The End of My Cancer

August 22, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Government, Health, John Armor, Liberals, President | Comments Off

-By John Armor

(Eds note: This is the last column written by Mr. Armor. He had thought his cancer was gone, but it was not. He passed away due to its ravages on Friday, August 20, 2010)

On 23 April I had a routine colonoscopy, and found out that I had cancer. I knew then I’d have to write this column once I knew the outcome. I had 25 days of chemotherapy, simultaneous with radiation therapy, followed by surgery on 11 August.

The pathology reports came back yesterday. They were, as my surgeon said, ‘the best possible, given the circumstances.” They were clean margins and clean lymph nodes. The margins are the areas all around the site of the surgery. The lymph nodes are where cancer usually spreads first, from its original site.

In laymen’s terms, I am cancer-free. Going into my purpose for this column was, and still is, to save some lives. Three of the most common cancers in America today are colon and prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women. All three have a common characteristic. They can be often and easily cured if they are detected early.

Let me repeat that, and pardon me for shouting, but THESE CANCERS CAN BE EASILY CURED IF THEY ARE DETECTED EARLY.
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Publius Contributor John Armor Passed Away Friday

August 20, 2010 | Filed Under John Armor, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

I have the sad duty to inform Publius Forum readers that on Friday one of our own has gone on to his final reward. Contributor John Armor died of complications from recent cancer treatments. This is a bit shocking because he and his doctors had thought he was cancer free but apparently that wasn’t the case.

Mr. Armor has been contributing to Publius since 2008 and his insights with be sorely missed on our pages. (CLICK here for Mr. Armor’s archives)

John also worked for the American Civil Rights Union and they have posted a nice memorial upon his passing.

ACRU Mourns the Passing of John Armor

“John was a great American, a dear friend and a champion of liberty,” says Susan Carleson, CEO and Chairman of the American Civil Rights Union. “He will be sorely missed.”

On August 20, 2010, ACRU Senior Legal Counsel John Armor passed away in a North Carolina hospital, following cancer surgery. He had appeared to be in full recovery, so his death was a shock to family and friends.

Armor, a graduate of Yale University and the University of Maryland School of Law, had a long and distinguished career, practicing before the U.S. Supreme Court for 33 years and authoring eight books and hundreds of articles. His latest book, These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls: America Then and Now in the Words of Tom Paine (ACRU 2010), is being released in early September.

“It was a blessing that he got to see it, hold it in his hands,” Carleson said.

These Are The Times That Try Men’s Souls A favorite at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and Tea Party events, especially in North Carolina where he lived, Armor dressed in colonial garb and impersonated Benjamin Franklin, explaining the origins of American liberties to 21st Century audiences. Some of his performances can be seen on YouTube.

“John was one of the first people that my husband Bob [Carleson] brought on board at the ACRU when there was no money, just great spirit,” said Carleson, who met Armor when they worked together on the National Commission of the Bicentennial of the Constitution in 1986. “He has been a delight to work with and will be sorely missed. This is a deep loss to his wife Michelle, to his children, his friends and his colleagues at the ACRU.”

Armor, who was one of the few attorneys to write an amicus brief in the presidential election case in 2000, was a well known legal scholar of American politics, particularly third party movements. He represented Eugene McCarthy during the Minnesota Senator’s challenge of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency in 1968.

“John was also the first to figure out the constitutional basis of recalling federal officials,” Carleson said. “That led to the ACRU’s current campaign,, to educate Americans about the laws in 11 states that allow for recall as a way to ensure greater accountability.”

For the past several years, Armor wrote the weekly “ACLU Outrages” feature for the ACRU’s Website. “John had his finger on the pulse of the ACLU, tracking their misdeeds and writing amusing and disturbing accounts,” Carleson said. “He said he never worried about finding material, because the ACLU’s absurd stances came as reliably as ‘the rain falling on the fields of Ireland.’”

Susan Carleson, Chairman, CEO

Krauthammer: Dead Wrong on the 14th

August 13, 2010 | Filed Under Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Government, Immigration/Immigrants, John Armor, Liberals | Comments Off

-By John Armor

There are parts of Fox News I cannot watch. There is that self-important blowhard. There is that worldwide ambulance chaser. But as often as I can, I watch their news program at 6 p.m. My favorite part of that program is the lightning round, and especially the contributions of Charles Krauthammer.

