Coming Home to Mama's

On these visits to see Mama and Aunt Mae, I truly realize how fortunate I was to grow up on this mountain. We didn't have much money when I was little, but man was I ever wealthy! I had all of Uncle Dave's land, plus the entire Talladega National Forest to roam, and roam it I did. As early as I could remember, I would get up and journey into those woods. All of it was mine, every single acre. Beside our house on Uncle Dave's land was this big pecan tree that was loaded every fall, and on any day of the week, I could walk up the hill to Aunt Mae and Uncle Dave's house and Aunt Mae would always cook for me, butterbeans and biscuits and maybe even some salmon patties! Her and I would sometimes pick blackberries so she could make us the most awesome blackberry cobbler. Aunt Mae's yard had apple trees, both red and green and she made the best fried apple pies ever. They had a scufadine vine, a grape vine, and a fig tree that was always full of fruit. Uncle Dave grew watermelon and cantaloupe in the fields behind our house, and he had an old refrigerator in his well house that always had at least one of each in it, chilled and ready to slice. As I got older and started riding bicycles and later dirt bikes, that's when the daily adventures really got going! Salt Creek Falls and Branch Falls were both within walking distance of our house and we swam many times at Salt Creek Falls, climbing up and down the side of it, in spite of the danger. But those aren't the only falls on that mountain, you know. I've found waterfalls in those woods that very few people have ever seen and honestly to this day I can't remember how to get to. The memory of coming across those hidden gems and being blown away by their natural beauty gives me such an awesome feeling to this day. I was always shy and a loner, happy to spend the whole day by myself in those trails, but boy when I wasn't isolating, did I ever get some attention! My Daddy was my world and Uncle Dave was my hero, and when they passed away I was crushed. But the three rocks in my life, Mama, Aunt Mae, and my sister Penny, loved and babied me, and you know I just ate it up. Oh yeah, I was spoiled. Again, not with the things money could buy, but with love, and I still am. If there is anything in this world I'm good at, it's being loved! I've got lots of experience!
As I sit here right now and look out of the windows of Mama's house and see those pines, I'm filled with happy memories. I've always felt that my soul lived in those woods, and sometimes when I'm here, I just start walking, not intending to go anywhere in particular, but just to go. No I wasn't born a Rockefeller or a Carnegie, but there is no way in the world you could convince me that any of their children were more wealthy or more privileged than I was as a child. God certainly blessed me and he still does, every single day. I don't thank Him nearly as much as I should. 


Trump and the Forgotten Man, Forgotten by the party of FDR

It's been two months since Donald Trump referenced the "forgotten men and women" in his inaugural address. Speaking as a non-fan, I must say that it was an excellent speech. It was brief, yet powerful. I was particularly struck though by his resurrection of the term "forgotten man", which was most famously spoken by Franklin Roosevelt in a 1932 radio address. Roosevelt however, did not invent the phrase. It was actually borrowed from an 1883 essay, written by William Graham Sumner, a classically liberal social scientist and professor at Yale. Now obviously Roosevelt's forgotten man was nothing like Sumner's. You might say that it was the direct opposite. While Sumner's forgotten man was written about the man who pays for the populist's "reforms", Roosevelt used the term as a populist, for the purpose of class warfare, very similar to, but evidently more effective than John Edwards' "two Americas". 

So why am I writing about this now, two months after that inauguration address? Well simply, I have come to understand why Donald Trump exists and why the Democratic Party is losing, quite willingly I might add, the coalition that sustained itself for almost a century. The Democrat Party is essentially turning it's back on, "forgetting" about a large population of people, hard working people who play by the rules, only to be looked down on by the elites, who label them as hicks, rednecks, racists, etc. These are the same elites, I might add, who heap virtue on the "poor", who turn a malcontent like Michael Brown into Medgar Evers, and who seem to despise the white country boy with a Confederate flag on his hat more than they dislike foreign Islamic terrorists. No, to the elites who run the Democrat Party, white middle class evangelicals are to be shamed as un-Christian because they see it as unfair that the poor are subsidized to the point of an equivalent lifestyle to them. Simply put, they are tired of pushing the wheelbarrow that, not only holds the poor, but also the very rich, who also feed at the trough of the federal government. 

