Category: Healthcare

Texas’ New Stasi Surveillance Force

During my first Army duty assignment in Vicenza, Italy, I had the opportunity, twice, to go through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin. Imagine being a young 24-year-old from the inner city of Atlanta, and the lasting impression left by walking the same streets with Soviet officers. But, the thing that I remember most, even to this day, was the look of abject despair, despondency, dejection, and depression on the faces of the East Berliners, completely opposite of the joy found in West Berlin. I remember going into stores and finding them not well stocked, and the fear in the eyes of the people. They did not want to speak, or even make eye contact, because wherever we were, the East German secret police, the Stasi was there.

I learned what it was like to live in a surveillance state, where the penalty was imprisonment, or worse, your life. Construction on the Berlin wall started on August 13th, the same year of my birth, 1961. The demolishing of the Berlin Wall came on November 9, 1989. At that time I was a captain in the First Infantry Division, commanding an artillery unit. Upon hearing the news, I reflected on the two times I traveled through that narrow passage, Checkpoint Charlie, and just imagined the faces of despair that now could rejoice.

Now, I am a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, my last duty assignment was Ft. Hood, Texas, and now I reside in Garland, Texas. And, something is happening, here, in the Lone Star State that is of grave concern to me. I never thought I would see a potential creation of the Stasi, secret police, coming to fruition in Texas…in America.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle:

“Texas health officials have awarded up to $295 million to a private technology company to quickly grow and manage a large fleet of contact tracers as the state braces for up to two years without a coronavirus vaccine. The 27-month contract, signed late this week with MTX Group, comes as more businesses begin to open and the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in much of Texas continues to grow. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said new outbreaks may be inevitable as restrictions loosen, and has vowed to bring on at least 4,000 tracers by the end of the month to help contain them.”

For those of you who were not aware, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was awarded billions of dollars in the first stimulus package dedicated to the creation of a “surveillance” system.

I have a simple question: why are we creating a surveillance system and contact tracers for a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate? If someone has been tested for COVID-19 I am sure that they provide their contact information in order to receive results. We recently reported the despotic, and absurd edict of Austin Texas Mayor, Steve Adler, ordering businesses to collect the personal information of patrons to be collected by health officials. Why?

Why is the corporation MTX being granted $295 million of Texas taxpayer dollars, for a 27-month contract to “trace” citizens?

We were told that it was necessary to “flatten the curve” in order to not overburden our healthcare system. Well, here in Texas, we had only a 2 percent hospital utilization rate. Texas spent $60 million on a Harris County tent hospital structure at the NRG stadium that did not see one patient. We have seen several states revise their “numbers” on COVID-19 related deaths, Pennsylvania and Colorado most recently.

I am befuddled as to why we need to have “contact tracers” for a virus that can be contained to the most vulnerable demographic. I suffer from a heart ailment called “sick sinus syndrome” and had to have a heart pacemaker implanted. Hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their lives yearly to heart disease, yet we do not need tracers for them? We have been searching for a cure for cancer for ages, we do not have tracers for that?

Okay, I can hear the intellectually challenged screeching that this is different. Well, do we have contact tracers for each flu season? Yes, COVID-19 and influenza are coronavirus-related illnesses, yet we have never had any contact tracers for any previous contagious virus, Avian (Bird flu), H1N1 (Swine flu), Ebola…Heck, imagine if we tried to institute a system of “contact tracers” to combat the virus of Islamic jihadism?

None of this is making sense. For those who believe this is a good idea, well, remember that thing called the Patriot Act? Yep, that gave us the unconstitutional FISA courts, and look at what that has morphed into. I have stated this before, and I will reiterate, I do not like the combination of these words, “government authorized surveillance,” and I don’t give a doggone if you give it a cutesy, nuanced name like “contact tracers.”

What should anger us all is that not a single elected official — those making the determination of who and what is “essential”– has stopped receiving a paycheck. Their compensation comes from the very people they have put out of work, to the tune of over 2.2 million in Texas. Now, the same individual who unilaterally instituted unconstitutional orders is now using taxpayer dollars for the purpose of having us traced.

I will not be told that I must undergo a test, or submit to a mandatory vaccine. So, there will be no need to “contact trace” me. My health is my responsibility, and if I get sick, I will take the necessary precautions. I will not succumb to health kommissars lurking about, tracing me, or any other fee individual, in order to put us on a list. To this date, I have not worn a mask, but I have awakened every day to complete my exercise routine, take my vitamins and medications, and eat well, okay, I do have a burger every other week.