Charles normally dissects an issue with precision and accuracy. But not today, the 5th of August. He posed the issue whether a Congressman was right to say we need to amend the 14th Amendment to deal with the problem of anchor babies. Krauthammer made the mistake of not reading the Amendment before discussing it. So did all the other participants in the discussion.

Krauthammer correctly stated that “we should not amend the Constitution to deal with such a small problem.” He missed the opportunity to point out that the Congressman, like much of the American press and punditry, are asking the wrong question and therefore getting the wrong answer.
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Corruption Is Good, In the Right Hands

August 3, 2010 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Banks, Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Free Trade, Government, John Armor, Liberals, President, Taxes | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I listened to every word of President Obama’s statement on signing the financial institutions’ “reform” law, Wednesday morning. This was a filthy job, but somebody had to do it. The longest applause during the entire charade was when Obama thanked Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Christopher Dodd for their “tireless work” in getting this bill passed.

Now, class, let’s conduct a brief review. First, not every Act that contains the word “reform” actually reforms or improves anything. As your grandma used to say, “Just because the cat has kittens in the oven, doesn’t make them biscuits.”

Second, this “reform” law doesn’t lay a finger on the two federal lending corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were at the heart of the phony financial instruments which nearly crippled the national economy. Why would they, of all institutions, be left out?
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The Missing Bone Hunters of Politics

July 26, 2010 | Filed Under Conservatives, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Founders, Government, History, John Armor, Liberals | Comments Off

-By John Armor

On our way through eastern Tennessee on US 26 for the fortieth time, give or take a few, we decided to visit the Gray Fossil Museum. It is one of the most extraordinary preserves of fossilized bones of long-extinct creatures ever found.

An excellent book describes how this sink hole that preserves thousands of whole skeletons of ancient creatures was discovered, preserved and exploited. The book is The Bone Hunters by Harry Moore.

In some cases, the scientists can identify a species from a single tooth. Compare paleontology to political science. We know more about the life and death of creatures which lived three million years ago, than we do about types of governments which have died within the memory of living people.
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A Tale of Two Women

July 17, 2010 | Filed Under Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Entertainment, History, John Armor, Marines, Military, Movies, National Guard, Navy, Patriotism, WWII | 1 Comment

-By John Armor

“Important” events happened recently to two women. The relative attention paid and press coverage about the two tells a lot about where we are as a nation, and it isn’t good. The two women are Lindsay Lohan and Pam Murphy.

All of you know that Lindsay Lohan is a spoiled, self-centered, self-destructive twit who was just sentenced to 90 days in jail for multiple instances of contempt of court. But how many of you know who Pam Murphy was? Let’s not always see the same hands.

Pam Murphy was the widow of Audie Murphy, the most decorated US soldier from WW II. Here is how an article in Veterans Today on 10 April, 2010, described her:
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‘The Orator, with his Flood of Words….’

July 9, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Government, John Armor, Liberals, President | Comments Off

-By John Armor

It’s been a long time since I debated John Kerry’s Liberal Party at Yale. (We, the Conservative Party, whopped ‘em good.) Even longer since I debated in high school. Having listened to and analyzed President Obama’s speech on immigration, I’m more convinced than ever that Obama is a one-trick pony, an increasingly unsuccessful one.

The war in Afghanistan is in trouble, and the Talban might snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Therefore, Obama gives a speech. The American economy is in trouble and high unemployment persists. Obama gives a speech. Spewing oil in the Gulf is unchecked. Obama gives a speech. Drugs and criminals are running across the border into Arizona. Obama gives a speech. You get the idea.

When he gives a speech, he sounds like he is addressing the subject at hand. But that is only an illusion, an illusion that even his former supporters are beginning to recognize for what it is.
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Poor Richard’s Internet

July 3, 2010 | Filed Under Ben Franklin, Computers, Founders, Inernet, John Armor, Technology | Comments Off

-By John Armor

Let us raise two questions: What would Ben Franklin think of the Internet? And, what would be his opinion of efforts by the current Administration to censor Internet content, or even shut it down in “an emergency”? Events in his life may answer those questions.

A recent two-hour TV special on Franklin made one point that deserves repetition. It was that of all the Framers who created the United States of America in law and in fact, the one who would be “most at home in the modern world” was Dr. Franklin.

