Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It Once Was Good

Walking to work. It once was good, but no more.
Riding a horse to work. It once was good, but no more.
Taking a carriage to work. It once was good, but no more.
Taking a streetcar to work. It once was good, but no more.
Taking a car to work. It works for now.

Things change. Just because something used to be good, does not mean that it always will be. Someday, some type of mass transit will replace the private car in many areas.

Get a job. Join a Union. It once was good, but no more.

Things change. Unions had a place during the early industrial revolution as workers moved from the field to the factory. Most early factory workers were uneducated and uninformed. Employment laws had not yet caught up with the move from an agrarian rural lifestyle to one based around big, urban employers. Workers needed to band together to protect against unfair and unjust treatment. The Unions worked.

But worker protection is no longer the primary goal of the Unions. Money, politics and control of the worksite are now the most important things to the Union bosses. Unions are the primary tool of the progressive/socialists in achieving their goal of wealth redistribution. The "good of the worker" is merely a campaign slogan to increase the dues co-opted from the membership in order to be able to finance the real objectives of the Union bosses.

Workers are no longer uneducated and uninformed. There are more than enough laws on the books to protect workers today. Unions should be allowed to exists as any other organization is allowed to exist. However, all laws favoring Unions and giving them special powers should be repealed. Just as I pay dues to the NRA and NESA, I can pay dues to a Union if I want to. However, my membership in the NRA has nothing to do with whether I can work for a certain company, and my employer certainly does not have to deduct my NESA dues from my paycheck.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A letter to my Senator

December 13, 2010

The Honorable Richard Shelby
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-0103

RE: Your letter dated November 29, 2010

Dear Senator Shelby,

Thank you for responding to my letter concerning federal spending and earmarks. I appreciate your need to “bring home the bacon” to your constituents in Alabama, and you have certainly been successful over your career in doing just that. However, the spending in Washington must stop. Every time Congress votes to spend more money (i.e. grow the government), we the people lose more of our liberty. That loss comes through more regulation and/or higher taxes. Every time. No exceptions.

The problem with earmarks is not that you are simply allocating money already “spent” to your pet projects, but that in many instances the earmarks are added to other legislation in order to entice those voting on the bills to vote in favor of a bill that otherwise they would vote against. If a project has merit, then craft your bill and bring it to the floor for a vote. If you want to increase funding for national security, rural health care, secondary education, and law enforcement and drought relief as you state in your letter, then vote on those items. It is shameful that these worthwhile projects have to be treated as bribes in order to get other unrelated legislation passed.

The problem with our government is not a shortage of taxes. It is spending. Spending will never be reduced until men of character are willing to give up their pork in order to show others the more patriotic way! Because of the severe shortage of character in Washington, I pray that you will support a Balanced Budget Amendment when it comes before the U.S. Senate. As was evidenced by the recent election, the American People want Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility and Free-market Capitalism. If you are not willing to fight for these three things, then I ask that you do the patriotic thing and resign from the U.S. Senate. If you are willing to fight to save our economy and our country, then may God Bless You.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quotes by an Economist and Patriot

Famous quotes by economist and patriot Milton Friedman. My favorite is at the bottom.

"The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit."

"Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."

"Governments never learn. Only people learn."

"So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not"

"The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom."

"Most economic fallacies derive - from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another."

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."

"What kind of society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system"

"The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Registration, Certification or Licensure?

I believe in a free-market economy. In order to have one, government regulation must be kept to an absolute minimum. The market, or peoples' willingness to purchase, should be the controlling factor as to the success of a product or service. Whether your product is "approved" by any governing body should have little, if any, ability to control your right to offer such product or service. How do Registration, Certification, and Licensure affect a free-market economy?

Registration - The listing of a thing in order to keep track of it. If by government, in order to know how many exist and in order to tax. If by private parties, in order to be associated or known with that thing. Registration is not used to control the quality or quantity of something.

Certification - Attesting to the fact that a thing meets a certain standard. Certification standards can be created by private entities (i.e. Good Housekeeping, Microsoft) or by the government (i.e. OSHA, EPA.) The claim "Certified" lets the public know that you meet the standard set by the certifying organization. Certification normally is not used to control the quantity of something, but does advertise a minimum quality.

Licensure - The granting of a privilege not available to all. If by government or another official body, used to restrict the quantity of a thing (i.e Doctors and Lawyers must be Licensed.) The licensing body is usually made up of practitioners of the profession to be licensed, who have an inherent interest in restricting competition in the profession. Some licensing bodies are private (American Medical Association), while some are quasi-government or government agencies (State Bar.) Although often claiming to be concerned with quality, Licensure is most used to control quantity in a profession.

Registration is good when used to help the public to find a product or service. Registration is necessary if the government wants to tax a certain product or service. Voluntary certification allows a product or service to set itself apart from or above those not certified. Certification allows the public to believe that a product or service meets the minimal standard required by the Certification. Registration and Certification can be good for the market when not abused. Abuse normally comes in the form of some type of Licensure.

Licensure is bad for a free-market economy. In order to be free, the market for a product or service must be decided by the public's willingness to purchase it, not by a group who, in almost every instance, have their own interest, and not those of the public, at heart. Why is healthcare so expensive? Because the American Medical Association, made up of doctors already well-established in the profession, control the number of doctors (competitors) that are allowed in the market. They do this, not by setting standards, but by setting quotas. In fact, the AMA has done such a good job of controlling competition that they are able to not only restrict where a doctor may practice and what field the doctor is allowed to practice in, but even if the prospective student is allowed to attend medical school (the medical school also has to be licensed by the AMA.) The State Bars are even worse. Why do you think lawyers are able to charge $200, $300, $400 PER HOUR or even more for their expertise? It is because the Bar can do everything the AMA can do, and in addition, their members write the laws and regulations that assure there is no competition for services.

The requirement to be Licensed is leading us into a caste system not seen since medieval times, and it is restricting our free-market. When those already in the profession can control who is allowed in the profession, competition will always be restricted and prices will always be high. Those in control will be enriched, while those wanting to provide the product or service and not accepted will be forced into other fields. In addition, new products and new techniques, especially those "outside the box", will be stymied as those in control are reluctant to change, and those with the new ideas are afraid of being kicked out of the club.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Personal and Economic Freedom

Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, Free-market Capitalism. These three things are not three independent goals. They go hand in hand. You cannot have them separately. They are THE goal of Constitutional Conservatives and most who associate with the Tea Party movement (you know, those racist, bigot, extremist idiots who should be called terrorist, at least according to the main-stream media and those in power.)

Limited government interference and regulation sets the citizen free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, while it sets the entrepreneur free to start and grow a business, powering our economy and creating jobs and wealth. The only reason for a government to grow is so that it has more control of our lives. Every time Congress votes to spend more money (i.e. grow the government), we the people lose more of our liberty. That loss comes through more regulation and/or higher taxes. Every time. No exceptions.

Fiscal responsibility insures that we are paying our own way, and are beholding to no one. Although the Bible does not condemn or forbid debt, it does give some very wise counsel: Deuteronomy 28:12: The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.  Proverbs 22:7: Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. Just like you and me, it is in our nation's best interest to not be in debt. Just like you and me, our nation should be mature enough to live within its means. The more government grows, the more it spends. The more it spends, the more it must raise our taxes, unless it goes into debt. So just what is government debt? It is the outward proof of the inner cowardice of our government that keeps it from saying NO to spending, while at the same time not having the guts to vote for tax increases.

