Tag Archives: America

In The Garden of Beasts and America’s Role in Confronting Evil in the World

I just finished Erik Larson’s 2011 “In the Garden of Beasts” an extraordinary work of “narrative nonfiction”— a meticulously researched nonfiction novel—the accurately reported history of the rise to power in Germany of Hitler and the Nazi party.  For those who ask, “How could Hitler and his followers have attained such absolute power, committed such atrocities (even in the early and mid 1930’s), and led Germany and Europe (and eventually the United States, as well) into World War II—how could the World have allowed this to happen” this book provide clear but intricate answers.

 

It begins in 1933 when William Dodd, a college professor is appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as our first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany.  As he settles into his ambassadorship in Berlin with his wife and adult daughter and son, he begins to see the persecution of Germany’s Jews and assaults on even those Jews who had bravely fought for Germany in the previous World War.  He sees attacks on the press and censorship of those who dared to express criticism directed against Hitler and the Nazi regime.  He sees laws created to restrict the activities and movement of Jews, to remove Jews from their jobs and to seize their property.   He sees the arrest of dissidents and the assignment to concentration camps of those who protest the government’s policies, of communists, of Jews.  We see Dodd’s increasing alarm about Germany’s rearming and militarization—breaking the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I.  As I try to ask myself why did the United States and President Roosevelt (a President for whom I generally offer fulsome praise for his progressive social programs)—why did they, why did WE not intervene to stop Hitler’s ascension to power, his horrific atrocities?  Why did we allow or choose to ignore the horror, the terror, the blood which was clearly on his hands and which was a part of his master plan for the Third Reich, for Europe, and the world entire?

 

From my understanding of the book, it seems that the answers to those absolutely essential questions are both numerous and varied, but can be distilled into these basic conclusions

 

  1. Our government was reconciled to trying to maintain a positive relationship with Germany and to not upset its leaders with blatant criticism.

 

  1. The United States government was hoping to recoup the war debt and reparations that Germany owed to the United States’ European allies and to our country itself.

 

  1. There was a strong mood of isolationism in the United States, a feeling that we should not get involved in the affairs of state in other countries.

 

  1. There was a tendency to ignore preliminary restrictions and acts of oppression or violence in 1932-1934 refusing to realize that these insults to civilized behavior would lead to even more extreme actions of violence and inhumanity in the years to follow.

 

  1. There was a subtle and at times not-so-subtle anti-Semitic tendency among some in American society and government who while appreciating the contributions of Jews to the fields of medicine, law, business, and government, also felt that there were too many Jews who were rising to positions of prominence in those areas. This allowed some Americans to in some ways empathize with what some in Germany referred to as their “Jewish problem” even as those same Americans may have disapproved of the specific actions the Germans were taking against Jews.

 

  1. In addition, since the U.S. was in the middle of an economic crisis that began with Black Friday in 1929 and continued through the 1930’s with the Great Depression some Americans also empathized with the poor economic situation in Germany, and seemed be willing to allow Germany to take steps to shore up its economy—even if it meant scapegoating Jews and other groups.

 

  1. There were members of the U.S. Government who were concerned that if President Roosevelt issued a strong statement about Germany’s unfair and horrifying treatment of Jews, then that might open up an “acrimonious discussion” with the German government in which they might ask the President to explain why Black Americans still did not have voting rights, or why lynchings of Black Americans were not prevented or severely punished, or why anti-Semitic feelings in the U..S seemed to be growing and were not “checked,”

 

  1. There was a feeling among some that intervention would make things even worse for the victims of the Nazi regime–that the German people would eventually see Hitler and his henchmen for what they truly were and would remove the “fuhrer” and the Nazi party from power on their own.

 

  1. There was an aura of incredulity, a disbelief that these outrageous acts—these crimes against humanity—could actually occur in such a civilized country as Germany—the home of Goethe and Brecht, the land of Bach, Beethoven, Handel, and Brahms.

 

For all these reasons, and perhaps for other reasons that I have not yet divined, the United States (as well as a number of European countries) either ignored what was happening, protested too mildly, or chose not to involve themselves fully until it was too late and Hitler had obtained absolute power and until Hitler, Goring, Himmler, Goebbels, and Bormann were well underway in their attempts to perpetrate the “final solution” and to bring about a master Aryan race that would rule Europe and eventually the world.

 

And so, you may ask, is this merely a book review—a critique of a fascinating work of history that reads as a novel—which mixes the raw facts of Hitler’s rise to power with the equally factual story of an ambassador’s family, the unending series of diplomatic events and parties, and the numerous romantic dalliances of their adult daughter?  Absolutely not; my intentions are so much more than that.

 

During the entire course of reading this book, I became alarmed about the parallels that I see in modern American and world society.  We are all, of course, fully familiar with the following two quotations that are two of the most often quoted lines in modern times.  The first by Philosopher George Santayana:  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And the second, by  Author and Statesman Edmund Burke:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox seems to echo these same sentiments in her oft quoted line (often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln) “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”  For these reasons, I feel that it is incumbent upon me and upon all those who are committed to a caring, civilized society to speak out.

 

My first concern is the attacks that I see nearly every day on the press and the media as a whole.  These attacks were as much a part of Nazi Germany as they have been at the heart of any totalitarian regime in modern times. The attempts of the current administration to label all print, television, radio, and internet criticism as fake news is deplorable.  Reports that are fastidiously researched and confirmed from multiple sources by major news organizations like the Washington Post and CNN News are routinely dismissed as hit jobs or fake news.  Is there, in fact, such a thing as “fake news”?  Yes, it is that which often appears on the internet from unreliable facebook or other sites which can easily be proven false by a 5-10 minute google search and the realization that a particular questionable item is not reported by any reliable news source—not the Associated Press, not Reuter’s News Service, not the NY Times, not the Washington Post, not any of the major TV news stations (ABC, NBC, CBS), not CNN.  The role of the press—especially in a society such as our which provides for freedom of the press as one of the major tenets of our democracy is not merely to serve as a device which trumpets the daily news, not merely to serve as a chronicler of all it observes, but also as a watchdog for government—to report on government, ethics excesses, and abuses of power.  It cannot fulfill that function in the necessary manner if it is constantly under attack by this administration both when such attacks come from the White House or from the President overseas at the G20 Summit.

 

My second area of concern is in our Government’s attitude toward and actions with regard to autocratic world leaders like Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and North Korea’s “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un.

 

In 2014, Putin and Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine and annexed it. Also in 2014, Putin and Russia were blamed for shooting down a Malaysian jet, killing all 298 civilians on board.   In 2016, Putin and Russia worked to destabilize the U.S. by meddling in our elections.  The President this week twice “pressed” Putin on the matter but then apparently accepted his denials.  He did not lay out the significant proof from every one of our intelligence agencies who investigated the hacking.  He apparently did not say that “Here is the evidence; here are the consequences for your actions; and here are the consequences if you dare to interfere in our elections in the future.”  In fact, he said on camera that it was “an honor” to meet President Putin—this depot who had imprisoned and put to death journalists and dissidents who criticized his policies.  In fact, just today it was announced that the “U.S. and Russia would launch a bilateral working group that included a focus on cyber-security.”  This would be like the proverbial naiveté of asking the fox to guard the henhouse. The former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO, Jim Townsend noted, “If the Russians want to coordinate with us on cyber-security it’s likely an operation to do intelligence gathering.”  Florida Senator Marco Rubio (a Republican) said today that “Partnering with Putin on a ‘Cyber Security Unit’ is akin to partnering with Assad on a “Chemical Weapons Unit.”  The major question we need to answer is “How much should we be cooperating with President Putin, and how much—on the other hand—should we be opposing him”?

