Thursday, July 17, 2014

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Mighty Kacy Catanzaro, American Ninja Warrior


My husband has gotten me addicted to American Ninja Warrior. It is a show that requires the contestants to be in the peak of physical condition, have an immense spirit of competition and perseverance that is seriously second to none. They train all year for one trip through the course and each city has it's own course and particular obstacles. Kacy did what no other woman had ever done, she completed the course in the first stage of competition.

Then came the semi-finals and four more incredibly difficult obstacles were added. But watch this 5' 100 lb. young woman make history, again! She inspires me in so many ways, but most of all to never give up and to always believe you can get the job done. Rock on, #MightyKacy!

Kacy Catanzaro, a former gymnast from Towson University, became the first women ever to successfully complete the finals course on the show American Ninja Warrior.


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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Monday, July 14, 2014

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Money Back with your Purchases

I promised to give a report on this company called Lyoness, which is a worldwide rewards program company. I'm deeply, deeply impressed.

Consumer: No cost for becoming a member. No cost for rewards card. No monthly fee. No monthly product requirements. Earn cashback on every purchase you are already making, 2% direct deposited into your bank account, 8% deposited into a Loyalty Program which adds up to units which comes back as cash. Merchants decide how much they give back to the consumer, so it can vary from 2% return to whatever. For instance, Olive Garden and Red Lobster do 9%. I am using a 10% example. Loyalty funds can be used to purchase from Lyoness Merchants. So you shop, earn money. Done. If you want to tell friends and family about the rewards card, it benefits you to do so. If you know businesses who could use this system, that benefits you as well. But it is not required. There are currently 4 million and counting Lyoness consumers. In November, Lyoness is releasing a pre-paid Mastercard credit card that can be used anywhere, but "double" (add the merchant cashback to the Mastercard cashback) the cashback if you use it with a Lyoness merchant.

As the consumer you can also decide to do this as a business. Still no cost up from. You share the news of the rewards card with family, friends and co-workers. As they become consumers, all of us just using the rewards card on money we're already spending anyway, then you earn money. If you decide to do the business, which Alvin and I are doing, it can become very lucrative. If you're interested, we'll hook you up with the guys who talked to us. Easy, straight forward, and loaded with common sense and opportunity.


Merchant: Setup Costs, very affordable. Cost to purchase Lyoness reward cards to hand out to your customers. Should see an uptick in customers as the program spreads and you actively market your rewards program. Lyoness Consumers tend to shop at Lyoness merchants. There are currently 40,000 and counting Lyoness merchants. Personally, I intend to add a lot of merchants to that number. First, I would become a consumer, then after you see how it works, you can become a Lyoness merchant.


“Cash back with every purchase” is the Lyoness motto. With thousands of local, regional and international merchants and millions of members in more than 40 countries, Lyoness has become the premiere global shopping community and loyalty program! Shoppers enjoy four ways to shop and earn cash back – online, in-store with their Lyoness Cashback card, with merchant gift cards and via their smartphones.
The Lyoness loyalty program is built on creating lasting relationships that benefit the merchants and members. As the shopping community grows, the merchants receive more sales, and in turn, they can provide increased rewards. With loyalty, everyone wins!


Alvin and I really looked over the entire company and program and were amazed. We like it. We became a consumer on Friday. I am personally working to get local merchants using the program so I can remain a consumer of local business. So, if you're interested in becoming a consumer, let me know and I'll get you set up. If you're interested in becoming a merchant, let me know and I'll get you set up.

They are in 41 countries including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Poland, Italy, Turkey, United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Macedonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Latvia, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Montenegro, Plus: United Arab Emirates (Lyoness Europe AG – Dubai Branch), North America, South America, Asia.

Sampling of Companies currently part of Lyoness Program: ACME, Affordable Cartridges & Toners, Albertsons, American Airlines, Applebees, Bartek Deli, BP, California Pizza Kitchen, Chevron, Cub, CVS Pharmacy, Bahama Breeze, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Seasons 52, Yardhouse, Doris Market, Exxon Mobile, Farmfresh, Footlocker, Give a Night, Home Depot, Lowes, Hornbacher's, Hotel Voucher, Jewel-Osco, IHOP, K-Mart, Lord & Taylor, Office Depot, otel, Outback Steakhouse, Rotelli Pizza & Pasta, Sears, Shaw's, Shop 'n Save, Shoppers, Subway, The Billiard Club

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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US Daily Review: America Awash in Scandal Edges Toward Apathy


by Candace Salima, Senior Contributor on US Daily Reivew

The Obama Administration is awash in scandals with national security implications, not to mention the nation no longer trusts its government, let alone Barack Obama. It's intriguing to note how completely Obama and his administration have completely ignored his oath of office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

I do not believe there is any common sense thinking person in the United States of America that will say Barack Obama has lived up to his oath of office, and, in fact, has violated it a number of times. Liberals, of course, are willing to ignore just about everything because they really do want our republic form of government replaced with a socialist democracy.

Barack Obama's administration has been littered with scandals and America has become punch drunk with them, edging toward apathy over the sheer number. Let's just list a few, not in any particular order: Read More on US Daily Review


Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Monday, June 9, 2014

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To Fold or Play

It is very difficult when a loved one is ill. My sweetheart was diagnosed with end stage renal failure (kidney failure) thirteen years ago. I think it's thirteen. I believe I can safely write this blog post coming from an area where I have a great deal of experience.

When a loved one is ill we have two choices, to rant and rave against the circumstances -- or -- to educate ourselves, help our loved one as much as possible, and treasure every day you have together.

I have an acquaintance on a social media site who has chosen to be bitter about her husband's illness and the treatment he's being given at the hospital. May I offer some advice?