Governor Abbott, this is completely wrong, and a violation of everything Texas, and America, stands for. Going into Memorial Day, this is not what many made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend: the Constitution of the United States of America…individual rights, freedom, and liberty.

I recommend that you rescind this insidious, dangerous, and absurd concept of using $295 million of Texas taxpayer dollars to hire a 4,000 member Texas Stasi.

Faulty COVID-19 Tests in the Lone Star State

Greetings, everyone! Wishing y’all a terrific Tuesday!

Today, I am heading to Laredo, Texas. It will be my first time in the nation’s largest inland port, and largest border crossing in America. It is where I-35 begins and, once upon a time, it was the capital of the short-lived Republic of the Rio Grande. Why am I heading to Laredo? I have written about this recently:  it was the case of two young Hispanic women who were the victims of a law enforcement sting operation. They were arrested and faced six months in prison as well as a fine of $2,000 each. Their crime? It was not drug-related, or violation of our immigration laws. Nope, they were arrested back on April 20th because they dared to do nail and eyebrow services in their home. Let me repeat, the Laredo Police Department allocated resources to conduct a sting operation in order to entrap and arrest two young Hispanic women, ages 31 and 20.

I find it alarming that in this time of illegal martial law and house arrest you can be arrested for what you are doing inside your home. Even in El Paso, there is a citizen report number, a snitch number, to tell law enforcement if people are having gatherings in their own homes. I wonder how that worked out on Mother’s Day?

Laredo, a city of 260,000, where citizens, perhaps more so “subjects” were being fined for not wearing masks, fined even for leaving the city. Yes, it seems that Laredo Mayor “Pete” Saenz Jr. has become a feudal lord and issued a decree shutting off, not just down, the city. I have stated before, and will reiterate, the government is not endowed with the enumerated power to “protect our health,” they are supposed to protect our rights and security. When confronted by a virus with a 99.6 percent recovery rate, it is not necessary to instill fear, and advance panic, paranoia, and hysteria.

As of the writing of this missive, Texas, a state of some 29 million residents, has had 35,390 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 18,440 Texans who have recovered and sadly, 1,088 deaths. As of this writing, the city of Laredo has had 444 confirmed cases, 223 have recovered, and there have unfortunately been 17 deaths…in a city of 260,000.

Right now, we have over 2.1million Texans now unemployed and an unemployment rate that is above 10 percent. America is now at an unemployment rate that we have not seen since the Great Depression. The last thing we want is for temporary unemployment to become permanent. But, that is very possible when one considers the very fact that some small businesses will never return.

What is very disturbing is when I read comments from those who chastise those who want to reopen our economic activity. The accusations of being selfish and not caring for others is quite disconcerting, bordering on delusion. We now know the vulnerable demographics for COVID-19. I believe that we can protect the vulnerable, and not create a new vulnerability, reflected in unemployment, the rise of suicides, and domestic abuse cases.

Leaders seek out solutions, not cower in fear, admitting to being afraid, such as Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson did in an op-ed piece Sunday. Who the heck wants to follow a person who admits being fearful? Sir Winston Churchill stated, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”. What happens when elected officials react out of fear?

As reported by the Texas Tribune (financially supported by George Soros):

“When thousands of rapid COVID-19 tests were delivered to the South Texas city of Laredo late last month, it looked as if a visiting dignitary had arrived. With lights flashing and sirens blaring, Webb County sheriff’s deputies escorted a red tractor-trailer carrying the tests to a local emergency room, whose owner had purchased them from a Chinese manufacturer.

Longtime U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who helped facilitate the arrival of the tests, smiled broadly as he carried boxes of them inside the clinic. Believing the tests would detect an active infection, Laredo leaders hustled to set up a drive-thru testing site to welcome anxious residents the following morning.

But the promise of the 20,000 tests would soon become a bitter example of what can go wrong when local governments and private medical firms try to buy supplies on the open market from unknown manufacturers, as policies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shift and anxiety increases over a lack of test kits from official sources.

 As they tried to validate the tests to ensure their accuracy, city health workers in Laredo quickly determined that they were unreliable and unusable. And even if they had passed the city’s testing, it’s unclear how helpful they would have been for the city at that early point in its battle against the coronavirus. They were antibody tests, which seek evidence that someone’s immune response has encountered the virus, not diagnostic tests that detect active infection.

Within a week, investigators from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would seize the 20,000 tests, as Laredo police and federal authorities tried to determine the validity of the tests’ FDA status.

