Friday, April 30, 2010


Despite all odds, our country has endured countless obstacles. Against all odds, we have persevered. Our collective resolve has enabled us to become the greatest country in the history of mankind.

Do we now just throw it all away at the behest of our President?

Knee-Jerk Reaction

Can you say OVER-REACTION?

We are only now coming to grips with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Obama decides to send in the clowns from the Interior Department to halt any further offshore oil drilling and exploration.

My preference is to send in the FBI, CIA or some other appropriate investigative group to determine if this explosion was truly an accident or an act of sabotage. This event was just too perfectly timed for Obama's agenda. I'm not suggesting that he had anything to do with it, but he sure as hell has pounced on it in the political arena.

Call me a cynic, but I find it very hard to understand why, after what appears to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, the President of the United States decides to curtail further oil drilling and exploration until HE deems it safe.

Go ahead, bring in the clowns.

UPDATE: Mark Levin spoke with an engineer who was on the drilling platform at the time of the accident. This conversation should dispel any notion of sabotage.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When I Met My Wife...

I'm not going to go into details about how (or why) I met my wife. That is a story I will tell at another time. This story is about all the new friends you meet when you find someone new....

My wife graduated from the University of Texas.

So what, you say?

You cannot comprehend how that defines a college football fan. Especially when her college team (The Longhorns) won the National Championship twice during her tenure at UT.

You develop a circle of friends that are all avid fans. You attend every game with the hopes of a win. You frolic in the afterglow of a game well-played. You have an out-of-body experience when your team wins the National Championship. And you experience that moment with all your friends.

My wife has never forgotten those days of glory. Those friends have remained friends for her entire life. They have become my friends.

Everyone gets together on a certain Saturday in October, when the Longhorns play their arch-rival, Oklahoma. The game always takes place in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. If the football gods are righteous, it will continue to take place at that venue for generations to come. As it should.

I inherited my wife's friends. That is not a bad thing, because I found people that had the same passion for college football that I did, way back when. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd find that passion again as I had when I was in college, even thought MY team was not a stellar example of college football.

We've always gotten together for the Red River Rivalry (Texas-Oklahoma), a major event held every October. The group is always here, one minute before kick-off. Whatever the score at halftime, we assemble in the back yard for a group picture. Parents, kids, pets and all, to be recorded for all time. Those pictures are now a reminder of a friend we will never see again.

My wife and I lost one of her cherished friends this week to a senseless act of violence. On Monday, Terry Baird ventured out from his home to a neighborhood bar to have a beer and talk to like-minded patrons. You know, those that have a passion for life and love to talk. Terry was sitting at the bar enjoying his Coors Light when a young man approached. Terry entertained him in conversation for a few minutes and the man turned and walked away.

In a moments notice, the man turned back to Terry, withdrew a knife, leaned in and slit his throat while Terry was sitting at the bar. This was a neighborhood bar that specialized in gourmet pizzas. The kind of place that you would bring your kids...and there were many in attendance.

The man immediately ran out the back door. Frantic patrons and employees descended on Terry to try to help. Calls went out to 911. Others ran out the door in pursuit of the madman. Life stood still in a moment of senseless violence.

Terry died before paramedics could help him. The madman was chased down, tackled and restrained until police arrived. He was taken to a jail cell and my friend was taken to the coroner. I am heart-broken.

We will attend his viewing tomorrow night. The funeral is Friday.

How can this happen? How can we meet someone who has raised three grown sons, takes his mother to Church on Sundays, is a friend to everyone he meets, but yet, dies as a senseless statistic?

When I met my wife, I inherited all her friends. They never treated me as anyone but a friend. I was never judged, I was never challenged, I was only a friend. Terry Baird was my friend. I will miss him.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Madness Abounds...on the Left!

In case you needed more evidence that the left is a study in madness, consider this piece from Mark Ambinder at The Atlantic, titled "Have Conservatives Gone Mad?"

Here is an excerpt:
It is absolutely a condition of the age of the triumph of conservative personality politics, where entertainers shouting slogans are taken seriously as political actors, and where the incentive structures exist to stomp on dissent and nuance, causing experimental voices to retrench and allowing a lot of people to pretend that the world around them is not changing. The obsession with ACORN, Climategate, death panels, the militarization of rhetoric, Saul Alinsky, Chicago-style politics, that TAXPAYERS will fund the bailout of banks -- these aren't meaningful or interesting or even relevant things to focus on. (The banks will fund their own bailouts.)
He willingly disparages the Tea Party movement with his dismissal of our concerns and complains about the "conservative echo chamber" having an unhealthy effect on our positions.

