Honoring Our Heroes and Monuments is a Growing American Tradition

President Donald J. Trump announced in front of Mount Rushmore in July he was signing an executive order to establish the “National Garden of American Heroes,” which will be a “vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.”

It was clearly a welcomed action against protesters who have waged “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history” amid demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality.

Upset with the lack of action from liberal cities and states to protect statues and property, the month before Trump tweeted he had “just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!”

The destruction of statues and memorials virtually ceased. In the few instances it continued, arrests were made.

Patriotism and pride in America surged despite the efforts of organized attempts from socialist liberal organizations and leadership to squelch it.

Parades and caravans in lakes, bays, rivers and intercoastal waterways began popping up throughout the United States. Along with literally hundreds of highways, city loops, rural roads and Main Street parades, hundreds of thousands of Americans united in their support of a sitting president the likes of which have never been seen in history.

When Dodie and I were dating, I asked about the time her college volleyball team flew to the college finals in Maryland. It was a big deal because they won the national championship.

She mentioned that on one evening there, the coach asked them to vote on getting a pizza near the hotel or go into Washington D.C. for sightseeing.

She was heartbroken. They chose pizza.

So what’s a guy that’s been attracted to her for over 48 years supposed to do?

I made her dream come true of course.

Washington D.C. July 4, 2020.

We arrived in D.C. over the July 4th weekend this summer. Although pandemic restrictions forbade us from actually doing much, it was exciting to see the intrigue and pride on her face as she saw the White House, Capitol building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theater and more.

We drove over the Potomac River hoping to go into the Arlington National Cemetery. It too was restricted. So I drove around until she could see the Iwo Jima memorial.

This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history — that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.       

The touching moment of seeing her expression is something I’ll never forget. It was worth it.

It reminds me of the story James Bradley told to visitors at the base of the memorial some years ago:

“My name is James Bradley and I’m from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I wrote a book called ‘Flags of Our Fathers‘. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.   

‘Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team.

Harlon Block.

They were off to play another type of game. A game called ‘War.’ But it didn’t turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don’t say that to gross you out, I say that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war.

You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old – and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) ‘You see this next guy? That’s Rene Gagnon from   New Hampshire.  If you took Rene’s helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph…a photograph of his girlfriend Rene.

Rene Gagnon.

She put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the  battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.    

‘The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the ‘old man’ because he was so old. He was already 24.

Mike Strank.

When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn’t say, ‘Let’s go kill some Japanese’ or ‘Let’s die for our country’ He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, ‘You do what I say, and I’ll get you home to your mothers.’

‘The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona . Ira Hayes was one of them who lived to walk off Iwo Jima.

Ira Hayes.

He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, ‘You’re a hero’ He told reporters, ‘How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?’

That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was taken).   

So, you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive.

‘The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky . A fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy.

Franklin Sousley.

His best friend, who is now 70, told me, ‘Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn’t get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night.’

Yes, he was a fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19.  When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother’s farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

‘The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin , where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews.

John Bradley.

When Walter Cronkite’s producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say ‘No, I’m sorry, sir, my dad’s not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don’t know when he is coming back.’ My dad never fished or even went to Canada . Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell’s soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn’t want to talk to the press.   

‘You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn’t see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, ’cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a combat caregiver.

On Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died on Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the pain.      

‘When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, ‘I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.’   

‘So that’s the story about six nice young boys.. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time.” 

To the school teens who heard Mr. Bradley, the monument wasn’t just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before their eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.   

When you look at the statue very closely and count the number of ‘hands’ raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said “the 13th hand was the hand of God.”   

Major Catholic Organization Condemns Biden, Raises Funds For Trump Ads

The winner of the Catholic vote has won every presidential election since 1976, with the exception of one. In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton among Catholics 52-45.

CatholicVote, a national faith-based advocacy organization, called on Democratic candidate  Joe Biden to publicly condemn the disturbing rise in attacks on Catholic symbols, churches, statues, and beliefs. 

Citing the alarming number of arson-related church fires, desecration of sacred symbols and statues by extremist mobs, and even the hate-filled rhetoric of leading members of the Democratic party, CatholicVote said Joe Biden, a baptized Catholic, has a responsibility and duty to Catholics to publicly condemn these attacks. 

“Catholic churches across America are literally burning, and Joe Biden has said nothing,” CatholicVote President Brian Burch said. “Leading members of the Democratic Party have fueled a climate of hate against Catholics, and these attacks have now led to acts of vandalism and violence.” 

“These attacks on the Church raise serious questions about the commitment of Joe Biden, a self-professed Catholic, to stand up to the rising climate of anti-Catholicism across the country,” Burch continued.

Former Congressman and Catholic Tim Huelskamp added: “Many of these statues and churches were built centuries ago by faithful Catholics and remain powerful symbols for Catholics today. All good and decent Catholics are offended by this growing anti-Catholic rampage. Joe Biden’s deafening silence during this hate-filled epidemic speaks loudly of his consent to this shocking assault on our religious freedoms.” 

In Texas.

Recently, another Catholic church was attacked when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Weymouth, MA. Officials said this marked the sixth act of arson or vandalism against a Catholic church this year in Massachusetts alone. Among these attacks were the desecration of statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary outside of Boston.

Historical French Catholic Church Prays For President Trump Weekly (click here)

Last month, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the statue of Fr. Damien of Molokai in the U.S. Capitol an example of “patriarchy and white supremacist culture.” Fr. Damien was honored by the state of Hawaii for giving his life in service to a leper colony on the island of Molokai. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, over a dozen attacks on Catholic churches and statues occurred in just one week July.  There was not a word from Democratic leadership including Biden.

Among those attacks, Queen of Peace Church in Ocala, Florida, was set ablaze while parishioners were preparing for morning mass.

Elsewhere, the roof and much of the interior of the 250-year-old Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in Los Angeles County was destroyed by fire. 

Likewise, in California several statues of St. Junipero Serra, an 18th century Spanish missionary, were violently pulled down by demonstrators.

Vandals painted satanic symbols on the doors of St. Joseph’s Church in New Haven, CT. In a statement, the Diocese of New Haven said, “The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ.” 

In November 2018, Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris submitted questions for the record interrogating Brian Buescher, a Catholic federal district court nominee from Nebraska, about his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. 

In September 2017, California Senator Dianne Feinstein famously attacked judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett saying, “the dogma lives loudly in you, and that’s a concern,” implying Barrett’s deeply held Catholic faith was incompatible with her ability to act impartially as a judge. 

“We stand with our Catholic Bishops in making clear that no person has a right to judge a person’s soul, or relationship with God,” CatholicVote wrote Tuesday. “Instead we are fulfilling our obligation as Catholic laypersons in defending the time-honored truths of our Faith, publicly and repeatedly cast aside by Mr. Biden over the past 47 years.”

The national Catholic political advocacy group, on Tuesday also announced a $9.7 million campaign to discourage Catholics from voting for Biden.

The organization is producing an “in-depth report on Biden’s record on issues Catholics care about,” including a shortened “voter guide” version, that it plans to send to five million Catholic voters. The effort will also kick off with a $350,000 digital ad buy in the swing states of Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Why Does an Historical Church in France Pray for President Trump’s Reelection Each Week?

Every Friday, since July a historical church in France prays for President Donald J. Trump and his re-election.

