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.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Posted: April 18, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 4/18/2021

INFRASTRUCTURE Definition: NOUN The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. 

This definition is possibly the most misunderstood and misused word in America today.  It is being misrepresented to a point that the pure definition is being changed to accommodate political policies and thus create a narrative that allows the Federal government to use a new definition to camouflage the true intent of a proposed monstrous government expenditure.  Merriam Webster’s dictionary has long been the hallmark for American definition and speech.  Webster’s definition goes further in defining the word “infrastructure” than what was given above on the Internet’s Bing browser.  The Webster definition is as follows:  “Infra- means “below;” so the infrastructure is the “underlying structure” of a country and its economy, the fixed installations that it needs in order to function. These include roads, bridges, dams, the water and sewer systems, railways and subways, airports, and harbors.”

An infrastructure project deals with physical work and is intended to provide services or improve existing services to a citizenry whose life will be improved when the project is completed.  It involves manpower, construction equipment, planning. physical effort and funding.  Infrastructure does not include social re-engineering or government restructuring nor does it have any similarity to governments obliterating its’ history to accommodate an attempt to change the complexion of a great and noble nation.

The congress of the United States of America is beginning discussion that will certainly lead to debate pertaining to a two trillion-dollar spending package that has been lauded as an infrastructure bill.  By identifying the legislation as infrastructure the gigantic bill becomes more palatable and easier for the American citizen to accept.  This is the same ploy used on the COVID aide package when the one trillion two hundred million dollar legislation was so full of pork that it did little for COVID relief when compared to the total size of the funding.  Less than ten percent of that legislation was actually used for the intended definition of the bill.  America was duped and if a better due diligence is not performed on the current infrastructure bill, America will be forced to accept an IOU that our future generations will be required to pay.

Our infrastructure does need a large expenditure to get America back to the grandeur we had in past decades.  Many roads are a mess as are bridges and water systems.  These need repair and will be a part of a large jobs program but we have been here before. New technology that requires to be built out such as Broadband is required to be included as we broaden the pure definition of infrastructure.  It is also important to understand that we need to perform repairs to what we have in place before building new bright shiny things.  Let’s get the existing Interstate system into a new condition before we build a new Interstate Highway.  Ironically, the pipelines of America are better than other American Infrastructure.  This form of infrastructure is privately owned and is not funded by the American government. 

 Two administrations ago America saw large moneys acquired for infrastructure projects to be used for shovel ready projects.  The intent was to pull America out of a dire recession.  That was a flop as little was immediately used for the rebuilding of America and providing quick cash for the American construction industry.  A lack of understanding of what is truly required to get a major infrastructure project executed coupled with strangling regulations led to a less than desirable outcome for a righteous intent.

The funds earmarked for the monumental spending package that is identified as “infrastructure” have been identified.  Funds in this bill are identified as follows:

  1.  Transportation Infrastructure:  621 Billion Dollars.  This can rebuild a lot of broken infrastructure but there is a play on words here.  Only 115 billion dollars will go to road public transit in public transit in and bridge repair.  A larger amount, 174 billion, will be used for electric vehicles and 500,000 vehicle recharging stations.  This is a green funding aspect, should be debated and funded in a separate bill identified as the green initiative.  Also, why is government involved in building charging stations.  American gas stations are built and operated by the public sector and are doing quite well.  Let government build and control charging stations for electric vehicles and we will find waste and mismanagement across the country.  Eighty billion dollars will go to repair and expand America’s rail system, Amtrack.  While needed, what is the customer mile improvements to Amtrac as compared to additional funding for road repairs.  Perhaps privatizing Amtrac would provide more benefit to America.  Another 85 billion will go for public transit.  Rural America will fund public transportation in the major cities instead of local governments paying for their public transportation systems.
  2. Quality of life at home: $650 Billion dollars.  Much of this is again a noble gesture but is it truly infrastructure or instead a play on words to get a large amount of money appropriated for a government wish list disguised as infrastructure.  One hundred billion will be used for school restoration and another one hundred billion will be used to build our broadband.  While broadband is new as compared to other definitions of infrastructure projects; broadband is truly infrastructure.  Two hundred and thirteen billion will be used to rehabilitate two million homes and commercial buildings.  This is not infrastructure, is legitimate for discussion and possible other funding but does not belong in this infrastructure bill.  Another 110 billion dollars will go for clean drinking water to include replacement of lead pipe; a true infrastructure item.  One hundred billion will be used to upgrade the electric grid.  Other programs include VA hospital and public housing upgrades and oil and gas well plugging.
  3. Caregiving for the elderly and disabled.  400 Billion Dollars.  This subsidizes workers and expands Medicaid. This does not belong in an infrastructure bill.  While this is a subject that needs to be addressed there is quite a bit of discussion about the merits of this, where the funding should come from, how the funding is spent and is this best managed by the public or by the private sector.  This is another attempt to camouflage social programs under a government bill that has no association with the true intent of the legislation.
  4. Research, development and manufacturing – 300 Billion dollars:  This will shore up a part of our countries industry that went overseas due to taxation and strangling regulations.  We need to bring the computer chip technology and manufacturing back to America but instead of throwing money at it we need to make the research, development and manufacturing climate more agreeable to industry.  As expected a large amount of this funding, thirty five billion dollars, will be used for green technology development.  This portion of the bill needs to be scrutinized and most should be addressed is a separate bill.

