"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adventures of A Citizen Lobbyist Chapter II

North East Tarrant Tea Party Lobbies on Supplemental Budget

"Promoting constitutional governance in
every precinct in our districts, one voter at a time"
We believe in :

  • Personal Responsibility
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Limited Government
  • Rule o Law
  • National Sovereignty
  • Traditional two-party system
On Wednesday February 13, Northeast Tarrant Tea Party made their second trip to Austin to visit the State Capitol in Austin. We met in Grand Prairie this time at 5:00 a.m. and boarded a doubledecker bus. 

Our efforts on this trip were to address the Supplemental Budget under consideration in the Texas House of Representatives.  Team leaders had set appointments with  various State Representatives to press for fiscal restraint.
These are serious efforts, and each of us has long homework assignments before we head to Austin, to be familiar with the Representative we are meeting, and to be familiar with the legislation we support or oppose.  Our research teams work hard to provide information on both legislation and Representatives. 

View of the Floor of Texas House Representative
floor from the Gallery

This trip we were joined by students from the Forth Worth Christian Academy, who met us at the Capitol in the House of State Representative Gallery where we watched the days session open.
Soon we were headed off in teams to meet various Representatives to discuss the Texas Supplemental Budget.  Each team had a Representative that the team leader had made an appointment to meet.  We fanned out to their offices.  My team met along with 3 students from Fort Worth Christian Academy with State Representative Myra Crownover's Legislative Aide Ben Rowe.  We discussed the supplemental budget and C-Scope. (C-Scope is a new study plan for teachers to use in Texas Public schools.) The students in our group volunteered to write letters to Representative Myra Crownover against C-Scope and we asked if the letters could be read into the state record.
Shortly after 12:00 our group broke for lunch in the Texas Capitol Grille.  When lunch was over we once again divided into teams to keep appointments we had set with various Representatives, to drop by our local Representatives offices.  Two time slots of  tours of the Capitol Dome were assigned between 1:00 and 3 P:M.  I chose not to join on the Dome tour as it had more steps!  Those who did take the tour really enjoyed it!

50th Texas Legislature 1947
On the way to State Senator Kelly Hancock's office along the way in the corridor leading to his office there were pictures of previous Texas State Senate Members.  Just for giggles, I took a picture of the 50th Texas State Legislature for the year I was born!

We met in State Senator Kelly Hancock's office for a 15 minute meeting to learn about Senator Hancock's position on various items and Committees he serves on and we enjoyed a lively Question and Answer Session. 

Texas State Senator Kelly Hancock
District 9
Following our meeting with State Senator Kelly Hancock, we headed to a meeting with Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibility website can be found here, and the Empower Face Book link can be found here.  

When our meeting with Michael Quinn Sullivan ended shortly after 4 p.m. we started on the rather long walk (about 3/4 of a mile to meet our bus and head home to Tarrant County. At approximately 10:00 p.m. we arrived in Grand Prairie and headed home our separate ways.

When I embarked on this adventure I had never been engaged at this level with my elected State Representation.  Northeast Tarrant Tea Party is in my opinion the best organized and effective Tea Party in the state of Texas.  Our leadership and those who work behind the scenes as part of our lobbying effort provide us with pertinent information for each visit.  I am truly honored to be a member of Northeast Tarrant Tea Party and we are busy putting action behind our words, and being citizen activist.  The Trips to Austin make for a long productive and busy day.  It is said that Northeast Tarrant Tea Party is the most feared Tea Party in the State of Texas and  I know why!  If your local Tea Party is not engaged in this level of participation ask your leadership why not!

Here is the Official NE Tarrant Tea Party Website

Here is the Official NE Tarrant Facebook Page

Here is the link for NE Tarrant Tea Party on Twitter 

Here is the link for NE Tarrant Tea Party on YouTube 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chris Kyle Memorial Service February 11, 2013

"Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, 
what you can be, what you will be. 
They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, 
to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, 
to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."
~General of the Army Douglas McArthur May 12, 1962

Front of Chris Kyle
Memorial Service Program 
The image to the left is a picture of the Memorial Ceremony Program for those of you who because of geography were unable to attend the Chris Kyle Memorial that was held on Monday February the 11, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium, Arlington Texas. More than 7,000 individuals attended to honor Chris Kyle and his family.  From the Program:

"In Memory of Chris Kyle
National Anthem
Opening Remarks
Seal Creed/Wreath Laying
"Navy Hymn"
Letter from the family
Message from Taya Kyle
Love Song
'Amazing Grace'