Free-market capitalism is the engine and the proof, the cause and the effect, of a free people and a free nation. Without personal freedom, the free-market will disappear. Without a free-market, personal freedom can not exist.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Common Ground

Business Owners
Religious Right
Social Conservatives
National Rifle Association
Home Schoolers
Parental Rights Advocates
Libertarian Party
Conservative Advocacy Groups
Tea Parties
Many Tax Payers
Constitutional Conservatives

What do they all want from their government? They ask for nothing, except to be left alone!


Slaves worked hard all day at a job, giving most, if not all, to their "benefactor." It didn't matter how hard a slave worked, for the master gave equally to all his slaves. Slaves had to accept, and could only have, the care that their benefactor allowed them to receive. They couldn't decide what kind of trade to practice without the master's permission. The slave had to eat what the master told them to eat, for the master always knows best. For giving their entire lives and livelihood and freedom to the master, the slaves expected to have their needs met all their lives. However, there was no guarantee, and usually they were mistreated and forgotten as the master's economic situation changed. After all, they were but slaves, and what was good for the master was the most important thing, the greater good.

Americans work hard all day at a job, giving most, it not all, to their government. It does not matter how hard you work, for the government gives equally to all its citizens. Americans have to accept, and can only have, the care that their government allows them to receive. They can't decide what kind of trade to practice without the government's permission. Americans have to eat what the government tells them to eat, for the government always knows best. For giving their entire lives and livelihood and freedom to the government, Americans expect to have their needs met all their lives. However, there is no guarantee, and we will be mistreated and forgotten as the government's economic situation changes. After all, we are but citizens, and what is good for the government is the most important thing, the greater good.

We fought a war to free the slaves once. Will it be required again? Only your VOTE will tell.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Personal Responsibility and Freedom

Thankfully, we are now starting to hear a lot about upholding the Constitution and protecting the freedoms that it guarantees. We want limited government as required by the Constitution. We want fiscal responsibility by our government, and we want free-market capitalism. When we get these things, we should have a vibrant economy and a happy nation. Right?

Well, there is always the other side of the coin. In order to have limited government and fiscal responsibility, we must do away with, or at least reduce, the out-of-control entitlement spending by the government.  That means less medicaide and medicare. It means less social security, and probably at a later age. It means fewer food stamps and other forms of welfare. I hope it also means the closing and dismantling of most federal Departments including Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Interior, Transportation and Veteran Affairs. Any functions of these Departments required or desired to be continued will be handled by the States (Defense will handle Veterans Affairs.) That leaves the Departments of (interstate) Commerce, Defense and Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury to handle the enumerated powers. Of course, replacing the income tax and the IRS with the Fair Tax will also help, as will abolishing the Federal Reserve.

What will be required of us, the citizens, if we are to achieve the limited federal government, fiscal responsibility and free-market capitalism we are voting for? We must once again expect Americans to exercise Personal Responsibility, be Morally Honest, and show Charity. For we cannot hold our politicians to a higher standard than we hold ourselves, and we must expect these American Traits from our Statesmen.

We can be free and happy. Lets do it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Basis

What does "basis" mean? The basis is the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained. It is the score from which the song is played. Without knowledge of the basis, chaos will emerge. It  has been said that poetic text is the basis for music. I do not know if that is true, or if I agree, or if I disagree. I do not even know what I would want to be the basis for music if I could choose. I just do not know. But I know I like music. I know that music is orderly. I know that music has certain standards and laws that determine how it works. I know that styles of music may change, but the foundation, the basis, MUST remain the same, or it is just noise, not music. I can enjoy the fruits of music without knowing the basis. But in order to create music, I must know the basis. In order to judge music, I must know the basis. In order for future generations to continue creating and enjoying music, the basis must be taught to new artists.

The basis of the United States is the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The basis of these founding documents is the Holy Bible. These are verifiable facts. There are hundreds of documents that confirm these fundamental assumptions. Our forefathers stated their beliefs clearly, even in the face of death. There was no "politi-speak." They did not talk around the truth, and they did not waiver in their convictions. They were Statesmen, not politicians. I can like living in the United States and enjoy its sweet song without knowing the basis of our country. But in order for our country to survive, someone must remember the basis upon which it is built. If we forget the basis, chaos will emerge, and future generations will never know the beauty that is America.

Now is the time to remember the basis that makes our country great. We must study the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Holy Bible to insure that we are able to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities that we have to live, grow and succeed in the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America. We must elect Statesmen who know the basis of our country and promise to uphold the legacy provided by our founding fathers.

Vote November 2, 2010. Vote for Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free-market capitalism.

Monday, October 4, 2010

American Statesmen

The mid-term elections are in four weeks. We will see if the people of the United States really care about the future of their country. As I have said before, I believe that it is just as important that we have a high voter turnout then it is that only "conservatives" vote. I believe that the people are smart enough to know that we must change our country's direction, and it is only by voting that the change can happen.

I Hope we can effect Change. Hope and Change; quite the catchy phrase, isn't it. Who would have thought the politicians who sold us on Hope and Change, promising to Fundamentally Change America, would also so flagrantly violate the oath to Protect and Defend the U.S. Constitution while forcing an anti-Constitution agenda on the American People? But they have, and we must send the message that we insist that the Constitution be protected and followed.

There are hundreds of issues that need to be discussed and addressed. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents all have their platforms and talking points. Red and Yellow, Black and White, and Brown, all have issues that need to be discussed and addressed. Male and Female, Straight and Gay, Christian and Jew and Muslim and Atheist all have issues that need to be discussed and addressed. Industrialist and Conservationist, Hunters and Vegans, Auburn Football fans and Other Football fans, all have issues that need to be discussed and addressed (I apologize if I left out your group or cause.) But there are only three things that must guide our voting this election:

1. Limited Federal Government.
2. Fiscal Responsibility.
3. Free-market Capitalism.

Insure that everyone you vote for will stand in support of these three things. For if we have these three things, we can find solutions for all of our other problems. If we do not have these three things, then our country will fail and someone else will be imposing their will on the American people. By insuring, we must also insist that what they said to get elected is also what they do once in office. American in name only will no longer cut it! We need American Statesmen, not politicians. All American Statesmen must put the Constitution first when deciding every issue.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who To Vote For

The primaries are behind us, and the 2010 mid-term elections are only weeks away. In most instances, you will have the choice to vote for a Republican or a Democrat. In some instances, there will be an Independent, a Libertarian, or perhaps some other obscure party represented. It will be great if there is a candidate on the ballot whose beliefs and platform meld perfectly with your plan for America and your social and spiritual beliefs. Of course, that candidate needs to be just about perfect so that no one will be able to sling any "mud" his or her way. However, that will not be the case.

No one is perfect. Everyone has made mistakes. Not only are your fingerprints unique to you, so is your vision of the perfect candidate. You will not find a candidate with whom you agree on every issue. Instead, you must determine the key issues that are the most important to you, rate them in importance, and then find the candidate who will best represent you. Here are my "platform" issues, ranked in importance to me. Hopefully you will agree with some. I am sure you will have others. What is number one on my list may be number ten on yours. That is OK.