There are several, sound reasons for that. Franklin was a scientist. He observed facts in the real world. He developed theories to explain those facts. Then, he developed experiments to prove whether or not his theories were correct.
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Trouble on Oiled Waters

June 25, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Business, Democrats/Leftists, Energy, Government, John Armor, Liberals, Oil, President, Taxes | Comments Off

-By John Armor

At most times and in some circumstances presidential speeches carry weight far beyond the actual words spoken or written. A President’s verbal gaff can start a war, rather than prevent one. A slight mistake by a President can cause American, or even international, markets to collapse, rather than stabilize.

There is a second point of great importance. Even if a President uses the best words and concepts to address any issue or crisis, those who hear those words – Americans or foreigners, friends or foe – must take his statements seriously. To be effective, a President must be believable, at least to most of the people whom he seeks to influence with his comments.

With those points in mind, we turn to President Obama’s speech Tuesday night from the Oval Office on the subject of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Success, But Not in the Gulf

June 20, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Energy, Government, John Armor, Law, Liberals, Oil, President, Regulation | Comments Off

-By John Armor

When you’ve been writing weekly for 16 years, occasionally the question comes up: what on God’s green Earth am I going to talk about now? I was going to write about the Jones Act.

That Act requires that ships operating in American waters be American-owned with American crews. Not stated in the law is its real purpose. The maritime unions have a headlock on American shipboard workers. So, the Jones Act requires, in reality, that all ships operating in American waters generate dues for the unions which translate into funds to elect Democrats.

Skimmer ships are sitting idle in foreign ports though they were offered at the beginning to help us. They could be on the job weeks ago, if the Administration had “waived the Jones Act,” which other Administrations have done in other emergencies. But not this one. This Administration remains loyal to the unions, while beaches, fish and birds die by the day from oil that was not skimmed away at sea.

There’s an old saying in Maryland politics, “An honest politician is one who, once he’s bought, stays bought.” But that’s not what I came to talk about.

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The $5,000 Pancake

June 19, 2010 | Filed Under Business, Christianity, Economy/Finances, Education, John Armor, North Carolina, Religion, Western Civilization | Comments Off

-By John Armor

Saturday a week ago I had a $5,000 blueberry pancake. Actually, I had two of them. They were just as delicious as the ones I had last fall. All of them were courtesy of the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club.

Scaly Mountain is an unincorporated community just down the Dillard Road from us, about ten miles from the intersection of the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia borders. In the summer, Scaly Mountain swells to several thousand people. In the winter, it shrinks to a few hundred. But, there is never a shortage of fine people who willingly give their time, efforts and treasure for the benefit of others.

A lady whom we’ve met before, Kay Steele, was kind enough to tell us the history of the Women’s Club. It began 22 years ago with just 14 members. Now, it has grown to about 80 women. This is the seventh year they have run their Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center (which used to be a church, and before that was a one-room school, but more about that later).
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‘You’re the top! You’re the Coliseum’

June 5, 2010 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, Capitalism, Economy/Finances, John Armor, Taxes, The New York Times | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I’ve seen the movie, De-Lovely, at least six times now. Cole Porter’s personal life was a wreck, But with words and music he had no peer. Not even in two people at once, like Gilbert and Sullivan, or Rodgers and Hammerstein, for instance. I begin this column with a Porter quote from ‘You’re the Top,” and the subject is Paul Krugman.

As my wife says of people who take themselves with far too seriously, “He sends his shirts out to be stuffed.” By all that’s right and holy, Krugman should be one of the great men of our generation. He graduated from Yale, and other top drawer universities. He has taught there, and is now at Princeton. He won a Nobel Prize in Economics. And his twaddle (excuse me, his philosophy) appears regularly in his New York Times column.

My education includes Yale and various other reputable institutions. My knowledge of economics and world history are not exactly chopped liver. Frequently, I can recognize exactly where and how Krugman goes off the rails and concludes the exact opposite of what is happening in the real world, where real people live and work.
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When I Was a Child….

June 2, 2010 | Filed Under Congress, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Government, Immigration/Immigrants, John Armor, Liberals, President | Comments Off

-By John Armor

Here are recent events concerning the new Arizona law on illegal immigrants in that state. First, the state passes a law which exactly tracks federal law on who is, or is not, an illegal immigrant. Then, President Obama and several other officials of the federal government condemn the law without bothering to read it.