Calling the Democratic leadership, the riots, looting and devastation against property and churches a “Revolution against the Kingship of Christ,” Michael J. Matt, editor for the National Catholic Newspaper of France, wrote it “the rages in America today, traditional Catholic Americans remember the Catholic Uprising in the Vendée–whereby the pioneer Traditional Catholics held the Catholic ground in Western France against the nascent New World Order.”

Catholics Condemn Biden (Click here)

“Like our French forefathers, we face a Christophobic mob who would destroy everything we hold sacred. In the face of this aggression, we take up the weapon of the Rosary and turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

These Rosaries continue each Friday until November 3 in praying “for the special intention of the re-election of Donald Trump in the face of yet another burgeoning New World Order.”

In the 18th Century, Catholics in western France (especially the Vendée) refused to adopt the anti-Catholic principles of the French Revolution that was raging in Paris.

The Remanent newspaper likens what is happen in America with far left and globalist Democrats, to what occurred in their French Revolution.

It was “a process of political and spiritual destabilization that sought to reset the old order and use violence and bloodshed to establish a new one based on the so-called ‘rights of man’.”

This is the Prayer for each Friday:

Prayer for a Resurgence of Christianity in America
and the Re-election of Donald Trump

Almighty and Eternal God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords: graciously turn your gaze to us who invoke You with confidence.

Bless us, citizens of the United States of America; grant peace and prosperity to our Nation; illuminate those who govern us so that they may commit themselves to the common good, in respect for Your holy Law.

Protect those who, defending the inviolable principles of the Natural Law and Your Commandments, must face the repeated assaults of the Enemy of the human race.

Keep in the hearts of Your children courage for the truth, love for virtue and perseverance in the midst of trials.

Make our families grow in the example that Our Lord has given us, together with His Most Holy Mother and Saint Joseph in the home of Nazareth; give to our fathers and mothers the gift of Strength, to educate wisely the children with which you have blessed them.

Give courage to those who, in spiritual combat, fight the good fight as soldiers of Christ against the furious forces of the children of darkness.

Keep each one of us, O Lord, in your Most Sacred Heart, and above all him whom Your Providence has placed at the head of our Nation.

Bless the President of the United States of America, so that aware of his responsibility and his duties, he may be a knight of justice, a defender of the oppressed, a firm bulwark against Your enemies, and a proud supporter of the children of light.

Place the United States of America and the whole world under the mantle of the Queen of Victories, our Unconquered Leader in battle, the Immaculate Conception. It is thanks to her, and through your Mercy, that the hymn of praise rises to you, O Lord, from the children whom you have redeemed in the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Written by Archbishop Viganò for this Rosary Crusade

Will Trump Be The Last True American President? -The Introduction

Fear is at the core of liberalism, and love, with trust, is at the core of conservatism. Liberalism is about control. Conservatism is about self-empowerment.

Hillary Clinton’s mentor and Barack Obama’s hero, Saul Alinsky wrote a book, the origins of today’s Democratic playbook, in which he said:

“The very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

The Silent Majority cannot be silent anymore. Patriotic Americans not only have inalienable rights, we have the solemn duty to protect those rights.

Our natural rights and freedoms are guaranteed and recognized by the American Constitution, and the government cannot violate them under any circumstances. 

Every able American is required to
perform certain actions in order for others to enjoy more freedoms. 

Bikers For Trump

Our Rights Were Given To Us By God

In his own words Alinsky wrote, “The very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

These natural rights are part of what it means to be a person. They were given to us by God. They can’t be denied or violated, but only under carefully limited circumstances according to our Constitution. 

When our Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” they were not ignoring the obvious differences that make people individuals—differences in appearance, personality, aptitude, skills, and character.

All humans are equal in the sense that we are born with certain inherent, natural, and unalienable rights. Those rights include “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

This essential equality means that no one–not George Soros, not Bill Gates, not Barack Obama, not Nancy Pelosi, not Joe Biden, or even Donald J. Trump–is born with a natural right to rule over us without our consent, and that our government is obligated to apply the law equally to everyone.

Voter integrity is vital. The rightful President should be that individual elected legally by Constitutional law. The Electoral College is our legal process.

Fear Not, We’re Americans

We must rid ourselves of the fear mindset that threatening powers want us to have. We must withstand this onslaught of evil and rally to the origin of our true national spirit.

We must rally to a standard of Americanism and solidly accept that condoning destruction, looting and evil is not that.

In essence, we must individually take a stand. Purposefully, deliberately and with forethought, we must engage those around us to get rid of this sense of fearful apprehension.

In order to protect the rights of our peaceful citizens, it’s sometimes necessary to infringe the rights of aggressors. The Founders understood that criminals who are a threat to the safety and property of others need to be prevented and stopped from exercising the right to move about where they please.

After a three month investigation, I have just completed the most alarming and terrifying report of my life.

Will Donald J. Trump be the last true President of the United States?

In June and July this summer, we traveled to 13 states and even Washington D.C. to meet, observe and dialogue with others about the current state of affairs. Even closer to home, I’ve listened to and dialogued with former and current government officials, military leaders and others about the secrets mainstream media will not tell us…and…the involvement in the planned takeover of America.

What we’ve learned is comprehensive, but startling. Beginning Saturday September 12, 2020 we will be posting an unforseen series that we hope you will read, follow and, most of all, share. As a preview, the following topics will be explored in five parts:

1. How the Democrats plan to oust President Trump from office even if he is reelected.

2. The actual “playbook” that will be used to successfully remove him from the White House.

3. The secret, behind-the-scenes government force set up by Democrats that are ready, in place, to take over.

4. Who and where these imbedded operatives  are.

5. Will Trump be the last true President?

For those of you sheltered in place at home with your mask on, if possible, relax a minute and forget about the “peaceful protests,” the NFL, Hollywood movies and propaganda from CNN and MSNBC.

Just beyond your front door is the real classic fight of good versus evil.

Church-goers are being fined for the crime of going to church. Church pastors are being arrested and threatened with arrest for the crime of delivering sermons.

Meanwhile Democrats conveniently allow “essential businesses” such as liquor stores, marijuana shops and casinos  to remain open.

There’s a specific reason Governors Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer and Mario Cuomo are aiding and abetting the cause.

Their playbook comes straight from Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky,  the communist minded organizer who dedicated his book to Lucifer.

As a primer to the five parts, or chapters to my series you’ll be reading and sharing with America the next few days, here are Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals:

RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”

RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”

RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”

RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”

RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Three observations to keep in mind:

1. These governors, Democratic mayors and county district attorneys aren’t looking for unity. They are bought and paid to destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with the radical Marxist philosophy. Black Lives Matter leaders know how to cause chaos and to turn us against each other.

2. President Trump has become the ultimate chessplayer in the left’s game. His first term, a baptism by fire, has proved his prowess. He knows he can’t play their game. He is aware of their playbook and he has become a pro being anticipatory with them.

They’ve lost each game, from the Russian hoax to the impeachment attempt to the point they’re more than just mad. They’re insane…and like Lucifer…they’re evil.

3. America must not allow individuals,  corporations, or even sports teams to pander to any entity  that is working to tear our country apart.

You must share this information. You must boycott. You must support President Trump. You must vote.

