All of my brothers are my heroes for many reasons. But let me focus at the moment on the oldest of my natural-born brothers, John Baird. There are a number of things that make him a hero: he served our country in a distinguished career of more than twenty years in the Air Force, in duty assignments in a number of hot spots around the world.
But the subject of this post is something he did well before that. The story goes…
In the early 1960’s (1962, I believe), we lived in Columbia, South Carolina. John was a senior in Columbia High School. The city was mired in the racial tension of the ’60s that ran throughout the country, centralized in the South. There were protests all across the South, which focused the nation’s attention on the need to finally fulfill the Constitution’s guarantees of equality to all citizens, without regard to race. In Columbia, as in other cities, there were protests and sit-ins at downtown stores like Woolworth’s and Walgreen’s which had lunch counters serving ‘whites only.’
Columbia High was an urban school, whose campus was only a block or so from the downtown department stores which were a focal point of the historic sit-ins. One day after John got out of school, he walked over to Woolworth’s (or perhaps one of the other department stores) and joined other protesters in the peaceful sit-in at the lunch counter. When he tried to order a burger for himself and one for the man sitting next to him (who wasn’t white), he was run out of the store. He ran halfway home (which was miles from downtown) before those who were chasing him finally gave up and let him go.
I never knew about this incident, until John recounted the story for me when I visited him just a few years ago. Since I was hearing the story for the first time, I asked if he had told our parents about it. He said he hadn’t because he didn’t want them to worry. Well, perhaps he was right to have kept it a secret. Perhaps they would have worried. But knowing what I know of our parents through their actions and the example they set (which is another story for a different day), I’m totally confident that they would have also been very proud of him, if they’d known. I know that they were proud of him anyway, but this would have only added to their reasons to be proud of their number one son.
So John, for your contribution to the public discourse, and for standing up for the change which decency mandated of our society, and for choosing to do the right thing, you are my hero.
noun ( pl. -sies)
the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
Textbook example No. 1
Former Democrat Presidential Candidate John Kerry, sitting Senator from Massachucetts, gives us a wonderful example of the definition of the word ‘hypocrisy.’ Take a look:
Senator Kerry, like most good Democrats, is decidedly in favor of popular liberal strategies to increasingly ‘tax the rich’ to make them share even more of the burden off the hard working middle and lower classes. Senator Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz, have inherited great wealth and are definitely in the financial category the Democrats target when they say ‘tax the rich.’ The Kerrys live in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Recently the Kerrys took delivery of a new $7 million yacht. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I certainly won’t hold that against them. They’ve inherited great wealth, and it is their right to spend it how ever they see fit. However, it is interesting to note that they took delivery of this new yacht not in Massachusetts where they live, but it was delivered to them and is berthed in Newport, Rhode Island instead. Why, I wonder?
Although Senator Kerry has not provided an explanation, one very good reason may be that Rhode Island repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993 and has therefore become a haven for luxury yacht owners. Massachusetts, Kerry’s home state, on the other hand (in the effort to force the rich to pay their fair share) imposes a 6.25% Sales Tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. So, by taking delivery and by keeping his new toy berthed in Rhode Island, the good Senator saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of around $70,000.
I don’t hold it against Senator Kerry for doing the logical thing and using existing statutes in an effort to save some of his inherrited-through-marriage money by avoiding taxes. That’s only prudent. But I definitely will remember this the next time I hear of him or one of his fellow ‘tax the rich!’ Democrats (like Vice President Biden) make the claim that ‘paying more taxes is patriotic,’ or that we need to soak the rich to make them pay their fair share.
In a statement issued by Senator Kerry after this story broke in the news, he claims that the yacht is currently in Rhode Island only ‘for repairs.’ But if that is true, then why does it have its home port of ‘Newport’ painted on it? Humm…
And further, why did the Senator, who is on the record supporting policies which would punish companies who outsource jobs to overseas locations, order his luxury yacht from a company which built it in New Zealand instead of from a company employing American workers?
Textbook example No. 2
In his award winning prophesy of environmental gloom and doom, Al Gore strongly emphasized as ‘undisputed’ the ‘fact’ that ocean levels are on the rise, and will eventually reclaim huge land masses which are now ocean front lands. Then why, in April this year, did he spend nearly $9 million of his hard earned money on an ocean front villa in Southern California?
Doesn’t seem very logical, does it? I’m just sayin’ …
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall anything in the Health Care Bill about the individual mandate (tax) being limited only to those who earn more than $250K per year.
Same here. While this is still just a legislative proposal, don’t lots of peeps making less than $250K hold shares in funds which profit by engaging in currency trading?
And here, on Cap and Trade. Anyone living in the US who consumes ‘energy’ or products which require energy use in their creation will ‘necessarily‘ see tremendous increases in the cost of everything. There will be no escaping these ‘new tax increases’ even if you make less than $250K.
I’m so sick of politics. And especially tired of political promises. Why don’t we hold politicians responsible for what they promise? Those who continue to allow them to skate on their bold promises have essentially taken that over-used Clinton era mantra and modified it to “it’s only about politics.” Come on, folks: Get your heads out of the sand…