In a way, I like his way of thinking. It keeps the left in denial about what is going to happen come November.

Hat Tip: Legal Insurrection

We Will Remember

We Will Remember from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

SRLC, Gov. Barbour Introduction Feature from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What is a Trailblazer?

I've been baffled as to why Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty aren't out in front of the many issues the Tea Parties are railing against. Sure, they've given speeches at "conservative-friendly" rallies like CPAC or the SRLC, but what about in the mainstream media? All three seem to be missing.

I've often wondered why they don't engage in the issues the way that Sarah Palin does. And then it hit me..they don't have to.

Sarah is running interference for them.

She is the one taking on the issues and speaking out about them. She is the one that responds to all the new Obama initiatives in real time. She is the only one that dares to opine about the latest "scandal" in Washington.

She is the trailblazer.

She is Kit Carson, she is Jim Bridger, she is Daniel Boone, she is Amelia Earhart, she is, quite simply, a trailblazer.

She is leading the charge into the belly of the beast and she is alone in her efforts. Although she knows this, she is not afraid to step out into the forefront of public opinion. She's confident, articulate and, perhaps, naive. She thinks that other prominent Republicans will follow her lead, but I see no such thing. Her Alaskan roots define her as her opponents' Eastern roots define them. She is Andrew Jackson, raised on the simplicity of life in Alaska.

I remember a question once posed to me by a high school teacher. "How do you know a trailblazer when you see one?" I didn't know the answer. He answered by saying that some suggest that a trailblazer is the one laying in the trail, dead, with arrows in his chest. "Wow", I said, "how weird is that?" The teacher went on to explain. "Trailblazers will always be in your midst, but they may be careless and ignorant. They may die as you follow them. The true trailblazer is one that is a survivor and learns the way without taking the arrows".

He went on: "The dead trailblazer is just a pawn to the leader. He shields his master from taking the first blow, and often dies as a result. He is exalted for his heroism and often becomes an icon. The truth is that he died in the service of someone else. His sacrifice is noteworthy only as a footnote in his leader's success."

Sarah Palin is taking the arrows for the Republican Party. She is the only one responding to Obama. I have no doubt that Romney and friends consider her an "expendable" commodity. They will sit back and watch while she takes on the media and Obama administration with the hopes that she'll end up a dead icon. They think that they'll sweep in and harvest her efforts. I think otherwise.

I consider myself a leader, but I'll follow Sarah Palin anywhere. She's not only a trailblazer, she's a survivor.

She was considered dead after the 2008 election, but she lived on. She was considered a fool for resigning the governorship of Alaska, but her voice has grown stronger. She's been subjected to ridicule on countless levels, but she's the darling of the Tea Party movement.

She's a true trailblazer AND a leader. I'll follow her to the gates of Hell, because I know she is a God-fearing survivor!

Rush Comes Out Swinging

In a new opinion piece published today by the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh comes out swinging at former President Bill Clinton. Last Friday, in a speech delivered in Washington, Clinton revisited his past claim that talk radio (Rush Limbaugh) was partly responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Liberals and the Violence Card
Conservative protest is motivated by a love of what America stands for.


The latest liberal meme is to equate skepticism of the Obama administration with a tendency toward violence. That takes me back 15 years ago to the time President Bill Clinton accused "loud and angry voices" on the airwaves (i.e., radio talk-show hosts like me) of having incited Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. What self-serving nonsense. Liberals are perfectly comfortable with antigovernment protest when they're not in power.

From the halls of the Ivy League to the halls of Congress, from the antiwar protests during the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq to the anticapitalist protests during International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings, we're used to seeing leftist malcontents take to the streets. Sometimes they're violent, breaking shop windows with bricks and throwing rocks at police. Sometimes there are arrests. Not all leftists are violent, of course. But most are angry. It's in their DNA. They view the culture as corrupt and capitalism as unjust.

Now the liberals run the government and they're using their power to implement their radical agenda. Mr. Obama and his party believe that the election of November 2008 entitled them to make permanent, "transformational" changes to our society. In just 16 months they've added more than $2 trillion to the national debt, essentially nationalized the health-care system, the student-loan industry, and have their sights set on draconian cap-and-trade regulations on carbon emissions and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Had President Obama campaigned on this agenda, he wouldn't have garnered 30% of the popular vote.

