TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE IMPEACHMENT

Posted: December 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 12/22/2019

‘Twas the night before impeachment, when all through the house
Not a congressman was stirring, not even a mouse;
The articles were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that McConnell soon would be there;
The Democrats were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of removal danced in their heads;
And Nancy in her ‘kerchief, and Chuck in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the mall there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the TV I flew like a flash,
Turned on the set and listened to the trash.
The image of the moon on the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of impeachment to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and plump,
I knew in a moment it must be President Trump.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Abraham, now Richmond, now Higgins now Johnson and who knew!
On, Graves, Scalise, McCarty and VanDrew too
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
It’s time to adjourn; Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of surprises, and President Trump too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof                                                                             The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the stairs came President Trump with a bound.
He was dressed to the fours, from his head to his boot,
And his wife was with him, so elegant and cute;
A bundle of agreements he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a President just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the hair of his head was turning white as the snow;
The stump of a pen he held tight in his hand,
And the power it emitted was anything but bland
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know the Dems had everything to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
His team was in place in order to teach
It takes true crimes for Congress to Impeach.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the stairs he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT,  WITH A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO ALL REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, LETS END THIS DESTRUCTIVE FIGHT!

Merry Christmas everyone and may the true meaning of Christmas exude its’ love and peace on all of us.

Stop Demonizing America

Posted: September 25, 2022 in Uncategorized

Everyone in this part of the world is cognizant of the term Green Energy. I have been a green energy proponent since childhood. My mother had her compost pile which few had ever heard of. I was bothered as I saw California drivers crawl through smog congested roadways. Lead poisoning and acid rain from air pollution caused by auto emissions was a key environmental  discussion point in the 1960s and 70s. It was tragic and it was Leading to poor health and climate issues but there was relief on the horizon. This relief came in the form of an American spirit and ingenuity that was manifested in the typical American of that period. We witnessed pollution drop to the lowest in the developed world, a world growing at astronomical levels.  We observed industrial manufacturing bring pollution levels to a point that we could sustain life and enjoy a clean world. Automotive pollution requirements were implemented and Detroit worked to reduce automotive emissions.

In addition to being very green I also went to work for an energy company; the largest oil producer in the world. Some may think this is a contradiction, but it is not. The strides taken by big oil were large and pollution prevention from the development of massive oil fields was immense. The United States had come to grips with economic development and growth while being aware of the natural surroundings. America and many of the European countries had obtained a balance in not only how to utilize fossil fuels for energy but how to better manufacture goods that could harm the environment. Starting October 15, 1978, manufacturers of bulk fluorocarbons can no longer make them for use in most aerosol products. The other steps in the phaseout are an end to the manufacture of spray products containing fluorocarbons on December 15, 1978, and a ban on interstate shipment of existing stocks of these products on April 15, 1979. This action was instrumental in the reduction of the destruction of the ozone layer of our atmosphere and shows what man can do to combat climate change.

Following the fall of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe the free world got a sneak peak at how the Soviet Block was developing industry in its economy. Pollution was staggering. There was little control in air quality and rivers were said to be filled with waste of all types. The USSR had not adopted environmental concerns in an effort to maximize production.

With everything that America has done to make the world a cleaner place to live in while fueling a robust economy, it seems that we are the whipping boy of the world. We should ask ourselves where all this condemnation is coming from. Some international environmental organizations like to point fingers at the United States as if we were the world villain for environmental destruction. In fact we are the shining example of a balance of economic and social growth and environmental stewardship. Unfortunately, much of the condemnation of America is from within America itself. Is the environmental issue truly a soul searching question or is it a way to capture the imagination of America and then use this drama as an excuse to seize more power. Truth is, it is probably a little of both. There are those that truly believe in a pure environment but there are others that never let a problem go to waste and then exploits the problem for political advantage.

It is being said that America needs to do more or the world will become a far different place to live in. What is lost in this discussion is the fact that America makes up only 1.87 percent of the entire surface of the globe.  We have only 4.4 percent of the population.  We have some of the most stringent environmental rules in the world so where are the other countries in this discussion.