Just because someone is ill doesn't mean they are not still the same person we fell in love with. My sweetheart, Alvin Salima, and I have been married for nineteen years, and he has been ill for the bulk of those years. The first year was the hardest as we educated ourselves about kidney failure. Alvin's health took some hits because we didn't learn fast enough or completely enough. But by the end of the first year we considered ourselves relatively well educated.

The next four or five years were rough ones for Alvin. He was in and out of the hospital, one visit lasting six weeks. During that six weeks Alvin came closer to death multiple times than he ever had before. At one point I was told he was the sickest man in the hospital and the next 24 hours would be touch and go as to whether Alvin would live or die. 

I'm not going to lie, it was hard. Really hard. I often went into the bathroom to sob my heart out, then I would splash cold water on my face and go back into that room with a smile on my face. Yes, I argued with doctors on occasion, but I learned when to listen and when to dig in.

Through it all, friends and family prayed and fasted for Alvin and I saw the results of that due to the miraculous nature in the events that unfolded in Alvin's life during that time. Our love for one another grew deeper and deeper, and our appreciation for life itself also grew. Our belief in God and His plan of salvation also deepened until it went past belief to pure knowledge.

Instead of becoming bitter over the circumstances we chose to simply live with it and do our best to keep Alvin as healthy as possible. It isn't easy, not by any stretch of the imagination. But we have each other and we do all we can to keep life as normal as possible. It's the very best advice I can give: Trust in God and make the very best of the circumstances in your life. Don't let them drive your life, you drive them. Learn, grow and make a difference by helping others learn to cope with similar situations.

Thirteen years later Alvin does dialysis three times a week, works full time and I pick up whatever contract work I can find. We visit with family often, go to matinees and eat at restaurants that are affordable, once or twice a month. We spend time with friends, and we spend time fighting for America. We go to church, and have nephews and nieces spending the night often. We're happy enough and looking forward to the day when Alvin gets his kidney transplant.

Trust in God and do what you must to keep moving forward.

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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

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I So Swear

Yesterday, Alvin and I were incredibly privileged to attend the ceremony of a young man we lovely dearly as he swore his citizenship oath to the United States of America. We met Jarel many years ago, and over time came to love him as if he were our own son.

After completing his 2-year mission for the Lord, he went to BYU Hawaii to complete his college education. There he met his sweetheart, Genna, who became his life. Now he has an adorable daughter, and is finally a citizen of the United States of America. We are so very proud of him, and so happy for him and his sweet family. Congratulations, Jarel.

I am of the opinion that every single American, at the age of 18, should take the citizenship oath of the United States of America. And because I believe that, I so swear:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.



Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Friday, May 30, 2014

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Context Missing from Discussion About LDS Women

This is a response from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the current, and ever repeating, issue of women and the priesthood. I stand with the Church on this issue, in every possible way.

# # #

Comments on various blogs over recent months about what Church leaders should or should not think and do about women’s roles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prompt me to provide some context from an insider perspective that may be helpful.

Recently a woman posted this comment on a blog:
Please understand that not [all] women who wish to be seen in all their worth are seeking to be ordained to the priesthood…. What I am finding…. is that most of these women have been demeaned and marginalized by one (and usually many more) of the brothers of our faith. They have been told their ideas won’t work. They have been told they are not important. They have been told they are lesser.
The point is a noteworthy one, namely that LDS women who describe themselves as feminists don’t necessarily seek ordination, but rather to be genuinely valued and given a voice that is respected and welcomed.

There are three specific criticisms that have been raised on various blogs that will be addressed here:


Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Monday, May 26, 2014

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Danny Boy by David Osmond

This is a stunning rendition of Danny Boy by David Osmond. Wow. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to Doug Osmond for sharing it with me. Happy Memorial Day to all those who have lost loved ones.


DOWNLOAD SONG HERE: www.DavidOsmond.bandcamp.com

ALSO DOWNLOAD on iTunes: http://goo.gl/LvoCT4

"Danny Boy" is a timeless classic written over one hundred years ago. It's one of my absolute favorite songs!

Most people have heard the first verse. A lot of people may know the second verse. But almost nobody has heard the third verse. It's a powerful song with a powerful message, and we want to give even more power to this song now.

JUST SO YOU KNOW... 100% of all the profits from the sale of this song are going to benefit a charity called, GOLD STAR MOTHERS. This is an organization of mothers who have all lost sons or daughters while they were serving in the military. This is our little way of giving back funds and recognition to those who absolutely deserve it.

It's a fantastic cause, so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being so generous!!!

God bless!

David Osmond

DANNY BOY:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling.
It's you, it's you must go, and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow.
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow.
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And should ye come, and all the flowers are dying.
And I am dead, as dead I well may be.
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me.

And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me.
And all my grave shall warmer sweeter be.
For you will bend and tell me that you love me.
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.

But should I live, and you should die for Ireland,
Let not your dying thoughts be all of me.
But say a prayer to God for our dearest Ireland.
That he may hear, and help set her free.

And I shall take your pike and sword my dearest.
And strike a blow, though weak that blow may be.
To help the cause to which your heart was nearest
And you shall sleep in peace, until I come to thee.

Oh Danny Boy, Oh, Danny boy
I love you so.

FYI: Almost ALL actors (minus Scott and Cohen are members of the Osmond Family.)

