Today’s read is from Jacob Lane, a Republican strategist and school choice activist. He has worked for GOP campaigns at the federal, state and local levels, as well as with various PACs and non-profits. Here’s an excerpt:
Graduation season has swept across America, ushering in a familiar phenomenon: the relentless parade of know-it-all pontificators more commonly known as “commencement speakers,” armed with grandiose speeches that cause mental exhaustion and a collective rolling of eyes.
Instead of using these special opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, it seems that most speakers these days would rather use such opportunities to indulge in their own pompous self-importance.
Here’s just a smattering of the “greatest hits” from this year:
Remember, Taylor is part of the crowd crying the blues that the county is in dire straits financially and wants voters to have the opportunity to approve a referendum increasing taxes to help bail the county out.
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore is living it up on her leadership PAC.
Leadership PACs were created in the 1970s to allow top federal lawmakers to raise and contribute money to like-minded candidates, preferred political parties and allied political groups.
But Moore spent only 16.6% of her funds in her leadership PAC on political donations from January 2019 to December 2022 out of her overall outlay of $727,910 — the lowest percentage within the Wisconsin congressional delegation.
Instead, during the four-year period, Milwaukee Democrat’s leadership PAC — Giving Willingly Empowering Nationally (GWEN) — spent about $96,000 on travel, more than $48,000 on food and beverages, nearly $173,000 on fundraising and fundraising consultants, and $17,000 on tickets via StubHub, Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
But it’s the itemized expenditures that are the most eye-catching. A top aide to Moore said these expenses were part of the fundraising efforts by the leadership fund.
Federal Election Commission records show GWEN PAC:
• Spent more than $6,000 on 16 trips to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, an average of $376 per visit to the upscale eatery. The PAC also covered 13 dinners at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse at a total cost of $2,055.
• Paid out $4,623 to Blackline Limousines in Oak Creek.
• Dropped $1,017 for food and drinks at Luke’s Lobster in Chicago.
• Spent nearly $18,000 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, a luxury wine country resort in California.
• Paid more than $19,000 on 363 trips with Uber and 176 meals via Uber Eats. (That works out to one Uber trip every four days over four years and one Uber Eats dinner every eight days.)
Finally, the leadership PAC wrote seven checks to Moore’s sister, Brenda Moore, for a total of $22,200 for fundraising and consulting. Brenda Moore was paid another $232,000 in salary for work on her sister’s re-election campaign — which is separate from the leadership PAC — during the same four-year period.
In her 10th term, Moore, 72, is now the de facto dean of Wisconsin’s House delegation, representing the overwhelming blue 4th District. As a member of Congress Moore makes $174,000 a year.
The only other member of the state delegation who spent less than half of the money from a leadership PAC on political donations in recent years was Republican Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, who took office in 2021. His leadership PAC paid out a little more than a third of its tiny $39,006 total outlay on donations.
Today, more than 90% of the members of Congress have leadership PACs. (Former Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner was one of the few who rejected the practice.) On average federal lawmakers spent about 70% of their total expenditures on political donations.
—Dan Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Fallen Milwaukee Police Department Officer Peter Jerving was honored this Memorial Day with a special tribute at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Brookfield.
On Monday, Patty and Doug Jerving gave a speech in front of a crowd to honor their son, who was tragically killed in the line of duty on Feb. 7, 2023, while attempting to arrest a suspect involved in a robbery.
Family members were spotted wearing matching “End of Watch” shirts and buttons in Jerving’s honor. Many shed tears as they remembered one of their own who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending his community.
“They’re trained very well, they know what to do, but they have to love the people that they serve to protect, and Peter did; he had a lot of compassion,” said Patty Jerving, Peter Jerving’s mother.
Patty Jerving said support from the community has truly been unbelievable — a reminder that her son was loved by so many people.
Close to 500 American flags were placed around the cemetery in honor of veterans, first responders and police officers.
Peter Jerving’s 10-year-old niece, Caitlyn Twito, told CBS 58 that it’s been hard losing one of her favorite people.
“My uncle, he was very funny,” she said. “He was the best uncle I could ever have and now that he’s not here anymore…it’s very different now.”
—CBS 58 Milwaukee
The Homeland Security Department is warning communities nationwide about an increased risk of terror attacks on churches, schools, federal installations and law enforcement heading into the 2024 election, specifically cautioning that “legislative or judicial decisions pertaining to sociopolitical issues” could trigger violence in coming months.
In a bulletin issued just before Memorial Day, the agency cited a spate of violent acts this spring, including on a Christian school in Tennessee, a shopping mall in Texas and a plot on a church in Ohio by white supremacists as harbingers for future concern.
“The United States remains in a heightened threat environment,” the bulletin stated. “Lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland.
“Both domestic violent extremists (DVEs) and those associated with foreign terrorist organizations continue to attempt to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the homeland, including through violent extremist messaging and online calls for violence.”
The agency said the start of the presidential election campaign season and expected controversial decisions by the courts and Congress and state legislatures could further activate people and groups seeking to commit violence.
