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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

The Thanksgiving celebration we celebrate this week is a remembrance of the Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims in the Colony of Massachusetts.  The Pilgrims had fled to America for religious freedom.  The celebration they held was for the express purpose of thanking God for preserving them through a harsh winter and blessing them with abundant crops.  These Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower on December 21, 1620.  Here is the story of what happened according to the actual writings of the Pilgrims as narrated by Barbara Curtis, a contributing editor.

“In the early 1600s, the Wampanoag (Wam-pa-NO-ag) Indians covered the coast of what we now call New England. They raised crops, living close to the ocean in summer for seafood, moving inland in winter to set up hunting camps. Their encounters with Europeans over the years were mostly friendly.
One exception: In 1614 Captain Thomas Hunt captured several Wampanoag, along with a Patuxet named Squanto, to be sold into slavery in Spain. A Spanish monk purchased Squanto's freedom, taught him English, and introduced him to Jesus Christ. In 1619, Squanto returned to his native land, only to find his tribe wiped out by an epidemic. Thereafter he made his home with the Wampanoag.

Meanwhile, in 1608, a British group called the Separatists fled to Leyden, Holland. There they found religious freedom, but also poverty, grueling work hours and a secular culture that threatened to undo the values they had carefully instilled into their children. In 1620, they sold everything and indentured themselves for seven years to finance their journey to America.

On the Mayflower, the Separatists were joined by those seeking the new land for other reasons; these they called the Strangers. The two groups, 102 altogether, were called the Pilgrims.”
Their journey lasted nine weeks. In one of those "accidents" which change the course of history, the ship lost its course and landed far north of its destination at what we now call Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Once outside the territory covered by the King's Charter, the Pilgrims became responsible for their own government, and so they wrote a set of laws called The Mayflower Compact.

On December 21, 1620, they began their new life at the place they named Plymouth.
It was a devastating winter -- whipped with wind and sleet and snow. Half the Pilgrims died. Still the Separatists clung to their faith; not one chose to return to England with the Mayflower that spring.
But spring brought unexpected relief with the help of a noble and generous Christian brother -- Squanto. He taught them how to grow corn, use fertilizer, stalk deer and catch fish. William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth, wrote of Squanto that he was "a special instrument sent of God for good beyond their expectations."

And so their first harvest was good. Governor Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God and the Pilgrims invited their Indian friends. Chief Massasoit and 90 members of his tribe came, along with Squanto, bearing venison and wild turkeys for all to share. Together in harmony, the Pilgrims and the Indians feasted, played games, ran races and showed their prowess with bow and arrow and musket.

This is the true story of the origin of today’s American Thanksgiving holiday.  It is a unique holiday.  It’s not celebrated in Europe, and its origins are thoroughly American and Christian.  At this first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for their deliverance from the terrible winter weather, for the blessing of Squanto’s friendship, and for their abundant harvest. 
This Thanksgiving celebration created a tradition of Americans thanking God for their many blessings, even in time of war, time of devastation, and time of plenty.  Here is George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation…

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Although President Thomas Jefferson declined to issue a Thanksgiving proclamation, the tradition of a Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation continued throughout the years.  On October 3, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued this Thanksgiving Day proclamation…
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”
Even in the midst of a great civil war that was tearing the nation apart, Abraham Lincoln found, as the Pilgrims found, time to thank God for their many blessings.  It was this perspective of America’s great leaders over the years that helped to keep Americans focused on the one to whom all thanks belong, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Thanksgiving Day Proclamations during the Great Depression, and during World War II.  In each case he gave thanks to God.  This is what he said on November 30, 1933 during some of the deepest days of the Great Depression…

“I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people.
May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.

May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.

May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all people to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the bettering of mankind.”

On October 27, 1961 President John F. Kennedy said, in part in his Thanksgiving Proclamation... 

