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Small “r” republicanism v. Big “R” Republicans

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Which are You?

I’m a conservative, and I’m also a “republican,” but I am the latter only in the sense of a lower-case “r.”  I believe in the republican form of government promised in Article IV, section 4, of the US Constitution.  Many Republicans (members of the political party) seem to be confused about what this means, and I suppose it is only fair to make them aware of the distinctions between the things many current Republicans now advocate that violate the platform and the principles of republicanism that their party claims to uphold.  Those who become confused about what it means to be a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) need only consider the small “r” form of the word.  It’s easy to fill out a voter registration card and check the box beside the word “Republican,” but it’s another matter entirely to know what is republicanism.  As we debate issues of critical import to the future of the nation, it’s more important than ever that conservatives know what it is they are fighting, and what form it takes.  The outcome of 2014 and 2016 will set the course of the nation for generations, and we must win it.  This is the heart of the battle between the so-called RINOs and we constitutional conservatives, and it will determine our nation’s future.

One of the concepts that has long been associated with republicanism is that we hold in disdain the notion of a “ruling class,” a presumptively superior elite who by virtue of some unknown mechanism somehow know better than the rest of us with respect to how we ought to be governed.  Indeed, when our republic was established, it was with the experience of a people who had freed themselves from the bonds of a King, who claimed his right to rule over us by virtue of his station of birth.  I do not doubt that some people are superior to others in some particular way, but nearly everybody can claim some attribute in which they are superior to most others.  Some of that is a result of education, experience and training, while some of it results from pure genetic gifts.  There is no gene, however, that entitles one man to rule over others.  There exists no family lineage in America that can rightly claim to exercise a disproportionate power over the affairs of nations and men.  We do not have kings, and while there were a few in early America who advocated for a monarchy, the broad body of the American people rejected the idea as an apostasy aimed at thwarting the very revolution in which they had only so recently succeeded.

The only thing I hold in greater contempt than the man (or woman) who would claim the right to rule over me by virtue of family lineage or family station(a.k.a. “nobility”) is the  poor, twisted soul who would consent to such a proposition.  I am no person’s chattel, and I abhor any human being who claims membership in this species who would surrender themselves as having been of no greater significance than a possession of “better” men.  Those lacking the essential self-esteem to realize that they are by right the sovereigns over their own affairs, equal to any other on the planet, ought to immediately depart these shores to seek refuge in some Kingdom as a serf.  In this sense, it is fair to say that I not only reject a supposed “ruling class,” but also that I likewise hold in contempt the corollary premise of a “ruled class.”  Part of the republican ideal is that classes are a subjectively-defined fraud perpetrated against a people who ought not to be willing to accept it.  Why is it that so many Republicans prefer to think of Americans in a class system little different from their alleged ideological opponents, the statists?  The answer is that too many Republicans are statists themselves, having rejected the fundamentals of republicanism.

By what strange and mystical knowledge do the brothers Bush claim to have the better answer on the subject of immigration, both now pushing the Gang-ofTr8ors Bill?  Why do so many Republicans accept their claim in the unthinking form of a command received from on high?  It  is because too many Republicans have either surrendered or rejected the republican principles under whose banner they march.   If you listen closely enough, you can hear in their intentionally vague language the lost concepts that they will not name, never having believed in them from the outset.  Although a few are now catching themselves in pursuit of the betterment of their propagandists’ art, you will invariably hear them speak of democracy as the goal and the object of their advocacy.  This is not merely loose wording, but a true reflection of the form of government they seek, a form so terrible that our founders placed a stricture against it in the US constitution in the form of an endorsement of republican government.

A democracy is not a form of government most rational people would want, except that they have been taught that it is the desired form.  To hear a President say that he wishes to spread democracy to the Middle East is an arrow through the heart of republicanism.  We have seen what democracy creates in the Middle East and throughout the Arab-speaking world.  Pakistan is a democracy.  Egypt is now a democracy.  Libya is now a putative democracy. Iraq now is a sort of hybrid democracy, but in each of them, what you will observe is how the whole course of the nation is changed by political instabilities, and that the rule of law acts as no restraint upon political leaders in working their will.  Barack Obama is intent on turning the US into a democracy, because democracy is always the precursor to despotism.  Most of the worst thugs of the twentieth century came to power on a wave of popular support that defines the democratic model:  He(or she) with the biggest mob wins.  Even now, in Cairo, when the military perceived that President Morsi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s stooge,) no longer held sway over the largest mob, they placed him under house arrest and offered an interim president who will enjoy for at least a time some popular support.  Throughout the third world, it is fair to say that most countries have adopted some form of governance that lurches repeatedly and often from some sort of feigned democracy to absolute despotism.

A republican form of government is much more stable, and it has been the underlying root of our general prosperity for some two-hundred-twenty years, with a few notable exceptions, in largest measure because nearly all of the occupants of the land had accepted the orderly rule of law and the specific, constitutional methodology by which laws are to be adopted, modified, or repealed.  Having a set of rules that is inflexible, particularly with respect to changing those rules, and obtaining the consent of those who must live under them for a span of two centuries is an extraordinary feat in human history.  The dire flaw in all of this is that from the moment of its adoption, people begin to conspire to overthrow it in one fashion or another, by finding loopholes, imagining a “flexibility” that does not exist, inciting rebellion against it, or seizing power over it with which to subsequently ignore the mandates of the law.

In American history, we have seen all of these methods employed, indeed, some of them are being employed even now, as our President conspires with his cabinet to ignore the rule of law, ignoring the plain language of the law as often and as thoroughly as they believe they can manage in a particular political context.  What good is a law that those who are charged with enforcing it refuse to rise to carry it into execution?  When the public officials whose job it is to see to it that subordinate officials execute the law refuse to discipline those who will not obey, always claiming as an excuse some alleged greater “public good,” what you are witnessing is the reduction of a republic to the state of a pre-despotic democracy.

Many Americans who are demonstrably ignorant of the world’s history of governance believe that our Electoral College is anti-democratic, and on this basis, advocate its repeal, demanding instead to rely upon a majority (or plurality) of the popular vote.  While they are correct that the Electoral College is undemocratic, their ignorance is born of an educational system that has misled them to expect majoritarian rule in all cases as the preferred model.  Naturally, that same system has failed to teach them about federalism, the ninth and tenth amendments, and the whole construct that is a constitutional, representative republic, being the precise form of government the framers of the US constitution did adopt and ratify .

Informing them of this distinction, many are still suspicious of it, because it sounds strange and foreign to them, most under the age of forty having never been taught a syllable about it in the government schools.  Even in the school from which I graduated a long, long time ago, the senior-year civics class was entitled “Problems of Democracy.” Had I been a more thoroughly-engaged student, I might have questioned it then, but like virtually all of my peers, I did as I was told, never considering a word of it.  It would take years of study to unlock the knowledge of which I had been cheated, and at first, I resisted it.  How could all of this be true?  How could America not be a “democracy?”  How could democracy be a bad thing?  This is where many Americans get hopelessly stuck, because we’ve adopted the flexible language of lunatics, where we interchange words with the imprecise vulgarity of schoolyard bullies.  “The difference between a democracy and a republic won’t matter to you so much after I beat your face.”

The truth about democracy is what has always been its fatal flaw, perhaps best described by a phrase often mistakenly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but possessed of perfectly sanguine execution, irrespective of its source:

“Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what will be for lunch.”

Indeed, in a true democracy, there can be no protections of any minority but by violence.  This was the great object the framers of our constitution had hoped to impede.  They knew that majoritarian rule is no form of government for a peaceable, civil society, and that such governments are always ripe for manipulation by unscrupulous and demagogic usurpers.  The whole purpose of all their checks and balances had been to obstruct to the degree humanly possible the sort of instability made easier by democratic rule.  Their constitution set at odds every branch of government, and even divisions within branches, like the House and Senate.  It relied upon a competing fight for sovereign power between the several states and the federal government, all at odds in most cases, except when the most pressing of public crises may discipline them to more affable cooperation.  This was their plan, and their intention, and they hoped that in little-modified form, it could survive some severe tests that they knew would come, as they must for all nations.

With the onset of the progressive era in the early twentieth century, there was a move toward greater “democratization,” that brought with it a string of constitutional amendments, causing a great unwinding of our nation.  The 16th, creating an authority to tax income (and the legal establishment of a class system;) the 17th, changing the manner of election of US Senators; the 18th, instituting prohibition; the 19th finally giving women the right to full political participation all came in this era, with only one of them(the 19th) having been justifiable among civilized people, and one of them(the 18th) creating such terror that it was ultimately repealed by the 21st amendment.  Progressive Republicans of that era helped to install these amendments, and none of them did more damage to the system of checks and balances the framers had invented than the 17th amendment.  It effectively muted the voices of the states as sovereigns in the federal system. It did so by causing Senators to be popularly elected in their respective states, shutting out the state governments as a confounding, obstructive influence on the growth of centralized government.

Our republican form of government was constructed to sub-divide government into so many competing segments and interests that it would be nearly impossible for any one interest to gain supremacy.  It succeeded in many ways so long as politicians held onto the general republican ideals, for more than a century generally held by members of both parties. (It is instructive to remember that the forebears of the modern Democrat Party called themselves “Democratic Republicans” for many years before dropping the second half of their name with the ascendancy of Andrew Jackson.)  It is therefore no surprise that a Democrat party would become the party of the slave-holding South, or that the Republicans would supplant the Whigs by championing the rights of an enslaved minority.  Words, including even party labels, meant something distinct in those days.

In the progressive era, mostly for the sake of political expediency, there were a number of Republicans who began to adopt more democratic notions of governance, including the predisposition of their Democrat brethren to an elitist view of a class system not only in the general populace, but also among political offices and those who occupied them.  The influences of corporations grew, as did the corrupting influence of gangsters during prohibition.  From that era arose an establishment of Republicans who were nothing of the sort, and with few exceptions, have managed to maintain a fairly strong control over that party, most often as the minority party.  Viewed in this fashion, it could be said rightly that the Republican Party has been charged with managing the real republicans into submission.

Who are the real advocates of republicanism in the Republican Party?  Nowadays, we call them “conservatives,” although they are actually the philosophical heirs to the classical liberals of the late eighteenth century, by and large.  “Conservative” is approximately opposite of “liberal” or “progressive” in popular connotation, and since the Democrats had successfully co-opted the term “liberal,” despite being nothing of the sort, they managed to carry off a vast fraud on the American people using a sort of primitive branding that set conservatives against the liberal Democrats and the progressive Republicans.  It has been in this approximate form ever since, with the Republicans adopting “moderate” from time to time as a way to escape linkage with the frightful failures of the progressive era.

Now come we full circle to the moment that is both the beginning and the end.  The Bush clan seems to have some special public sense of duty to rule over the country, as evinced by the fact that despite having had two members of their clan accumulate two solid decades of first influence and then dominance over the Republican Party, they are far from finished. Their ideas are as progressive as any Democrat you will ever meet, the singular difference being that they seem to temper the left’s radical secularism with public professions of faith in the Almighty.  Put in plainer language, they are approximately ecumenical communists, and their particular subset of the broad statist philosophy is known as communitarianism. Whatever did you think is “compassionate conservatism?”

