Growing Old Gracefully

Sounds like something we should all do, doesn’t it? Well, that ain’t gonna happen. I’m old, but I am not going to act like an old man. No front porch rocking chair for me. I’ll celebrate 82 years of annoying others by not acting my age in December, and look forward to more.

During the hunting season, I live in a travel trailer in Sabine County Texas on family land, and spend a good deal of time in the woods.  The rest of the year, I live in Panama and ride my motorcycle to get around.*

I make and shoot slingshots, I like old cowboy movies, and I listen to a lot of 50s and 60s Rock and Roll. My heroes are Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Audie Murphy. My all-time favorite author is Louis La’Amour, and I am still searching for the few stories I haven’t read or do not own.

I’m a libertarian, which means I believe in small government, no more than needed to maintain order, pave the roads, and deliver the mail. We have a whole lot more than we need, but fortunately not as much as we pay for. I think Democrats and Republicans, in large part, are enemies of the Constitution.

With that in mind, join me in my often rambling, sometimes coherent thoughts as I wend my way through what are supposed to be my golden years, though I have yet to see any gold.

*Note: This was the first post on this blog. I no longer spend hunting season in Texas and the rest of the year in Panama. Nora and I moved to Texas in 2018.

What Did Not Happen at Trump’s Bronx Rally

Purloined From a Post on X May 23, 2024

So Donald Trump held a huge, wildly successful rally in the Bronx today. That itself is in many ways remarkable, but what I find quite noteworthy is not what happened, but what DID NOT happen. Let me explain.

The population in the Bronx is predominantly black and Hispanic. Like most of America’s urban centers, the Bronx suffers from disproportionate amounts of crime, poverty, drug use and gangs. With that in mind, let me tell you what did NOT happen at this rally:

1. Trump did not put on an affected, fake accent of an A.M.E. Zion minister or Chi Chi Rodriguez (See: Hillary). He was simply Trump, without airs or any patronizing words or thoughts.

2. He did not tell the people of the Bronx that they were victims. He told them that they were powerful and could solve their community’s problems themselves.

3. He did not demonize any groups of Americans as the evil “Other.” Yes, he criticized the failed policies of Democrats and poked fun at their foibles, but he reminded everyone that we are all Americans first, from coast to coast.

4. He did not promise to solve the problems of the Bronx with handouts or wealth redistribution. He merely promised that he would help set the national economic conditions so the community itself could solve its own problems through jobs, business and education. He promised empowerment, not victimhood.

Contrast all of this with what a Democrat would say under the same circumstances. Heck, contrast it with the vile speech of hate and victimhood Biden gave at Morehouse College this past weekend. The difference is stunning. What scares Democrats about this rally is that it shows them that the people whose votes they have taken for granted for many decades are starting to leave the Democrat Plantation of Victimhood in favor of the uplifting, empowering message of Donald Trump and his aspiration to make America a place that is “great again” for ALL Americans.

The times, they are a-changin’.

Is Biden the Worst President in History?

When people say that Biden is the worst president in history, remind them that he doesn’t yet have the Blue and Red States in open warfare. This article by Dave Brenner is enlightening.

On April 28 in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, allowing indefinite detainment of political dissidents. The gesture provoked immediate controversy, ignited a constitutional crisis, and exacerbated political tensions in Maryland.

The move came after a series of events that plunged Maryland into the heart of the sectional crisis. As union troops marched through the neutral state of Maryland in April of 1861, a group of state militia forces – viewing the excursion through Maryland to be an invasion and violation of state sovereignty – fired upon the federal forces as they attempted to use the state’s railway system. Nonetheless, the event became known as the “Baltimore Riot of 1861” and “Pratt Street Massacre” in the North, and those killed and wounded became portrayed as martyrs to the union cause to prohibit seccession.

By all accounts, these circumstances forced Marylanders to choose sides, and the state populace became bitterly divided. Though the state legislature voted against seceding from the union on April 29, it also decided to disable northern rail links and made a formal request to the president to evacuate federal troops from the state. In response to the bloodshed, Maryland native James Ryder Randall wrote “Maryland, my Maryland” to support southern solidarity and condemn the Lincoln administration. Furthermore, local newspapers quickly began to dub the situation the “Lexington of 1861.”

By suspending habeas corpus, the president initiated a constitutional crisis. According to the United States Constitution, the Great Writ cannot be suspended unless “in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion,” and the forces in Maryland purported that they were simply resisting the same. Furthermore, the power is noted only in Article 1, which is confined to the enumerated powers of Congress and their limitations. Because the Lincoln assumed the authority to suspend habeas corpus rather than Congress, his deed was viewed as a bold-faced usurpation.