Uphold the Constitution as written by our founding fathers and interpreted in their writings
Limit Federal Government as demanded and outlined in the Constitution/Return power to the States
Promote Free-Market Capitalism
Fiscal Responsibility/Reduce Spending
Reduce Taxes/Abolish the IRS/Implement the Fair Tax
Reduce Federal Regulation/Abolish most Cabinet Level Departments (move them back to the states)
Maintain a strong National Defense/Reduce foreign deployments
Protect our Borders/Enforce current Immigration Law

Although I am a Christian, you will notice that I do not mention any moral issues or abortion. You will also notice that I do not mention roads, energy, national parks or farm subsidies. Once power is returned to the individual states and our laws are brought back into compliance with the Constitution, each state will be able to pass the laws its residents desire. If you want to smoke dope and marry your "partner", move to California. If you want to live in a dry county in the Bible Belt, move to Alabama. If you want mandatory recycling, move to Vermont. I believe in a United States where the states compete for residents by passing laws and providing the services that its citizens want and are willing to pay for. Mississippi's schools may not be as good as Florida's, but they are not now. If the citizens of Mississippi want better schools, they can vote to raise taxes, reduce spending elsewhere, or get more involved in the process. It is not Oregon's or Ohio's responsibility to improve the schools in Mississippi. The states should be able to compete for business and for their population. It is not the Federal Government's job to "level the playing field" or to redistribute the wealth of America among the states (as has been the case for the last 100 years) or among their people (as has been the case since FDR.) If the citizens of Connecticut want to give free health-care and early retirement to its citizens, then they can expect an influx of immigrants (both foreign and domestic.)

I believe in personal responsibility. Then community responsibility. Then State responsibility. And lastly, Federal responsibility. Luckily, the Constitution clearly outlines what the Federal Government's responsibility is to its citizens. Read it, and then vote for the candidates who most closely represent your views and beliefs.

2010 Mid-Term Elections

Have you ever read the United States Constitution? It is really a pretty simple document, especially the Articles and Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments.) The website U.S. Constitution is a great site in that it provides links to notes within the body of the document, and highlights changes (amendments) made to the text you are reading. Every American citizen, and those wanting to gain citizenship, should not only read, but also study, the U.S. Constitution, for it is the guiding light that has illuminated our country's path to greatness.

Our country is at a crossroads. The current administration (and to a lesser extent many administrations since the 1900s) have decided that more government and fewer individual liberties and less personal responsibility is the way of the future. The Obama administration has told us in both word and deed that it wants to FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE AMERICA. They are disregarding our Constitution. They are taking more and more power away from individuals and the states and usurping it for themselves. Not only has the Executive Branch overstepped the bounds of its authority as delegated in the Constitution, Congress has completely failed in its job of limiting Executive power by controlling the purse strings. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have completely abandoned their role as the protectors of the Constitution and the citizens!

The 2010 mid-term elections will be a referendum on the spirit of the American People. If only 30% to 40% of our voters turn out, then most likely the incumbents will stay in power, Obama will get his way, and our country as we know it will no longer exist. We will lose our ability to have individual liberty and to take personal responsibility for our families and our lives. However, if a large majority turns out and votes, then chances are there will be a major turnover in Congress, and even those remaining will understand that Americans are not going to stand idly by and watch the fundamentals of government change from being based on the Constitution to being based on a progressive/socialist agenda.

Limited Government. Fiscal Responsibility. Free-Market Capitalism. These are what made America great! This is what our Congress must work for as it upholds our Constitution.

May God Bless America.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bear hunting with Alaska-Adventures

After spending Sunday night at the lodge and enjoying a couple of great meals prepared by Rocky, Sharon, Sunny (the youngest (19) of Rocky and Sharon's four daughters) and Nancy, Bill and I loaded my stuff back into the 206 and we headed for Aniak. Yes, it was still raining and windy. We had to fly around some of the mountains because the ceiling was so low. I am grateful that Bill delivered me safely every time we flew. I then flew back to Anchorage via PenAir, once again staying at the Puffin Inn overnight. As soon as I got checked in, I called Knight's Taxidermy in Anchorage and arranged for the owner, Russell Knight, to come pickup me and my bears. He arrived in short order and took me to his shop (more closely resembling a factory.) There were mounts and hides and skulls everywhere. His is a world-class taxidermy studio, proved by the works in progress of animals from all over the globe (he even had a giraffe in the showroom.) He took my bears and assured me that I would have two beautiful rugs in only eight to twelve months! He asked if I needed a ride back to the Inn. I did.

The atmosphere at Alaskan-Adventures on the Holitna River is very Christian oriented. Rocky is the son of a missionary who, although he admits to sowing some wild oats in his younger days, has spent most of his life trying to live for The Lord just as his father did. The slogan of his hunting and fishing guide business is "Restoration Through Recreation." According to his first book, "Wild Men, Wild Alaska", experiencing God's creation at its rawest and sometimes most dangerous level is one of the best ways to truly feel the power of our Creator. Rocky believes that by giving men an opportunity to be rid of the distractions of life while thrilling to the natural world of remote Alaska, they can renew their inner fire to live a better professional, personal and spiritual life. Did I feel closer to The Lord after my hunting experience? I did.

While at Alaskan-Adventures, I shared the lodge for one day with a group of fishermen from an organization called Stadia, a Christian Church planting organization. These men (about 15) had Bible study each morning before heading out on the river to fish. I really enjoyed their company. They are someway connected (although I am not sure how) to the Church Development Fund, a credit union type organization that only loans to build churches. One of their head guys was also fishing. I found it very comforting to know that even in remote Alaska, Christians were all around me. We prayed before meals, and we prayed and offered thanks after taking my bears. All in all, I had a great time in Alaska on my bear hunt. I really did!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I get my Black Bear

After harvesting a grizzly bear the previous morning, My guide Jeff and I floated the Holitna River for a day and a half looking for black bear. We didn't see any bears of any color. Because of all the unusually heavy rain that most of Alaska has been getting for the past month (it was still raining), the river was about 8 feet higher than normal, and it was adversely affecting both hunting and fishing. Because salmon naturally die after spawning, the river bank would normally be covered with dead fish drawing in the bears. However, the high water was washing everything away, evidently causing most bears to look elsewhere for the food they would need in order to pack on the fat needed to survive the winter. When Bill arrived in the 185 at about 4 pm, he told me to load up my gear and get ready to head to the hills. I did.

Bill and Jeff where in the front two seats of the Cessna, and I was behind them with the gear. We flew west from the river for about 20 minutes. Bill and Jeff looked to be discussing where to put us, as I was looking for a runway. As we were flying over rolling tundra, Bill decided to land. No runway lights. No runway. No nothing. He just landed on a flat spot on the side of a mountain. Jeff and I unloaded the plane and Bill took off, leaving me and my guide alone in the wilderness. We spent the next hour setting up our spike camp which consisted of two tents and a dining fly because it was still raining. In order to block as much wind as possible, we put our tents in a small group of scrub spruce trees about five feet tall. It helped, but not much. We ate a hot dinner of rice and breakfast sausage. Jeff asked if I wanted some raspberry-lemon mix for my water. I did.