They don’t believe in the supremacy of the individual over the interests of the community.  Most conservatives are almost precisely opposite in philosophical leanings to the communitarian front, being Christian individualists in the main.  While they certainly work in their communities and contribute to them greatly, they believe in an individualized form of salvation, and an individual responsibility in obtaining it.  The communitarians conceive instead a form of “collective salvation.” If that term sounds vaguely familiar to you, it is because your current president has used it too.  In this sense, it is fair to say that from Bush the elder, to Barack Obama, we have been on a nonstop course of communitarianism since 1989.  They do not believe in the small “r” republicanism of our founders, and they certainly do not believe in the containment of the state, the only discernible difference being their apparent relative positions on the scale between religious and secular intent.

To demolish the United States will require demolishing its distinct culture, any sort of nationalistic sentiment among its people, and the broadening of the definitions of citizenship and nationhood.  Did you think the Senate’s amnesty bill was just about cheap labor?  It is about deconstructing the United States as a sovereign entity responsive to the interests of its inhabitants.  Now that brothers George W. and Jeb Bush are openly pushing for the Senate bill in the House, or indeed any bill at all that can be a vehicle for the Senate bill in conference, one should be able to discern quite clearly that more is at stake in the matter than cheap labor for some construction contractors.

For those of you who now wonder how any of this pertains to small “r” republicanism, it is so simple as this: Very few of your elected leaders or even your supposed “conservative” spokesmen are interested in the sort of republicanism your founders brought out of deliberations from a sweltering Philadelphia convention.  If you wish to discern who are Republicans of the “RINO” construct and who are actual republicans, you need only key on their records of adherence to lowercase “r” republican principles, including primarily their previous adherence to the US constitution and its framers’ intent. Flowery words don’t matter.  Professions of faith aren’t enough. Look at their records.  Look at their ideas and the principles upon which they rely.  If you are constitutional conservatives, you must in the name of all you cherish perfect the ability to recognize the charlatans at a mile’s distance.  In Washington DC, and in states’ capitals, Republicans are legion, while actual republicans are few, and it’s a ratio we must reverse.

Barack Obama IS NOT Incompetent

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

It’s No Accident

I have listened to Republicans discussing Barack Obama’s various policy failures, and I have noticed a trend.  Among Republican moderates, there is a tendency to say that Barack Obama is clueless, and that “he just doesn’t get it.”  This willingness to permit him to claim “good intentions” is a farce.  Genuine conservatives examine the policies of Barack Obama, and will subsequently conclude the ugly truth, and it isn’t that Obama is incompetent. Instead, they see in his action a clear and unambiguous malevolence that should not be hidden behind a facade of mere incapacity for the job.  Barack Obama’s policies are designed to damage and diminish the United States, and pretending he’s merely a bumbling dolt doesn’t address the gravity of our national situation.  I understand well why the RINO set does this, but it’s time for somebody to speak up in candid opposition.  Among the remaining candidates, only two show any willingness to do so, and from my point of view, this disqualifies any who won’t.

Mitt Romney says “Obama is in over his head.”  That’s pure nonsense.  Barack Obama hasn’t issued executive orders and regulations of the sort we have seen from his administration because he’s “in over his head.”  The ban on drilling had nothing to do with his intelligence or capacity to govern, just as the Keystone XL pipeline decision was not born of simple incompetence.  These were carefully calculated decisions that are intended to reduce the amount of oil available to the market, with at least two goals, both designed to weaken our country and burden its people, thus wrecking their lives.

Barack Obama wasn’t acting out of incompetence when he imposed a healthcare system and attending regulations that will force Catholics to buy insurance that will include contraception coverage to which  they are opposed as a matter of conscience.  He wasn’t acting out of a lack of knowledge when he was handing out cash from the public trough to purveyors of the “Green jobs” scam typified by Solyndra.  These were things undertaken not as a matter of his inability to “get it,” or because he was “in over his head,” but because he intended to punish people of faith and reward his slimy friends, respectively.

The President didn’t mistakenly negotiate a deal that provided for dramatic cuts of our national defense.  He knew this would be the ultimate outcome, and he tasked his party in both Houses of Congress to help him make sure this would indeed happen.  He wasn’t acting out of a naive indifference to our strategic defense capabilities when he agreed to provide the Russians with our missile defense secrets, and he wasn’t incapable of seeing the danger involved in fomenting the so-called “Arab Spring” that now stands on the verge of becoming and Islamic winter.  He wasn’t unaware of the Green Revolution in Iran that stood in opposition to Ahmedinejad, but he did nothing to even offer those people a bit of hope until almost three years after it was all over.  He wasn’t acting from a state of professional ignorance when he pulled our troops out of Iraq, because he had been told what would eventuate as a result.  None of these things were done because Obama had been incompetent, but because he is too competent in damaging our country.

His willingness to give away a number of oil-rich Alaskan islands to the Russians isn’t a matter of incompetence either, and as former Senate candidate Joe Miller made clear, there’s nothing we’re getting out of this deal except a kick in the behind.  It wasn’t mere lack of experience that leads him to disarm the United States of its strategic nuclear weapons.  It’s not a matter of being in over his head that makes him respond to the demands of Soros while ignoring the will of the American people in his legislative agenda.  It’s not his “good intentions” that are at work in any of this, because in point of fact, it cannot be demonstrated that he has any intentions but the malevolent.

Gingrich and Santorum both managed to point this out in varying ways in the debate on CNN on Wednesday night, but the problem is that Romney is still playing patty-cakes with Obama, and offers Obama the cover of “good intentions,” and “incompetence.”  Barack Obama is not incompetent.  The policies he’s pursued have but one over-arching goal, and it’s perfectly honest to anybody who rejects blinders in the matter: He is damaging and diminishing the United States by every method available, from defense to debt; from energy to liberty; in law and regulation.  This man who occupies the office of the President is methodically deconstructing the United States, its historical prosperity and vitality, and leaving in its place shrinking, dying industries and rotting cities, along with a people nearly unable to fend for themselves.

This isn’t accidental.  This isn’t because he’s hapless.  Republicans should stop pretending that Obama is anything but a malevolent creature if they want my support.  I cannot accept the useless oratory of Mitt Romney who will not speak of that which is obvious in the nation all around us.  That sort of timid, tepid, morally rudderless and non-judgmental rhetoric does nothing to fix the problem because it hides from the eyes of the American people how awful Barack Obama’s willfully, purposefully chosen courses of action have been.   I have no more patience for candidates who will not state the obvious:  Barack Obama is openly harming the country, and he’s not incompetent at all.  Instead, he’s damnably good at it, and any candidate who cannot say this will not get my support.  It’s time for them to find the courage to speak the truth about our President, and all the awful implications of his actions.

A Note to Horsemen

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Better Off Without Us?

I realize there is a bit of anger among some who don’t understand the question of slaughter, or who have converted it into an emotional issue.  I wish to thank the horsemen who have sent me such kind words, knowing the difficulties, but also the realities of the issue.  There were also hateful, scornful letters that called me all sorts of ugly things, but one of the common threads among those sorts of emails was the fact that even fewer of them were owners of horses.  They were mostly written by so-called “animal lovers.”   Like most horsemen, I too am an animal lover, but also like most horsemen, I know the difference between loving animals and hating humanity, and I know that the latter is a poor substitute for the former, and yet this is the character of those who wrote me the most scathing but likewise ignorant emails.  One lady actually suggested to me that I should be hung on a hook and bled out onto the slaughterhouse floor.  Her main thrust was that horses shouldn’t be property, and that somehow, they would be better off without us.

Whatever else you might say about that lady, she may claim to love animals, but I think it’s simply a disguise for her hatred of humans.  One of the other things at which she seemed to take great offense was my characterization of horses as property.  Begging the lady’s pardon, but that’s what they are and must be if they are to continue in existence on this planet.  If not for human use and intervention, the only equids that would remain on the planet would be the zebra.  Even that one would fade rapidly if not for human protection.  Horses came into being on the North American continent, but they went extinct here long before mankind populated the Americas.  All horses in the Americas are descended from the horses imported here by settlers.   I hear and read discussions of America’s “wild horses,” but we have no such horses.  The American Mustang is really just feral stock descended from the horses brought to this continent by the Spanish conquistadors. Let us set the myth of the wild American horse aside in favor of the truth, while we’re at it, and recognize they are little different from the feral cats that frequent alleys in large cities, that after generations, lose their domesticated leaning toward humans.

Horses are animals that requires conditions very favorable to its continued existence, because while they can survive temporarily by adapting somewhat to changing conditions, their physiology demands certain requirements be met.  Their digestive tract is far too fragile for significant changes in diet, and there is a very narrow range of foodstuffs they can eat.  They require a great deal of water to keep the plumbing working, and there’s little doubt but that they are fragile in every way.  Their hooves are prone to terrible infections in protracted wet conditions, and getting into some bad feed or forage can cause them to founder, a condition known as laminitis that is frequently lethal, by which the inflamed laminae (the tissue that binds the horn of the hoof to the coffin bone – think of this bone like the tip bone in your finger, and the horn like your nail) begins to pull apart, allowing the hoof wall to pull away, and the coffin bone to rotate down through the bottom of the hoof from the tension of the suspensory tendons that place constant tension that acts a bit like a shock absorber as the horse moves.  All of that, just from eating bad grain or grass, or sometime just too much of too rich a grain or grass.  It is the equivalent of eating a really rich cake, or tainted, moldy bread, and having the flesh on the heels of your feet fall off as a result, but remember, you’ll have to stand basically 24 hours per day.  In fact, anything that causes a protracted inflammation, or fever in the horse can cause the same thing.  Don’t kid yourselves: Horses are much more fragile than most people who spend little time around them would understand.  Every horseman knows this.

They are not really suited to most places in the world any longer.  To survive seasonal variations in climate, they require a huge range, because their only defense against the cold, apart from a somewhat thicker winter coat, is to migrate to warmer regions.  We humans, with our barns, and stables and horse blankets are the best defenders horses have.  There are many more horses due to human activity and breeding of horses than nature would permit to survive alongside us.  Horses also eat grasses down to the ground, effectively killing it, and often uprooting it if the ground is loose or moist.  They are much harder on grasslands than cattle.  Their manure is good fertilizer if you’re growing mushrooms, but it must be composted a long time before it’s good to use for much of anything else.

In short, everything about a horse leverages toward extinction, and this is why actual wild equids, of which there are few remaining on earth, are smallish compared even with the American mustangs, many of which are small enough to be considered ponies.  (Contrary to what some non-horsemen may have been led to believe, ponies are not young horses.  They’re small horses, and usually of particular breeds.  Young horses are known as foals (babies of either sex,) colts(males,) fillies(females,) weanlings(no longer nursing for sustenance, and in human care often removed from the mare’s presence,) and yearlings(those having passed their first winter, in most cases, but not yet their second.)

The point in explaining all of this is to clear something up for those who know little or nothing of substance about horses, their care, their maintenance, their breeding, or much of anything about them, never mind their slaughter.  You see, the lady who thought I should be hung on a hook took offense to the notion of horses as property.  I’ve got some news for that lady, and for anybody else of a similar mind:  Horses do much better as property than they were doing in the wild.  Had mankind not adopted horses for uses other than as food, they would likely be all but extinct by now, except perhaps for the zebra, but even there, the issue is in question.