CREDITS:

Vocals and Guitar: David Osmond
Produced by: David Osmond and Aaron Edson
Daniel Sullivan, Jr.: Adam Gregory
Daniel Sullivan, Sr.: Scott Schroeder
Daniel Sullivan, III: Chris Osmond
Wife: Valerie Osmond
Daniel Sullivan, III (child): Dylan Osmond, Cohen Edson, Kate Osmond (baby)
Directed by: Aaron Edson
Co-Directed by: Ryan Little
Director of Photography: Brian Sullivan and Glen Fisk
Hair/Make-up: Valerie Osmond

Special THANK YOU to:

American Gold Star Mothers, INC. (501c3 Charity)

American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation for helping provide soldier's pictures. All pictures of soldiers (minus Chris Osmond), are of actual fallen soldiers. These are their names:

- Lance Cpl. Nigel Olsen (provided by Kim Olsen)
- SSG Gary Lee Woods, Jr. (provided by Becky L. Johnson - Gold Star Mother)
- PV2 Isaac T. Cortes (provided by Ramona Emily Toro - Gold Star Mother/PGR Member)
- PFC Gifford E. Hurt (provided by Lisa Davis)

Thank you to Bam Bam's BBQ and Bella's Mexican Food for their delicious contribution to the crew!

Sponsored by:




Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

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Remember: Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

Many people have forgotten the power, strength and impact of the American Pledge of Allegiance. Today I am sharing Red Skelton's recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance again. Forget the monotony of it, and remember the meaning of each word:



Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

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Movie Corner: The Amazing Spiderman 2

Movie: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Fox, Sally Field and Dane DeHaan
Runtime/Rating: 142 min. / PG-13

In a nutshell, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) graduates high school about the same time he starts seeing the ghost of Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), the father of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. And with these sightings, he is reminded over and over of the promise he made Captain Stacy.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens with Peter's parents; and we finally find out what happened to Peter's parents and it plays into the current story as well.

If you'll remember, Peter promised Captain Stacy as he was dying that he would stay away from Gwen. That didn't last long, although Peter did try. The sequel opens up with Spider-Man taking on the bad guys who have stolen a truck full of plutonium. He's supposed to be at his high school graduation, but turns out he's a little busy.

As the story of Peter and Gwen unfolds, so too does the story of an electrical engineer named Max who becomes Electro. To top it all off, Harry Osborn returns from boarding school with a disease that's killing him. Obsessed with finding the cure, he pleads with Spider-Man for his blood, and then the venom that Oscorp has kept hidden.

All in all, the movie has depth as Peter struggles to do what he promised Gwen's father, fights to keep the city safe, and does so with wit and charm. I very much enjoyed this movie. And as a side note, I much prefer Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire. He's more believable, and he's more engaging.

I'm looking forward to Spider-Man joining The Avengers. My husband says he's supposed to, so we shall see if the big boys will play nice and let that unfold.

I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a 4 out of 5 stars. It was that enjoyable.



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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Monday, May 5, 2014

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God Bless America

On this day, May 5th in the United States of America, I celebrate the greatness of our nation. The beauty that reaches from shore to shore, and her stunning lands in between. More than that, I celebrate the fierceness of the American spirit. That spirit which founded this great nation, is the same spirit that is fighting to keep the Republic now. May God bless America that her beacon of light and liberty will shine forever more.

This is Madison Rising and their stunning rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.



May people don't know all the verses to our nation's anthem. I'd like to share them with you now:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light 
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, 
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? 
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. 
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, 
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, 
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, 
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? 
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, 
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: 
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore 
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, 
A home and a country should leave us no more! 
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. 
No refuge could save the hireling and slave 
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave 
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand 
Between their loved home and the war's desolation! 
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land 
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. 
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, 

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust." 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave 

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Monday, April 21, 2014

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Movie Corner: Heaven is for Real



Heaven is for Real is the true story of young Colton who visits heaven, holding the hand of our Savior, while the surgeon and surgical nurses are fighting with everything they have to save his life. It is based on the book with the same name.

The movie opens with Colton's father who is a volunteer fireman, wrestling coach, and pastor at the local church. We see family life unfold in a small Nebraska town until Colton's appendix bursts and his life hangs in the balance.

When Colton recovers he begins to share his experiences with his father, who oddly enough, experiences his own crisis of faith because of these experiences. As the movie goes on, bits and pieces of his experiences unfold and the entire town is shaken in one way or another. 

Are we afraid heaven isn't real, or are we afraid that it is? This is the main question of the film.

It was poignant, powerful, inspiring and incredibly uplifting. It is a true story told in an understated fashion. Knowing what I know of the roles that Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly, I was some startled at the casting. However, it only took 15 to 20 minutes for me to forget their crass television shows and be immersed complete in the story of the Burpo family.

I give Heaven is for Real a solid 5 out of 5 stars. It is a movie worth seeing, and definitely worth adding to the home library, both book and movie. Both Colton, and a young girl (who is a remarkable artist and painted this rendition) who had a similar experience both say this is what Jesus looks like. This is Akiane's Jesus Christ. In fact, young Colton's reaction when he saw this painting of Jesus was startling. He definitively said this is what our Savior looks like.

There are many who doubt these children saw what they saw, but I am not one of them. Remember, Jesus Christ said:

Matthew 18:3: And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

When a four-year-old tells you he visited heaven, then gives specific, and accurate, accounts of who he met and what they said, then the conclusion must be that heaven is, indeed, for real.

The naysayers may say what they will, but God lives. This is I am certain of and I look forward to the day when I will see Him again.

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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

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I am Candace Salima

My name is Candace Salima. I am married to the love of my life, Alvin E. Salima. I am not a racist, nor am I the white Coretta Scott King. I am descended of kings and queens, but recognize and honor those who came to America in the 1500s and carved a nation out of this great land. My ancestors, and relatives now, have served in every war this nation has ever fought. I stand for God. I stand for Family. I stand for America. I stand for the U.S. Constitution. I stand, and always will. I am Candace Salima, and that is enough for me.