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.” (Psalm 92:1a)

“More than three centuries ago, the Pilgrims, after a year of hardship and peril, humbly and reverently set aside a special day upon which to give thanks to God for their preservation and for the good harvest from the virgin soil upon which they had labored. Grave and unknown dangers remained. Yet by their faith and by their toil they had survived the rigors of the harsh New England winter. Hence they paused in their labors to give thanks for the blessings that had been bestowed upon them by Divine Providence.

This year, as the harvest draws near its close and the year approaches its end, awesome perils again remain to be faced. Yet we have, as in the past, ample reason to be thankful for the abundance of our blessings. We are grateful for the blessings of faith and health and strength and for the imperishable spiritual gifts of love and hope. We give thanks, too, for our freedom as a nation; for the strength of our arms and the faith of our friends; for the beliefs and confidence we share; for our determination to stand firmly for what we believe to be right and to resist mightily what we believe to be base; and for the heritage of liberty bequeathed by our ancestors which we are privileged to preserve for our children and our children’s children.

I urge all citizens to make this Thanksgiving not merely a holiday from their labors, but rather a day of contemplation. I ask the head of each family to recount to his children the story of the first New England thanksgiving, thus to impress upon future generations the heritage of this nation born in toil, in danger, in purpose, and in the conviction that right and justice and freedom can through man’s efforts persevere and come to fruition with the blessing of God.

Let us observe this day with reverence and with prayer that will rekindle in us the will and show us the way not only to preserve our blessings, but also to extend them to the four corners of the earth. Let us by our example, as well as by our material aid, assist all peoples of all nations who are striving to achieve a better life in freedom.”

Continuing the long tradition of Presidential Proclamations, President Barack Obama will again this year issue a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, giving thanks to God for our many blessings.  And, no matter our circumstances we can all enthusiastically thank God for his preservation of our free land, the abundance of our crops, and the many other blessings, both material and spiritual which we enjoy.

My wife, Kathi, and I and our children and grandchildren will join in that tradition again this year, giving thanks to the God of the Bible for his many blessings.  We wish you and yours a wonderful, warm Thanksgiving celebration.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Virginia Elects "Huey Long"

The Virginia off, off year election was a thud.  The left can’t crow because their guy barely squeaked through after reputedly spending more than $30 million to buy a four year stay in the Governor’s mansion, and the right can’t crow because their guy lost.  The only winners were the folks selling advertising and they won big.  The bad news is that Virginia just elected a modern day Huey Long, the long departed colorful, yet infamous governor of the great state of Louisiana.  If you are not familiar with the antics of Huey and his brother Earl, I recommend you read a little bit about him.  Like Terry McAuliffe, the Governor elect of Virginia, Huey Long was a shameless self-promoter.  The Long and McAuliffe view of government is as a source of power and personal enrichment.

I had the opportunity in late 1970 to give a speech on the campus of Louisiana State University (LSU).  I was living at the time in Port Arthur, Texas, so it wasn’t a long drive to Baton Rouge, where LSU is located.  I was driving there after work on a Friday, so I stopped for dinner along the way.  For some reason I had an opportunity to glance through some post cards and was intrigued by the fact that while Governor Ronald Reagan had to move out of the California Governor’s mansion because it had become a dangerous fire trap, the State of Louisiana had had three Governor’s mansions since the 1930s.  I thought it ironic that wealthy and prosperous California had not replaced its old Governor’s mansion that was built in 1877, yet Louisiana had three different Governor’s mansions in a period of less than 50 years.  It sounded like there must be a story behind these three executive residences in Louisiana, and there was.

Huey Long had accumulated nearly absolute power as the Governor of Louisiana.  He hired and fired at will and he continued to run the state even after he was elected to the United States Senate.  Huey successfully maneuvered his puppet, Oscar K. Allen, into the Governor’s chair.  There is a well-known apocryphal story that Allen was such a willing stooge of Long that one day a leaf floated through an open window and he picked it up and signed it.

Huey Long was just one of many in a long line of corrupt Louisiana politicians.  It was not too many years ago that Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, proclaimed “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!” (Let the Good Times Roll!).  This has potential as the theme of the new McAuliffe administration.

