Friday, June 26, 2009

Strangled With a Silken Cord

A long time ago in an empire halfway across the world there was a barbaric system of succession that reminds me a little of some things going on now.

The Ottoman Empire was ruled by Sultans and this position was passed on to family members, but not always the eldest son like was and is done in some places. What they would do is have males in the family get schooling and opportunities for leadership. Then at some point the current Sultan would select which individual would become the next Sultan. But, there was concern that the other males would rebel against the chosen leader. So, in order to head off any succession issues the other eligible males were simply killed. Lovely huh? The job of offing the other possibilities was given to the gardener. The method was to come up behind them and strangle them with a silk cord. A silk cord would certainly be a soft way to go, but a death nonetheless. Very creepy stuff. This method was eventually altered so that the non-selected relatives were just imprisoned :)

Now, why in the world does that creepiness remind me of today. Well, it feels like that is what is happening here to our freedoms. It began with the Progressives who were determined to take care of all of us, for our own good. Teddy Roosevelt's famous quote "speak softly but carry a big stick" kind of reminds me of the silken cord method, its soft but it still is going to take you out.

For decades now Progressives have been trying to convince us that we are a Democracy instead of a Republic. Sure, you could see us being called a Democratic Republic, but we are a Republic. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Democracy perpetuated eventually leads to some form of Tyranny. As the people realize they can petition Government for their needs and then their wants they eventually become more demanding and will ask more and more for their Government to take care of all things. The Progressive leaders have more than gladly taken more and more control believing themselves smarter than us. All the while convincing the populace that it is for our own good. Softly but surely our freedoms our being strangled by all that goodness. The rapidity of this stranglehold in this past little while is shocking. What's more is that the idea of us being even a Democracy seems to be slipping away too. A Democracy is supposed to hear and follow the voice of the people. But, despite the fact that a majority of the population is against things like TARP and the recent Stimulus, and Government run Health Care and Cap and Trade our dear Congress keeps passing these things anyway going directly against the voice of the people. So, not only are we leaving behind our status as a Republic we are even leaving behind the idea of us being a Democracy. The Government is becoming a Tyranny, but hey if its for own good, and it sounds soft and pretty. . .

The banking industry is getting more under government control. The auto industry is in the hands of the government. The free market is getting the strangle/big stick treatment.

Health care is a current target. Don’t worry the Government will take care of all your medical needs. Well, at least the needs that the brainiacs who run the system determine are valid needs.

New things are brewing like the Freedom of Choice Act which is just one of many examples of the federal Government putting a stranglehold on the States.

This past week I was incredibly disappointed to hear that the House voted in the Cap and Trade legislation. Too many people do not understand the cost of this. Energy is becoming more and more in the Government control. The tax increase will be felt by not only manufacturing businesses but all their consumers. This is done all in the name of making sure the world does not go through natural changes. It’s like the Progressives think they are some kind of gardener for the planet and are willing to strangle any freedoms that get in the way. Eerie!

So, long ago one by one the threats to the Sultan's rule were eliminated and thus it feels today, one by one our freedoms are being strangled or beaten down by Progressive philosophy. We do not despair but take courage in the knowledge that we have the truth and will stand up for it.

Its time to stand up and try to resuscitate the freedoms. It’s also time to shout about the freedoms that are near being lost. I’ve had it with the Government officials utter lack of transparency. We the people need to speak loudly and carry words of truth.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Land of My Dreams

My life has changed pretty significantly in the last year. My television viewing habits for instance. I watch more FOX news than anything. Although I did tune in to LOST and a few other shows. But, my eyes have been completely opened to the nature of the media. Once LOST is over next season I wonder if I'll watch any of the basic channels at all. I want to know what's going on, I want to know it from the least biased sources I can.

My reading habits have changed. I was on a set course for reading the Harry Potter series several times over, and even had started them in Spanish (a project I would still like to finish, I'm on the 4th one :) But, now I find myself devouring books like the 5000 Year Leap, Liberal Fascism, Liberty and Tyranny and Applied Economics among many others. Now, that my eyes are open I have every desire to fill my mind with principles of freedom and knowledge of the past and the possible future. I've always loved history and it has come back to life for me. I am more passionate about it now than when I was studying it in college.