“In the coming months, factors that could mobilize individuals to commit violence include their perceptions of the 2024 general election cycle and legislative or judicial decisions pertaining to sociopolitical issues,” the bulletin warned.
“Likely targets of potential violence include U.S. critical infrastructure, faith-based institutions, individuals or events associated with the LGBTQIA+ community, schools, racial and ethnic minorities, and government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement.”
—Just the News
The Trump campaign has announced that it is looking to beat Democrat ballot harvesting in states across the country, specifically taking aim at operations funded by billionaire George Soros.
“We recently alerted you that a Soros-linked Super PAC has begun targeting 6 battleground states with a $75 MILLION spending blitz to buy Crooked Joe the White House,” a Thursday campaign fundraising email read, according to the Washington Times.
“But there’s something important we want to add…some of those states have legalized BALLOT HARVESTING,” the email added, highlighting Soros-linked efforts in the battleground of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“At the beginning of the year, President Trump made a major announcement that our campaign would ballot harvest in the states where it’s legal to counter the Left’s schemes,” the email added, asking for financial contributions to the Trump campaign’s Ballot Harvesting Fund.
Ballot harvesting refers to the act of a person other than the voter turning in a ballot, usually a mail-in ballot.
While Republicans have previously disavowed the practice and pushed for it to be eliminated, Trump earlier this year stated that he would embrace it in states where it’s legal in order to fight back against the Democrats. Many pundits have also called for the GOP to get on board and fight fire with fire, instead of letting the Democrats undertake the practice with no pushback.
—The Post Millennial
President Biden acknowledged Monday at a Memorial Day event that his late son Beau died from brain cancer and not while at war — 11 days after he wrongly told US troops in Japan that his son died “in Iraq.”
Biden told the grieving families of war dead at Arlington National Cemetery that his son didn’t die on the “battlefield” but that he believes his cancer may have been caused by exposure to toxic fumes from “burn pits” during a nearly yearlong deployment.
“Our losses are not the same. He didn’t perish in the battlefield. It was cancer that stole him from us a year after being deployed as a major in the US Army National Guard in Iraq,” Biden said, misstating by about five years the duration between his son’s return from deployment and death, though he later correctly stated the amount of time since Beau died.
The 80-year-old president has puzzled viewers by claiming at least three times since last year that his son died in Iraq.
Graduates booed and turned their chairs away from former U.S Rep. Liz Cheney as she delivered the commencement address at Colorado College on Sunday.
Cheney repeated her fierce criticisms of former President Trump but steered clear of talking about his 2024 reelection campaign or her own political future.
The Wyoming Republican blasted her House Republican colleagues for not doing enough to combat Trump’s lies
Cheney implored the new college graduates to not compromise when it comes to the truth and blasted one of the election-denying attorneys who worked for Trump after the election for allegedly telling a gathering of Republicans that ‘it is crucially important to make sure that college students don’t vote.’
While many students and parents in the audience applauded throughout Cheney’s remarks, some opposing the choice of Cheney as speaker booed and turned their chairs away from the stage when she spoke.
One graduate’s message to Cheney was splashed on her cap. It read: ‘Why listen to a racist, imperialist, transphobic, war monger?? Your hate is loud.’
—The Daily Mail
An analysis of primetime ratings shows that Fox News has seen an approximate decline of 1 million total viewers on average for its primetime lineup after the departure of Tucker Carlson in late April.
In the four weeks before Carlson left the network, Fox News’ primetime hours averaged some 2.6 million total viewers. But in the four weeks after his departure, those hours are down to just 1.6 million viewers, a decline in 39 percent, according to an analysis from Mediaite.
The 8 p.m. hour that Carlson used to have also declined significantly, according to ratings. Carlson had averaged some 3.2 million viewers in the weeks before he left, but the replacement show—”Fox News Tonight”—is down to 1.49 million viewers on average.
Despite the drop in the primetime viewership since Carlson’s departure, data shows that Fox News is still the No. 1 cable news channel in terms of overall ratings.
—The Epoch Times
Kohl’s has become the latest major retailer that shoppers have found selling LGBT pride clothing and products for infants and children.
Among the merchandise for LGBT pride month in June, the department store’s website includes a “Baby Sonoma Community Pride Bodysuit set” for young children from age 3 months to 2 years. The outfit includes a lesbian couple with a dog and three children, one of whom is in a wheelchair, and one of the women is holding an LGBT pride flag.
Additional merchandise includes the “Love Is Love” phrase on pillows, bibs, shorts, candles, a banner, and towels, Fox News reported. There are also shirts with phrases on them such as “Be Proud” and “Ask Me My Pronouns.”
Kohl’s became the latest major retailer criticized for LGBT merchandise for kids after calls for boycotting Target began for the same reason.
Kohl’s stock has sunk over 50% over the last year, according to Fox News.
—Just the News
The big cheese of extreme U.K. sports events is back.
Hundreds of spectators gathered Monday to watch dozens of reckless racers chase a 7-pound (3 kilogram) wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the near-vertical Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in southwest England.