Emerging economies need to do their part to confront environmental pollution. This is where the real pollution comes from and where the increases can be expected. Countries such as China with 18.47 % of the population and has 1.88% of the land mass contributes 10.17 billion tons of CO2 to the environment. Much is from coal fired plants, not like the cleaner natural gas fired plants being constructed in America. China has many more coal plants on their schedule. India is also developing quickly and has 17.7% of the population, 2.4 % of the land mass and produces 5.28 billion tons of carbon and this is increasing.

If we are truly looking at a better global environment, lets not get lazar focused on the United States but instead lets look at the world as a whole. Lets quit demeaning our great nation but instead lets be grateful that we live in a country that has been tackling environmental issues for decades. Most importantly lets come to the conclusion that we can not solve very complex issues with long-term solutions by simply flipping a switch and then instead causing catastrophic effects.

God Bless America and Pray for the Ukraine.

Goodbye QE II

Posted: September 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

We have recently put to rest the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. Not only did she pass away but with her passing the world experiencing the last great monarch that was truly beloved by her subjects and respected by leaders around the world. She became the head of the monarchy the year I was born and thus the history she not only witnessed but was a part of is miraculous. As a teenager she endured the aircraft bombing by Nazi Germany. She was offered a safe haven in America but declined to leave her cherished Great Britain.

When we were in school we learned of the English monarchy. I recall while in college an interview with a company from New York named Ebasco. Following the verbal interview I had to take a small written test to identify the college senior’s knowledge of current events. One question was who was the Queen of England. I was curious about what that had to do with Construction Management but fortunately I got it right but never got an offer of employment; however, the question did reinforce the respect shown to the importance of the queen.

My initial firsthand experience of QE II was my first year in Arabia. The local Arab town near Dhahran was called Al Khobar. We would walk through the streets and shop in the local suques. Before going to Saudi we had been cautioned to not take any photos. This was a traditional Islamic country and taking pictures of a person was seen as stealing the person’s image. It was unique that as I walked by a local store I saw through the window a post card that caught my attention. It was not a post card of the vast desert or a camel or a deserted fort. No, it was a post card with Queen Elizabeth and her husband on the front.  They were dressed in the royal red uniforms of their title and Queen Elizabeth of stunning. The husband and wife picture with medals shining were nothing less than Regal. The post card commemorated her silver jubilee; 25 years on the throne. At the time of her death she would see an additional 45 years as the Queen of Great Britain.

That first year the Queen decided to visit her subjects working in Arabia while at the same time meeting the King of Saudi Arabia. At that time England and France had jointly built the first and only supersonic passenger transport aircraft, the Concord. It was beautiful and the white gloss color glistened in the sun. As I drove through the camp one afternoon I watched the plane approach and land at the Dhahran International Air Port with the Queen inside. The “Brits” on the compound were almost giddy with the idea of seeing the Queen. It was an excitement not like seeing a celebrity from Hollywood up close and personal. There was more to it than hero worship and all the British subjects were allowed to go and greet her.

It didn’t stop there. The Royal Yacht  Britannica was docked at Dammam Port, a distance of about 10 miles from Dhahran. This is the same port that fifteen years later would see coalition forces ferrying men and material for troops to defend Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein’s invasion force. The Brits in the Eastern Province of Saudi filled the pier to watch the Queen depart and observe a very unique ceremony known as Beat Retreat. This is a special observance where the Royal Marines in full dress uniform perform a distinctive departure from the port. 

This is not the end of the story. In the late 70s women were not allowed to drive, be a part of the government nor meet with and discuss business with a man. The Queen wanted to meet the King of Arabia. How to make this happen?  A rumor circulated that the Queen of England was declared a man for day. This way she could meet face-to-face with King Khalid and the meeting did take place. I‘m sure she was amused and that infectious smile she flashed was seen by her entourage.

It will be interesting to see how the British Empire and the world respond to a new Monarch.

God Bless America, God Bless the Ukraine and God Save the Queen.

REFRESHING AND ENTERTAINING

Posted: September 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

I have been careful over the years to not call out any individual by name while writing.  This is not because of fear of retribution but more from respect for the position a politician holds.  This one time is different.  I also read Facebook with a grain of salt and would have never thought of copying a passage and publishing it.  This one time is different and helps to vindicate a lifetime of slangs and arrows aimed at this great state.

