Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Elect Cliff Brown is Back.

Long long time ago I started a website called Elect Cliff Brown.  I used it back when I was running for state house in the last century.  Not long after that I built this blog.  Over time both this blog and that web site has changed.  Followers of this blog know that I got spammed and ended up having to delete a lot of stuff.  I have started using it again recently and will soon clean up a lot more out of date stuff on it. It is a work in progress but keep watching. 

As for the elect site, I let the hosting lapse and when my old computer crashed I lost all of the files.  I have now registered it again and begun the process of rebuilding it part by part.  Take a look.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crime Zones

There are certain neighborhoods where merchants prefer to not establish businesses. The governments have made a lot of wrong assumptions about why business does not develop in certain areas and have used those assumptions to make wrong corrective actions. They believed it was bank redlining so they put restrictions on banks. They believed it was bigotry so they increased affirmative action programs and created what they call empowerment zones. They assumed lack of education was a problem and they are partially right on that one but instead of addressing the actual problems with education they just tossed more money at it. They made bogus assumptions about the cost of housing so they made rent prices go up and up keep of rental property do down. They blamed everything they could think of but for some reason never thought about crime.
     Korean businessmen saw those concrete deserts as an opportunity. They understood the problems but also saw people with cash. Korean owned businesses started springing up all over those crime zones and offered products and services that the locals wanted to buy. Korean wholesalers, distributors, importers and manufacturers developed a supply chain to support those brave retail merchants in those zones. That is why Koreans still dominate certain businesses such as ethnic beauty supplies.
     Several years ago there was a Korean man running a grocery store in a bad part of LA. Shoplifters knew that local police did not take shoplifting seriously so they would just walk into a store, take what they wanted and boldly walk out. One day that merchant saw a well known repeat shoplifter walk straight past him drinking a bottle of stolen orange juice, so he shot that thug in the back. Race pimps had successfully taught the people in that area that the only reason anyone ever shoots a black is race. They reacted by starting a riot.
     Black rampage went on for several days. They rushed into businesses and houses and took what they wanted and destroyed the rest. Very quickly Korean merchants took defensive positions on the roofs of their stores with semi auto rifles. Storming gangs realized that it was dangerous to attacked defended stores so they turned attention to undefended black owned stores. Eventually police with guns were able to stop the riot.
     What is the moral of the story? I am not sure that story even has a moral. It is just a set of true facts. You should always just look at the facts and see what they tell you instead of listening to propaganda that fits the template. There are four kinds of guns in that story. One gun was blamed for starting the riot. Some guns were used to protect lives and property during the riot. Some of the thugs used guns to perpetuate the riot. Guns were used to stop the riot. This story really is not about guns. It is about crime.

Friday, January 11, 2013

When was the Summer of 2011?

I used to write a lot. Well OK technically I still write a lot but what I do now is not really writing. It is just Facebooking. There was a time when I would carefully plan something and make an outline, then make a draft then a second draft. Once it was the way I wanted it I posted on this blog. People used to read this blog and comment on what I wrote. Somewhere along the way Facebook became more popular and this type of blog became less popular. I also noticed that I got more response from my more quickly written blog posts than the ones I took time with. That told me the there is not much use writing carefully when people do not read carefully. I fell into the habit of just facebooking. Yesterday I took a notion to see if this old blog is still here and it is, but I had not actually used it since the summer of 2011. Maybe I should start using it again. Maybe even if I know that nobody is still reading it I should use it just because of the writing practice it gives me. Perhaps I should do a carefully written post about the difference in blogs and facebook. What do you think?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Revised version of the Simpson County News Announcement

I made a few changes in the first draft of my announcement. Some people thought that I was too tough on the incumbent so I toughened it up a little more.


I am Cliff Brown. I am a tough, no nonsense, conservative business owner who is running for state senate. There is a rumor that I am a little too tough and no nonsense to be a good senator. Some people say that I am uncompromising almost to the point of being stubborn. They say that I am too stiff to bring home the bacon. They say that I am so inflexible in my beliefs that I cannot do deals that benefit my friends. Actually I must admit that those rumors might be true.

Our nation is in bad economic shape and that is affecting all fifty states. Mississippi no longer has access to as much out of the federal cookie jar. We can no longer afford politicians at any level who believe in taxing more money from the economy and thinking it will not damage the tax base. We can no longer afford any more wasteful spending. We can no longer afford legislators who have never had to deal with crime against their own businesses. We can no longer afford state legislators who do not sign business checks on the front.

Please do not assume that I am totally against the incumbent who is running for his third term. When times were good he did not do too bad. I believe him to be a moral man who did not do anything to embarrass his supporters. He did not vote for many tax increases and except for the bond sale to pay for two museums, most of the taxes he voted for were small. He provided good leadership on agricultural issues, which is his area of expertise. He can show a list of issues, like Nathan’s Law, on which he voted the same as I would have. Compared to the majority of the legislature, our incumbent is among the best. In better times and under different situations I might vote for him, but these are not ordinary times. We must have among our legislators at least a few who hold like solid anchors on conservative issues.

I was born in Brandon and raised in a small community near Star. My father, Clarence Brown, was a long time employee at Universal and Magnetic and died in the factory just before it shut down. My father and grandfather were both deacons in the same small church. My mother is still the pianist and I teach the young adult Sunday school class. My daughter, Jessica Sailor, is serving in the active duty Air Force stationed in South Korea. My step son, Dennis Adams, is about to finish his training to become a school teacher. Just in case you are wondering, it is true that both my daughter and step son have a child, so I have two grand reasons to care about the future of our state.

