Saturday, December 31, 2011

Joe Pena was a wonderful man and conservative leader!

We learned that Joe Pena died this week.  To say the least, it is a great loss to those of us who value integrity and friendships!

Everyone has a Joe Pena story.  He was one of the original Hispanic GOP leaders in the Dallas area and served in the Reagan administration.

My Joe Pena "story" goes back to 1984 when I was new to Dallas and looking for conservative GOP contacts.

We had coffee and Joe gave me a full report about all of the activities and people to meet.  He did it all with that wonderful smile and sense of humor.   

Joe's humor was well known.  He'd always make fun of my Cuban background with a word or slang.   He gave me "a $1 million bill with his picture on it" the very last time that I saw  him!  He was so funny!

He made my day when he invited me to a "Hispanics for Reagan" meeting with Pres Reagan at the 1984 GOP convention in Dallas.  He did it again a few years later when he invited me to take a picture with then VP Bush running for president in 1988.

What else can you say about such a wonderful man?  He was quite an inspiration to all of us who carry the conservative flag.

We will miss Joe Pena a lot! 

Adryana Boyne created a Facebook page with details about the funeral.  Please go there and show your respects to Gloria and his family.

Again, we will miss Joe Pena a lot:


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My thoughts about 2011 and 2012!

2011 is over but the issues did not go away.

As we go from the old year to the new year, let me tell about the three issues that will be around for a while:

1) Iraq.....did we leave too soon?  Pres BO was handed a victory in Iraq and he has irresponsibly turned it into a potential defeat.  Frankly, I hope that I am dead wrong but "who lost Iraq" may be a real foreign policy issue in 2012.  It's going to be hard to blame this one on Bush.

2) The European economic crisis.....it doesn't go away because European leaders are not serious about addressing the structural problems, i.e. the "something for nothing welfare state."

3) Islamist victories in Egypt and the overall Middle East mess.....Iran does not fear Pres BO and they will spend much of 2012 pushing their weight around.

Speaking of 2012, we will have a new president.  I may be wrong, and things could change, but I don't see how Pres BO can be reelected.

It will be Pres Romney and VP Rubio PLUS a GOP Senate & House.  Let's hope that the GOP can use this mandate better than they did before.

Click to hear our chat with Bil Katz of Urgent Agenda:


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Tags: The end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Resolution 2012: I want a federal government that can GOVERN!

As far as I'm concerned, everybody loses when the President & Congress can not get anything done on time. 

We can not continue to run our country like some "banana republic" where politicians are shouting at each other rather than governing seriously.

Let's start with Pres BO, or the man who is not in the game.  He wants to govern by letting other people carry the load or make the tough calls.

Let's go to the Dem Senate, who have never done a budget in 3 years.   I agree with The Washington Examiner:

"While both parties are share responsibility for the debacle over the payroll tax cut, the Democrat-controlled Senate bears special attention. Under the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Congress must produce a five-year budget plan every year. But in 2010, both the House and Senate failed to do so for the first time since 1974.

After Republicans retook the House in November 2010, they got the lower chamber back on track by approving a 2012 budget plan this past April.

No such luck in the Senate.

It has now been 969 days, almost three years, since Senate Democrats have produced an annual budget plan, as they are required to do by law."

What's the point of paying these people, and their huge staffs?


The GOP House is not perfect, as we just saw with the "payroll tax" episode.  At the same time, the GOP House has passed a budget and voted on bills.

Of course, this "chaos" is the result of "zero" presidential leadership.  As we just mentioned, Pres BO has decided that he is going to drift along and get the credit somehow.

We have a dysfunctional federal government and it can not continue.

Check out our commentary:


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The 2011 season was great except for that "Twilight Zone of a 10th inning" of game 6!

From the 9-1 start to watching Derek Holland blossom into a major league pitcher, the 2011 season was a fan's dream.

The Rangers were a great team to follow, from Ian Kinsler blasting lead-off home runs to Neftali Feliz shutting down games.