After a long night of heavy rain and gusting wind, I awoke a little stiff from having only the tent floor, a tarp, and a sleeping bag under me. Jeff heard me moving around and told me that I might as well stay in the bag as the visibility was only about 10 feet. I peaked out and confirmed his assessment. Because of the rule prohibiting hunting the same day after flying, we had not hunted the previous evening (it stays light until about 11 pm.) Our plan was to move up to a high ridge this morning and start glassing (using binoculars) for black bear. Obviously, that was not going to happen, at least not right away. I spent the day dozing, snacking, reading, and enjoying the fact that I had my one man portable urinal with me. If I wanted to keep from having to go out in the wind and rain too often, I would have to use it. I did.

The weather lifted about 3 pm,  and we headed for the ridge line. When we got high enough to be able to see the valleys and hillsides around us, we set down in the wind and light rain and started glassing. My Steiner 10x40 C5 Predator binoculars enabled me to closely examine every nook and cranny for about 5 miles to the east, south and west. After only about 15 minutes, Jeff spotted a bear on a hillside to the east, about 2 miles away. We watched it, continuing to scan the area for others. About 15 minutes later, I spotted another one in the opposite direction. It was moving to the right on a hillside about 3 miles distant. It soon moved out of sight, but reappeared about 15 minutes later further down the slope. Jeff setup his spotting scope to get a closer look at these two bears. After several minutes of watching and discussing, we decided to move on the bear that I had spotted to the west, as Jeff said that it was an average bear for the area and worthy of our attention. We packed up our gear and headed out across the tundra. It was open and fairly easy walking, although walking on the mushy tundra was a lot like walking on a lumpy mattress. We walked for about 2 miles parallel with the bears direction of movement in order to insure that the wind did not carry our scent in its direction. We would occasionally see the bear, and once we got past it (in relation to the wind), we turned down the slope and entered the dreaded willow bog that would have to be crossed in order to reach the bear on the facing slope. It was now about 6 pm. Jeff chambered a round in his rifle in order to be ready for whatever might appear in the jungle we were about to enter. He told me to keep my rifle safe without a round in the chamber. I did.

I am not 100% sure if I was in willows or alders. I think they both grow in the area, but it doesn't matter. Whatever I was trudging through was getting the best of me. There was no trail, and no opening through which I could pass. Every foot of progress required stepping over, around or on a branch between one and four inches in diameter. I could no longer tell if it was raining, as the leaves were loaded with water that came cascading down with every touch. The closer we got to the bottom of the slope, the deeper the water on the ground. I had on my hip waders, and my rain suit, but it really didn't matter. I was soaked from the inside with sweat, and from the outside with rain. The stream at the bottom was almost crotch deep, and moving fast. I inched across, hoping that I would not slip and fall, possibly damaging my rifle. I made it across, but only to find more jungle. Jeff would occasionally disappear from sight, but thankfully he would wait on me (did I mention that this was Jeff's 8th year as a Alaskan guide, and that he was about 15 years younger than me and in much better shape?) Suddenly a view to the hillside opened up, and there was the bear. Jeff had already scoped it and determined it to be 230 yards distant. He asked me where my rifle was zeroed? I told him at 200 yards. He said that I should be able to hit the bear from here, even though it required a standing shot while leaning against a tree. Without much thought, I said OK. I sighted on the bear, trying to control my heavy breathing. After several seconds, the bear turned broadside and Jeff said, "Shoot." I did.

Twice. The bear rambled into the brush to the left untouched. I had missed. Twice. Between the distance and my exhaustion of having just spent 90 minutes busting through the willow bog, I was unable to close the deal. Jeff said, "No problem. Come on." I followed. After another 20 minutes or so, I caught up with Jeff (actually he stopped to wait on me) and told him that we should give the bear a chance to settle down by stopping where we were for a few minutes. Jeff agreed and I took a much needed 15 minute breather. After the break we continued up the slope looking for the bear. As we moved up, we left the worst of the willow bog behind us and began to move over fairly open tundra. Suddenly, the bear appeared at about 250 yards up the slope. It was feeding away from us, so we crept closer. At 150 yards, I put my backpack on the ground and took up a prone firing position using my pack as support. The bear continued to feed. I continued to keep my crosshairs on him. He turned broadside. I fired. He fell. Dead. Jeff told me to take a break. I did.

It was 8:20 pm. The stalk on the bear had taken four hours and twenty minutes. I was exhausted, and exhilarated. We moved up to the bear, took pictures, and started skinning. Jeff did most of the work, estimating the bear to be about five and half feet. It was still windy and rainy. I removed my hunting shirt (soaking wet) and replaced it with my super poly jacket. I was immediately warmed. We started for camp at 10:30 pm, arriving just before midnight. Jeff asked if I wanted him to cook dinner. I told him I was going to get in the bag. The rain and wind kept Bill and his plane away for the next two days. We just chilled in our tents most of the time. I shot the grizzly on Tuesday, the black on Thursday, and finally got back to the lodge on Sunday morning, after sleeping four nights on the ground. Bill had to use the Super Cub to ferry us off the mountain one at a time because of the weather. When we got the lodge, Nancy asked if I wanted breakfast. I did.

{Coming Soon: I will wrap up the bear hunt in my next blog.}

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Alaskan Bear Hunt

I departed Alabama on August 7, 2010. After about 12 hours of flying, I arrived in Anchorage. I spent two nights in Anchorage, giving myself plenty of time to make sure I had everything I needed, and to assure that if any of my baggage was delayed, I would be able to get it (it wasn't.) I departed Anchorage on PenAir Monday, August 9, heading for Aniak, a small village on the Kuskowim River in southwestern Alaska. It is amazing to me that a 30-passenger commercial flight would stop at such a small place. The weather was rainy and cool. As I entered the one-room airport terminal, an older gentlemen said, "You must be Bobby." I answered in the affirmative as he identified himself as Bill, my pilot from Alaskan-Adventures. I like old pilots. He told me to get my stuff and follow him. I did.

Bill and I walked across the tarmac to a Cessna 206, a single prop, wing-over, four-seater airplane that I later learned was the largest of three planes owned by Alaskan-Adventures. Bill loaded my gear, which consisted of a duffle bag containing my hip boots, clothes and sleeping bag, a daypack full of hunting optics and emergency and rain gear, and my rifle case, holding my Weatherby .300 magnum rifle with a Swarovski 2.5-10/56 scope. He then told me to get into the co-pilot's seat as he climbed into the pilot's and closed the door. As we were taxiing to the runway, Bill said I had better buckle up because it had been pretty windy on the way in. I did.

After a bumpy ride of about 45 minutes across what looked to me like deserted wilderness, we made an unscheduled stop at the village of Sleetmute so that Bill could check for mail. I stayed in the plane while Bill walked to the only post-office for about 100 miles in any direction (although we flew in and out of Sleetmute, I only saw five or six buildings, none of which looked like a post office to me.) The mail plane was delayed because of the weather, so there was no mail (which should tell you something about the flying conditions.) We then flew about 20 minutes south and landed at the Alaskan-Adventures Lodge at about 3 pm. We unloaded my gear as I was met by my guide Vern, his wife Nancy, the cook, and Rocky McElveen, the owner and Master Guide. I was told to remove my shoes as I entered the lodge. I did.

