Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Post Game Show

Punditville is abuzz with the meaning of the 2009 election results, and there's a lot of activity about which to opine.Speaker Pelosi downplays the Virginia results, while Robert Gibbs dismisses the VA and NJ results as "local elections."

So here's a sampling of the opinion out there:

Michael Graham from National Review Online declares the election an illustration of why moderates can't be tossed aside.

UK Times Online claims the results of the governors' races were a referendum on the president and the economy.

Tammy Bruce remarks on the apparent lack of attention paid to the results by the White House, and also gives a nod to Michael P. Leahy's analysis of NY23, which he deems as chiefly campaign error.

My feeble thoughts (not that you asked, but I'm a giver that way):

Moderates are vitally important for a margin of victory, especially since not everyone is 'awake' yet; but if you haven't built up excitement, loyalty and trust in the base yet, nothing can save you.

The economy DOES matter. Conservatives who focus SOLELY on social issues will be arguing about gay marriage from their new home under the overpass one day. Everything else is riding on the situation, so show up in that arena first, and often.

Also, even if it were true that Obama inherited all the financial messes we've found ourselves in, boldly proclaiming that failed policies failed precisely because they weren't bold enough is, well, stupid. New Jersey and Virginia voters must not think we're headed in the right direction. But hey! The Obama documentary was on! So was V!

Lastly, grassroots candidates have got to pay attention to details. Experienced politicians will campaign against the grassroots candidates by decrying their inexperience. Before taking that step into the electoral arena, know your district, know your issues, and know your supporters. And listen to them, too. The tea party movement may have created a lot of new pesky armchair quarterbacks, but sometimes, they're right.

Tea Party Idol - Repost from Liberty Juice

Everyone agrees that the tea party phenomenon has added new life and energy to the conservative political discussion in the United States. People who haven't ever involved themselves in politics before can be found in town hall meetings, quoting the Constitution at their elected representatives. Folks who haven't monitored an election at all in their lives now attend meetings of their local school boards, city councils and water districts. Some of them are even running for office themselves. It's unmatched in our history, this Great Awakening.

But with it comes the inevitable desire for the shortcut, the "cut to the chase" mentality, the expectations of the Microwave Culture. Tea Party, as a movement, has clocked in at just over a year, and yet the skeptical chorus charges: "Tea parties are ineffective. They'll never work." Others on the outskirts of the movement identify themselves as supporters, and may even donate, but essentially boil their interest down to "Just tell me who to vote for."

Then drop into this environment the "Celebri-TEAs," the speakers like Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, so sought after by groups wishing to host the event with the most press coverage. Rumors swirl around the fees Palin gets for these appearances (high-five-figure at minimum.) And the press, rather than covering her speech, covers her costs, hairstyle, wardrobe, mode of transportation. In all the hpe, the message is lost or distorted, and the cost of the event leaves people wondering whether the cost was worth the twenty seconds of new coverage allotted to it.

Also around to gather support and bask in hero-worship are the "Poli-TEA-cians," self-described tea party candidates and elected officials who just want a chance to speak to the crowd and sell them on their tea party credentials. Not satisfied with organizing their own campaign events, they seek to turn every rally into their own self-worship service, telling you how they will "FIGHT FOR YOU" without addressing one issue of substance. They say so little, for someone taking up so much time at a rally.

It's easy to see the allure of celebrity for an event like a tea party. What organizer wouldn't want to get credit for organizing the LARGEST RALLY in their area, in their state, in the nation? The positive press and positive image resulting from hosting such a massive event would be irresistable. And what tea party attendee wouldn't love to be among the largest crowd, with the potential to see themselves on the evening news? In a nation obsessed with image, in a sound-bite news culture, what the news displays becomes accepted reality.

So again and again, tea party people hold up Palin, Hannity, and Beck and the like, or even local political operators, with the hopes that THIS ONE will lead us all into the promised land, and everything will be all right.

But talk to any real grassroots-level organizer and you find a lot less glamour, and a lot less money, too. After the rallies, the real leaders are picking up the little trash left behind, They're packing up their vehicles with unsold merchandise and banners and sign-in sheets, which they protect with their lives. They're answering e-mails at three in the morning, from people who have a dozen questions but haven't been able to make it to a meeting yet. They're preparing for meetings, uncertain if they will be welcoming two or two hundred. They're waking up before dawn to prepare for radio interviews on the latest loony bomber plot, because inevitably the media will want to know whether the loon-du-jour is a member of the tea party.

These leaders don't get their pictures in the paper, and they certainly don't command five-figure speaking fees. They'd be happy if, just for five minutes, a politician listened to them instead of talk. These folks try to balance work and family, pleasure and duty, life and country. More often than not, they hear the voices of the doubters, the naysayers and the skeptics rather than the encouragement of those who recognize their sacrifices and decide to step up and work alongside them. And when those idols of the movement prove to be profiteers, establishment hacks, opportunists or worde, these leaders get the inevitable questions and complaints, the chorus of "ineffective!"

Nobody makes a tea party organizer into an idol. And that's what makes this movement so unique and wonderful. There are hundreds of these web warriors across the country, and more and more joining the ranks every day. They're frequently dispirited, and yet sincerely hopeful that their efforts will make a difference in the end. Long after the idols have oved on to the next rally and the next paycheck, these are the people left, still organizing, leading, doing the work that needs to be done. They don't want to be worshipped as idols. They want people to stop making idols out of celebrities and politicians. They don't want to be seen as saviors. They want people to stop looking for political saviors and start looking to themselves for the solutions.

And they'd probably also like a nap.

Original Post Here

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There are some disturbed people out there.

Recently I attended a meeting where one participant, because he couldn't convince the others to break some promises to third parties, lost his temper and began yelling in the meeting. OK, I can forgive you losing your temper. That's not a big deal at all. I do it all the time, and I hope to be forgiven when I do.

Still, the guy made several of us uncomfortable, and we were even less willing to work with him after that outburst.

