Welcome to Licentia Loquendi, founded January 2009. L2 is a team blog that focuses primarily on political, military and Constitutional issues with a Conservative Christian slant. We are two college students, a Navy corpsman, an Army sniper and a Vietnam era Army veteran.

Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.

29 May 2009


6:30 was entirely too early to be awake this morning, especially when one needs to fight with her sister over the bathroom (she won, since she's still in school). Today's conversation revolved around the national tax, the pharmacist and the Bible study in San Diego, along with North Korea the world's shortest river (either the Roe in MT or Oregon's D) and the world's largest lake (Lake Baikal by volume, Lake Michigan by surface area). Just how far a person can see at sea level on a clear day is still up to debate.

28 May 2009

Taxed to Death

As lawmakers toy with the idea of an across-the-board sales tax on just about everything, tax reform advocates are starting to drum up opposition with the same fervor they employed during last month's anti-tax tea parties.

The idea of a national sales tax was once unlikely. But now that the federal government is doling out billions in stimulus spending and bailouts, and looking for billions more for health care reform, the prospect could be gaining some traction.

The frenzy over the idea kicked up after a Washington Post article Wednesday reported that Congress is starting to pay closer attention to this largely academic proposal and that the Obama administration, though shushing speculation, is soliciting advise from supporters of the idea. . . .

The value-added tax, or VAT, as it is called, amounts to a tax-on-everything -- or TOE, for the acronym-inclined. It's a tax on goods that's applied in pieces throughout the chain of production and distribution and results in an increase in the cost of virtually everything you buy.

Some claim that this will replace the federal income tax. What if it doesn't? What if Americans are doubly-taxed? The thought of more government power is a disturbing one, especially since it stems from the stimulus package and bailouts.

Killing the First Amendment

Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a bible study — unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County.

"On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county." David Jones told FOX News.

"We told them this is not really a religious assembly — this is just a bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all," Jones said.

A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited "unlawful use of land," ordering them to either "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit," the couple's attorney Dean Broyles told San Diego news station 10News.

Whatever happened to freedom of assembly? Freedom of religion? Aren't those protected in our Constitution? Why should someone be forced to pay thousands of dollars to eat and fellowship with friends?

Pharmacist Who Shot Would-Be Robber Charged With Murder

Fifty-seven-year-old Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland was charged with first-degree murder today, after shooting and killing a sixteen-year-old "would-be robber" (FNC). "Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said in an afternoon news conference that Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker once in the head on May 19. But Prater said Ersland went too far when he shot Parker five more times in the abdomen while Parker lay unconscious on the floor. Ersland's attorney, Irven Box, said Ersland was protecting himself and two women inside the pharmacy" (FNC).

Quite frankly, I think six shots is perhaps five too many to kill someone, especially if the first shot is to the head and the aggressor is already on the ground. Unconscious. And unarmed. Parker died of his abdomenal wounds, and was alive following the shot to the head. In my opinion, Ersland should have stopped after the first shot. The first shot was justifiable. The following six (shot from a second pistol, which Ersland retrieved after attempting to chase the second suspect) . . . not so much. Still, it's good that Ersland protected both himself and the customers; I suspect that there could have been a far greater number of casualties had Ersland allowed the second suspect a chance to use his weapon.

27 May 2009

Happy Summer!

The semester ended almost a week ago, and fortunately I've yet to die of boredom -- mainly because my friends and I have spent time together almost every day in an effort to escape such a demise.
Unfortunately, that (and the tons of other things to do) has kept me from blogging, or even turning on my computer, so far this break. I will still try to blog, though I most likely will not be posting multiple times a day. Instead, posts may be brief or limited to links. However, I will still be going to coffee with my dad at 7:30 a.m. when time permits. I hope everyone has an enjoyable summer and had a pleasant Memorial Day!

N. Korea Warns of Strike Against S. Korea, U.S.

19 May 2009

And to think I put so much hope in him.

Biden Aide Denies Vice President Leaked Classified Location of Cheney Bunker
. . . "an upstairs workspace?" What sort of upstairs workspace is that? And in that case, the real bunker must be even more super-secret and secure and undisclosed!

17 May 2009

In Lieu of

Since it's finals week, I'm even busier than usual and don't have as much time to devote to blogging as I'd like. Still, I thought the below articles were particularly interesting. . . .