However, it was game 6 that will probably stick in our minds for some time.  I am not dwelling on it but it was tough to come that close twice and watch the other guys celebrate.

it was a horrible ending to a game that will go down as a classic:

" Closer Neftali Feliz came in to pitch the ninth. 

Ryan Theriot struck out swinging, but Albert Pujols doubled and Lance Berkman walked on four pitches. Craig struck out looking, and Feliz needed just one more out. Instead, Cardinals third baseman David Freese fell behind 1-2 in the count and then hit a long drive to deep right. Cruz went back, but not far enough and the ball sailed beyond his reach for a triple that scored two runs and tied the game. 

It did not stay tied for long. Elvis Andrus singled with one out in the 10th off Jason Motte, and Josh Hamilton followed with a home run to right-center to give the Rangers a 9-7 lead. 

Darren Oliver took over for Feliz in the 10th to face the bottom of the Cardinals' order and two left-handed hitters. But Daniel Descalso grounded a single through the right side and Jon Jay blooped a hit into shallow left, putting runners on first and second. They were bunted over by pinch-hitter Kyle Lohse, and Scott Feldman replaced Oliver. 

Theriot hit a weak grounder to Beltre at third, who threw to first for the second out while Descalso scored. Pujols received an intentional walk. Berkman worked the count to 2-2 and then lined a run-scoring single to center to tie the game. 

The game went into the 11th. The Rangers did not score in the top of the 11th and Freese won it with a walk-off home run off Mark Lowe. 

It was a game that will be long be remembered, but there were other highlights worth recalling."

Like any 'classic game", we will get to watch it over and over at the ESPN classic channel or at that wonderful new MLB network.

Yes, get ready to watch Nellie Cruz misplay that fly ball in the 9th and that "Twilight Zone" bottom of the 10th inning when the Cards came back for the second time.

I guess that Cardinals, not cats, have 9 lives!  

P.S. Check out our baseball show with Coach McCrary after the series:


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Friday, December 30, 2011

Romney is looking strong in Iowa and specially against Obama!


Could things look any better for Mitt Romney?

First, the latest Rasmussen poll has Gov Romney up 6 over Pres BO.   It is 45-39 or the first time that either one has led the other outside the margin of error.

By the way, wonder how the Pres BO 2012 campaign feels about a 39% showing?  They can not be happy about that!

They won't be happy with the new Gallup that has Pres BO's job approval at 41%.

They won't like this one either: Americans see Obama as farthest from their own politics; Romney, Huntsman, Paul the closest

Do you remember how the Dems were talking about Pres BO getting a lift in recent polling data?  He is not getting it on Gallup!

With all due respect to the other candidates, Mitt Romney is the best option to defeat Pres BO.  Again, look at the polls!

I also agree with PJ Tatler that Romney could bring a new appreciation of business and free enterprise.  He is also very "Reaganesque" when he talks about reversing our entitlement society and replacing it with an opportunity culture.

Check out our conversation with Mike Sage about the Romney campaign:


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Tags: Iowa caucus thoughts a few days before real people vote  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Happy birthday to Robin Gibb (and thanks for his support of UK soldiers)

We heard last month that Robin Gibb is battling some health problems.   I understand that Barry Gibb, his older brother, went to London to spend time with him.  We hope that it is not serious but Robin does look very frail.

Robin just turned 62 this month.  We remember him as one of the legendary Gibb brothers, a.k.a. The Bee Gees.  (Maurice, his twin brother and the other member of the trio, died in 2003)

I read that Robin recorded this year's Poppy Appeal song. 

He did it with The Soldiers, a trio that sang a new version of the Bee Gees' "I've Gotta Get A Message To You."  

They are hoping to raise millions of British pounds to help past and present members of the British Armed Forces and their families.