“We’re very disappointed, because we thought we had secured a supply,” Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said. “It set us back, but we can’t give up. Plan B is acquiring [tests] wherever we can find them.” Laredo’s attempt to secure the testing kits highlights what is happening not only in Texas but across the country, as a stubborn shortage of tests for the new coronavirus has led private-sector and government leaders to take risks that they normally would not.

Laredo health administrators are not the first to complain about unreliable testing kits from China. European nations have complained for weeks about receiving substandard tests from that country.

Disputed purchases include 1.2 million faulty antibody tests in Slovakia, a batch of 300,000 quick tests in the Czech Republic that local authorities said were about one-third defective, and tests sent to Turkey that officials said were just 35% accurate. Spain returned about 9,000 faulty rapid tests that it purchased from an unauthorized Chinese firm last month.”

Half a million dollars were spent on these defective tests. In Houston (Harris County), County Judge Lina Hidalgo spent some $60M dollars for a temporary hospital facility at the NRG stadium, that never saw a patient.

Reactions, rooted in fear, over a virus that has a 99.6 percent recovery rate, most dangerous for those 65 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions such as COPD, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity. Let’s focus on the targeted demographic of the virus, not those who are healthy.

Illegal martial law, house arrest, fines, incarcerations, all of these are reactions, unconstitutional violations of individual rights, freedoms, and liberties. Again, an emergency does not constitute a suspension of our Bill of Rights. If that is the case, beware of more decrees, edits, mandates, and declarations.

Something tells me that in Laredo, the virus of illicit drug trafficking and illegal immigration are more deadly. I cannot tell you how many have warned me about going to Laredo, not because of COVID-19, but other dangers. I fully admit, I have not donned a face mask during this entire episode, and do not plan on doing so.

Why am I going to Laredo? Simple, to remind the people that they are Texans, American citizens, and not subjects., and to remind them that fear makes victims…courage makes victors.

China’s Tentacles Reach Deep into the Heart of Texas

Earlier this year, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, delivered a keynote address to the National Governors Association. You can watch the 20-minute video here, and I recommend that you do so. SecState Pompeo’s address focused squarely on China and its growing influence here in the United States. One of the telling moments in Pompeo’s address was when he mentioned that China keeps a list of governors who are friendly and accommodating to the Communist Chinese (ChiComs). I can imagine that there were a few squirming in their seats when Pompeo asked the governors if their name was on that list.

As I have stated previously, and often, going back to my time as a member of Congress, China is our geopolitical foe. We, as a nation, have compromised, acquiesced, and sought to appease the ChiComs, but to no avail. Their obtuse behavior and belligerence only grows, along with their holdings in the United States. Just recently, there was a monumental revelation about ChiCom relations in the United States that happened right here in the Lone Star State.

As reported by Daily Wire:

“The Department of Education is probing the University of Texas System’s dealings with an infectious diseases laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The Wuhan lab is a suspected source of the coronavirus that has infected millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands. The virus has also prompted large-scale shutdowns of the world’s economy and initiated a global recession.

Federal investigators have requested the UT System hand over all documents related to contracts with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and researcher Shi Zhengli, who specializes in bats, according to The Wall Street Journal. The investigation is part of a broader effort to examine UT’s potential links to Beijing and about two-dozen Chinese state-owned companies, as well as with Zoom Communications’ CEO Eric Yuan.

UT is working on a reply to the Education Department’s request. Yuan has denied ever working personally with UT. A growing body of evidence suggests that the coronavirus pandemic began in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The federal government’s investigation into UT Systems is part of a wider probe to see how deep foreign influence has crept into the U.S. university system. Universities have disclosed more than $6.5 billion in funding from foreign entities, some of which has come from countries, such as China, that are hostile to the United States’ goals.

China has campaigned aggressively to expand its global influence in recent decades. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, a plan to construct a massive network of infrastructure spreading out from China across Asia and into Europe. The project would imbed [sic] China at the center of much of the global economy and give Beijing more leverage to influence international agreements, norms, and institutions…”

Last month, we discussed the issue of the Wuhan Virology Lab and Shi Zhenghli who is known as China’s “bat woman” and has been studying horseshoe bats, carriers of the coronavirus, for 16 years. During our Facebook Live event — also posted to YouTube — we discussed Harvard University Professor Charles Lieber, a biologist and chemist, who was arrested in January of this year for his collaboration with China. Two Chinese nationals were also arrested, one posed as a university student, but was actually a soldier in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. One of those Chinese nationals, Zaosong Zheng, was arrested at Boston’s Logan International Airport, with 21 vials of biological research. Yep, WTF?