Like the millions of citizens who've peacefully risen up and attended thousands of rallies in protest, I seek nothing more than the preservation of the social contract that undergirds our society. I do not hate the government, as the left does when it is not running it. I love this country. And because I do, I insist that the temporary inhabitants of high political office comply with the Constitution, honor our God-given unalienable rights, and respect our hard-earned private property. For this I am called seditious, among other things, by some of the very people who've condemned this society?

I reject the notion that America is in a well-deserved decline, that she and her citizens are unexceptional. I do not believe America is the problem in the world. I believe America is the solution to the world's problems. I reject a foreign policy that treats our allies like our enemies and our enemies like our allies. I condemn the president traveling the world apologizing for America's great contributions to mankind. And I condemn his soft-peddling the dangers we face from terrorism. For this I am inciting violence?

Few presidents have sunk so low as Mr. Clinton did with his accusations about Oklahoma City. Last week—on the very day I was contributing to and raising more than $3 million to fight leukemia and lymphoma on my radio program—Mr. Clinton used the 15th anniversary of that horrific day to regurgitate his claims about talk radio.

At a speech delivered last Friday at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., the former president said: [T]here were a lot of people who were in the business back then of saying that the biggest threat to our liberty and the cause of our domestic economic problem was the federal government itself. And we have to realize that there were others who fueled this both because they agreed with it and because it was in their advantage to do so. . . . We didn't have blog sites back then so the instrument of carrying this forward was basically the right-wing radio talk show hosts and they understand clearly that emotion was more powerful than reason most of the time."

Timothy McVeigh was incensed by the Clinton administration's 1993 siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. It's no coincidence that the bombing took place two years to the day of the Waco siege. McVeigh was not inspired by anything I said or believe and to say otherwise is outright slander. In the aftermath of the bombing, I raised millions of dollars for the children of federal employees killed in that cowardly attack through my association with the Marine Corp Law Enforcement Foundation.

Let me just say it. The Obama/Clinton/media left are comfortable with the unrest in our society today. It allows them to blame and demonize their opponents (doctors, insurance companies, Wall Street, talk radio, Fox News) in order to portray their regime as the great healer of all our ills, thus expanding their power and control over our society.

A clear majority of the American people want no part of this. They instinctively know that the Obama way is not how things get done in this country. They are motivated by love. Not hate, not sedition. They love their country and want to save it from those who do not.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Quiet Demeanor, but a Fervent Commitment

We have all known the individual that chooses to remain out of the spotlight, yet possesses a belief and demeanor that we all admire. They are not the ones who must have the last word, they are not the ones to argue their beliefs. They quietly go about their lives with a conviction that underscores their values. We see them, we acknowledge them, we admire them. They are all around us, and for that, we are grateful.

I lost my neighbor of 13 years on Monday. Paula was not in the spotlight, she wasn't the gregarious one that attracted attention. She was the hidden one that lived next door. She worked at the high school and quietly aided all that came to her for assistance. I must say, I didn't know her well. I do know her husband, having countless interactions as we went about the job of maintaining our yards.

What I did know about Paula I learned from her children. Her youngest daughter babysat for my sons when they were 4 and 9. We had just moved to the neighborhood and we didn't know anyone. Maggie was next door and interested in babysitting. Her dad sealed the deal during a break in our mowing chores. Maggie babysat for us over the next few years until she went to college. She was the epitome of "teenage" childcare. Never once did we have an issue.

Jacob is the eldest, the only boy in the family. As my sons grew older, he would always stop after coming home from school and take the time to play basketball with them in our driveway. He has a very quiet and respectful demeanor to him. He also gave the eulogy on the family's behalf at Paula's funeral.

Paula's legacy is her family. Each and every one of them embody her spirit and values. They too possess a quiet demeanor and her commitment toward family. Jacob acknowledged his entire family's fervent belief and desire to see her again when their time comes to pass. I have no doubt they will.

Paula Fitzhugh, RIP.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Simplistic Message?

I am getting sick and tired about the "intelligentsia" in Washington telling us that Sarah Palin has not found her voice and that she's not REALLY ready to run for the Presidency.

I call bullshit. Sarah's message is simple. Government needs to get out of the way.

I'll take someone with the conviction that government has grown too large, is involved in too much and is running our future into the ground. Who cares about "policy" issues and the "nuances" of governing, outside of Washington. Core convictions will light the way. With those convictions, policy will follow. It's not the other way around.

Sarah Palin's message is simple, but OH so difficult for the bureaucracy of Washington to understand: You're too big, you're too oppressive on the domestic front, you're wasteful and you're SO against what the U.S. Constitution calls for.

Forget about what all the pundits say about Sarah's lack of policy positions. She has the best policy position of anyone I've heard since Ronald Reagan.

