Cain Is Most Able

Many of my more faithful readers will know that there has not been much activity on Head Muscle the past several months.  The reason for this simple…I lost my energy.  Political blogs are a great thing, but sometimes it seems that one gets in a rut of just regurgitating the same old objections and hearing the same tired arguments.  The plain truth is, I got to a point where I felt as if I was putting more into it than I was getting out of it.

Now don’t get me wrong….this has absolutely nothing to do with my fine and able companions out there in the blogosphere.  My fellow bloggers have towed the line nobly and continue to do so with exacting precision and insight.  All that said however, watching our great nation literally collapse under the misguided vision of our current administration was so emotionally draining, I just lost my steam. The furnace went cold.

When the debates started a few months ago I watched ambivalently as the usual suspects  Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron (the kook) Paul, took the stage.  “Wasn’t this the group of folks that lost to Obama the first time?” I could not help but think.  Then this fellow named Herman Cain started talking, and he really got my attention.  Here was a business man with no real political experience making everyone else on stage sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher…wah wah wah wah…you know what I mean.  When I finished watching the first debate I visited his website at Herman Cain for President and really started to dig into who this guy was.  Needless to say I liked what I read, and have since become an ardent Herman Cain supporter.

Over the last several months I have been trying to figure out what to do with Head Muscle.  I still did not have the zeal to jump back into the political issue du jour, but felt that there was still something productive I could do with it.  When Mr. Cain won the Florida straw poll this past week, I knew without a doubt that Head Muscle had a new calling.

Ladies and gentlemen make no mistake about it; our nation is in the middle of a revolution. It is not violent one, but it is a revolution nonetheless.  Our current administration is presiding over the worst economy since the great depression and they are zealously digging the hole deeper. We have anarchists trying to shut down Wall Street, Michael Moore threatening violence, and a stock market in a state of fiscal schizophrenia. In the midst of all this mayhem, our illustrious leader is helping out by blaming everyone’s misfortune on the rich!  Put plainly…we as a nation are in deep kimchi.

So I have decided that instead of letting Head Muscle fade away, I am going to devote it for the foreseeable future to promoting the one person that I believe has the experience, common sense, moral character, and clarity of vision necessary to pull this great nation out of the quicksand. I truly believe that the perilous times we find ourselves in call for a leader and a visionary the likes of Mr. Cain. We need someone who will embrace the free market principles that  made this the greatest country on earth; someone who believes in American exceptionalism and will not settle for making us less that what we are.  We need someone who can carry Ronald Reagan’s dream of  “a shining city on a hill” to its final realization without apologizing or looking back.  When I look at Romney, Perry, Paul, Bachmann, and Gingrich all I see is politics as usual…and these are not usual times.

Now I grant you that Herman Cain has little experience in the political world. In fact he has never even held a major political office. This lack of political experience is an incontrovertible fact.  I would remind you however…as Herman himself noted…that it has been the “seasoned” politicians that have driven us into the wall at full speed?  Yes my friends, we need a change…real change….and his name is Herman Cain.

Please check into Head Muscle regularly for much more insight on the Cain campaign, and don’t forget to go to the Cain for President website yourself and read about the man firsthand.  I would also like to urge all of my fellow bloggers to become active in the Cain campaign. You can check out our Twitter feed @blogforCain for up to the moment updates,  and please consider linking Head Muscle to your sites. I would also like to add as many links as I can to the sites of fellow Cain supporters, so please leave me your URL in a comment. Our goal is to start a grass roots network of blogs all working together to help our nation realize Herman Cain’s vision.

If you think Romney and Perry have things all locked up, let me remind you that folks were saying the very same thing about Hillary back in 2007. If Obama could do it…so Cain we!

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Rivers of Progress

At the confluence of the great Shenandoah and Potomac rivers there is a place that rests in the arms of history. Nestled quietly in a forest of silver maple and box elder, Harpers Ferry stands as a monument to the ambitions, dreams, and determination of a young nation. Surrounded by rushing water and rolling hills of hardwood, it is lost in a different time. It was a time when Americans were busy carving a trail through a new and uncharted land; a time when our nation’s destiny, though uncertain, held great promise.  Standing on a large stone overlooking the area in 1783 Thomas Jefferson noted:

“On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of a mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left lies the Potomac in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction, they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the sea…this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.”

Though his description paints a beautiful picture for the mind’s eye, Thomas Jefferson saw one thing when he looked across the hillsides to the waters below – progress. Locked in the racing water of these two great rivers he saw the power necessary to build and prosper a nation.  Soon after in 1785 George Washington, then president of the Patowmac Company, advocated the area’s industrial potential and proposed it as the site for a new federal armory and arsenal.  Harpers Ferry, which had started off as little more than a river crossing for travelers, was on its way to greatness.

