Dec 19, 2014

Obama Finally Gets Something Right

Well, it has taken two Presidential elections, a turnover of several Congressional seats, and six years, but President Obama finally got something right.  Actually, he got two somethings right.  The President made his "End of the Year Speech" - perhaps a little early since we still have a couple of weeks, but I'm sure he has a vacation planned- to nation and world already used to his lies and demanding speeches.  However, this time he finally got something right.  This time he finally sounded....well, he finally sounded like an American President should sound.

The first thing Obama got right is that he waited until the FBI had pretty much concluded that North Korea hacked the Sony computer files before he announced that North Korea did it.  In the past this President has been quick to jump out with his opinion before the facts are known.  He usually does in response to police officers having to defend themselves or having to arrest someone associated with the President in some way or another.  However, this time he waited, allowed the FBI and other agencies to develop their theory and their case and then he came forward and said North Korea did it.  Good job Mr. if you had been doing this for the past six years, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now and maybe some of your Democrat buddies would have kept their seats in Congress... oh, well so we learn.

The second thing the President did was he said Sony should not have stopped the release of the controversial movie.  Link The President said, "We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they'll do when they see a documentary that they don't like, or news reports that they don't like -- or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors or others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended,"  The President went on to say that Sony should not have withheld the release and that he wished they had spoken to him first.....well, in all fairness to Sony Mr. President, you don't have the best track record in responding to this sort of stuff.

So at the end of the speech the President left us wondering what sort of action will be taken against North Korea.  After all, we have never experienced a cyber war fact, is there really a cyber war being waged?  If there is a cyber war, exactly how do we fight it?  Well, however we fight it, one thing is for sure....If this President will act - encourage Sony to release the film - heck, release it for free on the Internet and have the entire world view it, not just people paying at the movies! - and truly stand up to North Korea for their actions and do something, then he will have gained a small bit of respect from Democrats who have felt betrayed by him and some Republicans who have been trying to warn America for six years now.  Besides, if America is going to fight a cyber war, then President Obama already has all the key weapons he needs right here in the U.S.  Consider that Linux, Apple, and Microsoft pretty much run on the universal Unix that they helped develop and grow and North Korea may just find everything from their files being hacked and missing to their missiles and weapons being turned off from some remote IP address located in North America.

Dec 12, 2014

The Times They Are A-Changin

It is perhaps ironic that this evening as Congress battled over yet another budget crisis people could be reminded of the old Bob Dylan song "The Times They are A-Changin". In 1964 the song came out with a verse that states "Come senators, Congressmen /Please heed the call/Don't stand at the doorway/ Don't block up the hall" (Song). It's been fifty years now since that song opened up and tonight we found senators and congress once again being asked to "heed the call" and "don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall," which would have essentially shut down the federal government. Unlike previous battles though, this one found President Obama firmly supported by....wait for it....Republicans. Democrats were hesitant to jump on with the spending bill and in fact the battle went late into the night before the outcome could be decided. (decision)

The question has to come up: Why were so many congress members standing in the doorway and trying to block this bill tonight? After all, Democrats have stood by Obama now for six years. Further, for six years Obama has stood firmly against Republicans. So why the sudden shift in alliances? It's really simple as you'll see.

First and foremost, many of those Democrats feel betrayed. Their anointed President, the hopeful replacement of the Democrat strong-man Bill Clinton, did not live up to the expectations. Democrats followed him blindly even when Americans overwhelmingly said, "Don't do it!" Perhaps they were hoping that in the end Obama would be proven right and the nation would have a six-month memory loss concerning their representatives and the betrayal to listen to the people back home by the Democrats. The people did not forget. In fact, many of those Democrats will be on their way out this January. Their Democrat President will continue for another two years, retire from office to the fanfare of his supporters, raise money, build a library somewhere-likely Chicago even though I'm sure Hawaii wants it too- and settle into post-presidential life where he jokes with other ex-presidents, does good deeds, has a major charity and gets interviewed whenever a current crisis needs an ex-president's input - don't worry, they all do it with each other. Basically, Obama has two years in the final stretch and then it's out to graze and enjoy life. The Democrats who were beat though, will return home, or move to a new area, fade back into private life, maybe teach at a college or some major university, run a blog, and if they are lucky then a major network will high them to "comment" on current events. Regardless of what happens though, they are out of the spotlight while their leader continues down the path of stardom.

The second reason for the sudden shift is Obama himself. Obama may be a lot of things, but he is no dummy. He knows that to get anything done in the next two years, he has to work with a Republican dominated Congress. He spent six years talking about how the "Republicans" made a mess of everything and how bad Republicans are in general. Now he has to spend two years with them and being the intelligent man he is, he is drawing his enemy near. He now wants to be friends with the new Republicans, the old Republicans, and in the eyes of the people he has two years to show that he likes Republicans and that the people voted right in November 2014. Don't hate Obama for all this. He's just doing what any good politician would do...he's surviving. Look for him to be friends with Republicans, talk with them, work with them, and if we are lucky we'll even get things we want pushed through and signed by Obama during the next two years.

If all this worries you in anyway, well don't let it. When Bob Dylan first sang about the times changing and included senators and congressmen in his lyrics he knew that some things would never change. Fifty years later Congress is looking out for themselves still, blocking what they don't want, and often standing in the way of progress, but so is the President. Perhaps, if we are lucky, then come January when so many new Republicans walk into office, they will remember the reasons we sent them there. If they don't, then we always have the next election and if anything has been proven in fifty years, the people can make those time change at the ballot box.

Dec 1, 2014

The Protest Tragedy of the Brown and Wilson Tragedy

Disagreements and protest are going to happen in a country where we have free speech and free thought.  Nobody will deny that it is our right as American's to speak up when we do not agree.  No matter what side you were on with the recent issues in Brown/Wilson tragedy though, there are just certain things you should not do for reasons of right as well as reasons of legality:

1.  Don't burn down other people's businesses - burning of businesses occurred in both Caucasian, African-American, and other minority business.  These people are operating businesses in their community - They did not shoot Brown and they are not Wilson- They are fellow American's trying to get by, trying to survive, and trying to live in their community-They did nothing wrong to deserve to be burned or destroyed.

2.  Don't loot and steal - Looting and stealing is wrong, period.  It's against the law as much as burning down businesses and churches is against the law.  Because Brown was shot, or because Wilson was found innocent does not give you or anyone the right to steal.  The logic is wrong and completely irrational - stop and think- A young man is shot and killed, and an officer is found innocent of any wrong doing, therefore I should be entitled to a new television set! This is not protesting - This is stealing.

3.  Don't burn YOUR flag - One of the many things that broke American's hearts over the Ferguson riots was seeing our fellow American's burn the flag of this country.  While it is certain that some countries in the world will rejoice as they see the pictures, and doubtless use those same pictures in new propaganda ads, it is simply wrong.  Your nation did not wrong you - we can still debate, discuss, and maybe find solutions on all sides, but the fact is this- An American young man was killed, regardless of what he did or did not do, and an American young man shot the other young man, regardless or justified or not.  Two Americans had a tragic moment that ended one man's life and will forever change the other man's life.   It is horrible that it ever happened, but it did.  Now, the law has investigated, and it is very certain that other laws will be used in future lawsuits-that is part of the American justice system - it is the same laws that says you can protest, the same laws that says no a man can not be shot without justification, and the same laws that says that if a man is shot and the justification is questioned, we can ask the law to check into the, we can demand the law check into the incident.  The flag that you chose to burn in Ferguson is a symbol of all those protections and is YOUR symbol, my symbol, America's symbol.  Men and women, African American, Caucasian, Asian, Indian, Native American, and on have stepped forward under that flag and defended YOUR right to protest....Don't trample and burn the one symbol that stands for everybody in Ferguson and the country.