The best that President Obama can say about America is this (emphasis mine): "Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower"

Whether we like it or not? Who the hell is he talking about?

Not me!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Obama Under Water

Per Real Clear Politics, a beautiful sight:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

SRLC Straw Poll Results

Very interesting results from the straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans today:

Mitt Romney       439    24.89%
Ron Paul                438    24.83%
Sarah Palin           330     18.71%
Newt Gingrich     321    18.20%
Others                    236     13.38%
Total                   1,764 100.00%

What I find interesting is the fact that both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul bought votes. Sarah Palin bought caribou beef jerky for the attendees as a salute to her Alaskan heritage. I haven't found any evidence that Newt Gingrich did anything to influence the vote, so I'm curious.

Mitt spends money at the SRLC for vote purposes, but doesn't attend. Ron Paul continues to engage his minions to do whatever and spends his remaining campaign funds to influence the vote as well. Sarah Palin does noting but show up to speak to the attendees and manages to capture almost 19% of the vote without trying.

When Sarah Palin finally decides to make a run at the Presidency, look out. She's already relevant without organizing. Think about what happens when she DOES organize.

In Defense of Mom

I can't completely convey to you my relationship with my mother, who is 87. For a little background, she lives alone in my hometown, having outlived two husbands. Her quarters are spacious and comfortable, with enough room to house regular visits from my siblings and their children. She doesn't lack for much and still ventures out on her own to the store, having maintained her driver's license with regular, required exams. She recently had cataract surgery in both eyes, but is disappointed in the results. Her accompanying prescription glasses don't provide her with the vision she had hoped for. But she perseveres in spite of it.

My mother is one of those individuals with an amazing gene of longevity. My great-aunt attended Christmas at my mother's home until she was 99. My great-aunt's last year was fitful and troubling with falls and endangering forgetfulness. My mother was forced to make the decision to move her from her home of 60 years to a nursing facility. She did not go willingly and derided my mother for that decision, turning to hateful remarks and spurning the efforts of the entire staff at the nursing home. She died a few, brief months after admittance. My take: her freedom had been wrestled from her and the will to live expired the minute she was forced to leave her home. My mother was trying to protect her, but looking back, it didn't matter. My great-aunt was going to do what she was going to hell with the consequences. I almost feel like she died to spite my mother. She had that kind of spunk.

Here is my issue: my mother is fast-approaching the same scenario as my great-aunt. She's as healthy as she can be and sharper than a tack, but she can't control the advance of age and its toll on her mobility and choices. My great-aunt died when I lived in Indianapolis, although I traveled home for each Christmas. My brother and brothers-in-law would all jockey for the job of picking up Aunt Caroline and bringing her to my mother's home for Christmas Eve. It was extremely important to all of us that she be there. It is extremely important now that my mother be there, although I am now living in Texas and can't travel home for every Christmas.

My thoughts turn to Obamacare and what consequences it will have on my mother. We supported my mom in her decision to move Aunt Caroline to the nursing home. None of us wanted to see that happen, but we all knew that Aunt Caroline could no longer take care of herself. But it was our decision, born out of love and concern for her well-being. We wanted to protect her from calamity and continue to see her attend our Christmas get-togethers. For Aunt Caroline, that could only happen on her own terms.

I want my mother to go out on her own terms as well. I can't protect her while living in Texas and have to trust my siblings to assist her. But what if it comes down to a decision on healthcare? What if we are denied the ability to decide on a course of action for my mother's well-being and instead must acquiesce to an Obamacare mandate? What if that mandate precludes our wishes for her care?

My mother deserves better than that. She deserves to be guided by her family's love and caring. Just like my mom did for Aunt Caroline.

One of the highlights of my week is to talk to my mom on Sundays. We miss a week here and there, but if I don't call her, she calls me. Sometimes the conversation is brief, sometimes it lasts for nearly an hour. The length of the call is usually dictated by the occasion of an Indiana University basketball game or an Indianapolis Colts football game. She hates to be interrupted during a game. I love her dearly.

Special note: Aunt Caroline had bypass surgery in her eighties and had a pacemaker inserted when she was in her nineties.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Government Law-Breaker

This piece appeared today on the American Thinker blog. It's too important to excerpt, so I'm presenting it in total.
April 09, 2010
Government Is the Biggest Lawbreaker
By Mark J. Fitzgibbons

Measured just by the number of victims, there is no close second place to government as the biggest lawbreaker. Measured in terms of impact, government lawbreaking is disabling our entire society.