NOW, this guy is tossing around threats of lawsuits for slander, and talking about carrying guns around with him wherever he goes. I do not know HOW this escalated to that, but he's devolved into a mass of paranoia and threatening phrases. One person who was there is filing for a restraining order, and encouraging the rest of us to do so as well.


But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The Freedom Movement attracts many different types, and perhaps this is one of the fringe-y guys who held it together long enough to pass unnoticed before. At least now we know what he is, and can move around him.

One thing's clear; know with whom you're getting into bed. The extraction process is often too painful to accomplish easily.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Surreality and Puppetry

This has been the craziest week. Something like "Guess who had the BEST WEEK EVER?" combined with "WTH?" and a little "OMG" thrown in.

Last Thursday I flew to Washington D.C. to attend Americans for Prosperity's 'Defending the American Dream' conference. AFP footed the bill for the flight and hotel, or I'd never have been able to attend. It was two days of breakouts and networking and information and other awesomeness. The best part had to be meeting many Twitter friends and making new ones; there's kind of an unofficial Twitter Activist Fraternity, and I am glad they let me in, especially since my blogging is half-assed these days, what with one thing and another.

The week ended with an overnight to San Antonio to meet up with the organizers from Dallas, San Antonio and Austin for the Tea Party movement. We had a great session, and started some things in motion that will pay off hugely down the road. These are some amazing people, and as they continue working together, be prepared to see some powerful influence coming out of Texas.

But the highlight, the pinnacle, the apex of my week had to be a whirlwind trip to LA. Steven Crowder, PJTV/You Tube video comedy/political studdmuffin, asked me to fly out to do puppetry on a video of his. The speed with which it all happened made my head swim, but you can see the results for yourself. The video is not completely fitting on the blog, and I'm not sure how to make it fit, but you can see it at this link in full:

Steven Crowder: School's for Fools!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get it RIGHT

Oh, silly, silly media. You think that if you don't show it, it didn't happen. So sad for you that we all learned to bring our cameras...

Fox 7 Austin Coverage

Our Correction

Monday, August 31, 2009

There's a lot of press chasing the latest doings of the administration, and the vocal opposition to its agenda. You can't turn on the news without seeing a story about the health care debate, or the economy, or Cap and Trade. The debate is a good thing, and people who never cared about such issues before have suddenly found themselves chest-deep in the intricacies of legislation, discussing the Constitution. That renewed interest can never be bad for our republic.

What concerns me is the image portrayed by our opposition.

First, let's think about the goal here. Is the highest goal to keep a given piece of legislation from being passed? If so, then how do we make that happen? The obvious answer is to amass enough public opposition to render it politically impossible for Congress to pass it. This is why the town hall meetings have been so compelling; people are attending these events in unprecedented numbers to make their opinion known, especially on the health care legislation.

Is it having an effect? A little bit. It might result in a watered-down version of what's currently on offer being passed. But make no mistake, unless there's a radical change in the typical congressvarmint's point of view, this bill, in some form, WILL PASS.

So how do you change the view of Congress? My opinion is that you do it by reaching some of their base who do not currently agree with you. That takes many forms, but a good example is Tracy Miller's attempt to explain the health care legislation at an aborted Sheila Jackson Lee town hall. Sheila moved her town hall, and Tracy ended up at the original location. There she met several people who were supporters of the congresswoman, but who didn't know much about what was in the bill. She spent time that evening talking to those people and giving them facts and excerpts from the bill, and found common ground with them. She gave them something that was in short supply from Sheila Jackson Lee - information. That's a valuable outreach effort.

Would Tracy have had that opportunity to reach these SJL supporters had she charged in with her Obama Joker poster held high? I really don't think so. Would they have been receptive to anything she had to say? Probably not. Tracy knows this, and acted accordingly.

We should all take a page from her book, and learn something about image.

When Houston Tea Party Society hosted tea parties, we did our best to encourage people to focus on Congress as their targets. Putting the focus on the newly-elected, highly popular, still-honeymooning president would only serve to make those supporters dig in their heels and root their support even deeper. Congress was (and is) a much smarter target choice, and as Tracy found in an early SJL town hall, rich with material - as when SJL pretended to listen to Tracy's question and talked on her cell phone at the same time. That video landed the congresswoman, and Tracy, on the Fox News Channel.

The point here is that without the distraction of an altered Obama photo, without the distraction of a Sheila Jackson Lee voodoo doll, the story became Sheila Jackson Lee's behavior. Add those distracting elements into the picture, and the media would be reporting on the poster, on the doll. Is that the story we want to tell? Is that the goal; to get a chuckle out of people who agree with us? Or is the larger goal to prevail, to sway more people on the fence to agree with us, to amass the numbers we need to force Congress to abandon their socialist plans?

You can go for the cheap laugh, or you can go for the win. It's up to you. But if you go for the laugh, don't be surprised if we aren't all laughing along. Some of us would like to keep the focus on the issues.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sacrifice (8/22 Radio Commentary)

Two weeks ago I saw the movie “300” for the first time with Natalie and friends at her birthday celebration. I’d heard the stories of Thermopylae and the Spartans’ stand against the Persian hordes, and writers have used it for centuries as a heroic example of fighting for freedom. But there’s one theme that keeps coming back to me; sacrifice.

In the movie, King Leonidas knows Sparta is threatened by the Persians, and yet the politicians will not act to defend it. And he knows that if he waits until the Persians get to Sparta, they will all be enslaved. So in defiance of the oracle and the politicians, he takes his 300 men and goes to meet the Persians in the most defensible place he can find. For days they fight bravely and hold off the Persians, until they are betrayed when someone shows the Persians another path to outflank the Spartans. Leonidas and all his 300 are finally overcome by the Persian army.

Their sacrifice was not in vain, though. The small but powerful resistance led to a greater number of Greeks standing against Persia, and their resistance eventually convinced the Persians to abandon the battle to conquer all of Greece.

So how does that relate to today?

If the socialist agenda is passed, you’ll pay higher prices for things. Your taxes will go up. You will give up some things you used to be able to afford with ease. You’ll have to choose between things like health care and home repair. Between the light bill and the grocery bill. Between buying gas for your car or tires to stay on the road safely.