I joined the Mississippi Air National Guard in 1980 and retired in 2004. My National Guard service includes four consecutive years of active duty, two years in a California reserve unit, plus many years worth of short activations. I met my wife, Jade Brown, while serving on active duty in California. She was born in South Korea and immigrated to America legally. She followed the INS rules and studied English and civics so she could take her citizenship test. It is an insult to legal immigrants to say that some one who invaded our nation is an immigrant. My wife and I have owned and operated a small retail store in Magee since 1995. We keep our store open 60 hours each week so I tell people that we sleep in Star but live in Magee.

One of the rumors about me is that I make fun of politicians who have never held a non government job. That is another rumor that might be true. I am not saying that government service is not important experience, but I believe that it is important to have some real world experience too. I attended Hinds Jr. College, Mississippi State University and Solano College in California. I have more than twenty years of military training. I have worked for the state of Mississippi, the City of Jackson and the City of Fairfield, California. I started a business from scratch and have depended on it for a living. Those are all valuable sources of knowledge, but the most valuable lessons I learned was as a kid in the hay fields picking up bales for a nickel each.

There are only two candidates running for senate district 35 and both are in the Republican Party. The Republican Primary is August 2. There are no Democrats or third party candidates. Please do not vote for the Republican best able to win in November, because there will not be an election in November. The question is not Democrat or Republican but which Republican. Please vote for the conservative tea party type Republican. Please vote for Cliff Brown.

Text for Simpson County News/Magee Courier Announcement

I have prepaid and scheduled an announcement for the Simpson County News. This is the first draft of that announcement. I may or may not make changes before I send it. I have already sent the write ups for Rankin and Covington counties. Tell me what you think in the comments.


I am Cliff Brown. I am a tough no nonsense conservative business owner who is running for state senate. There is a rumor that I am a little too tough and no nonsense to be a good senator. Some people say that I am uncompromising almost to the point of being stubborn. They say that I am too stiff to bring home the bacon. They say that I am so inflexible in my beliefs that I cannot do deals that benefit my personal friends. Actually I must admit that those rumors might be true.

Our nation is in bad economic shape and that is affecting all fifty states. Mississippi no longer has access to as much out of the federal cookie jar. We can no longer afford politicians at any level who believe in taxing more money from the economy and thinking it will not damage the tax base. We can no longer afford any more wasteful spending. We can no longer afford legislators who have never had to deal with crime against their own businesses. We can no longer afford state legislators who do not sign business checks on the front.

Please do not assume that I am totally against the incumbent who is running for his third term. When times were good he did not do too bad. I believe him to be a moral man who did not do anything to embarrass his supporters. He did not vote for many tax increases and the ones he did vote for were small. He provided good leadership on agricultural issues which is his area of expertise. Compared to the majority of the legislature, our incumbent is among the best. On some issues he might even be better equipped than I am so if he has good advice I will listen to him. In better times and under different situations I might vote for him, but these are not ordinary times. We must have among our legislators at least a few who hold like anchors on conservative issues.

I was born in Brandon and raised in a small community near Star. My father, Clarence Brown, was a long time employee at Magnetic and died in the factory just before it shut down. My father and grandfather were both deacons in the same small church. My mother is still the pianist and I teach the young adult Sunday school class.

I joined the Mississippi Air National Guard in 1980 and retired in 2004. My National Guard service includes four consecutive years of active duty, two years in a California reserve unit, plus many years worth of short activations. I met my wife Jade Brown while serving on active duty in California. She was born in South Korea and immigrated to America legally. She followed the INS rules and studied English and civics so she could take her citizenship test. It is an insult to legal immigrants to say that some one who invaded our nation is an immigrant. My wife and I have owned and operated a small retail store in Magee since 1995. We keep our store open 60 hours each week so I tell people that we sleep in Star but live in Magee.

One of the rumors about me is that I make fun of politicians who have never held a non government job. That is another rumor that might be true. I am not saying that government service is not important experience, but I believe that it is more important to have some real world experience too. I attended Hinds Jr. College, Mississippi State University and Solano College in California. I have more than twenty years of military training. I have worked for the state of Mississippi, the City of Jackson and the City of Fairfield California. I started a business from scratch and have depended on it for a living. Those are all valuable sources of knowledge but the most valuable lessons I learned was as a kid in the hay fields picking up bails for a nickel each.

There are only two candidates running for senate district 35 and both are in the Republican Party. The Republican Primary is August 2. There are no Democrats or third party candidates. Please do not vote for the Republican best able to win in November because there will not be an election in November. The question is not Democrat or Republican but which Republican. Please vote for the conservative tea party type Republican. Please vote for Cliff Brown.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Announcement in Covington County Mississippi

This is the text I used in the announcement that I placed in Covington County News Commercial.


My name is Cliff Brown. I am a Sunday School teacher in a small rural Baptist church. I am retired from the Mississippi Air National Guard. My wife and I own and operate a small retail store in Magee. I am a candidate for State Senate District 35.

District 35 is a strangely gerrymandered district that snakes its way from Richland in Rankin County all the way to Collins in Covington County. It has parts of four counties but all of none. It has a single voting box in Copiah County near Crystal Springs. It contains all of the north half of Simpson County but very little of the south half of Simpson County. It has the north half of Covington County and there is a little connector around the east of Magee that connects Covington County to the rest of the district.