But now, to have an investigation into the University of Texas education system, well, that is something which should shock us all, or should it? There can be no doubt as to what SecState Pompeo addressed, is happening in our America. The tentacles of the Leviathan known as Communist China are far-reaching, and sadly, there are those in America — Texas — for whom money is more important than loyalty to country.

Always remember that it was a Greek traitor who told the Persians about the secret pass that led to the encirclement of the Spartans and Thespians at Thermopylae in 490BC. We all know the story of Benedict Arnold, well, that is if you are attending a school that actually taught American history.

When I think about those who would place personal interest above that of their nation it reminds me of the quote attributed to Roman Statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero:

“A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

I live here in North Texas, Garland to be exact, and we all know that North Texas, along with Austin, are becoming tech hubs. In fact, it was rather perplexing for me to find out there are Huawei and ZTE offices right here in Plano and Richardson, two expanding corporate tech, cities.

So, why is it that here, in North Texas, we have two ChiCom state-owned communications companies? I mean we already know that Google was more accommodating to the ChiComs People’s Liberation Army than our own military. It was just a year ago that then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford stated, “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefitting the Chinese military. We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit. Frankly, ‘indirect’ maybe not be a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.” General Dunford was addressing Google’s artificial intelligence support to the ChiComs, something that Google employees refused to do with our own military.

We all know that US taxpayer dollars have gone to the Wuhan Virology lab, to the tune of some $7.4 million. We have seen a Harvard University professor arrested, along with Chinese nationals. Now, we have an investigation launched into the University of Texas system. There can be no doubt that China has an interest in Texas, the world’s tenth-largest economy. The ChiComs have a Consulate General’s office in Houston, Texas, the center of our oil and gas industry.

The Story That Broke My Heart

I am a pretty tough fella, but there are some times when I get misty-eyed. Movies like the original “Spartacus,” “Glory,” “Braveheart,” “Gladiator,” “The Last Samurai,” “Saving Private Ryan,” always bring a welling up of tears in my eyes. However, I read something this morning that absolutely had tears running down my cheeks. Then, my tears turned to anger.

I want you all to read this commentary from a Dallas (Little Elm) small business owner, Alisha Mahboob. If you do not shed tears, then you are not a Texan, an American.

As reported by the Texas Scorecard:

“I would like to share our tragic story of how we lost everything we worked so hard for in our entire life in a matter of a month and a half due to COVID-19.

We got married in December of 2018. After that, we decided as a couple to put our entire life savings into a business where we can make a difference, not only in our community but in the lives of others through our passion and love for animals.

We have three dogs of our own, so we opened a doggy daycare called Texas Pups in Little Elm—a daycare where dogs can come and play in a free-roaming facility.

We worked day and night to start up the business and build a steady clientele who became our family. We work with local shelters to volunteer and try to give back as much as we can to our community.

Starting mid-March is where things started slowing down for us. As people were not traveling, they were not coming in for daycare or boarding services. Then April came around and, due to COVID-19 and per the governor’s executive order, we were not considered essential business, so we had to close our doors.

We notified our landlord, whom we lease our commercial location from, and informed him that we are trying to take advantage of any and every assistance that’s being given by the city, state, and country. We applied for the Small Business Administration loan but have yet to hear back from anyone regarding our current status. As soon as we can open, once the stay-at-home order is lifted, we will be able to take care of the rent, etc.

We let him know our entire life investment went into this, and the last thing we want to do is lose our business due to something that’s beyond our control. This is our livelihood! And we will comply and want to work together to come out of this together. We have a relationship, as we have been his tenants for the past year.

But one night this week, my world came to a halt when another tenant from the same strip mall called and asked us if we were moving our location since she saw construction going on in our daycare. We were confused, so we took a trip to our location, and that’s when we noticed everything was gone.

Our landlord did not call, email, or send us any further communication—instead, he went into our location and took everything we had. Over $40,000 worth of materials and equipment for our daycare was just gone. Some items were thrown out, and the rest is nowhere to be found. We reached out to him to see what was going on and received no response. Come to find out he just took everything from us—demolished the location so he can rent the space out to someone else. There was no communication, no letter to evacuate the premises, no court-ordered eviction. Everything we owned was simply taken without our knowledge.

Now here we are, already frustrated as to how we were going to come back slowly but surely to be able to do what we love in a community we love during a global crisis. We now will come out of this with lawyer costs and loans, and we are trying to figure out if we will ever be able to start back up again.