Here’s another factoid: Today in the United States, there are roughly seven million horses.  The most there ever had been was in 1915, when the total number of horses in the US was around twenty-one million.  Remember, however, that in 1915, horses were like cars and trucks today. By the 1950s, with the proliferation of the automobile, horses had dwindled in the United States to an estimated three million.   Most horses now in the United States are used for racing, breeding, and some form of recreation or competition.  Roughly one-sixth are farm, ranch, and police horses, that work in some sort of actual labor, apart from racing.

Even these activities are seeing some retraction, as horse-racing is losing favor with the public due to ethical concerns, particularly arising from medications administered to race animals.  With the value of the dollar in steep decline, and the costs of maintaining horses on the rise, steeply in many cases due to droughts, there’s every indication the the horse population may again begin to dwindle.   On the other hand, as  I have pointed out, with the world’s economy on the brink of collapse, with the Euro in trouble, and the dollar so tightly linked to it, we could suddenly arrive in a situation where horses come to be of inestimable value once again.  At the moment, however, we’re a long way from that kind of resurgence.

The real issue comes down to a question of property rights, and it is here that we must draw a line no matter the claims of the so-called “animal-lovers” who use this issue to the property rights of humans.  Cattle are property too.  If we can restrict the rights of horseman to dispose of their livestock by slaughter, why not cattle or sheep or hogs?  All I’m asking for, and I think all most horsemen in favor of slaughter are asking is for a bit of intellectual consistency on the part of those opposed to horse slaughter.  If the property rights of horse owners aren’t permitted to prevail, what will happen when somebody decides a calf is too cute to slaughter for veal?

We horsemen must stand up for our property rights, and one of the characteristics of property is the right of disposal.   Property can be disposed of by sales, or by donation, or by destruction.  What the “animal lovers” suggest is that there is some way in which to make the destruction less destructive.  Most horseman who have been around a while have witnessed euthanasia as practiced on horses, and to pretend it’s anything but horrific is a lie.  To pretend that the method of slaughter that had been routinely practiced in the US was substantially more “cruel” is also a lie.

I received one letter from a lady who waxed poetic on the “culture of the cowboy.”  Her email address was from a provider in New Jersey.  I don’t mean to denigrate New Jersey, but it’s not exactly known for its cowboys or horses, so I was a bit surprised.  What was more surprising to me was her notion that cowboys of the old west never ate horse meat.  In many cases, horses that died under saddle today became tomorrow’s supper.   The real ethos of the horseman is that nothing go to waste.   Horseman don’t make idle use of their animals, and they don’t breed animals they don’t need or don’t have some expectation of being able to sell in the market.

The most laughable thing I’ve read is the accusation that horsemen wish to be able to raise horses specifically for slaughter.  I’ve never, in all my years as a horseman, encountered even one of my fellow horsemen for whom this was true.  I’ve been on large breeding farms, and small family farms, and all sizes in between, but never have I seen even one horseman that goes through the difficulty of breeding just to send the resultant horse to the slaughter pens.  Seriously, for you horsemen, do you know any who do such, or ever have?

Instead, what I have seen is mostly a large number of people engaged in an honest trade, and people who wish their get to be athletic, healthy, and superior in every measure.  I have never known a single person to look at that new foal and think: “Mmmm, mmmm, what a good price he’ll fetch at the slaughter house.”  As I’ve detailed before, it’s a preposterous argument, even on a simple economic basis.

For you non-horsemen, let me tell you what it’s really like:  We spend hours, days, or weeks considering the stock we buy, not only for its immediate fitness and use, but also future potential in the breeding shed.  When we evaluate a mare, we look for those features we know are traits likely to be passed on to her offspring, good or bad, and we go looking for stallions who will compliment the best features of our mares.  We spend a pretty penny breeding, in stallion fees, in shipping mare(thoroughbreds may not use shipped semen) and in caring for the mares throughout their eleven month pregnancies.  When the time is near, we may go on foal watch, and some rely upon camera systems in barns, and some(like us) do it the old-fashioned way.  The number of nights I’ve spent waiting for a mare’s seeming imminent delivery probably adds up to nearly a year.  One year, this paid off as two mares consecutively  delivered their foals in what’s known as a “red bag” delivery, in which the placenta detaches prematurely, and the foal is slowly being asphyxiated as the mare delivers the placenta ahead of or in tandem with the foal.  This is a situation in which human intervention is critical.  One of the two was turning rapidly blue by the time we could grasp the hooves and begin to pull the foal free.  We were in resuscitation mode before that foal was fully free of the mare.  Both survived.  Do you think any horseman on earth goes through all of this simply to pack them off to slaughter as their primary, or secondary, or even tertiary objective?  No.  The costs of raising that foal make any such intentions self-destructive, at the very least in an economic sense.

Slaughter is what is done with unfit horses for which there is no other use, but it is not the first, second, or even third recourse of any horsemen I know.   The attempt by some so-called “animal lovers” to pretend otherwise is absurd, but what is perhaps downright insane is to suggest that by absconding with the property rights of horse owners, they can somehow prevent actual suffering, or “save horses.”   Horses live longer in human ownership than they do in the wild, even with slaughter permitted, so to pretend they’re out to help horses is to carry out a ruse:  You can’t be in favor of horses and stand against the rights of those who own them.

We horsemen shouldn’t be afraid to say this.

Reality Check: Horses and Slaughter

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

It's Time to Face Reality

I’ve had horses for a long time.  I love horses.  It’s fair to say that I know a good deal about them, and have successfully bred and raised them, and also taken mercy on horses by relieving them of undue suffering.  It’s also fair to say that one of the things I have learned in all my time with horses is that some people, most of whom have never owned a horse, have no idea what is entailed in the ownership, maintenance, and medical demands of a horse.  Too many people have a “happy-talk” view of horses that does not match reality.  Too many people believe that they shouldn’t ever be slaughtered, because it’s a fate too cruel to contemplate as some of the same people wolf down hamburgers or buckets of chicken.

The Congress has finally lifted an effective ban enacted five years ago on the slaughter of horses for human consumption here in the US, and the lifting  of this folly in law will finally permit some hope for an industry that has suffered grave harm because some in government have been listening to the well-meaning, but uninformed folks who believe that horses should be exempt from the same fate as other livestock.  Some of you are going to hate me after this post, but so be it.  If you’ve not yet tackled this truth, today is your day.  The truth is that with the glut of unwanted horses now flooding the market, all horses are suffering as a result.  More are being abandoned, and more are slowly starving, because owners have been deprived of one method of disposal because some people don’t like it.

People talk about the cruelty of horse slaughter, as if it is any more cruel for a horse than for a cow, pig, or sheep.  Newsflash:  It’s no different.  If you like bacon dressing your plate of eggs and hash, you’d better grip reality.  Slaughter is what it is.  I make no excuses for it, because it is necessary.  If you’re one of those “vegans” who believe that eating all meat is bad, congratulations on your philosophical consistency, but at the same time, I offer you my condolences since growing children need meat proteins and if you’re not providing them to children in your care because of your beliefs on slaughter or meat, I think you’re a blooming idiot.  The simple fact of the matter is that humans need meat in their diets.  You can murmur and whine all you like, and you can call me names until you’re blue in the face, but our nature is not that of a herbivore. Nature didn’t give you incisors to slice through veggies.  Deal with it.

Now as to the particulars of horses, let’s get something straight:  Long before mankind saddled up on horseback, early man was rubbing his belly after a fine meal of horse meat.  Horse is leaner than beef from cattle, and is every bit as nutritious.  In World War I, when most of the world still fought wars on foot and on horseback, the United States sent more than a million head of horse to Europe to fight the war.  None came home.  Most of the surviving horses went to feed a starving continent in the aftermath of that war, and millions of Frenchmen and Germans, among others, owed their survival to a diet of horse stew.  This was less than one-hundred years ago, meaning there are many still around who remember those days.  Check in with them before condemning horse slaughter.  It wasn’t only the meat that the Europeans used.  As in any such calamitous circumstance, almost every part of the horse was used, including the coats, from which winter clothing was made.  My wife still has a coat passed down to her through generations that finds its origin in that period.  She doesn’t wear it, but it remains as a reminder of her heritage and how her family like so many in Europe were forced to survive.

Having covered the purely practical questions, let’s move on to the economic ones.  Horse slaughter fulfills a vital function in the horse industry:  It puts to good use animals that would otherwise be dumped in landfills or buried in massive pits.  As it stands, we have a surplus of horses since the prohibition on federal funding of inspections of horses slaughtered for human consumption enacted through Congress five years ago.  It has long been true that excess horses found their way to slaughter because only the most useful animals are kept.  There are a few organizations that run horse rescue operations, but the truth is that those subsist almost entirely on charity, and in these hard economic times, they’ve been suffering, and a few have even gotten themselves into trouble, unable to feed or care for the growing number of discarded horses.  Too many people have come to the irrational view of horses as pets, but this is a nonsensical view that cannot be sustained in the real world.  Horses are livestock, and when treated as such in the market, the market handles the problems associated.

In days gone by, but thankfully perhaps now returning, horses past their usefulness went to “the glue factory,” as the euphemism promised.  Only the rare horse, perhaps famous for racing or other equestrian endeavor managed to avoid this fate.  The reason is simple enough to understand, and I know a thing or two about it:  Horses are expensive to maintain, feed, and pasture or stable, and because they are no longer a necessity of our culture, the demand for them comes only from entertainment, sports, and yes, that practice of slaughter for food and other byproducts. As a matter of economics, the lack of slaughter has devalued all  horses, because we now have a glut of unwanted horses too infirm from old injuries and old age to ever be of use other than as pasture ornaments.  Let’s conduct an economic exercise:  When slaughter was legal, we saw prices of nearly $0.60/lb. for horse on the hoof.  This meant that a 1000lb. horse could be expected to bring six-hundred dollars.  While that’s not a great deal of money, if the horse is fit for no other use, that’s the most the horse is worth.  You can attempt to attach non-market emotional value to the horse, but that’s a matter of subjective considerations that has nothing to do with the market.  Now, let’s take that same horse, and rather than slaughter, let’s euthanize the horse.  Depending on the veterinarian, that may cost anywhere from $100 to $300, or more.  Then you must dispose of the carcass.  Yes, horses go somewhere, and most of them end up in a landfill.  You can expect to pay between $200 and $300 for that.  Let’s stay on the cheap side of this argument. Let’s assume you euthanize and dispose of the horse for a grand total of $300.  As compared to taking that same horse to slaughter, you’re out $900.  Math is hard.  Nature is harder.