As many of you know, we had a census last year and it was the job of our state legislature to draw a new map of house and senate districts. The two chambers were supposed to draw their own maps and make them balanced by population and as compact as possible. After drawing the maps, the two chambers should have voted to approve each others maps. The senate drew a map that heavily favored incumbents of both major parties but at least it was more compact than the current map. The house made a total mockery of the whole process and drew a map that looked more like wrestling spiders than a serious map of house districts. The house map was so obviously messed up that the senate was forced to reject it and in retaliation the house rejected the senate map. Now time has run out on the process and we are forced to hold elections using the maps that were drawn after the census ten years ago. It is needless to say that the old map gives a big advantage to the old incumbents. The fact that the challengers were kept in the dark about the district boundaries we are attempting to campaign in gives another advantage to incumbents, but properly informed voters can still send a message.

There are still a lot of unknown things about this election for legislative offices, including the length of the term. Most likely it will be for a single year term and there will probably be a special election next year for a three year term. Voters have a unique opportunity to send a new group of legislators to Jackson with a clear mandate to do the two things that the incumbents failed to do, which are to make a balanced budget and to draw fair district lines.

I, Cliff Brown, am a hard core, no nonsense TEA Party conservative. I have a reputation for being tough and uncompromising. Some people even say that I am mean. If you are trying to steal from me I am mean. If you are trying to scam me I am uncompromising. If you have a logical disagreement with me and can show me a better way I will listen and take your advice. If I win this senate office and someone asks me to use my position to grant a personal favor I will say no, but if someone asks me for something that is good for the whole state I will do what ever I can to make it happen. I believe that welfare is a necessary crutch for some who need help but I also believe that people who abuse the welfare system should be weaned. I believe if you do a crime you should do the time. I believe that marriage should be a Godly union between a man and a woman. I believe that abortion kills a living human.

If you agree with my beliefs, or if you just want to send a message that we should change the incumbent protection system that we currently have, please vote for me in the Republican Primary for State Senate District 35. I understand that Covington County is a traditional Democrat county. I know that many of you want to vote in the Democrat primary for local and county offices but vote for Republicans in state and national elections. That will not work in this race. District 35 is drawn so that only a Republican can win. No Democrats are even running this year. The winner of the Republican Primary wins the seat. If you wait for the general election you will miss your chance to vote. The question is not Republican or Democrat but which Republican. Will you vote to elect a conservative or will you allow an establishment incumbent to win a third term?

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Rankin County News Announcement

I just emailed a photo and text for a political announcement to Rankin County News. This is the text.




I am Cliff Brown. I am a small business owner. I am retired from the Mississippi Air National Guard. I teach the young adult Sunday School class at Dry Creek Baptist Church. I lived for a while in Starkville, Ms and in Fairfield, CA. but I was born and raised in Brandon, MS. I am a TEA party type conservative and I am a Republican candidate for Senate District 35.

District 35 is a strangely gerrymandered district that snakes its way from Richland in Rankin County all the way to Collins in Covington County. It has parts of Rankin, Simpson, Copiah and Covington Counties but has all of no counties. It is drawn in a way that slightly favors Republicans and heavily favors incumbents.

This is my third time running for this office. This is also the third time to run against the same Republican in the primary. The first time there was a Democrat also running so the Republican voters picked who they believed could more easily beat the Democrat. Several people told me that they believed me to be too conservative to win a general election. The second time there was no Democrat involved but there was a third party candidate so people stuck with the incumbent. This year it is only me and the incumbent who is running for his third term. There will be no general election. The winner of the primary wins the seat. Conservative voters are now free to vote for the conservative candidate. The question for voters is not Republican or Democrat but which Republican.

Experience is very important. Some tell you that only experience in government work or in elected office counts. If you think the job of a state legislator is to do favors and bring home bacon it is true that seniority in office is helpful. I believe that real world experience is more important. I was a state employee for a while but I cashed out of the state retirement system to start a new business. I served on active duty in the Air Force. I worked in a sweat shop factory. I picked up hay bails for a nickel each. I was even a teachers aid in the San Francisco Bay Area for a while and believe me when I say that I got a better education from that experience than my students.

If you agree with me that some of the people running the business of our state government should have experience running a business, please vote for Cliff Brown. If you believe that life begins at conception and marriage is a holy union between a man and woman, please vote for Cliff Brown. If you believe that the government at all levels from local to federal waists too much of your hard earned tax money, please vote for Cliff Brown. If you believe that there are some people who need help from government and charity, but most of the people receiving help would benefit more from being weaned, please vote for Cliff Brown. If you like things the way they are being done now, then vote for the same senator again.

I am not a well financed candidate. I cannot afford slick mail outs or expensive ads. I still have a real business to run so I cannot go to a lot of meetings to shake hands. The legislature played tricks with redistricting and created a short time to campaign so I cannot knock on a lot of doors and put up a lot of signs. This announcement may be all of my campaign so please talk about me. Word of mouth is the best way to get new conservatives elected. You can find more about me on my blog. Go to freespeechroundtable.blogspot.com. You can also find me on facebook.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Abridged Autobiography

Someone recently told me that based on what he reads about me on Facebook I must be a pretty good guy, but he does not really know me. I told him that I would put a bio on this blog, but I started thinking that even if I did he would still not really know me. He would only know what I told him, but would have to assume that I am not lying. I also realized that a complete bio is not possible for two reasons. I am not finished living yet and I cannot remember all of what I have done so far. The best I can do is an abridged autobiography.

