Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Russian moves

Russian LR bombers in Cuba
Izvestia has quoted an unnamed high-ranking Russian air force official as saying that long-range nuclear-capable Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers could be deployed to Cuba if the United States deploys an anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe. “While they are deploying the ABM system in Poland and the Czech Republic, our long-range strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba,” Izvestia quoted the source as saying.



Venezuela asks for Russian bases
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he would welcome Russian military bases in his country, reports. “Russia has sufficient resources to provide for its presence in various parts of the world,” he told reporters in Moscow when asked about the possibility of Russia having bases in Venezuela. “We will raise flags; we will be beating drums and singing songs, because our allies, with whom we have a common vision of the world, will be coming.” According to the BBC, Chavez called for a strategic alliance with Russia to protect Venezuela from the U.S., while President Dmitry Medvedev said three Russian energy companies will be allowed to operate in Venezuela but gave no details of an anticipated arms deal between the two countries.

Nudging Felons To Vote?
This week, the Washington Post reported that a number of organizations—the ACLU and the NAACP among them—are leading a nationwide push to get as many felons registered to vote as possible. You read that right—felons, not ex-cons, but current inmates. The Post noted that in Ohio, "The NAACP will hold a voter-registration day at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland this month to register 'people caught up in the criminal justice system.'" And in California, activists will be at the jails tomorrow to "register people visiting prisoners and encourage them to take registration cards to their incarcerated friends or family members, some of whom can legally vote."

I've heard of all kinds of voter registration efforts, but this could be the first time there’s been a coordinated effort aimed specifically at those behind bars. And I hope it will be a wake-up call to men and women of faith. The Left is energized in a way I have not seen since the ‘60s. What about you? Have you contacted friends and family members to find out whether they are registered to vote? Are you registered to vote? If not, please visit our website at today. Defend your values. Make your voice heard. Vote!

Honoring Our Heroes
Earlier this year, a presidential candidate made headlines for mocking the values of small town Americans, telling an audience in San Francisco that heartland folks "cling" to their faith and guns out of "bitterness." Thankfully, some of our young men and women are willing to pick up their guns, not out of bitterness, but out of love for God and Country. This week, one of America's fallen heroes, Sgt. Ryan Baumann, came home and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. According to his mother, Ryan decided to join the Army after 9/11 because "he wanted to do everything he could for his country." Ryan died in Afghanistan on August 1st when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Lauren Smith, his fiancée, said it was her understanding that Ryan saw the bomb and steered his Humvee so that his side of the vehicle took the brunt of the blast. Everyone else in the vehicle survived.

Like all the courageous men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces, Ryan Baumann was an incredible person. And an incredible thing happened as his family made the trip to Arlington National Cemetery this week. According to one news report, "In Southern Maryland, residents lined the procession route from funeral services earlier in the morning in Leonardtown to the cemetery in Arlington County. Thousands turned out along Route 5 in Leonardtown to pay their respects." I confess that there are moments when I turn on the television and listen to the rhetoric of leftwing politicians, and Code Pink, and hear the liberal media parrot back the latest leftwing talking points and I fear for the future of our country and worry about the nation and culture that my children will inherent. But so long as America is still capable of producing heroes like Sgt. Ryan Baumann and so long as thousands are willing to stand in the August sun to pay their last respects, I will have hope, and my courage to fight on will be renewed. May yours be too!

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