One thing is certain, whatever is passed there will be no turning back.  Once passed, the dye is cast and the consequences are established.

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 4/18/2021

Camping trips can be wonderful as we take time to depressurize while human’s basic instincts to feel free are energized. A person need not venture far to receive the positive benefits of a relaxing camping trip. The farther a family camps away from the home the greater broadening of life experiences the family receives. While the natural beauty of our great nation is paramount to the camping experience, it is not the most significant benefit gained from spending time at a camp site in a state or national park or one of the thousand all inclusive RV parks that blanket America. The single most enjoyable aspect of communing with nature is the many different people that campers meet and then experiencing different lifestyles, cultures and even nationalities. If a camper leaves politics out of a conversation and listens to other people’s stories, a camping trip can be quit a unique and enlightening experience.

Last week I took a quick trip to fulfill one of my wife’s bucket list items; we went to the Ark Encounter in Northern Kentucky. This took us through Nashville and then on to Georgetown, Kentucky. Along the way we came face to face with a look at the changing demographics of our great nation. This view of a changing America has been documented on some news programs but to hear it live instead of some thirty-second sound bite on television reinforces the fact that America wants to live safe and free and American’s are moving to locations where they can live life in that manner.

While enroute to Ark we camped next to a husband and wife from Florida. Chit chat ended up discussing some of the sad occurrences we are witnessing in some of our major liberal cities. The wife told us that they lived in a condo in Tampa and over the last month two families had moved from Minnesota to the condo complex that she lives in. They told our new friend that they were tired of the destruction, violence and oppressive controls where they were living. Instead of living in fear they sold everything they owned and moved to Florida. One couldn’t help but recall the news stories about people and companies relocating from New York City and moving to Florida or changing residency from California to Texas.

Several days later we were returning from the Ark and stopped at the same RV park.  While walking Jynx the dog, Bonnie and I met a young couple. Again small talk ensued and we discovered they were from a town near Portland, Oregon.  They sold everything, took their eleven-year-old daughter and two dogs and left. They were taking a year to travel, providing experiences for their daughter and looked for a safe place to live without the encumbrances of an oppressive government. Due to violent storms in Louisiana, they traveled north into Arkansas, a state not even on their list to visit. It was there that they found what they were looking for. The area is lovely, and the town has the small-town charm they desired but it was not the lovely landscape that was the only positive aspect to small-town deep-south America.  The cost of living is quit low when compared to Portland. Property taxes were about one seventh of what was being paid in Oregon. As much as the financial benefits are to make a move such as this, the biggest aspect to moving to the rural south is the people. The town had a Facebook page. The mother had introduced herself and said they were considering moving to the town and wanted to know if anyone had any info for her.  She was not prepared for what returned. Her Facebook site lit up as people sent info and welcome messages. She told us she would have never expected anything like the outpouring positive response she received. She said they just don’t do that where she lived. Appears that the family will be residing in Arkansas.

Not only are people seeking a new life where they are free to live an unencumbered existence, but they are also desiring to live in an area with good leadership that allows its citizenry to make decisions on their day-to-day lives. They do not want to change the government to mirror what they just left. They want to embrace what they are moving to, not change it.

These were just two stories from people in one campground observed in a five-day period. These stories are unfolding across America daily. The demographics of America is changing and as interesting as the stories of those that are moving to safer and more free locations, it will be even more interesting to see how the more socialistic parts of our country fare over the next eighteen months.

CRUCIFIXION

Posted: April 3, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER AND THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE THE WEEK FOLLOWING EASTER.

Last week we celebrated one of my three favorite holidays, Easter.  While we were taught of the story of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem, his week before his execution, his execution and then his resurrection; the history of a crucifixtion predates Jesus and continues to today.