I was grew in a double community in Mississippi in 1960. Houses were and still are in little clusters. There was and still is two churches. There was back then one store and one juke joint. Blacks and whites would always rub shoulders at the store and once in a while at the juke joint. Now there is only one store. Our local school was the "separate but equal" black school and the whites traveled 6 miles away to the white school in Brandon. There is about 10 times as many houses in our area now and our local school (McLaurin)is now integrated. That is about the only major changes around here. There may have been some underlying bigotry back then but I did not notice it. I see a lot more of it now but not around our community.

Fast forward about 12 years. (I said it was abridged) That is the year our local school was integrated. There was no white girls in my sixth grade class and I was one of only three white boys. If I ever write a longer book about me, that year will have a chapter or two all on its own, but for now I will just say I got a valuable education that year.

McLaurin only went to the 9th grade back then so I finished High School at Florence. (My third school even though I lived in only one house) I had been the snow flake playing drums in the Jr. high band, so I continued in the band at Florence. I relearned a new way to play but am glad to have two skills. Academically I was way, way above average in Jr. high and just slightly above average in high school. I then went to Hinds Jr College. (please do not correct me by saying Hinds is a community college. It was a Jr. College back then) I studied pre-vet-med at Hinds and had respectable grades, and yes I did play in the band and was a student body senator.

After Hinds is when things went a little sideways. I had a summer job at the Jackson zoo but lost it because Jackson passed a law so that only Jackson residents could work for the city. I did not have enough money to go to Mississippi State University so I Joined the Air National Guard. I went off to Lackland for basic and tech school. I became an air force veterinary specialist which is a fancy word for food inspector. I went to Mississippi State in the spring of 81 but did not get into vet school. I changed my major to animal science but by that time I was wondering why I really wanted to do vet work. Politics was way more interesting to me but I had been told all my life that it is an evil occupation. Other than some independent study at the John Stennis library I never took a political course. Actually I did not take a lot of any courses. I just played in the band and drank whiskey. Eventually I changed my major to Agricultural Journalism but it was too late.

The air national guard was my only link to sanity. I had fallen into a not so good circle of friends in Starkville and even married one of my drinking budies, but my national guard friends were of a different caliber. I was tired to inspecting food one weekend a month but the rest of the job was good. I asked a recruiter which job takes the most interesting trips and he sent me to retraining to become an air cargo handler. I loved the air cargo job so much that I dropped out of college and went into the active duty air force. My wife spent one year with me at Travis AFB then left me. If I write a longer book my x-wife will get a few chapters of her own.

Serving on active duty even though my wife left turned out to be the best thing I ever did. (OK a few more chapters about the air force in the unabridged version of this story) I grew up in Fairfield, California. I was the son and grandson of Southern Baptist deacons and had been very devoted to the Christian way of life. When I got to Starkville I back slid. In California I found a very strong local church and this time I really got saved. (a chapter on that church too)

After 4 years active duty I was involved in a church building project so I stayed in a reserve unit for two more years. The first year I was in the reserve there was an earth quake so we spent some time building things other than our own church. The second year is when Iraq invaded Kuwait so reserve was kind of like active. Eventually we finished that church building and I had met a far better woman than my first wife. I even managed to work at a few interesting jobs that paid me for my work during those last two years. A chapter of urban reforestation and a chapter on the California schools will be in the longer story (if I actually write it). I worked for a city tree department for a while planting trees. I also was an instructional assistant in the public school system.

I returned to my old family stomping ground and got a maintenance job in a HUD supported apartment building. That is an education in it self. I patched fist shaped holes in sheet rock just long enough to land a state job at LeFleur's Bluff State Park. After settling down in a good job and fixing up a place for myself to live I went back to California and retrieved my girlfriend. We got married in Arizona on the way to Mississippi. Soon after we got home we started the business which we still run now. I am already trying to write the chapter about that store.

Like I said, this is the abridged version of my life story. Actually I should say life story in progress, because I intend for there to be more. Even if I never write a book I will still fill in a few more blanks using this blog. People often ask me why I got interested in politics so I will soon fill in those blanks too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I am a Candidate.

4 years ago and 8 years ago I ran for Mississippi senate. I let it be known that I am a no-nonsense conservative who will not compromise my basic principles. My opponent both times let it be known that he is well connected to the establishment. Back then it was a great benefit to be connected to the establishment and to the money that that connection generates. Times have changed. Groups like the TEA Party have awakened the people. It is now cool to be conservative. It is so cool in fact that a lot of establishment legislators are pretending that they always were conservative. The few people who know the truth about me have been begging me to try just one more time.

I had decided to give up running for office. I was tired of loosing. I was tired of having my name dragged threw the mud. I was tired of the vile rumors that were spread about me. I was tired of my own words and even this blog being twisted and used against me. I am still tired of it but I am also tired of watching what is happening to our state and nation. I cannot just set and watch all this crap continue. Once again my name will be on the ballot in August.

The last 2 times that I ran I tried to do it all by my self. I put up my own signs. I made my own phone calls. I went out alone knocking on doors. This time I will not do that. I must have the good conservatives of Mississippi talking about me and spreading the TRUTH about me.