One of the things that has drastically changed is the state of my dreams. I'm not talking about dreams when you're asleep. Although I do have to admit that I lost quite a bit of sleep during last years elections, so those types of dreams quite likely were affected.

No, I mean the type of dreams that are the answers for 'what do you want to be, or what do you want to do when you grow up?' I will share some of mine with you, not in the hopes of broadcasting any accomplishments but rather to sort out my own thoughts and maybe encourage some thinking for anyone who reads this (I’m well aware that it might not be very many people:)

I'm someone who firmly believes that if you really want to do something there is a way to do it. Dreams absolutely can come true. The reason I know that is because some already have for me. Growing up I dreamed about going to WSU and graduating as a Cougar. Now, that might not seem like a big deal for some, but it was for me. Graduating college with a degree in History was really important and laid some groundwork for my life.

I dreamed of one day going to Israel. And yep that one came true also; I spent a semester of college there and fell in love with the place and the people. Again, that might not seem like a big deal for some, but growing up I did not know anybody who had done anything like that. It was for me an eye and heart opening experience that I still cherish.

I dreamed about going on a mission for my Church. Check, that one came true also. I served a Spanish speaking mission in the exotic land of (wait for it, wait for it. . .) New Jersey! That's right; I served here in the states. That gave me the opportunity to interact with the Spanish speaking population here in the United States and gave me insight and appreciation.

I dreamed about working in sports somehow. Well, I got a Master's degree in Sport Psychology. Some of my funnest memories are of my practicum with a women's soccer team and than a track team for a junior college in Phoenix. One of the things this degree did for me was to open the door for another big dream for me.

I have dreamed for a long time of living a life of service. The Sport Psych degree led me to get another degree in Counseling and I have been working in this field ever since. It is definitely tough some time, but for the most part very rewarding. I have eventually found my way to a practice that I have intentions of sticking around along time with. In fact it would be nice to eventually head the place myself (a good time from now). But, I also have dreams of one day running some kind of charitable organization that meets the needs of poorer populations, not only current needs, but also teaching skills needed to maintain and progress positive changes. I have dreams of working particularly with adoptive families on strengthening their bonds. I have dreams of returning to the Middle East and delivering much needed supplies to a Palestinian children's hospital I visited. I could go on and on. This is the type of service I always envisioned for myself. I think of it as ministering service, where I would get to work with my spiritual brothers and sisters and do what I could to help heal.

But, the question is why am I going on and on and what does this have to do with a Conservative Independent Rant? Well, like I said initially things have changed significantly for me this past year. I feel like those dreams of ministering have had to be somewhat put on hold. Why? Simply put the land that gave me the opportunity to dream all those dreams and to have them come true is slipping through my and your fingers. I feel strongly that before I can completely and heartfully turn to ministering service I have to do my part to bring this country back to what it is supposed to be, a land of endless possibilities for anyone willing to put forth the effort.

This was not who I envisioned myself to be, in fact I could say along with many other people right now, this is not who I want to be. I never had any intentions of losing sleep over politics. I never had any intention of even considering a run for some political office (no I'm not making an announcement or anything :). But, I feel compelled to be politically active now. I think part of the reason that I am compelled to do so is for the benefit of others.

I know I've talked a lot about my nieces and nephews and about the nation's children in general. But, I feel strongly about it. I have got to do my part to make sure that this beautiful nation, which is still the best nation on the planet, is a land where they can know that anything is possible, that they can dream and work to make those dreams come true.

It's not who I want to be, but I've got to be true to what I feel compelled to. I wonder if those previous experiences of learning and loving history, of knowing about and loving other lands and the people who inhabit them, of serving a diverse mission in the states and learning another language and of ministering to others has put me in a position to try and do what I can to better this country.

I trust in the Lord's promise that He will sanctify our experiences for our own and for the benefit of others. I have certainly felt the reality of that. I certainly hope that whatever paths I'm headed down now will also be sanctified as such. Perhaps it will lead me back to dreaming of ministering rather than administering service.