When I was in the Navy I took great pride in Louisiana and let everyone know it. At times it got slightly confrontational. Later after I moved to Saudi Arabia I took with me the same pride and there were even more contentious incidents.  After several years I was still just as engrained with this wonderful state.  Then one day I was walking through the commissary on camp and there on the magazine rack, on the cover of a national magazine, in bright color and super large text declared, LOUISIANA, AMERICA’S BANAMA REPUBLIC.  I realized at that moment that the world was against us.

Finally, after all of these years, a light has emerged from the darkness  of malcontents bent on defaming a free and sovereign people residing between the borders of the Mississippi and the Sabine and Red.  President George W. Busch said to not take yourself seriously but treat your work as if it were the most important job in the world. Our Louisiana spokesman has done just that.  He is a favorite on news shows and his cornpone dialogue leaves viewers scratching their heads while giggling with pleasure.  His ability to relate with the common man is reminiscent of the Huey and Earl Long eras.  The Senator comes across as being somewhat dumb; but in fact he is dumb as a fox and this is what makes him so popular.  The gentleman I am referring to is Senator John Kennedy.

Sen. Kennedy graduated magna cum laude in political science, philosophy, and economics from Vanderbilt University, was president of his senior class, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an executive editor of the “Virginia Law Review” and elected to the Order of the Coif. He earned a Bachelor of Civil Law degree with first class honors from Oxford University (Magdalen College) in England, where he studied under Sir Rupert Cross and Sir John H. C. Morris.

RECENT QUOTES FROM: SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, (R) LOUISIANA

FIRST OF ALL, I’M JOHN KENNEDY, NOT THAT JOHN KENNEDY, I AM THE OTHER JOHN KENNEDY, (R) SENATOR REPRESENTING THE GREAT STATE OF LOUISIANA.

PERMIT ME TO TELL YOU WHAT I BELIEVE.

* 1. I BELIEVE AMERICA WAS FOUNDED BY GENIUSES BUT IS NOW RUN BY IDIOTS.

* 2. I BELIEVE YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID, BUT YOU CAN VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.

* 3. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD OF ANYONE TRYING TO SNEAK INTO CHINA.

* 4. AMERICA IS SO GREAT THAT PEOPLE WHO HATE IT, REFUSE TO LEAVE IT.

* 6. I DON’T LIKE TO BRAG ABOUT THE EXPENSIVE PLACES I’VE BEEN TO, BUT THIS MORNING I WENT TO THE GAS STATION.

* 7. I BELIEVE EXERCISE MAKES YOU LOOK BETTER NAKED. BUT SO DOES ALCOHOL.

* 8. WELFARE SHOULD BE A BRIDGE, NOT A PARKING LOT.

* 9. WEAKNESS INVITES THE WOLVES.

* 10. WE MUST ARM FOR PEACE.

* 11. WE DON’T HAVE A GUN CONTROL PROBLEM WE HAVE AN IDIOT CONTROL PROBLEM.

* 12. FREE ADVICE FRIENDS, IF GOVERNMENT TELLS YOU NOT TO BUY A GUN, BUY TWO

* 13. I BELIEVE IF YOU HATE POLICE OFFICERS, THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN TROUBLE, CALL A CRACK-HEAD.

* 14. HERE’S A FREE TIP, COPS WILL LEAVE YOU ALONE IF YOU DON’T DO STUPID THINGS.

* 15. I BELIEVE WE NEED AN ELECTION DAY, NOT AN ELECTION MONTH.

* 16. I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROVE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE WHEN YOU VOTE.

* 17. I BELIEVE 400,000 BODIES BURIED AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY IS THE REASON YOU SHOULD STAND FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.

* 18. I BELIEVE THE WATER WON’T CLEAR TILL YOU GET THE PIGS OUT OF THE CREEK.

Thank you Senator Kennedy. 

GOD BLESS AMERICA, GOD BLESS THE UKRAINE AND GO BLESS LOUISIANA.