Opening day for Grizzly Bear in game management unit 19A, where I would be hunting, was the next day, August 10. Because of the Alaskan law that forbids hunting on the same day you have flown in an aircraft, I was going to be flying up the Holitna River about 100 miles to the main camp right away. After insuring that my licenses, tags and other paperwork were in order (and eating some very tasty salmon pate and moose stew provided by Rocky's wife Sharon), I took my gear to a cabin to change into my hunting clothes and separate out of my gear those items I would not be needing in the field (my wallet, i-Phone, money, gun case and travel clothes.) After about 90 minutes at the lodge, Bill, Vern and I loaded into the Cessna 185 and headed up river (the Cessna 185 is a single prop, wing-over, four-seater airplane that I was unable to tell from the 206, but is evidently a smaller plane.) After a nice ride up the river, we landed on a gravel bar beside two Civil War looking walled tents. I was told to move my gear into one of these tents and get ready to go fishing as Bill left to fly back to the lodge. I did.

The main camp consisted of the two walled tents mentioned, as well as two smaller guide tents, two 20' jon boats with jet props, a lot of fishing and cooking gear, and a really nice "reading" chair around back behind some bushes. I could look across the river and see about 25 miles to some beautiful mountains while seated on this, for lack of a better description, ventilated throne. There were bunk beds in the walled tents, and that is where I slept for the next two nights. Vern and I picked up some fishing gear and got in one of the boats and headed up stream. We would motor a while, and then stop and drift or anchor to fish. We caught King and Red Salmon, Arctic Char, and Grayling. We kept the King and Char and cooked them for supper later that night, as it did not get dark until about 11 pm. We also saw a sow grizzly with two cubs on the bank of the river, as well as several eagles and an otter. After eating, we prepared for tomorrow's hunt and headed for bed. Vern told me to get him up at 5 am if he wasn't already up. I did.

After a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, I got my hunting gear together and Vern and I headed downstream in the boat. Our tactic today was to float without power down the river and see if we could find any bears (Grizzly or Black, as I had tags for both.) Although we could use power when needed, Alaskan law forbids firing a gun from a boat under power. We quietly drifted downstream, enjoying the peace of the morning in the light rain. After about an hour of drifting, we rounded a bend in the river and spotted another sow on the bank, this one with triplets. After drifting to within about 50 yards, the mother noticed us, stood up to take a better look, and then split with a snort, followed closely by her three cubs. They were gone in a flash. We continued to drift. After about another half-hour, around 8 am, I noticed a head with ears crossing the river about 150 yards in front of us. "Vern, is that a griz swimming across the river?" He answered by cranking the boat and racing to get to the bear before it got to the bank. As he cut power to the engine, Vern told me that if it was a taker to shoot as soon as the bear left the water. I readied myself for the shot, but as the bear reached the bank of the river the current swung Vern's end of the boat between me and the bear. As the grizzly disappeared into the thick brush, I said, "Vern, you were between me and the bear, so I thought you might not want me to fire." He said, "It was too small anyway. Pat yourself on the back for not shooting." I did.

We continued down the river for another fifteen minutes. As we entered a long, sweeping bend in the river, we spotted a grizzly moving slowly along the far bank at about 250 yards. As we continued to slowly drift down towards the bear, it continued walking along the bank and eventually disappeared from sight behind a big pile of washed up logs. Using a paddle, Vern positioned the boat so that I had a clear line of fire to where we had seen the bear. We quietly discussed the merits of taking this bear, and we both decided that I would try if the opportunity was presented. Suddenly, the bear appeared on top of the pile of logs. Being only about 70 yards distant at this time, we could clearly see the Red Salmon in its mouth. I brought my rifle to my shoulder as the bear stood up to get a better look at us. I put my crosshairs on its chest and Vern said, "Shoot!" I did.

"Did you hit it?", asked Vern. "I should have", I replied. Vern powered up the boat and raced to the bank. He cut off the motor, threw the anchor on the log pile, grabbed his rifle, and sprinted up the pile of logs. I followed behind (only because of where I was positioned in the boat, not out of fear or anything like that.) "There's the dead fish. There's blood on this log. And there is a dead bear", Vern said as he looked beyond the pile of logs. Vern congratulated me on my bear. I congratulated him on my bear. He told me that this may have been the quickest and easiest grizzly he had ever taken. I told him that was alright with me. Opening day, one hour and fifty minutes into our hunt, from a drifting boat, one shot at 70 yards, and I had my Toklat Grizzly. Evidently I was about an inch too close to the bear when I fired, as Vern alerted me to the fact that I had a scope creep scratch on my nose that was bleeding. He asked if I wanted a band-aide? I did.

The bear was in a small creek and under water. Together we were able to pull the bear out of the water and onto the bank ready for skinning. However, first we took pictures. Lots of pictures. We then began skinning. Vern did most of the work, especially the fine and tedious work around the claws, ears, eyes and lips. I helped on the body and the legs. The entire skinning process took us about two hours. Vern estimated the bear to be about seven foot, weighing about 500 pounds. He said that it looked about average for the area. I thought it looked great. We loaded the pelt and skull (both are required to be removed from the field by Alaska law), and headed back up the river to camp.  When we arrived, I was surprised to see Bill and his plane, as well as a father-son hunting duo and two guides. Bill had just ferried them off a mountain one at a time for a couple of days of fishing after hunting black bear for four days up in the hills (they had shot a black bear the day prior.) After introductions and a little bragging by those who had killed a grizzly (me), I was introduced to my Black Bear guide, Jeff. Vern took my pelt and skull and left with Bill for the lodge in the Super Cub, a two-seater, wing-over, single prop bush plane used for "no runway" insertions. Jeff and I hunted for black bear on the river the rest of that day and the next until about 3 pm. We did not see any bear, of any kind. Jeff asked if I wanted to go to the hills to look for a bear? I did.

[Coming Soon: My next blog will tell the story of the Black Bear Hunt]

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dreaming of a Bear Hunt

Well, I finally did. After about 30 years of wishing, and about 10 years of actual planning, I went to Alaska and hunted bear. Here is the beginning of the story. I hope you enjoy it. I did.

One of my childhood memories was of the big brown bear rug at grandma Bailey's house. I heard it was a Kodiak Brown Bear shot by my uncle Urshel Bailey in the late '40s or early '50s. I do not know what happened to that rug, but I can still see those big teeth and claws that fascinated me as a young boy. I remember talking about bear hunting with my cousins as we played on the rug. Although I wasn't sure where Alaska was at the time, I knew I wanted to go there. So finally, I did.

Well, courtesy of the US Army, Kim and I got to actually live in Alaska from 1977 to 1980. Our third son, Matthew, was born there. I found time to do some fishing while we lived there, but I never hunted. I guess it had something to do with work, three small kids, and no money! After leaving Alaska, I became an Alaska "hobbiest." I read about Alaska. I dreamed about Alaska. Eventually, we traveled back to Alaska. We took an Alaska cruise. I went to fish. I went to snowmachine (that's snowmobiling for you Outsiders.) I went to see the sights. I kept dreaming about hunting in the Great Land. I was told to talk to people who had hunted in Alaska. I did.