Biden Reveals Location of Secret VP Bunker
I have no words for this.
. . . Actually, I do.

Bloody Urban Battles Could Lie Ahead in Pakistan
+1000 Taliban fighters killed so far.

Treat for wounded soldiers: beach getaway
Americans are amazing.

13 May 2009

I'm going to be a career college student.

Recently I've been posting more about my personal life, as opposed to straight politics, current events and my opinions of the aforementioned. I hope no one minds, not that I'll suddenly stop doing so if anyone objects.

I've begun the process of creating an ISP (Individualized Study Program), which will enable me to officially major in Political Science and History. I may even be able to change History to Middle-Eastern Studies, though I'm not entirely certain that I want to, as I'm rather fond of American history (with the exception of the Industrial Revolution and Reconstruction). Unfortunately, Communications (possibly Journalism) will be relegated to a minor, as I need five courses in two fields and four in the third. By the end of next semester, I will have two Political Science credits, possibly four in History (I'm debating adding Modern Middle East, as that will force me to take five classes, which apparently is rarely accepted here), and three in English.
While my Political Science adviser-to-be is encouraging me to create an ISP, my History adviser-to-be seems to be encouraging me to stick with co-concentrations and a few Communications courses.
I suppose my main concern at this point is not only what will make me most marketable, but also what will least affect my GPA negatively. Also, I want to be able to continue my education and earn a Master's degree as quickly as possible, so I still have at least another four years of schooling. And while, freshman year of high school, I would have said that that's quite a bit of time, I've recently realized that four years will pass far more quickly than I'd like (and perhaps in some respects, a lot more slowly than I'd like).

12 May 2009

There is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

-V for Vendetta

When I searched for "Notre Dame University," the university's own description says, "the independent Catholic university in Indiana." When I searched for "Dr. Alan Keyes," his biography said that he was Roman Catholic. May I ask, then, why a Catholic reciting the rosary on a Catholic campus has been arrested?

By the Way . . .

I was remiss in checking the status of HR 1388, but today I received a forwarded e-mail stating that it had been passed. Naturally, I checked it via govtrack.us, since I rarely trust and never forward forwarded e-mails. HR 1388, involving mandatory volunteerism, was passed on April 21st.

11 May 2009

Another Epic Fail

I heard about this story from Gateway Pundit. Wanda Sykes "accused Limbaugh of treason, compared him to Usama bin Laden and wished for his physical collapse as she roasted the favorite target of liberals Saturday night at the Washington Hilton" (FNC).

"Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails, so you're saying, 'I hope America fails,' you're like, 'I don't care about people losing their homes, their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq.' He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason. . . . He's not saying anything differently than what Usama bin Laden is saying," she continued, before addressing the guest of honor, President Obama. "You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight."

The crowd groaned, Obama smiled and Sykes may have noticed a little discomfort in the room.

"Too much?" she asked.

But then she piled it on:

"Rush Limbaugh, 'I hope the country fails' -- I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? ... He needs a good waterboarding, that's what he needs."

According to MSNBC, "former Vice President Dick Cheney was also a monologue target."

"Dick Cheney, oh my God, he's a scary man, scares me to death. I tell my kids, I says, 'Look, if two cars pull up, and one has a stranger, and the other car has Dick Cheney, you get in the car with the stranger.'"

Sykes also had former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in her cross hairs. The Alaska governor canceled her dinner appearance after severe flooding hit her state.

She sent her husband, Todd, instead, but that didn't prevent a few jokes about her teenage daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

Wanda Sykes can say that to laughter, and yet golf analyst David Feherty apologized for his morbid joke:

"From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though. . . . Despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death" (FNC).