DEAN ALFRANGE’S UNCOMMON MAN

Posted: September 4, 2022 in Uncategorized

America was founded and built by a unique set of individuals. This set of individuals packed up everything they owned and set sail to a new country and new home with the knowledge that they would never return to the place that they were raised and would never see their friends or family again.  These people arrived with a spirit of individualism that was manifested in the majority of immigrants that built our great nation.  Natural selection occurred and a special breed of human occupied a new country.

This spirit was captured in a writing authored by Dean Alfrange.  Alfrange was born of Greek parents living in Turkey.  A Greek living in Turkey in the 1880s was not a desirable life as Turkey had been at war with Greece since the Persians invaded Greece in 490 BC.  Alfrange came to America as an infant and like many appreciative immigrants he joined the Army and went off to World War I.  Alfrange went to college following the war and eventually received a law degree from Columbia.

Alfrange put America above political affiliation, something that needs to be reinstated in our National Government political thinking.  In the 1930s he served as head of the American Labor Party.  Then in 1940 Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to a Democratic party position and then was nominated to run as a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. In 1944 his actions in the American Labor Party led to the formation of the Liberal Party. Then in 1970 Alfrange was appointed by Nelson Rockefeller to a position within the Republican Party.

As magnificent as his loyalty was to the country, the most memorable accomplishment of Alfrange was his writing known as the “Uncommon Man”.  In this writing he encapsulates the true being of the men and women that built America.  Unfortunately, much of this has been lost but it is within the reach of Americans to regain this level of integrity and individualism.  This writing follows:

“My Creed I do not choose to be a common man, It is my right to be uncommon … if I can, I seek opportunity … not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen. Humbled and dulled by having the State look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; To dream and to build. To fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole; I prefer the challenges of life To the guaranteed existence; The thrill of fulfillment To the stale calm of Utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence Nor my dignity for a handout I will never cower before any master Nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect. Proud and unafraid; To think and act for myself, To enjoy the benefit of my creations And to face the world boldly and say: This, with God’s help, I have done All this is what it means To be an Entrepreneur.”

Warren Buffet is a stock investor in his 90s.  He also runs the largest Hedge fund in America.  He is not flashy nor opulent.  He is a billionaire.  For many years he has told the world that he will not leave his children any large sum of money.  He stated that he did not want to deprive them of the opportunity to succeed and succeed on their own.  He did not want to rob them of that opportunity nor take away the joy that goes with success.

Trump is Saving the Liberal Media

Posted: September 4, 2022 in Uncategorized

Eight years ago America was becoming more divided and polarized that what we could imagine.  Much of this was not new but with the advent of multi-media caused an awareness to what Washington politics was truly like. Add to this the apology tour launched by the Obama administration and many Americans were made to feel ashamed to be American while others cheered more fervent for the Red White and Blue. America’s divide was widening and this was no more apparent than in our beloved halls of the American capital.

Then Donald Trump was elected president.  Changes in America took place and America was growing not from Federal intervention but from the freedom of the work force and a strong free market forces. Yet, fiery rhetoric continued to widen the void within America. The typical American wanted no more than tranquility and calm. 

Finally, Joe Biden was elected President. He promised to be all inclusive and build bridges to those that voted against him.  He would quieten the rhetoric. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Within the first week he stated would have no ill feelings for the Republicans and welcomed them, In fact he would welcome them as long as they joined his cause. This is reminiscent of the days of ancient Rome when the “barbarians” were invited to join Rome and be assimilated into the Roman culture and religion in exchange for peace. Otherwise, they would be eliminated. How disappointed was the reality of the message we heard during inauguration and the reality of what the administration delivered. For the future of our nation, it is hoped that we can begin to heal.

Following presidential elections, it is few and far between that we hear oratory about the previous president. When Bill Clinton became president there was little or no negative comments focusing on the George Bush administration. The same is true of the Obama administration as it is related to the younger Bush administration. The Trump administration did turn up the rhetoric.  Election year 2016 did see a swing in election tactic that was not only insulting but hurtful to millions. Hillary Clinton’s comment that referred to those that opposed her as deplorables while Biden’s 2020 election comment that Blacks that vote for Trump are not Black only further alienating half of the nation. 