The first racer to finish behind the fast-rolling cheese gets to keep it.
The cheese-rolling race has been held at Cooper’s Hill, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of London, since at least 1826, and the sport of cheese-rolling is believed to be much older.
The rough-and-tumble event often comes with safety concerns. Few competitors manage to stay on their feet all the way down the 200-yard (180 meter) hill, and this year several had to be helped, limping, from the course.
Canadian contestant Delaney Irving, 19, won the women’s race despite being briefly knocked unconscious.
“I just remember hitting my head, and now I have the cheese,” said Irving, who comes from Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Matt Crolla, 28, from Manchester in northwestern England, won the first of several men’s races. Asked how he had prepared, he told reporters: “I don’t think you can train for it, can you? It’s just being an idiot.”
I once heard an academic ask an elite soldier what distinguished the warrior’s mindset from that of an ordinary person. The soldier thought about it for a second and then asked the professor to imagine getting up in the middle of the night, half asleep, to grab a glass of milk. Now imagine, he said, that you have a cat or dog that comes out of nowhere in the dark and startles you completely. A normal person, he continued, will most likely toss the milk into the air, drop the glass in his hand, and maybe knock over half of the condiments in the fridge. A warrior, he said, has so prepared his mind for unexpected things to jump out in the dark that not only will he keep from spilling the milk in his hand, but also a little voice inside his head will say, “Oh good, game on, let’s go.”
The academic laughed and said something about never wanting to accidentally sneak up behind the soldier while he was distracted, and the elite warrior grinned and said, “Oh, I wasn’t talking about myself; my wife would tell you that my dogs regularly get the best of me at two in the morning.”
That lighthearted moment has always stuck with me for a number of reasons. For one, it was a charming and effective analogy from a well respected and admired combat veteran. What goes on around you is out of your control; what matters is that you have prepared yourself to remain calm and respond appropriately.
Second, his humorous story reflected a serious truth: service members engaging in combat are almost always “in the dark.” There are a hundred variables that are constantly changing in real time. Even familiar terrain can turn dangerous in a flash, and every move a person makes is done behind a veil of uncertainty as to how each action will affect the next.
Third, he made an important point that is not always easy for people to hear: the best warriors are those who — at some level — enjoy the fight. They don’t have to enjoy violence or death, but they do have to have a certain mentality that enables them to confidently engage against the unexpected.
Lastly, although nobody would have ever described him as anything other than an elite warrior, his self-deprecation implied that the work of being one never ends. It is a role without a destination that requires a committed individual to constantly confront new challenges along a tortuous path.
When military service is understood in these simple terms, it is clear that fleeting Memorial Day remembrances are insufficient for honoring the sacrifices of those we have laid to rest. Individuals who have pursued excellence in their lives and then offered those lives in service to others are the kinds of people who should be emulated every day. In an age suffering from a scarcity of role models, it is easy to see how our culture has gone astray when the best among us lie quietly in cemetery fields. If every schoolchild were tasked with learning about the lives and deaths of America’s fallen heroes, no generation would reach maturity without comprehending the magnificent price paid for their own existence. The “I-I-I, me-me-me” world of today flourishes only because too many of America’s unworthy “leaders” have chosen to bury national character in the same graves as those who possessed personal character in spades.
Memorial Day should be celebrated as a time for national rejuvenation, when the living can learn from the dead, honor their character, and find from their sacrifice enduring meaning. Instead, for too many, the holiday (is) used as yet another chance to celebrate the living, while tarnishing the past. Politicians who snicker at good manners and jeer at principle will find a way to make Americans alive today feel as if they are somehow “victims” and that the heroes who died on their behalf are somehow to blame. Many Hollywood celebrities will take “selfies” glorifying their indulgent lifestyles, but few, if any, will pause to remember the final minutes of life endured by those who gave all, so that the callous and ignorant could play.
It is maddening. So many Americans will let Memorial Day slip by without falling to their knees in thanks is an agonizing reminder that while many Americans today still supply the nation with its vital supply of character, the country is nonetheless bleeding.
You do not need to walk through a battlefield cemetery to see sacrifice. Look into the eyes of someone who has lost a loved one, and you will see that the cost of military service is never borne by the warriors alone. Losing someone in war is like losing a limb that no prosthetic can replace. People suffer in silence because the scars from their injuries are not visible to others. Their sacrifice continues unabated for all their days. Again, if the politicians and personalities truly cared about America’s survival, they would tell their voyeuristic “followers” to pay attention to the Americans who actually deserve their concern. Look at these parents and spouses who suffer, so that you can live carelessly, they should say. These are the ones you should honor. That they do not, and that so many Americans will fail to comfort those most in need of comforting, should be a source of great shame.
At the very least, we should honor the fallen by celebrating how they lived. We should remember that however daunting the path before us, it is our time to fight for those who rest.
That is the kind of monument the fallen deserve — to have their memories reflected in our daily actions. Surely that is not too much to ask.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – Having led the French army in a momentous victory over England at Orléans during the Hundred Years’ War, Joan of Arc was charged with heresy and witchcraft and, on this day in 1431, was burned at the stake.