In addition to being self-serving, Long and McAuliffe have many other traits in common.  Long was not above using State of Louisiana funds to politically benefit himself.  One of his favorite tricks was to pave a highway half way to another town and then tell the citizens that he wanted to pave it the entire way, but he was blocked by the state legislature.

Like Long, McAuliffe has used tax dollars to benefit himself and his cronies.  It was McAuliffe who came up with the scheme of selling a night in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House during the Clinton Administration to raise funds for the re-election campaign.  Selling passports also became a specialty of McAuliffe, who is still under investigation for other shenanigans.  Huey would have applauded.

And, like Huey Long, McAuliffe is a man of the left.  During my trip to Baton Rouge many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the grandmother of a friend who lived there.  Up in her eighties, she was a delightful person.  She told me lots of personal stories about Huey Long and about the grand celebration that was Huey’s funeral.  It was quite an affair.  The silver-tongued racist, Gerald L. K. Smith gave the funeral oration.  Smith was a leader of Long’s Share Our Wealth redistribution program that sought to tax and spend more to benefit the poor.  Of course, Huey and his cronies would not suffer financially either.  It was estimated that more than 100,000 people attended Huey’s funeral.  The elderly lady I meet in Baton Rouge said that she was there as a little girl, selling flowers.  She attested to the fact that it was more like a holiday celebration, than a funeral service.

Huey was gunned down in the State Capitol Building.  To this day they are not sure who it was that shot him.  A physician, Dr. Carl Weiss, certainly tried to kill Huey that day, but when he pulled out his gun, Huey’s body guards unleashed a fusillade of bullets that ricocheted off the marble walls inside of the Capitol building.  It may well have been these bullets that actually killed then Senator Huey Long.

Long was a demagogue among demagogues and, his funeral service reflected it.  He was buried right on the Capitol grounds, in front of the new state Capitol building.  Fittingly, carved on the side of the monument are images of rogues such as Earl Browder, an official of the Communist Party USA.

Now about those three Governor’s mansions.  The first one was built in 1887 and was used until 1929.  Huey planned on becoming President of the United States (no doubt McAuliffe has the same ambition).  Huey had his eyes set on running against fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.  When the legislature would not appropriate funds to build a new Governor’s mansion, Huey simply had it demolished.  The legislature then had no other choice but to build a new one and Huey designed it to look just like the White House.  He did it he said to get the feel of what it was going to be like living in the White House.  Please look at the picture at right and decide for yourself if Huey was successful in his attempt to build a model of the White House.

And, for the record, this Governor’s mansion was abandoned in 1963 for yet another Governor’s mansion built (with taxpayer funds, of course) by then governor  by Jimmie Davis, former country and western singer and the first Governor since Huey Long without any ties to the Long family.

So, let’s get back to the 21st Century Huey Long, i.e. Terry McAuliffe.  McAuliffe is best known as Bill Clinton’s bag man.  Like Long, with McAuliffe, politics and money always come first.  In fact, in his book, What a Party! he recounts a startling story.  It seems that McAuliffe is taking his wife and new baby home from the hospital, but he makes a stop along the way.  This is what he says in his book…

 “Dorothy [Terry’s wife] was starting to well up in the backseat.  She was having trouble understanding how I could be taking my wife and newborn baby to a fund-raiser on our way home from the hospital.  We got to the dinner and by then Dorothy was in tears, and I left her with Justin [Terry’s aide] and went inside.  Little Peter was sleeping peacefully and Dorothy just sat there and poor Justin didn't say a word.  He was mortified.  I was inside maybe fifteen minutes, said a few nice things about Marty [President of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters who were hosting a Sons of Italy dinner], and hurried back out to the car.  I felt bad for Dorothy, but it was a million bucks for the Democratic Party and by the time we got home and the kids had their new little brother in their arms, Dorothy was all smiles and we were one big happy family again.  Nobody ever said life with me was easy.”