As bad as the election rhetoric had become, the post-election coverage of a past president has become unprecedented. Within a couple of weeks of the inauguration of a president the press usually covers current events that affect the country. The past president slowly drifts from the current psyche into mediocrity as issues that are important to the future of America and causes that build a clear future for the citizens are addressed in the American press. In a world of sensationalism that screams for viewership that leads to the survival of cable networks, the press builds on the emotions of its American audience. Trump is big business.

The 2020 elected president has been in office for nineteen months; however, if you turn on many news outlets Trump is the number one subject of discussion. Turn on CNN and turn to MSNBC and the discussion about Trump. Early morning main line media networks will cover the news and provide commentary but somewhere during the morning Trump is inserted into the commentary one way or the other. Donald Trump is, in essence, providing fodder for a liberal press that needs sensationalism contrived from a past president to make a political point.  Trump, unintentionally, is empowering a liberal press to make money and by making money they can survive.

Let hope that we can get back to our grass roots, to a time that is simpler, to a time that we value the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let us make a conscientious decision to turn off the television, turn off the rhetoric and go out and greet our fellow man and ask what we can do to heal America.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD SAVE THE UKRAINE.

STILL WANT TO DEFUND THE POLICE?

Posted: September 2, 2022 in Uncategorized

Several years ago members of the United States Congress, state administrations and local governments across the United States called for defunding the police.  One congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, went so far as to introduce legislation to abolish all Federal prisons in ten years. This was quickly followed up by President Biden call for all contract Federal Facilities to be closed.  It is probable that past incarcerated members of society such as John Dillinger and Al Capone would have relished the thought of such a law going into effect.

Now after several years of demonizing our men and women in blue, after watching crime spiral out of control, after watching police slaughtered on our streets while trying to protect the citizenry, there is a sudden awakening by the Feds in power that defunding of our police was the worse concept that a liberal government could have ever recommended or conceptualized.

Over twenty years ago the Clinton administration faced a tough decision.  A young boy was rescued after his mother had drowned while fleeing Cuba for the safety of America.  The young boy was placed in the safety of his uncle.  His father wanted his return to Cuba but the young child wanted to remain in America.  Protests were common throughout the neighborhood where the uncle lived.  Then one morning just before dawn 250 Federal officers stormed the home of the uncle and took the child by force.  A Pulitzer awarded phono documents a SWAT-clothed officer taking the child at gun point.  According to the laws of our nation, the child had to be returned to his father.  Though the officers were empowered to remove the child, the image of the storming left a sour taste in the mouth of many.

Several weeks ago the same type of image was observed when the Biden Department of Justice went to the home of former president Donald Trump and took boxes of documents.  Whether the taking of the documents was justified or not will be debated and re-debated for months and years to come.  The visual images will remain with us and it is this image that has now launched verbal attacks on our Federal Police Force, the FBI.

The shoe is now on the other foot as threats abound throughout the multi-media spewing hatred toward the Federal agencies.  This should not be happening; we are better than this as a nation and as a society.  Equally, the men and women associated with the state, parish and local police forces should be receiving the same respect from those that we elect to represent us in government. 

Those that are calling for violence and attacking our law enforcement should step back and take a deep breath and realize what they are saying.  There is no place for spewing hatred toward law enforcement from anyone; not the left or the right, Democrat or Republican, Proud Boys or BLM.  Instead of negativity and hatred why not put out a positive message of peace.  Instead of being divisive and polarizing, use this energy to heal and grow.  Most importantly, let’s not politicize our problems.  Pointing fingers, producing false rhetoric and blaming the other side for nothing more than political gains is the worse thing that we can do today as a nation.  We must re-learn that it is imperative that we put America first.   

With crime growing in such a manner, with drugs flowing across our southern border leading to thousands of ODs across America and with the lack of respect for our fellow man; let’s forget this defund the police rhetoric and instead let’s praise the police.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD PROTECT THE UKRAINE

Several years ago I would hear from fellow campers that lived in other states that they could tell when they crossed the state line into Louisiana. The roads were the worse they had driven on.  Today It is nice to see that sections of our Interstate highways are being repaired and the ride is much smoother; however, many of the other states have fallen into highway maintenance problems. Louisiana is no longer the state to point a finger at. Roads from Memphis to Arizona to Wyoming are all in need of repair and it hurts that such a great nation has such a fundamental infrastructure breakdown as we are witnessing with our highway system.