For Christmas 2008, my wife gave me the book, "Wild Men, Wild Alaska", written by Rocky McElween, a Christian speaker and Alaskan big-game guide. Early in the book, he tells of an adventure he shared with a man named Ralph Meloon, Jr. Oh my goodness! What a surprise. I had attended church for more than ten years with Ralph Jr.'s father, Mr. Ralph Meloon. He is a grand old champion of the faith and a great business man. I am sure that everyone who meets Mr. Ralph feels just like I did; honored and humbled to have been able to speak with such a fine man. {You should google Ralph Meloon and Correct Craft to read the story of this man and his Christian witness in life and business.} Anyway, I immediately went online, found the website for Alaskan-Adventures, and contacted Rocky. I told him I was hoping to hunt, and he gave me some good pointers on how to make it happen. Did I get excited after reading his book? I did.

I sold my business in early 2009. One of the first things I did after that was to make the decision that I was going bear hunting in Alaska. I immediately started making plans. In order to hunt brown or grizzly bears in Alaska, you are required to use the services of a registered big-game guide. I called Rocky. The fall hunt of 2009 was out. How about spring 2010? Nope. How about opening week in August 2010? Right on. The hunt was on! I began the planning and training process. After all, the dream hunt was only sixteen months away. Do you think I bought any new gear? I did.

[Coming Soon: My next blog will tell the story of the Hunt]

Friday, July 9, 2010

115 Days

Can I ask one person to cast their vote on November 2, 2010? Can I ask one person per day for the next 115 days? Can I ask those people to vote not for self, but for America? Can I remind them that America was built by doers, not takers? Can I remind them that America is strong because it is populated by citizens that are a strong, self-reliant and independent breed who do not want or need to be taken care of by their government? Can I ask them to support only those candidates who will fight for Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility and Free-Market Capitalism? And can I ask YOU to do the same? Yes, I can!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

"To see the men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie upon, without shoes...without a house or hut to cover them until those could be built, and submitting without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience which, in my opinion, can scarcely be paralleled."
George Washington at Valley Forge, April 21, 1778

Less than two years after the signing of our Declaration of Independence, it seemed that the battle would be lost. Many men, many of them men of great wealth and position, had lost everything. Many had lost their livelihood. Many had lost their families. Many had lost their lives. The power of Great Britain was bearing down on the Colonies. The Tyrant was putting "his" rebellious children in their place. He knew what was best for them. They were but ignorant, helpless subjects who should have been grateful for his benevolence. Who were these people who thought they could reject his taxes? After all, he knew what was best. He knew what they needed. Did these mere subjects really think that freedom was a right, a right granted by God? Did they really think that government, his government, was supposed to listen to the people? He would show these scoundrels what happened to those who opposed his will. Like a father correcting his children, he would use the rod of oppression to insure that they did the good thing, the "greater good" thing. He would insure that they all regretted putting their names on that silly Declaration of Independence. Ha!

"For make no mistake, and let me make this perfectly clear, if the Citizens of the United States do not rise up and vote out of office all of those who disregard our Constitution and follow the path of socialism espoused by Obama and his Chicago-land thugs, we WILL lose our prosperity, our freedom, and our Country!"
Bobby Taylor at Cullman, Alabama, January 28, 2010

OK. I am no George Washington. I am just an average Citizen of the greatest country in the world. But I am a citizen who believes that our current government wants to subject us to their will, whether we want it or not. I believe our current government wants to redistribute the wealth of America, not to the poor as the say, but to their cronies and into their own pockets. I believe that our current government wants to destroy free-market capitalism so that they can control every facet of our lives. I believe that our current government thinks that its citizens are children who must be told what to do, what they can have, and how they are to live. It believes that we are not smart enough to spend our own money, or build our own businesses without their oversight and permission. Our current government believes that its decisions are better, and more powerful, than those of the creator of the Universe, the Most High God.

I urge everyone reading this to commit today, Independence Day 2010, to hold every elected official accountable to the Constitution of the United States. We must have Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, and Free-Market Capitalism. These Three Things are what makes America great, and insures that our children and grandchildren are able to live, and grow, and have opportunity in the future. We must not let the sacrifices of all those at Valley Forge and all those who have fought and bled and died to protect our freedoms since July 4, 1776, be forgotten or to have been in vain.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I went for a walk this morning. Left at 6:05. Returned at 7:05. I should have walked about 3.5 miles, but I don't know for sure. I went east on the sidewalk running along Highway 98 and the Gulf. I met several other walkers. I said, "Hello" to all. Some responded. Some did not. Some bicycle riders rode past me. I started sweating after about 20 minutes. It was not as humid as it has been at home. A couple of walkers had dogs. That made me miss Beasley.

I think someone had been to the store and bought some eggs. They must have been on a bicycle, because there were three or four eggs dropped on the sidewalk. From the looks of the evidence, I do not think the eggs were thrown, but rather dropped. It must have been recent, because I am sure some animal would have cleaned up the egg mess if it had been there a while. Although I like to eat eggs, I did not partake.

After walking east, I turned around and walked west. I had to do that in order to get back to where I started, as I did not have time to walk around the world. Inside, I turned on Fox News in order to get my blood pressure up. Don't get me wrong. I like Fox News. I just get so upset at how our Federal Government is disregarding our Constitution and our laws.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bass Pro

I went to the Bass Pro Shop yesterday. For someone who loves to fish, or hunt, or hike, or camp, or boat, or do just about anything in the outdoors, going to the Bass Pro Shop is better than, well, Disney World. In fact, if I ever won a gold medal and was asked what I was going to do next, I would shout, "I am going to the Bass Pro Shop!"

Yesterday I walked around for about an hour in the Bass Pro. That was really a short visit for me. I normally spend two to three hours whenever I get inside one of these great examples of outdoor excess (the closest one to my home is about 50 miles away.) I browsed mostly in the fishing and boating areas that day. I ended up buying about $30 worth of fishing lures (recommended by a fishing buddy who knows what he is doing.) I hope they help me to catch a big bass! I normally spend a good deal of time in the hunting and camping departments. In fact, I could almost open a hunting and camping store in my basement with the "stock" that is no longer in the Bass Pro Shop.

I used to be able to complain to my wife about spending so much time (and money) in the clothing stores. I guess I will have to lay off complaining to her about her shopping habits until I lick my Bass Pro Shop addiction.

The Ocean

I am sitting in a condo on the beach in Destin, Florida. It is rainy outside, as the outer effects of Hurricane Alex are drifting through the area. It sounds like south Texas and northern Mexico are getting a lot of rain, but not too much damage. The waves coming ashore here are big enough to bring out the surfboards, but there are none. I do see a few kids playing at the waters edge. There is a woman in a bright red, one piece bathing suit. She has a figure like a pear. I'll bet the gentleman with her loves her, but I don't know. They didn't stay long, for the wind is still blowing and the rain comes and goes.

Have you ever wondered where the waves come from? Do they originate just off shore, or have they traveled hundreds of miles across the gulf? I know that tsunami waves can travel across oceans. I guess the little ones I am looking at do to. I have sailed small boats on the big ocean. I know that most of the time the waves on the big blue will carry you up and down, but they do not carry you very far. They look very menacing as you see them coming, there is a gasp as you are carried up, and then exhilaration as you are lowered back down. But then the wave passes, and you are left with your little boat in the middle of the big ocean. What you thought was going to be a big, or frightful, or damaging event, turns out to be just a quick rush that passes without incident.