I had this blog and used it often before the last election. I left the comments unmonitored so anyone could say what they wanted. The trouble is that several people wrote vile things under my name and my political opponent printed copies of the lies and handed them out at a rally. I have long since deleted nearly all of my writings along with the vile comments. I almost completely quit writing here when I discovered that Facebook is an easier way to connect to people. Now that I am putting my name on the ballot I am once again using this blog as a way to let people know what I believe in. I am still on Facebook more but as time goes on I will say more things here too.

Remember that I cannot run this race alone. Please spread the TRUTH about me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It Has Been a While.

Once upon a time, not too long ago I spent a lot of time saying things on this blog. Over the years some strange things happened to it that made me delete parts of it and there has been things that made me ignore it for periods of time, but I am back.

People who have been following this for a while remember that several years ago, I asked people for their opinions of a certain police chief from Mendenhall who is now in jail. People began to give their opinions and the comments deteriorated to gutter language. I was running for state senate at the time and my political opponents saw an opportunity to use what other people were saying on my blog against me. I do not know this as a fact but I suspect that it was some of my political opponents who were writing a lot of the anonymous comments. I really hated to shut down a venue of free speech, but when elementary school students (or adults impersonating students) used my blog to start rumors about teachers, I decided I had to. I did not shut it down completely and probably never will, but I did delete all comments and blocked new comments. The ability to comment is now back on but certain safeguards are in place.

Another thing that greatly affected this blog is facebook. I noticed that a lot of the people who used to make thoughtful comments were leaving. Many of them told me that facebook is just a better format for the way they correspond. I began using facebook myself and have to agree with them. If I had unlimited time each day I would write a lot more using a large array of media, but I work 60 hours a week and have to limit what I do. I spend most of my available time on facebook now.

I have been reading political tea leaves lately. There is a lot of sick things going on at all levels of politics from president to dog catcher. A lot of that has been going on for a very long time, but the corruption has reached a level that people who usually abstain from politics are noticing. People are starting to demand that someone step up and so something about it. I have lost a lot of elections in the last 10 years and had decided that I was not going to try again. Now things have changed. People no longer trust establishment moderates to control government and are looking for proven conservatives. Some good folks are asking me to try once more.

I am not sure that I have the resources to run a winning campaign for senate against the establishment of my own party. Alone, I know that there is now way, but if hard working conservatives join the effort, together we can. I will start by opening up and promoting this blog again. I will make an effort to write things to stimulate conservative conversation and invite comment. I ask you to join the conversation but please to not abuse this medium.

If a true conservative steps up who is willing and able to run an effective campaign for house or senate, I will stand with him. If no body steps up and people tell me that they are willing to campaign for me, I might be the one who puts his name on the ballot. At the least my contribution will be a forum for speech.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The First 6 pages of "Going Rogue"

I read the first 6 pages of Sarah Palin's book, "Going Rogue". No I should rephrase that. I re-read that part. Eventually I will finish the whole book, but if the rest is like the first it will take a very long time. There is just too much in it to digest and is all seems worthy of comment. I guess also in a strange sort of way it sounds too familiar.

Those first 6 pages are about her trip to the Alaska State Fair. It is so complete that I can still smell the pop corn and hear screaming kids on roller coasters. Somewhere down the midway Sarah Palin came to a "Right To Life" display and was drawn from being a mother at the fair to being the governor. 7 years before, the pro life folks loved her so much that they used (and still use) a baby photo of Piper as a symbol of life, but for pure political reasons never endorsed Sarah in a single political campaign. The wonderful sights, sounds and smells of a day with her kids became a remembrance of raw, dirty politics. She began thinking about how her fight against corruption and cronyism had put her at odds with some powerful people in her own party. (Side Note: The one thing that might either drive me out of politics or force me to run again is cronyism in my own party.)

Sarah Palin was looking for a way back to the fair and Piper gave it to her by asking to ride a roller coaster, but just then the cell phone rang. She was hoping the call was anything other than politics. Maybe it was her son at Fort Wainwright who was getting ready to go to Iraq. It was Senator John McCain asking if she wanted to help him change history.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Arguing With Idiots (a book Review)

Glenn Beck writes like I read (and wish I could write). He knows that those of us with A.D.D. are nearly always smarter than our labeling but are prone to drift away from long boring passages. He knows that we tend to think like a computer with multiple programs running in the background. Sometimes there are pop ups and off we go on a tangent. Glenn beck puts the pop ups right onto the page and actually calls them A.D.D. moments. For those of you with normal brains, "Arguing with Idiots" might seem a bit jumpy, but for me it is the smoothest book I have ever read.

It has 12 chapters. 13 if you count the 25 pages of citations. Conservatives need a 25 page citation chapter because we actually have to prove our quotes and liberals do not. 10 of the main 12 chapters were dead on word for word the way I understand things. 1 of the 12 is clearly true but says a few things that go so far against the party line that even a rouge like me might think twice before touching it. 1 of the 12 is mostly true but makes a few points that I do not agree with. I will start with a little comment on each of the 10 that did not make me nervous then dig a little deeper in the other 2 chapters. I will end with the chapters that I hope Glenn puts into his next book.

Chapter 1 is "In Defense of Capitalism" I am a small business owner. I did not just buy an existing business. I did not just buy a franchise. My wife and I actually built our business from scratch using nothing but good ideas, borrowed money and faith. Finally someone wrote a chapter that recognizes that risk takers and entrepreneurs like us are the spine of our economy. I suppose I might rather have read a scholarly work about the finer points of economic systems but plain straight talk is a better tool for breaking into closed minds.