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NFL National Boycott For Their Hypocritical Anti-American Stance

National Football League is as hypocritical as socialist liberals are when it comes to respect of our nation’s flag, national anthem and the sport. They are literally losing thousands of fans.

The key phrases they’re prompted to tell us is that we need to “get over it” or “You need to realize that it isn’t about the flag.”

Looking at the NFL’s position on “taking a knee” from another perspective, there is a distinctive difference in the way they treat issues.

  • In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray. They also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.

  • In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

  • In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said “Know Jesus Know Peace” but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

  • In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing “Find the Cure” eye black for breast cancer awareness.

  • In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem…).
  • In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.
Officers down.

  • 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
What is the NFL teaching our children?

  • It’s hypocritical to defend and claim how the NFL supports free speech and expression.

  • It’s clear the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue: For God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, for the Memory of 9/11.

  • But the NFL will honor rapists, drug dealers who were hurt or killed for fighting police officers. They will allow players to put their names on their helmet. They will display the name of the Marxist organization that is literally burning businesses and cities in the end zones. They will play the “Black National Anthem” before football games.

  • They will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America , and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters. That is who and what the NFL now has shown itself to be.

How To Cure A Liberal From Trump Derangement Syndrome

A sure way to provide to those liberals willing to consider facts (over rhetoric and socialist propaganda), a cure for Trump Derangement Syndrome, is to present them with truth.

Personally, I know 17 liberals that indicated they have “always voted Democrat,” who now say they can not vote Blue this year.

A clear choice in focus.

The change in perspective is primarily due to five reasons: 1) distrust in media, 2) Democratic leaders not taking a stand against looters and terrorists, 3) liberal leadership stance on COVID-19 restrictions (closing churches, allowing marches for example), 4) defunding police, and 5) Biden’s China-Ukraine connections.

The cure is taking a serious look at President Trump’s progress in office for just over three years. Even while contending with obvious fake news media, false Russian hoax accusations, liberal behavior at the Kauvenaugh Supreme Court hearing, and a set up impeachment fiasco, Trump has accomplished along the way.

Here’s a partial list of Trump Administration accomplishments.

  • A record breaking 223 Article 3 justices and judges who will interpret the Constitution as written have been confirmed.
  • Since his Tax Cut reformed act was signed $1.3 trillion have returned back to the U.S. so far.
  • 40 million American families are benefiting from his Child Tax Credit of $2200 average.
  • Over 275 miles of border wall have been built. This has helped crime, drug, and human trafficking enforcement in needed areas immensely. Over 500 miles will be completed by early 2021.
  • Illegal border crossings have been REDUCED BY 78 PERCENT since May 2019.
  • We have ended Catch and Release.
  • Seized records amount of drugs and deported record amounts of gang members.
  • Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Band, upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • Improved vetting for refugees, with focus on overseas resettlement.

Repealed the core of Obamacare. The unpopular individual mandate is gone.

  • Trump recently signed 3 bills to benefit Native people. One gives compensation to the Spokane tribe for loss of their lands in the mid-1900s, one funds Native language programs, and the third gives federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Montana.
  • Trump finalized the creation of Space Force as our 6th Military branch.
  • Trump signed a law to make cruelty to animals a federal felony so that animal abusers face tougher consequences.

Eliminated the health insurance tax, medical devices tax, and the Cadillac tax.

  • Added 1.8 million jobs in July 2020.
  • In the summer of 2020 over 4 million jobs were added to the hospitality and leisure fields.
  • Over half of all new jobs are fulltime with wages increasing at 4.8 percent over 2019.
  • Jobs held by Black and Hispanic Americans rose over one million and 2.3 million respectively.
  • 82 percent of all small businesses are now open from the COVID crises, up from 52 percent since April.
  • Violent crime has fallen every year he’s been in office after rising during the two years before he was elected.
  • Over 200 arrests have been since Operation LeGend expanded into Kansas City and St. Louis. It is EXPANDING into Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Memphis.
  • Deployed law enforcement agents to save the courthouse in Portland from rioters.

  • Using the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act to protect national monuments
  • Trump signed a bill making CBD and Hemp legal
  • Trump’s EPA gave $100 million to fix the water infrastructure problem in Flint, Michigan.
  • Under Trump’s leadership, in 2018 the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil.
  • Trump signed a law ending the gag orders on Pharmacists that prevented them from sharing money-saving information.

Signed executive action to strengthen Medicare and reform it to stop hospitals from overcharging seniors.

  • Trump signed the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA), which includes the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act” (SESTA) which both give law enforcement and victims new tools to fight sex trafficking.
  • Trump signed a bill to require airports to provide spaces for breastfeeding Moms.
  • The 25% lowest-paid Americans enjoyed a 4.5% income boost in November 2019, which outpaces a 2.9% gain in earnings for the country’s highest-paid workers.
  • Low-wage workers are benefiting from higher minimum wages and from corporations that are increasing entry-level pay.
  • Trump signed the biggest wilderness protection and conservation bill in a decade and designated 375,000 acres as protected land.

Medicare Advantage premiums have decreased 27 percent. Medicare Part D premiums are the lowest in seven years.

  • Trump signed the Save our Seas Act which funds $10 million per year to clean tons of plastic and garbage from the ocean.

Drug overdose deaths have fallen nationally to the lowest rates in over 30 years. Opiod prescribing has fallen 35 percent since Trump took office.

  • He signed a bill this year allowing some drug imports from Canada so that prescription prices would go down.
  • Signed order preventing middlemen from taking advantage of Medicare patients by charging higher prices to them and pocketing the discounts. $30 billion in discounts will now go straight to American patients.
  • Signed another ordering requiring drug companies not to charge Americans no more than they charge other countries.
  • Signed an order lowering the price of insulin to just pennies a day.
  • Signing an order mandating insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions for all customers.
  • Trump signed an executive order this year that forces all healthcare providers to disclose the cost of their services so that Americans can comparison shop and know how much fewer providers charge insurance companies.
  • When signing that bill he said no American should be blindsided by bills for medical services they never agreed to in advance.
  • Hospitals will now be required to post their standard charges for services, which include the discounted price a hospital is willing to accept.
  • In the eight years prior to President Trump’s inauguration, prescription drug prices increased by an average of 3.6% per year. Under Trump, drug prices have seen year-over-year declines, with a 4.1% drop as of the most recent month.

  • He created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veteran
  • VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
  • Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
  • Because of a bill signed and championed by Trump, In 2020, most federal employees will see their pay increase by an average of 3.1% — the largest raise in more than 10 years.
  • Trump signed into law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for millions of federal workers.

  • Trump administration will provide HIV prevention drugs for free to 200,000 uninsured patients per year for 11 years.
  • All-time record sales during the 2019 holidays.
  • Trump signed an order allowing small businesses to group together when buying insurance to get a better price.
  • President Trump signed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that provides funding for states to develop maternal mortality reviews to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions & largely focuses on reducing the higher mortality rates for Black Americans.
  • In 2018, President Trump signed the groundbreaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill that enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society.

  • The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes.
  • The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in the sentencing of non-violent crimes.
  • Over 90% of those benefitting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans.
  • The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crime.
  • Trump increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by more than 14%.