 

Another dictator whose actions need our attention is Bashir al-Assad.  In April of this year, Assad was responsible for an action which received the condemnation of the entire world as over 80 people were killed and hundreds seriously impacted in a chemical weapons attack in Northwestern Syria.  Less than a month ago, the U.S. learned that Syria’s Assad may be preparing a new chemical weapons attack that would result in “mass murder” of civilians.  Are we doing enough to protect not only Syria’s own people from this tyrant, but also to protect the rest of the world from him?

 

Finally, just this month, our nation and the world was confronted with the successful launch of North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile—powerful enough to reach the Alaska in the United States, and possibly even the western coast of the U.S.A.—California, Oregon, Washington.  How long will it be until  Kim Jong-un develops a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can be attached to an ICBM that can reach our nation?  Will we wait on the sidelines for that to happen?  Will increased sanctions sufficiently deter this rogue nation and its supreme leader?  Can anything short of force—can anything short of war curb Kim Jong-un’s bellicose rhetoric and hostile actions?

 

These are the questions that continue to plague not only me, but also our country’s leaders.  Will we learn from the past, or continue to repeat the mistakes that permitted Hitler and Nazi Germany to create a regime of blood and violence that resulted in a world war in which  50 to 80 million people were killed, in which 6 million Jews were murdered, in which 6 million Poles, gypsies, communists, homosexuals, and disabled persons were murdered?  Will we allow evil to triumph, while good people stand by and do nothing — or simply do not do ENOUGH?  These are the questions of our times, and Larson’s superb book “In the Garden of Beasts” is a lesson in the results of allowing evil to exist, to grow, and to impact the world in ways that still stagger the imagination even as they assault all our notions of decency and humanity.

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A Call for HONESTY in Presidential Politics on Facebook

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: Phony Memes, Photoshopped Photos, and False Tweets

A FACEBOOK POLITICAL POST THAT MAKES SENSE —

NO MATTER WHICH CANDIDATE YOU ARE SUPPORTING!

Did Hillary Clinton REALLY say, “The average Democrat voter is just plain stupid”? Did Bernie Sanders really say, “My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism”? Did Donald Trump once call Republicans “the dumbest group of voters in the country”? Did Ted Cruz really hug Fidel Castro? Is that photo of Marco Rubio shaking hands with President Obama while signing a trade deal real”? Did Hillary Clinton really shake hands with Bin Laden, like that picture I saw on the internet? Did Ted Cruz really say, “When gays stayed hidden we had no mass murders”? Did Obama really order that the words “Under God” be removed from the “Pledge of Allegiance”?

The answer to ALL of the above questions is NO — absolutely NOT!

All of the above quotations were placed on actual facebook memes which were shared thousands and thousands of times, and if you check each one out on a fact-checking site like Snopes.com or politifact.com, you will find that they are all FALSE, all FAKE.

Can I please ask for YOUR help? Can you help me to get rid of phony memes on facebook? I am getting so tired of seeing people post absolutely FALSE and PHONY political memes on facebook, as well as phony photoshopped photos of political candidates. No matter WHO you support, this is absolutely WRONG! Please, before you share some political poster–especially one with a candidate saying something that sounds absolutely outrageous, please CHECK IT OUT FIRST!!! You can simply google the quote by asking something like this: “Did (Candidate’s Name) actually say, “……..”? Usually, that search will show you a Snopes article (Snopes is a neutral and respected fact-checker) demonstrating to you that the quotation is FALSE (though on rare occasions, it may show that it is true).

This primaries and the national Presidential election in November is absolutely crucial toward our county’s future–and perhaps the world’s future, as well. Nearly ALL of us believe that–no matter what candidate we support. What I am asking is for us all to rely just as much as we can on FACTS in supporting our candidates. If you attack the positions of another candidate, please use carefully checked FACTS in doing so. Even if you feel you must attack the character of another candidate, please do so in a civil way, and use FACTS.

And just because you found it on someone’s Republican website, or Democratic website, or Tea Party website, DOESN’T mean it is TRUE. Try to check it out with the most reputable source that you can—not some left-leaning OR right-leaning website. Look for sources (like Politifact or Snopes or maybe CNN which are generally given credit for trying to maintain neutrality). I know some of you may disagree with those sources I mentioned, but just try to be sure it is generally respected as a neutral site for reporting FACTS. And if you find a friend or family member–or even a stranger–sharing something that seems outrageous, please check it out. If it proves to be false, don’t ignore it, please point out that it is false, and include the link that PROVES it is false.

Many of the memes, posters, and photos that are shown in the collage above were shared MILLIONS of times, and believed by the people who shared them AND who viewed them. We all have a responsibility to be sure to vote, and to make up our minds–to make our choice–based on FACTS. The choice for our country is far too important to believe falsehoods, half-truths, and outright lies.

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Mitchell R. Grosky Photography in Collaboration with Fashion Designer VIDA

ANNOUNCING  AN  EXCITING  NEW  VENTURE  FOR

MITCHELL R. GROSKY PHOTOGRAPHY!

Vida Header for Grosky

VIDA  FASHION  DESIGNS

Vida Voices

It has been an incredibly exciting week for me at Mitchell R. Grosky Photography.  Early this week I received an email from VIDA.  VIDA is a global partnership of creators–painters, illustrators, photographers, sculptors–pairing designers from around the world with makers in Pakistan and India in accordance with high ethical standards, to create original, beautiful products.  And the best part is that using part of the proceeds from the sales of the products, VIDA creates literacy programs for the makers, so that they have opportunities to learn reading, writing and basic math that they would not otherwise have.

Click HERE or on the photo below to view the “Vida Story.”

The Artist Manager at VIDA indicated that she had seen my photography and digital painting online (at Mitchell R. Grosky Photography and Fine Art America) and believed that it would “fit beautifully with the VIDA brand and design vision.”  In summary, they invited me to join their growing community of artists, which now includes a select group of illustrious multi-media artists from across the United States and around the world.

Although I have never thought of myself in any way as a fashion designer, I was still intrigued by the idea of my artwork being used as the foundation for high fashion clothing.  Naturally, I was flattered and excited to be invited to join a group of just 2000 artists worldwide in turning our work into high quality apparel like silk tops and accessories like modal scarves. However, when it comes to the Internet, I always like to do some careful research.  I read some really informative articles about VIDA, a Google-backed company that works with a selective group of artists from around the world, transforming their 2D artwork into luxury fashion and apparel products.  I saw some really positive media reviews on the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, TechCrunch, Fashionista, Fashion Times, and a few other magazines.

Vida founder Umaimah Mendhro told the magazine “Racked” that her goal at Vida is to “use technology in a way that would bridge the gap between designers, producers, and shoppers.  We believe there’s an overwhelming amount of choice. You want to go to a place where every single piece will be beautiful and fit your aesthetic.”