That may have been unbelievable, but the story he tells about when his wife was in labor with another child is no better…

“We got there a little after noon and spent the whole afternoon in her room.  I was trying hard not to appear restless, but I am not one to sit still for long and soon I was going stir-crazy, which drove Dorothy nuts. 'Isn't there something you need to do?' she finally said.  I told her The Washington Post was having a party that evening for Lloyd Grove, who wrote the 'Reliable Source' column. 'Go!' she said. 'You're like a caged animal here.  I'll call you if I need you.'  I went flying out the door and drove to the party.  I kept calling Dorothy to make sure she was fine.  I made the rounds at the party and ran into Marjorie Williams, who was writing a story on me for Vanity Fair Magazine.  She was shocked to see me at the party.  'Isn't Dorothy having a baby today?' she asked.  'That's right,' I said, 'but she threw me out of the room.'  Marjorie just couldn't understand how I left Dorothy alone.  I almost told her about the night I was born and how my mother wanted my father to stay at home to watch Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, but decided against it.  I went back to the hospital after the Washington Post party and at 3:33 A.M. little Sarah Swann McAuliffe was born.”

What a creep!  Virginia didn’t just elect a Huey Long as its next Governor, we elected a creepy Huey Long.  And, let’s not forget that both Long and McAuliffe are from the party that brags about their compassion and caring.

So, what can we expect of Governor Terry McAuliffe (shown at right in an Edwin Edwards moment)?  Fortunately, the people re-elected a strong majority of Republicans to the Virginia House of Delegates, and they may yet retain control of the State Senate.  If the Republicans remain strong, they should be able to limit the damage of the McAuliffe administration.  But, there will be damage.  There will be new rules and regulations, there will be new taxes, and there will a loss of jobs.  Thomas Jefferson, the second Governor of Virginia said, “The government you elect is government you deserve.”

Indeed.  Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Redskins or Red Clouds?

It often puts a smile on my face when I hear the next liberal cause célèbre.  All liberal causes or crises have a pattern.  They are generally created for a specific purpose, most often political or ideological.  They are commonly of minor importance, and they often obfuscate a much more important issue.  The latest hand wringing over the name of the National Football League franchise in Washington, DC, certainly fits the pattern.

Is the term Redskins a racial slur?  Yes, I think it is reasonable to conclude that its usage in the 19th century was primarily as a derogatory slur of Indians (I’m not going to use the term Native Americans because it is inaccurate and confusing).  Is the term Redskins a slur today?  The answer to that question becomes a bit more difficult.  I remember being in Flagstaff, Arizona, and seeing an Indian (Hopi, I believe) who was wearing a Washington Redskins sweatshirt.  I asked him if he was a Redskins fan and he enthusiastically replied “Yes!” along with something like “Go Redskins!”  Clearly this fellow was not bothered by the term Redskins.

Of course, that is a sample of one that happened at least ten years ago, so I’m not asserting that his view is the commonly held view of American Indians.  It is interesting to note, however, that a 2002 poll of American Indians conducted on behalf of Sports Illustrated found that 75% of those surveyed had no objection to the Redskins name.

The story of how the Washington Redskins came to get their name is told this way by Wikipedia…
“The team was founded in 1932 and was originally known as the Boston Braves, for their landlords, the baseball team called the Boston Braves. In 1933 the name was changed to the synonymous Boston Redskins when the team left Braves Field for Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. Some accounts state that the name "Redskins" was chosen to honor the team's coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz, who began coaching in 1933, and whose mother was allegedly Sioux. In 1937 the team moved… [to] Washington, D.C., [and] became the Washington Redskins.”
So here we are today, arguing about the name of a professional football team.  I think it is fair to say that the fans who love the Washington Redskins mean absolutely no animosity against Indians.  For them, the name embodies success, courage, endurance, perseverance and a great NFL football franchise.  An attack on the name of their team is interpreted by many of them to be an indirect attack on them.