The most common claim against the law is that it authorizes any law enforcement personnel to go up to any person anywhere in Arizona and “demand their papers.” Anyone who bothers to read the law knows this statement is a lie. In an interesting development, it turns out that California law has the same provision that Arizona has just established – once any policemen has made a legitimate stop for any reason, questions can be asked about citizenship.

There are apparently only two major differences between Arizona and California. California has no intention of enforcing its own laws. And, California politicians have a much higher tolerance for hypocrisy and dishonesty than those in Arizona.
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The Electronic Conscience

May 21, 2010 | Filed Under Business, Computers, Google, Inernet, John Armor, Net Neutrality, Technology, YouTube | Comments Off

-By John Armor

What is the impact of the current forms of gathering and transmitting information from person to person? Can people be affected by communications they don’t use, or even know how to use?

There were five of us around a table in church this morning. All of us used the internet at least somewhat. Most of us did not use Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. Our uses of the photo and video capacities of this generation of cell phones, fell someplace in the middle. But with some thought, the answer was clear. Whether or not we use these means of communication, they do affect us,

I grew up in a small town, Salisbury, Maryland. The town was small enough, and everybody knew everybody else’s children enough, that when you did something wrong, folks would tell on you. Odds are your mother would know about it before you even got home to tell your side of the story.

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Burqa Mentality in the Blue Ridge

May 12, 2010 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Christianity, Islam, Islamofascism, John Armor, Religion, Terrorism, Virginia, Western Civilization | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I read, and I write for, the Highlands Newspaper, a weekly paper with a modest circulation. The Editor, also my editor, is Kim Lewicki. She ran an article in last week’s issue that was excellently written and edited, and worthy of sharing with my national audience.

The week before, Erika Olvera, a former Police Officer in this town, filed an EEOC Complaint against the Town of Highlands. Our experience with Officer Olvera was limited, but we found her to be diligent and capable. She worked for the Town for two years. She is a naturalized American from Mexico, who has lived in this area for about 20 years.

About six months after she was employed by the Police Department, a nasty rumor circulated that she had had an affair with Police Chief Bill Harrell. (In a small town, everyone hears everything.) I said at the time the rumor may have nothing to do with her, but may be an effort by one of the other officers to undermine the Chief. Suffice to say, Bill Harrell is married.
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The Boy Who Talked About Violence

April 24, 2010 | Filed Under Children, Education, History, John Armor | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I had the privilege and pleasure of spending four days as Ben Franklin in events connected with the Dayton Tea Party people, and their allies. Saturday I spoke at a special dinner for prime supporters and workers. Tuesday I spoke at the main rally in the Nutter Center. In between, I visited with nine different school classes in the Dayton area. Those are what I want to talk about today.

One of the events was a session with an after-school program at a church in Springfield, Ohio, for “at risk” kindergarten, first and second grade students. Another was a combination of two fifth-grade classes in a school that has won awards of excellence for nine years running.

In the latter, the students stood and recited the Preamble of the Constitution, with more or less accuracy in the precise words. They were the highest grade students I encountered, and also the most prepared. They had studied the Constitution and had studied Franklin’s life. I was very impressed by how much they knew and how good their questions were. But they aren’t the ones I came to talk about today.
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The Town the Census Forgot

April 17, 2010 | Filed Under Democrats/Leftists, Government, John Armor | Comments Off

-By John Armor

This is more or less an open letter to Robert Groves, Director of the Census Bureau. Dear Bob.

Can I call you Bob? I feel I know you since you’ve been all over the TV explaining that the screw-ups that have occurred in your Bureau about operations and cost will all be resolved. Well. here’s another screw-up for you to put on your plate.

The Census has a rule that it will not mail Census forms to Post Office Box addresses. As a general rule, I understand and support that. There are probably more than a million people in the US who use P.O. Boxes to cheat on their spouses, run investment scams, sell useless or non-existent products on the Internet, etc. However, every rule has its exceptions.
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Edgie Russell’s Clams

April 10, 2010 | Filed Under John Armor, Uncategorized | Comments Off

-By John Armor

It was 55 ½ years ago in August that Edgie Russell and I set out in a wooden rowboat to bring some clams home to our families. Bear with me, because this is going to be like Mark Twain’s story of his father’s ram.

