It is hard to believe it has been 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall …
Nov. 9, 1989, 25 years later and it seems like yesterday I can remember watching the news of the German people hammering, chiseling and tearing down the Berlin Wall, symbolizing the freedom of the East German people and the defeat of Communism. Thousands of East Berliners poured into West Berlin and freedom. It was a moment in history that you remember where you were when you saw the images of the fall of Communism and the rise of freedom. It is a forever remembered moment in history for the world, not just Germany. The people celebrated in the streets, as Germans shed their hammers and sickles for hammers and chisels and brought the wall down forever.
White balloons spanning a stretch of the former death strip floated over hundreds of thousands of revelers in the German capital on Sunday, culminating a day of celebrations to mark 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
More than 300,000 people gathered in Berlin to watch a light installation of 8,000 helium balloons tracing a nine-mile stretch be released into the night sky, police said. The illuminated balloons snaked past historic locations such as Checkpoint Charlie as part of a celebration that included music and fireworks at the city’s Brandenburg Gate—a location once circumvented by the wall.
Speaking earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the fall of the Berlin Wall proof that dreams could come true during a ceremony to mark the event’s 25th anniversary. She added that its collapse offered hope to regions where “freedom and human rights are threatened or even trampled on.”
For days, celebrations throughout Germany have been commemorating the opening of the East German border on Nov. 9, 1989. The breaching of the border heralded the collapse of the Communist system and led to German reunification less than a year later.
The Iconic Photo of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
National Geographic on the Berlin Wall, pretty good documentary.
This year’s commemoration of the fall of the Iron Curtain may also feel more poignant because there is a palpable sense that peace in Europe in 2014 is more fragile than it was at the 20th anniversary in 2009.
In her speech at the wall memorial on Bernauer Strasse on Saturday afternoon, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, had explicitly emphasized the geopolitical resonances of the event, instead of indulging in personal reminiscences.
“We have the strength to shape things, to turn things from bad to good, that is the message of the fall of the wall,” she said. “These days, that message is directed at Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and many, many other regions in the world.”
Let us never forget what real leadership looks like. Where US President Ronald Wilson Reagan not only went to Berlin, Germany on June 12, 1987 and gave his famous speech when he uttered those famous words that would eventually come true … “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall,” but also helped bring about the fall of Communism. Wow, imagine that, a president with a spine and resolve to effectuate real change that brought liberty to millions, not one apologizing for America’s actions. A president that looked to unify people, not divide them. A president that looked to end Communism, not partake in it. God bless Ronald Reagan. These days we can only say, what a novel concept.
Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world at the City Hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin. And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.
We come to Berlin, we American presidents, because it’s our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. But I must confess, we’re drawn here by other things as well: by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation; by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten; most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer Paul Lincke understood something about American presidents. You see, like so many presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin. [I still have a suitcase in Berlin.]
In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: “We will bury you.” But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.
And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.
Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Things that make you go hmm …
A coroner has ruled that the death of James Baker, former White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan, was a homicide. Hmm, I must admit like at Hot Air, I was a bit surprised to read the headline when it came across. I thought to myself, was he poisoned. How could 73 year old James Baker’s death have been a homicide? I did not remember reading anything of the sort when he died August 4, 2014 in in Obit. And now for something a little different. Brady’s death has been ruled a homicide 33 years after he was wounded in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan at the hands of John W. Hinckley Jr.
The death this week of James S. Brady, the former White House press secretary, has been ruled a homicide 33 years after he was wounded in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, police department officials here said Friday.
Officials said the ruling was made by the medical examiner in Northern Virginia, where Mr. Brady died Monday at 73. The medical examiner’s office would not comment on the cause and manner of Mr. Brady’s death.
“We did do an autopsy on Mr. Brady, and that autopsy is complete,” a spokeswoman said.
Gail Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Brady family, said the ruling should really “be no surprise to anybody.”
“Jim had been long suffering severe health consequences since the shooting,” she said, adding that the family had not received official word of the ruling from either the medical examiner’s office or the police.