When I was in elementary school I had heard the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. The body of Jesus, nailed to a cross, looking down with blood flowing from a crown of thorns was branded into ones brain.

Crucifixion is a very painful and slow method of execution. It not only tortures the person being executed but it also has a psychological impact on the local population. The public display of a human hanging from a cross while fighting to live sends shock and terror to the civilians that are intended to be oppressed.

The universal belief of crucifixion depicts a person on a cross with nails driven through the hands and feet. This in fact is an incorrect image. If nails are driven through the hands the flesh would tear and not support the weight of the body. Many may say that this contradicts the accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus. In fact it does not. The Greek word for hand actually means the forearm and the hand together. When translating from one language to another and then from an ancient language to a modern language much can be lost in translation. It is most likely the nails were driven into the wrists and this would be referred to as the hand.

As horrific as driving nails through the body is, that is not the cause of death unless a person would suffer cardiac arrest. After a person is hoisted upon the cross the punished individual will remain alive for several hours to several days. When a human has the arms spread and the body is hung from the arms it is extremely difficult to inhale. The unfortunate person on the cross must try to lift himself to breath. Eventually exhaustion takes over and the condemned dies of asphyxiation within a few minutes. The fight to live is over. On occasion they would break the legs of the crucified person to prevent them from lifting themselves and thus hasten death. There was nothing humane nor forgiving about this method of execution. There is a story of Spartacus, a Roman slave that led a slave rebellion that threatened the future of mighty Rome. He was camped near a Roman legion and dared them to attack which the Romans refused to do. Spartacus crucified a physically fit Roman soldier in front of the Roman Legion. For days the Romans watched their soldier suffered in agony as he died in front of them.

Crucifixion began hundreds of years before the Romans began the practice. Persians, now Iran; and Carthaginians, now Tunisia; used crucifixion prior to the Romans but it was the Romans that took it to a new level. Carthage would even crucify its’ own generals if they would lose a major battle. Alexander the Great, conqueror of the majority of the known world, crucified 2,000 survivors from the Phoenician city of Tyre.

The Romans took a leaf from the book of crucifixion as a psychological weapon. Crucifixion was supposedly a death to be used for lower classed citizens and slaves. When Spartacus’s army of slaves was finally defeated the Romans took the 6,000 captives and crucified all of them along the Appian Way, the road leading into Rome. When Jesus was crucified the fact that this type of execution was to be used for the lowest of Rome’s population displays the contempt felt toward the religious leader. It was considered to be a disgraceful manner of death.

The Romans took joy in the executions and turned the concept into an art. Many times the convicted would be beaten in a method known as scourge. This beating would tear deep gashes in the back and the prisoner would be near total shock. So good were the Romans that they knew when to stop the beating less the prisoner would die. Contrary to popular belief, the entire cross was not taken to the execution location. Instead the prisoner would carry the horizontal piece to the execution location. A four-man specialized execution team carried out the grizzly final parts of the crucifixion to include attaching the horizontal arm of the cross to the vertical member. Rome’s Constantine, the first Christin Emperor abolished crucifixion in Rome in AD 335 due to Jesus’s death by that manner.

When the person died the remains were brought down and the nails removed for future use. The body usually decayed on the cross before the nails were removed. Until 1968 no archeological evidence existed proving crucifying existed. That year the foot bone of a man that had been buried by his family was found with a nail through the bone and attached to a part of a cross.

Unfortunately Crucifixion has now returned to our planet. ISIS has been reported as crucifying Christians in certain parts of Iraq and Syria.  Thank goodness that the scourge of the Mid-East, ISIS, has been all but destroyed.

Hope everyone had a very Happy Easter and pray for our great nation.

LET’S GO VOTE

Posted: March 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”  This is the verbiage from the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.  Simply speaking, the federal government has jurisdiction over American citizens to the extent that the Constitution directly acknowledges that the federal government has authority.  If the Constitution does not directly provide authority to the Federal government, the states have full authority for matters that affect the individual state’s residents.  This leaves the states to pass laws and regulations as to how it governs and thus maintains its’ sovereignty. 

The twelfth amendment of the constitution declares that states will allow electors to cast votes for the President and the Vice President and these votes are to be counted and presented to the president of the Senate of the United States.  The person with the most votes will be declared the victor.  While this is a federal mandate or law that proclaims what a state must present to the federal government to elect a president, the details of how a state conducts the vote count and how to verify if a person is a resident of the specific state is left to the individual state to regulate.

Today there is a new federal bill, HR1, that threatens to strip the state sovereignty from its right to administer its voting laws. This Federal Bill goes far to federalize election laws and dictating how states manage their voting rights. 