Life is like the ocean. I am like a sailboat. I live while on the surface, but I will some day go under. Currents will try to determine my direction, but I am usually able to navigate to where I want to go. The harder the wind blows, the faster I can reach my destination. However, the harder the wind blows, the rougher the water and bigger the waves. If I expend little energy and am lax with my sails, I will drift and not make much progress. If I work hard and keep my sails properly trimmed, I can make a lot of headway. Many times big waves will cause me anxiety. Mostly they will just pass harmlessly under my keel. Sometimes storms will come my way. If I am properly prepared and diligently practice my seamanship, I will overcome. However, if I keep sailing, I can expect to someday be shipwrecked. No matter, for I can start again. This time I will be smarter and better prepared. The really good thing is that I know that even when I finally do go under this present ocean, I will instantly be with The Navigator; the One who created the Heavens and the Earth; the One who separated the dry land from the seas.

I believe I will go take a walk on the beach. See ya!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Time

It has been one month since my last blog. The primary election in Alabama is over, and my candidate, Paul Bussman for State Senate district 4, is in a runoff. The runoff election is July 13. I do not know his opponent, but I do know Paul Bussman. He is a true conservative candidate who has worked for the citizens of the north Alabama for many years. I strongly endorse him for Senate. 

The oil leak in the Gulf is continuing. What a shame. Can't someone figure out how to stop the leak? I am still in favor of off-shore drilling, because we need the oil, and if we don't drill, some other country will. I suggest a contest where the person with the winning idea of how to plug the leak wins $5,000,000. BP will gladly pay the prize.

It is now public knowledge that Sarah Palin has had a breast augmentation. Even so, she is not as big of a boob as our current President.

I am in Destin, Florida right now. It is depressed, and it is the 4th of July week. Hopefully people will come.

My grandson, Jonah, has never been in the belly of a fish. However, he is a real catch.

My granddaughter, Taylor, is growing like the weeds in my garden.

My granddaughter, Rylee, is extremely photogenic.

My grandson, Jacob, can throw a baseball like Nolan Ryan.

My grandson, Jordon, just finished his baseball tournament play. He is certainly not an error.

My granddaughter, Haven, is quite the fast-pitch softball player. She can really sling it!

My grandson, Jamison, also plays baseball. Girls, he is a real catch.

Kim and I are enjoying the week in Destin with some really good friends. We seem to be "in tune" with them in just about everything. In fact, our week is Close Enough To Perfect that it makes me Feel So Right. I am looking forward to being back on the Tennessee River and listening to some of that Mountain Music, after all, my Home Is In Alabama.

Hurricane Alex is heading for Mexico and Texico. I hope everyone on the coast is talking to the man who wears, and made, the star. Because you know that you can trust your life, to the Man who made the stars.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Rhino Revolution

I first read "Rhinoceros Success" by Scott Alexander in 1982. I have read it, and his two companion books, many times since. I have also given away several copies over the years. You should read "Rhinoceros Success" if you want to find out what real living is all about.

I just found Scott's blog. It is very good reading. He still has great insight about what is really important in life, and the United States. I hope you read his stuff.

The Rhino Revolution

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mid Term Elections

There is talk, maybe hope, that conservatives will retake majorities in both the House and the Senate during the 2010 mid-term elections. Regretfully, that is not enough. Conservative majorities in both houses of Congress may be able to stem the tide of the left-wing, socialist programs being passed by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi led kooks currently in power. However, it will take a two-thirds majority in both Houses to override a Presidential Veto, which is exactly what will happen when a Conservative Congress tries to undue the damage caused by the Democrats.

Two-thirds majority. We can hope.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I now have seven grandkids. Jamison (Naomi) is the oldest, but he and Haven (Josh) are both 12. Jordan (Josh) is 11. Those three are the "first batch." Then I have Jacob (Matt & Naomi), who is 2. Rylee (Josh & Nicole), who is going on 2. Taylor (Becca & Robbie), who is 7 months. And then there is Jonah (Matt & Naomi), who is 4 weeks. These four are the "second batch." I do not know why my kids decided on waiting 9 years between batches. Go figure!

I am expecting a third batch, but currently no one else is expecting (that I know of.)

My grandkids are great. They are into sports and music. They like video games, and super heros. They like to visit Momma Bo and me. We like to give them stuff. Usually little things. Occasionally not so. I like the first batch better when mommy and daddy are not around. I like the second batch better when mommy and daddy are close by. I guess I just like to be able to understand what they are saying.

I hope my grandkids grow-up in a country that lets them live a life of self-determination. I want my grandkids to know that they are responsible for their own successes and failures. They must learn that once they become adults, no one else is responsible for taking care of them, especially the government. My grandkids will have what they grow, earn and save, just like their parents, and just like grandparents.

The most valuable thing I can leave my grandchildren is a country that follows its Constitution and believes in Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, and Free Market Capitalism.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Second Childhood

Some men handle their second childhood by buying sports cars or sweet, young wives. I am experiencing my second childhood (or it could be my third) by re-reading books that I liked when I was young. I have just recently finished reading Exodus by Leon Uris (my favorite book) for the probably the fifth or sixth time. I also went way back and re-read My Side of the Mountain by Jean George, which I first read in the fifth grade. I am currently reading Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain are in waiting. Who knows, I may start wearing bell-bottoms and platform shoes!

Backpacking on the AT

AT = Appalachian Trail = 2000+ miles from Georgia to Maine = Beautiful Scenery = Ugly Feet

I have hiked more than 500 miles of the AT over several outings. The longest time on the trail was about 12 days, or 150 miles. I have hiked several sections more than once. But, to be quite honest, it may be the closest this man will ever get to experiencing child birth.

Backpacking on the AT hurts real bad while doing it, but I keep going back for more. There is nothing easy about toting a backpack weighing more than 30 pounds (with food and water) up and down never ending mountains in the hot, or cold, or dry, or wet, or the very worst, cold and wet and windy, weather. But it is fun, and it is an adventure. Experiencing nature is something most of us seldom get to do. Walking in the rain may be a pretty song, but most of us try to avoid it whenever possible. However, on the trail, you walk.

From sun up to sun down (or not), you walk. It has been said that the most viewed site on the AT is the top of your boots. When you are not walking, you are eating or sleeping. Nothing else. For days. For some through-hikers (true bloods who walk the entire trail in one season), pretty much nothing but walking, eating and sleeping is done for five or six months. They say it gets easier physically the longer you walk, but they also say it gets harder mentally.

I would like to be a through-hiker. Maybe I will do that my sixtieth year. Or earlier. Will you go with me?

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Government is out of Money

They are rioting in the streets. The people are angry because the government has no money, is raising taxes, is cutting off welfare, and is reducing and/or eliminating pensions to its retirees. Greece? Nope. The good ole USA! That also means no more healthcare, because we have let the government run it and take away our right to self determination. When we are out of money, those who are living off the government dole will riot. They will either have their needs met by the government, or they will meet their needs by taking what they need by force. This will truly be a redistribution of wealth in America. And it will happen when the USA goes broke, just like in Greece.

