and not some covert operatives.
A self proclaimed “conservative” rag posted images of these slides from Darrell Issa today.
This rag also posted several derogatory and sadly racist photos and comments concerning Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (MD-7) which I will not spread.
Yes, Lois Lerner took the 5th when asked “what was the problem?”
Mr. Chairman, the National Taxpayer Advocate in its reports to Congress and reports from the IRS and others clearly specified the problem. The tax code is vague in reference to 501(c)(4) groups and neither the personnel on the IRS payroll or the system as it is currently running can handle the ever increasing amount of work. If I or anyone reading this called the IRS as an individual how quickly do you think we are able to get assistance? With the tax code that Congress refuses to look at an honest man can’t know if he paid all of his tax liabilities. Since honest confuses many politicians think in these terms. I crook and a cheat cannot know if they have used all of the loopholes and regulations to maximize their ill gotten gains.
This matter is very dangerous regardless of if you side with the Tea Party or not. Call it a Tea Party matter, and IRS matter, blame Bush, blame Obama, or any blasted title. The matter is dangerous because the Supreme Court opened the door with Citizens and Congress doesn’t give a dang about entities funded by anonymous sources who are even beyond sight of merely “lurking in the shadows” are able to significantly influence elections and legislation.
How in the heck is that acceptable in the home of the brave? It sure as heck gives a new meaning to land of the free in that free means tax exempt for people too scared to make themselves known. They can’t even toss their own mud from the shadows, and some feel it is brave for them to buy people to fling that mud from depths of darkness? That doesn’t give me chills but burns me up.
What none of the media outlets or pundits will tell you is that all the information is already available to anyone willing to do just a little reading instead of relying upon others to voice opinions to repeat. We do provide links to the primary sources for readers to read and interpret for themselves. We’re not looking for likes or blind followers, but hope that people will try to think things out and view events from multiple perspectives to see both the pleasant and unpleasant.