I'm not completely sure where I am headed but feel like I must continue on the road. I'm not sure what all I will try and do, but feel compelled to do something. And I wonder how many more out there feel exactly as I do? What about you? What will you, what will I do to put ourselves in the positions to better our nation and in turn our chances to engender not only our dreams but the dreams of little growing hearts and minds? This is the land of my dreams, may it ever be so for the citizens who choose freedom.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Justice and Mercy, The Bullet Point Version

Well, my mind has kind of been all over the place this past week. That is not really all that unusual for me. But, I have thought a lot about two principles that I have written about before, justice and mercy. I am a person who likes to simplify, and I really think these two principles are simple yet profound values that are important to examine and apply correctly. Because my mind is all over the place rather than trying to form a really cogent written piece, I’m just going to bullet point it. Maybe I’ll come back to it sometime and write a brilliant wrap up of the ideas. Chances are fair to good that I will write it, and chances are significantly lower that it will be brilliant. 

- Justice and Mercy cannot both be satisfied unless there is a Mediator.
- I don’t care how many Pharaoh’s President Obama looks like, he is not the
- The proper role of government is to provide justice, not mercy and not to
- Too many in government are trying to play the role of either the Mediator,
or flat out playing the improper role of mercy.
- The Liberal/Progressive mindset is that the Government should be taking the
role of taking care of everybody, being empathetic.
- Turning over the job of mercy to the government will always lead to tyranny,
for absolute power can never rest with one individual or institution. Mercy
belongs elsewhere.
- Tyranny is not always placing burdens on the people, sometimes it’s not
letting them go through their trials, leaving them stuck. That is the real
problem with Progressivism, the idea that society progresses to such a level
that people individually don’t have to progress at all.
- I despise the term Compassionate Conservative.
- Conservatives should be of the mindset that there is a separation between
justice and mercy.
- Conservatives should be compassionate people on their own and can
demonstrate that through good works, but not in government.
- There can be no real mercy unless justice is properly held in its place.
- The Government has proved time and time again that it sucks at being
o Trying to be compassionate to the car companies? Epic fail.
o Trying to be merciful in health care? The government already runs a
healthcare system for the poorer classes, and it is a lousy system.
The idea that the healthcare of the entire citizenship will be
monitored by the government effectively is preposterous.
o Trying to be merciful in welfare? The welfare system traps people
within its grip perpetually rather than teaching correct principles
of responsibility. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating, the
Churches and other compassionate organizations are wildly more
successful than the government at welfare, the job should belong to
o Etc. etc.
- Being empathetic is not a qualification for a judge. Being just is a
qualification for a judge.
- When justice is not properly adhered to, and the government is trying to be
merciful, the people lose their will to be merciful.
- Mercy among the people for the people is waning.
- Case in point Mexico
o Mexico is our neighbor, we, the people (not our government) should
look upon them with kindness.
o Because the government has not done their job of securing the border
and enforcing the laws the American people feel less compassion for
our neighbor.
o The recent tragedy at the Day Care Center in Mexico and the passive
reaction from most Americans highlights this.
o If the government would do their job, then the American people
themselves would probably do a much better and more compassionate
job of taking care of our neighbors.
- True freedom comes when there is true justice.
- Our Founding Fathers trusted that a truly free people would be merciful to
one another. That’s one of the reasons that freedom of religion was such an
important concept.
- Too many in politics get in the attitude that they want to change the world.
That is faulty thinking. The job of the government is to protect our rights,
creating a society where the goodness of people can be fostered through
growth, responsibility and true freedom. This prosperity opens the
possibility for the citizens to change the world in whatever way they deem
most worthy.
- Freedom brings out the best in people.
- One day the true and Great Mediator will reign on the earth and be able to
judge perfectly and at the same time extend his perfect mercy.
- For now we live in a nation whose political system is the best form for an
imperfect people, but it must be followed as outlined by the Constitution.
- Sometimes the best thing the Government can do is nothing, and let the
people, in their goodness handle it.
- Justice by way of Government, Mercy by way of the people.


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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Guest Post Starring . . . My MOM!

My mother recently emailed me a suggestion for my blog. I admitted to her that it was not a subject that I have followed and so asked if she would like to write it herself. I think she makes some very good points, and I appreciate her insight. Enjoy!