AND in 1806 Andrew Jackson, who later served as president of the United States (1829–37), fatally shot Charles Dickinson in a duel; during his life Jackson was involved in numerous duels—some accounts estimate 100—and many of them were in defense of his wife, Rachel.
Baby in the Womb Undergoes First-of-Its-Kind Surgery to Place 23 Coils in Her Brain, Is Now Thriving
By Louie Chambers The Epoch Times MAY 29, 2023
Doctors have saved a baby’s life in utero with an aggressive, life-threatening brain malformation that could have led to heart failure, severe brain injury, or death after birth. Two months on, the baby’s parents are looking back at their daughter’s extraordinary story.
Filmmaker and photographer Derek Coleman, 39, and his wife, human resources professional Kenyatta Coleman, 36, live with their four children in Denham Springs, Louisiana.
Their daughter Denver’s survival has become a huge medical success story.
The Anxious Wait
“Within our first trimester we did genetic testing, just as a precaution, and our results came back low risk,” Kenyatta told The Epoch Times. “In the second trimester, we had an anatomy scan. There was nothing that would have suggested there was an abnormality with the baby’s brain and heart.”
Around the 28th week, Kenyatta began experiencing itching in her legs. She saw her doctor, who sent her for blood tests.
“The itching turned out to be intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. It’s a condition that affects my liver that could be detrimental to the health of the baby,” the mom said. “Because of that diagnosis, my doctor suggested doing weekly ultrasounds.”
During a routine ultrasound on Feb. 15, Kenyatta’s 30th week of pregnancy, she noticed the technician “paying close attention to the baby’s brain and heart.” Kenyatta wasn’t given any specific diagnosis but was told that hers was a “high risk” pregnancy and the baby had a brain abnormality, dilated ventricles, and an enlarged heart.
The anxious parents consulted a couple more experts. At 31 weeks, baby Denver was officially diagnosed with a vein of Galen malformation (VOGM), a rare prenatal condition in which arteries carrying high-flow, high-pressure blood connect directly with veins at the base of the brain, rather than to the capillaries that slow blood flow and deliver oxygen to surrounding brain tissue. As a result, Denver’s heart was strained and enlarged.
The baby needed immediate surgery if doctors were going to stand a chance of saving her life.
“There was a 99 percent chance that she was going to go into heart failure shortly after birth, or while I was pregnant with her in utero,” Kenyatta said.
The Colemans connected with neuro-interventional radiologist Dr. Darren B. Orbach of Boston Children’s Hospital, who was doing a clinical trial. He agreed to take on Denver’s case because of its critical nature. The baby needed a procedure known as embolization to decrease blood flow to her brain and take the strain off her heart.
“We knew, going in, that because it was a clinical trial there were risks associated,” Kenyatta said. “It could be complications with the baby after the procedure, or during the procedure, including complications with me. Complications could have resulted in me having to have an emergency C-section. … Derek and I, we just came to the conclusion that the risks associated with the clinical trial outweighed the risks had we taken that ‘wait and see’ approach.
“[Denver] lived in a critical state, let’s just put it that way. The malformation at first was 2.8 centimeters [approx. 1.1 inches] before we left for Boston. By the time we made it to Boston, it had increased in size … between 3.1 and 3.3 centimeters [approx. 1.2 and 1.3 inches]. … The echocardiogram was now showing that the baby’s heart was larger in size, and now it was more in distress.”
23 Coils, 20 Minutes
On March 15, a multidisciplinary team from Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led by Orbach, assembled to place coils inside baby Denver’s skull in utero in a complex and delicate procedure, the first of its kind. The baby was 34 weeks and 2 days gestational age at the time of surgery.
Kenyatta canceled her baby shower, unsure if she would ever be bringing her baby home.
“I would be given an epidural,” she said. “I would be awake for the procedure. The baby would also receive anesthetic to make sure that she’s in place. They would also give her an injection of a pain med to help with any pain that she may have had.
“The procedure itself is very much like an amniocentesis. … It’s like a small puncture in the back of the baby’s head so they can look at the back of her skull so that they could strategically place the coils inside of the malformation,” she said.
It took doctors three rounds, taking breaks at five-minute intervals to calm the baby’s heart rate, to place 23 coils in baby Denver’s skull. End to end, the procedure took 20 minutes.
“I had my little headphones in, just listening to music, gospel music to be specific,” Kenyatta said. “After the procedure, one of the team members that was in the room removed my headphones and told me, ‘That’s a wrap!’ Everything was done, the baby did beautifully.”
Reunited after surgery, Kenyatta and Derek found out that Kenyatta’s amniotic fluid was leaking. The embolization had worked, but the baby was coming. She had to be induced and gave birth to preemie Denver two days post-surgery on March 17.
Kenyatta was concerned. “It was like, okay, it’s working as long as she’s inside of me, but what happens when I give birth to her? Will she be able to thrive? Will this procedure continue to be a success? Will things decline? Will she go into heart failure? There was a lot of questions,” she said.