First of all, to even joke about 9/11 is completely reprehensible. It is tasteless and crude and completely ignorant. And accusing Limbaugh of treason . . . does anyone recall James Carville and Stanley Greenberg? Just minutes before news of the terrorist attacks disseminated the morning of September 11, 2001, Carville told Washington reporters, "'I certainly hope he doesn't succeed'" (FNC). Greenberg said, "'We rush into these focus groups with these doubts that people have about [Bush], and I'm wanting them to turn against him.'" Shortly thereafter, "as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: 'Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!' The press followed Carville's orders, never reporting his or Greenberg's desire for Bush to fail." Carville and Greenberg wanted Bush to fail, and yet when that information was finally belatedly released, they weren't deemed traitors. And yet Rush Limbaugh has been labeled treasonous and a terrorist.
Second of all, if Wanda Sykes may say that and receive laughter from Obama -- an encouraging response -- then why cannot David Feherty write with impunity? This nation was founded upon freedom of speech. If Wanda Sykes may say what she likes on national television in front of the president, then David Feherty should most definitely be permitted to write what he likes in a magazine.
Third of all, it seems to me that plenty of people have children out of wedlock -- Bristol Palin happened to be one of them. And doesn't having children out of wedlock imply pre-marital or extra-marital sex? And isn't chastity considered a more "conservative" value? Therefore, wasn't Sykes lambasting a more liberal way of life?
Fourth of all, I have a lot more to say but name-calling is ridiculous and would serve no purpose, anyway.

2009 Press Freedom (RSB)

19 Journalists killed
0 Media assistants killed
143 Journalists imprisoned
9 Media assistants imprisoned
66 Cyberdissidents imprisoned

Saberi to be Freed

Roxana Saberi's lawyer, Saleh Nikbakhat, "confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that she could be freed later today" (RWBfirst jailed for purchasing a bottle of wine -- consumption of alcohol is forbidden or haram in Islam. However, charges were later brought against her accusing her of spying for the United States. Saberi's father is Iranian-American, and her mother is Japanese-American. However, Iran refused to release Saberi earlier due to her Iranian citizenship. According to Reporters Without Borders, "'The short space of time between the original trial and the appeal, the length of the appeal hearing and the fact that her lawyers were allowed to speak in her defence are all encouraging signs . . . but we must not jump to conclusions as the Iranian judicial system often produces surprises."

10 May 2009

Due Tomorrow

In a story completely unrelated to and far less entertaining than the above, "more than 110 students at Pueblo County High School were given two minutes to to come up with their history project" (FNC). What was their history project? "To plot an act of terrorism by a foreign government on American soil as part of a lesson on terrorism." Parent Gini Fischer, said that "'To ask them to use their creative energies to come up with a plot for an act of terrorism is very ludicrous.'" "The school superintendent told [TheDenverChannel.com] students may have misinterpreted the assignment."
. . . Just how does one "misinterpret" such an assignment? Just as ludicrous as the assignment is the superintendent's response. And what sort of an educator devised such an assignment? I studied terrorism last semester in International Politics, and not once did my professor require me to create my own terrorist plot.

09 May 2009

If You Give a Man a Fish

They begin lining up even before the doors of the medical clinic open. Every day, dozens of Afghans from surrounding villages come seeking medical help at Camp Tillman in southeastern Afghanistan.
Often their ailments are not life threatening and can be easily treated with Tylenol or anti-diarrhea medicine. But without a local doctor around, simple medical problems can easily turn into life-threatening illnesses. . . .
In the past eight years, the U.S. military has tried to win the hearts and minds of Afghans with hundreds of infrastructure projects and outreach programs, and billions of dollars in international aid has been doled out.
The Obama administration has pledged to send more in the way of agricultural specialists, educators, engineers and lawyers to help the war-torn country "advance security, opportunity and justice."
"The idea was to win the hearts and minds of a people," explained one soldier. "Whatever the local village elders asked for, we tried to provide it."
If a village needed a well, they dug it. If they needed a school, the U.S. military built it.
But this approach to development has left Afghanistan's leaders ill-prepared to assume responsibility for running their war-torn nation. And military commanders are now beginning to re-think how they approach their jobs.
"If we keep doing what we've been doing, we will all be back here in five years doing the same thing," said Lt Col Peter Minalga, the Battalion Commander.
Military officials say now that instead of building a school that the village elders requested, they are trying to facilitate the project. This still means providing the funding, but instead of just paying locals to build it, they are trying to enable local companies to design, procure materials and build the structure. Military engineers are there to assist, not direct.
This approach is being replicated in training the Afghan National Army (ANA). U.S and Afghan troops regularly conduct joint patrols, but instead of American soldiers always organizing the missions, increasingly Afghan commanders are the planners and leaders. and U.S. troops there to assist, not direct.