And if you decide to fight the socialist onslaught, you’ll sacrifice much more as well. You’ll sacrifice your time, your energy, your peace of mind, your resources, your vacations, your family time, your talent, your free time, and in my case, even your sanity at times.

The question is, are you merely going to sacrifice because the other side won, or are you going to sacrifice to prevent it?

Make no mistake; you are going to sacrifice in some way because of the invasion of socialism. It’s up to you whether you do it involuntarily because they take it from you, or whether you choose to sacrifice for the fight.

Me, I like a good fight.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am flagging myself because I do not believe the typical spin of the Left when it comes to the current health care legislation, and I understand economics well enough to recognize a plan that defies all economic principles.

I am flagging myself because, as Hillary Clinton said, “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.”

I am flagging myself because I love and support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the country that results from them, and I believe that those documents, not the whims of men, should govern our nation.

I am flagging myself because I believe that government of the people, by the people, and for the people requires us to stand up in opposition whenever we believe it has gone off track.

I am flagging myself because I am not afraid to stand up and say what I believe to anyone, including anyone in power in the administration.

I am flagging myself because if Congress and the Administration will not listen to the voice of the people, we will make our voices louder, starting with me.

I am flagging myself because I don’t get my information solely from the media’s administration-fed talking points, nor do I get it solely from pundits who closet themselves with officials to decide on the best spin on the news of the day.

I am flagging myself because I am an independent thinker, and will not swallow everything without skepticism.

I am flagging myself because I am an American.

I am flagging myself because I believe in this country.

I am flagging myself so that other people will join me in standing up and speaking out.

I am flagging myself because I love this country.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Test Drive the New Health Care Plan

Free! Who doesn’t like the word “free?” I’m a bargain-shopper, I clip coupons and shop the sales, so of course I always notice the word “free.”Well, I have to admit I’m starting to hate it, especially since the resurgence of the government health care debate. And let’s call it what it is: GOVERNMENT health care.

I don’t want to get into the facts, figures and statistics they’ll toss at us to try to sell it. Let’s just look at basic economic principles.

The president says if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. If you don’t have a health care plan, or are dissatisfied with your current plan, you can opt in to the government plan. They call this the public option. Sounds good so far, right? Sounds fair?

But take the emotion out of the issue. Instead, let’s talk about something simpler, like cars, and restate that premise.

If you like your current car, you can keep driving it. If you don’t have a car, or are dissatisfied with your current car, you can opt for a government car. All of a sudden that doesn’t sound so fair, does it? Cars cost money, and the people who are driving cars they like, people who spent good money for those cars, see other people getting free cars. And what’s worse, the people paying to keep their own cars realize that they must also be paying for the free cars somehow.

What would any reasonably intelligent car owner do in this situation? If he’s looking out for himself, he’s running as fast as he can to the government car handout center.

But suddenly, there’s one less car owner paying his way. Suddenly, the car dealership has one less customer. Suddenly, other people realize this bargain too, and rush off to get their own government car. Everyone gets a “freebie.” YAY!!!!

Except the car dealer goes out of business. And then people discover that the government cars take a while to come in. Sometimes a long while. And people discover the government cars aren’t always the greatest; instead they get whatever cars happen to be on the government lot.

Now go back to health care. As more people sign on to the free health care option, and more businesses stop paying for employees’ health care, private insurance will completely disappear. That’s not promoting health care choices! And consider this: the government pays doctors a lot less for Medicaid patients than insurance companies do. Will doctors even want to continue to practice medicine if they’re only going to be paid by the government? That LIMITS your choices even further. The government has already made a mess of Medicaid and Social Security. Are these the people you’re going to trust with your health care?

The lesson here, just like your mom taught you all those years ago, is this: nothing in life is “FREE.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Word on Social Issues

In light of controversies popping up around the movement, I thought I should cross post this here.

Look at any social issue category under the sun and you can find a place for it under the Tea Party umbrella. Second Amendment rights in danger? Tea Party stands with you. Federal dollars doled out for funding abortions? Tea Party is on to that, too. Ministers in danger of being silenced in the pulpit for hate speech? Tea Party has got your back.

Here’s where quite a few people miss the power of the movement: some don’t want to sit at the same table with others who have opposing views on social issues, EVEN IF it meant that by working together they multiplied their effectiveness on the fiscal ones. It’s my personal opinion that if all the people who want government out of their lives as much as possible WORK TOGETHER, they can achieve that far more easily than if they worked separately on their own issue. The focus is narrow, and the application is wide. That wide application means that a Tea Party rally can bring thousands together to support a single cause. And the thousands, if they hold together, can return again and again, to Downtown Houston, to Austin’s Capitol, to the nation’s Capital until the elected officials and the media start listening!

It’s so exciting when you picture it! We can build a movement that the GOVERNMENT can be afraid of, not the other way around! We can take back all the power stolen from us, if we just stay together! Imagine the issues that divided the founding fathers, and how they still managed to build a federation of states and a form of government that still promotes freedom, if we will just fight for it. Benjamin Franklin said it best at the signing of the Declaration of Independence:

“We must all hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately”

We have to develop that attitude if we are going to continue to collectively take the Tea Party movement into the faces of the elected officials who are grabbing power as fast as they can. If you join Tea Party with your particular issue, understand that not everyone will share it. Others in the movement will hold views completely opposite to yours on particular issues. At the same time, realize that you WILL find people who feel the same way you do, and seek them out and work together on that issue. And remember that every person who joins the movement for fiscal responsibility is an ally in that cause! If we start pulling apart because pro-lifers are in the same room as pro-choicers, or because gay members are in the same room with traditional marriage advocates, WE’RE LOST!

Let’s keep the focus: stopping government overreach and promoting fiscal responsibility. No, these issues aren’t as “sexy” as some others, and they require some thought, some education, some reason and some effort that we haven’t centered in that direction as a nation in a long time. It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party 2009

Wow, that was fun! 11,000+ people in Downtown Houston!