Some of the infringement on states rights are to require a state to automatically establish if a person is able to vote and keep this massive data base updated.  Instead of the individuals freedom to exercise his voter registration or to not vote at all, the state will declare a person is registered and then keep up with the individuals location to insure they have not moved or died or has been incarcerated.  The obligation to exercise an individual voter’s right will be take from the individual and transferred to the state.

The law would require same-day registration. This would perpetuate voter fraud and could see voters voting in several states on election day. States will be mandated to allow early voting at least 15 days for federal elections, for at least 10 hours a day.  Every state will be dictated to adhere to this requirement. The law would limit how states can purge voter rolls.  These requirements are totally alien to what the founding fathers visualized when it came to states rights.

One good aspect about HR1 is the requirements for Super PACs to disclose who they are providing funds to and disclose it in a public manner.  While this is good and can help with funding reform there is another part of this bill that has the government getting involved in election funding and at the expense of the private sector.  Small contributors will have matching funds go to the same candidate that the contributor gave money to.  Funding will come from a fee on corporations and banks.  This means that if a certain political party has small donors that provide donations and the donations larger than the other political party, the government will provide funding that will, in effect, double the amount the larger donation has to run the campaign.  For example:  the bull moose party receives $10,000 for a congressional election and the alligator party receives $8,000.  The federal government will give the bull moose party another $10,000 for a total of $20,000 and the alligator party will receive $8,000 for a total of $16,000.  Needless to say, a dominant party will receive additional funds and thus an unfair distribution of election funds will take place.

It is clear that HR1 is not the voting legislation that our founding fathers envisioned so many years ago nor is the stripping of states rights what these same founding fathers desired.

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 3/26/20021

In 1860 America was on the cusp of a great change. One year later this change began. After a shot was fired at Fort Sumpter, the Civil War began. The first Union shot fired in defense was under the command of Abner Doubleday, the man that at one time was identified as the inventor of baseball. Doubleday surrendered the fort and the South proclaimed the first victory of the war.

As the war continued, the key scarce resource of the north was manpower. Out of pride from the freed slaves in Massachusetts and out of need for additional fighting forces for the North, black units were formed to be trained and ultimately go south to fight.  The first black regiment was the 1st Kansas Infantry and the second was the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. 

William Harvey Carney was born a slave in 1840.  At some time before the civil war he escaped and finally ended his flee in the Boston area where he was united with his father.   Following the outbreak of the civil war Carney joined the 56th Massachusetts. This unit was formed in 1863 and was recruited with exuberance by black leaders in Massachusetts.  The famous writer and speaker Frederick Douglas had two sons that entered the unit.   Eventually the unit would travel south with the mission to spearhead an attack on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina.

On July 18, 1863 the 54th began its attack on Ft. Wagner.  The initial approach was a mile long attack that the men had to march across. Much of this was marsh land.  Then they crossed a water filled ditch just before attacking the walls offort. The 54th took the top of the outer wall. At this point the white commanding officer, Col. Shaw was killed. 

During the attack the regimental standard bearer was shot and went down. The regimental flag was also the flag of the United States, Old Glory.  Private William Harvey Carney grabbed the flag, caried it to the top of the earthen wall and soundly planted it in the ground. An hour later the confederate forces launched a counterattack and the union troops retreated. Carney grabbed the flag as the troops left the field of battle. Though he was severely wounded twice during the initial attack, he never relinquished control of the flag and never let it touch the ground. When the regiment finally arrived at its’ camp Shaw, though wounded, valiantly proclaimed, “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!”

This action was used to promote black enlistments in the Civil War and years later Sgt Shaw was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. His action was the first to acknowledge a black man for the award though he did not receive the MOH until 1901.  After receiving the award a song was published. “”Boys, the old flag never touched the ground”, the name of which came from Carney’s famous proclamation.

After the war he did as many Medal of Honor recipients did, he quietly melted into private life.  Carney became a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service until his retirement after thirty-three years of service.

He heroics of the 54th Massachusetts made it to the silver screen in the award winning movie “Glory”. Mathew Broderick played Col Shaw and Denzell Washington won the best supporting actor award. Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, Jihmi Kennedy and Andre Braugher were all participants in the movie.

A monument was created that honored Col Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts. This monument was placed on the Boston Common in the late 1800s where it remains today. Ironically, this monument was defaced during the protests and riots during the summer of 2020 that protested racial inequality,

God Bless America

RACISM?