Best Ranger Competition

Forty-nine two-man teams entered Fort Benning's three-day long Best Ranger Competition. By the second day, only twenty-six remained.
Among the 26 teams remaining were five from the 75th Ranger Regiment, four from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and the two teams from the 25th Infantry Division who traveled to compete on their mid-tour leave from combat in Iraq. Three teams representing the 4th Infantry Division were still in the running, as was the only team representing the 10th Mountain Division.
As in past Best Ranger Competitions, the grueling overnight 25-mile road march on Friday spelled the end of the contest for those eliminated.
Sgt. Alan Leggitt and his teammate, Capt. Dan Talmadge from the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., trained for three months. Each was competing for the first time and learned something about the limits of the human body.
“The pace was just non-stop; it was very strenuous, and there wasn’t a lot of time for the body to recover,” said Leggitt, who said he began to vomit on the road march from exhaustion and over-hydration.
A second team from the JRTC also fell out, having had much the same experience.
“We made it to the middle of the road march, and I started going onto the side of the road just puking up all the liquids I had taken,” said 1st Lt. Travis Stutes. His body also started developing cramps in his abdomen, hips, hamstrings and quadriceps.
He said he passed several teams lying on the side of the road suffering with many of the same symptoms.

08 May 2009

I'm Coming Out

Please vote for the new URL of the website!

I will be removing the ranking system soon, mainly because even I don't even know what people are ranking. Content? My opinion? Quality?

I created a graphics site, Amor Patriae, which is located at amorpatriae.tk. Current graphic categories include College & Profession, Christian, Military, Politics & Government, Nationality & Foreign Languages, Love and Quotes & Lyrics. Registration is required (it's simple) because I don't like it when people steal my graphics. :] In the future, graphics will be moved to a new, permanent host.

Lately, one of my friends has convinced herself that I'm a closet Democrat. It all started earlier this week when we were discussing the Laramie Project and Stand Up For Love demonstration last weekend (which I helped organize, and then skipped in favor of Glenn Beck). I told her that I didn't agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but I had many homosexual friends and "It's not like I point at them and scream, 'You're going to Hell!'" I love them regardless of their sexual orientation. She then proceeded to tell me that, "You are such a Democrat, Betsy. You just don't know it. There's a little Democrat inside of you, begging to come out."
And then, yesterday, we were discussing our majors, and I said that even though I want to have a political career and work as a foreign or war correspondent, I also love graphic design and I wouldn't mind being a graphic designer some day. She shook her head and started laughing and said, "Graphic design? I'm telling you, you're a Liberal!" I didn't bother telling her that my graphics say things like, "War has never solved anything, except communism, facism and slavery."

Earlier today I was on Facebook and took a quiz titled, "What 60's subculture would you belong to?" Since I agreed with various answers, I took the quiz three times. Here are my results, in the order that I received them.
You belong to the Establishment. You live in suburbia, middle-class neighborhoods or the South and your friends are your Governor and your neighbors. Your mottos is: America- Love it or Leave It. Your heroes are people like Gen. Barry Sadler and Richard Nixon.
Free Love! You belong to the Hippies. You likely hang out in the Haight and your friends are the Diggers and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Your motto is: Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out. Your heroes are people like Timothy Leary and Stephen Gaskin.
Revolution! You belong to the Rebels. You have a wide variety of hangouts, but usually "underground" or on the streets and your friends are Hell's Angels and other revolutionaries like the Weathermen. Your motto is: By Any Means Necessary. Your heroes are people like Malcolm X and Bernardine Dohrn.

06 May 2009

JetBlue +

Active-duty military personnel who book flights by May 7 at 11:59PM from Washington Dulles Int'l Airport and Richmond Int'l Airport through JetBlue will only pay $1 (one way). "Travel must be completed between May 8 and May 31" (Military Times). According to JetBlue's website, "the promotion is in honor of National Military Appreciation Month. The company is also donating $15,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Those interested should search for flights online from Dulles and Richmond and select a variety of travel dates and fligh toptions between May 8 and May 31. Once you've decided on some flights and dates, call (800) 538-2583 and select option 4 to book a flight. The $15 phone booking fee will be waived for this promotion. These flights cannot be purchased online or at the airport service counter.
Only nonstop domestic flights are eligible. You still must pay applicable taxes and fees. $1 will get you a one-way ticket; roundtrip tickets are $1 each way for flights in which the first leg originates at Dulles or Richmond. [CAC] card and leave papers also required."