  1. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the    Almighty.
  2. "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress:my god, in him I trust."
"Chief Chris Kyle (USN) tragically died on Saturday, February 2, 2013.  Chris lived and died by his personal creed, "it is our duty to serve those who serve us."  Chris was one of a kind in so many ways. You could tell the difference between those who knew Chris, even if briefly, and those who knew of Chris.  The difference was simple, if the only talked about a fun-loving humble warrior who loved his family they heard of him. If they talked about his heart of gold, and his ability to give without end, there were touched by him.  If they talked about the twinkle in his eye, his hearty laugh, his ability to make your feel like you were important and that mischievous grin where you just knew he was "fixin' to do something", they REALLY knew him. 
Chris was a father who was able to bring an unparalleled playful spirit to his family's home while he taught respect and honor.  Every day he felt 'blessed and blown away" by the gift God gave him in his children.  He was a husband who loved deeply and never stopped trying.  He felt his family deserved the best of him and he fought tooth and nail to give them everything he had.  He succeeded.  He was a son and a brother who brought laughter and love from the beginning.  They always have been, and always will be, proud of the boy he was and the man he became.
A devout Christian, a teammate and friend, Chris had a profound effect on the lives of many.  He was publicly known for being the President of Craft International, LLC and author of the best-selling book "American Sniper".  He was a Navy Seal who served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and elsewhere,  He was awarded several medals or combat bravery, including 2 Silver stars, and Five Bronze Stars with valor among others.  Chris was a true American Hero."

Heroes may not be braver than anyone else.
They're just braver 5 minutes longer"
~Ronald Reagan

Monday was a cool and overcast day in greater Dallas Fort Worth.  Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is about a 15 minute drive from our home. The Memorial Ceremony for Chris Kyle was scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. The doors of Cowboy's stadium were opened at 11:30 a.m.  We arrived and parked on the north west side of the Stadium in parking section 10.  As we (my hubby, the fabulous Mr. OK & I) were getting out of the car announcements were made that no purses, packages, umbrellas, or cameras would be allowed inside of the facility so my purse got stowed in our vehicle and we took one of our four umbrellas we keep in each of the door pockets as it had started to rain.

We walked to the end of the cue waiting our turn to be scanned with a hand-held metal detector.  The line moved tediously slowly.  It took about 20 minutes to reach the entry, where we discarded the umbrella in the nearest waste can.

We entered Cowboys Stadium at the "K" entrance, and it struck me as so fitting an entrance to say good bye to a true American hero.  As we approached the head of the line 3 on duty Arlington Police Department Swat members were to the left of the door, and they were armed with AR-15's.  Everyone in line noticed and everyone in line really (at least in earshot of my husband and I) was commenting and supportive of seeing AR-15s.  Neither my husband or myself had ever gone to the new facility and it is beautiful. We rode an escalator to what must be the main mezzanine of the stadium. The Stadium (courtesy of Jerry Jones) provided free soft drinks and bottled water.  We followed the foot traffic and got into another line that led to sections for seating.  

Our Seats were on the second level, and were at the 50 yard line.  Perfect for viewing the days events.

Cowboys stadium has a huge jumbotron that had a looped slide show running of Chris Kyle's life.  Chris Kyle is a native Texan.  In the slide show there were shots of him as a child with his brother playing, riding horseback, winning awards at county fairs, prom pictures, Christmases, birthdays, school dances, graduation and his wedding. then there were many many shots of Chris Kyle serving this nation in country in America's War on Terror. Pictures with his teammates, in camo, with his sniper rifle, his sloppy bunk area, and picture after picture of those with whom he served.  Pictures of him as a civilian, with his family and children.  It was lovely.  

My impression of all these pictures that fleeted across the jumbotron, was first this man had a broad smile.  He was genuine.  You could tell if you had the opportunity to meet him you would like him.  

Chris' helmet, flack jacket, boots and sniper rifle
on the stage at the Memorial
The stadium filled up.  There was a stage on the fifty yard line, with a dias, and microphones.  At the center of the stage was a cross composed of a helmet boots and a sniper rifle. To the left of the stage was a three tiered platform for the young men's choir that sang.  Soon all those vacant chairs on the field were filled with Chris's family and row after row of military men and women in dress uniforms and camos.

The Memorial Service started Promply at 1:00 p.m. the memorial service started. Motorcycle riders who would escort Chis Kyle ringed the sidelines of the field. The Procession was impressive.  When the bagpipes started playing 'Scotland The Brave' I teared up and I continued to weep through most of the service. ( I looked for a YouTube but could not find a single one as lovely as the group assembled for the service.  They were dressed in traditional Scottish Kilts and the drum section was subdued.  I was not alone in weeping.

Chris Kyle and his lovely wife Taya
The tributes to Chris from his friends, family and the men he served with were sincere, and they spoke of a hero,  a great friend, father, son, brother and comrade in arms.  When his wife spoke it was just gut wrenching, heart breaking.  

In my lifetime I have been to many memorial services.  I cannot remember a single one as moving. I have buried my mother, brother father and cried through their services. I cried as hard for this Memorial and I did not know Chris Kyle but I knew of his legend.

