Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Conservatism - History Tested - History Proven

  Until Ronald Reagan talked about how much he admired Calvin Coolidge I never had a very high opinion of him as president. Historians seemed to view Coolidge as a do nothing president that reigned over the hedonism and irresponsibility of the Roaring 20's. If you believe them you are left with the impression that Coolidge was largely to blame for the Great Depression of the 1930's and was a hero of the trickle down philosophy of the mean ole Republicans . Anytime that you saw Coolidge in a picture or documentary he was usually pictured looking ridiculous in an Indian headdress when he visited a Sioux Indian tribe in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1927. A few years ago I read a great book about Calvin Coolidge and I now consider him one of our greatest presidents. Coolidge's tax and spending cuts were responsible for the great economy of the 1920's. They didn't call that period the Roaring Twenties for nothing. Calvin Coolidge was a man of few words. A woman once made a bet with him that she could get him to say more than two words. He leaned over and whispered "You lose". In 1981 Reagan fired all of the air traffic controllers that went out on strike for life. I believe that Reagan was inspired to take such bold action by Coolidge's handling of the 1919 Boston police strike. At that time he was the governor of Massachusetts but by law he was in control of the Boston police Department. His handpicked commissioner would eventually fire all of the striking Boston policemen with Coolidge's support. In the meantime Coolidge would send in the state militia to restore law & order. Like the air traffic controllers of 1981 the policemen had many legitimate gripes about pay and working conditions. However Coolidge viewed the police as essential public servants who did not have the right to strike. He said "There is no right to strike against the public safety, anywhere, anytime". Coolidge would hire almost a whole new Boston police force. Their pay would be raised and some of the demands of the striking officers would be met. Coolidge's firm stand was popular with the American people and would help to catapult him as the 1920 vice presidential nominee on the ticket with Warren G. Harding. Harding would win the presidential election that year but would die of a heart attack in 1923 and Coolidge would become president. In 1924 Coolidge won reelection on his own.

  Reagan viewed the air traffic controllers in the same way as Coolidge saw the Boston policemen. As essential public servants who did not have the right to strike. He gave them 48 hours to return to their jobs. They did not come back and Reagan fired them. Reagan's firm action had unintended consequences because it got the Soviet's attention. His handling of the air traffic controllers convinced them that Reagan was not a man to be trifled with. He meant what he said and he said what he meant. Two years later in 1983 Reagan called the Soviet Union the "Evil Empire". The Soviets realized that this speech signaled a historic change in American foreign policy. Since 1945 our policy toward the Soviet Union was Containment. Reagan was announcing that we no longer intended to contain the Soviet Union. Detente was out. Reagan now intended to put the Soviet Union out of business. A goal that would be achieved within a few years. He also broke from American foreign policy by proposing SDI or Strategic Defense Initiative. What the left derisively calls "Star Wars". During the Kennedy administration our nuclear policy became known as MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction. The so called experts believed that the best deterrent to nuclear war was if the Soviets and American's were able to destroy each other we were less likely to start a nuclear war. In my view this policy is not only madness but morally bankrupt. One can argue that the policy has worked because the evidence is in the fact that we have never had a nuclear war. Liberals have always argued that if the US could defend it's population from a nuclear attack it could create a situation where a nuclear war would be more likely. In my opinion it is immoral not to protect your own people if it is possible. When I worked at NORAD I came to realize quickly that America had no defense against a nuclear attack. Reagan also realized this after he visited NORAD in the late 1970's. This visit planted the seed for SDI in his mind.  There are rogue nuclear powers out there now that are not as responsible as the Soviet Union, or even China for that matter. There is Pakistan. So far it has been a responsible nuclear power but they are one coup away from a radical Islamic regime. North Korea is being run by a despotic tyrant that has constantly proven himself to be erratic and a threat to Asia and the US. Iran is a potential nuclear power whose national motto is Death To America. This is why we need SDI more than ever. Reagan insistence on it was instrumental in forcing the Soviets to real nuclear weapons reductions in the late 1980's and the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's. We have made some important advances in SDI but thanks to the liberals we have never achieved the protection from a nuclear attack that Reagan envisioned. I loved Reagan's response to Muammar Qaddafi in 1981. Since 1973 Qaddafi had claimed Libya's Gulf of Sidra as their internal waters. Under international law countries are allowed to claim 12 miles off shore as internal waters. The Gulf of Sidra is 275 miles wide. Jimmy Carter issued orders for our Navy to honor this ridiculous claim. When Reagan came into office he reversed the policy. Reagan believed that Libya should have a twelve mile limit like everyone else. In August 1981 Edwin Meese called president Reagan one night as he was eating dinner. Meese asked Reagan what our response should be if our Navy was attacked by Libyan fighters. He told him that we would shoot them down. Meese then asked how far the Navy was allowed to chase them. Reagan replied all the way back to their airfields and hangars if necessary. Finally Meese asked if he should wake him if this happened. Reagan said only wake me if one of our boys were shot down. Liberals talked about easing nuclear tensions for years but it took the tough talk and actions of a Conservative to actually pull it off. Reagan was able to spur the longest period of economic growth in American history by his Coolidge like tax cuts and deregulation. He was never able to get spending under control as Coolidge did because of the Democrat Congress. He also had to spend billions building our military because of the deep cuts and neglect during the 1970's. As it turned out the money spent on the military was well worth it when you consider that it helped put the Soviet Union out of business. This military build up would give us a heavy advantage during the first Gulf War. The Reagan economic growth would last until the recession of 2008 that was caused by the collapse of the American housing market.