This month is National Military Appreciation Month? It's also Asian/Pacific Islander Month!!! Ironically, I've lately been feeling that the military has not been appreciative of its members. But maybe the purpose of this month is for civilians to appreciate our military.

The 100% Foolproof Way

Today Bristol Palin said that abstinence really is a realistic option for teens. "'Regardless of what I did personally, I just think that abstinence is the only way you can effectively, 100 percent foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy,'" (FNC) she told ABC's "Good Morning America." In February, she told FOX News that abstinence is "not realistic at all" (FNC), as did her former fiancee, Levi. "'I don't just think telling young kids, 'You can't have sex,' it's not going to work'" (FNC).

You mean, abstinence prevents pregnancy? Not engaging in sex will keep me from having a baby?
On the other hand, I'm glad that Miss Palin has realized that it really is possible to wait to have sex.

05 May 2009

Let Him Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone

A thirty-year-old man known as "V" and identified possibly as Vali Azad was stoned to death in northern Iran for committing adultery. The woman involved had "'repented and so has not been stoned'" (FNC). In Iran, the guilty are "partially buried in a public spot -- men up to their waists and women to their shoulders. Stones are then hurled at them until they are dead -- although if they manage to free themselves their lives are spared" (FNC).
First of all, the Qur'an says nothing about stoning as a punishment for adultery. In fact, because the Prophet Muhammad's favorite wife 'Aisha was accused of adultery (when she was like, eight years old and because they'd forgotten her at a campsite and caught up with them a few days later with a young man leading her camel), Muhammad (inspired by God) made it very difficult for anyone to be accused of adultery (run a string between two bodies and hope it doesn't snag).
However, stoning has been used as punishment for adultery because at one point, a Jew and a Jewess approached Muhammad and asked how they should be punished. Muhammad asked to see their holy book, which prescribed stoning. Therefore, Muhammad said that they should be stoned, as their own law directed (too bad they didn't run to Jesus). This incident tends to be used as evidence that stoning is the proper form of punishment for adultery.
Second of all, the whole you-can-live-if-you-can-dig-your-way-out-of-the-hole game is just disturbing.
Third of all, this reminds me that I have yet to see "The Stoning of Soraya M.," but really want to.

Georgia Mutinies, Sawat and Hacking

"A tank battalion mutinied Tuesday at a Georgian military base near the capital and the base has been sealed off" (FNC). "The Interior Ministry's Utiashvili said the suspected coup plot was organized by a former special forces commander, Georgy Gvaladze. Gvaladze and an army officer on active duty have been arrested. . . . The Interior Ministry has a video of Gvaladze talking to his supporters about the planned coup. . . . In the video, Gvaladze is shown saying that 5,000 Russian troops will come to support the coup, which was planned for Thursday. . . . The base's tank battalion of about 500 army personnel had announced that they would refuse to follow orders."

Pakistan has urged people of Sawat to evacuate, and a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) has been erected in Dargai. "The army says it has killed more than 100 militants as it attempts to drive the militants back into the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley" (FNC). "Pakistani militants have threatened a campaign of suicide blasts in retaliation for U.S. missile strikes on al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds into Pakistan's northwest and for a string of military operations by government forces."

North Korea has expanded its cyber warfare unit to include "100 personnel, mostly graduates of a Pyongyang university that teaches computer skills," (FNC) which attempts "to hack into U.S. and South Korean military networks to gather confidential information and disrupt service."
A year or two ago, I remember mentioning to a military recruiter friend that China had hacked into our government (or maybe military) network. He simply replied with, "China hacks us, we hack them, it's an ongoing thing to see who's better." Regardless of whether or not hacking is viewed as a competition, it can have serious repercussions. And I, quite frankly, would be much happier knowing that confidential information is not being hacked into and distributed.

04 May 2009

Sustain the Civilization. Become a Mother!

Apparently, Jon and Kate Gosselin and Nadya Suleman are not enough.
I was rather surprised by the number of children Americans are having. Most of my friends have at least one sibling, though a few have none. Despite the fact that I still have some time to contemplate this, I'd always considered having three or four (though after two I'd have to worry about treating the middle children fairly). However, with economy troubles and the difficulties of raising a child in today's world (whatever happened to the Baby Boomers and why didn't they have more children?), even bringing one human being into this world is quite a task (let alone three or four).
A few weeks ago in Women in the Middle East, we were discussing colonialism in Egypt. Women, especially mothers, were exalted for their role in raising the nation. Education became a priority, and wealthy Muslim women pursued charity work to help less fortunate Muslim women, all in the name of not only being good Muslims, but also serving the country.
Meanwhile, we're aborting ourselves into extinction."In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, compared with 1.31 million in 2000. From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions occurred" (Guttmacher).