Edgie, you say. That’s a funny nickname. No, it’s a real name. My childhood friend was Thomas Edgie Russell, III. His great-grandfather’s life had been saved by a sea captain named Edgie, so the name came into the family in the next generation. His parents were friends with mine, and they lived up the street. So when we wound up both going to the Gilman School, we walked together.
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Are you serious? Are you serious?

April 1, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Budget, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Government, Health, House of Representatives, John Armor, Liberals, Nancy Pelosi, President, Socialism, Taxes | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I’ve been preparing for a series of appearances as Benjamin Franklin at several different Tea Party events in Dayton, Ohio, from April 10 – 13. Despite his long and varied public career, Franklin had very little to do with partisan politics; Most of his service was as a diplomat, first in England and later in France.

There is one quality that all successful diplomats share. They know how to hold their tongues. Enemies now may become friends later, and vice versa. Therefore, effective diplomats make an absolute minimum of public, personal attacks on anyone in a position of power.

It was a proper choice for Franklin. It might just be a proper choice for this columnist in this time of crisis for the United States. With that said….

Last fall, a reporter asked Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, whether the proposals for Health Care “Reform” were constitutional. She responded, “Are you serious?” To show how absurd she considered the question, she repeated her dismissive reply, “Are you serious?”
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Feeding Starving People

March 27, 2010 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Government, John Armor, Liberals, Western Civilization | Comments Off

-By John Armor

Last Saturday, we did something that was only a small step up from mindless, unskilled labor. I’m glad we did it. We recommend it to everyone else.

An enthusiastic lady came to our Rotary meeting a week before. She was a teacher, acting as a volunteer for her church. She asked us to join with people from another half dozen other Rotary Clubs to pack 100,000 meals for starving people in Haiti. We decided it was a good cause, and we went.

There were two shifts requested at the National Guard Armory in the County Seat of Franklin, North Carolina. We arrived at 10:30 am, early for the second shift. A nice guy in a Rotary jacket gave us the good news that about a hundred extra volunteers had shown up for the first shift and there was not even room to park.

We came back in forty-five minutes, found a spot to park, and went in to sign up. We both got hairnets. (It was the first time in my life I’d worn a hairnet in public.) And we took our places at a table set up for five workers. There was a funnel in the middle of each table, with pre-printed plastic bags underneath. On the corners of the table were four containers: soy meal, vitamins, dried vegetables, and rice.

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When Congress Cheats on Its Rules

March 19, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Federalism, Government, Health, John Armor, Liberals, Taxes, Western Civilization | Comments Off

-By John Armor

We are apparently at crunch point on the efforts of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi in the House, and Majority Leader Reid in the Senate to pass by whatever means necessary the “health reform” bill. In the national debate, however, no one has asked whether the Supreme Court has any role in this matter. It does, and it may be definitive.

There is a question of what the bill is, since there are many versions, and several are under wraps. The opponents of the bill, whatever it is, includes Democrats and Republicans who believe that the bill is ill-thought takeover of one sixth of the national economy that will increase the cost of medical care, decrease its quality, and severely damage the national economy.

But this column is not about the merits or demerits of whatever is in the bill. It is about the methods being used to push it through Congress and the consequences of ways of getting around normal, legislative passage (Article I, Section 7, US Constitution).

At this point, it looks like the House will use the Slaughter Rule to “pass” it through the House without ever having a vote on it. The about-to-be-invented Rule is named for the Congresswomen who is the Chair of the Rules Committee and came up with this idea.
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Lies, Damned Lies, and Expert Testimony

March 11, 2010 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Computers, Democrats/Leftists, Free Trade, History, Inernet, John Armor, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, Net Neutrality, Taxes, Technology | Comments Off

-By John Armor

Before we get rolling, a pet peeve. Entirely too many reporters are too lazy to check their quotes. Time and again, they will say in their lede that “some wag referred to lies, damned lies, and statistics.” No, no, no. That was not “some wag;” that was the greatest of all American humorists, Mark Twain.