4.  Don't hold all law officers as the same - the fact is there are some bad law officers out there.  There are some who simply use their power as a weight to throw around and "rule" others, but not all of them do.  One picture of a young man hugging an officer has gone world-wide as a symbol that we can protest, disagree, cry, and even mourn what might have been or what is going on without hating our law enforcement officers.  When we have a bad one, protest, demand justice, write letters, make verbal demands, but do not hate them all because of one or two.  I have seen officers crying at the death of children regardless of race, I have seen then putting their lives on the line regardless of race, and I have seen them stand up to protect and enforce our laws when nobody else would-to the point of giving their own lives.  They aren't rich - check the public records- few officers make the kind of money that you can make in other fields.  Just remember, they are not all the same.

Finally, remember that the Republican Party will always support your right to protest.  The party was founded on the issue of protesting slavery in this country.  We have learned that you can work, protest, push for new laws, and bring equality in this nation.  The events in Ferguson, illegal and wrong, would bring tears to the Republicans who gave so much for equality in this nation.  Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Dr. King never have wanted people to loot, steal, burn business, and burn our own flag to protest.  They wanted us to demonstrate and protest, yes.  But they wanted us to demonstrate and protest in a civil manner.  As you go through the day, whether you support the Wilson side or the Brown side of this tragedy consider this one final thought from Dr. King:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Nov 20, 2014

The Election Aftermath Of 2014

The 2014 election cycle is over and the Republican sweep will go into the history books.  How Republicans deal with spoils of victory will be seen in 2015 and beyond.  How those of us not elected to office, or perhaps even on local and state levels, deal with the aftermath of this historic election has also yet to be seen.

In our local little corner of the world, a hint of animosity started in the 2012 election season.  Democrats began to follow the President's lead and blame Republicans for everything.  That mindset rolled over to state levels, county levels and even local county committees.  People who had been friends with Republicans and friends with Democrats began to see the mindset that Republicans were wrong about everything.  Republicans responded in kind and began to point out how Democrats were wrong about everything.  Then the unthinkable started to happen.  Both sides began letting their feelings rise up publicly.

We have a world where 2012, 2013, and 2014 has seen Democrats and Republicans across the nation go from mild disagreements and small jokes about party lines to outright attacks against the opponents religious beliefs, sex, national origin, and even to attacks about the opponents participation in various civic and local events.  With the on-set of social media becoming an easy avenue for release, people in both parties began using phones, computers, and even Internet based televisions to post hateful and often hurtful things about the opponents.  Republicans and Democrats alike fired the shots in public forums, community meetings, and party meetings.  Then something happened in late 2013 that ran full stem into 2014.  The attacks began to target anyone regardless of whether the person was a candidate or not.

Simple rumors such as "Mr. Jones supports that Democrat," started resulting in attacks on Mr. Jones.  Both parties participated and both parties should be ashamed.  As stated before attacks were often vicious and hate-filled.  If someone was a different religion, they were called, "Godless men" or "Godless women".  If someone associated with certain groups, they were said to be "Associating with them."  Things were said like, "I can't believe they would spend time with a Republican," or "Can you believe all the Democrat friends she has?"  As social media continued to grow, these hurtful and vicious attacks began to bleed into everyday society.

People forgot one important thing, in both parties, as these attacks went on daily through the campaign.  First, they forgot that once the election is over, many of these candidates who listened and supported this talk will go away.  They will go back to Washington, or to Little Rock, or back to various offices.  The mailings won't be coming out anymore, the candidates won't be showing up daily, and life will resume....that is, a life will resume where local Democrats and Republicans will once again be going about daily events together.  They will go to the grocery stores, to Wal Marts, to the malls.  They will go to church, civic events, libraries, bookstores, and restaurants.  We will all once again simply be "citizens."  It has not mattered since about midnight on November 4th whether your best friend is a Republican or a Democrat.  It has not mattered whether your pastor voted for a Democrat or a Republican.  It doesn't matter whether the guy who fixes your car is a Democrat who happens to be Baptist, or a Republican who happens to be Lutheran.  None of that matters because the elections are over.  Once again, we will be a simple community of people living in towns, counties, states all across the land.  Nonetheless, I am left to wonder how many of the hurtful, mean, and cold-hearted things that have been said during the election season will linger?   I am left to wonder can we get past a mean-spirited Facebook post, or a Twitter post, or a public statement made at a Democrat or Republican rally?  I am left to wonder, can we all remember that many of the things we complained about regarding our neighbors, our friends, our community members, and even our family members were simply politically motivated?  Can we actually remember that we are all still, and perhaps most importantly, Americans?

Nov 6, 2014

The Awakening of America

President Obama spent most of his presidency in a very comfortable position.  He was surrounded by people who praised him, he had a solid majority in Congress to back him, and it seemed like the bulk of entertainers (because you know their political opinions are important) the media, and even the world thought Obama could do no wrong.  The president was so popular that he even won a Nobel Peace Prize almost before he could sit down in the Oval Office!  On November 4, 2014, that comfortable position got a lot less comfortable.

While he had all the power in Washington, Obama pushed the Affordable Healthcare Act (an oxymoron if ever there was one) into the face of every single American and basically said, "Deal with it."  His supporters rallied behind him when the Supreme Court side-stepped the issue and ruled that "Congress has a right to tax"- a ruling that neither the plaintiff nor the defendant had argued for and both seemed surprised.  He caused the government to shut down and then used his friends in the media to paint a picture that portrayed Republicans as shutting down the government.  The president even pushed at the greatest generation by trying to close the World War II Memorial in Washington - consequently, few noticed that the World War I Memorial was not closed, but then again there were no aged veterans going to that memorial.  Finally, whenever the president did not get his way, he informed everyone that he has a "pen and a phone" and that he will make the things happen that he wants to happen with or without support from Republicans.  The president also spent more time than any of his Democrat predecessors have ever done blaming the previous administration and blaming Republicans - Even Bill Clinton, the golden Democrat "Come Back Kid," only named Republicans in his speeches as "Our opponents," or "They" as he crossed the state of Arkansas hoping his charm and the fact that he stressed, "Vote for the candidate, not against the President" would win voters.  It did not.

In World War II as England clung to life with the threat of a German invasion lingering across the water, America was bombed by the Japanese.  Americans who had been against the war, American media who had stressed it was not our business, and a President who had wondered how to help our allies without American direct involvement woke up.  Both Admiral Yamamoto and Winston Churchill realized that on that day that the sleeping giant, or the American public, had been woke up.  Much like that attach that woke American's up for World War II, the president's actions finally woke up the American population on November 4, 2014.  Americans rolled out in the early vote and the election day vote in record numbers and in record numbers they voted Republican.  States that had not been Republican since Reconstruction once again turned red.  Democrat voters themselves were no longer willing to sit by and be sad and blue, they were now red with anger.  In overwhelming numbers Obama saw states turn red, he saw the House of Representatives go to a solid majority of Republicans (244 to 179) and he saw the Senate turn Republican (52-43).  The message was sent clearly to the doorstep of the White House - Obama's polices, his pen and his phone, would no longer be tolerated by the American people.