  • Trump signed legislation forgiving Hurricane Katrina debt that threatened HBCUs.
  • New single-family home sales were up 31.6% in October 2019 compared to just one year before.
  • Made HBCUs a priority by creating the position of executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
  • Trump received the Bipartisan Justice Award at a historically black college for his criminal justice reform accomplishments.
  • The poverty rate fell to a 17-year low of 11.8% under the Trump administration as a result of a jobs-rich environment.

  • Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels since the U.S. began collecting such data.
  • President Trump signed a bill that creates five national monuments, expands several national parks, adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water, Conservation Fund.
  • Trump’s USDA committed $124 Million to rebuild rural water infrastructure.

  • Consumer confidence and small business confidence reach all-time high.
  • More than 7 million jobs were created since his election.
  • More Americans were employed than ever recorded before in our history. (Despite COVID-19, indicators show a good return and rapid progress to exceed those figures in his second term).
  • More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs created since his election.
  • Trump appointed five openly gay ambassadors.
  • Trump ordered Ric Grenell, his openly gay ambassador to Germany, to lead a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe.
Record breaking arrests and drug/human traffickers deported.

  • Through Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative, Federal law enforcement more than doubled convictions of human traffickers and increased the number of defendants charged by 75% in ACTeam districts.
  • In 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismantled an organization that was the internet’s leading source of prostitution-related advertisements resulting in sex trafficking.
  • Trump’s OMB published new anti-trafficking guidance for government procurement officials to more effectively combat human trafficking.
  • Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested 1,588 criminals associated with Human Trafficking.
  • Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline to identify perpetrators and give victims the help they need.
  • The hotline identified 18,862 potential human trafficking cases.
  • Trump’s DOJ provided grants to organizations that support human trafficking victims – serving nearly 19,000 cases from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has hired more victim assistance specialists, helping victims get resources and support.

  • President Trump has called on Congress to pass school choice legislation so that no child is trapped in a failing school because of his or her zip code.
  • The President signed funding legislation in September 2018 that increased funding for school choice by $42 million.
  • The tax cuts signed into law by President Trump promote school choice by allowing families to use 529 college savings plans for elementary and secondary education.

  • Under his leadership, ISIS has lost its territory and been essentially dismantled.
  • ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed.

  • Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
  • Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.
  • Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting the U.S. government from discriminating against Christians or punishing expressions of faith.
  • Signed an executive order that allows the government to withhold money from college campuses deemed to be anti-Semitic and who fail to combat anti-Semitism.

  • President Trump ordered a halt to U.S. tax money going to international organizations that fund or perform abortions.
  • Trump imposed sanctions on the socialists in Venezuela who have killed their citizens.
  • Finalized new trade agreement with South Korea.
  • Made a deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
  • Withdrew the U.S. from the job-killing TPP deal.
  • Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
  • Okay’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.

  • Has had over 20 US hostages freed, including those Obama could not get freed.
  • Trump signed the Music Modernization Act, the biggest change to copyright law in decades.
  • Trump secured Billions that will fund the building of a wall at our southern border.
  • The Trump Administration is promoting second chance hiring to give former inmates the opportunity to live crime-free lives and find meaningful employment.
  • Trump’s DOJ and the Board Of Prisons launched a new “Ready to Work Initiative” to help connect employers directly with former prisoners.

  • President Trump’s historic tax cut legislation included new Opportunity Zone Incentives to promote investment in low-income communities across the country.
  • 8,764 communities across the country have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
  • Opportunity Zones are expected to spur $100 billion in long-term private capital investment in economically distressed communities across the country.
  • Trump directed the Education Secretary to end Common Core.
While Media focuses on riots intent to scare and influence public opinion, ‘The Silent Majority’ prepares for the election with wholesome and traditional American events.

  • Trump signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund into law.
  • Trump signed measure funding prevention programs for Veteran suicide.
  • Companies have brought back over a TRILLION dollars from overseas because of the TCJA bill that Trump signed.
  • Manufacturing jobs have grown at the fastest rate in more than 30 years.
  • Stock Market has reached record highs.
  • Median household income has hit the highest level ever recorded.
  • African-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
  • Hispanic-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
  • Asian-American unemployment is at an all-time low.
  • Women’s unemployment rate is at a 65-year low.
  • Youth unemployment is at a 50-year low.
  • We have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.

  • The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans.
  • 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future— the highest ever.
  • As a result of the Republican tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
  • Record number of regulations eliminated that hurt small businesses.
  • Signed welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults who don’t have children to work or look for work if they’re on welfare.

  • Under Trump, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history.
  • Reformed Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars in 2020 alone.
  • Signed Right-To-Try legislation allowing terminally ill patients to try an experimental treatment that wasn’t allowed before.

  • Secured $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
  • U.S. oil production has reached an all-time highs and we are now longer dependent on oil from the Middle East or any country.
  • The U.S. is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
  • NATO allies increased their defense spending because of his pressure campaign.
  • Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and that same year the U.S. still led the world by having the largest reduction in carbon emissions.
Where liberals get their news.

  • Has his circuit court judge nominees being confirmed faster than any other new administration.
  • Had his Supreme Court Justice’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh confirmed.
  • Moved U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  • Led a new trade deal with Mexico & Canada that will increase jobs here and money coming in.
  • Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
  • Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices, has agreed to a Part One trade deal with China.

  • Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
  • Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which is advancing childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by Trump doubled the maximum amount of the child tax credit available to parents and lifted the income limits so more people could claim it.
  • It also created a new tax credit for other dependents.
  • In 2018, President Trump signed into law a $2.4 billion funding increase for the Child Care and Development Fund, providing a total of $8.1 billion to states to fund child care for low-income families.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) signed into law by Trump provides a tax credit equal to 20-35% of child care expenses, $3,000 per child & $6,000 per family + Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside up to $5,000 in pre-tax $ to use for child care.

  • In 2019 President Donald Trump signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) into law which allocates $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years to help people with autism spectrum disorder and to help their families.
  • In 2019 President Trump signed into law two funding packages providing nearly $19 million in new funding for Lupus specific research and education programs, as well an additional $41.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most Lupus funding EVER.
  • Trump will be signing the first major anti-robocall law in decades called the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence.) This extends the period of time the FCC has to catch and punish those who intentionally break telemarketing restrictions. The bill also requires voice service providers to develop a framework to verify calls are legitimate before they reach your phone.

Americans Are Beginning to Show Strength in Love of God and for President Trump

All around us, across the United States, there are people who are beginning to show the strength that is inside all of us. It’s the strength of spirit–a strength of fellowship that they will not relent from expressing.

No matter what noise is shouting from the newscasts, a rioter’s loudspeaker or a CNN pundit, we must withstand it. We must make eye contact and remain joyful. We cannot allow despair to be the status quo.

Our nation needs more people like you, right now. Don’t wait… engage life, get optimistic however you need to do it. Then let that part of you shine right now… This is how we fight. Hold up that flag; give the starter smile… rally to the standard you create and spread fellowship again. God knows we need it.

On Sunday, July 5th we finished our Independence Day weekend traveling from Washington D.C. with pride and patriotism in our hearts.

When Dodie was a college volleyball star in San Antonio, her team competed all the way to the Nationals held in Maryland. One afternoon their coach gave the girls a choice to go into Washington or do something else. To her disappointment, they selected to go eat pizza.

“Oh my gosh, we can eat pizza at home,” she said. “But we may never have an opportunity to see our nation’s capitol.”