Chapter 2 is about the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I am an endowment member of the NRA. I had to become a life member before taking the next step and become an endowment member. The reason I did that has very little to do with guns. It is more about the constitution itself. Do not get me wrong and think that I do not love guns. If you do not believe me just try to rob me. Even as dedicated as I am to defending myself, my wife and my possessions I am equally devoted to defending our nation and its constitution. There are a few extremely rare cases when gun haters make logical arguments about safety or the need to have military weapons, but when doing so they shred part of the constitution. It is not possible to shred even one little amendment with out damaging the whole thing.

Glenn Beck spent a lot of time explaining the preamble clause of the second amendment and explaining the definition of "militia". I am not sure if it is because I served long enough to retire from the Mississippi National Guard, because I read NRA magazines, because I read our constitution or because it just makes common sense to me, but for some reason I just have to give Glenn an AMEN on that chapter.

Chapter 3 is about Education. One day I may write a whole book of my own about education. I learned a lot about the subject by going from the historically white Brandon elementary School to the nearly all black McLaurin Jr. High during the forced busing movement of the 1970's. I learned a lot by becoming a teachers aid in of all places California. Throw in the fact that my daughter-in-law is teaching at Florence Elementary and my step son soon will be too. Throw in the fact that most of the friends I go to church with are teachers. Throw in the policy research I did to run for Rankin County school board and the stuff I learned by running and I might be considered a minor expert on the crap that goes on.

Glenn Beck told a lot of frightful horror stories about what government does to schools that would have made my skin crawl if not for one fact. I have already seen a lot of that and my skin already crawled.

Chapter 4 is "Americas Energy Future" I grew up around drilling. When the Piney Woods...(sorry, I cannot say that). When the Cox well exploded I could see the flames from my house. When I was a kid I sat on Albert Garret's back porch and watch men working on a derrick in his back yard. When the Thomasville refinery was built, I sat on my on door steps and watched all the parts go by on trucks. When they built Shell Oil Road they took part of my grandmothers land. No, that does not come even close to qualifying me as an energy expert, but it did spur enough interest to take a closer look.

I worked at the Mississippi State University Forest Products Lab back in the 80's. I met a professor who even back then was trying to find an efficient way to make fuel out of wood alcohol. He told me that it is cheaper to just burn the wood.

Last week the little struts that hold up the back glass on my SUV got weak and the glass bopped me in the head. I went to O.E. Berry Salvage Yard and took good struts off a cash for clunker that was far newer and in better shape than the one I drive. That is failed energy policy in action.

OK. That is still not enough to claim to be an energy expert but to borrow a line from Glenn Beck "I am a thinker". What I know about the subject totally jives with what Beck wrote. He just said it in a more interesting way than I would have.

Chapter 5 is about labor unions. When I was 18 I worked for a summer at the factory where my father worked long enough to retire. My father died on the factory floor. When I was there I chose to join the union. I took a job at a truck stop in California and was forced to join the union. The truck stop is closed and the factory is now in Mexico. Now that I own my own business I know that I would close before being unionized. In my opinion Glen softened that chapter too much. I would have gone into Jimmy Hoffa and dug more into mafia connections but still it is a useful chapter. There is enough information in it to arm yourself against idiots.

Chapter 6 is about illegal immigration. The largest and lowest attack the left uses is to say that the right is against immigration but leaving out the word "illegal". My wife is a legal immigrant from South Korea. She played by the rules to earn her citizenship. I know what she went threw to achieve that goal. It really burns me to see cheaters break in line. Glenn Beck wrote about that problem as though he really understands what goes on.

Chapter 8 is about owning a home. I have been taught all my life the great value of ownership. I have also been taught the great value of putting down roots in the community. If you honestly look at the numbers it is clear that buying a house is not always a good investment, especially for people who move often. Glenn also nails Barney Fwanks in the chapter so it is fun to read.

Chapter 9 is called "Economics 101" If you did not get it after the chapter on Capitalism or the chapter about unions or the chapter on home ownership you are probably too much of an idiot to ever get it, but just in case here it is one more time. It is clear that smaller government really does equal a bigger wallet.

Chapter 11 is about universal health care. A lot if this chapter is stuff that is in the news daily. No, not if you are such an idiot that you get your news from the broadcast networks, but if you get news from legitimate sources it is there. Few people even including the ones shoveling that crap know what is in those house and senate bills. Even if someone could read all of it they could not keep up with all the amendments, pork and Louisiana Purchases that keep getting piled into it. Glenn Beck does not even try to make sense of it. He just shows the disaster in other nations that did it. He also looks back at the history of the single payer idea as far back as FDR.

Chapter 12 is the chapter I most wish Glenn beck would rewrite as a whole book. He went threw the U.S. Constitution line by line and explained it in language so simple that any bone head aught to understand. The problem is that the chapter is way too short and he only explained the parts that the left most severely twists. The chapter does make it clear how little regard certain people have for our constitution.