The Miracle of Susan Boyle.

Susan Boyle blew everyone away with her first performance on Britians Got Talent 2009.Within hours her performance was all over the internet as something very inspirational. As I have followed what has happened with her, it reminds me a lot of the way the media has treated others who have not fit into a mold, yet shown greatness.

First of all, Susan Boyle did not get the attention of the world because of her talent. There are talented singers by the dozens. She got the world’s attention because she was judged by most as being silly and of no value until she sang. Amanda Holden, one of the judges at her first performance said it the best. She told Susan that at first everyone was against her. But after her performance everyone was for her.

But the miracle was not her song, it was what happened in hearts. Because of the incredible voice that came out as she sang, the world had a chance to look at itself, and its own judgments. Most were blown away by how wrong those judgments were. However, most did not understand the true miracle. The miracle that happened was she gave all of us a chance to repent of our judgments and enjoy one of God's creations in a very unsuspecting package. Yes, her song was touching, but all the more touching because we were wrong in the first place. It touched a place in so many hearts that was a reminder of who we all are. If given a chance to truly be who we are, we all have the potential to blow others away. The video took the world by storm as so many wanted to share the miracle that happened during her audition.

However, what has happened since has been totally appalling. Once more the media has stepped in to justify why she was judged wrongly. She only came in second in the Britans Got Talent 2009 competition. That means she really wasn't all that good, Right? She hasn’t been taught how to be in the media and to always say appropriate things. So of course when she made a mistake it was very well publicized.

She has had problems in her life, including anxiety. No one before who has been a part of a miracle has had anxiety, Right? And now she has been released from a mental hospital because of an anxiety attach, so of course she has some severe problems where she really wasn't all that good in the first place, Right? Every time she changed her clothes or did anything to try to learn and grow into her moment in the spotlight, she was scrutinized. She was picked apart as the media has watched for anything to prove that she is still silly and doesn’t have much value.

As I have watched what has happened to Susan Boyle, I am reminded how the world, for the most part, tries to discredit greatness in anyone who looks like they should not be great. Sarah Palin is another example of someone who just does not quite fit the mold and has been completely picked apart to discredit her.

Let’s all take a look at what the true miracle of Susan Boyle is. We were reminded that we can and should let go of the judgments. We can all start to honor more fully the miracles that happen all around us every day. We can honor each person for the greatness that they have. We can celebrate that each one of us is a miracle.

Deena Jordan

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Steps to Lasting Change

I have had the wonderful opportunity to do counseling work in a substance abuse treatment facility. The most common treatment used in overcoming addiction are the 12 steps, originating from Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 steps are fantastic and I believe can be applied to a ton of situations. Anytime that people are serious about wanting to change their lives for the better they could look to the 12 steps for a template for that change.

I feel that for the past while, maybe a long while, our government has been addicted to spending and addicted to trying to please the people in the short term rather than thinking about the long term results. The government is addicted to progressivism. And I will ask again the question “progress to what end?” We are addicted to having the government do something, when more often than not, the best answer would be for the government to do nothing.

They have created a messy chaos. I do, however, believe that it can be turned around. But, it is going to take the same kind of commitment that those overcoming addiction must have. We have to remain committed through difficult times, and then remain committed through drastically more difficult times. Overcoming and changing can be a long hard process. But, as anyone who has done so can attest, it will be worth it.

Today I will discuss the first 3 vital steps to overcoming addiction and making real and lasting change.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or whatever addiction needs changing) – that our lives had become unmanageable.

This is an absolutely essential realization and acceptance that must be made by any individual serious about overcoming their addiction. It is basically recognition that the problems cannot be overcome alone.

I think in a way the United States has realized this. Our government is trying to do all sorts of things to regain control of something they have lost control of. So, if we need more money, by all means let’s just print more money. Or maybe we can just borrow money from China. It turns out China is making all sorts of correct financial moves. The "solutions" that have been drawn up for "fixing" our problems are really kinda nuts.

Instead of trying to solve the problem, by creating more problems, it is time for someone, anyone in the United States government to stand up and say, we cannot do this alone. It has become unmanageable. We are in chaos.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The 12 steps are very spiritual in nature. In order to make a true change we have to not only acknowledge that we cannot do it alone, but also to acknowledge that there is a power greater than us that can help us to do it. There is a higher power that has given us unalienable rights, and can restore us to those rights, back to sanity.