Twain’s Autobiography attributes the quote to the quick-witted British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disreali. But Disraeli’s biographers can find no trace of it. Apparently, Twain attributed it to someone else who was conveniently dead, to fend off attacks for using that shameful word, “damned,”

I’ve modified the Twain quote to apply to recent hearings before the Federal Communications Commission. I’ve testified before a handful of federal hearings. I’ve attended dozens of such hearings. And I’ve never heard more lying, by more people, not even from sitting through an entire day of traffic court and hearing the infinite reasons why each particular motorist was not guilty.
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‘I Was in the First Wave.’

March 1, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Constitution, Founders, Freedom, History, John Armor | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I was at breakfast on Sunday morning at the Sheraton National, in Arlington, Virginia. I was attending a conference elsewhere, but could only find space in Virginia. Also at my hotel were the members of the Iwo Jima Association.

That Association was for survivors of that battle, and for the families of those who did not survive. At the table next to me were two, older gentleman. The younger man was in his 60’s. He mentioned at one point where his father was buried at Arlington Cemetery, just a few blocks away. Then the older man, somewhere in his 90’s said a simple statement that will follow me to the end of my days.

“I was in the first wave,” he said in a soft voice with little hint of any emotion. As he continued, he described how they were taking fire from enemy who were hidden in holes at all points of the compass.

I have seen many war movies. The first one to come to grips with the reality — which I got from books, and from talking to people who were there — was “Saving Private Ryan.” That movie showed what this elderly man, sitting a few feet away, experienced, 65 years ago this month.

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My Funny Valentine

February 14, 2010 | Filed Under John Armor, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

-By John Armor

Remember those features in Readers Digest, “Laughter is the Best Medicine”? Do they still have that? Does Readers Digest still exist? It was in its day perfect for leaving on the back of the toilet in the bathroom — it had short articles when you were in a hurry. long ones when you were going to stay a while.

But that’s not what I came to talk about. I came to talk about love. Cosmopolitan, and other magazines for unattached women, always feature an article per issue on “Things that drive men wild in bed,” or some other title that means the same thing. Yes,. I know, love and sex are entirely too often confused with one another, to the general harm of mankind, one deperate couple at a time. The point is that such magazines offer all sorts of poor advice on how to get together. And stay together.

Laughter is the real key. The family that laughs together, stays together. No rhyme; the meter’s off. But the reality is dead on.

That does not mean that the man tells a real knee-slapper from Captain Billy’s Whizbang. The woman laughs heartily, and then says, “Now I think we should make love like crazed weasels.” Nothing is that simple. If it were, we’d all be slim, wealthy, and happy, with all our body parts functioning just fine, thank you very much.

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Hail and Farewell to the Colts

February 12, 2010 | Filed Under John Armor, Uncategorized | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I used to be a fan of the Baltimore Colts. Note I said Baltimore, not Indianapolis. And fan is too weak a word. For those those there at the beginning we were not just fans. We were adherents in a secular religion where devotion was expected, and attendance at the services was mandatory.

My grandfather was an executive of MeCormick & Co., and a civic servant, including Chairman of the Parks Board. He was part of a group of men who bought the new franchise to town with 10 players from the St. Louis Browns in 1953. They were a poor team. Y.A, Tittle, quarterback of the previous incarnation of the Colts, was also unsuccessful in completing passes and winning games.

As Tittle said with sad self-awareness, “You can’t complete many passes flat on your back with a lineman on your chest.” Then came Johnny Unitas. For the 90 cent cost of a long distance call, Baltimore acquired this gangly, crew-cut quarterback from a semi-pro team in Pittsburgh.

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Obama: ‘I am not an ideologue’

February 6, 2010 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Budget, Capitalism, Communism, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Free Trade, Government, Jobs, John Armor, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Senate, Socialism, Society/Culture, Taxes | Comments Off

-By John Armor

Last week, I wrote about 11 factually false statements in President Obama’s State of the Union address. Normally, one should not repeat the same subject next week. But, did you see the appearance of Obama before the Republicans meeting in Baltimore? I know that a few hundred of you are political junkies like me, and you saw that live.

I’m going to ask you a question. Don’t think. Don’t pause. Answer with the first thing that comes to mind. What occurred to you, when you heard Obama say, “I am not an ideologue.”?

I thought of Richard Nixon, toe to toe with Dan Rather (back when Rather was actually a reporter), Nixon answering, “I am not a crook.” Did you think the same thing? If so, here’s why.