Donald Trump is not Reagan or Coolidge but like them he seems to know what is needed to bring about positive change and is a man of the people. The jury is still out on Trump but with just a year under his belt he has accomplish much. Our foreign policy of appeasement under Obama has been abolished. The military is being strengthened and our borders are being secured. Our economy is smoking hot and it has improved from the moment Trump was elected. He is not just talking but doing which is unusual for a politician. Liberal policy never works. True Conservatism is always a winner and produces positive results. History is proof positive of this fact. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Enter At Your Own Risk

  I am weary of Democrats politicizing every school shooting. If they would put as much energy into actually making our schools safer rather than exploiting these tragedies maybe we could protect our children. I have put a lot of thought into this issue over the years and I have a few suggestions on how to prevent school shootings in the future. The problem is gun free zones. Gun Free Zones are soft targets and we must be harden them at all costs.

1. At the beginning of each school year screen every employee working in the school. The principal, teachers, teachers aids, maintenance workers and janitors. Find out which school employees have military experience, combat experience, law enforcement experience and weapons experience. These people should be looked at as an important resource. Obviously everyone who has been in the military is not necessarily an expert with a pistol but there are plenty of veterans who are. Do background checks on each employee. The ones that pass a background check should be given yearly refresher courses on weapons safety and rules of engagement. Allow these hand selected employees to carry concealed weapons. Of course this program would be voluntary. 

2. Encourage parents and grandparents of the students to volunteer their time who also meet the above criteria and allow them to be armed on school property. They could patrol the interior and exterior of the schools during school hours.

3. I don't want to take credit for this one because I heard it on a talk show but it makes sense. Set up a gate system within the school. This would trap a shooter to a small area whenever the gates are activated. 

4. The only backpacks that should be allowed in a school are the clear see through type.

5. Set up an exchange badge system. Limit the students and school employees to just a few entry and exit points. Every student and employee should have two photo ID badges that are identical except for the color. For example the student or employee would carry a blue ID card and exchange it for a red ID card. Have turnstiles for entry and exit. Visitors should be screened through a separate secure area. This could be monitored by security personnel or the teachers themselves.

6. This is another idea worth consideration that I heard on the Rush Limbaugh show. Allow students to take on line classes from home.