When an individual or collection of individuals (such as a business) violates the law, there are victims who are harmed directly, and the law provides remedies. The law also recognizes that lawbreakers create harm to society as a whole, since the costs of lawbreaking are borne by society as well as by the direct victims. The law therefore exacts civil or criminal punishments on lawbreakers.

When government breaks the law, not just individuals, but entire industries are often the direct victims. Government lawbreakers, however, are not subject to the same standards as are individuals. Government lawbreakers have become arrogant, and government lawbreaking has therefore proliferated. If government were held to the same standards of legal sanctions for individuals, the weight of those punishments would actually crush government.

The question is: What can we do about government lawbreaking?

Philosopher John Locke wrote that the punishment should fit the crime, but that the purpose of criminal laws should be reparation and restraint. Those standards generally apply to non-criminal lawbreaking. That is, the punishment should require the injured to be made whole, if possible, and should be strong enough to discourage lawbreaking in the first place.

When individuals or collections of individuals violate the law, the number of direct victims is limited. When government violates the law, the number of direct victims is unlimited. Government has in place police forces, prosecutors, and a legal system to bring individual lawbreakers to justice. That same system does not protect society well when government breaks the law.

Government has established rules to protect itself against the calamities that would befall it if it were subject to the same levels of reparations and penalties for lawbreaking as apply to individuals. For example, governments have passed sovereign immunity laws making reparations for lawbreaking by government nearly impossible to achieve in many cases.

The system shields government from reparations for individuals. That makes restraints on government even more important. The Constitution was established with restraints in mind by expressly delegating only certain powers to the federal government. When constitutional restraints on government are ignored, the floodgates to government lawbreaking are opened wide.

That's the philosophical view. As a lawyer who regularly battles government lawbreaking, I can tell you that as a practical matter, it's much uglier and more mischievous. It's a problem embedded in the political establishment and the unelected regulatory bureaucracy. It's a disease of unparalleled magnitude, yet it is too rarely addressed even in print.

Just looking at some examples shows how disproportionate the system is against private lawbreaking versus government or public lawbreaking.

Bernie Madoff is in prison for defrauding many investors using a Ponzi scheme. The Social Security system has been pillaged. It is actually the world's biggest Ponzi scheme, but nobody has been punished.

Toyota is facing an auto industry record $16.4-million fine for failing to notify the government about defects. Would automakers Chrysler or Chevrolet, whose owners include the United States government, face fines of similar magnitude if they had engaged in the same conduct? The answer to that, of course, requires speculation.

But what if the Environmental Protection Agency is found to have violated the law by regulating greenhouse gas emissions of automobiles? The EPA was recently sued by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for that reason. Not a single automobile maker could violate the law for every car owner, but one government agency could, and probably did.

If a health insurance company were to violate the law, its victims would be limited to its policy holders. The individual mandate under ObamaCare is being challenged as unconstitutional and therefore unlawful as affecting every American.

After passage of ObamaCare, several companies announced their assessments that the new law would cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. Those announcements were made in compliance with the law, yet some Democratic members of Congress have demanded the company executives and their records for a hearing. That is the stuff of totalitarianism: punishing private compliance with the law when government is violating the law with impunity.

People often feel powerless to challenge government when it violates our paramount law, the Constitution -- and never mind the everyday, less visible violations of statutory and regulatory law by government. How do you fight Leviathan?

In the case of the executives called to testify before Congress, they and their lawyers could easily become heroes by going on offense at the hearing. Instead of testifying on their heels, they should identify the abominations in ObamaCare, expose the contributions received by the Democrats who called them to testify, and generally use the microphones to expose the hearing for what it is -- a circus. This is their Howard Hughes moment. Hughes, testifying before Congress, exposed his interrogators for the corrupt, incompetent politicians they were.

We're also starting to see more citizens organizing and challenging government. The legitimate application and enforcement of the Constitution is a main thrust of these new activists. Recently, Tea Party groups even formed a National Tea Party Federation to have a rapid response to the liberal media, which have aided and abetted government lawbreaking.

As people come to realize the government is the biggest lawbreaker, we may see the rise of a new breed of politicians and law enforcement officials who see their jobs as not merely tackling private sector lawbreakers, but tackling government lawbreakers as well. That may even be the big, innovative campaign promise that will sweep many new officials into office and sweep out incumbents who have tolerated, fostered, or engaged in government lawbreaking.

It's important to start, however, just with the recognition that government is by far the biggest lawbreaker in society. Solutions will continue to evolve from that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beware the Borg!

Tags: Borg, Healthcare, Hive