When Denver was born, she wasn’t breathing. She was “whisked off” by nurses to have her airway cleared of amniotic fluid. As soon as Kenyatta and Derek heard their baby girl cry, their hearts soared.
Kenyatta said: “I didn’t think I would give birth to a live baby, considering the odds. I cried. I rejoiced inside. It was just so much going on. They allowed me to see her before they whisked her off to the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit]; they actually placed her on my chest for a while. I got a chance to actually hold her and see her face, and that was a big deal for me.”
Denver weighed 4 pounds, 1 ounce at birth. Other than her prematurity, she was a “perfectly fine, perfect little human” and spent just 11 days in the Boston Children’s NICU for monitoring.
Kenyatta, who had stumbled across a nonprofit vein of Galen malformation support network during her online search before the official diagnosis, says being a part of the group she’s learned that some full-term babies with this condition don’t do well, and “a lot of them unfortunately pass away within their first days of life.” But their own premature baby, who had a large malformation and just had the surgery, “is thriving.”
Orbach said in a news release, “[I]n our first treated case, we were thrilled to see that the aggressive decline usually seen after birth simply did not appear. … There are no signs of any negative effects on the brain.” The groundbreaking case study was published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Stroke.
While in the NICU, Denver learned to drink from a bottle. After transfer to Brigham and Women’s Hospital on the 11th day, she began breastfeeding and moved to an open crib. She was discharged on April 19 with low-flow oxygen for pulmonary hypertension, since resolved, and at the time of writing, she weighs a little over 8 pounds.
“She’s meeting milestones,” Kenyatta told The Epoch Times. “This child only had that one embolization in utero, and as of today hasn’t required any additional surgery. … Her heart function is actually even better than it was upon discharge from the NICU.”
However, Denver is not considered “cured,” said the mom. She has bi-weekly ultrasounds to check her status and will live the rest of her life with the 23 coils in her head. But besides limiting sports with a higher risk of head injury, Kenyatta and Derek hope that their daughter will enjoy a normal life and be able to participate in “pretty much anything.”
The VOGM is a condition of unknown origin and usually develops between the 11th and 12th week of gestation, Kenyatta said, but it’s often only first seen during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Kenyatta said, “It’s not just a mystery as to why it happened to Denver. It’s a mystery in terms of why it happens to other children, too, … and this is something that I’d like to advocate for.
“Denver enjoys bonding with her siblings. She’s enjoying tummy time. She enjoys music, and she enjoys being read to. She’ll ‘coo’ and she’ll smile, and she’ll look around. She’s always very alert when she’s awake. She’s doing awesome!”
Let us then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of springtime. Let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor. Let us, in this solemn presence, renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.
— Maj. Gen. John Logan In his 1868 call to celebrate Decoration Day as a national holiday,
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
—19th century libertarian philosopher John Stuart Mill in his essay “The Contest In America
Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures — not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.
His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast.
But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.
In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.
From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory’s eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.
I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.
— On May 12, 1962, Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressed the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, delivering his farewell speech
I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them. Yet, we must try to honor them not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.
Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves.
It is this, beyond the controversy and the congressional debate, beyond the blizzard of budget numbers and the complexity of modern weapons systems, that motivates us in our search for security and peace. … The willingness of some to give their lives so that others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery.
As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. … I can’t claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don’t know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: “O! say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” That is what we must all ask.
—On Memorial Day of 1982, President Ronald Reagan spoke in honor of 270,000 Patriots interred at Arlington National Cemetery
Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America. Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.
I don’t have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world. This Memorial Day of 1983, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. I think an ancient scholar put it well when he wrote: “Let us now praise famous men … All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.” As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.
—President Ronald Reagan, 1983
Memorial Day is the day that makes possible all other American days. Without the sacrifice we honor at patriots’ graves in churchyards and national cemeteries across the country, there would be no America.
Their duty was to serve. Our duty is to remember.
But our duty must go far beyond remembrance — it must include a commitment to ensuring that our military remains the best trained, best equipped and most prepared fighting force in world history.
As evil grows around the world, only a renewed America is capable of keeping evil in check. If America isn’t leading the free world, the free world isn’t being led.
The United States military is the greatest fighting force ever assembled on the face of the earth, the greatest force for peace in the history of mankind, made up of the greatest patriots in the history of our country. We will be forever grateful for their service and their sacrifice.
—Mike Pence is an American politician who served as the 48th vice president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. He wrote in the Washington Times on May 28, 2023
Few know that we are facing a national security crisis whose remedy lies in reinvigorating a dedication to duty among our youth. The Army missed its recruiting goals last year by about 15,000 soldiers. That’s roughly the size of one division. They’ll miss the recruiting goal again this year. Let that sink in – we’re running short one division a year when we only have ten. How many more years until our Army is too small to be effective? This major security threat is emerging just as an era of geopolitical power struggle intensifies with a totalitarian Chinese Communist foe explicitly dedicated to dominating the world order.