The question that arises is whether f John W. Hinckley Jr. can be tried for the murder of James Brady. Sorry to say, the answer is most probably no. However, hopefully this will allow for the nut job John W. Hinckley Jr. to forever stay in a mental institution until the day he dies.
As Eugene Volokh writes in the WAPO, “Could the shooter, John Hinckley Jr., be tried for murdering Brady, even though he has already been tried for attempting to kill Brady, and found not guilty by reason of insanity? The answer is no, likely for two different reasons.” He brings up the year-and-a-day rule, Double jeopardy and collateral estoppel. Please read Volokh’s reasoning and the many cited examples of case law.
Sunday, May 25 is National Missing Children’s Day.
National Missing Children’s Day is an annual observation in the United States designed to highlight the problem of child kidnapping and abduction. It is observed on May 25 because that is the date in 1979 that 6 year old Ethan Patz disappeared on his way to school in New York City, NY. National Missing Children’s Day was first observed in 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan.
National Missing Children’s Day is commemorated this Sunday, May 25 and aims to remind the public of the numerous cases of America’s missing children.
The most recent study conducted by The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children states, that approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing in one year.
National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated in the United States on May 25, since 1983, when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan.
It falls on the same day as the International Missing Children’s Day.
1. Share a poster.
2. Take the Pledge.
3. Like us on Facebook and Twitter.
4. Make sure your wireless AMBER Alerts are activated.
5. Get a free lapel pin and wear it.
6. Change your profile cover photo.
8. Bookmark the anniversaries page.
9. Make a Child ID.
10. Know what to do if you see a missing child.
Key facts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
- The most recent, comprehensive national study for the number of missing children estimated in 1999:
- Approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing.
- More than 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
- More than 58,000 children were abducted by nonfamily members.
- An estimated 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These “stereotypical” kidnappings involved someone the child did not know or was an acquaintance. The child was held overnight, transported 50 miles or more, killed, ransomed or held with the intent to keep the child permanently.
- To find the number of children missing from a specific state or territory contact the state’s Missing Child Clearinghouses.
- The first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child. The murder of an abducted child is rare, and an estimated 100 cases in which an abducted child is murdered occur in the U.S. each year. A 2006 study indicated that 76.2 percent of abducted children who are killed are dead within three hours of the abduction.
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 193,705 missing children since it was founded in 1984. Our recovery rate for missing children has grown from 62 percent in 1990 to 97 percent today.
- The AMBER Alert program was created in 1996 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice. As of April 2, 2014, 688 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the program. 
- As of Dec. 2013, NCMEC’s toll free, 24 hour call center has received more than 3,899,964 calls since it was created in 1984. Information about missing or exploited children can be reported to the call center by calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
- 93 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 go online.
- Of children five years old and younger who use the Internet, 80 percent use it at least once a week.
- One in 25 children ages 10 to 17 received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact.
- Four percent of cell phone owning teens ages 12 to 17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude messages to others via text message.
- 15 percent of cell phone owning teens ages 12 to 17 say they have received sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude images of someone they know via text.
Presidents Day 2014 … Great Presidents & Great Speeches (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, Reagan), And Other Presidents & How History Will Remember Them
Never has America needed a president more who was a true leader and statesman who cared more about the United States of America and “We the People” than they do about themselves, their own power and their agenda. How far have we come from a first president who feared the impression that he would have the appearance of a king and had to be talked into a second term. George Washington left office on his own after two terms, there was no legislation that told him to do so. Compare that to today’s power grabs by presidents and their purposeful and willful ignoring of the US Constitution.
Please America, you have one more chance to get it right in 2016 and follow the path of the great presidents of our past and what America was intended to be.
1. President George Washington – George Washington Speech – First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
Among the vicissitudes incident to life no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years–a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one who (inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration) ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions all I dare aver is that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which mislead me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality in which they originated.
Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence. (more)
2. President Ronald W. Reagan – ‘Tear Down This Wall’ speech from June 12, 1987 in West Berlin, Germany at the base of the Brandenburg Gate.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent– and I pledge to you my country’s efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace; so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.
Government is not the solution, Government is the problem
There are just so many great and historic moments from the Reagan years, go HERE to watch and listen to many of them from the space shuttle Challenger tragedy to his Evil Empire speech.