After suspending the writ, the Lincoln administration arrested and detained many military and civil officers from Maryland. Among them was John Merryman, a Lieutenant in the state militia tasked with disabling state railroad bridges, such that they could not be used by union soldiers. In addition, the president’s agents had Baltimore’s mayor, police chief, Board of Police, entire city council, and sitting US Congressman Henry May arrested and sent to Fort McHenry without charges.

The controversial arrests culminated in the case of Ex parte Merryman, where Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger Taney opined that Lincoln’s arrests were blatant usurpations. “The President, under the Constitution and laws of the United States,” he declared, “cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, nor authorize any military officer to do so.” Though public jubilation followed the opinion, its impact was limited. The Lincoln administration ignored the ruling, and according to historian Thomas DiLorenzo, attempted to place the Chief Justice himself under arrest.

After the mounting opposition to the military presence and presidential administration grew throughout the summer of 1861, the president doubled down on the policy by placing one-third of the members of the Maryland General Assembly under house arrest. Per the president’s order, the decision was carried out for fear that the assembly “would aid the anticipated rebel invasion and would attempt to take the state out of the Union.” The Lincoln administration followed the order by imprisoning presiding circuit court judge Richard Bennett Carmichael in November, due to his public criticism that administration’s arrests had been arbitrary, unconstitutional, and immoral. The federal troops that arrested Carmichael beat him into unconsciousness while his court was in session, igniting even more public outcry.

Even former president Franklin Pierce, who desperately sought to arrange a compromise to avert bloodshed on the eve of war, viewed the situation as impetus to attack the president. Professing that a “reign of terror” had overtaken the new administration, Pierce called Lincoln’s whimsical arrests “ruinous to the victors as well as the vanquished.” In a letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, he described the federal policy in Maryland as “the worst form of despotism.”

Ultimately, Maryland remained divided throughout most of the war. After the Republican Congress finally gave its assent to the suspension of the writ in March of 1863, the state remained occupied by union forces throughout most of the war. The prolonged imposition of martial law raised the indignation of many Marylanders, including John Wilkes Booth – the eventual assassin of Lincoln. Unable to convene its legislature, the state officially remained in the union throughout the duration of the war, while permitting slavery under law – and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation specifically omitted the state from a list of states it applied to.

Note: Dave Benner is the author of Thomas Paine: A Lifetime of Radicalism and Compact of the Republic: The League of States and the Constitution, which are available for at: https://davidbenner.square.site


The Funeral Detail

The Funeral Detail

In 1973 I was a young, newly made SP6 in the Army, stationed at Ft. Polk, LA. A 12 year veteran, I had served 5 years in Germany, and 1 in Viet Nam. The VN war was still hot and one of the duties which fell on soldiers from time to time was Funeral detail, consisting of seven soldiers for the firing squad, two flag folders, and a higher ranking soldier to command and present the flag to the dead soldier’s survivors.

On one such occasion, the funeral was for a Black soldier from a small town about 50 miles from Ft. Polk. The Army does not see soldiers in any color but green, so no effort was made to assign Black soldiers to the detail. Whoever was next on the First Sergeant’s duty roster was assigned. As usual, this detail was roughly half White, half Black. PVT Andrew Williams was a young, naive, white boy from rural Nebraska, whose first exposure to Black people was in Army basic training, where he was thoroughly intimidated by his Black Drill Sergeant.

After the graveside service, the family invited the soldiers to come to their home and take part in the wake. There would be deep South food in abundance, and perhaps some adult beverages.

The dead soldier’s mother was a middle aged, motherly woman of ample girth. Seeing PVT Williams’ discomfort, she called him over, took his hands in hers, and asked, “Son, are you worried about being here with all these black boys?” Though he didn’t answer, his expression made it obvious that he was.

“Tell me, son, do you have any money on you?”, she asked.

“Yes Ma’am, I have about $200.00.”,he answered.

“ Oh, my God, son you better let me hold that for you, some of these niggas might try to take it away from you.”

So, PVT Williams gave his money to the kindly woman, who discretely stored it in her bosom.

He then enjoyed the next couple of hours eating the delicious food and even making friends with one of the fallen soldier’s brothers. When it came time to return to Ft. Polk, PVT Williams went to the kindly mother of the deceased.

“Ma’am, I have to leave now. May I have my money back?”, he asked.

She looked him straight in the eye, and with a look of concern, said “What money are you talking about, son?”.