When she told me this story, I vowed we would go to D.C. So how cool was that, to be able to take her during the 244th birthday of the United States of America?

The only problem with the idea was that it was summer 2020. Pandemic restrictions, riots, looting and non-stop horrible news filled Mainstream Media.

By this juncture of the trip we had learned that the news propaganda was totally wrong. In Vicksburg, Memphis, Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg and Mt. Airy the reality of our expectations and those of the hundreds we met was far different than the doom and gloom portrayed by disinformation and agenda driven reporting.

Before we entered D.C., our tally of political campaign signs, banners and signs was Trump 89 versus Biden 0.

I seriously expected, based on what Media feeds us, that we’d finally see Biden signs. We also remained very alert and cautious for any signs of civil unrest, protests or danger.

The only concerns we experienced there was that practically everything was closed, including restrooms. The Smithsonian museums, Ford Theater,  Arlington Cemetery, Washington Monument and other such attractions had to be seen from the outside.

Dodie was in awe and a good sport about it.

“Hey, at least we’re here, safe and getting to see it,” she said.

To see the glow on Dodie’s face was worth it. It was my pleasure to make that longtime dream come true.

By the time we left D.C., the count was Trump 102 and Biden 0.

Our next stop was five and a half hours west to Charleston, Virginia. After a good night’s sleep we decided on a Bob Evans Restaurant for breakfast. As with most places, we walked in with our masks on and were escorted to a table safely distanced about ten feet from the nearest diners.

Peggy, our 45 or so year old server, greeted us with enthusiasm and promptly took our orders. Next to us was a retired Air Force Chief Master Sargeant, “an E-9,” she called Hank.

Hank sat at a large round table, big enough for eight chairs. At first I thought he was sitting there for social distancing purposes, but with so many other empty tables around I surmised that as a regular customer it was simply his favorite table.

More than likely, Hank’s chair was his spot at what I call a “Table of Wisdom.” Many restaurants have them. They’re usually the largest table and most likely near the counter or kitchen entrance to facilitate faster service and the best response.

Like local knights of insight, sagacity, and humor, these round Tables of Wisdom are silently reserved for the most noble and fairest of all. King Arthur had his seven knights. Snow White had her seven dwarfs. But on this Monday morning, Hank was alone.

Peggy mentioned, “Hank, where you been, Babe? I haven’t seen you in a while?”

“The only reason I’m here now is because I have a doctor’s appointment at the VA,” he replied. “They said I don’t need to fast so I thought I’d come grab a bite and see you while I’m at it.”

Blond haired and diligent Peggy patted Hank, perhaps 80, on his left shoulder as she filled his coffee cup.

After she took his order he explained “that since this COVID thing all started, I haven’t been out much at all. I’ve been watching TV ’til almost noon ever’ mornin’.”

“Well, did you have any problems getting an appointment at the VA?,” Peggy placed her fists on her hips.

“No, not a bit,” he smiled. “It didn’t take long after Donald Jay Trump got settled into the White House to get that nonsense straightened out.”

Dodie and I laughed. He smiled back at us, pleased he had an audience.

We told him we were at the White House Friday and thought we saw Trump’s helicopter coming to take him to Air Force One for his trip to Mount Rushmore.

He lit up, but even more so when we told him about the Trump versus Biden signs, flags and banner tally we had counted at that point.

Other diners around us joined in the conversation and soon there was no doubt every person in that restaurant was a Trump-Pence supporter.

About the time Peggy served our food, a senior couple walked in. They were terrified. Both had on the required masks. The wife had cloth garden gloves on. She was literally shaking.

Her husband, using a walker, was also trembling and slowly led the way to the hostess’ podium. He too had on gloves, only his were latex and looked so flexible that I imagined he could easily pick up a dime.

Peggy shuffled over to welcome them. We couldn’t hear their words, but it was obvious they were afraid to be out in public.

The anxiety faded as they saw Hank. Peggy reassured the elderly couple it would be safe to join him.

“It’s going to be okay honey,” she directed the wife to the opposite side and across from Hank.

Hank introduced Freddy and Margie to the other diners. We all greeted them with our names and Margie noted they did not know what to expect because they had “been cooped up in the house for going on almost four months.”

This was Freddy’s and Margie’s first day out since the last days of February. They sheltered in place, having family members placing groceries and supplies on their doorstep.

Horrified by the constant gloom and doom of television news reporting, they remained indoors for months. Their daughters, son and in-laws pleaded with them to come out for days before they agreed to give it a try that morning.

The tension wrinkles on their faces faded as surrounding patrons became encouraging friends. What they had been led to believe by watching CNN was the polar opposite of the reality they were experiencing in that restaurant.

Soon they had their gloves off and masks in their pockets. Margie was teary eyed with thankfulness and relief. They were overjoyed seeing Hank again and learning there were no terrorists and looters waiting around every corner.

The most interesting aspect of our shared experience was that everyone in that large dining room were united in our beliefs that what was being presented by the media was a sham. It was harmful, cruel and dangerous propaganda.

We each shared similar perspectives and discovered we’re the norm, not the exception. There are millions of Americans going through the same discoveries and thought processes as Freddie, Margie, Hank, Dodie and I were.

We learned together that we had been fueling those opposed to our rights and freedoms with our fear. 

Dodie and I embarked on our “clever journey” with the intent to face our fears with strength and happiness. In that restaurant we realized it was worth it.

A wise man who has the ability to blow the lid off of Washington to Wall Street said it best this week:

“Do not give evil elements an inch of space within your heart.   Expect and demand accountability.  Do not worry about being perceived as an a**hole about it.”

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We are the people of that nation, with boundless opportunities most of the world can only dream of.  Our opposition has nothing but false witness, fear and lies.  Push on them, they are weak and shallow.”

“We are Americans…. Those who are working against our interests thrive in an atmosphere of despair and disenfranchisement – do not give it to them.  Carry an optimistic spirit, regardless of how challenging. I cannot explain it, but that makes success more certain.”

The most significant common denominators we learned in that restaurant and along our journey, were that each of us, some local and many travelers, were angry and fed up with the media and Marxist tactics of the liberal left.

Margie, Freddy and Hank exited without their masks or gloves on.
Everyone in that Bob Evans left that morning with determination and perseverance in our hearts, minds and souls.


Because that’s what Americans do.

Trump: ‘This May Be The Last Time You See Me For a While’

The The Presidential Prayer Team has asked Americans to pray for President Donald Trump after his speech in Ohio included this message:

“So I have a lot of enemies out there. This may be the last time you’ll see me for a while. A lot of very, very rich enemies, but they are not happy with what I’m doing.”

The national ministry, dedicated to a focused mission of encouraging, inspiring and praying for our president and national and military leaders, specifically called on prayers:

For President Trump and his personal safety and the safety of his family.

That in these hours of his concerns, President Trump would turn more urgently to the Lord for His guidance and direction.

For the Secret Service men and women charged with the protection of President Trump.

President Trump told employees of the Whirlpool Corporation Manufacturing Plant in Clyde, Ohio, that he is signing an executive order that will require U.S. government agencies to purchase essential drugs only from American sources.

The Trump Administration has been taking on issues his predecessors and other politicians considered as sacred cows, untouchable because of their big money influence in Washington and state capitals.

Corrupt China trade deals, coveted by Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Gloria Feinstein, along with Big Pharma profiteers have been recent targets in Trump’s efforts to obtain better and safer deals for America.