The Rock On Which Thomas Jefferson First Stood To Survey The Area

View Today From Jefferson Rock

In 1799 construction of the arsenal began, and Harpers Ferry became one of only two locations in the country to host, what was at the time, such a ‘high-tech’ industry. Soon, with the success of the arsenal, other industries began to flood into the area. Cotton mills, grain mills, pulp mills, stores, supply depots, and construction companies moved in, staking their claims on the firmament of opportunity.

From 1801 to about 1861 Harpers Ferry became nothing less than an industrial boomtown. Its population swelled into the thousands, and it became one of our nation’s most promising industrial cities.  As its industry flourished, it also became known as a place of great innovation. It was at Harpers Ferry that Captain John Hall refined the art of rifle manufacturing into a science. Hall painstakingly designed machines and fabrication techniques so precise that, for the first time in history, rifles could be built with interchangeable parts. For years each rifle had been custom built by individual craftsmen, no two being exactly alike. Hall’s innovations in manufacturing revolutionized the industry, and made it possible for the US Army to take spare rifle parts into the battlefield for the first time.

In 1833 mass transportation came to Harpers Ferry. First, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal arrived linking the Harpers Ferry with Washington City. It was a massive engineering effort consisting of miles of waterway, locks, and ports. It was, for all intents and purposes, our nation’s first super highway, and Harpers Ferry was its western most stop. Just a year later the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad came into town.  Demand for raw materials and goods were so high, Harpers Ferry was a logical stop along the B&O route. In just a few decades, Harpers Ferry found itself on the forefront of innovation, industry, and transportation. It was nothing less than a shining example of American ingenuity and progressive thinking.

The men and women who lived and worked there came from all corners of the earth. They were Danish, German, Italian, Irish, Polish, and Asian. Searching to create something better for themselves, they built stores, hotels, produce markets, machine shops, bakeries, and flower mills.  Many had come with nothing but, through their own sweat, built lives for themselves and their families upon these shores. Like the great rivers that surrounded them, they moved forward seeking a new vent for their lives, undaunted by the obstacles in their path.  These early progressives set out to carve a new home from the wilderness, and write a new tale of dignity, opportunity, and freedom for all the world to read.

Then the war came….

Its strategic position in the northern Shenandoah Valley, made Harpers Ferry a key objective for both the Union and the Confederacy. Over the course of the war, it changed hands between 8 and 13 times, the arsenal was burned to the ground, and the population dropped from over 3,000 to fewer than 100.  The most devastating battle took place in September 1863 when Stonewall Jackson placed artillery on the hills surrounding the town and systematically began to destroy it from above.  For three days the Union garrison there took a hellish bombardment from Confederate artillery.  The town was turned into rubble, bridges were cast into the rivers, and once busy factories were turned into morgues.  The Confederate artillery fire was so heavy; Colonel William H. Trimble of the 60th Ohio wrote that there was:

“Not a place where you could lay the palm of your hand and say it was safe.”

On the third day of relentless Confederate bombardment, 15 September, 12,000 demoralized Union troops surrendered to General Jackson in the largest mass surrender in US history.  Harpers Ferry had been devastated in the process.  In a twist of irony, the town that both armies had coveted so, lay in ruins.

Harpers Ferry was no stranger to irony however. When John Brown and his raiders came into town in 1859 to capture the armory and start a slave revolt, the very first person they killed was a gentleman named Heywood Shepherd – a free black man.  When Brown’s team of raiders laid siege to a small armory, President James Buchanan sent none other than Col Robert E. Lee with a detachment of US Marines to put an end to the insurrection. Brown would then be hung for treason against the United States in Virginia, a state that would soon commit the ultimate treason. Perhaps the most profound irony however, was that Harpers Ferry was ultimately destroyed by the very people who had once labored so hard to make it great.  The very people, who had once manned its factories, had also manned the artillery that laid it to waste. The very country that Harpers Ferry had helped to forge, first turned their guns on it, and then later their backs.

Factories In Ruins After War

After the war, Harpers Ferry was only a shell of what it once was. Though many tried to come back and rebuild their lives, a series of tragic floods destroyed everything again.   Additionally, the expansion of the railroad had brought once distant cities closer together, and had created new industrial centers that were far less susceptible to catastrophe. Soon, most of the remaining factories in Harpers Ferry closed their doors, packed up their equipment, and moved their dreams to higher ground.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

On a recent trip to Harpers Ferry National Park, I walked along the banks of the Shenandoah River past the overgrown remains of its once great factories. As I walked, I could not help but become overwhelmed with the history that laid in ruin around me. This place, Harpers Ferry, was much more than a river mill town. It was nothing less than the story of a nation and the people who had built it. In less than 100 years it had grown from a lonely ferry crossing in the northern Shenandoah Valley, to a prominent center of industry and innovation.  It had been envisioned by Jefferson and Washington, but built a stone at a time by real  American ‘progressives.’ They were people who yearned for a better way of life, and were willing to sacrifice everything to fulfill their dream. They asked for nothing, wanted no guarantees, and needed no social justice. They did not expect their government to provide them anything other than the freedom that they needed to live, work, and prosper.  They were progressives in the truest sense of the word. They built a nation from nothing, and changed the lives of every American for the better. Most importantly, they did not expect to consume the fruit of progress, until they had first labored to create it.