Der Führer

Our maximum leader has spoken, in the most divisive, hate-filled speech by a President in my lifetime. Not since Lincoln has a President advocated war against political opponents, but this pretend President has issued a thinly veiled call for violence against his political enemies. Our only hope for the future is to remove his enablers, of both Parties, on November 5th. Vote or surrender your freedom. You have been warned!

History of Civilization

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. Beer required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That’s how villages were formed. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These two were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: 1. Liberals. 2. Conservatives.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement. Other men who were less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ’s and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men evolved into women. Others became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy Liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives provided.

Over the years Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass for obvious reasons. Modern Liberals like lite beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard Liberal fare.

Another interesting evolutionary side note: many Liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most college professors, social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, film makers in Hollywood, group therapists and community organizers are Liberals.

Liberals meddled in our national pastime and invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn’t fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink real beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the Liberals remained in Europe when Conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today’s lesson in world history. It should be noted that liberals may start foaming at the mouth and threaten to kill me for posting this. Sane people will laugh and pass it on.

A Political Song

To the tune of Kaw-Liga

Joe Biden is an evil Democrat
standing in the road
blocking traffic and causing a stink
and acting like a toad

He never raises a finger
to help his faithful followers
but he uses his ill-gained power
to make a gazillion dollars

He lies about the KungFu Flu
He lies about our troops
He even lies about the smell
When he sits to pee and poop

The only way that this old fool
could be the president
was by stealing the election
and that’s exactly how it went


Joe Biden oh oooh
he spews out never ending lies
and shows the evil soul behind his eyes

Afghanistan is NOT a debacle, it is proceeding to plan.

Unless you understand why we were in Afghanistan from the git-go, none of what is happening today makes sense. However, IF you understand that we were there to distract attention from the true culprits, Saudi Arabia, and because there were $billions to be made fighting an unwinnable, senseless war, then it all makes perfect sense. Even after it became clear that the war could never be won, there were more $billions to be made in nation building.

Give it a little time. The Taliban will kill, plunder, and rape. They will capture and likely kill some Americans. They will export terror to Europe and the US, and we, with the urging of (expletive deleted) scumbags in Congress will, in the name of humanity and National Security, go back into Afghanistan with all guns blazing. And, because we made sure that the Taliban was well supplied with our own equipment, it will be a very expensive (and profitable) war.

God help us.

The Pledge of Allegiance

I have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance, quite aside from the facts that it was written by a Socialist Minister, that the Republic no longer represents the People, defends the Constitution, nor promotes the general welfare. Read the Pledge’s history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

The Pledge, with comments.

I pledge allegiance to the flag* (a cloth symbol which can be, and has been, changed over time)

and to the Republic* (which no longer exists, having been usurped by unconstitutional Federal acts)

for which it stands, one nation* (The United States is not a nation, it is 50 sovereign States, united for their common defense and protection of Rights)

under God* (God is nowhere to be found in our schools, and increasingly, in government)

indivisible* (The union is not a suicide pact, and nothing in our Constitution prohibits a State from leaving the union. The Declaration of Independence is quite specific about the Right of the People to sever ties with a repressive government.)

with liberty* (most of our Constitutional liberties are severely curtailed by federal, State, and local governments, as clearly demonstrated during the Pandemic of 2020.)

and justice* (When some people are held in jail for months without bail or trial, for the crime of Trespassing, and others are allowed to riot, loot, burn and kill with no consequences, Justice does not exist.)

for all.* (Except for those who are connected politicians like the Clintons, Bidens, Obamas, and most Democrats. They get a pass.)

So forgive me, but the Pledge is completely out of sync with the reality of today’s world, and I will no longer recite it.

The Patriarch

On June 3, 2021, my sisters and brothers, in-laws, and friends gathered at Myrtle Springs Cemetery in Geneva, Texas, to pay our respects and bid farewell to the last child of Henry Acie and Mary Elva Murphy Smith.

With Shirley Jo Smith Burleson’s passing, I became the Patriarch of the Smith branch of the family. Traditionally, the eldest member of a generation, Patriarch or Matriarch, was venerated and had enormous influence over family affairs. He or she sat at the head of the table at family gatherings and received the choice cuts of meat. He or she controlled the TV remote at Thanksgiving and other celebrations. Marriages were arranged, businesses run, disputes settled, all by the Patriarch/Matriarch.

Now I find myself in that exalted position, and pray I have the knowledge, skill, and ability to perform my duties honorably and fairly. I shall enjoy my privileges and wield my new powers with skill, assiduity, fairness, and wisdom.

My brothers and sisters will, of course, pay me no attention whatsoever. That is as it should be.