Friday, June 26, 2015

Bristol Palin is having MY baby!

Well, why not?

So ... it couldn't have been me, Right?

How do you know?

Meantime, there's a new lottery in Alaska. Winners gets engaged to Palin.

Can't give away tickets to this one.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hall County's Budget and the duty of Government

I wanted to attend the Hall County budget meetings but couldn't. Had I gone, here's what I would have said.

Good evening and thank you for letting me speak about the budget issues.

As you discuss the budget, remember, you're not the federal government with borders to defend, currency to protect, and international affairs to manage.

No, your jobs are much harder. On your small stage, one county, you must deliver Justice. Without Justice there is no government.

Justice on the personal and situational lever can be very expensive but easy to understand. If we find an orphaned baby, we take it in. Give it comfort and shelter. Clothe it. Bathe it. Feed it. Give it educational opportunities. And help the child grow into a responsible member of our society. Easy but expensive.

If, as Commissioners, you find a man standing before you at budgetary hearings who says, "My house is very valuable. It's the most important thing in my life. But, because of you, I can't enjoy it. You're stealing my happiness with your excessive and burdensome tax rates. Cut my taxes so I can be happy again."

How do you deliver Justice to such a man? Do you go with cheap and easy by not cutting taxes? Or, do you give him what he deserves?

He deserves frustration, anger, and bitterness as these are the rewards of selfishness, pride, and greed. Not easy to confront another adult and then endure their rebukes. That's the expensive part of Justice at the personal and situational level.

There's another level to county wide Justice. Time.

County government covers more time than three public meetings on the budget. It's more time than a year, the budget term. It's generational.

My grandfather was a farmer. My Dad a soldier and factory worker. My children are grown. And, my grandchildren growing. Justice also means honoring past labor, acknowledging existing struggles, and preparing a future.

As you contemplate the annual budget for your county, the job is not about juggling a few accounts or balancing a checkbook. Your first duty is to Justice. Justice within the county on a personal and situational level and across the time span of five generations.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Southern Honor

In April of 1864, an army of over 5,000 Confederate Infantry and Calvary overran Fort Pillow.

"The fort consisted of a dirt parapet, approximately 6 to 8 feet high, and formed a 125-foot semicircle. Built on a steep bluff that descended rapidly to the Mississippi, the fort faced east. To the north, a small stream, Cool Creek, entered the river. To the south, a small town consisting of storage buildings and bunkhouses sat in a ravine below the fort."

The Great Southern General, Nathan B. Forrest, described this dirt fort and the battle as follows, " I cannot compliment too highly the conduct of Colonels Bell and McCulloch and the officers and men of their brigades, which composed the forces of Brigadier-General Chalmers. They fought with courage and intrepidity, and without bayonets assaulted and carried one of the strongest fortifications in the country."

"My loss in the engagement was 20 killed and 60 wounded," Report of Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, C. S. Army, April 26, 1864. "We captured 164 Federals, 75 negro troops, and about 40 negro women and children"

Oh the proud descendants of these brave soldiers enjoy retelling this story of 'courage and intrepidity.' Less than 500 armed Black and White Union soldiers confined to a 125 semicircle wall of dirt defeated by an army of 5,000.

How about a map to show some details of the assault?

The dirt fort remains as a National Historic Landmark called Fort Pillow State Park.

Union survivors who escaped capture were less than 100. No Black soldiers survived capture. Forrest captured some 75 Black soldiers and some 40 Black women. Forrest did not consider them prisoners of war. Many would be lynched by the Southern troops during the following march. Bodies were left hanging in trees as a warning.