Racked “reports that in order to “create that aesthetic,” Vida collaborates with artists, painters, photographers, and designers from around the world to create unique and beautiful modal scarves, silk sleeveless tops, and silk tees. Art work is loaded to a digital file, and Vida’s partner-factories digitally print the images onto fabric to fulfill orders

What got me really enthusiastic, however, was the chance to really do some good in the world with a socially-conscious company–at the same time as my designs were made into apparel which people could wear with style, grace and pride.  As I noted above, one of the best aspects of the program is that for every VIDA product sold, VIDA offers literacy programs–in reading, writing, and math–for the actual makers of the products, starting with the VIDA factories in Karachi, Pakistan.

And so, over the last couple of days, I have searched though the nearly 100,000 photos residing on my computer in order to find some that I thought would look best on beautiful scarves and lovely silk tops.  Now to be honest, my wife Anne, gave me some much needed advice, though my wife and daughter always tell me that I have a real knack for picking out beautiful clothes as gifts.  There are now four products up on the site, and if I sell at least three pre-orders of any item, VIDA will make the products.

The great news, at the time of writing this post, is one of my designs has already gone into production- the “Columbines in the Wild” design, based on a photograph which I captured of columbines on a path leading to the Quabbin Reservoir.

There’s still time to purchase one of my first four designs. As mentioned, the “Columbines in the Wild” scarf is definitely going to be produced. With the other 3 designs, there is a time period of seven days to pre-order. I have to make a minimum of 3 pre-orders of each design for it to go into production.

I’m really thrilled to offer this brand new collection to you! Please pop on over to my Mitchell R. Grosky ShopVida website to view the collection.  As an incentive for new customers, Vida is offering 20 percent off your first order when you sign up.  and use the coupon code VOICES to get 25% off (that’s just $30 for each scarf).  As an added incentive VIDA ships absolutely FREE if you buy any TWO items or if you spend a total of $75 dollars.  That makes these modal scarves and silk tops incredibly reasonable!   Remember, pre-orders are only available for another 7 days.

Here are the images I chose.

Columbines in the Wild — Modal Scarf

1-Columbine Paint Full size

The beauty of wildflowers bordering the Quabbin Reservoir is the inspiration for this light and luxurious scarf.   Featuring the photography and digital painting of Mitchell R. Grosky, this lovely scarf adds the perfect finishing touch to your wardrobe– glorious columbines lighting up this path leading to the Quabbin Reservoir in Central Massachusetts.

Columbine Model

This scarf is made out of 100% Micro­Modal® by Lenz­ing, a lux­u­ri­ously soft botanic silk fab­ric made out of Euro­pean beech­wood. Because of modal’s botanic ori­gin, it is par­tic­u­larly eco-friendly and its fine­ness is com­pa­ra­ble to that of nat­ural silk. Micro­Modal® offers a soft, beau­ti­ful sheen, with col­ors that are bright and vibrant.

The com­pletely nat­ural fiber of this scarf is made in a fully inte­grated facil­ity in Aus­tria, opti­mized for pro­duc­tion syn­er­gies and energy con­ser­va­tion by using eco-friendly pro­duc­tion processes. The fab­ric is woven in a small fac­tory in Pak­istan. VIDA col­lab­o­rates with the owner and work­ers of this fac­tory to pro­duce the per­fect thread-count and weave for opti­mal soft­ness and sheen.

AND …these scarves are huge! They are more like shawls. Because of the hand­made process, they range in size from 24.5” – 25”  x 76” –77.

Each piece is uniquely designed and custom-printed, and may vary slightly upon receipt. If pre-order goal(s) are met, item(s) will be shipped 30-60 days after the pre-order window closes, which may vary by product.  Your credit card will be refunded the full amount for any product(s) that do not meet the pre-order goal.

Nubble Light Seascape — Modal Scarf

One of America’s most-beloved lighthouses is the inspiration for this beautiful scarf.   Featuring the photography of Mitchell R. Grosky, the scarf depicts waves crashing powerfully on craggy rocks just in front of York, Maine’s Nubble Light.   Made with soft, luxurious fabric, this scarf will add a bold, modern statement to any wardrobe.

1-Nubble Light final saturated

This scarf is made out of 100% Micro­Modal® by Lenz­ing, a lux­u­ri­ously soft botanic silk fab­ric made out of Euro­pean beech­wood. Because of modal’s botanic ori­gin, it is par­tic­u­larly eco-friendly and its fine­ness is com­pa­ra­ble to that of nat­ural silk. Micro­Modal® offers a soft, beau­ti­ful sheen, with col­ors that are bright and vibrant.

Nubble Model

The com­pletely nat­ural fiber of this scarf is made in a fully inte­grated facil­ity in Aus­tria, opti­mized for pro­duc­tion syn­er­gies and energy con­ser­va­tion by using eco-friendly pro­duc­tion processes. The fab­ric is woven in a small fac­tory in Pak­istan. VIDA col­lab­o­rates with the owner and work­ers of this fac­tory to pro­duce the per­fect thread-count and weave for opti­mal soft­ness and sheen.

AND …these scarves are huge! They are more like shawls. Because of the hand­made process, they range in size from 24.5” – 25”  x 76” –77.

Each piece is uniquely designed and custom-printed, and may vary slightly upon receipt. If pre-order goal(s) are met, item(s) will be shipped 30-60 days after the pre-order window closes, which may vary by product.  Your credit card will be refunded the full amount for any product(s) that do not meet the pre-order goal.

Boston Harbor — Sleeveless Silk Top

The magnificent, picturesque Boston Seaport is the inspiration for this lovely silk top.

2-Boston Harbor Canvas 16x20 paint

Cut with a flattering A-line and a rounded asymmetric hem, this silk top features the photography and digital painting of Mitchell R. Grosky.  It strikingly showcases the natural beauty of the Boston Seaport along with the magnificence of the Boston skyline, and will make you look and feel effortlessly beautiful – day or night.

Boston Harbor Model

Each piece is uniquely designed and custom-printed, and may vary slightly upon receipt. If pre-order goal(s) are met, item(s) will be shipped 30-60 days after the pre-order window closes, which may vary by product.  Your credit card will be refunded the full amount for any product(s) that do not meet the pre-order goal.

Siz­ing Chart for the silk tops are as fol­lows.
Note: tops fit true to size but a drapey cut — please size down if you pre­fer a snug fit.
Point of Mea­sure­ments
Small: Bust — 32″, Hips “38” (US Size 0–2)
Medium: Bust — 34″, Hips “39” (US Size 4–6)
Large: Bust — 38″, Hips 40″ (US Size 8–10)

 

Kansas Sunflowers — Modal Scarf

The vibrant beauty of sunflowers is the inspiration for this beautiful, luxurious scarf.  Featuring the paintography of Mitchell R. Grosky, this lovely scarf depicts the bright, vivid colors of a field of Kansas sunflowers,  and would be a delightful accessory for any wardrobe.

1-e Flowers Paint

This scarf is made out of 100% Micro­Modal® by Lenz­ing, a lux­u­ri­ously soft botanic silk fab­ric made out of Euro­pean beech­wood. Because of modal’s botanic ori­gin, it is par­tic­u­larly eco-friendly and its fine­ness is com­pa­ra­ble to that of nat­ural silk. Micro­Modal® offers a soft, beau­ti­ful sheen, with col­ors that are bright and vibrant.