Ironically, even as Republicans rejoiced in the opportunity to set the nation on the right path again, Obama's Administration was trying to find a way to put a positive spin on the message sent by Americans.  Today's Texarkana Gazette (November 6, 2014) noted that "Obama vows to 'get job done' with GOP," and that it's "time for us to take care of business."  The president seems suddenly willing to negotiate, work with Congress, and push toward a positive outcome for the American people.  What is truly sad and will linger well into history for this president is the fact that the American people had to wake up and send a clear message to a sitting president who refused to listen to the very people he was elected to serve.  Consequently, while there was some hint of defiance in the president's message, but he did not seem too eager to say he had a pen and a phone anymore.  Well done America....well done.

Oct 1, 2014

The Attorney General that Arkansas Needs: Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Rutledge addressing issues in Texarkana
Leslie Rutledge came into Texarkana today to meet with lawyers, local business leaders, and tour the area before meeting this evening with supporters.  A full room of supporters had the opportunity to visit with Leslie at the Arkansas Convention Center in Texarkana.  Leslie spent up to an hour visiting with everyone before being introduced by local business leader Curt Green.

Leslie explained a vision she has for the Attorney General's Office that is not a "Sit on the sidelines" approach to office.  She rightly pointed out that too many of Arkansas' Attorney Generals have simply sat by and allowed Washington to push laws into the Arkansas that are not in the best interest of the state.  One prime example Leslie noted was the EPA's expanded control in the state, a control that she contends will cost jobs and possibly force needed energy plants out of the area.  During this discussion, Representative Mary "Prissy" Hickerson pointed out that those regulations would hurt the newly opened power plant in our region of the state.  Leslie was quick to agree and to point out that the current Attorney General has done little, or nothing, to address those problems.

During Leslie's talk, two things became clear.  First, she speaks with authority that can easily cause someone to imagine she could convince a courtroom that it was nighttime outside, even at mid-day.   She has a commanding presence and approach that shouts, "I'm here, let's address this problem and see what the law says!"  The second thing that was clear is that she is a worker.  She is not simply a lawyer who one day woke up and said, "Hey, politics is fun....I want to be a politician."  She is instead a lawyer who has worked with campaigns, worked with the RNC, and even advised a Governor of Arkansas.  She believes in doing the research, forming the legal opinion and then arguing it based on established laws.  She is a firm supporter of gun rights and someone might assume she would have a somewhat different view than the current Democrat Attorney General on Arkansans and their rights under the Second Amendment.  It should be noted that Leslie is also a concealed carry permitted resident.

Another issue noted by some supporters is the current Attorney General Office's lack of ability to respond to request for information and opinions.  It was noted that currently seventy (70) lawyers work in the Attorney General's Office and often they will not respond to request unless you force the issue with the Attorney General himself.  Leslie quickly pointed out that would not be the operational procedure when she is Attorney General.  Her office would respond to all request.

Leslie, in addressing the issues of responding to request or notifications pointed to a recent Democrat advertisement that gave out her private cell number (in this writer's opinion another low, and just one of them See Voter Example,  political attacks from the Democratic Party) and how she responded.  Each call that came in was addressed by her or her staff.  The reader should keep in mind these were negative phone calls which many candidates might dismiss.  Leslie Rutledge did not dismiss them.  Instead she met the challenge head on, returned the calls, and addressed the issues or concerns the individuals expressed.   The reader should keep one thing in mind - If Leslie Rutledge will address negative campaign calls directly when she does not even hold office, how much more effectively will she and those seventy (70) lawyers address the concerns and rights of all Arkansans?  The answer is simple, the Democrats giving away of Leslie's private number only shows that she is exactly the type of fighter we need in the office of Attorney General to address the needs of Arkansas.  So the question to voters becomes "Do you want a Democrat Attorney General whose campaign resorts to questionable political campaign tactics defending your laws and your state, or do you want one that faces the challenges head on?"  If you're like this writer, then you want Leslie Rutledge as your Arkansas Attorney General.

Support Leslie Here

Sep 12, 2014

Miller County Judge Larry Burgess' Actions Protects Citizens, Employees, and the Property

When the word "Hero" is mentioned, many look to those serving in our military as heroes.  It is easy to forget though that once a hero leaves the armed forces, he or she does not stop being a hero.   Miller County Judge Larry Burgess is one such "Hero" who should be looked to as a hero by the citizens of Miller County, Arkansas.  Judge Burgess served a full career in the Marines before returning to Texarkana and making the decision to continue his service by running for Miller County Judge.  He not only ran, but he has won two terms already and is now seeking a third term for the county.  The county could not be served by a better man.

As Judge Burgess runs his campaign, citizens are reminded that he has to continue to run the operations of the county in the capacity of judge.  Judge Burgess though is no ordinary county judge.  Judge Burgess comes to Miller County with a Marine background where he studied terrorist routines and trained to be prepared to face them when his country calls.  Yesterday marked the anniversary of one of the most devastating attacks by terrorist in this nation's history.  It should be no surprise that many around the country braced themselves for the possibility that terrorist would once again strike at America.

While most of us went on about our daily business, Judge Burgess remembered his training and applied it to the job we have entrusted him with through our constant voting record for him.  Judge Burgess, as he often does, walked the County Courthouse grounds early as a precaution against potential copy-cat plots or possible attacks.  It was during this walk that he spotted a suspicious container.

Judge Burgess might have easily walked up, checked the container, and found there to be no problem; however, he was doing what he always does.  Judge Burgess was looking out for the county.  He first ensured the safety of the citizens, and then the safety of the people working at the courthouse by ordering an immediate evacuation.  Finally, when citizens were safe, he followed up to ensure the safety of the property and brought in the Texarkana Police.

It turned out that the container was nothing more than a transport cooler and the incident made the paper as a small article the next day.  However, a person only has to look back to 9/11 and wonder "What if it had been more?"  What if that small container had been a bomb?  Had that container held the contents of a bomb meant to hurt citizens, kill employees of the county, and damage our historic courthouse, then Burgess' actions would not only have saved lives, but would have also saved county property.  We could go all day with the "What if's," but thankfully it was an empty container.  But does that negate the fact that Judge Burgess acted in the best interest of the people and the county?  No, the county benefited from Judge Burgess' training in the Marines, his attentiveness to our county, and his willingness to put himself on the line for the good of the all citizens.  This makes Judge Larry Burgess not only a great county judge, but it always makes him a hero for the county.  He's the type of man we need to continue to elect, continue to support, and continue to entrust with the well-being of our property, our employees and our citizens.

Aug 18, 2014

Tom Cotton Visits Texarkana

Congressman Tom Cotton rolled into Texarkana without the same fanfare that Senator Pryor put on a few days ago.  The lack of fanfare is likely due to something that Senator Pryor has forgotten over the years.   Senator Pryor has forgotten about Texarkana and as such he has neglected to visit Texarkana.   Pryor needed a fanfare to boost his standing with people in Texarkana.  Tom on the other hand needed no boost to remind the citizens that he listens.    Tom hosts "Coffee with your Congressman" around the southwest on a regular basis.  The visits brings Tom to Hope, Texarkana, Prescott, and other locations, even during off election years.  The fact is, Tom's tours have brought him to Texarkana more than times than Pryor has visited during his entire time as a Senator.   The simple fact is Tom did not need to put on the fanfare that Pryor seemed to want so badly.

People in Texarkana recognize that Tom listens.  The local radio station was present for Tom's visit, as was the newspaper, state representatives, business leaders, party members, and a host of other people.  The Cattlemen's was packed with so many people that it would be hard to list them all here.  Cotton started the meeting by standing outside the front door in the heat and meeting guest as they arrived.  He shook hands, talked about his last visit, and took time to hear what each voter had to say.  