It is a great cause and I'm glad to see that Robin is doing that!  It is important to recognize the great work that UK troops have done in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Here is the video of Robin Gibb & The Soldiers, an interview PLUS the original version.  Robin and Barry shared the vocals many years ago.  Maurice played the organ & sang background.  It is one of my very favorite songs from these legendary brothers:




"The preacher talked to me and he smiled,
Said, "Come and walk with me, come and walk one more mile.
Now for once in your life you're alone,
but you ain't got a dime, there's no time for the phone."

I've just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on.

I told him I'm in no hurry,
but if I broke her heart, then won't you tell her I'm sorry.
And for once in my life I'm alone,
and I've got to let her know just in time before I go.

I've just go to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on.

Well I laughed but that didn't hurt,
and it's only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt.
Now I'm crying but deep down inside,
well I did it to him, now it's my turn to die.

I've just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on...."


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

The other European crisis: NO BABIES!

It's time to talk about Mark Steyn.  We normally catch up with Mark when he sits in for Rush Limbaugh this time of the year.

Mark is usually funny but also rather serious, specially when he is talking about Europe. 
He is warning the Europeans again that you can not have a future without babies:

"The developed world, like Elisabeth, is barren.

Collectively barren, I hasten to add. Individually, it's made up of millions of fertile women, who voluntarily opt for no children at all or one designer kid at 39. 

In Italy, the home of the Church, the birthrate's somewhere around 1.2, 1.3 children per couple – or about half "replacement rate."

Japan, Germany and Russia are already in net population decline. 

Fifty percent of Japanese women born in the Seventies are childless. 

Between 1990 and 2000, the percentage of Spanish women childless at the age of 30 almost doubled, from just over 30 percent to just shy of 60 percent. 

In Sweden, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, 20 percent of 40-year old women are childless. 

In a recent poll, invited to state the "ideal" number of children, 16.6 percent of Germans answered "None." 

We are living in Zacharias and Elisabeth's world – by choice."   (Steyn)
 
Why do babies matter?  

First, how do you pass on your culture, language and customs when everybody is "50-something" and the population is declining?  Who is going to appreciate all of those cathedrals, statues and traditions? 

Second, how do you support older people collecting generous monthly benefits?  You don't do it with low birth rates!  At someone said:  2 plus 2 is 4 not 5!

Last, but not least, who is going to defend what we value, such as freedom of speech, the rights of women, respect for dissent, the rule of law, etc?  How can you defend that with an army of "60-year olds" spending their retirement years in senior homes?
 
Steyn is right and the Europeans are in trouble.    Check out our commentary with Dr. Ileana Johnson-Paugh in the second segment:



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The "state of the family unit" at the end of 2011

The family is the foundation of any society.  You can't have a successful future without good kids and parents who love them.

Rick Johnson has focused on fathers and the preparation of young men to be fathers someday.  He writes a blog and recently addresses this issue:

"Unfortunately, our culture not only has low expectations for males, it seems to revel in trying to destroy masculinity.

We expect boys to act more like girls.

In Unleashing Courageous Faith, Paul Coughlin comments on what our culture does to boys, “Boys are being gunned down by manliness gone bad and by those who do not accept or appreciate it. Our culture tells young boys that traditional masculinity is bad, that men are stupid and deserve to be the object of disdain, contempt, and ridicule. Then we expect them to grow up and exemplify honor, integrity, and valor.”

Just watch nearly any television sitcom or commercial if you doubt that statement."

We also spoke with Dr Illena Johnson-Paugh about the state of the family in the West.  We can learn a great deal about what is happening over there. 


Click here for our conversation with Rick Johnson & Dr Ileana Johnson-Paugh:



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Time flies quickly: Marianne Faithful is 65 today!

Like a few other boys in 6th grade, I had a crush on Marianne Faithful, the very pretty British young woman who hung around with Mick Jagger.

Let's just say that I really thought that Marianne Faithful was cool, or whatever we used to say back then!  Groovy?  I don't remember so I'll just say that she was "awesome looking" to me!.