Sunflower Model

The com­pletely nat­ural fiber of this scarf is made in a fully inte­grated facil­ity in Aus­tria, opti­mized for pro­duc­tion syn­er­gies and energy con­ser­va­tion by using eco-friendly pro­duc­tion processes. The fab­ric is woven in a small fac­tory in Pak­istan. VIDA col­lab­o­rates with the owner and work­ers of this fac­tory to pro­duce the per­fect thread-count and weave for opti­mal soft­ness and sheen.

AND …these scarves are huge! They are more like shawls. Because of the hand­made process, they range in size from 24.5” – 25”  x 76” –77.

Each piece is uniquely designed and custom-printed, and may vary slightly upon receipt. If pre-order goal(s) are met, item(s) will be shipped 30-60 days after the pre-order window closes, which may vary by product.  Your credit card will be refunded the full amount for any product(s) that do not meet the pre-order goal.

It is a privilege for me to introduce this lovely collection to you.  Simply CLICK HERE to buy any one (or more!) of these scarves and lucious silk shirts, and don’t for­get to include coupon code VOICES to get 25% off (that’s just $30 for each of these lovely scarves–and $56.25 for a beautiful silk top!  Please help me to spread the word by shar­ing this post with your friends and fam­ily through social media or in per­son.

I really feel that these high fashion scarves and tops would make an absolutely gorgeous gift for a special person in your life. And when was the last time you bought something gorgeous just for yourself?  You know you deserve it!  Remember, the pre-order period expires just one week from today! Please check out my new Vida Voices fashion line at shopvida.com

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In Memory of President John F. Kennedy

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I was there–in Texas–no, not in Dallas, but in Austin, the next stop on President Kennedy’s trip through Texas. I was 12 years old then, and I not only deeply respected John Fitzgerald Kennedy as our nation’s President, but I truly believed that I loved him, as well, as a young, vibrant leader who would lead us into both the outer reaches of space as well as into a new prosperity in America. In my young, idealistic innocent mind and heart, he would almost singlehandedly lead us into a more kind, more just nation and world. The poverty of which I was just becoming aware would be no more. The prejudice and racism which I saw when I stared at the separate water fountains and restrooms at the pro wrestling (rasslin’) matches I attended monthly would dissipate and then vanish altogether–vestiges of another time and place as the new age of Camelot convinced so many of us that there really was a shining city and fleeting wisps of glory to come.

I was in seventh grade then—in junior high, and we were so excited, so absolutely thrilled to be getting out of school early to go to the parade in downtown Austin–the parade in which our President would smile that broad smile of his and offer us all a friendly, energetic wave–the parade which was–tragically–never to be. My brother Geoff–one year my junior (and my best friend, as well)–was the first to sense that something was amiss. As Austin was the capital city of Texas, Geoff was privileged to have Governor John Connally’s son in his sixth grade class, and when young Mark Connally was called suddenly and urgently from class, there was a sense that something was definitely wrong.

Hearing the news, I was stunned—we ALL were stunned and shocked and grief-stricken–beyond my ability to describe it. Dismissed early, we all went home to watch the tragedy unfold on the national news—black and white TV–but burned into our consciousness–believe me–in living color.

I remember the depth of emotion I felt in the days to come–the overwhelming sadness and despair–as we watched the assassin himself killed and then the funeral procession for the President, the salute by John-John, and then shared sad, bitter tears in the realization that not only was President Kennedy gone, but that somehow, things would never be the same again.

As a twelve-year-old who loved to write, my grief flowed from an aching heart just as surely and continuously as the ink in the cartridge pens we used in that day. I wrote the following words:

THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
by Mitchell R. Grosky

Our leader has departed–
His heart, his soul gone too.
His memory will long remain
in everything we do.

Our lives, our dreams were shattered
on this outrageous day.
Our eyes are filled with tears;
Our President’s passed away.

He tried so hard for freedom–
for rights for one and all.
He tried to keep us happy;
How could this great man fall?

He tried to make our country
greater than ever before.
He tried to do all this.
Yet hatred sealed the door.

It was a beautiful morning–
More beautiful than ever before.
No one knew or had any idea
of what Fate held in store.

Suddenly three shots rang out,
and hit him in the head.
A short time afterwards,
our President was dead.

It must have been a madman
to do a thing like this!
His aim was sharp and careful;
His bullet did not miss.

An unforgivable act
was carried out this day.
The world is deep in sorrow;
our President’s passed away.

I remember the poem word for word, as my beloved mother had me repeat it verbatim so many times over the years for our relatives and her friends. As a retired English teacher, I look back at it with mixed feelings–the forced rhyme and curious, childlike wording all too evident to someone who spent his life focusing on the power and beauty of the written word.

Yet, as I recite the words once more–as I–and all of us–acknowledge the passing of 50 years since our President’s death, my eyes once again fill with the tears of a future that was never to be–of a President who though imperfect in many ways–still made us believe in ourselves and in a better America and a better world.

I think that I was raised to believe that we all must do our parts to make the world a better place, but–looking back–maybe it was this particular time in my life–this oh-so-sad time–that forced me to finally look in the mirror and to face a solemn truth. Perhaps that was the time that I first saw and accepted that it was OUR job–MY job and that of my three brothers and one sister–and all my friends who were growing all-too-quickly toward adulthood…..that it was our job to do something good and kind and decent–maybe even noble with our lives. The world should be a better place because one has lived–that’s the way one person said it.

That was the lesson I learned from one of the saddest days in my life–that we can–and we MUST–make a difference.

Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

Whether Camelot was real,
or just was an illusion,
I can tell you that it was real
in the mind of this 12-year-old boy.
And so…
So many years later,
I thank President Kennedy for leaving that lesson–
that message to me
and to so many others throughout the world.

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Filed under American Society, Politics, Tributes, Uncategorized, World

Those Angry Bird Republicans!

Have you ever played Angry Birds?  You know,  that famous game that almost everyone seems to be playing on their iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, Kindle Fires, and Nooks. Well, I contend that the Republican Presidential Candidates are acting like those Angry Birds.  If you don’t know the game, here’s the backstory:  apparently some pigs have stolen the eggs of the birds, so now they are really angry.  To get them back  (Don’t laugh; this is true!) —they launch themselves via giant slingshot at the pigs in an attempt to destroy the pigs and get their eggs back.  See, (to follow the analogy) the Republicans see Barack Obama as having stolen something they once owned–the Presidency, and they furiously and persistently  aim to get it back.  What’s curious, however, is instead of launching themselves at the President (though they occasionally do that, as well) they seem to be attacking one another on a more regular basis.  Though instead of attacking President Obama, they’re attacking one another–fellow Republicans.  This of course, violates former President Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

What are the Republicans saying about each other?  Well, I scoured the Internet, and watched about 5-6 Republican debates over the last month or so (including the final two, yesterday and today)  Here are the results:

ATTACKS  ON  RICK  SANTORUM:

Rick Perry –Jan 2–In an interview with MSNBC, Perry said Santorum is a “serial pork-barrel earmarker” who has “proven he can’t win races.”

Mitt Romney—-Like Speaker Gingrich, Sen. Santorum has spent his career in government, in Washington,” Romney said during an event Saturday night in Atlantic, Iowa. “Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a very different background than I have.”