Once inside the room, the Cattlemen's banquet room was packed wall-to-wall.  Several people sat at tables visiting, others wandered around the room and some found nice little corners where they could watch all the events.  If you did not know Tom Cotton, you would not be able to find him in the crowd.  He wore a regular shirt, easily moved around the room and most people acted as if Tom had lived his entire life in Texarkana and we were all visiting at a local football game.  Tom did not present himself as someone special, nor did the crowd who has been accustomed to seeing so much of Tom view him as someone special.  To everyone in the room, Tom was simply our Congressman visiting us in Texarkana.  

After a short time, Texarkana Mayor candidate David Haak was introduced and then in turn introduced Tom.  Tom spoke briefly about the campaign by stating his goals and desires once he takes over the Senate seat for Arkansas.  Finally, instead of the usual pleas for money that most politicians make, the crowd was encouraged to join in singing happy birthday for Tom's wife who turned 37 today.  

As people began to leave the gathering slowly, it was apparent that while Tom is our Congressman, and will soon be our Senator, that he is also something different.  He is not the politician as usual running around only during the campaign season.  Most people were comfortable with Tom because he's fact he's here a lot.   A few people may remember a few years ago when Tom came to town during a televised Presidential debate.  Tom bought pizza and hosted the event at the local Republican Headquarters.    It makes a person wonder how many other Americans can say they watched a Presidential debate with their Congressman?  But then again, that's simply Tom Cotton, a Congressman more interested in spending time working for the people and spending time with the people than playing golf during these troubling times when men like Cotton are so desperately needed.  

Aug 6, 2014

Cathy Hardin, A Hard Act to Follow!

Republican Cathy Hardin (A Woman!)
Democrats have started to turn their "Name-Calling" toward the next presidential election in anticipation that they will run Hillary on the ticket. They are focussing on making Republicans look like the party that hates women. Everyone in the party seems to lean toward the idea that Republicans are trying to control contraceptives because they hate women. Another Democrat outright lie. Sorry, I for one am tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching Democrats bash Republicans. It's now time to take the fight back to them with a little dose of the truth regarding our candidates and our standards. To meet that end, it's important that we look at local candidates first-they are the heart of the Republican Party.

Republican Cathy Hardin stepped into the race for Miller County Tax Collector after issues came up with the former Miller County Tax Collector. You may remember that Miller County Tax Collector Melissa Barnes was arrested and finally plead guilty to a lessor charge: (LINK). Because Ms. Barnes is a woman, it is certain that Democrats will view this as an attack on women again! Yes, those mean Republicans are out to destroy women. Sorry, the bottom line is Melisa Barnes, a Democrat who has held the office of Miller County Tax Collector is guilty of Abuse of her Office. She plead out of the charge of stealing tax receipts and using county money for her own use. This is not a Republican attack on women because if it was, why would the Republican party be running Cathy Hardin for the office?

Cathy Hardin decided to run when she saw the corruption that had occurred under a Democrat's watch at the Tax Collector's office. She decided to take the bold step to run for office and make a difference for Miller County. Cathy is not a long-standing politician, and in fact she is the opposite of most politicians. She is quiet, soft-spoken, strong, and proud of her family ties to Miller County. When a voter speaks to Cathy, she does not yell at them, but instead forces the conversation to a level that you would reach sitting in a coffee shop with a good friend. She brings the conversation down to Earth, but reminds the voter that she is running for the office of Tax Collector and she is going to make a difference. This stray from typical politics makes Cathy unique. It also makes her something that we all need more of in county makes her real.

Beyond being a candidate though, Cathy Hardin is something else. Cathy is a woman. She has chosen the Republican Party as her platform not because Republicans hate women, she simply would not be part of a party that hated women, but instead because she chose a party that she believes can make a difference. Already Cathy has been elected as the Miller County Republican State Committeewoman for the Party, an office that could lead to national conventions. She has stepped up at the headquarters, along with her son, and helped prepare for the coming elections. She has attended state and local party meetings and continued to impress people across Arkansas. This soft-spoken lady is quickly growing into one of the major representatives for the state. The voter will do well to consider this Republican woman for the office of Tax Collector because Cathy Hardin is a hard act to follow, and after all, a Democrat woman held it before and we all remember how that turned out right? (Remember this Link?)

Jul 22, 2014

What Republicans Must Learn to Win Presidential Elections

(Warning:  President Lyndon Johnson's words are quoted and referenced in this document.  The author does not condone Mr. Johnson's words and only quotes them here for historical reference)

For the last forty-five (45) years Republicans have failed to thrive as the party for the people.  A good number of voters view the Republican party as a "Grand Old Party of White Guys" wanting to make rules.  Democrats from LBJ forward have spent their entire careers trying to throw a picture of Republicans as a bunch of elite, rich white people trying to control the world.  The fact is, most Republicans are not the typical rich white guys that Democrats would have you believe them to be.  They are Christians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, Asians, Jews, etc.  The Republican party still has a strong support system of multi-culture backgrounds, multi-belief backgrounds, etc.  This is not what the Democrats would have you believe.

Democrats for 45 years have worked to portray Republicans in a negative light.  In just the last eight years alone, Democrats have pounced on the idea that Republicans are all racist because they do not like Obama's policies.  Unfortunately, the Republican party continues to allow the Democrats to get away with this to a point where an overwhelming majority of African-American voters now vote Democrat (Reference).  African-American voters, Hispanic Voters, and Women Voters are being led to believe that Republicans are racist, against immigration, and against women's rights.  Far too long Republicans have allowed these lies to go unanswered in the hope that the American voter would know differently; however, propaganda machines have proven time-and-time again that people will eventually believe the propaganda machine.  The facts simply do not support the Democrat's claims.
Here's a short look at history to remind the voter:

1.  The Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party.  The goal was to free African-American slaves in the United States (Reference)

2.  Democrats voted to overturn the Missouri Compromise and allow slavery to spread (Reference)

3.  Democrats voted in fugitive slave laws to punish slaves for trying to seek freedom (Reference)

4  In 1870, every Republican in Congress voted to give freed slaves the right to vote.  All Democrats in Congress opposed it and voted against it (Reference)

5.  Only 64% of Democrats supported Civil Rights in the 1960s.  80% of the Republicans supported Civil Rights (Reference)

6.  After the Civil War 23 African-Americans were elected to Congress.  All were Republicans (Reference)

7.  A Republican from California introduced the bill to support women's rights followed by strong Republican support (Reference)

8.  The first Hispanic to serve on a Presidential cabinet served for Republican(s) Reagan and Bush, Sr. (Reference)

9.  The first African-Americans (man and woman) to serve as Secretary of State, served under Republican Presidents (Reference)

10.  In 1957, a Democrat Governor in Arkansas blocked African-American children from attending school by using the Arkansas National Guard.  The President sent the United States Army and activated the Arkansas Guard to active duty (placing them under U.S. Army command).  A Republican President (Ike) took these actions on behalf of African-American children (Reference)

As any voter can see, the Democrat Party has worked to lie, steal and remove the references to the party of the people and for the people.  Republicans have always stood up for individual rights, women's rights, and the rights of minorities.  It's time to remind America and the voting public exactly who Republicans are.  The Democrats have worked 45 years off of Lyndon Johnson's famous quotes (please excuse Mr. Johnson's use of horrible language below):

I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One -

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ

(Reference1) (Reference2) (Reference3)

The Democratic Party has ran with the lies long enough.  Republicans must now step up and embrace the truth and embrace the future.  Republicans must learn their history and use it for the future.  If Republicans do not do this, then more elections will be lost.