This picture was taken in the early spring of 1995 and is our engagement picture. I do adore this man of mine.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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Senator Mike Lee Opening Statement at Comcast-Warner Hearing

WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Lee, Ranking Member of the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, delivered the following remarks at the start of the hearing regarding the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable:

As prepared for delivery

Lee: “Today’s hearing has received significant attention, and for good reason. The proposed merger between Comcast and Time-Warner has implications for two markets that affect the everyday lives of the vast majority of those in my state and in the country as a whole. Most Americans pay a monthly bill for video and broadband internet. In fact, as recently as 2012, ninety percent of U.S. households with a television paid for a TV subscription. And a recent study concluded that approximately 70 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 18 have broadband access within their home.

“The parties to this proposed merger have carefully structured their transaction. The two companies do not currently compete in each other’s footprint, and the combined company would have less than 30 percent of the video market—a number some have suggested acts as a kind of safe harbor for concentration in that market. Comcast has vertically integrated with NBC Universal—a complicating factor for a large distributor of video content and broadband internet that is seeking to become larger. But, as the company points out, it remains subject to conditions stemming from regulatory approval of that transaction. In addition, the companies argue that this merger will produce efficiencies, increase service for Time Warner customers, and facilitate increased innovation.

"The proposed merger has nonetheless raised concerns. This transaction takes place against the backdrop of significant pre-existing concerns with respect to the competitive state of the market for video and broadband internet. I have heard concerns for some time that the effects of robust competition, whether experienced in terms of pricing or quality of service, are not currently enjoyed in these markets. It is important that this Committee take account of the state of competition in the markets for video and internet as pre-existing issues may make it more likely for a large transaction to pose a competitive threat. At the same time, if concerns related to this transaction result only from issues affecting these industries as a whole, it may be unfair to the merging parties to impose only on them conditions designed to ameliorate competition. Regardless of the outcome of the agencies’ review of this transaction, I believe it is important for Congress to continue to monitor the competitive state of these markets.

Concerns with this transaction also arise from the nature of the services at issue. Internet, in particular, is of obvious importance to American families and businesses. The combined company will potentially control greater than 50 percent of high-speed internet access in the country. Markets change quickly, and government must be careful not to step in where economic forces will better direct and incentivize future investment and development of new products. But where the stakes are high—and they surely are high with respect to Americans’ access to the internet—any potential for anticompetitive effects or undue control of that market must be carefully scrutinized.

“As with any matter before this Committee or the relevant enforcement agencies, it is essential that we apply proper economic analysis and ground our conclusions in the evidence. By ensuring that we protect competition, and not any individual company or competitor, we can help create market conditions that benefit consumers and promote economic development.”

###


Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

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Movie Corner: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America is my favorite superhero, and Chris Evans is the best one yet. That's neither here nor there though. Alvin and I anxiously awaited the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. My husband is a Marvel comic books aficionado and he regaled me with stories of how Bucky, the Winter Soldier, eventually ends up being a good guy. . .




Captain America, the First Avenger, opens with a super secret S.H.I.E.L.D. mission with Cap's new team and the Black Widow. It's exciting, lost of fighting and action, pithy lines, etc. But when the mission is complete and the unexpected dealt with, Cap finds out that the Black Widow was there for a different reason. This is the beginning of an action packed film filled with surprises, betrayal, and unending excellent fighting scenes.

Here's a little something about me, earn it and I'm intensely loyal for life. For some weird reason, I just love Captain America. So this movie, while completely awesome, had some rough moments for me.

So here's the main push, HYDRA is still alive and well in the world and has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at it's highest levels. No one can be trusted, not even Cap's own team, Strike. Cap and the Black Widow, along with Falcon, fight through to not only reveal what is happening, but to save millions of lives.


Joss Whedon does an excellent job at all levels of filmmaking with Captain America, but he did an entirely too good of a job making the Winter Solder a really, really bad guy. In fact, Whedon did such a good job that I expect I will have an extremely difficult time accepting Bucky as anything but a super bad guy. Alvin didn't care for the lengths they went to in order to make Bucky soulless. He insisted that Bucky is Cap's sidekick and he didn't like how that part of the story unfolded.


There were times in the movie where an early bullet to the brain of multiple bad guys would have saved our team a great deal of trouble. But the story didn't call for it, although logic did. (Yes, there must be logic, even in a superhero movie.) I really had a hard time watching the Winter Soldier beat the crap out of Captain America. It just didn't set well with me. But Cap prevailed and won the day, of course.

Nonetheless, the story is amazing, matched only by the filmmaking and acting. Ironically, given my political bent, I saw a serious parallel of what is unfolding in America today.

I give Captain America a solid 4 out of 5 stars.




Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

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Movie Corner: Draft Day

Alvin and I were invited to see an early screening of Kevin Kostner's new film, Draft Day.



Draft Day is a sports comedy-drama film directed by Ivan Reitman and is scheduled for release on April 11, 2014.

The movie opens on the waning hours until the NFL Draft begins. It was intriguing to watch this extremely stress-filled period (I've seen it from the player's viewpoint) from a General Manager's viewpoint. The machinations, negotiations, pressures from those who don't see the big vision, conflict, etc. really played well on the big screen.

Kostner, as Sonny Weaver, did an excellent job portraying the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns as he works throughout the day to recruit the one player he believes will turn his team around. Throw in the love interest played by Jennifer Garner, an unexpected pregnancy, the extremely hard to get along with coach, Dennis Leary, and the slightly crazy, bereaved mother. Kostner proves he's back with this movie, no question.

While I expected mild enjoyment of the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself completely engaged in the plot and the lives of those playing out on the big screen. Very well done, and everyone should go see it.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend to anyone that loves football you'll really enjoy it.