Importing Politicians

According to Daniel Hannan's blog, he's "still doing four or five American radio shows a week. The interviewers . . . keep asking [him] to move to the US which, given their general view of immigration, [he] take[s] as a great compliment. Even the internet's foremost libertarian, Judge Napolitano, seems to want [him] to run for American public office."
Personally, I feel that Americans have no qualms with immigrants -- at least those who enter the country legally. Therefore, regarding a general view of immigration, I believe it more or less depends on whether one refers to legal or illegal immigration.
If Daniel Hannan were ever to defect to the United States and run for public office, I would definitely vote for him. I feel that we are in desperate need of someone who is blunt and not afraid to offend anyone. However, I also believe that the United Kingdom, being approximately ten years ahead of the US in terms of its fall, is in need of Daniel Hannan and people like him (not that Gordon Brown seems to listen to them, anyway). So, instead of importing someone to knock some heads together and keep this country from degenerating, let's just find someone who believes in God and country. There were plenty in Glenn Beck's studio Friday afternoon.

I just checked the conversion rate for USD and GDP. After returning to England two years ago from Italy, I converted $200USD to approximately £87GBP. Today, $200USD is equal to approximately £134GBP.

03 May 2009

4/18 Tea Party

I completely forgot to post the article I wrote about April's Tea Party! I've edited it from its original version, removing last names and locations.

Around 75 people of all ages assembled along the Susquehanna River Saturday afternoon – though not because it was the first day of trout season. It was concern regarding taxes, government spending in general and the future of the nation prompted Floyd . . . to organize a Tea Party in [the] Soldiers’ Park. Citizens from as far as Bloomsburg gathered, some wearing patriotic garb and most bearing homemade signs and bags of tea, the latter of which, following a short march to the . . . bridge, were emptied into the river with the permission of the PA Fish & Game Commission. The Tea Party opened with prayer and was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance. Speakers included Floyd . . . Lynn . . . of the Central PA Patriots Ning social networking website, and Pat Toomey representative Carolyn. . . .

The protesters were encouraged by passing drivers as they stood on the bridge, many of whom honked or waved in support and slowed to read the signs. Even younger children were active – they held pig-shaped balloons, waved signs, or chanted “USA!” Nine-year-old Skyler informed people that “there’s lots of problems in Congress and we have to stop it. We should be the leaders but we’re not.”

Rev. George . . . said, “I believe in our Constitution – for 200 years it kept this nation stable [but it’s] gradually going downhill spiritually, economically, morally. . . . I’m very concerned . . . not only for my own person but for my children [and] my grandchildren and everybody in America is hurting because of financial problems but I’m concerned about the moral issues, too – and the right to carry a gun.”

[Floyd], who originally learned of the tea parties via the Internet, was overall pleased with the turnout. Next time, he expects “everybody to bring an extra person with them and . . . to have more people in the future.”

In regards to the future, [Floyd] said, “We have already started a website. We are meeting two times a month, and the website is centralpapatriots.ning.com. We’re planning some events in the future; in late August we want to do a Constitution Camp and educate people about our rights, where they come from, our history, and along with our rights and our history, the responsibilities that go along with it and to hand our next generation a strong country like we have now.”

National Day of Prayer

May 7, 2009 is the National Day of Prayer. This day should be no different from any other in that we seek communion with God and a deeper relationship with Him, and yet it should be completely different in that the power and number of our prayers should offer even more strength to our government, military, businesses, families, the church as a whole. The prayers of a nation are a powerful force.
Prayer and God have always been an integral part of this country -- in fact, every state's preamble mentions God or divine providence in one form or another. Prayer and God should continue to be important to our nation -- even if our president tells the rest of the world we are not a Christian nation.

In other news, an RA just stopped by my dorm to bestow a bottle of hand sanitizer upon my roommate and me, so that we may ward off the swine flu.

02 May 2009

What's in a Name?