Michelle Bachman attacks Santorum—Jan. 1 ABC News

If you look at the spending issue, Sen. Santorum voted for the bridge to nowhere,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Santorum has stood for earmarks, stood for spending.”

Rick Perry attacks Santorum “Why was it important to vote for a Montana Sheep Institute?” Gov. Rick Perry said on “Fox News Sunday.

Jan2, 2012—Paul against Santorum–Before a rally at the Marriott hotel here, Paul charged that Santorum is “very liberal” because of his votes in Congress. “He spends too much money,” the Texas congressman said.

Jan 7—Paul attacks Santorum

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Paul, let’s stay on the issue of records. You’ve got a new ad up in South Carolina taking direct aim at Senator Santorum. You call him a corrupt — a corporate lobbyist, a Washington insider with a record of betrayal. You also call him corrupt in that ad.

Ron Paul–what really counts is his record. I mean, he’s a big government, big spending individual. Because, you know, he preached to the fact he wanted a balanced budget amendment but voted to raise the debt to five times. So he is a big government person.

Ron Paul—So you’re a big spender; that’s all there is to it. You’re a big-government conservative. And you don’t vote for, you know, right to work and these very important things. And that’s what weakens the economy. So to say you’re a conservative, I think, is a stretch. But you’ve convinced a lot of people of it, so somebody has to point out your record.

Ron Paul……back to Senator Santorum, you know, he ducks behind this — he’s for this balanced budget amendment, but voted five times to increase the national debt by trillions of dollars. This is what the whole Tea Party movement’s about…….When — I mean, government’s practically stopped over increasing the national debt. You did it five times. So what’s your excuse for that? That’s trillions of dollars. You kept this thing going.

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ATTACKS  ON  RON  PAUL

Dec. 28, 2011 –Assoc. Press—Attack by Romney and Perry against Paul

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on Wednesday assailed Republican presidential rival Ron Paul for saying the U.S. has no business bombing Iran to keep it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, drawing a sharp contrast with their rising rival as he returned to Iowa to campaign before the lead-off caucuses.

“One of the people running for president thinks it’s okay for Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said in this eastern Iowa city in response to a question from the audience. “I don’t.”

It was the first time Romney has challenged Paul directly since the Texas congressman jumped in polls. Neither Romney nor Perry, the Texas governor, named Paul, but the target was clear.

“You don’t have to vote for a candidate who will allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Because America will be next,” Perry said in Urbandale, reiterating a line of argument from a day earlier.

“I’m here to say: You have a choice,” Perry added

Newt Gingrich, called Ron Paul’s views “totally outside the mainstream of every decent American” during an interview with CNN.

Gingrich said the primary is giving voters a “choice between a populist supply side approach … and a much more timid Washington-centered approach that will not create jobs.”

Bachmann, She accused Perry of spending “27 years as a political insider.” He was a Texas legislator and agriculture commissioner before becoming governor in 2001.

Bachmann said Paul would be “dangerous as president” because of his hands-off views on national security.

Rick Santorum told an Iowa crowd “he blamed Paul for automated “robocalls” that claimed he was pro-abortion and against the Second Amendment, The Huffington Post reported, both stances the social conservative says he is against.

Tuesday morning on “Fox and Friends,” Santorum said “Ron Paul is disgusting” for being behind the calls.

Newt Gingrich attacks Paul–Newt Gingrich, who Paul has been aggressive in labeling a serial hypocrite in previous ads,  told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he could not support Paul if he won the Republican nomination, adding his “views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American.”

Michelle Bachman attacks Paul—  “Ron Paul doesn’t believe the government should protect the inst Dec. 17—Wash. Post–Spencer, Iowa—

Rick PerryDuring a midday campaign stop at an Italian restaurant, Perry accused Newt Gingrich of being the “granddaddy of earmarks” while he was House speaker. He also called Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) a hypocrite for condemning political gamesmanship while seeking federal funds for pet projects such as bike racks and “decorative street lights” in his district.

“For some people, earmarks have become an art form,” Perry said. “What we need is someone who will walk into Washington, D.C., and say no to all this special-interest funding.”

Rick Santorum—Jan. 8–Well, let me first address Congressman Paul, because the — the serious issue with Congressman Paul here is you’re right. He’s never really passed anything of any — any import.

And one of the — one of the reasons people like Congressman Paul is his economic plan. He’s never been able to accomplish any of that. He has no track record of being able to work together. He’s been out there on the — on the margins and has really been unsuccessful in — in working together with anybody to do anything.

The problem is that what Congressman Paul can do as commander-in- chief is he can on day one do what he says he wants to do, which is pull all our troops back out of seas, overseas, put them here in America, leave us in a — in a — in a situation where the world is now going to be created — huge amounts of vacuums all over the place, and have folks like China and Iran and others. …….

The problem with Congressman Paul is, all the things that Republicans like about him he can’t accomplish and all the things they’re worried about, he’ll do day one. And — and that’s the problem.

Rick Perry—Jan. 7– I mean, here’s what frustrates me, is that you go get the earmarks and then you vote against the bill? Now, I don’t know what they call that in other places, but, Congressman Paul, in Texas, we call that hypocrisy.

Newt Gingrich—Well, Dr. Paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false.

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ATTACKS  ON  NEWT  GINGRICH:

By MACKENZIE WEINGER 1/4/12 —Politico—Ron Paul on Gingrich

“Ron Paul came out swinging Wednesday against Newt Gingrich for calling him a dangerous candidate, dubbing Gingrich a chickenhawk who avoided the Vietnam War.”

“I don’t want to fight a war that’s unconstitutional and I’m the dangerous person? You know, when Newt Gingrich was called to service in the 1960s during the Vietnam era, guess what he thought about danger? He chickened out on that, he got deferments and didn’t even go,” Paul said on CNN later in the morning.

“So right now he sends these young kids over there to endure the danger, and the kids coming back, the young people coming back and the ones in the military right now, they overwhelmingly support my campaign. We get twice as much support from active military personnel than all the other candidates put together. So, Newt Gingrich has no business talking about danger because he is putting other people in danger. Some people call that kind of a program a chickenhawk and I think he falls into that category,” Paul said.

Gingrich’s history gives rivals fodder By Philip Elliott, Associated Press  12-7-2011

“ Ron Paul rolled out a hard-hitting TV ad in Iowa that uses Gingrich’s own words to accuse him of “serial hypocrisy.”

“If you want to put people in jail, let’s look at the politicians who created the environment, the politicians who profited from the environment,” Gingrich is shown saying in the ad. It casts him as a Washington insider who espoused conservative principles as House speaker only to profit from special interests when he became a high-dollar consultant.”

Mitt Romney  attacking Gingrich —-“If the American people believe that what we need is someone who has spent the last 40 years or so in Washington, D.C., working as an insider, why, he’s the right guy.”

And Romney added: “America needs a leader, not someone who’s an insider.”

Wikipedia reported that on October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, “Newt Gingrich was attacked by all the other candidates, squaring off in particular with Mitt Romney. Romney mocked Gingrich’s plan to build a lunar colony to mine minerals from the moon, saying that the real difference between the two of them was their backgrounds, saying “I spent my life in the private sector. I know how the economy works.” Gingrich replied, “Let’s be candid. The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994“, which drew boos and laughter from the audience.”