Donald Trump gets these people. He understands their anger. Before the election of 2016, Republicans did not even consider the possibility of carrying Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Those states were written off, "forgotten" about, if you will. But now, the farmers, assembly line workers, and coal miners from those states, who at one time would have never considered voting for a Republican, might never vote Democrat again. So what is the Democrat Party's response to this? Well obviously these former Democrats, from states President Obama carried, are all a bunch of racists. Yes that will win them back, just as well as calling up your ex-girlfriend on the phone to curse at her, will win her back. They double down on the smears, and also the social agenda. After all, they would not want to lose that 0.01 percent of the public that identifies as a sex other than the one they biologically are. The Democrat Party is so proud to have rammed through a healthcare bill, because it expanded health insurance, most of it free, to people who did not want it, while raising the costs and the deductables of the forgotten man. 

As previously stated, Donald Trump understands these "forgotten men and women", and not only does the modern Democrat Party not understand them, it does not care to. As a conservative, I have mixed emotions about this change in party structure, the narrowing of the Democrat tent and the widening of the Republican party. Obviously, these new conservatives are not really conservatives, but New Deal Democrat types who woke up one day and realized that the kooks had taken over the party of FDR. We used to call these people Reagan Democrats, Reagan, by the way, won 49 states. Hmm...


Missouri Protest a Pathetic Example of Our Times

When I first heard about the Missouri football players threatening to not play because of a certain "cause", my knee jerk reaction was that these young men should lose their scholarships. When you add up the total value of an athletic scholarship, which includes medical, use of world class facilities, coaching, room and board, food, tuition, and future earnings, the true worth of an athletic scholarship is difficult to measure, but obviously quite valuable. As for the few elite athletes who are able to play professional football, is there any better place to showcase their talent than a major college program in the Southeastern Conference? Not only that, but the University of Missouri is considered by most to be one of the more elite public institutions in the country. In the fourteen member Southeastern Conference, Missouri is one of only four members of the prestigious American Association of Universities, or AAU. I don't know the numbers, but it is probably a safe bet that the overwhelming majority of the student athletes who participated in this protest, were not candidates for academic scholarships. In fact, many likely did not even meet the minimum admission standards of MU. Bottom line, a scholarship is a privilege, something to be respected and valued. It is not something to be taken lightly. Some causes are good causes though, but letting down your coaches, your fellow teammates, your fans, your alumni, for something they have nothing to do with, is just not right. If your cause is such a serious thing that you just can't play for the University, then you should transfer. There is no shame in quitting a bad situation, but using your scholarship as a form of blackmail is not the way to go.

But what of this "cause"? What exactly was the reason for this walkout threat? Though I have read several articles, honestly I am still not sure. I see the word "racial tensions" in many of the articles, but what does that mean? What are the specific incidents? This commentary mentions the school President's lack of response to certain events. One of these alleged acts was a swastika made with human feces in a dorm bathroom. If this happened, and it is highly likely that it did not, was this not the act of an individual? What exactly did these students want the President to do? No person was charged. In fact, a police report was never even made. Should the President's reaction be to ban students from forming Nazi symbols with doo-doo? Oh and by the way, are not swastikas associated more with anti-Semitism than racism against blacks? One student activist, a young son of a millionaire, actually went on a hunger strike, demanding that the President resign and admit his "white privilege". In his letter to the school, he mentioned racial slurs against black students. No specific cases were cited, just a generalization. Again, what was the President supposed to do about that? Is it illegal to say the N word? Not in America, it isn't. I know that if many left-wingers had their way, the First Amendment would be repealed, but as of now, it is still the Law of the Land. So again, what is a University President supposed to do about that? In addition to the dookie swastika, the young man mentioned the removal of graduate student health insurance subsidies, and MU's cancellation of Planned Parenthood contracts. So this is what the football players were threatening a walkout in support of? Really? So essentially, all of this was over, well, nothing, absolutely nothing.

What an embarrassing moment for the University of Missouri, the state of Missouri, the students, the administrators, and the coaches. Not only did they empower a mob, but they set a horrible precedent that players, with the threat of not playing, can bring down a University President. Who knows how else they will use this new-found power? Maybe next time they'll demand the defensive coordinator be fired because he yells too much and that hurts their feelings. They showed that bullying works, and that you don't even need a specific reason to gain attention. All you need are vague claims. Worse, they once again bowed to the race hustlers. In this day and age, you don't even need proof to bring down somebody or to gain attention for yourselves, all you have to do is scream racism, and the fearful will cower, because nobody wants that charge. It matters not whether the charge is true. The charge itself is enough to destroy. Is this the type of world that Martin Luther King jr dreamed of, a world where the charge of racism is used to bully and destroy those with whom you disagree? We've all seen those videos of students like Vivian Malone and James Meredith walking dauntlessly in front of people screaming threats at them. Those individuals had courage, real courage. These pampered little babies at Missouri and other colleges and universities across the country, don't possess any courage at all. Jones and Meredith wanted equality. These adult children of today want something else, the "right" to get free stuff, which of course, is not really free. This is a pathetic time, a time when leadership is lacking. At some point hopefully, that entitlement shark will finally be jumped, and the taxpaying public will have had enough. For now though, I guess we'll just move on to something else.