Let’s imagine that this animal is going to be kept as a pasture ornament.  Let’s just say we’re going to keep the animal around indefinitely.  You will spend an average of $1500 annually on veterinary care, and another $600 on farriers’ services, and you will feed the horse hay and some sort of bulk protein in the form of grain or pelletized feed products.  The average one-thousand pound horse is going to consume $40 in hay and $20 in feed for a week.  Do the math.  You’re going to spend a load of money on a horse that isn’t doing anything else.  It’s not at all difficult to suggest that with the average horse, even bargain-shopping on all the necessities, you’re going to spend $5000 per year to maintain the existence of the animal.   At present, the average healthy young horse does not fetch $1000 at a sale in my home state.  I want you to think about that reality: On average, in my state, if you can give a horse away, you’re doing well.  Texas has some particular problems in its horse market brought about by politicians, but nationwide, the industry has suffered from this horse slaughter ban.  Too many unfit, infirm animals are taking up too many resources, because for the last five years, we have been prevented from slaughtering the excess.  While horses haven’t been going to slaughter, many horse farms have been killed off, because they can no longer sell their product at a profit for all the useless animals stacking up all over the country.

Now, before some PETA-minded “animals have rights too” whack-job starts in on me, no, I have never personally shipped a horse to slaughter.  Every horse we’ve ever had that became seriously injured or sick was euthanized.  Yes, I paid the freight to haul off their carcasses, but understand that in all but one hopeless case, we tried to save the horse first, meaning its meat was unfit for human consumption anyway due to the medications that were used in the animal’s treatment.  With perhaps all but one of them, if I had known that the treatments would have been futile, and that they were going to die irrespective of our veterinary efforts, I would rather they had gone to slaughter than spend untold thousands on treatments that were ultimately followed by euthanasia and disposal.  At least that way, some good would have come of them.

I realize that seems harsh to some people.  Part of this sense is born of the fact that some people mistake livestock for pets.  Pets live indoors. Pets are generally in some manner housebroken.  If you’ve managed that with an equine, you’ve one serious horse-whisperer.  The simple fact is that the bias in favor of horses on the part of some resides purely in their minds, much like any other bias.  I mentioned “all but one of them,” and that was such a case, where my bias in favor of the horse would have caused me to expend a good deal more if the veterinarians had not convinced me it would be fruitless.  It had nothing to do with the horse’s market worth, but his worth to me personally, but the fact that one particular horse was especially valuable to me doesn’t change the fact that horses are livestock.

I also think with the shape of things in our world, the time is quickly coming when we will have no room for purely sentimental legislation that effectively leads to asinine bans on the slaughter of horses for human consumption.  The simple truth that none of the do-gooders ever address is that horses will die. All horses will die.  How they will die comes down in many cases to human choice, but the only end accomplished by slaughter bans is to deny to horse owners a residual, token amount for the tens of thousands of dollars they will have spent over the life of a horse, and to make those owners slaves to animals long beyond their use.  You can call me a mean and ruthless bastard if you like, but the truth of the matter is something else entirely.

I love horses, but  I know that the only way we will preserve them is that if they are maintained as private property.  A thing is defined as property in part by the right of its owner to use and dispose of it.  If the argument of the anti-slaughter advocates is that I should be denied the use and disposal of my property, they are merely communists acting under another claim of “the public interest,” or “the public good.”  If I knew who inserted that provision into the bill that eliminated the ban, I would give them a big sloppy kiss and $100 toward their re-election.  So would most others in the horse husbandry business.   It’s not that any of us in the horse industry seek to slaughter horses, but we know so long as they exist, this will be necessary, if unpleasant.

Follow-up: A Note to Horsemen

One Reason to Love Texas

Friday, October 28th, 2011

A Texas Original

I’ve lived in Texas for more than two decades. Soon, I’ll have spent half my life here, and one thing Texas never lacks is its own particular flavor. Once you get away from the large cities, you find people to be a good deal more plain-spoken, and that’s the way we like it. Sometimes, that tendency to plain-spoken candor leads to what might seem unusual, mildly offensive, but most frequently hilarious to non-Texans. Crockett Keller owns a store in Mason, Texas, a small town in a vast county with not much to see. It’s called Keller’s Riverside Store, and it isn’t much to look at, just the sort of place you expect to see in a west-central Texas town.

Nestled near the Llano River, one of the services Mr. Keller offers is the instruction necessary to obtain a concealed-carry handgun license.

Here is his radio advertisement for that class. Pay close attention to the last 20 seconds:







Update: Now they’re going after Crockett Keller

What Is a Right?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

By What Right?

Earlier Monday evening, I posted a short article about how activists are pushing to create “broadband Internet Access as a civil right.”  To a strict constitutional constructionist and ardent advocate of natural law like me, who realizes what a right is and a right isn’t, it seems preposterous to suggest that such a thing could be a right.  I say “seemed” because while I knew that there exist people in whose minds such obnoxious notions flourish, I’d never suspected that one would find his way into my email.  Not very many people come to my blog without some understanding of what I believe or to which principles I generally subscribe.  As if to prove the rule by the exception, despite my preconceived notions about my readers, I nevertheless found the following in my email inbox not more than an hour after publishing the earlier  article:

Subject: who made U God?

From: [Name Withheld]

You dont run sh*%! I gotta right to whatever I can get. it’s my world, bro.  You just some old dude in a fu$%@!-up hat. I’ll take YOUR internet, you whinin b*%(&!  Deal with THAT.  everybody deserves fast web access. its our world now, and your gen has to get out of the way cause were gonna get ours!!!

Yes, I’ve edited out some expletives, but minus a little clean-up, this is the actual text. I’ve kept his name out of this because I don’t want anybody sending him e-mails in response, and I don’t have his permission to release his email address.  Nevertheless, I think he deserves an answer, much of which he will either fail to grasp or simply dismiss as the complaint of an “old dude in a fu$%@!-up hat.”  Apart from the fact that I’m 45, and I like my fedora, I am going to answer him here, and send him a link when I’m finished.  I thought I should share it with you because he seems to represent the precise sort of people we must now confront if we are to restore our nation: Violently ignorant, and seemingly beyond our reach, this man-child is exemplar of why the welfare state must be demolished.

[Man-Child]: I’ll do my best to answer you without over-complicating the matter, knowing that you’ll likely surf out of here before reading my full answer.  After all, you’re born of the drive-thru and drive-by generation, and the accumulation of knowledge among your peers, apparently increasing in number, is frequently left to random chance and what you talk about amongst yourselves.  On the small chance that you wound up on my site wanting actual information, I’m prepared to offer it to you in a way I hope you’ll understand.

I’m betting you own a cell phone.  It’s probably one of those nifty smart-phones with all the latest apps and features.  Your generation seems addicted to the things, but I’d like to ask you some questions about it: Did you buy it?  Do you pay for a monthly plan?  Do you know how it works?  Do you know how your signal finds its way to your friend, either across the street or on the other end of the country?  Do you know how that signal is formatted?  Do you know what a packet is?  Do you understand subnets? Left to you, could you replicate any part of the technology?  Who does know, if you don’t?  What do you suppose would happen to your precious phone if not for the people from whom you now threaten to steal a so-called “right?”

Do you know what a right is?  A right is a natural entitlement of liberty that requires the consent of no others for its exercise, and imposes no positive obligation upon any other.  If what you propose requires the actions or consent of others, it cannot be a “right.”

You have a right to free speech.  You may not require me to purchase a printing press or a television station on which to express it. You can’t force me to do anything.  You can’t even force me to listen.  Your right extends solely to the limits of your own person, and in no way to the persons or properties of others.

You have a right to worship as you please, or not worship at all. You may not demand that I build for you a church in which to practice your religion, nor may you burn mine down if it offends you.  Neither may you compel me to believe as you do, just as I have no right to compel you to my beliefs. There can be no right to violate the rights of others.

Our system of laws is predicated on the notion that these natural rights, codified among many others in our Bill of Rights, must be guaranteed to all people, equally.  You propose to take my highspeed Internet access.  How will you do that?  For what period do you think I or others would willingly pay your bill?

If you want the proof that there can be no such thing as a right to free Internet service, ask yourself this: What will happen if the people who you would compel to provide it simply refused?  Would you beat them all up?  Would you kill them?  Would you threaten all their families?  Even if you wiped all of them out, could you make it work in their absence, or repair it when it inevitably breaks, or otherwise repair the equipment when it simply wears out?  Will you build new equipment?  How? In the factories you’ll seize because you believe you have a right to them too?

All it takes to deny your alleged “right” is that the people who you would coerce to provide it answer you with a single word, and mean it.  That word is: No!

Now consider your right to free speech: Without doing violence to you, or threatening it, how can anybody deny your speech? They cannot.  All they can do is ignore it, or answer it, or urge others to use those same alternatives.  This is how you know it’s a right.

In much the same way, we each have a natural right to self-defense as the first personal guarantee of all our rights.  It is true that if your mob is large enough, you will eventually subdue even that right, but in fairness, I must tell you that you may wish to cower at the rear, because the front ranks of your mob will catch literal hell for at least a little while.

Most of the other people from whom you’ll seek to claim your imagined “right to Internet access” will probably feel approximately the same as me, but the simple fact is that in the end, you can only have such a “right” temporarily at best. Prepare yourself for the day that your bullying attitude no longer holds sway in the public discourse. Many Americans now stand ready to repel you, if need be, although most, myself included, still have some hope that you will amend your ways, and perhaps participate with the rest of us in paying for the things you desire by your own efforts and labors, as we have done.

The choice is ultimately yours, but you have no right to that which is not your own by right, and coercion, theft and extortion don’t make a thing yours by right.  Earning it does. Give it a try.  Generations of Americans have done so, and I think you’ll find it infinitely more pleasing in the long run than the approach you now suggest.

Thank you.

Mark [America]

What Sort of Freedom Do You Seek?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Freedom From Life

What sort of freedom do you seek?  Most Americans have been taught to think about freedom as something deeply personal, and something perfectly natural.  People everywhere desire to have freedom, but it is in examining what sort of freedom they’re seeking that you can learn the nature of their desires.  It’s easy to make a mistake and suppose that we’re all after the same things, and that some basic vision of liberty is common to all people.  A simple examination of history disclaims the thesis, and you needn’t look far to realize that not everybody who pretends to seek it is after the sort of freedom our founders envisioned.  Not every person who claims liberty as their guide has the same ultimate vision in mind.

Those of us who’ve studied the founders realize that the essence of the freedom they advocated was the sort that comported well with natural law.   Freedom, in their view, was a natural entitlement that left one able to choose one’s own course.  There was no entitlement to the means of exercising that freedom, but only the freedom to attain those means on one’s own, by one’s own efforts, in voluntary exchange with others exercising the same freedoms.  As an example, a person has a right to freedom of expression, but not a right to the material instruments of that expression, such as a bullhorn, a forum in which to speak, a printing press, or any other physical implementation of that freedom.  As a right, these things would of necessity be provided you by others, whose freedoms would first be negated as you took from them what was theirs, in violation of their freedoms.  This is the sort of freedom at which Barack Obama has sneered in his laments over our Constitution as a charter of negative liberties.

Now enter the collectivists and other various statists. Their view of freedom is entirely different, as is their view of nature. One could say it is an entirely unnatural view – one predicated on notions not based in reality – that drives these people. A good representation of them may be found in their Second Bill of Rights, and it includes every preposterous notion necessary to demonstrate their disconnection from reality.

The central theme of these is the freedom from some lack of material necessity.  Freedom from hunger.  Freedom from unemployment. Freedom from homelessness.  Freedom from the fears of old age.  Freedom from a lack of medical care.