When America came home from World War II the country was in a perfect position to become a leader of world manufacturing and a center for economic growth. Our former foes in Europe and the Pacific had extremely large destruction within its country. America’s allies had sustained extensive damage to their country and the ability to move to a peacetime economy would have its’ challenges. Across the oceans from the devastation of World War II, America had immense natural resources, a workforce of both male and female, an air of invincibility and not one bomb had fallen within the boundaries of the country. America was in a position to take a quick and grandiose position on the world economic and political stage.

While Russia was retooling its manufacturing industry and building a new form of government, while Germany was trying to exist and slowly build its’ homes, schools and factories, while England and France was rebuilding bombed out factories and Japan was investigating how to reverse engineer radios and place cheap miniatures on American markets, the United States was in full manufacturing mode churning out cars, refrigerators, televisions and of course jobs.

America had built a highway system that was next to none in the history of the world. The interstate system not only connected the country but it also would serve as landing strips and staging points for B-52 bombers in case the Soviet Union had destroyed American bases with nuclear weapons. A naïve approach to fighting a World War III but nonetheless America had a monumental federal highway system. Schools had been built, bridges erected, dams spanned rivers and dirt roads were paved as America’s universities received large funding to build infrastructure. As projects were completed America’s politicians had to make a decision; to continue with the current tax base and shift where the money is spent or reduce the tax base.

America is a benevolent country. With a strong and new infrastructure in place the attention of the country shifted to social programs. As time went by these programs expanded and even more money was required and the tax base was expanded. Over time metal corrodes, roads break down and schools deteriorate. Mother nature has a way to reclaim its’ own and over time what man has built must be replaced. This is where America is today. Strong social programs but small financial resources available to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. So what to do? This is going to be difficult. Do we expand our tax base, raise taxes and tax those that are not being taxed today and then choke the growth of the country while America rebuilds itself? Or do we cut back on social programs to fund the disintegrating country? But then what programs get cut. Perhaps a little negotiating from both taxes and program reduction will be required. A third solution will be to do nothing, hide our heads in the sand and talk of the good ole days as the pot holes get bigger, bridges get patched when condemned and students go to continually tainted classrooms.

America loves growth, it’s a part of our DNA. As you travel around the country signs can be seen where a new interstate corridor is planned to be built. While this is nice, while this brings attention to a specific congressional district and while this fills an intrinsic need to grow; instead of building new highways, we need to upgrade and maintain what we have already built.

There is a saying that if a man is hungry and you feed him he will come back when he gets hungry again; but if you teach a man to fish he will feed himself. Perhaps we should address how to provided for goods and services without expecting America to be a handout nation such as Russia.  Then for several reasons we can address our crumbling infrastructure and provide for our schools.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND PRAY FOR THE UKRAINE.

RUSSIA REVISITED

Posted: August 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 8/28/2022

I recently ran across an article that addressed the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the concerned growth of a one-time adversary.

“In the late 1980s I breathed a sigh of relief as the world observed the collapse of the Soviet Union.  This collapse was so quick and complete that it left one wondering if there ever had been a cold war.  It started with protests in Poland followed by people illegally crossing from communist controlled countries to freedom in the west. The collapse was culminated by the fall of the Berlin wall and the introduction of a democratic government and introduction of a market economy in Russia.

Russia had teething pains as it moved from total communistic rule to democracy.  This was a big change for a people that that had been micromanaged for over half a century.  America did send advisors and eventually Russia said they don’t need any more advice, they needed investments.  This did come in the way of oil and gas. 

With the move to capitalism Russia had to look at how to fund its massive military.  This military was forced to down size as money was not available to support the gigantic military machine.  Then a jaw dropping event occurred in the early 1990s that left the most die-hard communist questioning what would have happened had the Soviet Union gone to war against NATO.