More soon!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mailbag Sampler

Can I just say how amazing people are? Just when I'm losing hope and faith in this country, I get totally surprised. After appearing on television a few minutes, this is the kind of mail I received:


I am a conservative who feels frustrated because my voice is not being heard. While watching Glen Beck this afternoon I was made aware of another tea party that is taking place here in Houston on April 15th. My question is, how can I get involved?


I believe in our constitution and I believe it’s under assault, with that I would like to help in any way I can.


I just have a general comment. I hope you can relay this message to all the leaders of the org.. This movement should not be about anyone's ego or anyone promoting himself in any way. It's not a competition or a popularity contest. It is about the people of Houston and ultimately, this entire nation, taking their country back. A true leader is someone who dies to their ego and places the movement itself as top priority. Unless this happens, the movement will not achieve all the great things it's meant to achieve.


Saw you on Glenn Beck's show today and I'm in complete agreement with the Tea Party movement.

I'm an old cold war veteran, who used to make my living as an artist/entrepreneur.

Now disabled and too old to partake in any physical protests, besides the snow is still too deep here in Wisconsin.

I have been using my only talent that I still have left to express my thoughts to protest these stupid government actions.


I would first like to thank all of you for starting this movement. I would also like to say that this is a big concern for the vast majority of Americans in every state. I'm from New Hampshire and most everyone in this state feels the same as you. I hope and pray that this movement crosses every state line in this country. If there is a petition to sign or some way I can help, then I'm in. I'm sorry I can't afford to send a donation. Like many Americans, I'm struggling financially. Thanks again for speaking up for me and everyone else.


I am able, ready and willing as I am unemployed right now and will volunteer my time to help in your event, point me in direction you need help.



I am 62 year old disabled vet from the Vietnam War. It does my heart good to see you folks refusing to give in to Obama's Socialistic/Communistic rhetoric. I like the idea Texas is the ONLY Republic in this entire nation. I enjoy the history and the heart of the Texans who got the state on her feet and made her strong. You folks have a good grasp on reality and firm hold on your dreams. You are what America once was,....and can be again. God Bless.


Fishie again. I need to buy stock in Kimberly-Clark or something. Every time I read through these, I get weepy all over again. It was really a restorative that I needed in the worst way. I'm currently living on cigarettes and Pepsi, because my appetite is gone, and sleeping maybe four hours a night on average, but this volume of e-mail bolsters me in a way nothing else has.

If you live in the US, these are your neighbors. These are your church members. These are the people you stand in line with at the grocery store.

These are the people we need to stand up with, and for, at the Tea Parties on April 15th.

Join me at Jones Plaza at 4 p.m. and let's show the media we matter. Join me and let the politicians meet their Board of Directors.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tea Party TV in Houston

This is insane.

But I'll take it.

Watch me on Channel 13 HERE.

And I apologize to the three people who read this blog and notice I haven't updated lately. I have a few things going that take a little bit of my free time.

But I'm working on it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tea Party Swag

Just opened up a STORE for Tea Party goodies. More to come!

Here's my personal fave:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you get involved in the Tea Party Movement?

I am on Facebook and Twitter, and the buzz on Twitter was about having three large tea parties in three different cities. Soon other people stepped up to volunteer to add their own cities to the list, and I decided Houston, large as it is, needed to be represented as well. I wasn't recruited, nor did I apply for permission. I just planned the event with my cohorts, and joined the national effort.

How long did it take you to organize the 2/27 event?

We planned the Tea Party with six days' notice. And with only six days' notice, we saw a crowd of about 500.

Why didn't I see anything about it on tv?

Um, yeah. Media. Well, we made our own coverage and videos, which can be seen here and here. When you use You Tube, the media can miss the story and you can still get the word out.

Your crowd didn't look very diverse.

Our speakers sure were!

People like to say this is just an angry white people phenomenon. The truth is that bad economic policies hurt everyone, and the black and Hispanic communities are hurt worst of all. In tough times, people don't take the risk to start businesses. When taxes are high, you find barriers to entry in small businesses, and less disposable income to stimulate the economy.

It is also important to remember that this borrow-and-spend habit never works. Wealth and jobs are created by businesses and people, not governments. Government doesn't create anything, it merely takes what you've already worked for and says "You're not smart enough to spend that money correctly, so we're going to do it for you." This from the people who order $600 toilets.

But didn't all this spending start under President Bush? Why blame President Obama?

Oh, it DID start under President Bush, and it was reprehensible then, too. And many of us railed against him then, too. But this was during the middle of an election cycle, and there was no general interest in covering the lame-duck president losing support. Those reports instead covered John McCain and his mild objections to massive spending.

People who are angry at the current president also realize which president and which Congress got the ball rolling on bailouts and spending. The banking sector, the auto industry, the investment companies, the mortgage industry... all this was inevitable with the first discussion of a bailout in Bush's term. That doesn't absolve the current president from blame for the way he has greased the skids and sent the economy rocketing to hell on a bobsled.

Hell on a bobsled? Come ON.

I stand by my statement. When a government can grab control of the major facets of the economy, whether by ownership or severe regulation, markets cease to provide information by which to make good business decisions. People stop taking risks, investment falls, and capital is horded rather than invested for growth. Sounds like fun, right?

It sounds like you are just engaging in class warfare.

Class warfare has already been DECLARED on the taxpayer!
Let me make it personal. My husband will be losing his job at the end of April, so we're scrambling to figure out how we will make it after that. He's paid our mortgage faithfully for years, and never missed. But now, more of his income is supposed to be stolen from him in order to pay for other people's mortgages; mortgages they obtained by lying or by purchasing more house than they could afford, mortgages in which the owners are woefully behind on the payments. What gives those people the entitlement to my husband's paycheck? Why should we be forced to pay to keep others in their houses? Who will keep us in ours?

No, class warfare was declared, and we are RESPONDING.

What do you hope to accomplish with the Tea Party movement?

The theme of the Tax Day Tea Party protests across the country is "Repeal the Pork, Cut Taxes." Our message to Congress and to the President is simple: current policies are incompatible with the Constitution, so follow the Constitution.