Although the url to Licentia Loquendi has never been simple, it wasn't until recently that I decided a change may be in order. After a phone conversation which involved an attempt to relay the url of my blog (which failed the first few times), I've decided that I may need to change the url. I can simply change the Blogger address, which may be difficult due to availability issues, or I could purchase an entirely different url sans the ".blogspot" tag. Unfortunately, the latter option involves money, which I, as a poor college student, do not have. So, for the moment I'm simply contemplating changing the Blogspot address, and perhaps at a later point in the future I'll purchase a separate url. After great deliberation (meaning "a few minutes"), I've considered the following:

amorpatriae.blogspot.com (love of one's country)
exmeasententia.blogspot.com (in my opinion)
licentialoquendi.blogspot.com (free speech)
prodeoetpatria.blogspot.com (for God and country)
sivispacem.blogspot.com (if you want peace)*
sempervigilo.blogspot.com (always vigilant)

I don't know why I'm such a fan of Latin phrases. However, these are, for the most part, potential URL possibilities. I have an inkling, however, that these may be just as difficult as reciting "the dash blue dash state dash. . . ."

*The full quote is "Si vis pacem, para bellum," meaning "If you want peace, prepare for war."

01 May 2009

My First (But Not Last) Appearance on National TV

Today was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life, along with earning my black belt and getting my desk (believe me, a desk is a wonderful thing for a girl who used to stay up until all hours of the night writing stories on notebook paper and then messing up everything because she shifted in bed). This morning was great, not because I was awake at 6:20 AM, but because Dad and I were able to have coffee with the guys. Mr. H related an anecdote about Patton and Marshall, and another about what he was doing Dec. 7, 1941.

Following several calls and a bit of phone tag, Dad and I met Floyd the next town over at Dunkin' Donuts at 9:30 (we were supposed to meet at the coffee shop where we were at 8:30). Then, we started the journey to New York City (which was far prettier than the drive to Rochester). The three hours we spent on the road in itself were interesting. For the most part, I listened while Dad and Floyd talked, but every once in a while I interjected as we discussed politics, theology and life in general. Even though I typically either present my views via this blog or discuss things with my dad whenever he picks me up from or takes me back to college, it was interesting to hear another opinion.

I can't believe how alien New York City felt. I've been to New York perhaps six times (it was where I first touched American soil!), London a few times, Venice once, and Istanbul once. And yet for some reason, I felt completely out of place when I went to New York today. It wasn't that I didn't fit in -- I tried my hardest not to look out of place. But I simply felt like I was in a completely different world. It was rather surreal and indescribable. And I found that I was less certain that I want to live there in the future. I still definitely want to apply for an internship with Fox News, but do I honestly want to live in New York City? And the answer is "no," I am not commuting. It was odd, considering that for years and years I've wanted to live in NYC. I'd still be willing to put up with it if I had the chance to work for Fox.

Upon arriving, we met up with a 9.12 group from the Hershey area, and the ten of us went to a deli for lunch. Oh, what I would have given to have been able to try the Turkish restaurant across from the News Corporation. Whenever I'm in cities, I dislike going to McDonald's or Subway. I can have a cheeseburger or a sandwich any time. I cannot have lamb biryani (which is actually Indian, but my favorite food) whenever I want.

We decided to meander for half an hour before heading to the studio, but in the end Dad knew I'd simply run off and probably not return in time because I'd be off exploring, so I was stranded in Toys 'R' Us along with Spiderman and several photographers whom I pitied, because no one wanted their pictures taken when they walked into the store.

We returned to the studio (for, oh, the third time) and waited for security to let us inside. Dad and I were the first ones to be frisked by security, which brought back lovely memories of high school and the bomb threats we had the last few weeks of my Senior year.

Once everyone (either 45 or 55 or something to that effect, which was probably both the average age and the number of people) entered the waiting room, we chatted and some people ate and watched FoxNews on the TV. I was honestly the youngest audience member at nineteen, though I believe there was a twenty-year-old and also a twenty-three-year-old. I was incredibly nervous and was receiving several texts from friends who were either watching or Tivo-ing the show (which, I suddenly realized with absolute mortification, was filmed live). For some reason, despite the fact that I received an e-mail which contained the word "live" in all capital letters at least twice throughout the text, and despite the fact that I watch Glenn Beck almost regularly to the point of scheduling/missing dinner around or because of the show (remember that time on that one show on which that man fainted? . . . I'm pretty sure that was live), the fact that I would be on live television didn't actually register in my brain until that moment.