Sponsored by:




Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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I'm a Christian, and I think Noah Deserves a 4 Star Review

I review movies often, but Russell Crowe's Noah is one I decided to never watch because it has nothing to do with the story in the Bible. However, this very clever gentleman went and saw it and wrote this freakin' awesome review. I have to share it, I laughed so hard. I have included it in it's entirety.



On Friday, my wife and I had a very rare date night.

Naturally, we decided to spend it being pummeled by the blaring condescension of the most insipid, absurd, unimaginative, clumsily contrived piece of anti-Christian filmmaking to come along since, well, probably just last week.

In fact, if I learned anything from Noah, it’s this: despite popular perception, you can often judge a book by its cover. Also, giant deformed rock monsters make for awkward supporting characters.

We’ll meditate on that second item in a moment, but it’s the first point that should be especially emphasized.

Christians: you’ll hear people insist that you can’t criticize the movie until you’ve seen it. Noticeably, the loudest voices in this camp are the ones who will (rather coincidentally, I’m sure) profit immensely if you meet their challenge.

Don’t.

Don’t bother.

You can hate this film without watching it, for the same reason that you can assume Citizen Kane is slightly superior to Need For Speed, without having seen either of them.

Just use context clues. Use your judgment. Use your money on something else.

Noah is a major Hollywood blockbuster, made by an atheist director best known for his previous flick where a mentally disturbed lesbian ballerina goes insane and bleeds to death on stage. Already, a critical person might be slightly concerned about his handling of the Bible, considering what he just did to the ballet.

These concerns grew from suspicion to reality before it was even released, when the man himself came out publicly and professed Noah to be both an environmentalist propaganda piece, and the “least Biblical” Bible film ever made.

He wasn’t lying.

But he forgot to mention that it’s also a terrible film.

The way I figure it, I must now convince at least two people to skip this movie in order to cancel out the twenty dollars I just contributed to Darren Aronofosky’s and Russel Crowe’s coffers.

What better way to do that than by spoiling the entire thing?

So here goes a thorough synopsis and spoiler, which will hopefully quell your curiosity and alleviate any urge you might feel to go and experience this ridiculous train wreck for yourself:

We are first introduced to the Noah of Noah on a hill in the barren wasteland of the Fallen. In a captivating and subtle initial sequence, our protagonist castigates his son for pulling a flower out of the ground, right before rushing to the aid of an injured dog.

A scraggly band of Bad Guys soon show up with the wicked intentions of devouring the animal’s flesh, because, in this story, the Height of Evil is to stave off your imminent starvation by hunting wild game. (If only they’d developed Noah’s ability to be a strict vegetarian in an environment almost entirely devoid of vegetation.)

The Bad Guys attack Noah, not realizing that he’s a vegan Martial Arts master. Noah proceeds to kick some serious butt, leaving all of the Bad Guys bleeding on the ground.

One of them looks up at him in awe and terror. “What do you want?”

“Justice,” Noah growls with a determined gaze.

I was expecting him to then whisper, “I’m Batman,” and disappear, but I realized that superhero movies wouldn’t have dialogue nearly so clichéd as this embarrassing farce.

At any rate, Noah wants justice. Of course, this is coming from the same dude who will spend the rest of the movie contemplating murder-suicide and threatening to stab babies in the face.

But, hey, nobody’s perfect.

After a troubling nightmare, Noah, for unclear reasons, sets off to find his grandfather Methuselah, who, for unclear reasons, hangs out in a cave and drinks hallucinogenic tea all day.

On the way, our heroes encounter a group of the aforementioned Rock Monsters.

The Rock Monsters — a cross between the Ents from The Lord of the Rings, Transformers, and Muppets — are fallen angels who came down to Earth to help the humans after mean ol’ God cast Adam and Eve out of Eden. The ‘Creator’ was ticked at the angels for being big softies, so he cursed them and turned them into Giant Stone Gumbies.

Christian apologists for this movie have claimed that the Rock Monsters are, in fact, “Biblical” because Genesis does make vague mention of “giants.”

That’s like turning Jesus into an Olympic figure skater and calling it “theologically accurate” because the New Testament says he walked on water.

Still, the Rock Monsters are great unintentional comic relief, so I certainly wasn’t upset to have them along for the ride.

Skimming over a few parts: Methuselah gives a roofie to Noah, prompting a hallucination about the ark. Noah and the gang and the Rock Monsters then start building the ark. More Bad Guys arrive, intending to takeover, but they’re scared off by the Rock Monsters.

In this “version” of the story, only one of Noah’s sons, Shem, boards the ark with a wife. Ham, completely wife-less, is a tad displeased at the notion of default celibacy for the rest of his life.

Understandable, I suppose.

Eventually, he runs pouting into the woods, falls into a hole filled with corpses, and finds a girl sitting among all the dead people. They fall instantly in love — the classic “how we met” story — and the two of them head back to the ark. Unfortunately, Ham’s girlfriend gets caught in a bear trap and trampled by a human stampede along the way. Classic breakup story. Noah forces Ham to abandon her and leave her to die.

Ham is mad. He pouts some more.

Here’s Ham, searching ditches and mass graves for a bride. The movie apparently takes place sometime before Match.com came into existence.

Noah also pouts. Everybody is pouting. And then it starts pouring.

As the rains begin, the Bad Guys make their climactic charge on the boat. We are then treated to an extended sequence of Rock Monsters swatting swarms of drowning people.

Interestingly, only the Main Bad Guy comes up with the clever idea to, you know, go around the Rock Monsters.

The Main Bad Guy’s genius maneuver pays off, and he successfully manages to sneak onto the ark.

Luckily, Noah and crew aren’t forced to make room on the ship for the Rock Monsters, because they’re all ascended into heaven as a reward for kicking a bunch of humans in the head for twenty minutes.

Sadly, all of the (unintended) levity and humor goes up right along with them.