Posted: March 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 3/21/2021

In December, 2019 I heard a person referred to by a term that I had not heard for years.  It caught my attention to hear this word being used again.  Soon after hearing this I heard it being used again and then again and it was apparent that the phrase was re-entering the American vernacular.  I had intended to write about the increased use of the term but there were other more pressing issues at the time to include an impeachment, a COVID pandemic, then a lockdown and then a presidential election.  As a new normal unfolded before us like a terrible tsunami rolling over a beautiful beach, the use of racism and referring to as a person as a racist became a commonly used phrase that we heard daily.

The definition of racism as defined by Merriam Webster is:

“a) belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

b) a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles,

c) a political or social system founded on racism racial prejudice or discrimination”

Many probably feel that much of this exists today and it does; however, our world is so much better than what it was when I was growing up, it continues to improve and will continue to approve into the future.  What is so divisive today is that the term “racist” has been hijacked to fulfil an easy way to dismiss some argument or person when race has nothing to do with the argument.  This is wrong and has no place in our nation.

Issues of any type that require debate should be addressed based on the merits of the issue.  Today we hear more and more times that when a debate is not going well for a particular group or person, the racist card is played and the entire issue changes followed by the person with the strongest position in the argument cowering and backing away from the discussion.  How convenient to more easily impose a negative rule or law onto a general population.

The use of racism and referring to a person as a racist has become a political tool.  If a person is a racist, that person needs to better understand what he personally stands for.  This person deserves the title if he or she feels superior due to skin color or physical characteristics or genetic linage.  If a person is simply stating a position and race plays no bearing on the discussion, this person should not be referred to as a racist and the person that incorrectly brands the person as racist should be called out for the slanderous action. 

Last week end Senator Elizabeth Warren stated that America needed to abolish the filibuster in the Senate.  She referred to the filibuster as “racist”.   How politically convenient to toss out this term in an effort to remove a Senate rule that would help the Democratic party ram legislation through the Senate with less opposition and less visibility from the citizens of our country; a rule that actually favors the minority.

Andrew Jackson was the architect of the removal of the American Indians from the East and sending them west. Many moves were known as the trail of tears.  Jackson needed the property for settlers to move to.  He had earlier identified the Southeast as prime property to grow a new crop; cotton.  To make matters worse, after the Indians were relocated and the settlers moved in and set up the farms, it was realized that more manpower was required.  This increased the demand for slave labor; thus, Jackson’s effort prompted the expansion of the use of slaves.  Jackson was later censored while he was president.  His supporters had the majority in the Senate and put in legislation to expunge or wipe out the censorship.  Opponents to remove the censorship used the filibuster to stop the action and the filibuster was successful; the censorship of Jackson remained in place.  This was the first official use of the filibuster and occurred in 1836.  This is totally in conflict with Senator Warren’s proclamation that the filibuster is racist.

Senator Warren’s assertion that the filibuster is racist shows how the use of racism can be politicized in a manner that has no truth and has actually twisted a subject in a manner that it distorts the original issue.  The filibuster is not racist, it does not favor a group that feels it is superior and it provides a fairness factor in the United States Senate while providing ample opportunity for a United States Senator to voice his or her opinion while allowing the American citizenry the opportunity to hear what is being debated.

Why don’t we use the terms racism for what it really is and lets not call a person a racist unless it is truly a person that deserves that despicable title.

God Bless America

Filibuster

Posted: March 20, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPER IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 3/21/2021

Filibuster: an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures. 

There has been quite a lot of discussion pertaining to the filibuster that is connected to legislation in the United States Senate and whether it should be allowed to continue. The definition above leads one to believe that the filibuster is nefarious in nature and should be eliminated from the legal process that we have in place today. Over 70% of CNN listeners that responded to a poll stated that the filibuster should be eliminated. While this sounds like an upsurge of American citizens favoring the termination of he filibuster, one must understand that the audience of the CNN poll is totally different from a Fox audience and a Fox poll would have surely had a totally different outcome. The point is that we need to view all aspects of a controversial issue and not simply listen to one side of a topic and accept that as the final solution. Case in point is the intent of the filibuster and the history of this legal procedure.

In 1805 Aaron Burr declared that the United States Senate should not be incumbered by numerous procedures that would limit its ability to govern. Unlike the House of Representatives that had a limit on the amount of time a representative could speak, the Senate allowed unlimited time for a Senator to make his point. This allowed a loophole to develop that actually benefitted the minority party in the Senate and thus allows a minority to have some semblance of power and equality.