America’s youth must step forward to serve our nation in uniform. All Americans can be part of the solution by using our voices and influence to encourage a renewed sense of duty to country across this great land. Advocate for military service to your communities, to your schools, and especially to your children. From those to whom much has been entrusted, much is expected. And all Americans have been abundantly blessed. Let’s rekindle our nation’s sense of duty – it’s our honor and privilege to do so.
—David Kim, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation,is a combat veteran, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and father of a son and a daughter in the U.S. Army
On this Memorial Day, we remember all the fallen — and we remember those whom they left behind. We have a sacred obligation “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” — and that obligation increases a hundredfold because the battle was borne, and the wife was widowed, and the child was orphaned, for us. “Freedom is not free” is an overused phrase, almost cliche, which does not mean it should not be said. But this Memorial Day, when you say it, think of what it means on the most human level. You live in the greatest nation, among the greatest people, in the history of the world.
You have that privilege because, across three centuries, unnumbered Americans laid down everything for it.
—Brooke Rollins is the president and CEO of America First Policy Institute, and previously served as the director of the Domestic Policy Council in the Trump administration, writing in Real Clear Politics
More than 1.3 million soldiers have died fighting for America. These images pay tribute to the enormity of their sacrifice.
This weekend honors those who served our country but whom we never could thank with a handshake, applause or a ticker-tape parade − because we never had the chance.
They are the people who fought and gave their lives for America and our allies. In most cases, they never knew the outcome of their ultimate sacrifice – whether it was on a beach in Normandy, a Middle Eastern desert, a jungle in Asia, or a field in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
It has been 155 years since soldiers from both sides of the Civil War joined in remembering their lost comrades in America’s bloodiest war on what was once called Decoration Day. An act of Congress in 1971 created the Memorial Day holiday we now observe.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded its Veterans Legacy Memorial project to include former service members interred at 27 cemeteries managed by the Air Force, Navy and Army, including Arlington National Cemetery.
VA officials said the expansion adds more than 300,000 veterans to the online memorial, which now contains landing pages for roughly 4.8 million veterans.
Each memorial page includes a veteran’s dates of birth and death, dates or eras of military service, grave location and photo of grave, as available. The site is fully interactive, allowing family members, friends and colleagues to share photos, documents and memories.
Since the site went fully interactive on Memorial Day weekend in 2021, more than 58,000 items have been uploaded to veterans’ pages, according to James LaPaglia, digital services officer for the National Cemetery Administration.
For example, LaPaglia said, on Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Robert Monroe’s page, family and friends have uploaded photos and added information about the Vietnam veteran’s service, awards and career.
And they can post messages, much like a social media page. Linda Monroe, Robert’s wife, visits the page often and leaves messages to him across the ether, even as she frequently visits his graveside at Riverside National Cemetery in California.
“Good morning,” she wrote to her husband in April. “Brought you some roses. It’s raining again but off and on after a week of sunshine.”
“Instead of what you see at a cemetery, with someone standing at a headstone talking to their late husband or late son, late daughter or spouse, this is happening virtually,” LaPaglia said. “We see people grieve, we see people telling funny stories. We see just the gamut of emotion.”
The addition this year of four Air Force, five Navy and 18 Army-run cemeteries includes the most requested location, Arlington National Cemetery — “something our users have been asking for from the beginning,” LaPaglia said.
LaPaglia urged Americans this Memorial Day to go to a veteran’s page to honor them.
“After the barbecues and kayaking, take some time to go to [the Veterans Legacy Memorial]. Find your veterans. Show their memories,” he said.
For too many Americans, Memorial Day is little more than a three-day weekend, a holiday in May marking the unofficial beginning of summer. The long weekend is filled with pool parties, first-of-the-year barbecues, and, of course, retail bargains. This, not to put too fine a point on it, is wrong.
Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant to provide a pause so we could remember those who have given the most they could give in the name of freedom.
Sometimes it feels like we didn’t just get out of a 20-year war that heavily impacted so many service members and their families. The significance and original purpose of the day are lost to most average Americans, many of whom don’t know the difference between Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.
It doesn’t help that Memorial Day comes right at the kickoff to summer, a time for warmth and parades and the return of the sun after the bleakness of winter.
But the general population isn’t entirely to blame for not recognizing the day’s significance. They’ve been conditioned by decades of advertising and deep discounts for everything you can imagine, especially big-ticket items like home appliances. Memorial Day has essentially been rebranded by companies to cash in on any and every holiday to boost sales.
That’s something that Black Rifle Coffee Company has never done, and — according to company founder and CEO Evan Hafer — will never do.
“This isn’t about a 30% off mattress sale,” Hafer said. “BRCC never has and never will profit from Memorial Day, and it’s immoral for any company even to make a dollar off this day of remembrance.”
—Coffee or die
The Milwaukee Bucks are finalizing a deal to make Adrian Griffin their head coach after he spent the last five seasons as a Toronto Raptors assistant, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal was still being completed.