In 1991 a coalition force hit Iraq and the Iraqi invaders in Kuwait. This attack was so well coordinated at every level with so much sophisticated firepower that even the most trained military tactician would stand in awe.  A military that had been armed and trained by the Soviet Union had been completely annihilated by a force that left the battlefield with relatively small causalities.  Earlier perceived Russian domination of military forces was now left in question.

Russia entered a period of growth and capitalism that left the world in relative peace.  The two great adversaries, America and Russia were now trading partners.  The terror of a nuclear holocaust diminished while nuclear bomb shelters became a figment of one’s imagination.   Children no longer practiced ducking under desks during simulated attacks. We were at peace. 

As Russia climbed the economic ladder of capitalism and as free trade was developed and embraced within the country a restlessness began to emerge.  Russia was still living within the shadow of the West and specifically the successful United States.   Russia wanted more of the respect that it had achieved during an earlier period.  Enter Vladimir Putin.

Putin was well educated and a member of the Russian KGB.  He watched as mother Russia was transformed from a colossal empire to a country with an economy eclipsed by some individual American states.  Putin wanted to bring his country back to the greatness it had achieved and to do this he would modernize his military and call on the spirit of the Russian people.  He also understood the manipulation that would be required and then how divisions within the NATO alliance perpetuated by a weak American foreign policy would provide the perfect opportunity to act.

Putin began his campaign with verbal rhetoric and has now followed up with military intervention in the Ukraine.  The West stood by as he annexed the Crimea and thus showed the weakened underbelly of our country and Europe.  Putin has supported Syria and had we made a stand in that country and supported the revolution against Syria three years ago ISIS would not have had an opportunity to rise.  Now Russian troops and arms are flowing into the war in the Ukraine and the best we can do is impose limited sanctions and provide MREs and night vision goggles to an underequipped Ukrainian army instead of providing the hardware required to stop the Russian invasion.  Of course Putin denies any involvement and dares anyone to contradict him.

This week an incident reminiscent of the days of Stalin and Khrushchev occurred on the streets of Moscow. A Russian dissident that had been a leader in the fall of communism was hours away from presenting proof that Russia was actually involved in the war in the Ukraine.  He was walking across a bridge in Moscow. A car pulled up behind him and a gunman fired four shots into the man’s back killing him.  Putin immediately shouted his rage at the incident and then declared that he would personally oversee the criminal case.  Again, Putin feels the world will be made to look stupid as any documentation that would incriminate Russia in the Ukraine will disappear.

Russia is winning and despite economic sanctions and drastically reduced oil and gas revenues, the population is enamored by the new savor of Russia while America can do nothing but watch as a new adversary grows stronger before our eyes. The biggest fear is that the cold war will be rekindled and the dread of a major war that we grew up in will once again return to the lives or our children and grandchildren.”

This article is not recent but identifies where we are today.  I wrote this article seven years ago.

God Bless America and God Bless the Ukraine.

Take Time To Smell The Roses

Posted: August 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 8/28/2022

Our perception of the world around us appears to be total chaos. Turn on any news channel and all we hear is gloom and doom. Years following a president leaving office and he still tends to be the number one press item on certain channels. Two years following an election and still other channels dwell on election fraud. Whatever is sensational is open game for the media outlets to exploit in the hope of a ratings boost which ultimately leads to increased revenue from advertisers. Drama, excitement, reality (non-reality) television, shock and awe is with us 24/7.  It overwhelms the mind. And some individuals I know have even given up watching any news channels at all. The stress is taking its toll.

My mother was born and raised in Nevada. She was a second generation Nevadan from her mother’s family and a third generation from her father who was raised at the Sweetwater Ranch in Eastern California. Every year I visited her home and my second home became Carson Valley, Nevada. I would wake every morning and look out of my grandmother’s home and peered at Jobe’s Peak, jumped into my clothes and scurried out for a day of exploring at 4,000 feet. Nothing extraordinary nor special, just a day of fun and adventure with the family. As youth departed and the maturity of older age crept into the body and soul we have a more philosophical approach to life. On day while standing in the sand of Nevada Beach and peering into the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe I became amazed at the beauty of what surrounded me. I asked my cousin if she realized what a special place she was raised in. After all it is hard to go a week without some mention of Lake Tahoe on our media. She said that Tahoe had just been home and until recently it had not been anything other than that. 