It was realized early in the life of our great nation that a senator could speak endlessly during debate of a law that was being considered and thus prolong the vote on the bill and eventually wear down the support for the legislation prior to the vote. The first successful filibuster took place in 1837. President Andrew Jackson had been censored and a bill was introduced to expunge the censorship from the official record.  Jackson’s opponents launched a filibuster and defeated the measure by tiring those that wanted to remove the censorship and then calling a vote when many were not present in the senate building.

During the 1800s there were attempts to remove the filibuster. All attempts failed as doing so would then limit the time of a speech of a member of the senior house of congress.  Finally, in 1917 there was some reform.  President Woodrow Wilson wanted to arm merchant ships against U Boats during World War II.  The measure was filibustered and the resolution failed. Rule 22 was introduced and passed in the Senate.  This rule allowed a filibuster to end if two thirds, 66%, of the senate voted to end the speaking Senator from talking and thus end the filibuster. By making this 66% and not a majority of only 50%, the ability to speak is watered down but the minority party still maintains some strength within the senate.  This end of debate on the Senate floor is referred as “cloture”. 

Rule 22 was later modified to require only 60% of the senators required to vote to end a debate. This further watered down the filibuster but still allowed some equality of power for the minority party in the Senate. In 2013 a further watering down occurred when Nevada’s Harry Reid introduced legislation that stopped filibustering by a simple majority for debating presidential appointments. This eased the ability for President Obama to have his cabinet seated.

During the early 1930s the master of filibustering was a young backwoods freshman senator from Louisiana. Huey Long spoke on many things during his filibuster speeches to include the recipe and method to cook a good gumbo as well as reading the American Constitution. He spoke non-stop for over fifteen hours.

Without the ability to filibuster, a Senate majority would have total control of all legislation that is introduced in congress. This ability to have some type of balance in the Senate is being brought into jeopardy during the current administration. There are now calls to end the filibuster and if this occurs the senate majority will have scored a sweep of American reform to include the Covid relief measure and major modifications to the immigration processes Future legislation that could strip American values from our country include HR 1 which would greatly modify voting within America and strip voting authority from sovereign states plus limited discussion on an infrastructure bill that will encumber the ability of our grandchildren to accomplish their dreams while oppressively burdening current citizens in additional taxes and legislating oppressive gun control. If the filibuster is removed these legislative measures will pass without adequate debate.

What will have to be done to eliminate the filibuster. There would have to be a vote in the Senate to eliminate Rule 22 and thus require only a majority vote to end a debate   In essence, the party that controls the senate would take full charge of all legislation. The one hurdle to this is that to eliminate rule 22 it will take 66% of the senate to approve the measure and this will not happen. Instead, the only other option will be that the rules will again be watered down and modified.

One major concern is that by eliminating rule 22 the senate will not only remove the ability to filibuster but also have the ability to curtail future debate on legislation that requires comprehensive discussion.

God Bless America.

WHEN I GET HUNGRY

Posted: March 14, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 3/14/2021

When I get hungry I get up and go to the refrigerator and grab something or head to the pantry for a bottle of peanut butter and look for the loaf of bread.  When my wife and the grand kids feel the need for a meal, we may head off to the local restaurant for a real treat and then indulge in a bowl of ice cream.  When I feel threatened I will pick up a phone and call 911 and ask for help; whether this be personal safety, a medical emergency or a fire. 

If the food is not available or there is no one to respond to a 911 call the situation begins to become dire.  We begin to look at a lower level of Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs as the basic human needs of food clothing and shelter begin to become a focal point in one’s life.  When a child has hunger pains and one has to adjust a life style to provide sustenance for the youth, a basic need to support a family becomes paramount.  The same is true for personal protection and care for the health needs of a spouse or a child.  A parent will look for a way to get treatment for a sick child or take matters into one’s hands when threatened.  People will do what is required to remain in a lifelong home while feeding and taking care of himself and his family.

When all fails, there is no food and corrupt or non-existent protection needs can not be met, it is time to make drastic changes to protect a child or the family.  Families are required to live in one room shanties with little or no running water and little or no electricity.  Fathers and mothers can no longer find work; there is no money.  All semblance of humanity is deteriorating or disappearing.  Desperate times call for desperate means. 

As a husband and a father I would find myself doing everything I could do to provide for my family and this is exactly what we are witnessing on our southern borders. We can’t blame the immigrants for attempting to better their lives in the land of milk and honey, The United State of America.   Mothers and fathers are taking desperate measures to improve  their lives and the lives of their children, going so far as to give their children away in hopes of a better future for the toddler.