3. President Abraham Lincoln – Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19. 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate— we can not consecrate—we can not hallow— this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us— that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion— that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of free- dom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
4. President John F. Kennedy – “I am a Berliner – Ich Bin Ein Berliner” … read Text HERE.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.
When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe.
When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
Ask Not What your Country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your Country
And then we have those presidents who no matter what they had and have said during their terms in office will forever be known for the following comments and speeches. One inspirational and two, not so much.
President George W. Bush -Bull Horn speech at Ground Zero following 911 terror attack ... “I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”
President Bill Clinton - I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Could also have used, “it all depends on what is, is”.
Mavericky RINO Senator John McCain Says Republicans Voting Against Budget Deal Lack ‘Intellectual Integrity’ … Um, President Ronald Reagan Would Disagree
So this is what the Republican party has become in 2013, and this sorry, mavericky RINO was nominated the GOP’s presidential candidate in 2008, ever wonder why you lost?
RINO John McCain (R-AZ) called out Republicans who would dare oppose a bad budget deal that does nothing to reduce the out of control spending and the +$17 trillion debt. McCain said that Republicans who vote against the budget deal lack “intellectual integrity”. Really sir, you may want to look up that definition as you are exactly what is wrong with the GOP and the lack of any integrity to stand for the American people, the catastrophic escalating debt and our hero soldiers. So this is about some gutless GOP Senators worried about a government shutdown, rather than the collapse of the USA with unsustainable spending? A bunch of establishment RINO’s are more concerned on how a shut down will effect them, rather than being statesmen and doing the right thing for the American people? UNREAL … sadly we have become a government of, by and for the
American People establishment government class.
Spending is increased; however, the budget comes at the expense of our heroes, injured veterans who have given of their body and mind to the defense of this nation to have their benefits reduced. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Civilian workers do not face the same benefit cuts, it is on the backs of our wounded warriors. You should all be ashamed of yourself. So this is what bi-partisanship looks like, agreeing on crap? And a note to the GOP … I am sick of your excuse that you only control the House, these gutless RINO’s would have done the same if they controlled the Senate.
Senate Democrats actually block an amendment to restore veteran benefits by closing illegal immigrant welfare loophole and still these treasonous 12 Republican Senators voted for this rotten bill. So illegal immigrants were just treated better than the men and women who have givens arms, legs, mind body and soul to defend America. That my GOP turncoats would be the definition of a lack of “Intellectual Integrity”. As stated at The Right Wing News, we all know that the Dems prefer illegals to our military vets, but my issue is with the GOP traitors. I expect this kind of crap from the LEFT, I do not expect it from Republicans. And we wonder why establishment Republicans are being primary challenged.
Senate Republicans were unable to stop military pension cuts when Senate Democrats blocked a vote on an amendment to prevent the cuts by closing a welfare loophole for illegal immigrants Tuesday evening.
The two-year budget deal brokered by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, would cut military pensions by $6 billion over ten years, leaving some Senate Republicans scrambling to stop the cuts.
The US Senate voted 67-33 with
RONALD REGAN WOULD DISAGREE WITH MC RINO. For all of those who have said that Reagan would not agree with the Tea Party, you have no clue. Reagan left the Democrat party, stating, I did not leave the Democrat party, the party left me. Sadly, the Dutch would probably say the same thing today and leave the GOP.
I want you to listen to what Ronald Reagan said during a 1975 interview with Johnny Carson on ‘The Tonight Show” and his brilliance of what he spoke of then, that is even more applicable today. Reagan had it right, government was not the solution, it was the problem. The US, its people, business and the economy would work gang-busters if the government got out of the way. The VIDEO below is a must watch.
“If government would shut the doors and sneak away for about three weeks, we would never miss them” – Ronald Reagan (1975)
Remember when Ronald Reagan responded to Johnny Carson in 1975 on how do you balance the budget? Reagan said, “balance the budget is like protecting your virtue, you just have to learn to say no.” I guess we now know where Nancy Reagan got her idea against drugs to “Just Say No”.