Over the years, I lost track of Marianne, in large part because she stopped singing and her relationship with Mick Jagger did not end well.   As they say today, Marianne spent a long time dealing with very difficult personal issues and problems.  I tuned her out!

I learned that the very cute Marianne of my school days is 65 today.  Can someone slow down the clock, please?  It is ticking too fast!

I have not seen any recent pictures of Marianne.  I'm sure that she looks good.  However, I think that I'll save those memories of yesteryear and 6th grade.

This is "As tears go by", a great song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.  It is still one of my favorite songs today: 


"It is the evening of the day, I sit and watch the children play.
Smiling faces I can see But not for me,
I sit and watch as tears go by.
My riches can't buy everything, I want to hear the children sing.
All I hear is the sound Of rain falling on the ground,
I sit and watch as tears go by.
It is the evening of the day, I sit and watch the children play.
Doing things I used to do They think are new,
I sit and watch as tears go by...."


Tags: Marianne Faithful is 65 today  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011: We lost a very famous chimp!

As far as I can recall, we have never written a post about a chimp before.  

At the same time, there have not been too many chimps like the one and only "Cheetah":

"A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s has died at age 80.  The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced that Cheetah died Dec. 24 of kidney failure."

Cheetah was Tarzan's only jungle friend until he met Jane and the rest is history.   Tarzan & Jane had a son in the story.   The chimp was always in the middle of every episode.

Some of us are old enough to remember these movies, specially when we were kids and fascinated with stuff like that.

Of course, my dad's generation actually watched these movies at the theatres and enjoyed Cheetah's comic relief. 

Johnny Weissmuller, or Tarzan, died in the 1980's.   He won swimming gold medals in the 1924 Olympics and became Tarzan in the 1930's.  He made movies until the 1950's.

Jane was primarily played by Maureen O'Sullivan who died in the late 1990s.    In retrospect, Jane always looked so nice and feminine.  Wonder if they had a beauty parlor near Tarzan's home in the jungle? 

So long Cheetah and thanks for those laughs:





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Resolution # 1 for 2012: A president who wants to lead rather than pretend!

A year from now, we will have Pres BO or a new president.  We will probably have a GOP House and a 50-50 Senate.

What am I really hoping for?  Leadership and more leadership and more leadership.

We need leadership to tackle very difficult problems, specially entitlements and spending.

We are still waiting for Pres BO to deliver a speech calling on Social Security reform. 

We are still waiting for the Senate Dems to pass a budget.

We need a president who will finally tells us that the "something for nothing" era is over. 

Robert Samuelson described our problems perfectly:

"For years, there has been a "something for nothing" aspect to our politics. More people became dependent on government.

From 1960 to 2010, the share of federal spending going for "payments to individuals" (Social Security, food stamps, Medicare and the like) climbed from 26 percent to 66 percent.

Meanwhile, the tax burden barely budged. In 1960, federal taxes were 17.8 percent of national income (gross domestic product).

In 2007, they were 18.5 percent of GDP."

It sounds to me that we've been living under the illusion that 2 plus 2 is 5.  It's time to have a president who will tell us that the answer is 4 and only 4.

As I look forward to 2012, I want leadership because we don't have any of that right now.

Click for our discussion with Mario Yngerto:


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Tags: Resolution # 1 for 2012:  A president who wants to lead rather than drift along  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

El Chapo: Big win for the Mexican army in the war against the drug cartels!

We've been posting about the war south of the border for years.  Like any war, somethings have gone poorly and some well.  Today, we got some big news from Mexico:

"The Mexican army announced Sunday that it had captured the head of security for Sinaloa drug cartel head Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, one of the world's most wanted men."

It is not quite the equivalent of capturing Saddam but it's big! 

This is a big victory for Pres Calderon's policies.  We congratulate him for keeping the pressure despite calls from irresponsible politicians to make a "deal" with the cartels.

Also, this is further evidence that the next president of Mexico is likely to continue the frontal attack on the cartels.