When people have their backs to the wall, they will tell an obvious lie, perhaps just to fool themselves. Is Obama an ideologue? Here’s some of the evidence.

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Sex, Lies, and the State of Union

January 29, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Business, Economy/Finances, Government, Jobs, John Armor, Taxes | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I’m just a semi-retired lawyer, living on a gravel road in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But I am also an avid consumer of news in all forms. This is a test. I read none of today’s analyses of the State of the Union speech. Here are the obvious lies I saw, off the top of my head.

Lie 1: “one in ten… cannot find work.” Government statistics show that unemployment is almost double that; 17% are out of work. But the “official” rate ignores the 7% who have given up looking for a job.

Lie 2: “to get a government that matches [Americans] dignity.” Is he totally unaware of the members of his Administration, or of his supporters in Congress, who are currently under investigation as tax cheats, perjurers, or other felonies? Or, does President Obama assume that they will all beat the rap?

Lie 3: “we made the [financial recovery] program more transparent and accountable.” Is he unaware that Congress is currently trying to find out where the now-$850 billion bailout money went? Who got it, and why, and how?
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Earthquakes and other Human Disasters

January 19, 2010 | Filed Under History, John Armor, Security/Safety, Society/Culture | Comments Off

-By John Armor

I have been to Haiti, once. It was in 1972. I remember it vividly. The sad thing is that Haiti has not changed materially since then. As a result of that continuing history of human failure, people are dying in the tens of thousands from easily avoidable consequences of the earthquake that centered on Port au Prince last week.

Haiti’s successful revolution to gain its freedom from being a colony of France, was only a few years after our own Revolution against England. But since then, Haiti has had a constant series of governments composed of thieves, torturers, murderers.

When I was in Port au Prince in 1972, I took a taxi to go to the Iron Market in the center of that city. As we drove into the market, I noticed that there was one, new brick building on the outskirts of the Market. In my college French, I asked the driver what that building was. He replied that it was “an agricultural warehouse.” But as we passed the building, the door opened and a man came out. On the wall behind him I saw a long rack filled with dozens of machine guns.

I knew right away that the brick building was the headquarters of the Ton-Ton Macoute. They were the murderous thugs who kept “Papa Doc” Duvalier in power, and later his son, “Baby Doc.” Whether the current thugs are as well organized, or bear the same name, I do not know. I do know that Haiti still does not have a competent government, and thugs are still loose in the streets.
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Getting Control of Congress, Permanently

January 11, 2010 | Filed Under Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, GOP, House of Representatives, John Armor, Liberals, Republicans, Senate, Society/Culture, State Government, Taxes | 1 Comment

-By John Armor

We are now experiencing a disconnect between national political leaders and the citizenry. Public support for congressional actions is low and falling, as are the president’s numbers. Public opposition to the health care bill, now passed in different forms in the House and Senate, is at 59% and rising.

In various ways, the people are strongly indicating that they think Congress is out of control and needs adult supervision. Particularly galling is the revelation that Senate leaders bought critical votes on the health care bill by dumping hundreds of millions in special benefits into states whose senators had withheld support — until they got their bribe.

In answer to the public outcry, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shrugs and says that any senator who “does not seek as much as he can” for his own state isn’t doing his job.
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The Eventual, Perfect Gift

December 24, 2009 | Filed Under Christmas, John Armor, Society/Culture | Comments Off

-By John Armor

It was a simple question, posed to us in the Highlands Writers Group. “What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?” That question made me think deeply.

I discovered that gifts change as years pass. I don’t mean the obvious, that you get different gifts in different years. I mean that the gifts you did get, even long, long ago, change with time.

I was six in 1949, when the first Christmas I clearly remember, came around. We lived at 205 W. College Avenue, in Salisbury, Maryland. On the Eastern Shore, Salisbury was, and mostly still is, a sleepy little agricultural town. We had a chicken wire enclosure in the back yard that held laying chickens, one rooster to keep them on their toes, and a couple ducks. We also had a one-car garage no longer used for a car.

To my six-year-old mind, that was adequate space for a pony. I began giving hints in August for a pony and a bale of hay, come Christmas. To make a long story short, a pony was not in any way a practical gift. As I recall, my main gift was a bicycle with training wheels. But that’s not what I came to talk about.

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