As we examine these things, they must be considered a terribly thoughtless lot of ‘freedoms.’  They seek to relieve people of concerns for the material means of their lives. Reason knows that in one’s whole existence, one can never be free of such concerns, and yet for some purpose, FDR and his minions pursued this ideal.  They’re pursuing it still today.  The President and his comrades in Washington  are pursuing the idea that you should be freed from the burdens of maintaining your existence, promising it will be at the expense of everyone else.

What they seek is impossible.

What they seek, in truth, boiled down to its fundamental base, is a freedom from the burdens of living.  Notice that what they demand you be provided are all the material things that give purpose to all human life, and indeed, all life: The material necessities with which to live, survive, and thrive.  In what endeavor would you spend your life, if there was no cause to rouse you from bed?  If there was no further need to attain anything, to what purpose would your days belong?

Any rational adult ought to know that these are things one must attain on one’s own, by one’s own efforts.  Yet in the leftist mind, it is considered that these things ought to be provided every person, without fail, from somewhere.  Never is the identity of that place discussed.  Never is it made plain the method by which this is to be attained.   It is left unstated.   It is left unsaid.  It’s not that they don’t know it.  They do.  They know that all these things to be provided from somewhere, somehow, really always boil down to somebody, and that somebody is you.

There, finally, is the truth:  What they work very hard not to let you see is that they intend for everybody to become that somebody. If you have two nickels to clink together in your pocket, they will take one, at least, to free you from the noise of their clinking. If you have two slices of bread with which to make a sandwich, if only you could obtain some meat, they will relieve you of at least one, so you no longer need the meat.  What leftists, and indeed all collectivists demand is that you give up the notion of your own means to existence and first consider the existence of every other, even to your detriment, and even unto death.

Why would they pursue this?  What would lead them to think this could work?  Simply put, they don’t believe it.  They want it, but they don’t believe it.  What all their wishing provides to them is cover against learning what it is their real motive.  They don’t wish to see with their own eyes the nature of the beast they worship.  The simple truth is that they hope to extend their own miserable lives by each day’s worth they can graft from all they’ll coerce you to pay, allegedly for the good of some other.

In order to relieve you of the means of existence, while convincing you that they will relieve you of your fears over them, what must they do, in fact?

Put another way, how can they ultimately relieve you of your fears of old age, homelessness, joblessness, hunger, and a lack of healthcare? How can they do that?  There is only one means to that escape from reality, and it lies in the dark abyss at the bottom of their well of horrors:


Only in death can you escape these necessities.  Only in death can you avoid the fear of lacking for them.  Only in death is it possible to exist without the means of existence.  All of them shrink from this truth, every one, but all of them know it’s at the root of their beliefs. This is why everything they plan and plot and wish to perform demands, as a prerequisite, the unfettered legal authority to coerce you.

How else could you be marched off a cliff?  Would you not revolt if it were not for the gun to your head?

They know it.  This is why they work to get you to accept their guns, but wish to deny you yours.  This is why they strip from you, at every turn, the means of resistance.  Once you’re bound and shackled and disarmed, and gagged for good measure, what choice will you have but to do their bidding as they frog-march you into oblivion?

Please consider this each time you see or hear one of these collectivists demanding your head or your wallet on a plate, and know that this is their desire.  Realize that they are willing and happy to separate you from your means to your own existence, and then ponder what that must imply about their ultimate designs for you.  Understand that they want death for themselves too, but as perpetual cowards, they aren’t willing to go alone, or first.  After all, that’s why they have you.

When somebody tells you they’re after freedom too, before you accept their sincerity as the unchallenged proof of their motives,  you might first ask them what sort of freedom it is that they seek.  It may well be nothing like the liberty you have in mind.

Bi-Partisan War on the Tea Party and Sarah Palin

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Who Shall They Blame?

There has been a sudden wave of attacks by the DC establishment against Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  You know something is afoot when forces of the elites of left and right begin to unite, with Bill O’Reilly, and his recent mini-me, Laura Ingraham, along with all the other usual suspects, aligning with such leftist jackals as Maureen Dowd, who today compares the Tea Party members of Congress to suicide bombers. Foxnews is busily hustling Tea Party critics into their studio and via live feed, to claim that the Tea Party is to blame for our current crisis.  With Foxnews having secured a lock on many Republican minds, they’re now free to push stories fitting the corporate messaging in service to the DC establishment.

Presidential candidate and Representative Thaddeus McCotter appeared onscreen in the well of the House to urge Tea Party members to “grow up.”  Cut back to the studio, and former Harry Reid aid Penny Lee explains in exasperated tones that the Tea Party is too single-minded and inflexible.  The week’s Washington meme continues to spread, and it has exactly two targets.  Laura Ingraham was nearly bursting to tell us that Palin was wrong to call out Tea Party freshmen who supported the Boehner bill. Penny Lee showed her hand, positioning Sarah Palin as the problem.  She called Palin “irresponsible” for urging Tea Party members of the House to oppose the Boehner plan.  That’s right, I want you to think about the true meaning of this revelation:  An allegedly conservative talk-host, in place of Bill O’Reilly, and a former lackey to Harry Reid shows up on Foxnews to attack the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, in defense of the Speaker Boehner’s plan.  Hint: Boehner and Reid are leaders of [allegedly]adversarial parties.

As I said, when you begin to see this sort of union between alleged adversaries, you must know that something else is going on. There’s no disguising it any longer. The battle lines being drawn aren’t between Republicans and Democrats, or even between so-called RINOs and conservatives. The fault line is a good deal larger than that, and it threatens a ground-shift large enough to entirely reform the GOP as you’ve known it.

What the American people should take from all of this isn’t the media narrative that the Tea Party is a pack of wild government-haters, or that Sarah Palin is somehow the ‘queen hobbit,’ but instead that under the current establishment dominating Washington on both sides of the aisle, there is a two party system, but it is not the parties you’d thought. At this point, it isn’t so much Democrats versus Republicans as it is the entire DC beltway establishment versus the rest of us.  In the unveiling of this new Axis-of-Evil, what we find is that Democrats and Republicans, along with their respective shills in the media, are suddenly willing to unite in order to defend America as they command it against that greatest of all threats to their vision:  Americans.

Discussing this development over coffee with a friend this morning, I was asked, pointedly: “Okay, but why Sarah Palin, and not Michele Bachmann? Isn’t she a Tea Party candidate too?”  I chuckled and explained to my friend that unlike Sarah Palin, who is independent of and from the DC-insider crowd, Michele Bachmann is effectively one of their number.  Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus in Congress doesn’t exist so much to forward the aims of the Tea Party position as it does for the House Republican leadership to better control and shape and guide it.  In all likelihood, Michele Bachmann may not even realize it, but she’s never had a particularly thorough grasp of the obvious.  As our conversation wound down, and we prepared to part company, the friend’s smart-phone went off with a news flash: Bill Maher endorsed Michele Bachmann over Sarah Palin. My friend turned the phone so I could read the headline, and said with a note of conceding confirmation: “Well, you said it. We now know the fix is in.”

One of the other questions my friend had asked that bears a further examination is: “Why is Sarah Palin different?  She’s a Republican, isn’t she? So why do they see a threat from her?”  My friend hadn’t been able to tear away from work to go see The Undefeated with us when we made the long drive to Grapevine, but that film answers it as clearly as can be:  Sarah Palin is not a Republican in the way we’ve come to think of the circles of Republican power-brokers.  Instead, she’s the sort of Republican we envision when we think about ordinary Americans and America.  In short, she’s truly more loyal to what America is and has been, and to what real Americans believe, than she is to any party’s establishment.  For Sarah Palin, the Republican party has served as a vehicle to advocate for America, and for Americans, but it isn’t the final destination.  If the GOP runs afoul of American ideals, she’s the sort who will immediately seek to set it straight.

In truth, this is what characterizes the Tea Party too.  Contrary to the media myths designed to scare Republicans, Independents, and not a few centrist Democrats away from the Tea Party, the Tea Party is an expression of these same American ideals, which explains why so many of them are actually either former Republicans or even current Republicans, who have decided the party’s excuse-making simply isn’t good enough any longer.  Never completely comfortable with some of the corporatist tendencies of those at the top of the party, Tea Party members seem no longer willing to bow down to them.

This makes the Tea Party Palin’s natural constituency.  Less concerned with party labels, or what the media permits may be possible, they concern themselves with a singular goal: The restoration of the representative, constitutional republic.  The very notion of the resurgence of true conservatism is anathema to the clique of progressives who manage the Republican party.   In truth, while at times a few rare Republicans have risen to re-direct the GOP back to that sort of course, notably Ronald Reagan, what’s often forgotten is that predominately, most of the Republicans of the last century have been merely right-leaning progressives.

That notion of governance has never found widespread acceptance among actual conservatives, who have always looked with a raised eyebrow at some of the antics of the progressive wing of the party.  This tension in the Republican party served to elevate Ronald Reagan to the White House, too, and while the Republican establishment claims him, it is nevertheless a sort of tepid, grudging admission that “the Gipper” had it right.  They spent much of his presidency attempting to co-opt him, but they know they will have no such chance in a prospective Palin administration.  You can identify these slack-jawed progressives, as they pounce on every political sea change, great or small, to let you know the “era of Reagan is over.”  If that era is over, Americans haven’t noticed, as time after time, the American people now thoroughly recognize the historical impact of Reagan.

It’s in this context that the DC axis now goes to war, simultaneously against the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.  They see the seeds of a greater movement flaring, and it’s their full intention to stamp it out.  With it looking increasingly likely to pundits that Sarah Palin will jump in, after months of sneeringly assuring you she won’t, the full-court press to defame her is back on, either directly, or by association with the Tea Party, and it’s coming to its fully offensive vigor.  When the establishment heard, as reported here Friday, that Rush Limbaugh told his millions of listeners, in defending Tea Party principles on-air that “We’re all Sarah Palin now,” the DC consortium of establishment progressives, both Democrat and Republican, went screaming onto the airwaves in any outlet they could obtain a moment’s attention, to tell audiences of Republicans and Independents that the Tea Party is bad and Sarah Palin is not to be trusted.

What the establishment crowd never seems to sort out is that with the state of the Union being what it is, with the economy already sliding off the cliff into something like a permanent depression as revealed by Friday’s GDP reporting, it’s too late to avoid the consequences of their actions and inaction, but it’s never too late in Washington to shift the blame.  The American people have begun to wake up, and what they’re noticing is not that Sarah Palin is the problem, or that the Tea Party is to blame, but that progressives in Washington have been our perennial and persistent problem, irrespective the particular party to which they may be attached.

This recognition is catching fire among one of America’s most sought-after cultural, economic, and political segments:  Those at, above, or within twenty years of retirement age, have begun to step forward with courage usually reserved to the brash and the young, to question the course of the country under the direction of the elites in the GOP.  Naturally more conservative, but far more thorough in their understanding of the issues at stake, this demographic seems poised to reassert control, if only they’ll speak up. After all, in truth, these are the adults in the room, but unlike generations past, this segment is now finding its voice.  Increasingly, they’re using it, and they’re re-establishing bonds with the younger generations from which they’ve been isolated intentionally, by DC planners, and they’re streaming into social media in a way not ordinarily associated with the more mature crowd.