Oct. 18, 2011—Debate–ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

Romney against Santorum and Gingrich–“Like Speaker Gingrich, Sen. Santorum has spent his career in government, in Washington,” Romney said during an event Saturday night in Atlantic, Iowa. “Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a very different background than I have.”

Dec. 17—Wash. Post–Spencer, Iowa–Perry attacks Gingrich and Paul —During a midday campaign stop at an Italian restaurant, Perry accused Newt Gingrich of being the “granddaddy of earmarks” while he was House speaker. He also called Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) a hypocrite for condemning political gamesmanship while seeking federal funds for pet projects such as bike racks and “decorative street lights” in his district.

“For some people, earmarks have become an art form,” Perry said. “What we need is someone who will walk into Washington, D.C., and say no to all this special-interest funding.”

Ron Paul’s December 28 Ad–Paul attacks Romney and Gingrich—Politicians who supported bailouts and mandates (shows pictures of Gingrich and Romney) “Serial hypocrites and flipfloppers can’t clean up the mess.”

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 ATTACKS  ON  RICK  PERRY:

Romney attacking Perry–On Perry’s jobs record: from The Telegraph—California Debate, Sept, 2011
“Texas is a great state. Texas has zero income tax. Texas has a right-to-work state, a Republican legislature, a Republican Supreme Court. Texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. Those are wonderful things, but Governor Perry doesn’t believe that he created those things. If he tried to say that, well, it would be like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.”  –Suggesting Perry was taken credit for events in Texas that he had nothing to do with creating.

Rick Santorum—about Romney, Cain, and Perry– Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript So you — you supported it. Governor Romney and Herman Cain all supported the — the TARP program, which started this ball……I mean, I — I mean, you guys complain about Governor Romney flip-flopping. I mean, look at what’s going on here. I mean, the — the bottom line is, you all supported it, you all started this ball rolling, where the government injected itself in trying to make — trying to fix the market with the government top-down trying to do it, and (ph) managed decline. And what happened was, people who did things that were wrong invested in things, took risks, were bailed out, and the folks who acted responsibly are now getting hurt because their houses have gone down in value. We need to let the market work, and that’s what hasn’t been happening so far.

Mitt Romney  attacking Perry: And the reason we’re so animated about stopping illegal immigration is there are 4.5 million people who want to come here who are in line legally, we want that to happen in an orderly and legal process. And in terms of how to secure the border, it’s really not that hard.. And, Governor Perry, you say you have got the experience. It’s a bit like saying that, you know, the college coach that has lost 40 games in a row has the experience to go to the NFL

John Huntman –This Week—August 22, 2011About Perry’s comments on evolution and global warming “The minute the Republican party becomes the… anti-science party, we have a huge problem.”  When you find yourself at an extreme end of the Republican party, you make yourself unelectable.

Mitt Romney attacks Perry–“Over the past decade, the number of illegal immigrants in Texas is estimated to have grown by 60 percent. Governor Perry should explain to the people of New Hampshire why he thinks their opposition to his liberal immigration policies means they ‘don’t have a heart,’ ” said Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams, alluding to comments Mr. Perry made last month in a defense of his decision to sign the in-state tuition bill into law.

Michelle Bachmann accused Perry of spending “27 years as a political insider.” He was a Texas legislator and agriculture commissioner before becoming governor in 2001.”

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ATTACK  ON  JON  HUNTSMAN:

Mitt Romney—Jan 8—I just think it’s most likely that the person who should represent our party running against President Obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in China.

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ATTACKS  ON  MITT   ROMNEY:

RICK PERRY, attacking Romney—Debate from The Telegraph—California Debate, Sept, 2011

On Mitt Romney’s jobs record:
“He did a great job of creating jobs in the private sector all around the world. But the fact is, when he moved that experience to government, he had one of the lowest job creation rates in the country. The fact is while he has a good private- sector record, his public-sector record did not match that. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than he created in four years in Massachusetts.”

“Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt,” said Mr Perry, referring to the former liberal Democratic governor of Massachusetts who lost the 1988 presidential election.

Mr Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist, retorted citing the governor Mr Perry succeeded in Texas in 2000: “George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor.”

Gingrich: Romney is lying—CNN Politics—Jan. 3, 2012

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich took his condemnation of rival Mitt Romney to a new level Tuesday, saying the former Massachusetts governor was not being honest when claiming that he had no relation to a super PAC producing anti-Gingrich television ads.

Asked by CBS host Norah O’Donnell if he would call Mitt Romney a liar, Gingrich answered flatly “Yes.”

“This is a man whose staff created the PAC and his millionaire friends fund the PAC and it’s baloney,” Gingrich continued. “He’s not telling the American people the truth. Here’s a Massachusetts moderate who has tax-paid abortions in Romneycare and puts Planned Parenthood in Romneycare and raises hundreds of millions of dollars and appoints liberal judges and wants the rest of us to believe he’s somehow magically a conservative.”

Gingrich said Romney needed to be honest with voters about his record.

“I think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney and not consultant-guided version that goes with talking points. I don’t think he’s being candid and that will be a major issue,” Gingrich said.

Dec. 16–Mitt Romney was asked by Chris Wallace last night about his flip-flops on gun and gay rights issues. Romney explained his position, and then Rick Santorum came after him.

“[He] ordered people to issue gay marriage licenses. And went beyond that. He personally, as governor, issued gay marriage licenses. I don’t think that is an accurate representation of his position saying tolerance versus substantively changing the laws.”—-Towleroad
Wikipedia–October 18, 2011 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Mitt Romney squared off separately with Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Santorum attacked Romney over his health care reform initiative in Massachusetts, saying, “You just don’t have credibility… your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare.” Romney replied “the Massachusetts plan… was something crafted for a state… if I’m president of the United States, I will repeal [Obamacare] for the American people”.[22] Perry, whose performance was seen as an improvement over past debates, attacked Romney because he hired a lawn service using illegal immigrants; Perry said, “The idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is on its face the height of hypocrisy.” Romney replied that after they found out the company used illegal immigrants, they let them go, criticising Perry’s tuition credit for the children of illegal immigrants, adding that “If there’s someone who has a record as governor with regards to illegal immigration that doesn’t stand up to muster, it’s you, not me.”

Newt Gingrich  about Romneycare……… Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript..”But your plan essentially is one more big government, bureaucratic, high-cost system, which candidly could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicare program as lavish as yours, and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment. So there’s a lot as big government behind Romneycare. Not as much as Obamacare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.

Rick Santorum- Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript -I didn’t run as a liberal in 1994. I ran in 1994, the same year Mitt did in Massachusetts. He ran as a liberal, to the left of Kennedy, and lost. I ran as a conservative against James Carville and Paul Begala, and I won.

In 2002, he ran as a moderate. He ran as a moderate in — in Massachusetts. I ran for re-election having sponsored and passed welfare reform, having authored the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Rick Perry about Romney– Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript They’re looking for somebody that they trust, that knows has the executive governing experience. I’ve got it. You failed as the governor of Massachusetts.

June, 2011—Tim Pawlenty”—–President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare,” the former Minnesota governor said on “Fox News Sunday

Rick Perry—-If you want to know how someone’s going to act in the future, look how they act in the past. I mean, so, Mitt, while you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation.