Chapter 10 is about the U.S.presidents. This is the chapter which I agree with but for pure political reasons never touched (until now). Every president from Washington to Obama has either written a book or has a sycophant fan write one about him. Presidents have a unique way of inflating their own importance in history. One of the most inflated presidents in history is considered by people who do not know him to be a great conservative. His image is on Mt Rushmore and John McCain called him his idol. I studied Theodor Roosevelt a long time ago and concluded that he is among the worst of the American presidents. I never said that out loud because most people already think that I am on the edge of lunacy. Glenn is probably closer to the edge than I and he is no where close to being a left wing nut. When He said what I already knew I felt relief. I felt not so alone.

I bet very few conservatives would be shocked over what Glenn said about known liberals like Obama, Clinton, Carter, LBJ, Wilson FDR and a few more. They might also not be shocked over what he said about Washington, Jefferson and Regan. Some might get twisted out of the comfort zone to learn the truth about Teddy and the book is worth the price just for that one segment.

Now for a personal story. My first year at the newly integrated McLaurin Jr. High was the sixth grade. I might actually write a whole book about that year but for now one story. I had several teachers that year who did not actually teach. One math teacher never even handed out the math books, but instead we drew pictures and colored them. One of only three teachers that actually taught was the civics teacher. (English and band were the other two) We used a book called "American National Government" and he made sure that the students understood basic political science. The only problem was that he taught from a far left point of view. Very often he would refer to the Democrats as God's Party. Once he even quoted scriptures where Jesus criticized Publicans then said now they are re-publicans. He ranked presidents according to how much they grew the importance of their own office. My first indicator that Teddy Roosevelt might not be such a great guy was when that teacher included him as one of only three Republicans on his list of great presidents.

Here is my own A.D.D moment. I only spoke up twice in that class. Once was when I read aloud my report on U.S. Grant. The other was when I raised my hand and asked what is wrong with a trust and why bust it? Neither of those two times that I spoke up got a friendly response.

Yes I know that there is one more chapter in Glenn's book that I have not talked about. I also said that I would give a list of chapters that I wish were in there. I changed my mind. I will save that list in case I decided to write them myself. The one chapter that I left off is about the Nanny State. I have a lot to say about that so I will make you wait for another blog post. Call it a Cliff Hanger.

Buy Glenn Beck's book and watch him on on FOX News.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drive by Post.

Yes, I know that there are some people who still read local blogs like this one. Most read national things and keep up with their circle of friends with Facebook. I have been on Facebook myself a lot lately, but that does not indicate that I have totally forgot this blog. I figure I at least aught to drive by and make a post once in a while.

While I am at it I must admit that even though I have spent some time on Facebook, I have not taken the time necessary to really dig to the bottom of certain issues and comment on them like I want to do. I am into my Sunday School class heavily now and am still busy with business. Football season is on us and I spend a lot of my available time at McLaurin High School.

Even though I have not commented on politics lately I have been reading and studying about it. Back when I was thinking seriously about running for office I felt more of a need to throw my two cents worth into everything. I thought I had to keep my name in public. Now that I am not seriously planning a run for anything I actually dig deeper and find out more.

Now that I have driven by this blog today I invite the few remaining blog readers to drive by Facebook. Click on the badge on the left column and just follow it threw.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Face Book

Once upon a time Geocities was the hot place on the internet. Then came blogger then My Space. After that it was twitter. Now Facebook is where people tend to go. I am trying to keep up. I have two Facebook pages. Check them both out.

Look in the left column and find the two badges. My main personal page is the second one and is where I spend the most Facebook time. The other one is a special fan type site that politicians use. I am not running for anything and may never run for any thing, but just in case I have a start. You can be a friend on one and a fan on the other. Y'all are invited.

I have seen a lot of bloggers go to Facebook and never come back to blogging. I am still here, and do not plan to stop.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Shack

I just finished reading a book called "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young. It is about a tragedy that God used for his good.

I do not agree 100% with the theology inside the book, but it is 99% like I believe. I recommend it for anyone who is hurting,or knows some one who is hurting.

In time I might do a complete book report on it but for now just go to this link. The Shack Book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jonah

I teach adult Sunday School at Dry Creek Baptist Church (the one in Rankin County). I am probably the worst teacher in the long history of the church, but somehow feel like I should be doing it. I don't even call myself a teacher, but a discussion leader. I wanted an adult class because adults will discuss. It is the teachers in the children's classes who need the skill.

This week the lesson was all from the book of Jonah. I had some good talkers in the room so the lesson went well, but what happened in the worship service is something I am not proud of.

All week I had been thinking about Jonah and how it applied to different situations. That lead me to develop a little story based on Jonah. Instead of some guy who lived back in olden times I used myself in modern times. Instead of Nineveh (where Mosul, Iraq is now) I used San Fransisco, Ca. I developed a pretty good story and figured maybe I would refine it some more and make a written story out of it. I ended up using it in a different way and it bombed big time.

Our pastor, Gerry Glass, started doing children church several months ago. He would have a short presentation or video or something that hold kids interest. He would bring them to the front and present it to them but where adult could also hear. He made it clear that he would not have something every week but wanted various people to present something.

We eat breakfast at church Sunday mornings before Sunday school. I noticed that there was a much larger than normal bunch of little ones running around. I also saw that Gerry Glass was preaching a special event at another church, and the assistant pastor Donny Nash was ready to preach. I told Donny about my story and he gave the green light.

I gathered the kids up front and started energetically telling the story but could not match the kids energy. They were wound tight that day. (Hats off to the professional teachers in public schools.) When I got into the story I realized the major flaw. I am an adult discussion leader trying to tell a story to kids. Maybe the adults got something out of it, but it was a mile over the kids heads.