The rest of the film will now be dedicated to a brooding Noah glumly obsessing over his belief that the Creator wants all human beings to perish — himself and his family included.

This forces him to have that difficult family meeting where he explains to his kids that humanity is wicked and they all must die.

But, as usual, it’s right when you plan the obliteration of mankind that your adopted daughter announces she’s pregnant. We’ve all been there. Am I right, parents?

Noah is less than happy about the news, and tells Shem and Ila that, if they have a girl, he will murder it the moment it is born.

Needless to say, Noah doesn’t attend the baby shower and things are generally pretty awkward for the next nine months.

Meanwhile, as Noah plots to murder his grandkids, and Shem plots to kill Noah if he tries, the Bad Guy stowaway is also plotting with Ham to kill Noah. Ham is willing to cooperate with the homicidal plan because he’s still upset that his girlfriend of four minutes was trampled to death. Essentially, this has become a floating soap opera. Think Days of Our Lives meets Waterworld.

Side note: If you doubt the Bad Guy Credentials of the Bad Guy, the writers made sure to include a scene where he bites the head off an endangered lizard while sermonizing about the glories of being a carnivore (this is how vegetarians see the rest of us). His Bad Guy Monologue consists entirely of simply and accurately quoting Scripture (this is how you identify the bad guy in a Hollywood movie).

The next several minutes of emotional-manipulation-disguised-as-plot-development center around the drama inevitably created when a dad wants to kill his grandchildren, and all of his children want to kill him in return.

Finally, in the predictable climax, the Bad Guy tries to stab Noah, but Ham — getting cold feet over the whole patricide thing, I guess — ultimately decides to kill the Bad Guy instead. In the midst of the chaos — wouldn’t ya know it? — Ila goes into labor.

Shem makes a halfhearted attempt to stop Noah from becoming humanity’s first abortionist, but is easily tossed to the side.

Ila gives birth to twins — both girls. GASP. Noah charges at the infants with knife in hand, but has a sudden change of heart. Even though the Creator wants him to wipe out all of humanity, he refuses.

That’s when they hit land.

Next thing you know, Noah is drunk in a cave, depressed that he didn’t have the guts to murder his twin granddaughters. Ah, regrets. We all have ‘em.

Following a pep talk from Ila, Noah decides that maybe it’s OK if people repopulate the Earth. The Creator decides to go along with this new plan.

The end.

I’ve heard the movie compared to Titanic and Gladiator. Personally, I’d say it’s more of a cross between Mutiny on the Bounty and The Shining. Only far less coherent than any of them.

I’ve also heard some “Christian leaders” endorse this steaming pile of heretical horse manure. I’m tempted to accuse them of being cowardly, dumb, or dishonest, but I’ll just give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they slept through the most troubling parts — like the part at the beginning, and the end, and all of the parts in between.

It’s true that it might be a bit difficult to discern the “message” in a film so filled with explosions (the Bad Guys have bazookas, naturally), monsters, and infanticide, but any supposed Christian “leader” ought to try a little harder. Pay a little closer attention. If you do, you’ll see a tale that entirely perverts the nature of God, while flipping sin and immorality on its head.

Aside from a brief glimpse of something that appeared to be either rape or cannibalism, wickedness is portrayed as mostly a matter of eating meat and mining the earth for resources. Noah — a righteous man in the Bible — is stripped of his righteousness in favor of obsessiveness. God is stripped of any characteristics at all, apart from vindictiveness.

It’s not that ‘Noah’ strays from the text — of course it does, the actual text is only a few pages long — it’s that the movie completely and utterly distorts the message and meaning of the original story.

This movie is not an adaptation of anything at all. As far as I can tell, both Noah the Movie and Noah the Bible story have in common: a guy named Noah, a boat, some animals.

That’s it.

If you’re looking for a movie more obviously inspired by Biblical precepts, go see anything else. Go see The Lego Movie. I’m sure even that will bear a closer resemblance to Scripture than emo Noah and his gang of Boulder Creatures.

But what if you don’t care about the Bible and you just want to see a good movie? The critics seem to love this film, don’t they?

Yes, they do. They love it because they’re a herd of politically correct cattle and this is a movie that they’re ‘supposed’ to like. It’s made by an ‘important’ director. It’s ‘controversial.’ It’s upsetting a bunch of Tea Party types.

Plot and script be damned; it’s already got all the necessary ingredients for critical acclaim.

Remember, these are many of the same critics who panned The Passion of the Christ — a beautiful, bold, and mesmerizing retelling of the greatest story ever told.

Politics and theology aside, The Passion is art. Noah is a marketing strategy.

And, in fairness, maybe it ought to be reviewed on those terms.

You can’t condemn it for being a poor Biblical adaptation, because it isn’t a Biblical adaptation.

You can’t condemn it for being a bad movie, because it isn’t a movie.

It must be considered as it is: a gimmick. A brilliant gimmick, for sure.

If the movie studio wanted to spin a yarn about mythical beasts, epic battles, homicidal sea captains, and a pagan Earth god, they could have done so. They could have called it anything. They could have told their own story. But they called it Noah because they knew that the supposed connection to the Bible would garner immediate fascination. They knew there would be controversy, and controversy sells.

They padded it with enough action movie clichés to draw interest from secular crowds, they hid the outright blasphemy well enough to please gullible Christian crowds, and they mocked Biblical theology blatantly enough to delight the critics.

They came up with a way to make millions while exploiting the various sensibilities of different audience demographics.

That was their first and primary intention, and in it they succeeded wildly.

As an adaptation or retelling of Judeo-Christian theology, it’s a blatant mockery.