The last two Presidential elections for Republicans have had something interesting in common.  They have both seen candidates for President viewed by the general public as rich, Caucasian, big government leaders running on the ticket.  McCain was viewed as the long-standing, rich Republican war hero.  Romney is the rich, former governor Republican.  Both of these men were Caucasian and both picked running mates who were viewed as rich, caucasian, long-standing government types from the north.  Although, McCain did select a woman to run which seemed to enhance his chances a little it did little for his effort since he continued to maintain his persona in the public eye.   Democrats were quick to try and make McCain's running mate look in competent.   In the meantime, the Democrats have run an African-American and a Caucasian for office.  Only one of the candidates on the Democrats ticket was viewed as "long-standing government" and that was the running mate.  The Democrats have capitalized on presenting an "everyday normal guy" for the office of President.  Bill Clinton was viewed as the everyday normal guy as has been Obama.  Voters at large have thought these two leaders (both rich by the way) were better than the Republican alternatives.  The fact is Republicans must remember who we are once again.  We have to reach out to the minority, we have to reach out to the person being persecuted by their government, and we have to reach out to average, everyday person to run for President.  We need a candidate that women, African-Americans, and Hispanics can relate to on a daily basis.  As long as we present candidates who cautiously ease out of their mansion driveways to run for the office, the Democrats will continue to promote their "everyday" man or woman all the way to the office of President.

In all honesty, Republicans need someone considered an average person, or persons, to run for office.  It's time that Republicans have someone like Condoleezza Rice, or Mike Huckabee, or Nikki Haley, or Dr. Ben Carson step up and run for the office.  Hard working, legal immigrants, former slaves, men, and women built this nation.   Democrats did not build it and in fact by their voting history they have worked to keep hard working, legal immigrants, former slaves, men and women down so that they could hold office.  When Democrats were no longer able to promote physical slavery, they resorted to economic slavery and have spent the last 45 years putting everyone into the status of economic slave.  Along the way there have been many Republicans who have stood in the Democrat's way.  It's almost 2016, and it is time again for a Republican who is one of the many and not the few to rise up, run for the office, and take back the Presidency of the United States for the people.  We must remember, this is a government for the people and by the people.  It is not a government for the Democrats and the lies they have portrayed as truths for far too long.  45 years is enough Mr. Johnson, we will take back the American Dream and put in the hands of the people again.

Jul 10, 2014

Democrats Plan to Override SCOTUS Ruling

Perhaps it should not be a surprise that Democrats are circulating a petition to override the Supreme Court's recent "Hobby Lobby" ruling regarding contraceptives.  An email circulating today from the Democratic National Committee (so it claims) indicates that the New York Times is reporting that "Democrats Draft Bill to Override Contraception Ruling".  The email offers the reader the chance to click a link and sign the petition.  So, it's clear to see a deceptive standard is still in full force with the Democratic Party.'s time to take the gloves off!  Time-and-time again we have found that Democrats will do anything to get their agenda passed.  If you will notice, the statement above says "Democrats Draft Bill to Override Contraception Ruling".  That sounds really bad, doesn't it?  It makes it sound like the SCOTUS has ruled that contraceptives are bad, or illegal or some other deal to do strictly with contraceptives.  Let's say what it really means!  Here's the way the petition should read "Democrats Draft Bill to Override Freedom of Religion Ruling."  That's it in a nutshell.

The Hobby Lobby lawsuit was about religious beliefs.  Since the Congress, and the courts have spent years giving corporations a personhood, then by all rights that personhood should have a right to share the religious views of the board of directors overseeing the operation.  Right?  That's what the SCOTUS basically ruled.  So, if in your person, you believe that you should not provide contraceptives to others, what do you do?  You don't provide contraceptives to others.  Hobby Lobby's "personhood" decided that it did not believe in providing contraceptives to employees.  It goes against the religious beliefs of the corporation.

Before anyone goes off saying Hobby Lobby is just using Christian views to it's benefit, we need stop and look at Hobby Lobby.  The personhood of Hobby Lobby practices what it preaches.  The corporation was founded on Christian views.  They founded it so strongly on Christian views that the stores are closed on Sundays.  They pass up 52 days a year, in addition to regular holidays for the view that all employees should be able to attend church should they desire.  52 days may not seem like a lot, but Hobby Lobby has 575 stores (   According to Forbes Hobby Lobby has a revenue of 3.3 Billion (  Look at that again 3.3 Billion a year!  There are 365 days a year.  Now take away Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter (automatic with Hobby Lobby) and take away an additional 52 Sundays.  This gives you 55 days of the store being closed each year.  This means that the store is only open 310 days each year.  A little division will show you that the corporation makes $10,645,161.29 each day (yes that's 10 Million).  Now multiple that by the 52 Sundays the store is closed and you find that Hobby Lobby loses $553,548,387.07 each year (yes 553 million) in potential Sunday sales.  Needless to say, the closing on Sunday's alone shows the corporations commitment to it's Christian views.  This practice has cost the company billions since it was formed in 1972, and all because of a commitment to a religious view.  So nobody needs to say that Hobby Lobby is "Suddenly Christian" to avoid giving contraceptives.

The bottom line, dear Democrats, is your petition is wrong.  What you want to do is squash religious freedom.  You want cut out religious freedom on a corporate level first and force everyone to accept your views on healthcare even though it does not go with their own beliefs.  I remember a whole group of Democrats saying accept Obamacare after the first SCOTUS ruling stating that "Congress has a right to tax".  Democrats ran around telling everyone to just accept because it's the "law of the land."  Suddenly, Democrats don't agree with a ruling and it's no longer an issue of being the "law of the land," but instead they draft legislation to override the ruling.   Nonetheless, tell it like it is.  Tell the truth, and that truth is that your petition should read "Democrats Draft Bill to Override Freedom of Religion Ruling." Sadly, if anyone gives an inch for the corporate personhood, it will not be long before you use this same tactic to attack the freedom of religion of individual persons as well.  For sometime now Democrats have had a problem with God (  They simply want to leave God out of the platform.  If you take time to leave God out of your platform, then it won't be long until you leave religious freedom out of your platform as well.

Republicans - we can no longer stand by while Democrats and the modern media bashes our beliefs and our freedoms.  This is no longer a sit on the sideline and watch the world roll by kind of America we live in!  Today, you have a choice, you can stand up, work for the party, fight the Democrats and those who would oppose religious freedom or you can sit by and watch.  I warn you though, if you sit by and watch, one day it will be your religious freedom that the petition and the drafted bill targets.

Jul 4, 2014

Independence Day: Sign On and Don’t Waste The Gift

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence to proclaim to the world this nation would be an independent sovereign country.  Fifty-six men signed the document to show the world that they stood by independence.  They were farmers, lawyers, businessmen, and up until that point they had been British citizens.  But, they were more.  They were husbands, friends, brothers, sons, grandsons, and grandfathers.  They were in the simplest of form people, but they were people who believed there could be something better.  They believed there could be a great nation.  They believed there could be a nation where people were free to worship as they wish, work as they wish, and govern themselves as they wish.   They believed there could be a nation where everyone signed on to the Declaration of Independence.

The signers had no way of knowing how America would turn out.  They viewed the country as thirteen small colonies.  They viewed the nation not as the military and economic power that it would become, but instead as struggling small nation facing the greatest military power known to their world.  They knew that there would be advancements, they knew there would be growth, and they knew there was a vast frontier waiting to be tamed in the future.  By signing the Declaration of Independence, each man put his name on a potential death warrant so that a future could be bought.  Had the country failed, not only would we still be under British rule today, but those men would have been hung, shot, or otherwise imprisoned and killed.  Treason was the word they would have used, and with it the sentence of death would have been imposed. 