I want my story to be a voice for other small-business owners who are or will soon be going through the same thing as we all come out of this and try to come back strong as individuals and as a community. I want to be the voice to request justice for people like myself and other small-business owners from landlords who can take everything away during this time without following the proper protocols.

Where do we go when we have followed the rules, have taken the proper steps we were directed to take, and yet we are left without any help to come out of this? We would like proper justice to come into play to protect the ones that have followed the rules and have played their part in trying to survive.

I have actively given to my city and state as a taxpayer—both for my home as well as my business. It’s time my community, my city, and my state officials stand up for justice and assist individuals like me to get justice.

Otherwise, we will lose everything we have worked our entire lives for.”

Yes, I am angry because of jackasses like Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins were part of ruining this woman’s life, and livelihood. I am upset with Gov. Greg Abbott for believing he has the power to decide who and what is “essential.” I am pissed off that the small business PPP funds somehow ended up in the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers — they did return the funds — yet, there was no real prioritization in disbursement, just a damn free for all.

See, this is why another Dallas small business owner, Shelley Luther has taken a defiant stand against the unconstitutional and incompetent dictates of inept politicians. Ms. Luther does not want to see her life crushed like that of Ms. Mahboob. What politician, paid by Ms. Mahboob’s tax dollars, is going to come forward and restore her small business? After all, the guilt is firmly on their heads for the insidious decision to shut down our economy over a virus with a 99.5 percent recovery rate.

I wrote a piece earlier this week about those who should deliver an apology. Who will take responsibility? Today is May 1st, and Gov. Abbott has decreed that businesses can reopen at 25 percent capacity. Who is he to make such an absurd decision? Instantaneously we shut down our Texas economy, the 10th largest in the world. I do not buy into this incremental restoration process.

I am quite sure that Alisha Mahboob’s story is playing out in other places in Texas. Heck, in Laredo, women are being arrested for operating businesses in their own homes. If there was any place in America where you would believe this would not be happening, it would be in Texas. Heck, Arkansas did not even shut down and enforce a “house arrest.”

Yes, my heart was broken over this story. Now, I am mad as hell that politicians did this to a woman who was living the American, the Texan, dream.

Science Says End the Lockdown

It is always quite comical when the left leverages “science.” They find comfort with “science” when it fits their ideological agenda. When it does not, well, you are a member of the flat-earth society, or some other imbecilic denigrating reference.

Now, I know that there are some who are still concerned, okay, scared, when it comes to COVID-19. I have tried to present empirical data, facts, not emotional hyperbole based upon erroneous computer models, overblown assessments, or fear. With that being said, I wanted to share a very good article done by Scott W. Atlas, MD, the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford Medical Center.

I will leave it up to you to make your own decisions, after all, that is what being an American is all about. That is why this whole COVID-19 issue has violated that very fundamental premise. That must end.

For those of you who wish to know what I think about Gov. Abbott’s decree to open by 25 percent, I would have taken a different approach. If I were governor of the Lone Star State of Texas, I would have said, Texans can make their own decisions, and would recommend a 70 percent threshold in reopening businesses, meaning all businesses. If all is well in two weeks, then Texas would be open 100 percent.

Here is a short snippet from Dr. Atlas’ oped piece, posted at the NY Post:

“The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been enormous, and New York has suffered more than anywhere else in the world. Compared as a separate country, the New York area would rank, by far, as No. 1 for deaths per capita.
The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area accounts for approximately 60 percent of all US deaths. Theories abound, but the New York area itself is different: New York is the top port of entry for the hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to the US every month from China; Gotham has a uniquely high density of living that swells daily by millions from workers and tourists; and Manhattan sees some 1.6 million commuters daily, mostly on crowded public transit, including 320,000 from Jersey alone.

Yet the pandemic toll is falling, dramatically so in New York, ­including both hospitalizations and deaths per day. Few doubt that the unprecedented isolation policies had a significant ­impact on “flattening the curves.”

Now, we face another, even greater problem: how to sensibly re-enter normal life. This must be based on what we now know, not on worst-case projections, using facts and fundamental medical knowledge, not fear or single-vision policies.

First, we know the risk of ­dying from COVID-19 is far lower than initially thought, and not significant for the overwhelming majority of those infected.

Multiple recent studies from Iceland, Germany, USC, Stanford, and New York City all suggest that the fatality rate if infected is likely far lower than early estimates, perhaps under 0.1 to 0.4 percent, i.e., 10 to 40 times lower than estimates that motivated extreme isolation.