Griffin would replace Mike Budenholzer, who was fired earlier this month after the top-seeded Bucks’ stunning loss to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
Griffin had been an assistant on a Toronto staff headed by Nick Nurse, who was fired last month after the end of the Raptors’ season. Griffin was an assistant on the Raptors’ 2019 NBA championship team that beat the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.
A manufacturer with a 100-year history in Milwaukee will exit the city, leaving over 400 workers out of a job.
Master Lock will shutter its Milwaukee plant by next March and move production elsewhere in North America, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“This decision is not a reflection of the skills, performance or commitment of the Milwaukee workforce, and it was not made lightly,” the company said in a statement to WTMJ-TV. “Rather, this is an opportunity to continue to enhance our supply chain resilience, maximize potential growth of the business and maintain our competitiveness into the future.”
But the decision has drawn criticism from the United Auto Workers union and city leaders alike.
“I am enormously disappointed by the impending closure of the Master Lock facility,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said in a statement. “It is a slap in the face to the hardworking Milwaukee employees. They certainly deserve greater respect and appreciation from their company.”
In a Facebook post, UAW Region 4 said the union is disgusted to see “another profitable corporation” choose to “close the doors of a manufacturing icon in America’s never-ending quest for profit, without any regard for the people amassing their wealth.”
—WI Public Radio
For more than 100 years, Wisconsin’s official highway maps have helped motorists, and likely a few horse-drawn wagons, get from Westfield to Florence, Brodhead to La Crosse and Montello to Bayfield.
Some of the earliest maps indicated surface type, like concrete, gravel, all weather earth roads, heavy clay earth roads and unsurfaced sandy roads.
The 1935 map had a handy guide to explain stop signs and had six paragraphs on the “rules of the road.” They included tips on passing a slower motorist and reminded drivers that their vehicles needed to have a rear view mirror, at least one windshield wiper, horn, legal lights and “efficient brakes.”
As for the speed limit?
“There is no speed limit on rural highways,” the state Highway Commission wrote 88 years ago. “Be reasonable and drive carefully.”
Clearly this was the early days of motoring.
But with smartphones loaded with GPS and vehicles armed with display screens and a voice that guides every turn, merge and crossing, the need for a folded, paper map would seem to be in its final days.
Only that’s not the case.
The state Department of Transportation has released, for the first time since 2019, its newest state highway map. And while there is a digital version, the state has also printed 310,000 copies and expects to print another 340,000 to meet demand before the next map comes out in 2025.
“The printed map doesn’t require batteries, it can always be there,” said David Layton, the DOT’s section chief of surveying and mapping. “There’s more points of interest, and you can see the whole state in one shot. Not only is it a map for travel purposes but for tourism and marketing the state as well.”
So as the travel season kicks off, the DOT has stocked up its welcome centers and rest stops with the new maps and has also created a database that holds each official state highway map since the program’s inception in 1918. It includes a 1916 road map produced by Rand McNally.
—Racine Journal Times
House Republicans reached a tentative deal with the White House on Saturday night to raise the nation’s borrowing limit and avoid a catastrophic default on U.S. sovereign debt.
“We have come to an agreement in principle,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I believe this is an agreement in principle that’s worthy of the American people.”
The deal, he said, “has historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty and into the workforce, and rein in government overreach. There are no new taxes and no new government programs.”
Biden called the deal “an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone.”
He also offered a preview of the White House’s argument for House Democrats reluctant to support a bill that appears on its face to be a Republican victory: In short, it could have been a lot worse.
“The agreement protects my and Congressional Democrats’ key priorities and legislative accomplishments,” said Biden, adding that it “represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want.”
GOP presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott is sounding the alarm about Democrat’s plan to break Republican candidates and use it against them in the 2024 race.
Scott argued that Democrats could “weaponize” the words of Republican candidates against each other, adding that the road to socialism runs right through a divided Republican Party.
“Everything we say about each other, the Democrats will weaponize against all of us, no matter who the nominee is,” the South Carolina senator said.
Scott suggested the ongoing feud between newly announced GOP presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis (Fla) and former President Trump could spark mayhem for the Republican Party as they frequently fire shots at each other.
Instead of trying to smear his GOP rivals as they fight for the 2024 tickets, Scott said he would focus on America and destroying the “leadership” of President Joe Biden.
“I’m going to focus on the real problem in America. The real problem in America is the feckless leadership of Joe Biden,” Scott said. “It is time for America to take a stand and elect a president who understands how it feels to be on both sides of the tracks. Who understands that broken pieces become a whole opportunity in America.”
He called for his Republican colleagues to stop dividing the conservative movement and instead focus on fixing the economy, military, and foreign policy.
Bud Light sales fell for the sixth straight week, industry data shows, amid a boycott that has retailers desperate to unload the unwanted beer.
Since Anheuser-Busch’s ill-fated team-up with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, the beer giant’s sales have tanked, its stock price is down, and stores have begun marking down Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch products to get them off their shelves.
In at least one store, according to the report, a Bud Light 24-pack was priced as low as $3.49.
Competitors are benefiting from the controversy, with Coors Light sales up 16.9% and Miller Lite up 15.1%, according to Beer Business Daily.