Remains Of Old Rail Bridge – First Destroyed By Confederates And Then Floods

Flood Gates Sit Dormant On Banks Of The Shenandoah River

Ruins of Water Powered Saw Mill

The Once Great C&O Canal

Dry Remains Of C&O Lock

As I pondered these ‘true progressives’ it hit me. Harpers Ferry may have died, but the rivers around it were still flowing, seeking a vent. When the town could no longer sustain the aspirations of its people, the river of progress simply diverted itself elsewhere – but it never stopped flowing.  The American progressive spirit that built Harpers Ferry was alive and well, moving out in all directions and building new cities upon the very same dreams.  This was able to happen because America, by its very nature, is progress.  Our founding fathers were the ultimate progressives. They had a vision of a new type of government; one that valued opportunity, freedom, and dignity over repression and subjugation. The very rivers that flowed through Harpers Ferry had flowed through them first, and they still seek their vent today in the hearts and minds of every American.

The 21st century finds our nation embroiled in yet another great battle.  Not with bullets and artillery, but rather with ideas and expectations. Never, since the great Civil War, has our nation been more divided on how we should progress. In the same ironic way Harpers Ferry was destroyed by those who built it, the modern day self-appointed ‘progressive’ is now threatening to destroy America. From health care to energy and banking, they are working to undermine the very might of our nation. In 2010, tried and true institutions created by true progressives such as free enterprise, individual freedom, self determination, and opportunity are under assault by notions of social justice, fairness, and entitlement. The foundations that not only built Harpers Ferry, but also built our nation are rapidly being eroded by a new river overflowing with antipathy. Those who currently, call themselves ‘progressives’ are nothing of the sort. They have no idea what it means to build a nation, but rather choose to focus their efforts on tearing down our greatness. In truth, it would be far more accurate to describe them as ‘regressives.’ Instead of moving our nation’s ideals forward and continuing to build on America’s firm banks, they dam the river of progress and then curse the flood. They can no more understand the currents that pushed Captain John Hall, anymore than he would be able to comprehend their twisted view of America.

I believe that our nation is at a crossroads in history, and that the decisions we make in the next two years will define who we are for generations to come. The forces that drive our country forward will always live in the human spirit, and will flourish wherever they are given purchase. If we do not allow them to flow, they will most assuredly seek another place to vent. And just like Harpers Ferry, we will find ourselves quietly nestled between the silver maple and box elder – a nation that was once great.

Harpers Ferry Shenandoah Street Frozen In Time

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A Contract on Terror

On January 5, 2010 HM penned a blog entitled High Noon for Obama.  Posted shortly after the underwear bombing fiasco, we noted that the time had come for Sheriff Obama to put politics aside, take the blanks out of his six shooter, step into the dusty street, and show all Americans that he really cared about their security.  We also noted, that if he failed, there would likely be a new sheriff come 2012. Well, it appears as if President Obama has chosen not to heed HM’s sage advice because…well…he doesn’t have any idea that we even exist….but that is still no excuse for his inaction on the home front.  Having learned nothing from the great underwear debacle, he still prattles on about trials in New York City, continues to let Holder pontificate on Miranda Rights, insists on closing Guantanamo, focuses on prosecuting CIA agents, and does nothing to secure one of the most porous borders in the free world.   All told, it appears as if Sheriff Obama has loaded his six gun, stepped into the street, and emptied the cylinder into his foot.

The good news for Obama is that Lady Luck is not a quitter and, with the Times Square incident, she has given our shaky sheriff yet another opportunity to show us what he is made of.   We must not forget that, once again, this attack on the American People failed solely because the bomb did not detonate. Nothing any agency did (or did not do) stopped the plot from playing out.  So, it is more critical than ever for our sheriff to show all would-be terrorists that he is in the street waiting.  The reason for this urgency is quite simple.  Right now, the message that every aspiring bomber is taking away from the Times Square attack is:

“Terrorist be warned, you only have one chance to blow us up, so get your bomb right the first time!”

Instead of deciding that such attacks will be fruitless and rethinking their strategy, terrorists around the world are improving their detonators, rewriting their training courses, and making sure that their operatives know what type of fertilizer to buy. They know from watching the Underwear Bomber and the Times Square Bomber that if they get the bomb right – they are home free. And the sad fact is, the only person that can stick a cactus in the middle of their trail is our reluctant sheriff.  So, in our never ending effort to be proactive, HM has decided to help our derelict defender out one more time with a simple 10 point plan for protecting his town folk.