We all have a tendency to take life and our surrounding environment for granted. The beauty around us is lost to the day-to-day activities and stresses of life. We don’t live at Lake Tahoe but if we look closely the beauty around us is every bit as tranquil. Those living in this rural North Louisiana area are blessed to have what we possess. Stand on the banks of Lake D’arBonne and watch the sun rise while an eagle flies over. Watch a fisherman glide by as the sun glitters in the early morning light like diamonds across the water. Enjoy deer grazing in our North Louisiana State Parks and enjoy greeting  residents while walking through our “small town America”. 

Take time to exhale and depressurize. Instead of looking at what is bad and doing nothing more than complaining let us look at what is good and embrace it. Work to build a stronger, all-inclusive community. Look at the good that has taken place and then identify what can be accomplished instead of criticizing the negative aspects that are in the past. Most importantly, look around and don’t take for granted what we have.

Go Bless America, God Bless the Ukraine and God Bless our Community.

THE 4TH AMENDMENT

Posted: August 21, 2022 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 8/21/2022

On May 9, 1914 C.W. Post, while siting at his home in Sana Barbara, California, took out his revolver, placed it to his head and took his life.  At the time he died he had become a very successful businessman.  C.W. had founded Post Cereals, had real estate ventures and was worth thirty-three million dollars.  His first wife had died and he left his estate to his only child, Marjorie. 

Marjorie Post was a strong woman and at the time she took control of the corporation a women’s role was traditionally not in the board room.  She took a successful company and built it into a major multinational corporation and branded the expanded business as General Foods.

She had a large property in New York that was home for a while.  She also built a mansion in the southern state that was surrounded by the Atlantic on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the West.  Soft balmy breezes that maintained a warm environment was more appealing than the harsh winters of New York.  Florida would serve as a retreat for the food mogul.  This mansion was a sight to behold and later in her life she donated it to the United States Government which would take ownership upon her death.

You may ask what does a mansion in Florida that was declared a National Landmark in 1980 have to do with the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.  The mansion was never used as an intended retreat for visiting leaders and presidents, so the United States Government decided to sell it.  The purchaser was Donald Trump and the property is named Mar-a-Lago.

Last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived at Mar-a-Largo and issued a warrant to search the premise for documents that is claimed to be sensitive to the security of the United States, should have never left the confines of the White House, and should be stored in the National Archives.  Whether this is proven to be a lawful search and whether there was truly a law or series of laws broken will be determined over the following months.  Regardless of what the final outcome is, half of the country will say the outcome is just and the other half will declare that the findings was fixed. It depends on what the findings are that will determine which political party will feel which way.

There have been whispers that the 4th Amendment to the Constitution has been violated.  As the seizure at Mar-a-Largo drags on America will be hearing more about the right to enter the residence, what information allowed the permission to enter the residence and of course everyone wants to understand what was seized. 

Most are familiar with the 1st Amendment.  This provides the citizens with freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, and press.  We are familiar with the 2nd amendment which is the right to bear arms.  The 4th amendment is not well known or understood and with the discussion that is going to take place it will be good to understand what this amendment is.

The 4th Amendment provides to the citizens of America, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This is quit explicit.  Americans are protected from searches without a warrant.  This warrant is issued by a judge and allows a member of the police to enter a premise and confiscate property if the warrant so states.  This warrant is only to be issued when there is probable cause for the search. 

The issuance of a warrant is no minor action.  It should be and is taken seriously due to the potential for treading on the American Constitution and depriving citizens of their just rights.  To obtain a warrant “a police officer typically submits a written affidavit to a judge or magistrate. The affidavit, given under oath, must recite sufficient factual information to establish probable cause that a crime was committed and that the person named in the warrant committed it.”  At this time many people are asking for the affidavit to be released; however, any release of affidavit information should not be released to protect the identities of people identified and not compromise evidence. Since much will not be released, this will certainly lead to conspiracy theories.

The raid on Mar-a-Largo will be quite fascinating.  The secret to understanding what transpires will be to have an open mind and sit back and enjoy what transpires.

God Bless America and God Bless the Ukraine.