October 19, 2011–In Tuesday night’s Las Vegas debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry answered a question about uninsured children in his state by attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romneyfor once having undocumented immigrants at work on his lawn.

“And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year,” Perry said, in a total non-sequiter.

Dec. 18–

Perry’s Attacks Vary Daily

Iowa Crowds Like Perry’s Message of Smaller Government, Lower Taxes

By Rebecca Kaplan—December 18, 2011 | 6:17 p.m.

Rick Perry—“I want to make a clear distinction between myself and Governor Romney,” Perry said, noting that the two were both serving as governors in the early 2000s. He had just wrapped up a description of how he cut the Texas budget by cutting spending before turning to the former governor of Massachusetts. “He took a different path. He scoured his tax code looking for those ways to increase corporate taxes rather than cutting the budget. He succeeded in finding the ways to raise taxes and he raised taxes by some 400 million dollars in Massachusetts,” Perry said. He said Romney, “put it on the backs of Massachusetts job creators.”

“Perry quoted from a Forbes article about Gingrich’s speakership that said both federal spending and debt increased during his tenure, and that one of the ways he balanced the budget was by employing “shameless accounting gimmicks” like borrowing from the Social Security trust fund.”

“Those of you who are wondering what happened to the Social Security trust fund? Here’s part of it right here,” Perry told the crowd.

Washington Times—Oct. 28—Perry attacking Romney–The idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is, on its face, the height of hypocrisy,” Mr. Perry said.

Mr. Perry labeled Mr. Romney a “finger-in-the-wind” politician, after he appeared to suggest he would not take a position on a controversial referendum in Ohio that would limit collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.

SuperPac Ad–Huntsman attacks Romney–“Two serious candidates remain,” the narrator says after images of the GOP’s onetime front-runners flit across the screen, ending in a dual shot of Romney and Huntsman. “One willing to say anything, be anything, one who can actually do the job.”

After touting Huntsman’s job creation record in Utah, the narrator of the Our Destiny PAC concludes: “One state can stop the chameleon.”

Paul’s December 28 Ad–Paul attacks Romney and Gingrich—Politicians who supported bailouts and mandates (shows pictures of Gingrich and Romney “Serial hypocrites and flipfloppers can’t clean up the mess.”

Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 —Newt Gingrich called Romney a “Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay.” He said the ex-governor has “given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure.”

Newt Gingrich called Mitt Romney a “liar” on CBS News Tuesday morning, a couple of days after he said he was “Romney-boated” by what he said are $3.5 million attack ads by political groups supporting the former Massachusetts governor.”He’s not telling the American people the truth. It’s just like his pretense that he’s a conservative,” Gingrich said. ” Here’s a Massachusetts moderate who has tax-paid abortions in ‘Romneycare,’ puts Planned Parenthood in ‘Romneycare,’ raises hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes on businesses, appoints liberal judges to appease Democrats, and wants the rest of us to believe somehow he’s magically a conservative.”

Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript.—Santorum –The final point I would make to Governor Romney, you just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing Obamacare. You are — you are — your plan was the basis for Obamacare. Your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare. And to say that you’re going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that — that we can trust you that you’re going to do that. …..What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. Herman always says you’ve got to find the right problem. Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down, government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access. You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You’ve blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored in Obamacare, which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.

Jan. 8 Debate

Newt Gingrich–And I think that a bold Reagan conservative, with a very strong economic plan, is a lot more likely to succeed in that campaign than a relatively timid, Massachusetts moderate who even the Wall Street Journal said had an economic plan so timid it resembled Obama.  So I think you’ve got to look at — you know, Massachusetts was fourth from the bottom in job creation under Governor Romney. We created 11 million jobs while I was speaker, and I worked with Governor — with President Reagan in the entire recovery of the 1980s. So I just there’s a huge difference between a Reagan conservative and somebody who comes out of the Massachusetts culture with an essentially moderate record who I think will have a very hard time in a debate with President Obama.

Rick Santorum–Well, if his record was so great as governor of Massachusetts, why didn’t he run for re-election? I mean, if you didn’t want to even stand before the people of Massachusetts and run on your record, if it was that great, why didn’t — why did you bail out?……..I mean, the bottom — the bottom line is, you know, I go and fight the fight. If it was that important to the people of Massachusetts that you were going to go and fight for them, at least you can stand up and — and make the battle that you did a good job……..Governor Romney lost by almost 20 points. Why? Because at the end of that campaign, he wouldn’t stand for conservative principles. He ran from Ronald Reagan. And he said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights, on abortion, a whole host of other issues.We want someone, when the time gets tough — and it will in this election — we want someone who’s going to stand up and fight for the conservative principles, not bail out and not run, and not run to the left of Ted Kennedy.

Newt Gingrich—-…Can we drop a little bit of the pious baloney? The fact is, you ran in ’94 and lost. That’s why you weren’t serving in the Senate with Rick Santorum. The fact is, you had a very bad re- election rating, you dropped out of office, you had been out of state for something like 200 days preparing to run for president. You didn’t have this interlude of citizenship while you thought about what you do. You were running for president while you were governor. You were going all over the country. You were — you were out of state consistently.  You then promptly re-entered politics. You happened to lose to McCain as you had lost to Kennedy.  Now you’re back running. You have been running consistently for years and years and years. So this idea that suddenly citizenship showed up in your mind, just level with the American people. You’ve been running for — at least since the 1990’s.

Jon Huntsman attacking Romney–After Romney said, “I just think it’s most likely that the person who should represent our party running against President Obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in China.” Huntsman fired back, “This nation is divided, David, because of attitudes like that. (APPLAUSE)   The American people are tired of the partisan division. They have had enough.”

Newt Gingrich attacking Romney– But if you look at “The New York Times” article, I think it was on Thursday, you would clearly have to say that Bain, at times, engaged in behavior where they looted a company, leaving behind 1,700 unemployed people. That’s “The New York Times.”

Moderator—Speaker, you — you — you decry the Washington establishment and you just talked about “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post.” You have agreed with the characterization that Governor Romney is a liar.   Look at him now. Do you stand by that claim?

NEWT GINGRICH—Well, sure. Governor, I wish you would calmly and directly state it is your former staff running the PAC. It is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC. And you know some of the ads are — aren’t true. Just say that. It’s straightforward.

Jan. 7 Debate

Rick Santorum attacking Romney Well, business experience doesn’t necessarily match up with being the commander-in-chief of this country.

Rick Santorum–I don’t think Governor Romney’s plan is particularly bold, it — or is particularly focused on where the problems are in this country

Jon Huntsman–he doesn’t quite understand this situation. What he is calling for would lead to a trade war. It makes for easy talk and a nice applause line but it’s far different from the reality in the U.S.-China relationship.

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Well, there it is!  An prodigious collection of quotations, perhaps a few of which may one day make it into Bartlett’s.  “No big deal!” you say.  “They’re all running for the Republican nomination, so they’ve GOT to attack each other!”  Not really.  In Republican primaries in the not-too-distant past, Republicans focused their attacks on the Democratic President or anticipated Democratic nominee!  This year (and it seems that they are continuing a recent trend), they are levying their attacks on their fellow Republicans.  Of course, when the primaries are over, and a Republican nominee is selected, I anticipate that the Republicans will rally behind that Republican nominee.  Yet, we have to ask the question:  Will that be too late?  Will these Republican Angry Birds have given the Democrats and President Obama too many lines, too many quotations, too many attacks that will be turned against the nominee of the Republican Party.  Time—as always–will tell!