Locally, we plan to organize more formally in order to reach local politicians and candidates. We aim to hold candidate forums and design ways to get our message to our elected officials in ways that they can no longer ignore. We're fed up!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fiscally Irresponsible

When the opportunity to host a Tea Party of our own in Houston came up, I had about five minutes to decide whether to do it. I made a commitment for a huge sum of money, at least huge for us. I was going to say than for others it would be pocket change, but then, times are tight all over.

It's certainly tight in my own family. My darling, hard-working, supportive and patriotic (pays his taxes) husband found out right before Christmas that his job was being outsourced. At present, he has until the end of April to work out the parting agreement and severance period, but we're trying not to spend on ANYTHING we don't have to.

Still, At the risk of saddling us with more debt and missing some bills this month, I decided we needed to do this in Houston, and I went down to the park and put down the deposit in faith. God, I prayed, if this is going to get done, you are going to have to do it. I asked for donations to help defray the cost, and sent out our Paypal information.

The response was incredible! Not only did people donate over $580 through Paypal, but at the event itself, when I had just written a huge check for the location, people donated over $800 more! Everyone at that rally that pitched in to make sure we could have the event not only saved my family from a financial crisis, but they seeded the opportunity to hold more and larger events.

I'm humbled by the rescue. I'm awed by my own personal bailout. And I'm more determined than ever to see this movement through, to make an impact on the way this country is run.

To everyone that gave at the rally or before, thank you from my heart. My own fiscal irresponsibility was redeemed, and now we can continue the work on Congress' habit of fiscal irresponsibility as well.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Houston Tea Party Amazing Success!

I am floored, simply floored, by the fact that around 500 people showed up in Downtown Houston, on a Friday lunchtime to rally for our country!

There are some good write-ups and pictures that I will link here as soon as I get all the links together, but here are a few:

The people who poured into the park to talk about our country and how we can heal it were such an inspiration to me. I heard stories from stressed parents, worried grandparents, hard-working taxpayers, fed-up citizens and people who have such a passion and a love for this country that it brings tears to my eyes.

We asked that attendees fill out index cards with their contact information and how they heard about the event. I have over 350 response cards! People really do want to see action taken to defeat the huge spending bills and keep Congress from snatching our wallets entirely. (Upon arriving home after the event, I was informed that my phone had been ringing off the hook all day, and that the house was pretty-much designated Tea Party Central for Houston.) By the way, that 350 number doesn't include the 150 e-mails I've since tried to wade through from people equally angry, but too tied up in actually working to pay their own bills to attend the rally. I know, novel concept.

This is the beginning of a national movement, as Tea Parties sprung up in over 50 cities nationwide, from Washington DC to the Santa Monica Pier. Locally, the organizers are trying to recover, then we will be working on plans for the next rally.

Again, every one of the people who came Friday, and every one of the ones who missed but contacted me, move me deeply. I hear their passion, I know their hearts, I understand their frustration. And if I have anything to give them with the meager gifts I've been given, it is to convince them that we are neither hopeless nor powerless. This is my mission now.

Chris Nelson,

for addressing the crowd and inspiring us all to refuse to take the abuse anymore! Also, special thanks to Josh Parker (I could kiss you!) and Chelsea Winfree (my baby girl!) for working their rears off to plan this event and make it so special. They were the awesome duo that did everything while I got massive amounts of credit I didn't deserve.

Stay tuned for the next Tea Party Event in Houston. We will have BIG DOINGS planned!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

He Started It

Rick Santelli started something here.

Upset over the possibility of having to struggle further in this economy by being taxed to pay mortgages for irresponsible people, Santelli has had enough. And now, so have the members of:

Top Conservatives on Twitter

Smart Girl Politics

Americans for Tax Reform

Heartland Institute

The American Spectator


Efforts are being combined here, and the local group is trying to get together here on Facebook and here with the Future of the HCRP and Rebuild the Party.

Our local group will be organizing the folowing:

2/27 - Houston Tea Party Protest

4/1 - Send teabags to the White House

7/4 - Houston Tea Party Event

Watch this space to keep up, and check out the links above as well. This ought to send a strong message to the tax-and spenders!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Dear Children, I Apologize

Dear Bigun and Little Critter,

As your mother, I've attempted to teach you personal responsibility and owning up to your mistakes. Sometimes I did that by example, like when I thought one of you had made a mess and it turned out to be your father. I'd apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

Other times it would take the form of long talks; ones that bored you, I know, but ones filled with words that I'd hope that you'd remember.

This time, I've failed you in a huge way, and I want to apoligize publicly for what I've done; not just for absolution, but to serve as The Bad Example you spend your life trying to avoid.

I'm sorry that the government is going to be taking so much of your future earnings. With one of you in college and the other in grade school, the burden on each of you will be felt differently, but you will each feel it.

Bigun, provided that you can actually afford to finish college, your earnings will immediately be cropped to pay for such things as mortgage bailouts of irresponsible borrowers, large public works projects that provide no lasting employment, dog parks in Maine (offered to entice that state's senators to vote for the bill,) disc golf courses in Austin, and a snowmaking facility in Minnesota.

Little Critter, honey, college may not even be in the cards for you. I know it's 8 years away at least, but before then, we may have to move in with Grandma and Paw Paw. By the time you finish school, they will still be around and not be dependent on Social Security for their income, because they were very smart and saved like demons in their working years.

Oops, forgot about that incredible mortgage-failure-driven market downturn here recently. Perhaps the retirement plans they slaved to build will provide very little income after all. However, somewhat generous Social Security benefits will still be paid to them, which could help support us; at least until they eventually succumb to the ailments of people in their eighties. By then, Medicaid will have begun to ration their health care, and they might not qualify to receive treatment because they will be deemed too old to treat or save, too spendy to waste money on. And baby, we can't depend on receiving any inheritance from them if they are refused treatment: they'll have had to sell everything before qualifying for the government care anyway.

So again, dear children, I'm sorry.

Sorry I knew what would happen and did not stop it.

Sorry your future paychecks will be scissored to the point where you'll never be financially independent, or free of government's greedy grasp. If, that is, you can find a job.

Sorry that my generation has stolen not just from you, but from your children-to-be as well.