Since that time back in 1776, men and women have stepped up to the call of the Declaration of Independence.  They have stepped up and died on the beaches, they have died in open fields, they have died at sea, they have died in foreign lands, they have died here at home all in the call of maintaining that little piece of paper called the Declaration of Independence.  But more than that they have stepped up in all walks of life.  They have stepped up as Presidents, Congressmen, state representatives, children working to bring aluminum to war efforts, doctors working to help find cures, and construction workers working to build the country. 

Every man, woman, and child who calls himself an American and steps up to help build this nation has in effect signed that Declaration of Independence.  The signers’ list is longer than any fifty-six men today.  It includes the Sam Waltons of the country, the Fords of the country, the Reagan’s of the country.  The list includes artist, workers, physicians, builders, explorers, grandparents, parents, and so many more.  Any American who has set out to make a better and brighter day for one American or for many Americans has in theory sat down at that table back in 1776 and signed their names to the list. 

Today, however, there is a growing list of people who will not sign their names to the Declaration of Independence.  They will instead decide to waste the gift.  Instead of taking the gift and signing on, they will decide it is easier to sit back and watch Television, play on the Internet, or play video games as America marches on.  These people have always been around, but now they seem to be growing in numbers.  The independent spirit seems to be dying for a dependent spirit, and the number of those signing the Declaration of Independence today is dwindling.  But the good news is it does not have to be this way!  There is still time. 

Don’t waste the gift of the Declaration of Independence.  Instead get up and make a difference for your country today.  There is so much you can do.   You can sign on and be the builder of a new business, a new building, a new street, a new home, and a new park.  You can go to trade school and become a mechanic, an electrician, a plumber, a truck driver, a train engineer, a pilot, and more.  You can go to college and become a teacher, a physician, a nurse, an engineer, and a business leader.  You could start a new business, no matter how small, or build on another business.  You could join the armed forces and serve in the ultimate position as a signer of the Declaration. 
Declaration of Independence

Today, as you eat the burgers and hot dogs and as you watch the fireworks this evening, ask yourself, “Am I a signer of the Declaration of Independence?  Have I really signed on or am I wasting that gift?”  If the answer is that you are not a signer and that you are wasting the gift, then take today to change that.  Just as fifty-six men did in 1776, take a moment to set out on a path that is different, dangerous, and at the same time wonderful.  Don’t sit by and waste the gift, become part of the gift.   Declare your independence again and by this time next year you and your nation will be a little better and freedom will mean a little more when you watch those fireworks.

Jul 2, 2014

What The Hobby Lobby Judgement Means

Most conservatives, and Christians, are excited by the news of Hobby Lobby's judgement by the Supreme Court; however, others are crying foul, including some of the Justices themselves. In the end the court made the right decision for America by basically telling the government to back off business in the area of religious freedom.

Business regulations is nothing new to America. The government has regulated some things that it should such as child labor laws, minimum wage, the Family Medical Leave Act, Social Security (not that they handle the account right), safety laws, and yes…many environmental laws do protect us from some big companies. So, there is some good to the government overseeing and regulating business practices. However, there is a down side as well. The government has also overtaxed certain areas, often used taxes as a form of punishment for certain industries, placed restrictions on operations such as oil and gas organizations, restricted drilling, lowered import taxes to a level where American corporations often can not compete with foreign corporations, NAFTA, bailouts, and strict regulations on healthcare benefits (most recent). The bottom line is we have to live with certain regulations for the good of the entire country, the workers, the people living near the industry, and future generations. We do not have to live with regulations affecting our religious beliefs though.

Courts have spent years indicating that corporations can be viewed as individuals (Corporate Personhood). Despite the fact that the corporation usually represents several people, it represents the views of those people as a collective and essentially becomes that person. They are in business to make money for the person(s) organizing them, their investors (if any), and the people working for them. Most corporations offer benefits of some kind. It could be vacation days, holidays, sick days, dental plans, health plans, and/or 401K plans, etc. The benefits they offer are decided in one or three ways. Either the employee asks for the benefit and it is granted, the corporation offers the benefit to the employee, or the government requires the benefit. For example, a person might want his or her corporation to pay for some advanced training. The corporation does this to help the person improve on his or her job. The employee has the knowledge from the training and can keep that knowledge as a benefit even if he or she leaves the corporation. From a corporate point of view, a corporation may offer a higher salary. The corporation for example might offer $10 an hour instead of the federal minimum wage, and this would be a benefit offered by the corporation. The government might require a benefit such as overtime for hours in excess of 40 per week. This would be a government benefit offered by the corporation due to regulations, but an appropriate one.

Hobby Lobby offers benefits based on their corporation's collective view. As a person, the corporation takes the views of the board such as Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays. This benefit allows employees of Hobby Lobby to attend a church of their choice, or to not attend a church of their choice, but either way they have Sundays off regardless of the work week schedule. Hobby Lobby also offers other benefits that are in line with their corporation's views. The corporation does not offer something it does not believe in from a religious point-of-view as a benefit.

As stated earlier, almost immediately people, including at least one Justice, issued outcries of foul about the ruling. They yell that other corporations could use this to their benefit, and they are right. A Jewish owned corporation for example might close on Friday evenings and not open back up until Sunday-to observe the Jewish Holy Day. This same corporation might offer other benefits or holidays around the Jewish calendar. Another corporation might, as Hobby Lobby did, refuse to offer morning after pills as part of their health benefits because they do not believe in abortion. Naturally, pro-abortion groups are already yelling foul as well.

What the people who are yelling foul fail to remember, especially the Justice, is two important facts. First, nobody is making anyone work for any certain corporation. This is America and work is not a prison sentence. An employee, if he or she does not like the benefits of one corporation, is free to go find another corporation to work for with benefits they want. The worker is free to find any job he or she desires. The other thing so easily forgotten is that the government has spent the last hundred years or so through litigation and laws giving the corporations a personhood. This means that despite the all yelling about the ruling, the bottom line is a corporation represents the person or persons who administer the board. Their collective decision is the view of the personhood of the corporation. With this in mind, the government can not tell the corporation how to administer religious beliefs or benefits that violate those beliefs. If the court had ruled against Hobby Lobby, it would have set a dangerous path that would say that the corporation's personhood has no religious rights. For most Americans, that should be alarming because it is way too close to saying the "person has no religious rights."

Jun 30, 2014

Jimmy Rhoda's Mistake Handled Right

It has now been almost a week since national headlines took notice of the 2nd District Republican Chairman Jimmy Rhoda and his comments about Hillary Clinton. Rhoda stated that Hillary would "probably get shot at the state line." The comment not only made national headlines, but also resulted in Rhoda stepping down from his post, and a quick distancing by candidates and Republicans across the state. Nobody ever said politics is nice and in politics when you mess up, you can expect that those who once laughed with you and loved you will suddenly distance themselves and grow silent. It is simply the nature of the beast.

The two things Jimmy Rhoda did in the wake of this controversy though show a positive character for the man. First, he said his comments were taken out of context. Based on the press' ever growing desire to sell stories full of hype, it's easy to see how that is most likely true. Rhoda is not a man who would be hiding behind a bush at the state line with his sniper rifle to take shots at the former first lady, former senator, and former secretary of state. Remember, just because you're a former, or even a has-been, you were still once somebody within the government. The Secret Service is still concerned about your well-being, at least to an extent. So, Rhoda knows better and as stated before he would never believe shooting someone is the right thing to do. Jimmy would not likely ever take aim at anyone regardless of their political position. The man simply is not that type of person. He is the type of person who is vocal, quick to speak, and a strong supporter of the Republican party.