I am not sure if I will ever do that again, but if I do I will tell a story geared for the right age group. As for that Jonah story I might still polish it up and post it. Besides this blog I also have a brand new facebook page and my friends are all church people. A lot heard me butcher Jonah. Perhaps when I polish the story I will place it there.

Monday, August 24, 2009

140 key Strokes

I have been playing around with twitter lately and found that it is a great teaching tool for long winded writers. By limiting to 140 key strokes it forces people to find pithy ways to get to the point then shut up. Once in a while I have a very little thought that is not little enough to squeeze into such a small space. That is alright because I still have blogger. Here is a question to ponder.

Why would the Democrats in congress risk their majority in 2010 to ram thew a government health care take over? The answer is simple. The take over might be expandable, but regardless of who wins in 2010 is not reversible.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Daily Twit.

I am still busy, but I cannot make that an excuse. Our state, our nation and our world have serious problems now. The root cause of a lot of the problems is the fact that Christians and conservatives are too busy.

The squeaky wheel really does get the grease. For the last few decades the only people who had time to squeak were unemployed by choice and people who do not spend time in church activities. Even though the silent majority is still the majority, the noisy left is getting the grease. Over those decades the left has been gaining in power and plotting a take over. They see now as their opportunity to fundamentally change all the norms. Our only defense is to squeak.

I am one of those conservatives who has a voice. I got my voice by running for office and stating my opinions. I have had this blog for several years. I actually built my first political website nearly 20 years ago. My voice is not super loud but relatively well established. My voice becomes louder when added to others. The trouble is that I do not use what God has given to me. I often go weeks or months at a time saying nothing then coming back with a lame statement about being busy.

I really am busy, but now is the time that all busy people must step up at least a little. I still do not promise to write a full post every day but I will try to say at lease a little something every day. To make that possible I have added a new feature to this blog. Scroll down the left side and look near the green clock. I have opened a twitter account and linked it to this blog. Now when I twit it automatically shows up on this blog. Now I can quickly say something that is on my mind every day.

The last five twits stay on the blog, but do not assume that you can read all of them by visiting once every five days. There may be more than one in a day. If you missed some just click the "follow" link and read the rest. You can even have them sent as text messages to your cell phone if you like.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Town Hall Question

I have been watching with glee as patriots confront politicians at town hall meetings. If I get the opportunity to go to one of those events I will go. Going to an event does not guarantee I get in and getting in does not guarantee get a chance to speak, but just in case I am prepared. All patriots need to be ready. This is what I would say.

I am a self employed small business owner. I am in reasonably good health for my age but my wife is diabetic. Times are hard for retail merchants like us and we had to cut cost to stay in business. One thing we had to drop was health insurance. I desperately need for the federal government to fix the health care problem. These are what I see as the 6 most important things the government can do.

1. Get the government's rear end out of the way so I can buy insurance from any man or lizard selling it in any of the 50 states.

2. Get the government's rear end out of the way so small business owners can form groups and buy group policies.

3. Get the government's rear end out of the way of doctors who are not allowed to expand clinics because of the obsolete "certificate of need" laws.

4. Get the lawyers' hands out of my pockets. As a small business owner I constantly live under the threat of frivolous lawsuits. Even if I were to be sued and win I might still go bankrupt because at least two lawyers and a judge gets paid every time. Even businesses who never get sued still lose because health care providers pass legal costs to patients. Give us real TORT reform NOW.

5. Get the illegal border invaders out of our nation, or at least make them pay for their own benefits.

6. Stop lying to me.


That is what I would say if I had a long time to speak, but every patriot needs to have something quick just in case. If they are rushing me I might just ask, "For whom did you vote for Speaker of the house and why should I trust you with my health care?"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baptist Children's Village

When I was only about 3 feet tall, my father would sometimes give me 10 dimes. He would tell me that 9 of those dimes were mine and 1 belonged to God. I would always put God's dime in the offering plate. Several times a year the church would pass the plate like usual but would also have a separate collection for special things. My father told me those are for extra gifts to God's work and if I put in an extra dime I would get an extra blessing. I always did it and it is true that God always made me feel good about giving. Those special offerings were for Annie Armstrong, Lotty Moon, an occasional Gideon who would make a presentation and for the Baptist Children's Village.

I told that story above as a way to admit my bias on this subject. It is true that I, and probably many others, have a preconceived notion that certain church related activities need support. Now I have the opportunity to throw in more than just a dime to help a great cause. I now can throw in my 2 cents worth. The Baptist Children's Village is building in my neighborhood and I am writing to say AMEN to the project.

I live in the Thomasville Community on Star Road between Star and Brandon. It was known as Dry Creek when I was young and I see now that people who do not know are calling us the McLaurin area. Ground has been broken on new construction about 1/2 mile from my house. I am excited about the project. I am a Sunday School teacher in the church closest to the project and see an opportunity for outreach. The only problem I have with the whole project is the fact that they put the driveway in a dangerous curve on Star Rd. That is something that can be fixed.

There is a tiny group in my community plus a larger group of agitators from outside my community who have blocked the project. That group is bringing up every thing from juvenile delinquency to misuse of county money. Here is your chance to have your voice heard. If you agree with me that it is a good opportunity for outreach say it here. If you think it is a bad idea, state that case here too. Give me your most logical and/or emotional argument for or against.