7. Last but not least take down those god awful Gun Free Zone signs. Replace them with signs that read (The Use Of Deadly Force Is Authorized. All Criminals Enter At Your Own Risk) or (Staff Heavily Armed And Trained Any Attempt To Harm Children Will Be Met By Deadly Force). Place them at every school entrance and at the entrance of the roads leading into school property. People like Nicklaus Cruz might be crazy but they ain't stupid.  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Party Of Death

  Andrew Jackson, who is credited with founding the Democrat Party, was called a Jackass by so many of his political enemies that he proudly used a Jackass as a political symbol in his campaign. The symbol came to characterize the Democrat Party as a whole. The leadership of the Democrat Party today could be characterized as Jackasses and Dumbasses for that matter but when you examine it's history the Grim Reaper would be a better symbol for the Democrat Party. It was the Party of slavery, the Trail of Tears, segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, and Japanese internment camps. The Party has been responsible for the holocaust of over fifty million unborn babies since 1973. It supports the Islamic religion that throws homosexuals off of buildings, stones women do death, decapitates Christians and Jews. Performs genital mutilation, conducts honor killings, fly's airliners into buildings, runs people down in the streets, blows people to smithereens and mows innocent people down with firearms. Democrat led cities have the highest crime and murder rates. More blacks die in our inner cities than have died in some of our wars. The Democrat policies such as the War on Poverty have been responsible for the destruction of the American family through promotion of welfare abuse, drug use and sexual promiscuity. Their support of the ACLU and the mythical separation of church and state is destroying our spiritual heritage. I could come up with many more examples but I think you get my point. All this needless death makes me very angry. We have had another school shooting and all the Democrats can talk about is gun control. Seventeen precious lives has been lost because of their insistence on gun free zones instead of actually doing something to stop these situations from happening. Guns are not the only answer for stopping the carnage but guns in the hands of the right people are a big part of the answer The Democrats continue to politicize the gun issue and innocent people will continue to die. A year from now we will have another shooting.  Nothing will get done, gun free zones will remain and the Party of Death will continue to live up to it's well deserved name.     

First Responders

  Whenever we have a mass shooting the same people come out of the woodwork to scream gun control and it always makes me fighting mad. Maybe that is because the older I get the more I appreciate the great wisdom behind our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Next to the Bible they are the most sacred documents ever written. They are why Americans are the most unique and exceptional people on the planet. These documents recognize the self evident truth that the individual is supreme. Each of us has a God given right to life, liberty, and property. Jefferson changed property to the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence. However the term property had a broader meaning when John Locke originally wrote those words in his 2nd Treatise of Government. We have a property in our own life and our own liberty, As an individual we are primarily responsible for defending our lives when our lives are threatened and our liberty when it is also threatened. Or the lives and liberty of our loved ones. This morning when I was taking my shower while getting ready for work I had an epiphany. We call our police officers, firefighters, and paramedics first responders. That is not true. They are the second responders. As individuals we are the first responders. This is not to slam what they do. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. However until the police officer arrives I am responsible for protecting my life and liberty. John Locke said that when the thief enters your home and binds you up, he not only has it in his power to rob you of your liberty but he has the power to rob you of your life. We should never under any circumstances surrender our liberty. The passengers on the four hijacked planes on September 11, 2001 surrendered their liberty to a small band of hijackers and they paid with their lives. Granted they were conditioned to believe that as in past hijackings there would be negotiations and hopefully they would be set free. Unfortunately they surrendered their liberty and the decision was no longer theirs. Flight 93 waited too late to fight back but as the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto they died on their feet and not on their knees. I tell my daughters, if you are ever approached by a man with a weapon in a parking lot and told to get in your car, or their car, do not do it. Fight, kick, scream, run, but do not give up your liberty. Even if you are shot or stabbed you are more likely to get help in that parking lot than out on a deserted road where they can do anything they want to and there is no one to help you.  If a fire breaks out in my home it is up to me to get my family and myself to safety, or put out the fire if that is possible before the fire department arrives. When someone has a medical emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, or is bleeding profusely, one or more people on the scene can mean the difference between life and death until the paramedics arrive. A gun is only one of many tools that we can use to fight for our liberty and our lives. What if the government passed a law saying that citizens were not allowed to own fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, or Scott air packs? Or what if they said that an individual was not allowed to own first aid kits, tourniquets, or defibrillators? As a nation of individuals we have to quit looking to the government for answers. My safety is my responsibility. Government is too big and too incompetent to provide it. They have proven that far too many times. Jefferson said that government is a necessary evil. He also said that the best government is the least government. It doesn't matter if Nicklaus Cruz was mentally ill or what possessed him to do what he did. There are thousands of Nicklaus Cruz's out there just waiting to harm us. So how do we prepare to protect ourselves against them? It is not important what he is thinking but it is important what we are thinking. Our thinking has to change. We are the primary protectors of our life and liberty. We are the first responders and no one else.   

