Category: History

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.

This Day in History

Today, April 19th, is the day in 1775 when a shot was fired, heard ‘round the world. It was the day when American patriots took the field at Lexington Green against the greatest power the world knew.

It was the day 245 years ago that we affirmed that an armed individual is a citizen, an unarmed individual is a subject. Tyrants and dictators seek to control people, and that is most easily attained when people cannot defend themselves.

The Sons of Liberty, 245 years ago, made a stand for us at Lexington Green & Concord Bridge. They did so because the British were coming to disarm them. Those who fail to learn American history may live to see it repeated. Click To Tweet

Here we are, 245 years later, in America, where citizens are being dictated to that gun stores and ranges aren’t essential. There are those elected officials who dishonor their oath to our rule of law, Bill of Rights, our Constitution, where our individual right to keep and bear arms, which shall not be infringed, is being undermined.

Today we remember the Sons of Liberty, who, 245 years ago, made a stand for us and for liberty at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge. They did so because the British were coming to disarm them. Those who fail to learn American history may live to see it repeated.

Tyrants and dictators seek to control people, and that is most easily attained when people cannot defend themselves. Click To Tweet

God bless the men of Lexington Green and Concord Bridge. They gave us America. Will we keep it?

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!

Happy 184th Texas Independence Day

Greetings, everyone! Today is the 184th celebration of the establishment of the Republic of Texas.

Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by 59 delegates at Washington-on-the-Brazos, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.

The reason why the Texas state flag is the only one authorized to fly at the same height as the American flag is because Texas was once its own Republic. As a matter of fact, it was not until nine years later that Texas was admitted into the Union, and became a sovereign state of these United States of America.

However, consider this: even to this day, Texas Independence Day is not a statewide holiday. There is reduced staffing, but offices are not closed. This begs the question: how many even know that today is Texas Independence Day? How many people know that 184 years ago, this was day nine of the siege at The Alamo?

Heck, how many residents in Texas even know that Texas was once a Republic, which has its own Declaration of Independence? If I remember correctly, it is the only state in these United States of America that does. She singularly fought and won a revolution, a war of independence.

This is why there is a swagger in Texas. This is why the Lone Star State has a deep meaning, an aura, that is known worldwide . . .  a mystique. It is all because from October 2, 1835, through March 6, 1836, it fought for its independence, which was not secured until the 18-minute woodshed whipping put on General Santa Anna and his Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

But, what does Texas Independence mean today?

When you look up the word independence, you see phrases associated with that term such as self-government and self-rule. This is exactly what independence means. It is a mindset that when confronted with the dark specter of tyranny. Whether from the ruling British monarchy, or the despotic dictatorship of General Santa Anna, she refuses to succumb, surrender, retreat, or be subjugated.

Today, still yet, Texas faces a new threat, a new tyranny, that of progressive socialism that would seek to undermine that mindset of Texas independence. The leftism that challenges Texas is not from an external foe; it comes from those who live next door to us, work beside us, and go to sporting events, concerts, and dine with us. Consider that just last week, as we shared, Mayor Big Gulp — aka Mini-Mike — is unleashing $8M and his gun control organizations in Texas. His objective is to replicate what he successfully accomplished in Virginia and institute legislative edicts that are contrary to the gun rights that Texans enjoy. Basically, he wants to take away our independence, our freedom, and our ability to have self-rule. Thus, turning us into subjects, not Texas citizens.

I think we must begin to ask ourselves, and those who advance the leftist ideological agenda, just what does “turn Texas blue” mean?

Texas Independence is all about political, cultural, and financial independence. That is why Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world. Approximately 10 percent of Fortune 500 corporate headquarters located in Texas.

Texas has enabled the United States of America to be energy independent and a net exporter of oil and gas resources. Texas has its own energy grid. Texas has a landscape unlike any other. Texas has a culture, a history all to itself, a style that cannot be replicated elsewhere. What is vital, essential, and utterly important is that those coming to Texas realize what Texas Independence is all about.

Texas is not going to go backward. We will not surrender to the progressive socialist left, nor the masters of onerous government intrusion in Washington, DC. When those here speak of Texas Independence, it is first about securing that mindset, and if necessary, restoring the Texas Republic.

[ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW PICTURE]

Allen West at the gun range for Texas Independence Day

The insidious notion of “turning Texas blue” is synonymous with making Texas — and Texans — subservient to government control. We all know that the first step to that end is gun control. Anyone who embraces the ideal of a “Blue” Texas means that they do not support, comprehend, or accept Texas Independence. The reason being that the concept of independence starts with the individual, and leftism is all about the collective.

I was born and raised in a state that was one of the original thirteen colonies. Georgia fought in our American Revolution for our national independence. In Georgia, I grew up understanding the proud and rich history of my birth state. Yes, Georgia was once part of the Confederacy, and so was Texas. But, history exists for us to learn from, not destroy. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi, and has 159 counties, second only to the place I call home, Texas, with 254 counties. Amazingly enough, it was a Georgian, Mirabeau Lamar, who became the second President of the Republic of Texas, after a man from Tennessee named Sam Houston.

I guess there are some things that never change: a fella like me, originally from Georgia, educated at the University of Tennessee, residing in Texas. And, yes, showing up at a time such as this to remember, celebrate, and defend Texas Independence.

Hell yeah, God Bless Texas!