Neither is it accidental that rather than fulfilling the media template that’s been created in the Axis of the Establishment, they’re better educated, more discerning, and far more politically adept and savvy than the narrative  admits.  They’re more patient information-gatherers, and more accustomed to considering a broader range of information in forming their own opinions.  They’re also more prepared by a lifetime of experience to recognize when they’re being ‘played.’  They’ve suspected this for some time, but now they’re coming to know it with a forthright certitude about the motives of the man behind the curtain.  Increasingly, despite their position of recently-disparaged respect in their communities and their families, they’ve begun to rise in voice and in volume against the ill tide afflicting our nation and its people. Most of all, what this group does reliably these days is to vote.  They’re still opinion leaders in their families and communities, and their influence is increasingly palpable.  No longer satisfied to leave the management of the country to false promises and falsified intentions, they constitute a vigorous element, perhaps the driving element, of the Tea Party movement.

For my part, I am at the younger end of this group.  I’ve paid attention to these issues since I was a teen, and I loved little as much as, when still a teenager, to be reminded by my own grandmother of the sort of America that existed before the rise of the so-called  “progressives.”  The Axis of DC-Evil would have us believe that such an America no longer exists, and that it isn’t possible to restore it, but I see in the eyes of my own daughter, and her husband too, a longing to return not to the technology of yesteryear, but instead to the sort of culture that had made all our advancements possible.  That America isn’t dead, though official Washington wishes it were so.  It’s alive in me, and despite the increasing groans from my aging joints, I’m far from dead. I can still stand.  That America lives on in our children and grandchildren too, despite all the attempts of the popular culture to cleave them from us.  Americans sense it not only in the ideals of the Tea Party, but also in the person of Sarah Palin.  As I survey the battlefield, I see millions of Americans rising to stand with me.

Not accustomed to activism, this is the moment for this movement to begin its own drumbeat, but rather than fighting it out in the mass media, already owned or at least controlled and dominated by the progressives’ Axis of the Establishment, we’re seeing something quite different this time. In many millions of one-on-one conversations, or talks with neighbors and family, this too-long-silent majority is beginning to flex its moral and philosophical muscle.  That prospect represents a real hope for a national restoration.  No longer willing to be casually mocked by the pop-culture taunts, I recently found good cause to smile while in observance of one fleeting moment of revelation.

In the entry-way at Walmart, I was waiting with the cart, for my wife to catch up, she having stopped briefly to examine some item on our way out of the store.  On the little public bulletin board there were posted some bits of Tea Party literature, and a woman roughly my age was looking at items on the board.  Her two increasingly impatient teen daughters, noticing the direction of their mother’s gaze, clearly wanted to get on to the next stop on their shopping itinerary.  One, rolling her eyes, and looking at the other, said “Pff… Tea Party?” The other answered, “Yeah…Lame.” In a head-spinning maneuver reminiscent of the exorcist, the woman spun to her daughters with a look of hurt and indignation demanding: “Who in the hell has been polluting your brains? Are you really calling me lame, or is it that you didn’t know I’m in the Tea Party, too?” The two girls looked searchingly to one another, in the hope that the other would speak first, but in near unison, they admitted, “well, that’s what people are saying.”  Unmoved by the trite explanation, Mom now roused from her cheerful Saturday outing with her daughters, further demanding:What people?”

After a moment of silence from the two, the mother stated more calmly: “It looks like we need to talk. Busy as I’ve been, I guess I need to spend more time talking to you two about some things.”  Her tone was just grave enough to evoke a response from first one, and then the other: “What things, Mom?” and “Why, what’s going on?” Leading them out the door and into the parking lot, as she passed me, I could not help but notice two things, one of them at first hidden from view by position, and the other concealed only slightly by her determination not to loose her frustrations too publicly: On the shoulder strap of her purse was affixed a button bearing a name and the image of a  grizzly. Over her shoulder, to her daughters, she issued a knowing poke: “It’s time that the two of you learned what’s going on, and why this country is on the verge of disaster.”

These sorts of incidents are increasing in frequency, but short as their duration may be in the public eye, it’s almost certain to be true that away from prying eyes and listening ears, parents and grandparents alike have begun their own quiet campaign in opposition to the media culture.  That is what may be the most disturbing trend the DC intelligentsia have identified: Little by little, in families, church groups, and among neighbors, there’s a grass-fire kindling that threatens to unseat all of them.  The audiences aren’t large, but the proponents need no television to reach their target audience. They live with them, worship alongside them, and talk over the fence with them.  It’s this that the Washington Axis is seeking to quench and stamp out, but they’re powerless except by the absence or silence of those adults in the room, who after all, really do know better.

This is the nature of the escalating war against Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  Not controlled by the corporate masters who have had some hand in guiding Republican politics, the Tea Party and Sarah Palin represent an abiding threat to the DC elites.  In no hurry to concede control to “the little people,” the Beltway Axis is banding together in a last-ditch effort to banish both Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, to prevent them from reclaiming for Americans the seat of national power.  It’s here the battle lines are drawn, and if history is a guide, to the home army goes the advantage.  It’s our country, and there’s little left but for us to rise and re-establish that.  Nothing frightens the Washington elites more.

Time to Woman-Up

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Birds of a Feather?

One of the cultural developments of the latter decades of the 20th century, now at full song in the 21st, is the increasing role women play in the halls of power.  Movement in this direction promises to accelerate, as for decades now, many more young women pursue college degrees than do young men.  For the first years of this phenomenon, it was a decidedly liberal trend.  Women in the political world were mostly of a liberal stripe, with several noteworthy exceptions.  Frequently demeaned as less able or less strong, many of the early entries into the field went out of their way to mimic strong male figures in their behavior in order to stifle these chauvinistic criticisms. Often, this led to suppression of their femininity, in character and fashion.

In that sense, it was a hard time to be a woman in elected office. All of that has changed forever, as women now enter into politics from other professional fields, and no longer feel the need to mimic men. Contrary to expectations based on notions about pervasive chauvinism, it has been widely embraced by voters both male and female.  This, in turn, has had a wonderful effect on the nation’s young women: Raised predominately to believe their sex is no actual limitation upon their success, surveys indicate that detailed political awareness is more common among young women than their male peers.  Of all current female politicians, none is having a greater positive effect on America’s young women than Sarah Palin.

The effect Sarah Palin has had on America’s young women has been amazing.  As a role model, she’s a wife, a mother, and an entrepreneur, as well as a politician.  More importantly, perhaps, Sarah Palin has made it normal again for young women to be conservative.  This is the property of Sarah Palin’s effect that the left most earnestly seeks to smash.  Having enjoyed a philosophical edge among young women for two generations, this portends a great shift in the nature of what is feminism, particularly should Palin become President.  The effect might well be so thorough as to create a generations-long shift in the baseline political leanings and thinking of women.

Many women have felt the need to delay family to have careers, or set aside careers in the name of family. What Sarah Palin shows young women is that through a committed, enduring marriage, and a lifelong devotion to purpose, women really can have it all.  Little else could provide a more inspiring and powerful symbol to aspiring young women.  I see this, even now, in my own daughter.  She and millions of other young women view Palin as a sort of symbol of the rise of women to true equality.  You might call it “Feminism 2.0.”

The other glass ceiling Governor Palin is likely to shatter, particularly should she be elected President, is the psychological one young women have imposed on themselves by virtue of adherence to pop-culture stereotyping.  More and more, the balance of women to men in the fields of technology is shifting towards parity.  Even in that traditionally male-dominated sphere of engineering and the hard sciences, women are lining up in greater numbers to put their minds to work in more thoroughly intellectual fields.  It’s never been for lack of talent or ability, but for an inculcated lack of confidence.  Now, women study aeronautical engineering alongside men, and compete for seats in the academies of the Air Force and the Navy, not to be nurses, but to be combat pilots launching from and landing on floating steel postage stamps in the vast oceans of our world.

This limitless view of their own potential is further buttressed by Sarah Palin.  Fierce determination in the face of crushing media mockery that has adopted a decidedly sexist tinge offers up yet another example of both grace and strength under fire.  The passion in her approach is particularly appealing to young women, who see a forceful leader unencumbered by earlier stereotypes about strong women.  This bodes well for the future of our country, and it is in this way particularly that a President Sarah Palin is likely to have an enduring cultural effect on the nation.  With her as an example, the nation could hardly fare better, and the effect will be immediate.  In certain respects, it already has been.


If you watch Sarah Palin traverse a public event, or really anytime she shows up in the public space, you’ll notice something odd begin to happen. Observing her in public, as she pauses to talk to people in the adoring crowds, you’ll notice that she comes to be surrounded by a growing number of young women if she stays in one place very long.  It’s more than just your typical political star-power display, and it’s really not coincidental.  She’s a powerful magnet to young women who want to emulate her:  Strong and independent, but decidedy feminine.  This may be the secret power of Sarah Palin’s true political advantage.  While she captivates every crowd, none are more fully engaged with Governor Palin than the multitudes of young women who see her as a powerful icon of their own potential.

The coming campaign season promises new and exciting possibilities, but for young women, like my daughter, who have been taught that their sex is no limitation upon their futures, with the prospect of Sarah Palin’s entry into the race, this election may well offer the final proof of that thesis to the enduring delight of millions of young women and girls both here at home, and around the world.

I’m Crushed and I Feel Like Vomiting

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Surrendering Honor - Colonel Sell-Out

I come to you with a heavy heart.  I hate when these things happen, but I hate it more when they’re swept under the rug.   Suffice it to say that this is stunning to me.  At 7pm, during the newsbreak between the 2nd and 3rd hours of the Mark Levin show, I heard on my radio a thing that I couldn’t believe I was hearing.  It shouldn’t have been possible.  It shouldn’t have been real.  It should have been only a bad dream, but now I know it wasn’t a mistake.  I furiously surfed around until I found confirmation on one website of what I had just heard.  Shaking with disappointment and anger, I realized that another Washington politician, in whom I had placed so much hope-filled trust, had just thrown me under the bus.  It wasn’t me alone.  No, with me went all the Tea Party people and the folks who participated in a “Levin Surge” on his behalf less than a week ago.  Under the bus went all his promises, all the now-so-apparent false bravado, and the good will and wishes of millions.  What sort of political gun did they put to your head, Congressman Allen West, that would make you think you should abandon all your pledges?

Did they use extortion?  Did they bribe you?   That’s a standard ploy among party bosses.  They call it arm-twisting when they threaten to pull any campaign committee financial support, and when they offer funds in support, they can call it whatever they like, but most of us who supported you would call it a bribe.

Did they dig up some dirt on you?  Did they threaten you with censure for your remarks about that vile congressional Democrat from your neighboring district?  What did they do?

Was it something worse?  Did they find some real personal dirt on you?  Of a personal sort?  Did they dig up some long lost part of your past that you’d prefer stays buried?

What was it?  Surely, it’s not for the reasons in the pathetic statement you made on Fox Business. Surely, it cannot be for the sorry arguments you offered on your Facebook page, can it? On that specious logic, you would sell us out and go along with the perfectly useless Boehner plan?  Is the fact that they’re spending like there’s no tomorrow indicative that there isn’t, and they’ve just now let you in on the secret?   What?   Why?