Again, El Chapo's capture is not the end of the war but this is a big step forward.

We congratulate the Mexican Army for the good work!

Check out our Tuesday commentary:

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ivonne Malleza: Another Cuban in jail for speaking her mind!

We take it for granted that people can speak out their minds, run for office or write a blog.

However, that's not true in Cuba.  

Just ask Ivonne Malleza, another Cuban denied her right to speak her mind.

Our friends at The Babalu Blog have a post about a petition: Please sign it!   You can also see this from Amnesty International.

Check out our Monday night show with Betsy Gonzalez, activist in Florida PLUS Mercedes Perdigon from Exilio Unido Ya:


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2011 was the year "Maggie May" turned 40!


Back in the fall of 1971, Rod Stewart released one of the best selling singles of the decade.  It was 'Maggie May" on one side and "Reason to believe" on the other.

The record company released "Reason to believe" as the A-side because they thought that 'Maggie May" was too long (over 5 minutes) to get air play on Top 40 radio.  (Let's remember that most hit songs back then were between 2-3 minutes long)

Eventually, the fans flipped the record and the rest is history:

"In October 1971 Stewart became the first artist in history to hold all four #1 positions in the British and American singles and albums charts.

While "Maggie May" topped the singles tally in both territories, "Every Picture Tells A Story" achieved the same feat on the album charts."  (Songfacts)

Before releasing this solo record, Rod Stewart was the lead vocalist with Faces, a great British band.   I understand that he was a soccer player, too.  In the late 1970's, Rod Stewart's career exploded and he's been a great concert attraction ever since.

Here is the song that put Rod Stewart on top of the charts.  It is # 131 of Rolling Stone's Top 500 songs:


"Wake up Maggie, I think I got something to say to you
It's late September and I really should be back at school
I know I keep you amused but I feel I'm being used
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried any more
You led me away from home just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that's what really hurt

The morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age
But that don't worry me none in my eyes you're everything
I laughed at all of your jokes my love you didn't need to coax
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried any more
You led me away from home, just to save you from being alone
You stole my soul and that's a pain I can do without

All I needed was a friend to lend a guiding hand
But you turned into a lover and
mother what a lover, you wore me out
All you did was wreck my bed
and in the morning kick me in the head
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore
You led me away from home 'cause you didn't want to be alone
You stole my heart, I couldn't leave you if I tried

I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school
Or steal my daddy's cue and make a living out of playing pool
Or find myself a rock and roll band that needs a helpin' hand
Oh Maggie, I wish that I'd never seen your face
You made a first-class fool out of me
But I'm as blind as a fool can be
You stole my heart but I love you anyway

Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face
I'll get on back home one of these days....."


Here is "Reason to believe", a song written by Tim Hardin and recorded by The Carpenters, too:


"If I listened long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe

Someone like you makes it hard to live without

somebody else
Someone like you makes it easy to give never think about myself

If I gave you time to change my mind

I'd find a way just to leave the past behind
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe

Someone like you makes it hard to live without

somebody else
Someone like you makes it easy to give never think about myself

If I listened long enough to you

I'd find a way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe
Still I look to find a reason to believe
Still I look to find a reason to believe...."


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Monday, December 26, 2011

2011: The year that "Melody" turned 40!

Like some of you, I caught the "rent a video" bug in the mid-1980s. 

I remember going to the store one weekend and finding a British movie called "Melody" from 1971.  I read that it featured the music of The Bee Gees so that was enough to rent and watch the movie.  I don't think that the movie was released in the US.

Frankly, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable movies that I've ever seen.  It did not win any awards or get inducted in some Hall of Fame but it was entertaining.

"Melody" was the story of a boy and girl living that "moment" when we all figure out that boys and girls are different. 

You can call it your "first crush" moment!   Remember that time when you kept looking at some girl across the room?  Remember how she looked back?  Remember the Friday night dance with all of the boys on one side and the girls on the other?