In the Big Apple, with almost one-third of all US deaths, the rate of death for all people ages 18 to 45 is 0.01 percent, or 13 per 100,000 in the population, one-eightieth of the rate for people age 75 and over. For people under 18, the rate of death is zero per 100,000. Of Empire State fatalities, almost two-thirds were over 70 years of age. And regardless of age, if you don’t already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small. Of 7,959 NYC COVID-19 deaths fully investigated for underlying conditions, 99.2 percent had an underlying illness.”

Please read the full op-ed, and then, you decide. Stop allowing elected officials and ideologues from running your lives. Actually, destroying your livelihood, I suspect our unemployment number to hit 30 million Americans this week. We are at 1.8 million in Texas.

A Reflection on Texas from a Tennessee Volunteer

They have a saying here in Texas, the Lone Star State, for those who were not born here. It goes, “I was not born here, but I got here as fast as I could,”

My last duty assignment in the US Army was right here at Ft. Hood, Texas. However, I was born and raised in the state of Georgia, and I graduated from the University of Tennessee. I am a “Volunteer for Life,” or VFL, as we say back on ol’ Rocky Top.

There are some things happening here in Texas that have caused me to do some reflection.

See, Texas is not about whether you were born here or not. The real essence of Texas is its character, that aura of rugged individualism, strength, resilience, toughness, resolve, and yes, defiance. All of that inspired men from here, and so many other places, like Georgia and Tennessee, to come here to make a stand. What did they stand against? It was tyranny. They stood against the belief that some tyrant, a dictator far away, could decide their lives. They stood for individual liberty and self-determination, simple ingredients that make Texas — and America — unlike any other place the world has ever known.

It is said that there is only one flag that can fly at the same height as the American flag, and that is the Lone Star flag of Texas. There is only one state that has its own Pledge of Allegiance, “Honor the Texas flag, I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one State under God, one and indivisible.” That is the uniqueness of Texas, a state in the American union that was once its very own country, a Republic.

Texas is not about being born here, it is about what beats in your heart. It is about embracing a history that is revered all over the world, trust me. Texas is about a certain swagger and sense that courses through your veins.

Texas, in America, leads, it does not follow. Those entrusted to hold positions as elected representatives are supposed to embody that aura, character, and resolve, to lead, not follow.

If there is one thing my 22 years of active duty service in our Army taught me, it is that leaders seek what can be done, they do not cower and submit to accept what cannot be achieved. There is no better place than Texas where that mantra is embedded in its history.

True leaders recognize risks, but they also present solutions that mitigate the risk. Young military leaders are taught, when engaged in an ambush, the worst thing you can do is nothing. You fight out of it, not sit and hope. As former Chief of Staff of the Army, and my former Division Commander, General Gordon R. Sullivan taught us, “hope is not a method.” Sir Winston Churchill, the only foreign leader to have American citizenship bestowed upon him — and a US Naval vessel christened in his name — asserted, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

In Texas, we do not need elected officials who are hoping for a remedy. In Texas, we do not need elected officials who operate under the principle of “paralysis by analysis.” No, I am not talking about throwing chance to the wind, that is what fools do. I am talking about leadership. I am talking about that which is the essence of Texas.

A 26-year-old young man from South Carolina commanded a garrison of 185 that was surrounded by thousands. I am sure he weighed the risks. Even when he realized that there would be no reinforcements, he and fellas from Georgia and Tennessee, made a stand. I suppose y’all know that Jim Bowie was born in Georgia, and ol’ Davy Crockett, well, he was also a former member of the US House of Representatives. None of them was a born and raised Texian, or Texan, but that Texas character, spirit, burned within them.

In Texas, we do not wait for someone else to find a cure, we figure it out. In Texas, we do not allow local tyrants to impose their ideological agenda and will upon the people by restricting and limiting freedom and liberty. As we say back in Georgia, “that dog don’t hunt.” If there is one place that all of America looks to for leadership, it is Texas. When that beacon which is the Lone Star shines just a little less brighter, then the other 49 stars of the American flag will be cast into a grim darkness.

There is never a time when character, resolve, strength, freedom, and liberty do not matter. If anything, this is the time when our fundamental principles and core being matter the most. Click To Tweet

There are those who say these are different times. That we have never faced anything like COVID-19.  I do not accept that excuse. There is never a time when character, resolve, strength, freedom, and liberty do not matter. If anything, this is the time when our fundamental principles and core being matter the most. This is not the time to be driven into the dangerous peril of fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria. It is not the time to be paralyzed in the ambush zone, refusing to take any action. Now is the time for bold, courageous leadership, and that must come from Texas.