Sorry my political activism did not convince as many people as I needed to in order to prevent this coming to pass.

Sorry that I took time off from advocating universal personal responsibility to work part time, go to your events, support your sports teams, see you in plays or behind the scenes, volunteer at your schools, teach others how to shop with coupons, attend Bible studies, teach your science and computer labs, run your school carnivals, cook your dinners and all the other "frivolous" things I did with my time.

Please forgive your mother who thought just bringing two responsible, kind-hearted, talented, warm and loving children into the world would be a great enough contribution. I had no idea that my legacy would not only be the two of you, but all the mess the grown-ups in this country made.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Stimulus Made Easy

Ripped off completely from Josh Flynn on his Facebook page:

Shortly after class, an economics student approaches his economics professor and says, "I don't understand this stimulus bill. Can you explain it to me?"The professor replied, "I don't have any time to explain it at my office, but if you come over to my house on Saturday and help me with my weekend project, I'll be glad to explain it to you. “The student agreed.

At the agreed-upon time, the student showed up at the professor's house. The professor stated that the weekend project involved his backyard pool.They both went out back to the pool, and the professor handed the student a bucket. Demonstrating, with his own bucket, the professor said, "First, go over to the deep end, and fill your bucket with as much water as you can."The student did as he was instructed.

The professor then continued, "Follow me over to the shallow end, and then dump all the water from your bucket into it." The student was naturally confused, but did as he was told.

The professor then explained they were going to do this many more times, and began walking back to the deep end of the pool.The confused student asked, "Excuse me, but why are we doing this?"The professor matter-of-factly stated that he was trying to make the shallow end much deeper.

The student didn't think the economics professor was serious, but figured that he would find out the real story soon enough.However, after the 6th trip between the shallow end and the deep end, the student began to become worried that his economics professor had gone mad.

The student finally replied, "All we're doing is wasting valuable time and effort on unproductive pursuits. Even worse, when this process is all over, everything will be at the same level it was before, so all you'll really have accomplished is the destruction of what could have been truly productive action!"

The professor put down his bucket and replied with a smile, "Congratulations. You now understand the stimulus bill."

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Remember the commercials that were the direct cause of the smackdown of Hillary Health Care in the '90s? It looks like the creative conservatives are fighting the stimulus with the updated version of Harry and Louise:

Try this:

And this:

And tell me that humor and tipping sacred cows isn't going to get the job done in the long run.

And while we're at it, I got an invite to join THIS group. Now, I don't consider myself a member of the entertainment industry by any means, but I have written a little professionally and certainly enjoy the arts, specifically the dramatic arts. I'm an artistic supporter, I guess. But this group looks like it has the right idea! I'm all in!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Like to Win

I'm VERY competitive. I don't know why God put that in me, but it's there in great abundance. If my husband beats me at Wii Fit Soccer Heading, I HAVE to regain my title. He can keep me agitated for weeks by winning our timed Sudoku challenges for days in a row. It's a compulsion. No, it's often a sickness.

But it isn't all bad. When it comes to elections, I really like to win. And there's a darn good reason for that: the stakes. If I am a Republican, I believe the country works best a certain way, governed by people who share my values. If I don't do my best to see that viewpoint prevail, then I'm saying I don't care so much who runs the show.

I'm convinced that some people who feel passionately about the issues are dropping out of the process. They might feel the party is taking a direction they don't support, or that the politicians elected under our banner don't promote the values of the party, but instead their own selfish agendas. And they're probably correct.

But the solution to that isn't to take the ball and go home. The solution is to get back in the game, to be an active part of the process. If your voice of dissent isn't heard, then you leave the works in the hands of people who haven't listened to you BECAUSE they haven't heard you.

The way I explain it to friends is this:

There is only one game in town.
If you want to be on the field, you have to be on a team.
There are only two teams.
Choose one.
Play to win.

To win (and isn't that ultimately what we're talking about here?), Republicans need several things.

1) They need all the groups and factions to realize they have much more in common with each other than they each do with Democrats.

2) They need to recruit, train, and run candidates who can carry the message of our shared values.

3) They need a good organization behind the candidates to mobilize grassroots teams and increase their size and scope and reach.

If the party is falling down on any of these things, it isn't doing its job. Too many Republicans look at results as snapshots. It's time to look at the trends and realize the MOVEMENT that is in them, and then reverse it.

Suit up, Republicans!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Michael Steele, new RNC Chair

Congratulations to Michael Steele, who won the race for RNC chair after six LONG ballots.

If you want to read his plan for the party, go here. Under Platforms, you will find his Blueprint for Tomorrow. In it, he covers preparing for redistricting, grassroots activism, technology and also ethics.

Quotes from today's acceptance speech:

"Get ready, baby, it's time to turn it on" (to the northeastern states)

"We stand proud as the conservative party of the United States."

"For those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over."

I like this guy's attitude!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kirk's Fourth Principle

Conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity - or kind intentions. (emphasis mine)

In the current financial crisis, the temptation to try anything, to throw all ideas at the wall and see what sticks, is overwhelming. In a crisis, hurt people want action. There's no time for thinking through the consequences.

But is it a crisis? Are we really that vulnerable? And is this stimulus package going to fix anything?

Kind intentions can be deadly. Try to help a pidgeon out of its egg, and you will kill it. Hold a child nonstop, and he sees no need to learn to walk. An attempt to bubble-wrap your life doesn't always result in a safer world.

The House did pass the stimulus bill (or the Porculus, which I think is ever so much more descriptive) and the issue resides now with the Senate. Considering the above statement, it seems unlikely any conservative Senator can vote for this. It ought not be the sole item upon which a senator's conservatism is judged, but it ought to be a large portion of the equation.

Unfortunately, Congress has for years thrown prudence out the window, preferring to kick many issues down the road for future generations to tackle. Social Security not really secure? No problem. Borrow more, and by the time the bill comes due, those in the body passing the buck are dead, no doubt with a hefty Death Tax bill paid by the heirs. Immigration not working out so well? Easy peasey. Pass an amnesty bill and say "No mas" until the issue comes up again in fifteen years.