It is high time that the United States of America stop looking for short term answers from finite and unpredictable realms, and start looking to our Creator.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him

The first two steps involve recognition, acknowledgment and acceptance. The third step affirms commitment. After accepting that we cannot do it alone, and that there is a power greater than ourselves that can, we than commit to turning our lives over to that Higher Power. The first 3 steps in short are 1) I can’t 2) He can 3) and I’m going to let Him.

This does not mean that the person doing the changing now sits like a bump on a log and waits for God to change everything around him. It is rather a continued reliance on God while we commence the work of changing. By, putting our faith in Him first, our actions can be guided by His infinite wisdom. Our nation’s motto is in fact, “In God We Trust.” That theme is found in the National Anthem’s last verse. And the latest poll I could find, 2003 Gallup, reported that 90% of Americans approve of it being on our coins. We believe it, now we need to live it.

I have seen many instances of these steps making powerful changes in the lives of people. I think we can see examples of it in our nation’s history. Most recently think back to the reaction of the nation’s citizens to the tragedies of September 11th 2001. While everything became stunningly chaotic the nation seemed to draw a collective breath and then opened their mouths and hearts in prayer to God. Because of that He restored us to sanity. We overcame one of the greatest tragedies in our history, not by searching around for finite answers, but by looking to our Creator and trusting in Him and then firmly in His hands moving forward. Today we are in crisis again. Unfortunately too many are looking to the Government for answers instead of to God. But, we must turn to Him and acknowledge His hand in our nation and ask for His help again.

I also would like to point out that these steps were followed by our founding fathers. I have recently read again and again the Declaration of Independence. That document is evidence that these great man first searched for answers, doing sensible things themselves. They sought redress from the oppressive tyrannical British government and were repeatedly abused. They then acknowledged a Higher Power, and the unalienable rights which He had bestowed upon them, upon all of us. Then resolving to separate themselves from their former beloved homeland they “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” committed to doing so. Their journey to freedom included difficult and what must of seemed insurmountable odds. But, they knew in whom they trusted and continued to move forward, with the result being the birth of this great nation. They led the way for us. The question is can we lead the way for the generations to follow us.

There are many important aspects of the 12 steps. One of them is a seemingly small but far from insignificant word, “we.” This word summarizes the need for unity in overcoming problems. We are the UNITED States of America. We need to stand together firmly committed to making changes. The changes are many, which require our attention. But, they all must be faced with a firm commitment to change. I hope that we can be as serious about change as were our precious founders, and “mutually pledge to each other, our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

God Bless America and Americans

Monday, June 1, 2009

Upon Our Shoulders

I recently met my newest nephew, and of course he is incredibly handsome, sweet spirited and all around wonderful. I am biased, but who cares, its all true. There are some curious things that happen to me when I meet these new little ones. They are curious but, having gone through it now a number of times, should by now be predictable.

One of the things that happen is an immediate bond. The love you knew you would feel becomes almost intense in its reality. Your life suddenly includes this little being you've never met previously and yet now cannot imagine life without. It's awe-inspiring.

I've also experienced what I call the expando-heart. It is that the more you love, the more you love the people you already love. By, adding one more nephew to love, my capacity to love all of my nieces and nephews increases, as does my ability to love in general (how many times did I use the word love?).

Another curious thing that happens is that my perspective is honed and my priorities are properly positioned. I could go on and on about the perspective shifting into focus, but will limit myself here to just a few thoughts.

One of the things that I've been asking myself these past couple of weeks is 'What are we handing down to our children?' I wonder what America will be like for them. Again, I could go on and on. But, one subject has been on my mind quite a bit, our debt.

President George Washington said this in his farewell address:

"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." [Farewell Address. Fitzpatrick 35:230. (1796.)]

He understood that occasion could warrant debt, but that the unreasonable accumulation of it was unwise. What happened to that kind of common sense American thinking?