The second thing Jimmy did was back away. This is the most important move because it is the one that allows the Arkansas Republican Party to move forward. It also allows candidates to move forward without this cloud. Regardless of whether the comment was taken out of context, Jimmy recognized that it could hurt the party. Rather than fight to keep his position, he bowed out and went silent. He's not running to reporters to "fix" the story, he's not fighting the party to keep his post, and he's not calling candidates demanding they defend him. Jimmy Rhoda, whatever people may think from the press, is doing something that Republicans have seen time-and-time again…he's showing class in the face of bad press.

The bottom line is Jimmy Rhoda made a mistake. He tried to correct it and he stepped down from his post to help the party. That's class. A lot of people wanted Doyle Webb to condemn the statement by Rhoda and to even condemn the man. Webb read the resignation and accepted the resignation. Webb and Rhoda both know something that those who want condemnation, including the Arkansas Democratic Party, do not know. People make mistakes. People make mistakes, they take responsibility and apologize, accept the consequences, and finally they move on. Webb and Rhoda accept this as finished, and they are right for doing it.

Jimmy Rhoda has been an extremely valuable member of the Republican Party of Arkansas. I have no doubt that as time goes he will continue that support and work. He will not likely be the 2nd District Chairman again, but that's okay because we all can not be District Chairs or there would be nobody to work in the trenches. I personally applaud Rhoda and Webb for their handling of a difficult situation. I also have to wonder how different the outcome might have been if Rhoda had been a Democrat; however, we will not likely know that because negative statements from a Democrat do not gain as much press as those from a Republican.

Jun 16, 2014

Curtis Coleman, John Cowart, and Beth Anne Rankin: Why they still matter to Arkansas Republicans

The state is dotted with politicians who have failed to obtain their goals for public service. They come from all ranks of life and are too numerous to name in a short article. Most of them simply fade back into private life after a loss and after a long campaign trail. Some of them pick back up and campaign for a different office, and some of them simply become the background voices crying out in the wilderness for other issues and candidates. Curtis Coleman, John Cowart and Beth Anne Rankin are three such politicians who have transitioned into those voices crying in the wilderness.

Curtis Coleman lost his bid recently for Arkansas Governor. Almost from the start of Curtis’ two year campaign people were saying, “I like Curtis, but he can’t win.” Those people did not seem to have any certain reason that Curtis could not win; they simply said he couldn’t do it. Curtis had already lost one campaign for the U.S. Senate, and then built a Constitutional organization to spread information about the origins of the Constitution. Over two years ago he leaped into a run for Arkansas Governor and faced an uphill battle from the start.

John Cowart, a detective with the Texarkana Arkansas Police force at the time, felt the calling to run for Congress. He ran in the primaries against Beth Anne Rankin and Tom Cotton. Cotton won that race beating both Rankin and Cowart by a good margin. John found himself paying off campaign debts and assessing his life. He has since moved into a position with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Beth Anne Rankin spent time working with Governor Mike Hucakbee’s office before starting her own company. In her second bid for the fourth district Congressional office she found herself defeated by newcomer Tom Cotton. She had constantly campaigned on the ideas of bringing the country into financial stability and reminding the citizens that the Congress has the purse strings and controls spending. After her loss she returned to her production company in Magnolia, Arkansas.

Curtis, John, and Beth Anne all share two things. First, they have all lost their bids for important, political post. However, the second thing they share is perhaps more important than the first. They share an ability to reach people.

Curtis Coleman built one of the largest, grass roots campaigns the state had ever seen. He had call stations in almost every county, he had supporters around the state and he worked to spread not only the Curtis Coleman for Governor message, but also the message of a conservative Arkansas Republican Party. The impact he has had is still being felt around the state as he works with other Republican candidates to ensure election in November.

John Cowart has taken his voice to the Fourth District meetings where he has helped impact policies and continues to spread the Republican message. John has the ability to speak to anyone about almost any topic and continues to inspire young people to campaign and strive for offices where they can serve the people of Arkansas.

Beth Anne Rankin continues through her business to touch young people’s hearts, but she can also be seen at most Republican meetings around the state. She has the ability to stand and deliver inspiring speeches, motivate people, and reach out as the public figure that Facebook and other online organizations continue to call her across the Internet.

Curtis, John, and Beth Anne still matter to the Republican Party of Arkansas. Not only do they have the ability to speak at events or for candidates, they have the experience of having run campaigns, of having traveled a good portion of the state, and of having reached out to the people of Arkansas during some stressful times. The party needs them. The party needs them to stand up, support candidates, continue their work, and reach out to young people across the state. The impact they can and do have can be tremendous for candidates, the party and the state. And, who knows, in the near future, we may need them to step up once again and run for an important office. The qualities of honesty, integrity, and hope is something we should all be looking for in any candidate that runs for office, and these three have an abundance of that to share.

Jun 4, 2014

Dealing with Terrorist and the Consequences for the World

Nobody would be surprised if Republicans were the only ones yelling about Obama’s violation of U.S. law in the recent prisoner exchange. After all, Republicans would yell, and for the most part Democrats would say they are all racist because they don’t like Obama. However, not only are Republicans upset, top Democrat Congress members are stating that Obama broke the law. They are upset too. Europe is being fairly quiet about the whole matter. In fact, do a quick search on the Internet and you’ll only find a few diplomats openly expressing concern. Recent polls show that at least 84% of Americans feel this was a bad move that will encourage further hostage taking according to .

84% concerned about the move, Democrats such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein who “claimed she’s been kept in the dark since 2012” according to and Republicans are concerned. Everyone seems to be expressing concern, but nobody seems to be acting on those concerns. Ultimately whether Congress decides to do something or not, will set the standard for which future Presidents rule. Imagine a world where the President could simply decide because he has a pen and phone he doesn’t need Congress….oh yeah. Further imagine a world where the President decides WE don’t need Congress. What if, with the stroke of a pen and telephone call to the military, the President could simply disband Congress, declare himself ruler and take over the country. You think that sounds like a movie or a far away third world country? You had better look again- the President just exchanged five top Taliban leaders for a private. I am not belittling the private’s life in the least, but historically speaking most Americans do not want to be pawns in hostage trading games. After the Iran Hostage Crisis and long before an easy, searchable Internet, there was one of the hostages being interviewed on ABC. He stated, “We kept waiting to hear American bombers flying overhead.” In other words, he didn’t want to be a pawn, he wanted the U.S. to bomb Iran, a move that would have likely ended with the death of those hostages. It’s been a long-standing tradition. We don’t negotiate with terrorist. But, apparently we do now because President Obama decided by himself without Congress that we do. Simply put, he no longer needs Congress.

While we wait for Congress to act, which is often like waiting to watch a polar ice cap melt, we must consider the immediate ramifications of this President’s actions. Here is a break down of things Americans must consider:
1. U.S. military forces around the world are now the targets for any terrorist organization needing to invoke a prisoner exchange. If an organization has leaders, followers, or friends captured by the United States or allies, then terrorist will target U.S. military forces to take prisoner in the hope of having an exchange.
2. Enjoy that world trip you’re planning to take! That’s right, the minute you pull out your passport and show that you’re a United States Citizen, you’ve increased your chances that you’ll be used as a hostage exchange as well. That’s right, terrorist no longer have to videotape you having your head cut off and send it back to America. Now they can keep you, starve you, beat you, humiliate you all with the hope of being able to exchange you for one of their own. If by some reason you’re not important enough to the President to have a prisoner exchange conducted, they can still videotape your head being cut off and send it back to the country.
3. Our allies are now endangered. They will be collateral damage if a terrorist decides to take Americans. Say an organization decides to take Americans off a British Airline. Well, Great Britain does not negotiate with terrorist, so they won’t need those citizens to trade. They can simply kill British and other national citizens all because there is an American on board that could be traded. That will make you popular on the airline trips!
4. Finally, top-ranking Congressional members, top-ranking military persons, and business leaders will be the best targets of all for terrorist. The view will be if they can get five Taliban leaders for a private, what can they get for a Congress member, or an officer, or perhaps millionaire business owner? The terrorist will have stars in their eyes like they are shopping in a terrorist discount store.