When I was 17 my father and I had our only awful argument. It was about the Vietnam War.  I was angry.  I was angry that the men who lead this great nation at the time did not have the courage to to the honorable thing and declare a war.  It seemed dishonorable to me, that the young men drafted to serve were dying unfairly.  My Father, who was a member of the President's Army Band at the time was livid.  I cannot remember a time when he was more angry with me.  He determined that I would attend every funeral service that he had the duty of playing TAPS that summer. I would dress up and stand to the side. He also said that there would be no excuses, no colds, no stomach flus, I would go to each and every funeral service.  He also said that I would after the service was ended I would respectfully and humbly thank the mother, father, wife, whoever received the flag from the honor guard for their loved ones bravery and for defending my freedom.  My father that summer Monday through Friday performed TAPS at no less than 5 funerals a day.  Some days there were more than 10.  

It was one of the greatest gifts my father ever gave me. My debt of honor, my duty to thank those who have given their last best measure.  On Monday, I gladly gave my time, my prayers and my heartfelt thanks to God that he gifted America with a truly brave man, who fought for my freedom.  And I cried, because of  Chris Kyle's life and service America was made greater.  Because of his dedication and bravery many men serving and fighting were made safer.   Chis Kyle is a true American hero, a legend who met his responsibility and more than deserved this beautiful tribute.  A family lost a son, brother, father husband.  Texas lost a son, America a warrior and hero.  Thank you God for your gift of Chris that he is a part of American History, a legend and a man who from all reports from all quarters was a man to be admired.

May God Bless Chris Kyle, and his family, comrades in arms, friends and America.

With a firm reliance on the protection to each other our Lives,
our fortunes and our sacred Honor.
"...It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, 
that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, 
and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."  
Excerpted from the Gettysburg Address ~Abraham Lincoln    

Friday, February 1, 2013

23 Fiats Too Far

Not So Subtle Infringement

Second amendment to the United States Constitution:  "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"Shall not be infringed."  I am not sure about you but that reads sounds crystal clear to me.  Emphatic as a matter of Fact.  The Founders of this great Republic obviously understood freedom, and what would be necessary to defend ourselves in the face of tyranny.

It would appear that American's who uphold their 2nd Amendment Rights are in for yet another tedious 'is' discussion. Democrats are experiencing a serious cognitive dissonance eruption. Democrats are intent upon unraveling the 2nd Amendment. President Obama in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings and Senator Diane Feinstein both are engaged in and busy limiting your second Amendment rights.

Homeland Security has chimed in too!  Homeland Security suggests you should defend yourself against a shooter who has intent to kill you with a pair of scissors.  (The video is at the end of the article.)

Last week Obama claimed he shoots skeet all the time at Camp David (no photos appear to be available of this activity). You can be sure that the internet has been scoured to find photographic proof of Obama with a shot gun in hand firing at skeet.

"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence?  Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and having them under the management of Congress?  
If our defence be the real object of those arms, is whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety, to us, as in our own hands?"
Patrick Henry June 9, 1788

Recently released video of Skeet shooting at Camp David 

Both the Senate led by Diane Feinstein and the White House are in a full court press to limit the types of guns sizes of magazines that law abiding Citizens can own.  International Business Times has a very thorough and informative article on Diane Feinstein's bill that Democrats hope to pass.

Here is the list of Obama's Gun Control Executive orders:  Which are slightly different from President George Washington's view of gun ownership. It is doubtful President Washington would have ever considered this list of Executive Orders.
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background-check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background-check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background- check system.
4. Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within Affordable Care Act exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
Obama announced and signed these 23 Fiats with a backdrop of four children.  Claiming this effort to limit your rights was 'for the children'. Where were his crocodile tears for all the dead children from his kind of town, Chicago, which has some of the toughest gun regulations in the nation?  the article from the 28th of December 2012 states: "As of Thursday night, homicides were up 17 percent over last year in Chicago and shootings had increased by 11 percent, according to police statistics. Earlier this fall, Chicago already exceeded the number of homicides that occurred last year, but this is the first time the city has had 500 or more murders since the 512 in 2008."

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. 
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … 
the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
George Washington ~ First President of the United States 

Several States have moved or indicated they will defend the 2nd Amendment, Governor Perry stated in this press release:  "...the fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally.  The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will not be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president."

Both Wyoming and Arizona have passed laws against gun grabs by the federal Government.  This link is the news on the Arizona law.

Several sheriffs have vowed not to enforce gun laws.  The article lists Sheriffs across the nation who will not enforce infringement of law abiding citizen's 2nd Amendment Rights.

In full self disclosure I do not own a gun, for a while I had my brother's 22 Rifle and his shotgun and kept them until they could be passed to his sons after his death.  My husband's son is in possession of his hunting rifles.  I do, however know how to shoot, as this was one of the other life gifts my father shared with me.

I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
George Mason

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
Richard Henry Lee ~ American Statesman, 1788

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … "
Thomas Jefferson
letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.

To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
         ---John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)