Here, Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world. Do we want to see more economic suffering cast upon our citizens due to a fear to act? Do we want ideologues deciding who and what is essential and non-essential? Are we to believe that together we cannot “cowboy (and cowgirl) up” and forge our way through this pandemic? No, I will not sit in the ambush zone and be told to cower, wear a mask, and wait it out. You fight through an ambush. And, here in Texas, if we know our history, we don’t give a damn about odds and being surrounded.

In Texas, we fight progressive socialism or COVID-19 . . . it does not matter, we fight!

Choose Life

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV):

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

Choose life: two simple words that should be rather easy to comprehend, but in these times they seem confusing to some. Here in Texas, we have the organization founded by a white supremacist and racist, Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood, suing the state of Texas because their clinics were not deemed “essential.” Imagine the unthinkable hypocrisy that at a time when we are fighting to save lives, by choosing life, we have an organization wanting to take more lives, innocent lives. One they deem as an essential function?

What type of sick, delusional, despicable mind would conjure up such insanity, such savagery?

Well, it appears we have another epidemic, virus, spreading throughout our America. We recently shared a post with y’all about “death panels” being considered as part of this COVID-19 issue.

Now, let’s put somethings into perspective here before moving on. To date, we have experienced some 90,000 Americans affected by COVID-19 and approaching 1,400 who have lost their lives to the virus. In comparison, this common flu season, nearly 41 million Americans have been affected, with over 600,000 hospitalizations, and sadly 40,000 have died. Yes, I said that right, we have lost 40,000 Americans this flu season. We also know that during the H1NI flu episode there were 61 million Americans affected, and tragically 12.469 deaths.

Why are we seeing such a panic-driven, paranoia-laced, and hysteria promoted response in this present case? Unfortunately, I am about to share with y’all a disturbing event that just took place here in Texas.

As reported by Church Militant:

“A Texas prelate is breaking with fellow Lone Star State bishops, refusing to sign a statement that would strip hospital patients of their protections. His act has exposed a growing rift within the U.S. hierarchy over fundamental Catholic teaching on protecting life.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of the diocese of Tyler won’t back a declaration by the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB) that calls on Gov. Greg Abbott to lift penalties against healthcare rationing at hospitals amid the growing viral pandemic. In essence, the declaration would give hospitals carte blanche to decide who gets to live and who gets to die among coronavirus-infected patients, regardless of their reasons for choosing one patient over another.

Published Friday, the “Statement on Scarce Healthcare Resources” declares that “critical medical triage decisions are best left to the professional judgment of healthcare providers.” 

“In order to encourage this sound practice of medicine, the Bishops support the Governor waiving regulations and statutes which could result in fines civil liability, and even criminal charges for decisions related to the allocation of resources during this declared disaster,” the statement continues. 

Pro-life observers note that to the uninitiated, the statement may read as reasonable — but the devil is in the details. One analyst who asked to remain anonymous told Church Militant Saturday that the TCCB wants to remove legal protections that hold physicians accountable — measures designed to ensure doctors practice good medicine. The ability to sue helps keep bad behavior in check, stressing that patients and their families must have legal recourse, especially in times of crisis, as now. 

Bishop Strickland’s refusal to sign the TCCB statement isn’t the first time he’s stood alone in defense of Church teaching. Earlier this month, while other U.S. bishops stayed silent, Strickland publicly called for an investigation into Catholic Relief Services (CRS), after Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute released a report spotlighting CRS documents encouraging the use of condoms as a means of combating sexually transmitted diseases.

For faithful Catholics, the bishop’s uncompromising defense of orthodoxy is inspiring. But some expect Strickland to be targeted by fellow bishops for his stance.

One Texas Catholic told Church Militant, “They’re going to barbeque Strickland over this. He’s going to need strong support from the laity moving forward.”

There is a reason why I included Deuteronomy 30:19 at the beginning of this missive, under the title of “Choose Life”. How could these Catholic Church Bishops take such an unBiblical position…openly? When we have so called religious leaders advocating for rationing of healthcare it is time we get informed, engaged, and involved. If I were a Catholic my immediate question to my Priest, and Bishop, is do you support the letter sent by the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, or Bishop Strickland. We can no longer sit back and allow these so called religious leaders to take on positions that are contradicting, antithetical, to the teachings of our Judeo-Christian faith heritage.