And, so we have a lot of ink and paper and palavering being spent on the rightness or wrongness of an NFL team being named the Washington Redskins.  As for me, I don’t want to call anyone by a name that offends them.  That is wrong.

But, what a diversion of effort from dealing with real issues that Indians all across the nation have.  Those who live on reservations live in almost universal misery.  If you want to see the welfare state in action, visit an Indian reservation.

I have been on a number of Indian reservations, the largest of which is the Navajo reservation in Arizona that covers 27,000 square miles and encompasses parts of three states as the map shows.  The reservation has 3,000 more square miles than the entire state of West Virginia!  That makes the reservation larger than the states of Maryland and Massachusetts combined.  And, although it encompasses a very large geographical area, more than 77% of all the roads are unpaved, there are few telephones, and thus most of those living on the reservation live in isolation from each other and from the world.

The scenery on this reservation is spectacular and I have never seen more beautiful sunsets.  Unfortunately, however, most of these acres are desert, surrounded by more desert.  While it has been a number of years since I was on the Indian reservation that encompasses Page, Arizona, I seriously doubt that the situation has changed much.  I learned from asking questions of those who live on the reservation that the Tribal Council owns everything.  They own the land that includes a mountain of coal.  They own the electric train that brings the coal to the power plant that they also own.  They also control all revenues generated by the coal mine and the power plant.  But, much more than that they own all the sheep, the cows, and any other livestock on the land.  If a tribe member seeks to move to another part of the reservation they cannot take any livestock with them.  In this way, the Tribal Council rules supreme.

For instance, an Indian family may live on an assigned piece of land, but they do not own it.  Neither do they own the cow that they milk, nor the sheep that they shear, or any other livestock.  Most likely they live in a shanty like home with a satellite antenna on the roof.  On the vast Navajo reservation in Northeast Arizona, many, if not most do not have access to electricity (even though the Tribal Council sells off the electricity they generate!).

Worst of all, virtually no Indian living on the land has running water or access to a sewer system.  In addition, 60% of the Navajos have no telephone.  Almost every home has a pickup truck sitting outside of it with a big water tank on it.  They haul water for drinking and bathing, even though they are located not far from Lake Powell, the second largest man-made lake in the country.  Glen Canyon Dam that backs up Lake Powell was constructed entirely on the Navajo reservation.  It could not be built without agreement from the Tribal Council.  Instead of negotiating for acre feet of water that could be used for irrigation, the Council agreed to take more arid desert as compensation.  What a deal!  With millions of acre foot of water, the Council could have transformed the desert into high production farmland, just as the nation of Israel has done in the Middle East.  But, that opportunity is long past.

When I was last on this particular reservation there were signs posted that read, “Keep to the Old Ways!” and “Stay on the Reservation!”  Young Indians are discouraged from leaving the reservation, even though they are free to do so and many do leave.  The involuntary servitude that is inherent in a welfare state is not a pleasant place to live.  In many ways, living on an Indian reservation is similar to living in a socialist state.  And, all the personal problems that exist in a socialist nation exist on the reservation.

To live on a reservation is to live without hope.  Even though Indians do not pay any Federal income tax, there is no visible industry, unless you consider casinos or roadside curio stands an industry.  The mostly government run schools are poor and the opportunities are virtually non-existent.

The number of people living on the Navajo reservation in Arizona is 180,000 and the unemployment rate is 42%.  More than 43% of those on the reservation live below the poverty rate.  While approximately 31% of all Americans have a bachelor’s degree, just 7% of those on the Navajo reservation have a college degree. 
Another serious problem among the Navajo is alcoholism, as it is among all Indians on reservations.  In fact, alcoholism related deaths among American Indians is nearly 12%.  This is 5.6 times higher than among the U.S. population.