Note:  YouTube Video paralleling this article can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/mrgrosky1

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First Week of 2012: The Republicans, Tim Tebow, and Kim Kardashian

Tim Tebow Before Being honored at halftime during the Dec. 23, 2007 Jaguars/Oakland game

Welcome back to This Week With Mitch Grosky.  This week I’ll focus on three stories:  News, Sports, and Entertainment.

We lead off this week with a quick look at the results of this week’s Iowa Caucases,   What did I think?  Well, Romney’s win wasn’t very surprising, but by only EIGHT votes………that’s incredible–the closest victory in any major Republican or Democratic Party contest–a great example for our kids on how every vote counts.

Rick Santorum, the former Senator from Pennsylvania came in second, right behind Romney, but many people consider his virtual tie with Romney a moral victory since he was in single digits just three weeks ago.  So, now it’s Santorum who has the “big mo”–momentum—on his side.  Most political pundits, however, think that he doesn’t have the organization or the money to take advantage of that momentum. Time will tell.

In third place, also with a very strong showing, was Texas Congressman Ron Paul.   His libertarian philosophy is striking more of a chord with people this time around.  Still, most of the experts think there’s no way he can win.  What really hurts him is those 8-10 outrageous and bigoted quotes from the Ron Paul newsletter and his outright refusal to consider taking military action if Iran gets a nuclear weapon.  That’s a position virtually no Republican—or Democrat agrees with.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich finished a distant third.   It’ll be interesting to watch him at this weekend’s debates up in New Hampshire.  It was really obvious that he was furious with Romney because of   Romney’s SUPER-PAC ads.  I’m actually surprised he’s not more ticked off at Ron Paul who called him a serial hypocrite in his ads.

Texas Governor Rick Perry almost dropped out this week after finishing way back in the Iowa Caucuses.  I personally think he should have stayed in Texas because I really don’t think that he can get people to forget some really bad debates, and especially that big Oops moment—when he couldn’t name the third agency of the three that he wants to eliminate.  That is just the kind of gaffe that will go down in history like Nixon sweating against Kennedy, like Romney’s father, George Romney, saying that he’d been brainwashed, or like Gerald Ford saying that there wasn’t any Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

Michelle Bachmann………well, she joins Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty as also-rans.  What about Jon Huntsman?  Well, since he chose not to compete in Iowa and only got 700 votes, we’ll have to wait and see if he can get any traction up in New Hampshire.  My guess, not so much!

Moving on to sports………. My New England Patriots have a bye this week, and I’ll have to keep an eye on this weekend’s games to find out if they’ll be playing Cincinnati or Pittsburg next week.  At least, I’m glad that Brady and his banged up team will get some rest this week.  Brady is having another fantastic year, but then again, so are Drew Brees and Aaron Rogers.  Matthew Stafford too!  Oh, speaking of quarterbacks, I have to get in a Tebow comment before it’s too late.  Look, the Broncos are going to lose to the Steelers this weekend……….after all the Broncos lost their last three games, and Tebow was 19 of 51 for a grand total—a grand total of 245 yards in those three games.  What about the Steelers?  Well, they’ve only been in 3 of the last 6 Super Bowls, and they won two out of those three.  They’re right up there with the Patriots since the new millennium started.  But what I really wanted to say about Tebow is this:  Give the kid a break, will you?  He is just a kid—just graduated—-and almost everyone says he’s a super kid–kind, decent, hard-working, talented–a great college quarterback if not yet a great or even good pro quarterback.  But he works incredibly hard, he’s a leader, and he’s doing his best.   Oh, and he’s religious, strongly religious………and that’s a good thing too.  He prays and gives credit to God.   He kneels down in prayer at the end of each game.  So what?  He’s not forcing you or anyone else to kneel down.  He’s not hurting anyone.  He’s sincere in his beliefs.  Since when is that a bad thing?   There are many people—Christians, Jews, Muslims—who admire him for that kind of dedication to his religions.  So, cut him the same slack as we do when we see countless sports interviews where the first words out of the mouth of the guy who’s getting interviewed is:  “I want to thank God …….or Jesus Christ…..or Allah for this victory.”   He’s a real good kid who may never be a very good pro quarterback unless he develops his arm and his accuracy, but he’s a kid that most parents would be proud to have in their family.

And finally, some entertainment news–admittedly a bit of fluff that maybe hasn’t yet reached your radar screens yet.   Kim Kardashian’s in the news again.  According to E-On-line, apparently there’s going to be a line of Kardashian Barbie Dolls—–based on Kim and her sisters Khloe and Kourtney. Just a guess, but it’ll probably hit the shelves by next Christmas. . . for no more than 72 days. It seems like a lot of people are pointing to the fact than even though Kim earned about 12 million bucks last year, she only paid one percent more in taxes than a secretary earning about 45 thousand dollars….. Only one percent more!  Does this seem fair to you?  Apparently not to some people in California who are trying to raise taxes on its wealthiest citizens.

Well, that’s all for today.  Join us again soon for more politics, sports, entertainment, and commentary.  This is Mitch Grosky for This Week with Mitch Grosky.  If you get a chance, please check out my photography website at www.mrgroskyphoto.com.  And if you like photography, please consider “LIKING” my facebook photography page at https://www.facebook.com/mitchell.r.grosky.photography.

To see the above blog entry in YouTube video form (or to see any of my other videos), please see my YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/mrgrosky1?blend=1&ob=video-mustangbase. Have a great week, and keep in touch!

NOTE:  Photo of Tim Tebow (above)  is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.   This image was originally posted to Flickr by minds-eye at http://flickr.com/photos/36703550@N00/2133330966. It was reviewed on 15 October 2008 by the FlickreviewR robot and confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

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President Obama: A Promise Fulfilled

My congratulations to the courageous Navy Seals who carried out the mission so successfully, to the intelligence community, to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, to the head of the CIA and to President Obama, our Commander-in-Chief.   I am pleased to see many in the Republican leadership also giving credit to President Obama and his administration.  We all know that if the raid had failed, then the majority of his critics would have blamed President Obama, yet they refuse to give him credit when a military operation which he ordered is an unqualified success.

We give Lincoln credit for winning the Civil War, Roosevelt and Truman credit for winning WWII, George Bush Senior credit for the Persian Gulf War.  We also blame President Johnson for Vietnam and President George W. Bush for the Iraq War (which Pres. Obama ended). We continue to blame Jimmy Carter for the aborted mission which failed to free our American hostages.  President Kennedy justifiably receives credit for the successful outcome in the Cuban Missile Crisis and blame for the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Clearly Americans blame Presidents for war failures and give credit for war victories to our President/Commander in Chief—UNLESS of course, he happens to be a certain African-American President by the name of Barack Obama.  Fair is fair.  At least have the common sense and decency (regardless of your political party) to give credit where credit is due—to the Navy Seals AND to President Obama and his administration.

One of President Obama’s earliest promises in his campaign was to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden.  He has kept that promise in his capacity as both President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces.  Those who are quick to blame him for promises not-yet-fulfilled should give him credit for fulfilling this important campaign promise and personal commitment to the American people.

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