Dream A Little Dream

When I listen to all the talk about DACA, and about how valuable the Dreamers are to our country I often wonder why they haven’t spoken up about the American Dream. Why don’t the Dreamers exclaim the virtues of America in comparison to their own country? Why haven’t they spoken of the great gifts they received by coming here? In comparison, other immigrants from countries further removed from the USA speak highly of their experiences. Take for example, the speech given by a Vietnamese boy, now a man, who had to flee his country. Luckily he was able to come to America. His love for America was developed by living here, and living with the freedom he didn’t have in Viet Nam.

Let hear something positive from the dreamers. Instead, we watch them demonstrate, hoot, and holler about being sent back to their homeland. They have been given a gift that others did not receive but are eternally grateful for. We don’t put demands on them, yet they proclaim their rights are being denied. What rights? Who gave them these rights? Why do they think they have rights? In school, were they taught in the English language or the language of their home country? Did they receive health care? Did they receive financial aid? Have they asked to become citizens? I can go on asking questions, but my readers will only size me up as a grouchy old man who is racist. I am grouchy, but I am not a racist. I happen to believe we are a country of laws and those who break the laws to cross the border should be held responsible. I also happen to believe that if your parents dragged your ass across the line as a child that you should be given an easier way to become a citizen, but your parents should pay the price for your good fortune. It is they who wanted you to have a better life, and they risked all they had to get it for you, now it is time for them to pay the price.

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Quang Nguyen

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2576024/posts

Thirty-five years ago if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking in English to a large group of patriots, I’d laugh at you. Every morning I wake up thanking God for putting family and me in the greatest country on earth.

I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese American, but I rather speak to you as an American.

If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people.

I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof… It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it and I am very proud of it. Guess what, I did it legally and it ain’t from the state of Hawaii.

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968. I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6 year old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can’t even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf. 35 years ago, I left South Vietnam to come to America for political asylum. The war had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the US. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California. It was a miracle from God.

If you haven’t heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, let me tell you, IT IS!!! It is the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I could not make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see… All you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunities and here I am. This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn’t know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aiming at your head. That was what I knew and grew up with.

In 1983, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the pledge of allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can’t remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life.

Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21-year-old kid, I was having a great time with my life, I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In someway and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here and why I am here.

One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I didn’t know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam. He smiled and said Yes. I shook and held his hand. His eyes started to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked, this was a profound moment in life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.

You see… America is not place on the map; it isn’t a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must buy into this concept and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom… and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here. Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can’t speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages… Last I looked on the internet, there wasn’t a Vietnamese translation of the US constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It’s not easy, but if it’s too easy, it’s not worth doing.

Before I got to know this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam War memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.

When I was eligible to vote, I went out and performed my civic duty. For all of you young people out there, who just turned 18, I encourage you to exercise your duty as an American to be an informed voter no matter where you are or what you do. America fought and died for your rights. DON’T LET HER DOWN!!!

At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and the liberties I have today. I now ask All veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your service and may God bless you all and may God bless America!

No More Words Needed

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Teaching Street Smarts

Kee-rraap it is cold outside. My walk today was longer than usual, but also faster than normal. Longer because the biting cold wind against my rosy cheeks stung to high heaven, and fast because my motor wanted to get me the hell into the warmth. It has been almost three years since I have enjoyed such extreme temperature. The past two years in Arizona conditioned me for a low of fifty-five. A minus two degree windchill is fifty-seven degrees lower than I can withstand. Nevertheless, I am staying in Frankfort this winter so I need to get out for some conditioning, and I got it.

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Yesterday was worse because the high temperature peaked at eighteen degrees. At least today, it is a balmy twenty-eight. The wind chill has been the killer on both days. What saved yesterday was seeing a delightful movie. Peggy and I watched “Saint Vincent.” It is what I call a sleeper. I haven’t heard people talking about it, yet it spoke to me when I reviewed the films playing this week. I totally enjoyed the story and the characters. The actors were cast perfectly for their roles.

This film is a comedy, which is what I wanted to see, and I did laugh at some of the stuff going on, but I cried too. Somehow, when I cry, it cannot be funny. The theme of the story dealt with broken homes, bullying, family bankruptcy, aging, grief, desperation, and survival.

Bill Murray plays the part of Vin (Vincent Mac Kenna) a Viet Nam era vet who lives alone, and dislikes people. He smokes too much, drinks too much, and gambles too much, but he is the hero of the story. He becomes a caretaker for the smart kid Oliver who just moved in next door, and whose mother Maggie(Melissa Mc Carthy) works too much to get by. Needless to say, Vin’s tutoring of Oliver (the smart kid Jaden Lieberher) cannot be classified as politically correct. The education Vin gave Oliver falls into the subject of “street smarts.” Oliver handles it well, but his errant father doesn’t want Oliver to be near Vin, even though the father hasn’t donated a penny to his well-being. All the father did was to complicate the story, which I loved, but Oliver and his mother did not.

There are some lessor characters in the story like Father Geraty (Chris O’Dowd) who teaches Oliver at Saint Patrick’s Catholic school. There is also Daka, (Naomi Watts) Vin’s hired and pregnant girl friend who is his occasional underpaid companion, and Vin’s bookie Zucko (Terrence Howard) who only wants Vin to pay him back. Put these people into the mix along with a good storyline and one has a very entertaining story.