"Melody" was very nice and the music was fabulous, specially "First of May", one of the greatest songs from The Bee Gees' repertoire.

Rent "Melody" and you will enjoy it, specially if you were once a 12-year old boy with a crush on a cute girl in 6th grade:




"When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall,
we used to love while others used to play.
Don't ask me why, but time has passed us by,
some one else moved in from far away.

Now we are tall, and Christmas trees are small,
and you don't ask the time of day.
But you and I, our love will never die,
but guess we'll cry come first of May.

The apple tree that grew for you and me,
I watched the apples falling one by one.
And I recall the moment of them all,
the day I kissed your cheek and you were gone....."



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Havel, a statesman, a leader and a symbol of freedom!


We lost Vaclav Havel in 2011.  He was 77 and leaves an incredible legacy.

This is a bit from The New York Sun:

"The long, twilight struggle against the communist tyranny at Czechoslovakia and the rest of Eastern Europe and at the Soviet Union had many heroes, on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Yet it is hard to think of any more unifying, dignified, cheerful, enduring, or consequential than the playwright turned president, who turned a protest against the suppression of a rock band into a movement that inspired and changed the world."

Some of us take political debate and dissent for granted.  We assume that everyone in the world has that right or opportunity.

Havel is one of those men who risked everything to express his thoughts or to write his opinions.  We are grateful that men like Havel come around and remind us that freedom is worth standing up for.

Click for our show with Jorge Ponce, who wrote a great article about Mr Havel:


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to you and family!





Like so many of you, we celebrate Christmas today.  (In the second photo, it's Alejandro (US Army) at left, Silvio and Gabriel to the right)

Speaking of celebrating Christmas, keep in mind that you and I are very much in the mainstream, as reported in a recent Rasmussen poll:

"Most adults who will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow will do so as a religious holiday, and an overwhelming majority believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ. 

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 90% will be celebrating Christmas in their family. 

Of those adults, 74% will be celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday while 22% will be observing it as a secular one."

Have a nice day and remember the men and women serving the country here and around the world.

Enjoy our Christmas message:



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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A story that will make you feel better this season of Christmas!

As a Catholic, I've seen the amazing work of Catholic nuns.  

They've taught our children in schools from China to the US.  

They've fed hungry boys and girls in places like Haiti or the horrific slums of India.  

They've done a lot of the background work that does not make the front pages.   Just read about the life of Mother Theresa!

The nuns usually come in to do all of the hard work after the politicians and reporters leave the tragedy.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the many nuns who cared for the 14,000 children who were taken out of Cuba to flee communism.  They made the program possible.  They are God's infantry.


Today, I read the story of Dolores Hart and it made me feel better about the season and mankind.

Dolores was a big movie star in the early 1960's.  She apparently gave Elvis his first "screen kiss" in "Loving you", his first movie.  She was a key actress in "Where the boys are", another huge movie.

Dolores gave up all of that fame and fortune and became a nun.  She decided that there were more important things in this world than being rich and famous.

What a story.  What a wonderful message to take to the midnight mass tonight:





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Merry Christmas and enjoy the midnight mass


As we've done for years, we will have a "Noche Buena" meal and attend the midnight mass.  It will be a lot of fun to sing Christmas carols. 

We take a minute to wish you and family a very happy Christmas holiday:

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Bad idea: Why are we taking money from Social Security so that Pres BO can claim a tax cut?

We've witnessed another example of bad, bad governing:  We've just raided the Social Security fund so that we can "pass" a tax cut"!

Again, this is bad governance!

No one is getting a tax cut.  We are not cutting "tax rates" to encourage business activity or expansion.

What we are doing is extending the payroll tax "holiday" but we are not reducing future Social Security benefits by a similar amount.

I understand that the House GOP did not play their political cards correctly.  However, they were right because we can not continue to act like Greece without eventually turning into Greece.

I agree with Don Surber:  Stop stealing from Social Security

Check out our Friday message on the payroll tax issue:
 


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