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Day Theodore Roosevelt Visited Nashville - October 22, 1907

  The South had been ravaged by the Civil War. Especially in Middle Tennessee. Republican Presidents weren't popular in these parts for a long time. The Spanish American War in 1898 had given the North and South an opportunity for healing. Northern and Southern boys were serving together in the same army again. Former Confederate Officers  like Fighting Joe Wheeler had fought side by side with Theodore Roosevelt in Cuba. Roosevelt's charge up San Juan Hill had helped catapult him into the presidency and with the South's military tradition it loves military heroes. Nashville gave Roosevelt a warm welcome on the morning of October 22 1907 as his special train arrived at Union Station. On Broad the president climbed into a horse drawn carriage and was accompanied by 30 automobiles. The former Rough Rider was escorted by a troop of Confederate Veteran Cavalry. At 8th & Broad his procession was met by 2000 students from local schools such as the Hume and Fogg Schools, Buford College, the University of Tennessee Medical school, Radnor College, Boscobel College, Belmont College and St. Cecelia Academy. My two oldest sisters attended St. Cecelia in the 1950's and 60's. In May 1963 I stood on the corner of 8th and Broad as John Kennedy passed by on his way to Vanderbilt University. From 8th & Broad Roosevelt was taken to the Ryman Auditorium where he gave his main speech of the day. After the speech he boarded a 50 horse power Peerless automobile and began his journey to the Hermitage. The presidential procession drove out 2nd Ave to College Hill. This is the area of 2nd & Lindsley where if you are my age you will remember Howard School and the old Children's Museum. At that time Peabody College, the University of Nashville Medical College and Montgomery Bell Academy were located there. After Roosevelt addressed a crowd, while standing in his car, the procession continued out Lebanon road to the Hermitage. There Roosevelt was met by a crowd of 10,000 people. One of these people was the great grandfather of my wife's best friend Carolyn Robinson Blackford. His name was Thomas Monroe Givan and the picture of Roosevelt, along with a picture of Jackson's tomb were taken by him. Roosevelt was taken on a tour of the Hermitage and he promised to provide Federal funds to help in it's preservation. He was served lunch and this is where the myth was originated that Roosevelt loved Joel Cheeks Maxwell House coffee so much he quipped "This is "good to the last drop" In reality he was served coffee but no one really knows whose coffee that it really was. The Nashville Banner wrote that Roosevelt was quoted as saying  "This is the kind of stuff I like, by George, when I hunt bears."  Fourteen presidents have visited the Hermitage. James Monroe in 1819 to ask Andrew Jackson to become the territorial governor of Florida. Martin Van Buren was Jackson's Vice President and had been a close personal friend. James K. Polk on many occasions, especially in 1844 when he was running for president. Polk was a protege of Jackson and was nicknamed "Young Hickory". Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft in 1910, Theodore's cousin Franklin Roosevelt in 1936, Harry S.Truman, Lyndon Johnson in 1967, Ronald Reagan in 1982, and Donald Trump in 2017. Hayes was probably well received in the South because he ended reconstruction in 1877. Franklin Roosevelt had a replica facade of the Hermitage constructed on the front lawn of the White House as a reviewing stand for his 1937 inaugural parade. FDR was a god in the South because of TVA, rural electrification, and New Deal programs like the WPA and the CCC. He would solidify the Democrat Party's hold on the South for many years to come. Jackson was a hero to Truman and he would have Jackson's clothes measured on his trip in order to have a statue erected in front of the Jackson County court house in Kansas City Missouri. Finally Lady Bird Johnson rode in an actual carriage belonging to Jackson while LBJ walked along beside it. 
Roosevelt speaking on College Hill
Theodore Roosevelt Arriving at the Hermitage

Roosevelt at the tomb of Andrew Jackson

Picture taken by Thomas Givan

Thomas Monroe Givan

Thomas Givan as a baby

Thomas Givan and his family- Carolyn's grandfather Robert Thomas Givan is standing on the left

Robert Givan is sitting on the horse