The burden that President Washington was speaking of recently has hit home for me. I finished reading Mark Levin's excellent book Liberty and Tyranny, and was struck by his discussion of the debt burden passed on from previous political generations. Speaking about Social Security specifically Levin states, "The taxpayers are, 'the full faith and credit' behind the U.S. Government. The agency holds trillions of dollars in IOU's that the taxpayers have unwittingly assumed and will one day have to make good on, because there are no funded accounts from which individuals can draw." (p. 100). It is estimated that by 2030 Social Security will cover 84 million people and consume 6 percent of the nation's economy. Levin also discusses Medicare and Medicaid. It is estimated that by 2030 Medicare will cover 79 million people and consume 11 percent of the nation's economy. Medicaid today covers approximately 21 percent of total state spending. (p. 101-104).

These things were all about the government taking away perceived pain in order to win political favor. Little do people realize the crushing burden that has been passed down. It is not just an idea, the debt is real as is its burden. It has weighed heavy on me this past little while. I have thought before how we should not pass a debt onto our children. But, reading about what I have to face from previous generations, I have felt the reality of that burden upon my shoulders. I would not describe my emotional reaction to this reality as anger, rather I feel disappointed, sad and disregarded.

Having realized how this weight feels on my shoulders has made me realize the unkindness it would be to pass it and more to the next generations. Perhaps it is best that we see that generation as children. For the thought of passing this weight onto their shoulders as small as they are literally fills my eyes with tears. How can they bear it? How could we think to make them do so? It is immoral. Forget about what we owe China for a second and consider what we owe our children.

The perspective then is this. How can I, who believes myself to be a loving aunt, sit idly by and watch the thievery committed against these precious ones? The answer is I can't.

I know they will go through difficult times. It breaks my heart to hear of hospital and doctors visits, or sad and disappointing experiences. But, I know they will be okay because life is designed that way. And as long as they have loving hands to lift them up, and arms to enfold them, they will make it through, and even be the better for it. But, oh the horror I feel at the thought of harm coming upon them if I bear some of the responsibility by commission or omission. The thought is offensive to me.

For me there are 14 reasons to stand up against this denigrating deficit spending and government takeover. Their names are Zeke, Gumi, Brenna, Moses, Lizzie, Ty, Will, Gid, Rem, Trace, Isaac, River, Ronnie and Bridger.

I'm determined to work to give them a better world. I want them to rise up higher than me. So, instead of stooping because of the weight of debt which makes it slide off ours onto the next small shoulders, we should instead stand erect and work to remove the burden piece by piece until our shoulders are free to hoist the little ones up. Stop spending money on things we have absolutely no need of. There are plenty of projects that can either wait or have no need to even be started. I mean pigs have stunk for a long time, and figuring out why won't make them stop. (I'm sorry to digress but it is a ridiculous example of earmark spending). So, first we stop, and then we responsibly start paying back the money. It can be done, people do it all of the time on a more personal or familial basis. By taking the courage to lighten our own burdens, we make the world better for the little guys. It just takes hard work and dedication and the truth is they are worth every effort.

God Bless
Sarah Emily Jordan

To Say Something UPDATE: To Say Something More

I was shocked and saddened to learn about the murder of abortionist George Tiller. I admit to also feeling some anger, towards the murderer. You do not honor the sanctity of life by killing. I pray for the Tiller family and the family of the murderer. I think Governor Palin's statement echoes the way I feel:

"I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, "What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today's event in Kansas?"

Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller's abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message."


Governor Palin also put out a statement concerning the death of William Long, the Army Recruiter gunned down by an extremist. This was a sad event, which is not getting the attention that it deserves. Governor Palin said:

"The stories of two very different lives with similar fates crossed through the media's hands yesterday - both equally important but one lacked the proper attention. The death of 67-year old George Tiller was unacceptable, but equally disgusting was another death that police believe was politically and religiously motivated as well.

William Long died yesterday. The 23-year old Army Recruiter was gunned down by a fanatic; another fellow soldier was wounded in the ambush. The soldiers had just completed their basic training and were talking to potential recruits, just as my son, Track, once did.

Whatever titles we give these murderers, both deserve our attention. Violence like that is no way to solve a political dispute nor a religious one. And the fanatics on all sides do great disservice when they confuse dissention with rage and death."