As a film, it’s like the script for a Syfy Network miniseries got shoved into a blender with the treatment for a Lifetime channel made-for-TV movie and then mixed with enough moping nihilism and environmentalist sermonizing to fool pretentious elitists into using words like ‘daring’ and ‘relevant’ when describing it. In other words, it’s aggressively abysmal.

But, as a money-making ploy, it’s a downright masterpiece.

Final assessment:

Four Stars for marketing

No Stars for quality, substance, coherence, meaning, or theological accuracy.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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America's Artist, Jon McNaughton's Angel of Liberty

The Vision of George Washington is not so well known by most Americans, but it is worth consideration as our country stands in peril of loosing everything we hold dear. At a time when our financial solvency and our national security are more vulnerable than we have ever been, what will save us from the doom that lurks at our doorstep? I chose to paint this vision at the triumphant moment when the Angel of Liberty bursts upon the scene. Whether or not the vision is authentic, is debatable, but the message it contains is timeless.


Jon McNaughton's painting of George Washington's Vision. Learn more at Jon's website.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Friday, March 21, 2014

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We Must Not Fail, America

I love America and everything about her. From her inception, she was born of the minds of men and women who craved freedom and liberty. She was not perfect, but the birth of this nation provided a foundation of freedom that was built deep and strong. Throughout the years of our young nation, we formed and molded a people who thrived on self-responsibility, working hard, and helping their neighbors. We grew into a super power and began defending freedom all over the world, much to the dismay of the despots of the world. In the 80's and early 90's we had an economic boom in America unmatched by any point in our history. People worked for the American Dream and found it.

Now we face trouble. Our republic is no longer with the advent of Obamacare. Our federal government is out of control. Corruptions reigns from the White House to the House of Representatives and every administrative department in between. We have another election coming up, and in order for any candidate to win they must win by a margin large enough to overcome the corruption that is a cancer eating away at the bedrock of America, the right to vote freely. America must unite if we are to restore the republic and give the generation following us a brighter future. But most of all, we must strengthen the family unit, for if the family is strong, so too is the nation. Father, mother and children must work to keep their families strong, and we must, as a nation, turn to God for forgiveness and protection.

Remember who you are, both as children of a loving God and as Americans. We are that last bastion of freedom to the world, and it is crumbling under the machinations of evil men and women. Stand strong, America. We shall prevail. We must not fail.

Remember that Harold B. Lee said,

"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail. I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges.

"I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through. (Ye Are the Light of the World, Harold B. Lee, p350-51)


Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Monday, March 3, 2014

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Book Review: River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz

Today's blog post is sponsored by Grammarly. Use Grammarly's grammar check because ending up on Jay Leno's spotlighted stupidity is just embarrassing! Using Grammarly can keep you from writing these:
  1. Keep fatalities down - Drive, Ride and Walk Good
  2. Buy 1 Get 1 Free's
  3. Cheaper than Cheaper - "Smile,your saving" a lot of money
  4. For Healths Sake Wash Your Hands
These were all public signs. If you could see me, you'd see me shaking my head. So check Grammarly out.


by Jayne Ann Krentz
Romantic Suspense

Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite authors, bar none. I have been reading her books since she wrote serial romances back in the 80's, but loved her writing even more when she made the jump to romantic suspense and the broader market. She never disappoints, ever.

River Road is a departure from her paranormal series that she has focused on for the past few years. A teenager, a hyper responsible young adult, and a serial rapist/killer create the nucleus of this story. The backliner of River Road reads like this:
It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue. 
Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.


A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue.
As always, Krentz's writing is crisp and the twists and turns in her stories keeps the pages turning. we have her standard alpha male, which I always admire, and the plucky heroine who is convinced she can take care of herself. Sometimes I think that type of character needs her head examined because she rarely wants to accept help, even when she needs it. Nonetheless, Jayne has delivered characters I invested in and a story that kept me up until 2:00 a.m. until I turned the last page.

Set in California's wine country, we have a glimpse into winemaking, running a hardware store, and forensic genealogy. Fun little asides are Jayne's trademark.

I loved River Road, and will continue to buy Jayne's books for both my bookshelf and my Kindle. I absolutely love having the same books on my Kindle, travel is so much easier now!

River Road Hardcover
River Road Kindle



Copyright 2014. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

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Newtimber: Fractured by Karen E. Hoover

Introducing Newtimber: Fractured, an exciting YA urban fantasy novel by Karen E. Hoover, author of The Wolfchild Saga and others.

There was absolutely no way a black dragon hovered outside of Newtimber. Sianna rubbed her eyes, but the dragon was still there, clutching a round object that looked like a spotted egg. And then the egg fell, hitting the ground like an atomic bomb, sending out waves of a slow-moving fog that distorted everything it touched.
The citizens of Newtimber change. The old man down the street stretches into a screaming tree. Sianna’s skateboarding friend, Matt, transforms into a giant green dragon. Pegasus. Sirens. Griffins. Vampires. Zombies. Creatures from the myths of every culture come to life through the people.
Even Sianna changes, her skin becoming stone hard, and she gains the ability to travel from the human realm into the dimension of the fae, using it to free her father from prison and enlist his aid in battling the evil bent on taking over the world.
One person to heal a family, a town, and save the world. It seems an impossible task, but with the help of her new friends, it could happen.
Right?
Newtimber: Fractured will be released early summer 2014 by Trifecta Books. Visit www.trifectabooks.com for exciting updates about this great new series!

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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Utah's Caucus Night is Coming Up

Every two years you have the freedom and opportunity to make your voice heard. To express your opinion; And no matter where you come from, in Utah you make the difference. Your vote counts. And anyone can participate. So join us! It starts right here, right now in your neighborhood. Join us at your local neighborhood caucus. Remember...it's you that makes the difference.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Check here at the beginning of March to find the location of your Caucus.