“Every time you see a negative Big Pharma commercial against me remember, it means your drug prices are coming way down!” President Trump tweeted on August 5, 2020 (It has received over 185,000 likes).

He spoke of the “invisible enemy,” the coronavirus, of rolling back regulations, the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, his new orders on lowering the prices of pharmaceuticals, and bringing the supply chain back to America.

“You have people called ‘middlemen.’ … They are so wealthy. They make more money than the drug companies…. the rebate that I’m doing cuts out the middlemen, and it reduces costs, and the money goes back to the people purchasing the drugs.”

“So I have a lot of enemies out there. This may be the last time you’ll see me for a while.  A lot of very, very rich enemies, but they are not happy with what I’m doing.” 

“But I figure we have one chance to do it, and no other president is going to do what I do.  No other president would do a favored nations, a rebate, a buy from other nations at much less cost. Nobody. And there are a lot of unhappy people, and they’re very rich people, and they’re very unhappy.”

“Here’s my fourth promise to American workers. Beyond our medical supply chains, over the next four years, we will onshore millions of new manufacturing jobs across many other critical sectors that are vital to our national security and prosperity—from electronics to machine tools, to shipping, aerospace, autos, and, of course, to iron and steel.”

“As long as I am President of the United States, I will fight for you with every ounce of energy and strength that I have. I will be your voice. I will defend your jobs. I will stand up to the foreign trade cheaters and violators that hate our country. I will never let you down. I will have your back, 100 percent.”

ICU Do You See Me? True Friends In Times of Crisis

Saturday afternoon, the Peterson Regional Health Hospital emergency room doctor and cardiologist said they were going to send me up to ICU.

Not even an hour before, the love of my life, my bride Dodie and I were happily eating “Donna’s Meatloaf” at the Camp Verde General Store and Restaurant about 17 miles away.

Serendipity kicked in as I recognized a long time colleague from our H-E-B days walk into the dining room. Bill and Teresa Reynolds sat at a distant table just about the time our server asked if we had room for dessert. We politely declined and I told Dodie I was going to say ‘Hi’ as I haven’t seen Bill in over 10 years.

Strange for me, because out of the blue the day before, I was thinking about some of the fun times Bill and I shared despite the stressful and challenging work for three decades together.

I started feeling a bit shaky and walked back to Dodie. I sat down, took a few more bites and told her my heart was beating very fast. She took my pulse and suddenly I felt as if some kind of asthmatic squeeze was growing in my chest.

I paid the bill and we stopped to introduce Dodie to the Reynolds. I asked her if she could drive which alerted her that something was wrong.

Who was I to question her suggestion to find an urgent care or hospital? After all she was an RN for almost 40 years.

The GPS indicated Peterson in Kerrville was 20 minutes away. I was feeling worse and by the time we crossed into the city limits, a lightning like headache hit my right temple.

She drove me straight to the emergency room entry and went to park the car. I was met with two signs, one notifying that masks must be worn to enter. The other indicating family members and visitors couldn’t go in. Dodie came in–with the masks.

We were stunned in crisis mode. Damn COVID restrictions!

I told the lady at the counter what was happening and she handed me a paper to fill out. I can’t remember what took place next but I’ll never forget the look in Dodie’s eyes when she realized I was going to the Intensive Care Unit and she was going home.

While I’m surrounded in an emergency room bay by doctors and nurses, she was in the parking lot preparing to drive home with a thunderstorm approaching.

Dodie’s not there. My parents are gone. I couldn’t contact my children or sister. I’ve never been in ICU as a patient before.  I was terrified. My only recourse at that moment was God. I prayed as they wheeled me to the elevator.

After they hooked me up to monitors the screen above displayed my heart rate and blood pressure extremely elevated. Taking cues from the doctors and nurses eyes, there was no doubt my condition was urgent.

My mind somehow admired how they jumped into action efficiently starting an IV and life-saving procedures. But I seemed totally alone tightly clutching my cell phone as if it was a crucifix or some type of lifeline symbol.

My only recourse at that moment was to ask for prayers. In my fright and pain I went to my friends on social media with this plea:

“Could use your prayers please. I’m in ICU.”

Throughout the night my dear friends and family responded and my fear went away.

Soon I was cracking jokes, entertaining and complementing everyone around. Even as the monitor showed worsening conditions, I stayed positive and actually as much for the medical staff as well as for me.

“It’s nice to have someone cheering us on,” one nurse smiled with her eyes.

“No worries,” I grinned. “I’m here all night for you! I’m trying to earn ‘Most Spirited’ in the ICU tonight.”

Later, night nurse Chrystal and I had a conference call with Dodie. Those two were conversing in a language of medicalese that was above my pay grade. She spelled out everything that happened and what everything that was going to happen.

At one point she told Dodie, “Thank you for loaning him to us; he’s such a delight to take advantage–I mean take care of and has such a good soul.”

That was very reassuring. Dodie later said she expected my head to be twice the size it was when I went in.

Not long after that I settled down and even enjoyed the antics of television’s “Impractical Jokers.”

For a good 24 hours they administered the IV drip medications and occassional blood thinner injections to prevent clotting.

My diagnosis was “Atrial Flutter,” indicating very rapid heart rate.

I began thinking about how fortunate I am comparing myself to others in ICU with chronic conditions. There are friends and families going through things a lot worse than me.

Sunday morning I woke to a happy and committed day crew. From the cardiologist to the custodians, I thanked each and everyone. For some reason, I can’t explain, sending positive vibes out to them made me feel a degree of confidence of trust and belief.

Dodie and my sister Bobbi fielded calls and posted updates, as I couldn’t handle it. But one thing I do know is how we were overwhelmed with the thoughtful sentiments, encouragement and prayers on Facebook. I remain truly grateful.

My cardiologist said the first 48 hours would tell him much. He came by Sunday afternoon and ordered some adjustments to medicine as we moved into Sunday evening.

Monday morning I woke up happy (and happy I woke up), feeling optimistic. As my day nurse sat on the right side of my bed, she looked up at the door and announced, “the Chaplain is here.”

I looked up and saw an older gentleman well dressed in a starched pink long sleeve shirt and dark tie tentatively standing in the doorway.

“Well, hey there,” I smiled and motioned for him to come in. “I’ve been waiting to meet you and wondering when you’d get here.”

He laughed through his mask and smiled through his eyes. Chaplain Doyle Grundy, was born in February 1937, just seven months before my father.

Chaplain Doyle Grundy

He politely walked in and my first thought was “God, thank you for this honor and privilege to be allowed to have this man walk into my life.”

He introduced himself as the “Monday Chaplain.” It was obvious he was a warm, friendly,  devoted, and hardworking fellow. We hit it off immediately.

“They told me I was going to like you,” he wagged his finger playfully at me.

“I’d give you a hug, kind sir,” I replied and then shrugged. “But you know, we’re under COVID restrictions.”

While we talked, I wondered how this friendly man prepared himself to come to work each Monday. He doesn’t get to choose what he’s walking into. He’s there at the end of life for a lot of people.

He receives and cares for whatever emergencies and diagnoses come through the doors. People come in due to accidents or aggravated family members, poor choices across a lifetime, or genetic patterns no one can predict. Or sometimes, literally, with challenges from only God knows where. When there’s not pandemic restrictions, he’s there for families arriving to help or understand, to celebrate births or to anticipate deaths.