A man was arrested for allegedly opening an emergency exit door during a South Korean flight, and he faces up to 10 years in prison, officials said.
The suspect, described as a 33-year-old man with the surname Lee, told investigators in preliminary questioning that he felt suffocated and tried to quickly escape the plane, police said, according to The Associated Press. The man also reportedly said he felt stressed since he lost his job recently.
Twelve people suffered slight injuries after he opened the emergency exit of the Asiana Airlines Airbus on Friday.
Normally, emergency exit doors are unable to be opened mid-flight due to the air pressure inside and outside of the aircraft, but the man was likely able to open the door Friday because the plane was at a low altitude and preparing to land.
Video from the flight shows air blowing through the jet cabin as 200 people were on board.
If convicted, Lee faces up to 10 years in prison for violating an aviation safety law.
—Just the News
What was initially a scary moment for spectators at the Indianapolis 500 turned out to be a story to remember for one attendee.
With less than 20 laps to go at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Felix Rosenqvist hit the outside wall before spinning back onto the track and slamming into Kyle Kirkwood, who lost a back tire. Not only was the crash scary for Kirkwood, as his car went upside down, but it became a suspenseful moment for the crowd as the back tire flew toward fans.
Broadcast cameras showed the tire appear to be headed toward people in the stands before missing and landing elsewhere on the grounds. Videos on social media then showed a white car in the parking lot with some damage on its front, apparently from the tire.
The IndyStar, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported Robin Matthews, a racing fan from Indianapolis, was the owner of the car that was hit by the loose tire.
“I didn’t see it come down,” Matthews told Indy Star. “I came down and they said ‘Robin, it’s your car!’ I thought, ‘No.’ I thought somebody was pranking me.
“It’s a car. It’s fine.”
The Left has sided with transgender “women” over natural ones in every facet of life, including sports, where the advantages are enormous. The question is why?
The Supreme Court’s newest justice could not define the word “woman” under sworn testimony in front of a Senate committee. In the 1970’s, she would have defined it and defended it with pride; today, her calculation is that she has no political benefit in going head-to-head with the trans movement and its supporters on the Left. So after years of college, law school, and service as a lawyer and judge, she realized that the best play was to say that the subject belongs to biologists and not to offer her own thoughts on such an important question.
Every week, we read of another guy claiming to be a woman winning some sporting event. The number and types of such events is growing: poker, cycling, volleyball, running, swimming, weight-lifting. The obvious solution if people don’t have the stomach to tell an XY guy that he is no gal is to set up a separate competitive division for trans and let them fight it out there, but not with the girls or women. But there is little movement in this direction, and girls and women who have dedicated years of hard work are being beaten by guys who are bigger and stronger than they are.
Why are so few women standing up for women, and when they do, they are attacked or threatened with bodily harm? When did the feminist movement give up on defending women and instead cave to the ludicrous idea that a man can be a woman by simply saying that he is?
The Left tolerates no opinion that does not fit with the program, so climate activists must also support trans rights and BLM. If they do not, they will be called bigots and removed from the program. So the best policy is either to shut up or support the required opinions, however far from the field of interest.
Why do feminists support the guy with a ponytail and not the woman with the XX chromosomes? The trans movement is the latest gadget to be absorbed into the Left blob, and as all opinions must be completely acceptable across the issues, there is no room to come out in favor of the girls or young women. To do so is to repudiate the trans movement, which is a full card-carrying member of the Left. Just as BLM had to come out against Israel because the Palestinians are a favorite of the Left, so too feminists must now dance to the trans music, and J. K. Rowling is the poster child of anyone who gets out of line.
Thus, the women swimmers at Penn were afraid to speak out against their male teammate who would shower with them. They understood that if they crossed the line of acceptable opinions, their career futures were in serious jeopardy. The feminists who paved the way for Title IX are laying low and are too scared to say the obvious: guys should not be competing in women’s sports.
Joe Biden was for most of his career considered a moderate on the issues. Yet, his administration is to the far left on virtually every subject, from the border to energy to requiring pronouns over at the State Department. His staff understand how the game is played and will not hold or put forth an opinion that is not accepted by the Left. There is virtually no moderate wing in today’s Democratic party. It will be a great irony when a Republican president is the one who saves women’s sports for women. There is no one left on the Democrats’ team willing to do the same.
— Alan Joseph Bauer received a Bachelors in Biochemistry from Harvard and a Ph.D. in the same from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bauer lives with his family in Jerusalem and is the Chief Scientist of a local technology company.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.
Even though I subscribe to the theory that you can do just about anything on the grill, I would toss out the asterisk on pizza.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, it’s inevitable the ash, a lot of it, is going to end up on top of your pizza. Your pizza is going to get smoky…..very, very, very smoky.
I love good charcoal taste on beef, pork, and poultry. However, when I bite into a pizza and the sauce and mozzarella taste like I’ve just chomped on a Kingsford briquette, that’s not my idea of good eatin’.
Your experience might be different on a gas grill.
My experience says this is one food episode you should avoid.