Politicians don't gain anything by dealing with the long-term, except a kick in the pants from the other guys saying "You idiot, you're going to kill us all!" Politicians think one election cycle ahead. It's all they can afford. You can't blame the fish for swimming.

Still, I think we all need to start hoping, expecting, and demanding more of our elected officials. I've contacted my Congressman and Senators before, but not nearly enough. I know it's a pain. I know it doesn't fit into the schedule. But we need to be doing it anyway. Because it matters.

And we ought to be electing statesmen when we can find them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Resolution Wrap-up

For the four people who might care, the resolution I was to offer last night never made it to the floor. The Future of the HCRP site gives reasons here, but let me offer my own as well.

First, the length of the meeting. After spending nearly two hours sitting through presentations and reports in an unprecedented level of detail, I honestly thought the "mood" for real debate was lost. While there were people in the room who would have welcomed the argument, at some point the exhaustion factor kicks in and people who actually have lives need to return to them. Those who might not care passionately about a particular resolution can't be blamed for leaving.

Secondly, parliamentary nerdiness. I know some members were waiting to see whether a chair sponsoring a resolution would rise to seek the microphone. I learned the motion to adjourn was probably imminent if I rose and went forward. One can't really run through an assembly, can one? Perhaps I ought to have moved up a row at a time. :)

I still believe the process ought to be investigated thoroughly (which is why the motion was to refer the matter to Rules,) and the election code and applicable rules are being studied. The Secretary of State may well give an opinion on the issue.

In the meantime, anyone who witnessed the flurry of activity up on the podium last night is aware of one thing: the pressure put on the leadership has produced movement. I'm not ready to hang out the "Mission Accomplished" banner, but it's certainly an attempt to steer the fleet towards the battle.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Into the Fire

This is the last post I'll get to make before I jump into the fire.

Tonight is the Executive Committee meeting of the Harris County Republican Party, and I'm offering a whopper (apparently) of a resolution, one that's supposed to ignite a firestorm. Ready for this?

My resolution calls for the Rules committee to craft language about removing party officers, and present it to the body for approval.

That's all. And somehow, asking the party to consider implementing a process for removal of anyone is A NUCLEAR OPTION.


There was a way to remove Clinton from office, not that it was successful. There was a way to remove Gray Davis from the California governorship. There's a way to remove Illinois governor Blago, for Pete's sake. Are we saying that precinct chairs, legal counsels, vice chairs and party chairs are more indispensible?

And aren't we out shouting from the rooftops that we're the party of accountability? But we won't hold our own party officials to account?

And consider, a removal process allows the "accused" an option of defending himself. It avoids the images of storming the castle with a pitchfork, and instead replaces it with a reasoned, methodical means of deciding the issue.

So, if I'm accused of being a subversive, a Ron Paul nut, a closet RINO, a fruitcake, a tool, an idiot, and anything else fun and uplifting, I'll report back. Meantime, just pray for me.

Here's the text I'm offering. How anyone can object to even considering it is beyond me.

Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Harris County Republican Party (“HCRP”) to create a procedure for the removal and replacement of party officials

Whereas, the Harris County Republican Party (“HCRP”) is established by Bylaws last amended as of May 6, 2008, and the Texas Election Code (“TEC”), Section 171.02; and

Whereas, Precinct Chairs and the County Chairman are elected officers of the party; and Senate District Chairs, the Vice-Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Legal Counsel, the Parliamentarian, and the Chairmen of the standing committees of the Executive Committee are the “party officers” of the HCRP; and

Whereas, neither the current Bylaws, nor the TEC, provide a procedure for the removal and replacement of party officers, and

Whereas, the HCRP needs to implement appropriate policies and procedures to allow for the removal and replacement of party officers by the Executive Committee under appropriate circumstances in order to assure that the HCRP continues to accomplish its legal and political purpose to advance the interests of Republican voters in Harris County.

Be It Therefore Resolved, we, the Executive Committee, refer to the Rules Committee of the HCRP the responsibility to draft amendments to the Bylaws to provide a procedure for the removal and replacement of party officers who are found to have violated the Bylaws and TEC; to have violated any state or federal law or regulation applicable to those individuals or to the party offices they hold; to have failed to meet the duties and obligations of their offices as set forth in Bylaws, laws or regulations; or to have failed to promote the mission or implement the objectives of the HCRP consistent with the responsibilities of the party offices they hold.

Respectfully Submitted,


Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Year Cheer

To cheer myself up, I bring you my favorite conservative communicator.

And no, it isn't Reagan.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fecal Roster

I'm full of unprintables.

That's about all I have right now - unprintable names that I've been chomping down on to keep from saying them. I think God heard them anyway. He's heard me going down my fecal roster, and I think He understands.

First on my Fecal Roster is the House of Representatives, ready and willing to spend my unborn grandchildren's effort and sweat to prop up a socialist-leaning economy. Hell, at this rate, my kids might not be able to afford to have kids. But that's okay, because my girls can of course, by then, take advantage of fully-subsidized abortions, at least until the Left realizes that they've killed all the potential taxpayers that could have paid the freight for their largess. Then maybe they'll be mandating at least four children per family. Or encourage polygamy.

Second on the list is the Senate, fully expected to confirm Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, despite his apparent skill at avoiding paying his taxes. I don't know why I am so foolish, but I expect the PRETENSE, if not the actual fact, that the members of the Senate have some sort of standards, including not confirming actual criminals. And they get a hickory switch on the bailout too. My own senators are supposed to be so conservative. Watch; they'll fall in line. I have no faith left.

Third on the list is a good portion of American electorate, who put us in this predicament by electing representatives and senators who have no concept that taxes are really only government-sanctioned theivery. If I could design a recovery that would only benefit people smart enough to be responsible, I'd spend everything I had to institute it.

Oh, wait, there is one. It's called capitalism.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Word Cloud

I didn't know what a word cloud was until recently. Apparently it tracks the most frequently used words of a blog, a speech, a poster. And it is revealing. Matthew 12:34 says "The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart."