VA Scandal Is Living Study on Big Government Bureaucracies

"For the lesson of the V.H.A.'s success story -- that a government agency can deliver better care at lower cost than the private sector -- runs completely counter to the pro-privatization, anti-government conventional wisdom that dominates today's Washington."- Paul Krugman, liberal economist, idiot.

Sometimes I wonder if the conservative/ libertarians are actually a minority in the Republican Party. Seriously, what is it that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner really believe in? Is winning elections, beating the Democrats, all they really care about? Do they even have a philosophy?

Apparently they do not, and just in case they do, that philosophy surely isn't small government conservatism, because if it were, if they really understood that the administrative state was out of control and had become the "fourth branch of government", if they really understood that government bureaucracies are always less efficient and effective than the private sector, if they really believed that, then they would stop with the politics of associating the VA scandal with Democrats, and instead focus on the fact that the VA is socialized medicine in it's purest form and is therefore evidence that socialized medicine does not work too well.

You see, when President Obama and the Democrats point out that the VA has always been a disaster, instead of stating that he made it worse, the GOP should agree. Yes that's right. Instead of going for the short term political gain, they should be pointing out that he is correct, that regardless of who runs the government agency, a government agency can never deliver anything, especially something as important as health care, as good and as efficient as the private sector. If anything should kill Obamacare and the idea for single payer, it should be the VA scandal.

But the Republicans in Washington do not seem to think this way. No, they are too worried about winning their next election. It's almost as if the conservative philosophy is a second language to them.

The irony of all of this is that they actually have it wrong. Just as being a good teammate in a team sport leads to great individual accomplishment, thinking big picture/long term, in this instance, will actually benefit them in the short term.They think they are acting in a way that will help them win in November, but they could not be more wrong. This is a majority conservative country just waiting for true conservatism, and when it does not appear, conservatives stay home.

I guess it's hard to think like a conservative though, when you are not one.


A Rare Criticism of Dr. Sowell

In all my years blogging at numerous websites, I have never, not once, criticized anything written by Professor Thomas Sowell. To a libertarian conservative, Sowell is a rock star. But his latest column on Ted Cruz could not be anymore wrong, not just wrong about Cruz, but wrong about the Republican Party, wrong about everything. It almost broke my heart to read it, and reading Ben Howe's (Red State) commentary on Sowell's article was even more painful, not because Howe was incorrect or unfair in his critiscism, but because he was right. Sowell, unbelievably made establishment/ ruling class Republican arguments. Shockingly to me, Dr Sowell sounded like one of "them", the GOP corporatists, the neo-statists, the ruling class.

Sowell wrote:
The most charitable interpretation of Ted Cruz and his supporters is that they are willing to see the Republican party weakened in the short run, in hopes that they will be able to take it over in the long run, and set it on a different path as a more purified conservative party. 
I'm not even going to touch the ridiculousness of what he wrote after that, but I do want to tackle the notion of purity in the Republican Party. It's not about purity, really. It's about the basics, and the ruling class GOP doesn't even come close.

Conservatives are often reminded of O'Donnell in Delaware and Murdock in Indiana. But you know, I welcome that conversation. The point is, if Lugar and Castle were nominated, and both of them went on to win, what would we have won? Seriously, are liberal Republicans better than liberal Democrats? In the Bush administration, we had the Presidency and both houses of Congress, and did the deficit go down? No, it went up like crazy, record deficits at the time. And you tell me all we need to do is elect more Republicans? What about the size of government under Bush, with the Medicare entitlement and the expansion of the administrative state? And you are still trying to tell me that we need to be quiet and focus on trying to "win", that we won't be able to accomplish anything until the GOP takes back the Senate? Are you serious? Are you on dope or something? Has it affected your short term memory?

Don't forget folks, the Tea Party movement did not begin as a reaction to Obama. The Tea Party movement came about because of Bush, and things like TARP, and the auto bailout.

We're going off the cliff folks, and if we hit that valley in ten seconds or ten minutes, does it really matter? I'm sorry, but these establishment Republicans need to be exposed, and if we lose an election here and there, so what? Lugar is vocally and monetarily supporting Democrats now, and Charlie Crist, not only is he a Democrat these days, but he spoke at Barack Obama's 2012 convention. And you tell me, we just need to elect more Republicans? Wrong answer my friend. We need to elect conservatives, and Republicans that are not conservative, well they need to be revealed.