Inside the studio, I was plopped in the back corner (I swear all the short people sat in the back) and nearly froze to death because of the air conditioner. I assume it was because of the lights, and I'm sure that it was perfect for Mr. Beck, but since I was simply sitting and I'm always cold anyway, I was clenching my jaw to keep my teeth from chattering.

Speaking of Mr. Beck, the moment he walked out all I could think was, "Ohmygoshit'sGlennBeck!" And then reality set in and I was slightly disappointed with myself because he is, after all, a man. With a TV show. And the power of the ear of the people. Wow.
What sort of surprised me was his down-to-earthiness. I remember the first time I actually watched him was the night of his rerun of the 9.12 Project episode. He was talking about how much he loved the country, and he started crying. My mom asked if he was serious, and for a moment, I wasn't certain myself. But I quickly realized that he truly was genuine, and that first impression has always stuck with me. And, you know what? He really is genuine. He's animated and funny and he seems like the sort of person with whom one could sit down with at a kitchen table and have a nice long discussion.

But, I digress. Before the show even started I thought there was going to be a beat-down between two of the gentlemen in the audience. They would make good talking heads. I was annoyed by the fact that some people did not seem to possess the judgment to know when to stop talking. In my opinion, it simply made them seem overbearing, but I suppose that was perhaps better than not talking at all, in some instances.

The actual show flew by like crazy. It seemed that no sooner had someone gotten a word in edgewise than it was time for a commercial break. I was glad that Floyd had an opportunity to speak (and to present Mr. Beck with a shirt from the Tea Party!), but my dad had wished to speak, and never had the opportunity. I thought of comments every once in a while, but by the time I had them worded properly in my head, the discussion had continued.

Even though I didn't actually have a chance to speak (which, I must admit, disappointed me to an extent), I truly enjoyed the experience. I was hoping to address conservatism (or lack thereof) at the college level, but conversation never drifted that way, and time was short. Although, Mr. Beck apologized for not addressing me and that issue, which surprised me and made me happy because he cared. It was a privilege and an opportunity more educational and relevant than some things I'm taught and many discussions I've had on campus.

After the show, I was determined to thank Mr. Beck for the opportunity, and tell him about my roommate and me watching his show rather frequently, to the point where she sometimes turns on his show even when I'm not there. In the end, I was again overcome with a billion words and too little time and the fact that I admire him, and I have no idea what I said. I said the basic message, but probably at about 174 words a minute. I was on Cloud Nine, but apparently he told Dad that Dad had done well with me. Nothing says "good parenting skills" like rearing a concerned and active Conservative teenager!

Although my mom taped the show, I'm not sure if I'll watch it. I sort of feel like it would be like taping my wedding. I'll remember my wedding as the most perfect day of my life (or something to that effect), and then I'll watch the DVD and suddenly notice the fact that my hair wasn't perfect and the flower girl was punching the ring bearer because he pulled her hair and someone in the third row back, fifth seat in had fallen asleep. So, I don't know that I'll actually watch the show.

However, I do hope that Mr. Beck continues with that sort of show. It was a huge risk and he pulled it off successfully. Although, according to my mom, it would be more successful if he moderated the discussion better, and if he hadn't talked for so long at the beginning. I, personally, was again in awe of his ability to speak without a teleprompter, and so didn't notice that he talked for the first fifteen minutes of the show. I agree with the first suggestion, at least, as I felt that some people monopolized the conversation.

One of these days, I'm also going to have the power of the ear of the people. And by that time hopefully I'll have something to say.

Pass the Blame

"A 10-year-old girl suffered burns on 70 percent of her body after a 16-minute session at an unmanned tanning salon," (FNC) and as a result, she must now stay out of direct sunlight for the next ten years. Her mother "is now making a public plea that all unmanned salons are shutdown" (FNC).
Or, maybe you could supervise your children when they go tanning. First of all, why does a ten-year-old child need to be tanning in the first place? I'm nineteen years old and I have never set foot in a tanning bed. I don't believe I'm missing anything. Again, I feel that people are being irresponsible, and then they blame the results of their irresponsibility on others. Granted, as I've never gone tanning, I have no idea how safe unmanned tanning beds are. However, I'm fairly certain they were intended to be operated by responsible, mature teenagers and adults. Not ten-year-olds.