I felt better knowing he was there for all of us to provide the best possible help, even for some who could be experiencing the worst moments of their lives.

Because everyone is wearing a mask, we can only see each other’s eyes as they walk the halls and enter rooms. Everyone seems to be hyper-focused, listening intently as they can look into others eyes. The eyes are all we have to perceive feelings, but they tell us a lot. Sometimes I noticed fear, anxiety or even tears. But with Grundy, there was a smile.    

He brought me hope, both spoken and unspoken, but it was always present in some way. He honorably brought in healing and hope to me. After he left, my nurse said she felt it too.

Just having someone like him close
when we are afraid was comforting and reassuring. No one wants to be alone, isolated or feel untouchable.

We talked for a good while. The topics ranged from his need for a pacemaker when he was 63, electromagnetism, predator drones, believing in Americans, disbelieving in the Media, and Dodie’s and my trip through 14 states recently.

Somewhere in the course of the conversation I mentioned the term “faraday cage” and he lit up. Enthusiastically, he told me about a book by Jonathan Cahn entitled “The Oracle.” Dodie said she’s going to get it after I told her what he said about it. The conversation lasted another 15 minutes until a hospital staff member knocked on the door.

He took the time to say one of the most heartwarming prayers I’ve ever heard. My nurse put her hand on my shoulder and I could feel her emotion. She wiped her eyes of tears as Mr. Grundy walked out the door.

“You know, I think I’m going to be OK,” I told her. She lit up agreeing.

The Cardiologist walked in and looked at my numbers on the screen.

“You’ve healed yourself,” he looked me in the eyes and smiled.

I was confused.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” I replied.

“You have converted. Your body has stopped the fluttering and your numbers have been consistently good since nine o’clock last night. The IVs, medicine treatments worked, but your positive demeanor certainly was key. I’m going to recommend you be released.”

“Released? Like in released to go to a regular room instead of here?” I asked.

“No, I mean released to go home.”

The nurse literally clapped.

I called Dodie. Seeing her again was a treasure.

Tonight we are home thankful to God, the professionals and our dear friends who prayed for us.

Thank you.

Texas, Alaska Leaders Defend Religious Liberty After Coach Fired For Praying

High School Coach Fired For Silently Praying Before Games

When Joe Kennedy made headlines in Seattle, Washington five years ago for being fired from his coaching job for praying, he vowed to fight.

“I was blessed for eight years with these guys,” he said. “And it was just awesome, and I look at my blessings instead of what I lost.”

Coach Joe Kennedy

But as a former United States Marine, Kennedy said this is a fight that’s bigger than him. 

“Praying, I can do anywhere,” he said. “The Christian side of me is, like, you don’t take away my faith. Prayer makes no difference where you do it. But the Marine in me? It was like, yeah, I will fight for the Constitution and everybody’s rights. It means something to me. I’ve got blood in that game.”

Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson led 21 states in an “amicus brief” filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit defending the religious liberty of public employees.

Kennedy coached football at Bremerton High School until he was suspended midway through the season in 2015 for praying silently on the field after each game.

The school district prohibited Kennedy from coaching out of baseless fear that his individual prayers violated the Establishment Clause. 

Coach silently in prayer.

Last year, when the case was first appealed to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Alito—joined by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh—expressed concern that the lower courts had improperly read the Establishment Clause to require school control over virtually everything an employee does, even when off-duty.

After the district court again ruled for the school district, Coach Kennedy’s case is once again before the Ninth Circuit. Texas’s amicus brief argues in defense of the religious liberty guaranteed to Coach Kennedy and all public employees by the First Amendment.

“By preventing Coach Kennedy from exercising his religious freedom, the district has demonstrated constitutionally impermissible hostility toward religion. In fact, the district’s shifting demands show a determination to infringe on his First Amendment right to religious exercise,” said Attorney General Paxton.

“An unfounded fear that the school district might be seen as endorsing religion is no justification for prohibiting a man from honoring his deeply-held beliefs. Religious expression and public service can and must coexist.”  

Denying public employees the right to engage in private religious expression, such as kneeling in silent prayer for less than a minute, also directly threatens religious diversity a release from Paxton’s office stated.

By forcing employees to forgo their constitutionally protected right to religious liberty, public institutions ensure that their employees must either hide their beliefs entirely or hold no religious beliefs at all, it continued.

Lessons From Andy of Mayberry We Could Use Today

Those of us old enough to remember the 1960s know it was a decade marked by assassinations, civil rights battles, the sexual revolution, an increase in drug experimentation, and the Vietnam War.

There was much turmoil, but millions of us found solace by tuning in to one of three available TV channels to watch The Andy Griffith Show.

Week after week, Americans tuned in to a place where folks genuinely loved and looked after each other. Mayberry may have been a fictional town, but for many, it was the place they longed to call home. 

Growing up, I often asked myself what would Sheriff Andy Taylor do when faced with challenges. It helped immensely and I give the program plenty credit for helping me through life by setting some key examples.

I’ve been aching for simpler times.
In many ways I see similarities in those turbulent 60s and today. But it appears we are living in a world that’s filled with a lot more anger and bitterness and hate.

People seem willing to go to court or to start a fight whenever anyone even makes the slightest mistake or doesn’t agree with their lifestyle demands.

Congress has become so polarized on both sides that they can’t get anything done without first playing their game of “political chicken” to see how close to the edge they can take us before we go over the ledge.

Issues like racism, abortion and the same-sex marriage debate continue to divide the American people. The mainstream media can’t be trusted and seem to want to divide us. But we could learn a thing or two about living in Mayberry, and maybe find some peace with others and within ourselves along the way.

I climbed a great career ladder with an admirable company by modeling many of my thoughts after Sheriff Taylor. Even today, I still ask “what would Andy do?”

With that in mind, Dodie and I decided to head out to Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina while on our month long roadtrip. Many say, and the city itself claims, that Mt. Airy was the inspiration for Mayberry. 

We learned much more than I thought we would.

According to George Lindsay, who played Goober in the series, “One of the incredible things about every single episode is that Andy insisted each show have a moral point – something good, lofty and moral. It’s a shame current shows on TV don’t adopt that high road.”

Here are some key things I’ve learned along the way that was underlined by visiting Andy Griffith’s childhood home, his museum, Floyd’s Barbershop, Wally’s Garage and Main Street.

1. Lead by Example. It’s important to remember that others see you and can be influenced by your lifestyle. It’s important to model the Mayberry mindset consistently if you want others to see its value and start living it for themselves.

Early in my leadership career at H-E-B Food/Drugs, my vice president Ralph Mehringer told me to “always be aware that people are watching, learning and ‘being’ from you. The example you set will be reflected in your organization.”

I took his wisdom to heart.

2. Value Other People. This means putting the needs and feelings of others ahead of your own and learning to be humble.

For me, it was delivering pizzas to night staff, including janitors and maintenance technicians, surprising them at 3 a.m. Remembering birthdays, anniversaries, or their spouses and children’s names (and activities: sports, art, hobbies, etc.). Visiting their family members in hospitals, attending weddings and funerals across Texas was a leadership quality I learned and practiced from H-E-B.