You learn a lot reading a word cloud.

So with that,
Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb posted several word clouds from inaugural speeches, including Obama, Lincoln, Bush, Clinton and Reagan.

So revealing.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why Conservative?

I'm not good at articulating that in a concise manner; usually I rant for hours until my husband starts to snore. But someone in the Twitterverse asked me that tonight, and it made me think. With a 140 character limit to a post, I got it down to two. (My husband will be most pleased.) I added some missing words for clarity, but this nutshells most of it.

I don't like to trust "feelings" to make decisions, I need a better mechanism. I believe in meritocracy, liberty, self reliance and the idea that a society that has winners & losers motivates more to try to be winners.

I think that's clear enough.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Can't Do That

What is wrong with this country?

Everyone knows that it's wrong to engage in voter fraud, and yet the Texas Democrats explode when Texas Republicans try to do one little thing about reducing it. Further, the Left all seem to get on the same page while going off. (h/t: Lone Star Times)

Everyone knows lying under oath is a serious thing, yet the whole nation remembers what happened the last time someone tried to hold a Powerful Democrat to account for a number of whoppers under oath.

I've given up trying to figure it out. There are a lot of things going on that are wrong, and people simply wink at it, tell you not to make such a big deal over a little thing. And you're left with a teeny little voice declaring "But it's still WRONG!"

There is no "You can't DO that!!" left anymore. There's only "Watch me."

This picture is wrong for so many reasons. And there isn't anyone on the Left who knows better who will dare stand up and say it.

Thanks to Inside Charm City for getting it out there, and Michelle Malkin for passing it on.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Leave Us Alone

Whatever you might think of Grover Norquist, he has a book out recently that I think Republicans ought to read. Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, and has spent a lot of time studying the history of taxation in this country. Even his book's title Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives tells you a lot about where he is coming from.

Norquist is serious, and people are listening. Witness the first ever Debate for RNC Chair hosted by Americans for Tax Reform and moderated by Norquist himself. That's some stroke, right there, to be able to get all chair candidates for a televised debate in which almost none of the viewers are allowed to vote. Norquist calculated, correctly, that the exposure to publicity among lower-level party activists would keep the candidates engaged in talking about issues rather than merely strong-arming their way to the top of the party. It's as if the "incumbent" Duncan has none of the benefits that usually accrue to officeholders.

But back to the book. Norquist systematically analyzes the history of different tax battles in ths country, and proposes strategies and tactics to continue to push for tax cuts in many areas. He takes on the Death Tax (we have to keep calling it that!) and capital gains taxes, as well as the different ways the politicians involved have tried to confuse the issue.

The main thing I'm taking away is that there are two groups in this country. Yes, a sharply divided America, but not for the reasons the media tell you. Norquist puts it this way:

"[The Takings Coalition] views the proper role of government as taking things from one group and giving them to someone else. Taking what? Money, property, power and control.They start with money.Often for themselves. Who are they in favor of taking it from? You and me, the taxpayers."

"[The Leave Us Alone Coalition] is a coalition of groups and individuals that have one thing in common. They do not want the government to give them something. Or take something from others. On the key issue that motivates their vote, they want one simple thing from the government: They just want to be left alone."

Politicians line up generally on one side or the other. Sustainable economic development and personal freedom result from putting the Leave Us Alone Coalition representatives in power. Depressed economic conditions, loss of liberty and theft on a national scale result when the Takings bunch are in control.

It's that serious. We can argue about how this or that politician didn't line up perfectly with our views on one issue or another, but we have to face this truth. We have a much better chance of getting real economic growth and serious tax reform with a RINO than we ever will with the most centrist Democrat. Not because the centrist Democrat wouldn't want to vote for those things; he just might. But are you going to trust a first-term Democrat congressman to go up successfully against Nancy Pelosi?

The reason ANY centrist Democrats were elected in the recent past is because in the past Daschle and Reid and Pelosi allowed them to run as far to the right as they wanted in campaigns, as long as they understood that when the votes came down, they had to deliver. And apparently we weren't focused on winning, but on making a point.

In order to get anything done we have to elect over 62 Republicans to the Senate (to allow for squishiness) and significantly more than a majority in the House. If that's not JOB #1 right now, we're wasting our breath, and we'll lose a generation or two of opportunity to thwart the Takers from using our money to buy votes and power for themselves.

Choose now. The work has already begun for 2010.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ya Wanna Fight?

I love that phrase. My Bigun used to say that with me when we'd have a pillow fight, and the little Critter used it years later when she wanted to wrestle or something. Usually it's accompanied by upraised fists and a comically snarly visage. It's always been something of a joke around the house.

But now it's taking on more serious connotations.

Harris County is poised to turn completely Democrat in a short period of time, and I'm not okay with that. All other large cities in the country are suffering, from one degree or another, from the fiscal and social problems that come with Democrats running them. I'm not willing to see Houston go the same way, and I propose to fight.

But the fight, contrary to common belief, isn't with the current Republican leadership, though some would like to make it so. However, there are some confrontations that will have to take place. When a friend involved in the Rebuild the Party effort here began publicizing our meeting tonight, a local candidate (who lost, by the way) asked him whether the county chairman had sanctioned our meeting.

Excuse me?

Yeah, I'll take on that fight. I'll stand up for our opportunity, no, our NECESSITY to question the current methods and tactics of the leadership. I'll stand up and ask the hard questions, such as: "Where were you during the election?" and "Why don't you answer e-mails requesting help?" Furthermore I don't need, and my cohorts don't need, sanction from any part of the party, official or not; chairman or not.

I'm DONE with making nice as if it's the only priority on the table. I'm DONE with hearing "We'll get back on top in the off-year election, wait and see." Waiting and seeing isn't going to accomplish ANYTHING. And making nice without demanding more is going to mean one thing: we'll all be hugging each other at our pity parties in 2010 and 2012.

I'm ready to fight for Republicans to get elected, not to fight within the party. But trust me, I will continue to be advocating for change in the way we do things. We can argue all year about what needs to be done, but I say this:

Ya wanna fight, or ya wanna WIN?

I choose win.