On the other side of the border lives a people that is hard working, benevolent and loves the country that they live in.  Life in America is a polar opposite to the loves of those trying to enter our country.  We are territorial and desire for our country to remain as is with no foreign influence to infiltrate our lives.  America is the greatest country in world.  Countries such as existed in the former Soviet Union had walls surrounding their borders.  East Germany’s solid fortifications were in place just as was found in Poland, Yugoslavia and the other numerous countries that comprised the communistic USSR and these looked similar to what we have on the Southern border that divides Mexico from the United States.   There is a difference though, the communist states’ walls kept people in.  America does not need walls to keep people from escaping America, we have walls to keep people from pouring into America.

America wants to maintain its identity and immigrants are welcome to join us, but not to move here and attempt to change America’s government to what was left behind.  Immigration to America is a natural process for many throughout the world.  Its’ understandable to come to America and those that legally enter our country are welcome and look forward to sharing customs and traditions.  While a small number of those hoping for a better life will eventually fulfil their dreams most will not; however, there is a way to make life better for those desiring a better life without illegally entering the United States.

There is a parable that if a man is hungry and is fed a fish he will return when he gets hungry again, but if you teach the man to fish he will feed himself.  We are spending a boatload of money to secure our southern border  We are spending another boatload of money to take care of those that are illegally crossing the border into America.  Why don’t we negotiate with the countries of Central America and turn them into special economic zones.  Instead of seeing these countries as adversaries, let’s view them as partners.  Build the infrastructure and lay the foundation for a strong education system.  Build a police and military that is not corrupt and send troops to build a strong army.  Actively go after the drug cartel’s and obtain assurances that all monies spent go to where they are suppose to go.  Once this becomes a success, there will be no reason for an adult or a child or a family to leave their homes.  The American dream can then be realized within Central America.

This won’t be easy but as long as we are the brightest beacon for freedom in the Western Hemisphere that is south of Canada, we can only expect our border delima to continue and grow.  We owe it to the world to build a democratic and free world.  By doing this we will then not have to worry about securing a border and living with the crisis we are witnessing on our southern border today.

God Bless America.

THE BORDER

Posted: March 13, 2021 in Uncategorized

THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE FARMERVILLE GAZETTE AND THE RUSTON DAILY LEADER THE WEEK OF 3/14/2021

“America has long been a land of the free, the land of opportunity, a place that a person can achieve great things if only a person worked hard and smart. A person could achieve great things in America; but first a person must get here. Arnold Schwarzenegger came to America from Austria. In a magazine interview many years ago he said that Americans are not very smart. He went to say that there are so many opportunities in America and the average American does not see them. Arriving in America penniless, he used his bodybuilding to open doors and went on to graduate with a degree in marketing. He exceled in business and finally became a world class actor, businessman and then Governor of California. The American dream was realized.

Unless a person is an American Indian, you come from a family of immigrants. My grandmother told me of how she remembered coming to America in the early 1900s. How they sailed past the Statue of Liberty with the inscription “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. Then landed at Ellis Island, New York’s entry to America. Then on to a small home in Carson Valley at the foot of Lake Tahoe. And this story is repeated millions of times over a century as America becomes settled by immigrants that turned their backs on their native countries to find a better and build the greatest country in the world.

While Europe and Russia came through New York and New Orleans, Chinese and other Asians came to America through California. America was an amalgamation of cultures, races and religions. This is what made America great. Wide open expanses for settling, sweat shops for sewing and factory jobs for the abled bodied provided jobs for those that wanted them. America was growing and anyone that wanted to come to our great country was welcome.

The first naturalization law was enacted in in 1790 and declared any free white man of good moral character could apply for citizenship after living in America for two years. By 1798 the law changed to fourteen years of residency. In 1868 the law was changed to provide automatic citizenship to anyone born in America, regardless of the citizenship of the parents. In 1882 America began limiting immigration. That year Chinese were no longer allowed into the country. Finally in 1921 the United States enacted quotas for people wanted to immigrate to America. During the Great Depression all immigration stopped and between 500,000 and 2,000,000 Mexicans were deported. Our immigration laws have changed over time but one thing has remained constant, America is the place to go and the place to live.

Over the years we have seen an influx of immigrants crossing our southern border looking a better way of life. National policy never really changed and there were no innovative ideas adopted for handling the influx of illegals. This has been a disaster. We have no workable solution to the increasing illegal immigrant population and we are now encouraging a mass exodus from Central America with the final stop the United States of America.