I suppose I’ve hired and terminated hundreds of people over the years. The concept of valuing them, even when letting them go, was rewarding.

Look how Andy treated the town drunk, Otis. Always with respect.

3. Seek Peace With People. This goes hand-in-hand with the first two and emphasizes the importance of love, patience, and the ability to let things go. It means accepting people who are different from you, and it means looking for non-violent or non-confrontational ways to resolve conflicts as often as possible.

My current post retirement job is being a golf marshal at two beautiful courses at Fair Oaks Golf and Country Club in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country. Conflict comes with the job throughout each day. But I can truly say that 99% of anyone I’ve had conflict with eventually turned out to be a friend. I respect them.

4. Live With Grace. This includes things like tolerance, forgiveness, trust, helping each other, and just generally treating people with the same kind of respect you expect from them. Andy was a master.

5. Slow Down. Getting enough rest is a value that seems to be under-appreciated in today’s society. From cars to computers and cell phones, technology seems great because we imagine all the ways it can make our work easier so we can have more leisure time. But the reality is that now we live in a world where everybody’s moving in hyper-speed – go, go, go all the time! 

In Mayberry, everything seemed to move at an easier pace. People stayed active, yes, but they were never too busy to sit on the porch in the evening or to go out on a date to the duck pond. (“Barney, why do you want to go to the duck pond at night? You won’t be able to see the ducks!”)

Folks in Mayberry knew the value of a hard day’s work, but they also realized the importance of leaving work at work, taking time to enjoy the company of friends and family, and enjoying the simple things in life.

I’ve been particularly disenchanted with naysayers, socialist driven politicians and political correctness police going after businesses that close on Sundays so their employees could benefit.

The whole “closed on Sundays” thing was a lot more common in the 1960s than it is today, but the truth is that, for thousands of years, people have generally made a point of resting one day a week – it’s only really been in the last couple decades that this value has become more and more lost.

The idea of a day of rest began because people wanted to honor the Ten Commandments found in the Bible, where God instructed his people to honor the Sabbath. (The word “Sabbath” literally means to cease working.)

The point of slowing down, then, for many people including the citizens of Mayberry, was and is often not just to clear the mind, but also to reconnect with God and seek spiritual rejuvenation. 

Maybe for you, you choose to live by this code because it ties in with your religious beliefs. It’s possible to link all five of these keys to Biblical teachings, and in fact, I’m sure that’s one major reason why the folks in Mayberry live this way. While they rarely quoted Scripture, there are several episodes that feature hymns and church – we know these things are on their minds.

If you don’t choose to live this way for religious reasons, maybe you just do it because you know it’s the right thing to do. 

Noah Musical Gives Renewed Sense of Hope

Travel Log: July 2020. Our 22nd day.

Thanks to our parents, my favorite Biblical stories are likely the same as many others. I loved when my father would read about Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the Lions Den.

Before I was old enough to read, I recall drawing and coloring a picture of animals on Noah’s Ark in Vacation Bible School.

With cousins Patti, Carolyn, Gayle and Dennis Sanders, along with friends Sue and Johnny Standridge, we were proud to have our art work displayed in the South San Antonio church in the summer of 1961.

Cousins Jackie Dennis & Patti Sanders, 1961

I never really questioned the validity of the stories. Even when a 1974 socialogy professor at Southwest Texas State University tried his best to make fun of Christian students for believing, did I have doubts. I just walked out of the class and never returned. Dropped it (So did several others).

Many things about college broadened my ideologies and “expanded my horizons.” I even naively voted for Jimmy Carter, but only the first time. Even after interviewing the President at the Alamo a few days before the 1980 election, I didn’t vote to reelect him.

Photo of President Jimmy Carter taken by Jack Dennis after interview at Alamo.

Thankfully, I didn’t naively fall for most of the indoctrination attempts, even back in 70s. Even those I did were quickly dissolved when I became a parent and more productive taxpayer.

With a natural skepticism for politicians, lobbyists, liberal education agendas and society experimenters, I didn’t succumb…or doubt the story of Noah’s Ark. 

Sure, I had the common questions on how it was practically possible. Could the ark really fit that many animals? Could it float with that much weight? I’ve read many of the debates, theories and accounts on the subject.

Our recent visit to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky put many questions to rest, but opened up new ones: dinosaurs? animal waste? insects?

It was another serendipitous moment driving into Branson, Missouri two days later and seeing a “NOAH-The Musical” billboard sign of it playing at the Sight and Sound Theater there. We signed up for tickets.

Never in my dreams could I have imagined how this could be turned into a great play.

I’ve seen Broadway productions in New York of Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Wicked, and Mama Mia.

Living above the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, I saw (and wrote about many) practically every performance played there for five years. 

Let me tell you, dear friends, “NOAH-The Musical” is spectacular. It’s very informative and the “WOW” factor of the production is the best I’ve experienced anywhere.

The sets are incredible, and worth the price of seeing alone. The engineering, artistry, and time that went into creating them is truly astounding.

The fortunate aspect of the play is that the singing and acting talent is a must see complement to the total production. We were fortunate to have second row seats on the center aisle (front row empty for social distancing). The up-close perspective of the actors, emotion on their faces and the quirky little things that the animals do are fantastic. Many of the animals passed by us to enter the stage from a mechanical ramp at center stage. It’s like having our own personal experience, way beyond any theater. At one point, after intermission, the stage opens up on both sides to further captivate the audience. 

Dodie loved watching the live pigs, goats, sheep, donkey, horses, camels and dogs go by. There were also doves that flew overhead on several occasions.

From the moment you drive into the parking lot, Sight and Sound is impressive. The building is large with several shining domes and beautiful landscaping that includes a large statue of a lion and lamb.

The lobby is equally lovely with decor that brings you back to Biblical times. Besides the box office, there are concession stands that offer a small, but tasty assortment of reasonably priced foods.

Ushers are helpful and anticipatory. They offered booster seats for children, pushed wheelchairs, and checked for special needs.

It’s a state-of-the-art 2000-seat, 339,000 square foot theater and has become a favored destination of Branson audiences. The shows produced by Sight & Sound feature a professional cast of more than 50, elaborate sets towering up to 40 feet high, hundreds of costumes, and trained animals. Wonderful special effects permeate the shows and include set pieces that rise up through the stage floor, 3D video imaging, pyrotechnics and artistic lighting effects including lasers.

It feels like a cast of hundreds, and looks like it as well when the stage is full. There’s everything from singing to dancing to rhythmic gymnastics, live animals, animatronic elephants, penguins, giraffes and Galapagos turtles. It’s masterfully produced at four levels high, complete with animals, baskets, food storage, and everything so many other conceivable needs for the Ark’s voyage.

Noah, is on stage for almost the entire show, and is in most musical numbers, as well as racing throughout the Ark, up and down ladders, and makes the feat look simple. 

“NOAH’ is more than the story of an ark filled with animals. This is the epic tale of how one man faced a monumental decision that led to a seemingly impossible task and a world changed forever,” said Sight & Sound Chief Creative Officer Josh Enck. “It’s been nine years since audiences enjoyed ‘NOAH’ in Branson and 25 years since its debut performance. Now, a new generation of families can enjoy this story as they’ve never experienced it before.”

Noah is such an extraordinary story. It is truly one of hope and the faithfulness of God’s promises. We left the theater with a renewed sense of inspiration and hope.