How does any man go from “We must stand firm on the debt ceiling,” in a clear and concise declaratory fashion, to the weasel-words of surrender in just a couple days?  How does that happen?

You know, I wrote you a letter thanking you for your diligent service to our country.  Remembering what I wrote, and thinking about what it meant for me to say it, I cannot believe that you would do this without some sort of bully tactic being employed against you.  It wouldn’t excuse it, but I would understand it.

I participated in a “Levin Surge” launched on your behalf less than a week ago.  I defended you against that vile nutcase from your neighboring district.  I encouraged you, I took a moral stand with you, and I spoke fondly of your prospects as a future leader in conservatism and in the country at large.

I don’t know what’s happened to you, and I don’t know why you have reversed course, and gone off down this rabbit-hole with Speaker Boehner, but whatever it is, at the bottom of it all, what it means is that you cannot be the man I thought you to be.  Whether for favor or in fear; for expedience or for false wisdom, you have revealed that you were not what you had led us to believe.  All your brave talk, all your tough stands, all of this turned out to be…just a lot of loose talk and posturing.  You didn’t just sell me out.  It isn’t only the Tea Party.  It’s not even the country.  You sold out all you claimed to represent, and all the high principles on which you claimed to stand.  It’s all gone now.  Once again, I put my trust in a politician, and I’ve been betrayed.  Worse than that, however, you’ve betrayed yourself, and those pins you display so proudly on your lapel.  It took honor to earn them.  I wish you had the honor necessary to keep them.  I keep hoping something will surface to vindicate you on the charge that now issues from my mind, but I suspect there will be no exculpatory evidence.

I’m crushed, and I feel like vomiting.

Thank You!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

I wanted to take a moment to thank the readers of this new blog.  It isn’t very often that one gets a chance to thank directly all the people who have supported them in such an endeavor.  Just a few weeks ago, when I logged onto Facebook for the first time, I made a few friends but most of my Facebook friends were people I had already known in my own life.   I suppose that’s fairly normal. I posted a few things, and tried to master the interface.  It wasn’t long after that when I began writing Facebook notes of my own to share with my all of my friends.

An odd thing happened, and I wasn’t quite prepared for it.  I posted a note entitled: Dear Governor Palin: (The Real Front-Runner.)  I had the thought that maybe this was how I could get my simple message to her, and although it was rather lengthy, it boiled down to a plea for her to run for President,  in my own way.  The response was tremendous.  I could scarcely believe so many people would agree with my sentiments and spread them all over the Internet.  Amazingly, they did, and because so many have asked, I have migrated copies of that letter and other Facebook notes over to this blog for the sake of those who enjoyed them.

It wasn’t long before a couple very dedicated folks asked me if I would be willing to share my writing with a wider audience.   Ron Devito, at US4Palin, and Martha Cano at Palin Promotions both graciously asked me to contribute when I felt I could.  Kind readers re-posted my notes all over Facebook, and all around the globe.  I was stunned, but none of that quite prepared me for what was to come.  Conservatives4Palin kindly re-published my Facebook note: Betting the Farm on Sarah Palin.  That note, posted on their site, brought more attention to my Facebook Wall than I quite knew how to handle, as I could scarcely keep up with the replies to it and other notes on the page.  I’ve received hundreds of messages on Facebook from people explaining that my notes moved them or in some way changed their minds about Governor Palin, hardened against her by Lamestream Media propaganda had they become.  They expressed thanks, and once more, I was thoroughly humbled by the gift of their generous words of praise.

At that point, I had accumulated a growing audience on Facebook, and made some tremendously kind and dedicated friends.  I thought that it could hardly be any better than that: Sharing one’s thoughts with those of varied but similar convictions, from all around the country, and having the fantastic opportunity to read their ideas too, is a precious experience, and I thoroughly enjoy it still.  Far too many fine and diligent minds never find their voice in our busy, information-driven culture, but there I saw people able to laugh and love and learn without the impediments that often obstruct friendship and understanding.

Just as I came to believe that this was some sort of minor miracle, amazed at the success of a simple fellow writing articles on Facebook, an even more preposterous thing happened.  I traveled with my daughter and son-in-law to see The Undefeated at Grapevine, Texas.  We met some people I knew from Facebook and TXO4P who were there to support the opening night of the film.  We had a great time, and my daughter passed out some Sarah Palin bumper stickers that would be my slim contribution to the opening night.  Wow!  It was a tremendous piece of cinematic art revealing truths about Governor Palin I hadn’t  known, and relying upon the LSM, probably wouldn’t have learned.  The reaction of my son-in-law, not firmly convinced about Sarah Palin before seeing the film, nevertheless exited the theater impressed by what he had learned.  As he spoke about it, and also about the crowd in attendance on the long ride home, I resolved to write a review as soon as we arrived.  Having parted company with the new friends we’d made, at just past midnight, our long drive home mercifully completed at 3am.

I must confess that as I’ve aged, I am no longer blessed with the endurance I once took for granted, so at 3:45, with a very rough draft completed, I ended my twenty-two hour day(I’m an early riser) and crawled off to bed.  When you have Great Danes, however, there’s not always a great deal of sleeping-in for the night-owl.  Their thundering cacophony at the prospect of their morning meal sounded like a drumbeat from which I could not escape.  Mrs. America already had them fed when I motivated my weary body into the kitchen for a cup of caffeinated heaven. I grabbed my coffee, and took care of the few morning chores that Mrs. America hadn’t already completed, knowing the time of our arrival without having stirred so much as a finger when I came in.

I went back to my computer to begin cleaning up my draft, and finally posted my review on Facebook.  I entitled it simply: We and She: The Undefeated. A couple of hours later, as I sat eating a late brunch with my family, assembled at Denny’s, my phone binged at the arrival of a text message from one of the energetic TexasO4P members who I had met in person for the first time just the evening before.

The rather excited message said only: “Holy Moley! Sarah just shared one of your notes!”

I looked at the phone.  In a moment of fatigue-dominated confusion, my mind searched momentarily: “Sarah? Sarah who?”  Then it struck me.  My friend Jelayne wasn’t kidding. Yes, she meant that Sarah! I flipped over to the Facebook app on my phone, went to Sarah Palin’s page, and sure enough, right there it appeared, and the counter on the ‘Like’ was already racing toward 1,000.  I exchanged several more excited messages with my friend, and I looked up from my phone, and said: “Holy Moley! Sarah Palin just shared one of my notes, the review I just finished, on her Facebook wall.”

Mrs. America, the world’s greatest living cynic, (and with good reason having been married to me for more than two decades,) offered as I passed her my phone, “Yeah.  And I’ve been her deep-cover agent all these years, just to make certain you’re not just some nut. The final proof is now in.”  Meanwhile, my daughter who is much quicker on her phone, confirmed just in time to save me further sarcasm.

Predictably, traffic to my Wall soared. Resounding praise followed by the few obligatory trolls was the order of the day.  At the urging of my FB friends, most of whom insisted my alleged talents needed a better-suited platform, I began this blog.  In these past ten days, since I began building this site, something even more remarkable has happened.  I don’t know if it will last a week, or a month, but the number of page-views has climbed rapidly into the thousands.  I have subscribers, for Heaven’s sake!  I’m still not quite sure why.

I don’t know what lies ahead, but I’ve taken these few moments to measure and recount for you what has happened in so short a time, and it’s astonishing.  What I’ve realized is that while I have had some amazing early results, the truth is that such success is not entirely mine.  It’s not really about me.  The common thread that runs as a river in all the notes, emails and messages I’ve received, has been, essentially: “Mark, if I were able to say what it is that I think, I would have said it just exactly that way.”   You see, for whatever reason, through whatever slim gifts I’ve been told I possess, what I’ve found is that the truth is simply that I’m one of you.  Contrary to the media talking points about conservatives, I’m not alone.  We’re not the minority.  You’re not alone.  This lonely blog is merely one more voice crying out both in hope but lately, in despair.  Our nation is under assault.  Our lives and our culture and our beliefs are continually mocked and derided.  The candidate we prefer is cast aside by the popular culture, in part because she must be destroyed, but in the main because she is one of us, and it is we who must be destroyed.

Know this: I’m here for the fight.  I know you are too.  Your messages of support and fellowship ring in my head and in my heart as I read them.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Palin, for sharing my note, whatever lead her to see it,   but also for lending me the courage to strike out in this way and find an audience.  These are the things great leaders inspire.  In the same way, and for the same reasons, I thank Jelayne and Martha and Ron along with all the other gracious people who have shared my writings with you.   I also wish to thank Mrs. America, for the tolerance of the time spent in this endeavor.  She’s picked up my slack for more than two decades, all while bearing burdens I alone could not.  Most of all, I owe you the greatest debt, my readers, because this blog would not exist without you.  Your encouragement, constructive critique, friendship, and temperance characterizes our new-found kinship.  Yes, there is a familial relationship among the lot of us, and even  with a wider audience we’ve not yet found, but firmly believe we will.  We’re Americans, and it’s that which binds us.  Much as my son-in-law’s reflection on The Undefeated revealed, we’re at ease and at home together; even in our small squabbles, we’re more like siblings than like true rivals.  It’s this that characterizes those who champion Sarah Palin, too, because when the stage-lights go dark, and the crowd has vanished, and the excitement is over, what we have is one another.

And that is a good deal more than I had any right to expect.

Thank you!


Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Why I Must Support Sarah Palin

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Why We Fight

I write my articles from a somewhat different perspective than most people who support Sarah Palin.  As a political junkie, I was vaguely aware of the Governor when John McCain introduced her to the world as his Vice Presidential choice in 2008.  She was busy taking the world by storm, and she energized the conservative wing of the party in a much more thorough way on behalf of the McCain campaign than the aged Senator from Arizona had any right to expect.   I was conscious of all of this, but in my own life, a different sort of storm was raging, and it very nearly destroyed our family.  For the first time in decades, the political arena wasn’t so important to me.  In July 2008, as a tender young adult, eighteen years of age, my daughter was in a serious auto accident that came within inches of stealing her life.  She was flown from the accident scene to the trauma center that serves our region.  Our lives all changed on that day, and my focus went through a dramatic shift.  I couldn’t afford to pay much attention to other things.   There was only my daughter.  By the time the situation would finally take a turn for the better, much in the world around us had changed, seemingly forever.

She was maintained in a coma for four days, because at each attempt to bring her to full consciousness, she would begin experiencing seizures, eyes rolling back in her head, gasping and flailing.  My wife and I began to wonder if this would be our daughter’s permanent future.  Thankfully, on the third attempt to bring her out of the chemically-maintained coma, a passing pediatric neurologist saw the seizures and stepped in to order a simple antihistamine injection.  It turned out that one of the medications she was administered as a seizure preventative, Haldol, was actually causing or exacerbating the seizures.  Apparently, these symptoms may occur in some substantial number of children who are administered the drug, but they had been treating our daughter according to adult protocols.  Removing her from Haldol relieved the seizures, and after a number of days, she slowly returned to something like normal.  Ordinarily, one would think that this would be the happy ending, and her mother and I thought so at the time.  Finally at home, we began to notice some behavioral problems.  Frequent rages, volatile behavior, and bombastic swings in mood.  All of these things were terrifying, but as the weeks went by, suddenly, our daughter seemed to be losing all ability to control her impulses.