A Contract on Terror

1. Be intellectually honest with the American People and call Illegal Immigrants what they are – ILLEGAL. When our sheriff refuses to use this word, he sends a message to the bad guys that he really ‘condones’ their actions.  This encourages more illegals to cross over and fuels their sense of entitlement.  By not calling them what they are – Illegal Immigrants – Obama is weakening our laws and putting America and its institutions at risk.  This is not only immoral and opportunistic, it is unconstitutional.  Abraham Lincoln himself noted:

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap — let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; — let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
–January 27, 1838

We are a nation of laws, and if we start letting political expediency decide which ones we will enforce, we have destroyed our very foundation.

2. Immediately allocate  unspent ‘stimulus dollars’ to complete the border fence between the US and Mexico. Border Patrol and ICE officers regularly find Korans and prayer blankets in the desert.  To my recollection, the Catholic Church requires neither of these for Mass.  Islamic extremists are using the drug cartels and Mexican gangs to sneak across our border and infiltrate our cities.  This is a known fact in law enforcement, and has been for several years.  By not completing the fence our government is telling us that, when it comes to their constitutional duty to provide for our common defense, they simply do not care.  The sad fact is that one day another terrorist will be successful, and I would not want to be the sitting president when it is discovered that they had crossed the Mexican border to conduct their attack.

3. Take unreasonable restrictions off of the fine men and women of the US Border Patrol. Give them, the tools and rules that they need to properly defend our borders against thugs, drug runners, and sub-humans that shoot innocent American ranchers. We have put them into the field with both hands tied behind their backs. As it stands today, they are out manned and out gunned.

4. Cease all inbound flights from countries that do not meet minimum acceptable airport security standards. On a recent trip to Kuwait I went through three security check points, setting off the metal detectors at each one.  The ‘security’ guards at each gate just waved me through, barely looking up from their magazines. This type of ambivalence is a problem around the world, and nations that do not crack down should be barred from having direct air routes to US cities.

5. Institute the automatic death penalty for anyone convicted of terrorism against the United States of America. Make no exceptions for any reason…citizen or foreign national.  This will not dissuade those already brainwashed into martyrdom, but will send a powerful message to all the wannabe’s out there that, if they do not kill themselves, we will help them finish the job.

6. Send a clear message to our adversaries that, if they sponsor terror on American soil, we will consider it a declaration of war. Obama must also immediately retract his statements on the use of nuclear weapons, especially in response to biological attacks.  The fact that he made this statement in the first place is troubling.  A well placed nuke could kill a few hundred thousand folks, maybe more.  Nuclear devastation, however, would pale in the face of a well coordinated state sponsored biological attack. Such an attack could kill a third (100,000,000) of all Americans. To say that we would not use a nuke to retaliate against such an attack on our people is quite frankly…stupid.

7. Have industry develop a low cost system for scanning 100% of all air cargo transported on passenger airlines. Today, even with the terrorist threat, the vast majority of all air cargo transported on US passenger airlines goes unchecked.  There is no excuse for this gap in security.  Each day that we let our airlines leave the ground full of unchecked cargo, we are gambling with American lives. This is unacceptable and must be stopped.

8. Partner with industry to develop a process for screening 100% of all cargo entering US shipping ports. Though a small percentage of these containers are randomly screened, we largely rely on importers to tell us what they are shipping. The Government Accountability Office reported in December that only about 5% of all inbound shipping containers are scanned at major US ports of entry. Critics say that such a solution will be far too expensive. When I hear this argument I have to wonder what the price of a nuke going of in the Port of Los Angeles would be?  This must be fixed.

9. Appoint a new Director of Homeland Security. We need a hawk in this position, who places security over political correctness.  Ms. Napolitano continues to demonstrate that she is not that person. If you think I am being overly harsh here, let me remind you of three little words:

“The system worked…”

10. Lose the cowboy hat. It makes you look more like a member of the Village People than a sheriff, and it’s only scaring Broke Back Mountain fans.

There you have it Sheriff! Follow these very clear steps and you will establish yourself as the Wyatt Earp of anti-terrorism.  Heck fire,  just pick 5 of them and you will have done better, in many respects, than George Bush!  That should spin yer spurs!  Not only will history label you as the “Homeland Security President,” but you will also be able to hold your head high knowing you have met your constitutional obligations.  This is it Sheriff Obama; you have been handed a second chance!  Get out in that street and show ’em all that we have a real sheriff running this town. The bad guys are over in Pakistan right now improving their bomb designs, and even Lady Luck runs out of aces sooner or later.

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