In Praise of Raptors

Fellow Illini alumn Michael Fumento delivers a pithy defense of the F-22 Raptor combat aircraft in the Defense News this week.

The Russia bear has awakened from hibernation to rebuild its lost empire. China continues its inexorable military expansion. Iran desperately wants The Bomb, while North Korea revels in unpredictability. Yes, Virginia, we really do have potential enemies with weapons other than AKs and IEDs. We desperately need far more F-22 Raptors — preferably to prevent wars but if need be to win them.

Fumento is a veteran and has reported extensively from Iraq the last few years.  I never thought I’d see him agree with Teddy Kennedy, well, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

 

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Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln

[Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President, looking at a photo album with his son, Tad Lincoln, Feb. 9, 1864] (LOC)

Abraham Lincoln was one of my first heroes.  Growing up in the rural Midwest, he was a man of my people.  As a young conservative, he was the founding father of the Republican Party.  As an American, he was the man my ancestors fought for—the man who saved the Union.

Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places…. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.

Abraham Lincoln, 1855

The man and and the myth of Honest Abe Lincoln is as valid today as it ever has been.  Any one of us can raise ourselves up from nothing to become President of this great nation.  We can say what we will and do what we will.  We can try new things, fail and live to try again another day.  We each have the right and responsibility to serve a purpose greater than ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809.  So far we have come in 200 years.  So far we have yet to go.

Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work—work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.

President Reagan’s First Inaugural Address

President Ronald W. Reagan would have been 98 years old today.  Rest in Peace and may we once again find “willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us”.

Vigilantes 1864

 Vigilantes at Bannack 2001

Vigilantes 1864

Cold cruel winds blow down intent

upon the Bannack mining camp.

Just days before an Innocent

had spilled his guts, the saddle tramp

Told one and all:  the Road Agents

were sheriff’s men, which none could trump.

In Virginia, Nevada, all up Alder Gulch,

Catholic and Mason, from South and from North,

Stormed forth the Committee for Vigilance-

defend their homes, they swore the oath.

‘Cross rivers frozen and sagebrush adrift,

a vision, revelation, to the very last pale horse.

Come ghosts of the hundred murdered before.

Come Deputy Ray, you will kill no more.

Come Deputy Stinson, leave your saloon whore.

Come damned Sheriff Plummer, let us finish this chore.

Come dance in the gallows, plead for your souls.

Come peace to Montana, 10 January 1864.

 

(c) jcs 18.01.01

Reposted in honor of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada, this week. Bannack became first capital of Montana Territory on May 26, 1864.