This so reminds me of 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (NIV), “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

I am going to state what must be stated, evil has invaded the Church itself. We are witnessing a time of false prophets and dangerous dogma being espoused that has nothing to do with our faith in God and the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. The culture war is now fully being waged within the sanctuaries of our places of worship. Just as our once-venerable system of education has become a system of indoctrination. Our churches, and these religious figures, are now preaching their own desired, causing people to reject sound doctrine, truths, and yes, turning aside to false narratives and myths.

America is gripped by an ideological civil war and the progressive socialist left has done an admirable job in infiltrating even churches to promote and advance their agenda.

It all comes down to this:

Joshua 24:15 (NIV): 

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

This indeed is a time, a season, for choosing, and the future of this great Constitutional Republic depends upon that choice.

A special hat tip and a hearty “Steadfast and Loyal” goes out to Tyler Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland. We need to lift him up in prayer and support him wholeheartedly, or else he will be persecuted by what has become an institution, not a Judeo-Christian religious faith.

When Exploiting the Health Crisis Hits Closer to Home

Saturday I shared with y’all the insidious political exploitation of the COVID-19 crisis by the Mayor of Champaign, Illinois. Sadly, there are always going to be opportunists who seek ideological advantage and gain in a crisis situation.

Now, it appears that here in my home, the Lone Star State of Texas, we are not immune from the same.

As reported by the Texas Tribune (a media outlet funded by George Soros):

“A Texas-based immigrant rights group sounded alarm bells Friday about recent immigration enforcement raids it said have created fear within the immigrant community and will result in sick [illegal] immigrants not seeking medical attention should the new coronavirus strike the borderlands.

There have been at least six raids by immigration officials in El Paso County in the past two weeks, said Fernando Garcia, the executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights. Garcia and other advocates said the enforcement is ill timed as the pandemic has cloaked the country in uncertainty and fear. The raids targeted small, Latino-owned businesses in the community, he said. “We have a list of documented cases. We’ve talked to the business and the people, and all of that has been verified within our own internal process,” Garcia said.

The organization prepares annual reports on enforcement and use-of-force incidents and investigates claims of abuse or government overreach in immigration enforcement. “We have the names of the business, we have talked to the owners and we have the names of employees,” he said. “That is the way we have done our traditional documentation campaign. Now the next step for us is to sit down with ICE and demand they stop these enforcement actions.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in El Paso said the agency does not conduct enforcement operations at medical facilities “except under extraordinary circumstances.”

“Claims to the contrary are false and create unnecessary fear within communities. Individuals should continue to seek care for medical conditions,” spokesperson Leticia Zamarripa said. She added that the agency, “like other law enforcement agencies with a detained population, is taking important steps to further safeguard those in our care and, as a precautionary measure, ICE is temporarily suspending social visitation in all of its detention facilities.”

In essence, this group is seeking is to cease protecting American citizens from those in our country — and our Texas — illegally. It would not surprise me at all if this leftist mayor would declare a state of emergency and mandate that such law enforcement actions be suspended. Let us not forget that these are the very same people who advocate for “open borders” and we once shared with you an assessment of the healthcare issues such an absurd position enables…primarily for our Border Patrol agents and their families.

Yes, “never let a good crisis go to waste” is the mantra of the progressive socialist left, and this is yet another example. If there was ever a time to secure our borders, it is now. Think of it this way: isn’t a travel ban basically an aerial shutdown of our border? This is what the left criticized in the beginning with the Trump administration. I believe that the situation would be far worse if that travel ban, and the ensuing one against the European Union had not been implemented.

Speaking of the European Union, think about the concerns with the spread on their continent since they have free, open borders within the EU zone. Perhaps that is why we are now seeing Spain and the next contagion area in Europe.

But, the left has never allowed facts to dissuade them from pursuing their goals and objectives.

If there is one thing I despise, it is the creation of fear and hysteria in a crisis situation. This is a clear example of such, by insinuating that our law enforcement officers, performing their duties, are creating fear in El Paso over being sick is juvenile at worse, delusional at best. Having borders that are not secure during a time of a global pandemic is irrational, and dangerous.

The progressive socialist left will use any crisis to advance their ideological agenda. For us here in Texas, just imagine, this is what “turning Texas blue” means, free reign of illegal immigrants in our State, and draining our healthcare resources. Remember, every single Democrat presidential candidate once affirmed that they would provide free healthcare to illegal immigrants. Where does that leave you?