So, as you can see, American Indians, or Native Americans, if you prefer, have very real and serious problems.  These problems far outweigh the importance of the name of the NFL football franchise located in Washington, DC, i.e. the Washington Redskins.  To spend so much time and effort on something so relatively meaningless is simply a diversion.  Do what you want with the name.  If you wish, encourage Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, to change the name to the Washington Red Clouds (as has been proposed).  Red Cloud was a very famous, daring and cunning Indian chief.

But, have a little decency, show a little compassion for the real problems that have been created on the Indian reservations.  Just as alcoholism was an enduring problem behind the Iron Curtain, and in all socialist states because the people lacked hope, it will continue to be a problem as long as the Indians are segregated from the rest of society.  The Indians were forced onto reservations, but it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

Why don’t we abrogate the treaties that created the Indian reservations and turn all the property over to the Indians that live there, not just to the Tribal Council?  Let them be stockholders in any existing profitable enterprises such as hospitals, coal reserves, and power plants.  Let them be free to sell, trade and buy the shares of others.  Let them own their land and the livestock on that land, free to sell, trade, or buy more livestock.  Give them full rights as citizens, the opportunity to not only succeed and thrive economically, but also to pay taxes.  Their current situation is untenable and a disgrace.  Let’s worry about and solve real problems and then we can deal with the sidebar issues that the liberals love to distract us with.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guest Blog: Should Chris Christie be the Republican nominee in 2016?

By William Shaker, President,

Governor Chris Christie’s recent landslide victory has immediately created a buzz. I don’t think it will last for two reasons: 1) He would not survive the Republican primary process and 2) If nominated, he could not win.

1) He would not receive the nomination: To win by a 20 percentage point margin in a hugely Democratic state, he moved so far to the left that he morphed into a Democrat—an Obama clone. He alienated much of the GOP primary voter base when he essentially endorsed Obama at the precise time when Romney was picking up momentum—thus squashing any chance that Romney had for victory. At least I believe this is the feeling of primary voters in the Midwest and the South. The NRA is still a powerful force and Christie insulted NRA supporters when he attacked NRA effort to place guards in schools. Christie attacked an NRA ad that pointed out the school attended by the President’s children employs more than a dozen armed guards. In calling this NRA ad irresponsible, Christie upset Second Amendment supporters. The NRA is so influential with independent voters that even Democrats are reluctant to criticize it. Christie continued to insult Tea Party sympathizers (who make up about one-third of the Republican primary base) by slamming conservative Republicans such Sen. Rand Paul. His appointment to fill the recent NJ Senate vacancy paved the way for victory of a Democrat in the special NJ Senatorial election. He appointed a Democrat as NJ Attorney General, who supports liberal democrat programs, including ObamaCare. And his stance on social issues has alienated self-identified Christian conservatives, another large block of Republican primary voters. Those Republicans who nominated candidates deemed electable—Romney, McCain, Dole—learned their lesson. These folks would vomit on this argument in 2016. A President who would simply do a little less in forwarding the agenda of the liberal left would not be acceptable—would not be able to pull American out of the abyss.

2) If he did receive the Republican nomination he would not win the general election. Many conservative and tea party leaning Republicans would simply stay home. Those pundits who think Democrat leaning voters would vote for Christie instead of a Democrat, such as Hillary Clinton, are not thinking clearly. Why vote for a Democrat light, when they could vote for the real thing.

I believe that Republican primary voters will nominate a candidate who indeed can win—and it will not be a candidate such as George W. Bush who said, “I’ve abandoned free market principles in order to save the free market system.” I believe it will be a candidate such as Dr. Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon. He is a conservative Black patriot who shares the philosophy of Ronald Reagan. He says he is not interested in running for office—he is not a politician, says he is not politically correct. But he does care deeply about our country, and I believe that he could be persuade to run for the nomination. Dr. Carson is speaking widely around the country in support of needed healthcare reform and in opposition to ObamaCare—and the fundamental principles of liberty. Analysis shows that if a Black nominee were to receive 17% of the Black vote, he would win (Herman Cain was polling at more than 30% of the Black vote before he dropped out of the race for personal reasons).