 

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Tea Party Response to Obama's SOTU given by Senator Mike Lee

Senator Mike Lee gave the Tea Party response to Barack Obama's State of the Union Last night. It was a brilliant speech, striking the right tone on every note, much unlike the SOTU.

Senator Lee said, “Today, Americans know in their hearts that something is wrong. Much of what is wrong relates to the sense that the ‘American Dream’ is falling out of reach for far too many of us. We are facing an inequality crisis — one to which the President has paid lip-service, but seems uninterested in truly confronting or correcting.” 

 Here is the entirety of the speech.



Lee made an excellent point, “But where does this new inequality come from? From government — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests.” Senator Mike Lee

All inequality in America comes from the abuses by our federal government through overburdening regulation: i.e., the 2,700 page Obamacare law has 27,000 pages of accompanying regulations. This is only one example. If you look at everything else the American people are being crushed by our government, you'll find the burden to be astonishing. Nearly 60% of every paycheck goes to some sort of state or federal taxes when you add in the "fees" that are "not taxes".

Without question it is time for Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Tim Scott to lead us out of this unholy mess we've gotten ourselves into. There are a number of good candidates, who will join Mike Lee, running for federal office around the nation, ones that I support strongly. 

They are:

California: Tim Donnelly for Governor
Connecticut: Carl Higbie for U.S. Congress
Georgia: Jack Kingston for U.S. Senate
Kentucky: Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate
Maryland: Dan Bongino for U.S. Congress (Text BONGINO to 33733)
Montana: Ryan Zinke for U.S. Congress
Nebraska: Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate
Nevada: Niger Innis for Congress
South Carolina: Bill Connor for U.S. Senate
South Carlina: Tim Scott for U.S. Senate
Utah: Craig Bowden for U.S. Congress (Text BOWDEN to 33733)
Utah: Chris Stewart for U.S. Congress (Text STEWART14 to 33733)

State Races

Utah: Bill Both for House District 22 (Text BOTH to 33733)
Utah: John Stevens for House District 57 (Text STEVENS to 33733)
Utah: Sione Tavake for House District 51 (Text SIONE to 33733)

When you opt-in to the campaigns of these candidates, you are then able to make donations with your phone, participate in polls, receive instant communication from them, and participate in contests. There is no cost to you to participate if you have a texting plan on your phone. You will receive no more than 4 to 5 messages a month, generally speaking.

I will continue seeking out good candidates from across the nation and post them here and in the sidebar of this blog. If you find statesmen running in your area of the country, please let me know who they are. I'll speak to them and help them if I also find them to be a statesman.

In the meantime, kudos to Senator Lee. A job well done, sir.


Copyright 2013. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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Movie Corner: Lone Survivor

Last week Alvin and I finally had the chance to see Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor. First, may I say that this is a movie that every single American should see. The price the men and women of our military pay is it exorbitant. We should be an extremely grateful nation dedicated to taking care of the needs of these men and women. And second, thank you to Mark Wahlberg for doing such a stellar job in portraying this stark event in America's military history.

The movie takes us through the events that took place on an Afghanistan mountain in 2005. Marcus Luttrell's SEAL Team 10 was tasked with gathering intelligence on a particularly brutal Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah, who was rumored to be close to Osama bin Laden. This was known as Operation Redwing. (Learn more about that here.)
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.

This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.

A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been prepared. His account of his squadmates' heroism and mutual support renders an experience that is both heartrending and life-affirming. In this rich chronicle of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers a powerful narrative of modern war.
The movie takes us through the events on that mountain, as one by one the SEALs fall. These men are heroes and watching the decisions they made, how hard they fought, and not giving up until they expelled their last breath, was extremely difficult to watch. I'm not ashamed to say I wept. Although it was actors on a screen, each represented a real man who gave their last full measure of devotion to their nation.

The film is brilliantly made and it is heart wrenching to watch. I've read liberal reviewers who attempted to destroy the film, but you have to a be a particular kind of heartless bastard to watch this movie and know that the true events being played out cost the lives of three exceptionally good men and heroes. 

Some are finding it fun to second guess the decisions these men made on that mountain. Others sit in their warm little homes and ridicule them. I would never presume to be so foolish or arrogant as to second guess Luttrell's team. I am not a Navy SEAL. I have not been through Navy SEAL training (BUDS). I have not fought in war, not have I had to deal with the godforsaken Taliban who are little more than animals. Actually, that's an offense to animals, so let me rephrase. The Taliban have wholly embraced evil and more likely have a resemblance to demons than animals. 

Nonetheless, Marcus Luttrell has made it clear that the decisions made were good decisions, specifically stating that "knowing and proving" are two different things. The goatherds that compromised the mission, in hindsight, should have been killed on the spot, but again, knowing and proving are two different things.

When a CNN anchor called what happened on that far away mountain, senseless, Marcus said to Jake Tapper, “I don’t know what part of the film you were watching, but hopelessness really never came into it,” he said, shifting in his seat. “I mean, where did you see that? Because there was never a point where we just felt like we were hopelessly lost or anything like that. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”

If viewers of this movie can come to understand the extraordinary nature of the men of this SEAL team, then you will come to understand the nature of true heroism and courage.

Thank you, Marcus. Thank you to your men for...for, everything. God bless you and God bless America. And to Mark Wahlberg, thank you for the extraordinary job you did in telling their story.



I give Lone Survivor a solid 5 out of 5 Stars and if I could give more, I would. This is a must-see movie for every single American over the age of fourteen. The language is rough, the story is brutal, but it is the reality of what our men face when they stand for America. These are real men, real heroes, and they had families that love them dearly. It is critical for America to understand the price that is paid so they can sleep at night.

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Copyright 2013. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

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