The bottom line is easily seen in the celebrations by the Taliban. They are calling this a victory, and to be blunt they are right. They have managed to force the United States to give back five of their leaders, come to the table, and negotiate with a non-country-in fact a terrorist organization, and all they have had to give in return is one private who appears to have went AWOL and walked over to them. Unfortunately, the Taliban is 100% correct-they won this one. Finally, to leave the reader with one last thought, as if the thought of the Taliban beating the U.S. is not bad enough, how about Feinstein. Because she disagreed with the President, Republicans deserve to know….does this mean she’s a racist now?

Jun 1, 2014

Terrorist and The United States: Open for Negotiations

There’s no denying that Americans should celebrate the return of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, but the process in which he was released leaves unanswered questions.  The President announced the return of Bergdahl surrounded by a father and mother that we are certain are relieved at the least and most likely happy to have their son coming home.  While Americans should be giving Obama and his staff the good old knuckle-bump for the work, it seemed to be almost immediately overshadowed by what might have been done wrong.

So, to avoid a constant bash the Obama Administration, let us stop and look for a moment at the positive aspect of this deal.  First, and foremost, regardless of circumstances, an American soldier is coming home.  There is no denying this is good news.  In a nation where we still have missing and unaccounted soldiers going back to Vietnam, Korea, World War II and even World War I, knowing that this young man will not be among those lost forever is great news.  So, kudos to Obama and company for the work in this area.  It is also nice to see the President with the soldier’s family, encouraging them in the national spotlight.  It is further nice to know that we will not have to house or feed five prisoners anymore on the U.S. tax dollar.

Ok - Enough feel good - now let us take a moment to question some things that Americans at large, and both Democrats and Republicans should be questioning in Congress.  First, why is this President being allowed to run around Congress?  Law requires that Congress receive a 30-day notice of any prisoners being moved, exchanged, or taken out of Guantanamo.  It does not allow the President to do this and then tell Congress later he did it.  It has already been said that time was sensitive and that this had to be done quickly so there was no time to notify Congress in advance.  Why?  Bergdahl has been held since 2009.  That is five years in captivity and suddenly it was vital to do this exchange immediately, again why?   The Taliban prisoners have been held for no telling how long with various dates of capture we are sure, but many of them have been there throughout most of the war.  Again, this urges the question of why Congress could not get a 30-day notice as required by law?  Even if the President had told Congress he wanted to do it now, they could have said, “Yes, Mr. President, we’ll accept this as notice.  Please move ahead with your plans” at any point after being notified.  Naturally, there are already rumors that “key” members were notified, but then we have to question that these “key” members were, and were they all Democrats who support Obama?  The facts at this point at least, appear to point to clear violation of U.S. law by the President-an item that the mainstream media should be yelling about across the television stations, radio stations, newspapers, and the Internet.  

The next major concern becomes the trade itself.  The United States just negotiated with terrorist.   Read that line again, “The United States just negotiated with terrorist.”  There has been a long-standing refusal to negotiate with terrorist going back to at least the Carter Administration.  Carter did not negotiate, Reagan did not, Bush did not, Clinton did not, and Bush did not.  So where is the media uproar?  More importantly, why are we as Americans not in an uproar?  President Obama and his administration just set a new standard for the United States.  While most of our allies do not negotiate with terrorist, while it is frowned on by most Americans, and while we have not negotiated before, we suddenly have a new standards all thanks to President Obama.  We now negotiate with terrorist.  

Finally, and likely the worst part of the concerns we should have, is those five terrorist.  We just released five terrorists back into the world.  These are the type of men who blow our military members up with children and bombs, they attack our military with roadside bombs, and further they prepare, plan, and initiate terrorist attacks like the ones we have seen in the United States - Remember September 11?  That is right, these are the type of men who would obtain an airplane, and send it into a building full of civilians simply because they want to send a message!  We did not exchange one person for one-person….no, we gave them five of their leaders.  Consider that again “Five of their leaders.”   This means we handed back to the terrorist organization five individuals who plan, train, and prepare their volunteers to start the terrorist attacks.  

Hopefully Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl will return to the United States, reunite with his family (despite their questionable tweets), and receive what he deserves for being a POW for all these years.  We are happy to see him return.  Hopefully, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl will not wake up one day to the realization that the five terrorists given in exchange for his freedom have become the masterminds behind another September 11 styled attack.  Hopefully, he will not feel the blood of thousands of Americans was spilled for his release.  Hopefully….

May 23, 2014

Asa for Arkansas

Asa in Texarkana
Asa in Texarkana
On election night one thing was made clear regarding Arkansas, and that is Arkansas Republicans want Asa for Governor.  While Curtis Coleman rallied supporters and fired the imagination and the desire of people to be involved in the party, ultimately the majority of those votes went to Asa.  Nobody can downplay the impact that Curtis’ travels and message has had on the state.  He has fueled a growing desire in the party to take back this country and this state and return it to the Constitutional foundations.  Voters hurried to the poles and voted and when the dust settled, the outcome was Asa for Arkansas.

Asa has served in Congress, he was the Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and he was Under Secretary of Homeland Security.  This is an impressive resume for a man who has now turned his attention toward the home he loves, Arkansas. 

With an impressive resume and an outstanding history, I expected to meet an Asa Hutchinson who strolled into the room and took command from the podium.   I expected him to shake hands, tell participants what he was going to do for Arkansas, and tell participants everything that is wrong with his opponent in the primary.  The Asa I met for the first time a few weeks ago was completely different from what I had expected.

While Asa did shake hands with participants, he did none of the other things I expected.  He did not take charge of the meeting from a podium, but instead he stood among his family and the participants and spoke directly to the people in the room.  He spoke about his desire to serve as governor, and then spent a lot of time praising others, including family members serving in the military, and talking about Arkansas.  Asa never once said a negative comment about his opponent and in fact praised Curtis Coleman for the work of uniting the party.  During the gathering, I had the opportunity to talk directly with Asa and was shocked.

Asa approached me and introduced himself simply as “Asa Hutchinson.”  I shook hands with him and told him my name.  I stood there awkwardly for a moment expecting Asa to do the usual political thing and tell me why he is the best candidate, but instead he did something no other political candidate I have ever met has done.  Maybe they are doing this someplace, but I’ve never met one except for Asa who has done this particular thing.  Asa simply said, “So, tell me about yourself.”  He then stood silently, apparently waiting on me to tell my life story to him.  I really was caught off guard and did not know what to say.  I finally stumbled out a few words about my work history, what I do now, and the fact that I was simply happy to be at the event.  Asa nodded, and then began to talk with me briefly about disability services, an area of my work, in Arkansas.

It was later that I learned from a State Representative, that Asa is the sort of person who wants to get to know each voter and to hear what is important to that voter.  He wants to see how he can help once elected governor.  Suddenly it occurred to me, that despite having spent time in some of the most powerful positions in the United States, Asa Hutchinson still wanted to know what regular, everyday Arkansas people needed from government.  He wanted to address those concerns that are often specific to a state and sometimes a region of that state.  I learned that day that Asa was not simply for Asa.  Asa is, and has always been, for Arkansas.  In November, Arkansas will finally elect a Governor not looking to improve a political resume, but looking to improve the state.