Today we hear of thousands of children coming from Central America, crossing hundreds of miles of Mexican wilderness, braving thieves, rapist and drug cartels en-route to America. Many are encouraged with comments made recently pertaining to children in America. We now have a problem of epidemic proportions with no sign of subsiding. We hear from Washington that most will be returned to their countries. Not so. The majority are sent to processing points around the country with a promise to return in two weeks for a hearing. Only 20% return while the other 80% disappear into the back streets of America. And of those that return for a hearing, the court system will take up to five years to hear the cases. When we think of this we imagine hordes of faceless immigrants intent to destroy our moral fiber. Then the images appear on television and we see the terrified faces of innocent children with eyes pleading for help. For me, I become angry; not at the ones pleading for help and risking everything to live in the land of the free, no I am angry at a government that is not fixing a policy and sets of laws that are antiquated and broken.

We must provide a means to allow aliens to easily enter the country to perform work that we in America cannot adequately provide labor for. We then need to have a means to truly track where the labor force is living and insure that the laborers are living up to the laws that allow them to work in America. If laws are broken, the privilege of working in America is revoked. We must insure that taxes are collected and the laborers are not a burden on American tax payers. It is imperative that we take control of our borders and anyone illegally crossing it is immediately returned. If asylum is being requested, we must have the judges ready to hear the cases with two weeks and if the case is not legitimate, immediately send the alien back to his country of origin. Any alien working in America and harbors an illegal worker will have their right to be in this country revoked.

It is important to understand that if we deport every illegal alien in America today we will be catastrophically economically impacted. This must be realized when real reform takes place.

I heard that the children coming across our borders is a humanitarian disaster. It is not. It is a total failure of our Federal Immigration Policy.”

The previous article was not written for our current situation. The previous article was written seven years ago and addressed a dire situation on our southern border. The last administration was not perfect but it did do much to improve on the southern border situation and added some semblance of control.


Two months ago everything changed and with the stroke of a pen we are right back into the same quagmire we were stuck in seven years ago.  What goes around comes around.

God Bless America.

AMERICA BEING TESTED

Posted: March 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

/THIS WILL APPEAR IN THE BERNICE BANNER THE WEEK OF 3/7/2021

Life can be tough at times but it can also be kind, sweet and enjoyable.  There is no one set life style that that can consistently ensure a life without stress or anxiety.  Sometimes we have to be tough when we experience a threat or encounter an adversary and at other times we can feel free to express ourselves in a manner that exudes happiness and with no threat of conflict.  This analogy can be attached to a country just as with an individual or a community.

There are countries in the world that want nothing more than to be a good citizen.  A country that is comfortable with its current economic level, does not wish to force an ideology on other countries and has no aspirations to conquer and enslave neighbors.  Many European and Scandinavian countries fall in this category. Then there are other countries that want nothing less than to dominate, change ideology, become dominant and enslave all those that they conquer.  Iran, Korea and China fall in this arena.  A third type of nation is benevolent when another country requires help, is peaceful by nature but can strike if threatened and prefers to lead by example without forcing an ideology on another nation state.  This is where we live, our house; the United States of America.

Over the last four years America’s international policy has been tough.  There were few flowers or unicorns.  Some countries that had felt very close to us questioned the friendship as America demanded everyone must pay their own fair share of world costs.  Others that had adversarial aspirations toward the freest nation in the world stepped back as if hit between the eyes with a 2X4 stud when America suddenly stopped drinking the kool aid  took a tough approach to those countries.

Today a new administration is in office and these adversarial nations immediately tested a new government.  Korea began test firing missiles; test fires that had stopped several years ago.  China is now wanting America to back off its support of Taiwan and its sovereignty as it tests America’s will to defend itself in the South China Sea.  America wants to renew the Iranian nuclear peace agreement but Iran has thrown a curve.  Iran wants money it feels it is owed before it goes back to its original agreement.  Iran wants to belittle America in front of the world stage.  This is a shock to an American government that thought it held all the cards.  The new government is now being tested by a very worthy adversary, Iran.  Another international test of America has suddenly appeared and like a tidal wave it suddenly emerged and has required immediate attention. Illegal immigrants that are begging for a better life are illegally crossing the American border in hopes of a better life.  Their dire plight and attempt to enter America is understandable; however, the handling of this crisis is a major test of the American governments metal.

So how well is the current administration doing with International relations? It is too early to judge and grade the efficiency.  Let’s be fair and give our new government six months.  We will then see if we have the strength to remain the foremost nation in the world or will we take our eye off the ball and slip down the slippery slope to mediocrity.  The crisis at the border is not good and that is a crisis of our own making.  The lack of understanding of what the border decisions would incur coupled with the message that was sent to desperate people was a failure; however, how this crisis is handled going forward will be a testament to the new government.

The next few months will be interesting and we have four more months before a clear picture materializes as to how the American government will appear to the world when observing our international relations and leadership.