In the period leading up to the accident, she had been on track in pursuit of a second application to the US Air Force Academy, having just missed the cut after being nominated by our Congressman, the Honorable John Carter, the previous Christmas, but that young woman was missing.  In her place was a highly irrational, utterly volatile person it seemed neither of her parents could reach.  During the time when she had been in a coma, my wife and I had begun to prepare ourselves that her condition might never improve.  Now, just weeks after the prospect of a full physical recovery seemed promising, the mental and emotional state of our daughter made it clear our celebrations had been premature.

The road from there was long, difficult and emotionally exhausting.  In the months to come, she would total a second car, run away, move home, run away again, elope with her boyfriend, struggle with self-destructive impulses, return home again, move out again, blow the engine on yet another car, earn many traffic citations, and basically follow a path that drove us to distraction, caused domestic turmoil, and nearly caused the split-up of a twenty year marriage.  In and amongst all of the torture and uproar, an odd thing happened, and it may have saved all our lives, and preserved our family.

There were just three important lessons I had tried to instill in my daughter, and among them was the idea that there would be no limits to what she could achieve if only she would apply her whole-hearted best effort without compromising her principles.  For a young woman coming of age in our world, who had been taught that no limits existed to what she could accomplish, least of all because she’s a girl, a rising political star in the form of a beautiful woman with a lovely young family made that possibility real to countless young women and girls.  This created a momentary opening between me and my daughter, during one of her runaway periods.  She and I actually were able to communicate peaceably just long enough to partake of our shared interest in politics, and go see Sarah Palin at the Fort Hood, Texas signing event for Going Rogue.  Afterward, the two of us went to dinner and had a chance to talk.   It gave me an opportunity to remind her why working on her continuing problems was so important to her future.

Ultimately, this brief lull in our struggle was interrupted by another impasse born of another emotional explosion.  My wife and I had all but given up hope of seeing our daughter restored to the path on which she had set out not so long before.  We always taught her to be courageous and independent as she was growing, because we knew the world was changing and the challenges ahead would require a young woman of purpose and strength.  We were so beset with grief, each of us,  at the path our daughter was following, which seemed to meander as her emotional capacity waxed and waned.

As my daughter grew up, it’s no secret that she was a “Rush Baby.”  As I would pick her up from school, we’d listen to the delayed re-broadcast of Rush that came from WBAP, a distant but still powerful signal that allowed us to listen to Limbaugh later in the day.  She would giggle at the funny parodies he would play, as we drove from the school to home.  Still, she would hear the times when Rush would become much more serious on a subject of national importance, and me with him, as I responded in my own rolling commentary as Rush spoke.  For whatever else it may have been worth, it did manage to gain and hold her interest, even into her teen years.  It always seemed to be the way back to one another when times were tough, or parental directives didn’t match teen-aged whimsy.

It was in this way, at least in part, that I helped form my daughter’s beliefs, or perhaps, helped strengthen what I had taught her.  After all, here was this guy with a booming voice on the radio, validating what her parents had taught her, rather than sneering and mocking as is the norm in the popular culture.  We taught her to have no fear of evil but one:  Left unopposed, evil will flourish.  In many ways, and only half by conscious intention, we were raising a conservative warrior who unflinchingly believes in what’s right rather than what’s easy.

Through the challenges of teen-aged travails, we struggled at times to keep her on that path.  The culture is so polluted that a parent who wishes to raise their children with conservative principles finds the deck stacked against them. Even small-town schools have an overabundance of liberal faculty, in part because almost all of the colleges in which they are educated turn out mostly leftist drone who have hijacked education to their statist indoctrination. The students, of course, don’t all have conservative parents, or even parents who are the slightest bit interested in the principles underlying what their children are taught. They’re busy, struggling to earn a living, or in some cases, sadly slothful. Either way, their children wind up as blank pages to be filled with whatever the school and the popular culture desire.

It’s at its worst for young women.  Most of the role models the popular culture offers them are liberal, loud, and lewd.  In her school, my daughter participated in various things, including Persuasive Extemporaneous Speaking as part of the UIL.  In this, she found her niche.  She performed admirably, and was dedicated to purpose.  One of the relatively few conservatives, she always found herself having to take the adverse point of view on the subject at hand.  This was a handicap, because some number of the judges were simply liberal bigots unable to separate their opinions from the duty to judge performances objectively. You could always decipher it, too, because the scoring would always show it. The blatantly liberal evaluators would give an outrageously low score, thus sabotaging her.  Even at that, her arguments and presentations overpowered this bias in many cases, but more importantly, sharpened her focus and her reasoning.

Much of this came crashing down as she came within inches of decapitation on that July day in 2008. Had the car hit the trailer under which her car slid only slightly differently, this story wouldn’t be written at all.  Her story would have ended, and with it, I think mine too.

Thankfully, the story didn’t end there, and neither did it end with a young woman troubled and impeded by head injuries.  Through all the terrible things that the accident caused, there came to be a single thread by which we were bound, and that has ultimately served to bring us back together.  You see, despite the troubles, long years of teaching, discussing, arguing, and reinforcing did succeed in bringing our daughter slowly back to us.  She didn’t lose any IQ points, but what she had lost in the accident was the ability to focus their considerable horsepower, and to apply them to her life.  One of the things that has helped to re-sharpen her focus, to rebuild and make better all that was harmed, is her desire to restore the country.

She’s still married to the young soldier with whom she eloped.  He’s now stationed at Fort Hood which puts them close to home again. She’s employed, and enrolling in college this fall to resume her studies.  She wants a degree in communications. She’s politically combative as ever, and she won’t yield to bullies.  She sees Sarah Palin as a role model for what is good about the country, and how one should conduct themselves in the face of adversity.  Sarah Palin’s example provided one of the last threads of attachment, back to reason, back to sanity, and back to adoring parents who love her.  Despite the differences in circumstance and station, she naturally sees in Sarah Palin the right things.  She scoffs at the mocking buffoons in the pop culture and those loosely in her own circles, and simply does what is right.  She’s a fierce defender of conservatism, and conservatives, particularly the former Alaska Governor. Her loyalty isn’t to party, but instead to reason, common sense, and the principles on which the country has been founded. Most of all, she’s rededicating herself to truth.

For these reasons, Sarah Palin’s ascendancy has become a sort of father-daughter project.  Our support for Sarah isn’t merely an exercise in political activism, but a campaign to champion what is good and decent in our country, to restore what America is supposed to be, and to make it possible for future generations to enjoy the freedoms I’ve known, but her generation may not be able to pass on to their kids.  It’s also about strengthening a family, hit with adversity, but struggling to overcome.  I was interested to see a piece of video recently in which Governor Palin listed the movies she enjoys, and why.  Among them, she listed Rudy, because it’s the story of an underdog overcoming long odds.  It’s one of our favorites too, and the crescendo when he sacks the opposing quarterback is one of the few scenes in cinema that makes me cry, not with sadness, but with the joy of victory for life and the love of living it.  Today or tomorrow, she’s kicking off a new Facebook page called TexasCollegians4Palin. Through Sarah Palin’s determined, persistent example, our daughter is back, and there’s not a dry eye in the house.

Thank you Sarah Palin!

8-year Navy Veteran Emails His Mom

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Editor’s note: I ran across a letter posted in a private group on Facebook. I’ve obtained permission from both the poster, and the original author, her son, to re-post it here. His name is Geoff H. I read the letter, and as a veteran myself, I know the deep meaning behind the sentiments. This is our country, and we’ve lost a measure of respect and understanding for that which it had been established to be. His mother describes herself as a “brassy old broad,” but as others have pointed out, age isn’t an impediment to love of country, and clearly, this apple didn’t fall very far from the tree. Without further introduction, and thanks to Geoff H. and his understandably proud Mom, I give you this precious email:


This is not a political statement, but one thought about Freedom from my perspective…

Freedom should not be taken from us by any political party or the American Government, for any reason.. that is what makes us Americans…our right to govern ourselves, protected with Liberty by the Government… if America isn’t what we think it should be, maybe we should look in the mirror and ask how we got here? The shitty things we (America and Americans) do, are done by individuals, not by the idea of or our right to Freedom or to pursue Prosperity. Where has Accountability gone? Where have we let it go? Personal Accountability seems to have been replaced with something else.. what? We can look in the mirror and at the words and actions of our leaders and our citizens and find the answers… Elephants and Donkeys and most others seem to have been taking our eyes off of the Truth about Freedom.

The video clip below is one reminder (for me) of where we came from, and how far we have “progressed”… for me, it is one example of how our American history is not always as we hear about on TV and hear about and read in school.. I wonder why? It is one example of where our Freedom came from, and how it is being removed… bit by bit over time. Why? And the people in power don’t always seem to have our freedom in the forefront of their agendas.. why? What is in the forefront of their Agenda’s? Listen and they will tell you.. it is not Freedom, that is for sure!

I am not a “Senators Son”. I am not the heir to a throne or a province or estate.. I am supposed to be Free though. Free to live my life and prosper how I can or how I choose to. The Constitution was written to allow us to Govern ourselves, our life, our actions, allowing both good or bad consequences to be dealt with… Accountability under law. This was accomplished by 2 things.. providing us with Liberty (Freedom) and providing a secure land for us to Prosper as much as we can with our “God given talents” or the abilities we got through millions of years of “evolution”. Regardless of how you became what you are, it is your responsibility to Govern yourself and make your way, within the law. Depend and lean on each other, not the government.

Without Freedom and the concept of Personal Responsibility, what do you/I have?

Entitlement to a “free” food stamp from the government taken from another citizen who earned it?

Entitlement to a “free” check from the government taken from another citizen who earned it?

Entitlement to a “free” college tuition from the government taken from another citizen who earned it?

Entitlement to “free” healthcare from the government taken from another citizen who earned it?

Entitlement to one of thousands of “free” government programs (if you meet the criteria outlined by the agenda of the politician the made it)…race, sex, income, location, age, etc…) taken from another citizen who earned it? Why are some people more protected by our Government than others? I thought we are supposed to be Free and Equal?

Entitlement to “free” …. (fill in the blank)?

If you like, you can replace “taken from another citizen who earned it” and replace with “borrowed from another country or the Federal Reserve so another generation (or 10) can pay it back”…

Freedom is not Free… Nothing is Free… the debt must be paid!

If we do not depend and lean on each other, we are back to type of government that has ruled the earth forever.. an all powerful, central, controlling one.. what happens to Freedom?

Freedom gives you the opportunity to govern yourself and make your own way! Not, entitlement! The government that giveth, can and will taketh away… either through agenda, or because they cannot afford to any more (most countries in the world right now)… but at that point, the people are already dependent on the government for everything… so what happens? please look at every other country on earth! The debt must be paid…

Sorry.. that was much longer than I thought… It was much cheaper than seeing a therapist though J If you read all the way, thank you for listening to my opinion… I would love to hear yours!

If your opinion is different than mine, I am OK with that.. this is America… but, my opinion is based on what our country was meant to be, not what someone told me it “could be”… I have been shown many times over what it “could be” and I don’t like it very much… I will take Freedom any day of the week!


As often as I have sung our National anthem, I never knew there were more verses..