To me the star of this movie is Oliver. The kid is perfect for the part, and he is an excellent actor too. I nominate him for Best Supporting Actor for the 2015 Oscars.

See the movie on Tuesday at Marcus for five bucks. I saw it on Wednesday for seven, but it was worth it. Six-fifty for a small pop-corn is worse than three sixty-nine for a gallon of gas where is the Occupy Wall Street crowd on that one?

 

The Stupidity of Shutting Down the Washington Mall

View of The National WWII Memorial (bottom) an...

View of The National WWII Memorial (bottom) and the Lincoln Memorial (top) from the Washington Monument (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago, Peggy and I visited Washington, D.C. and toured the war memorials on the Washington Mall. All of them are easily accessible and none required opening a door, nor a gate to enter. Public streets surround the Washington Mall on four sides. It has walkways crossing from one side to the next, and from one end to the other. Yes, the responsibility for the mall belongs to the National Park System.

How many memorials are there? Let me count, Viet Nam, Korea, Nurses, World War I, Lincoln, Washington, and yes, World War II. All are totally exposed and in the open.

All the memorials mesmerized us. We found Peg’s cousin on the Viet Nam Wall, prayed for her husband at the Korean, prayed for her father at the World War I, and prayed for all the vets we grew up knowing in World War II. We stared at the size of the Lincoln Monument As President Lincoln saw through us with his soulful eyes. The shadow of the Washington Monument followed us like the wing on a sun-dial. Of all the monuments, the Washington Monument obelisk is the only one that has a door for entry, and it was closed then as it is today for repairs.

What I am getting at here is there is nothing to shut down. The Park Ranger’s assigned to this park just stayed home and John Q. Public missed out on their polished speeches about the monuments.

If Obama really wanted to punish us he would have to drape a huge tent over the area to cover it up, and there is no money in his budget for that.

When I heard that the WWII vets just moved the menacing barricades out-of-the-way and visited anyway, I cheered. They did a lot more to move Hitler and Tojo out-of-the-way during their service time and they were not intimidated by a puny barricade even though many of them were in wheel chairs. There is a doorway into the lower level of the WWII memorial leading to the public restrooms. For an old guy with prostate problems that is a major hurt, but I’m sure they dealt with it heroically and saved it for the bus.

President Obama has again thrown a temper tantrum and most likely ordered his administration to hurt as many citizens of the USA as is humanly possible to make them “feel the pain” of the government shutdown, and to let us know that he is the “one” in charge and Lord over all.  Just add a few hundred WWII vets in wheelchairs to the eleven million people without jobs who have felt the pain to the hurt-the-citizens list.

How stupid can he be? Worse yet, how stupid does he think we are?

Live Without Regrets

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I just closed the cover of a beautiful story about a Medal of Honor Winning Viet Nam Veteran titled “The Reunion”. The last chapter brought tears streaming down my face. Author Dan Walsh has crafted a complicated plot that comes together to make a wonderful read. The story is about Arron Miller, the medal awardee, and a would be author Dave Russo. Russo is seeking Viet Nam hero’s to interview for a book to honor his father killed in Viet Nam when he comes upon Aaron Miller. Veteran Miller is living as a dirt poor maintenance man at an obscure trailer park in Florida. Miller’s wife divorced him after he came home with the demons of drug and alcohol addiction. He lives with regret for not having contact with his kids.

Two days ago I went to the library to find a good story to read. I spotted this cover immediately, but continued perusing the latest, newest editions shelves for something to piqué my interest. After about fifteen minutes, I checked out with the very first book I saw. It was a wise choice as I enjoyed the story, and finished reading it in two days. Usually, it takes me ten days to finish a book, unless it really captures my fancy, and this one did. I recommend everyone, but especially my Viet Nam vet friends to read this story, it will lift you.

Red, White, and Blue Stars and Stripes Stir my Soul

Today, I changed flags on my flagpole. It is always a joy to unfurl a new flag and raise it for the first time. There is something special about a vibrant and fresh red, white, and blue American flag.

My love affair with the American flag began with World War II. Watching movies of our troops in action behind the flag instilled a degree of patriotism not seen in today’s generation. When I observe my grandkids and realize the only input they have about the involvement of their country in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, Iraq, and wars that don’t come to mind, must come from a history book. I have not read their history books, but I would be willing to bet that the new books cover these wars a lot differently from what I know having lived through them.

With the government dropping God, and all references to Him from everything scholastic, I would bet the book editors are leaning the books toward a socialist system in the USA. After all, we defeated communism so there is no reason to pepper a young child’s mind about useless information like that. The problem is that communism is creeping back into our society through the progressive-liberal-socialist movement. I am shocked at how many of our good citizens truly believe that a big government can take care of all their needs. A big government without God that controls every aspect of your life is communism.

What do you think?

Another Point of View

I’d like to hear what the U.S. Generals, Eisenhower, Patton, and Schwarzkopf  have to say about Obama’s fear of making a military decision. It is clear to me that if Obama was Commander-in-Chief during World War Two that Hitler would have us all goose stepping to his favorite marches.

Why does he make such a huge deal about selecting options from his advisors? Could it be that they gave him honest appraisals, and he was looking for the option that said, “GET OUT.”  Obama does not have a clue about leading a war. He doesn’t have the knowledge, the will, or the guts to fight  the biggest threat the world has ever known. There is a good chance that his final policy decision will be “to not win.” The final result will be another Viet Nam, and we will have sacrificed our finest young people to liberal politics.

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