We are not there yet, but we are close. Our government deficit (that is just like credit card debt for you and me) is huge and is growing at a blazing rate. When you hear Congress talk about reducing the deficit, they are not talking about paying down the debt. They are talking about reducing how fast the deficit is growing. When Congress talks about cutting spending, they are not talking about spending less. They are talking about a smaller increase in spending. There is no plan in Congress, and no desire for a plan, to actually spend less in order to pay down the debt of our country. They are just hoping that revenues will increase because of their superior management skills (smiley face goes here.)

It is simple. We must spend less. That means that some things we now have, we will no longer have. The Federal Government of the United States must stop spending, stop increasing taxes, and stop trying to run our economy on make-believe money. We should close most Federal Agencies today. I am talking about the entire Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Federal Reserve and the Environmental Protection Agency. All of these should be the responsibilities of the individual States, if at all. Defense, Homeland Security, State, Transportation, Treasury and the Attorney General should be better managed for the good of the USA, not the world. That means downsized!

The IRS should be abolished and replaced with a consumption tax (the Fair Tax.) 

If we cannot get our financial house in order, we will fall. No business or family can survive when spending exceeds earnings for a long period of time. Neither can a country.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MADD vs. The Arizona Immigration Law

We are hearing a lot about how the New Arizona Immigration Law will violate the "civil rights" of Hispanic citizens in that great state. For some reason those against the law think that it is better that the citizens of Arizona bear the costs of the increased crime and economic shortages caused by the unfettered influx of thousands of illegal Mexican Nationals into the state than for some of its citizens to be inconvenienced if they should be asked to prove their citizenship. Did they feel the same way when Mothers Against Drunk Drivers made their national push for random "sobriety check points" in order to get drunk drivers off the road? Did those now opposing the Immigration Law also oppose the stopping of all traffic, even those not driving erratically or violating any law, to see if they might be intoxicated? Did those now opposing the Immigration law also oppose Federal Background Checks on all purchasers of handguns, even those with no indication of any restricted violation in their past?

American freedoms are fundamental and should not be infringed. However, a slight inconvenience is a small price to pay to protect our country against being overran by foreign nationals who may not have our best interest at heart.

Immigration vs. Illegal Immigration

Unless Native American or of Native American descent, all United States citizens are either immigrants or are of immigrant descent. We are a country of immigrants, the Great Melting Pot of history. We are a country of immigrants who became Americans. We are not a country of "ethnic" diversity, although almost all ethnicities are represented in our population. We are Americans who are proud of our heritages, but prouder yet to be Americans.

The Nation's first law concerning immigration was the Naturalization Act of 1790, and numerous other laws relating to the subject have been passed in the 220 years since. It is a world-wide common practice for countries to restrict and control who may enter their countries and under what circumstances and with what rights and responsibilities. In the 21st Century, no country with a viable national government allows unrestricted passage through its borders. Early in our history, we needed settlers to populate our lands and help us build a great country. We not only welcomed all qualified immigrants, we gave many of them land. The Homestead Act allowed anyone in the country legally to qualify for free land until the Act was repealed in 1976 (Alaska 1986.) Immigrants helped us to expand from sea to shining sea.

The current illegal immigration catastrophe in the United States has nothing to do with Europeans (the source of most of the legal immigrants throughout our history), Asians (the first specific ethnic group to be restricted by our immigration laws), Africans, Australians or those from South America. It is not a Hispanic issue, for many Hispanics are proud United States citizens who contribute greatly to our national strength and prosperity. It is not a race issue, for brown is a common color of many of our citizens. It is a national sovereignty issue. The current illegal immigration catastrophe is caused by the influx of Mexican Nationals into our country through our southern border without proper documentation and authorization. Because the numbers of illegal Mexican Nationals crossing our southern border is so huge, there is no doubt that many violent criminals and even terrorists are entering our country using this same route.

There are three reasons that we face an illegal immigration catastrophe today: 1. Crime, poor economic opportunity, and a corrupt government in Mexico. 2. Lack of resolve in the United States to stem the tide of illegals by restricting employment opportunities and strengthening border security. 3. Political shenanigans in Washington in order to capture the Hispanic vote and increase the Hispanic voter base by giving "purified" illegals an easy path to citizenship.

There are three things that must be done to protect our national sovereignty and stop the influx of undocumented and unauthorized Mexican Nationals from entering our country: 1. Pass and enforce employment laws that make it untenable for US employers to hire undocumented workers of all nationalities. 2. Secure our southern border by assigning more law enforcement/military personnel to border security duty with authorization to use whatever force is necessary to stop the movement of illegal personnel across our border. 3. Create a Documented Worker program that allows Mexican Nationals to apply for work permits while in Mexico that will allow them to enter the US legally in order to fill jobs determined to lack US citizen manpower to fill (a Work Visa program.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Blog about My Blog

My son-in-law started talking to me about writing a blog in early October 2009. At the time, I had no idea what that meant even though I had just read his blog. He was the only person I knew who blogged (Robbie.) But, having a little free time on my hands, I said, "OK." Then I said, "Show me how." After being introduced to blogspot.com, I started writing. My first blog was, "Three Things That Will Save Our Country." That was back in October.

Now my daughter (Rebecca) and at least one daughter-in-law (Nicole) blogs. Two grandchildren have blogs ran by their parents (Rylee Mae & Taylor.) I have a favorite blogster (Michael Connelly.) I have posted more than 40 times in my blog, and that is just since October 2009. Many of my blogs are long (I sometimes ramble), and most are political in nature. I thought most of my writings would concern the outdoors and nature, hence the name "Wild Roamings." Looking back, I can honestly say that I still like what I have said, although some of my thoughts have matured.

My "Three Things That Will Save Our Country" from my very first blog, Term Limits, Fair Tax and a Balanced Budget, have morphed into Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, and Free-Market Capitalism. You can read my blog "These Three Things" to understand my thinking on this topic.

Writing a blog allows you to crystalize your thinking on the subjects you write about. My blog about "Prohibition And The War On Drugs" forced me to put in writing how I feel about how we have been fighting to stop the horrible reality of what is drug abuse in America. I would love for our current strategy to work, but it has not (for more than 50 years.) We must change our strategy. If you have a better idea than mine on how to win the fight against illegal drugs, write it in a blog and send me the link. I also finally put in writing my elementary analogy of how God can give us freedom while at the same time having predestined the future of His Creation. You can read "Who Is In Control Of The World" if you are interested in this topic. Hopefully it will lead you to study the Bible on your own.

What is my biggest disappointment about blogging? Hardly anyone leaves a comment. That may mean that no one is reading my blog. However, if you do read it, please leave a comment. Your comment can be short or long, pro or con. I would just like to know that I am not writing in my own little world.

All in all, I am glad I blog. I hope you do also.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Staying On Message

There are a lot of things I would like to see changed about our country and our government. I do not think "separation of Church and State" can be found anywhere in our Constitution. In fact, I think our Constitution is based on, and can only be followed by, a good understanding of the Holy Bible. Although we should not require any particular religion, or any religion, the government should not be anti-religion.  I am against the killing of soon-to-be-born children; abortion. I believe strongly in Second Amendment rights. I believe strongly in private property rights, so much that I am against property taxes, and certainly against the abuse of eminent domain. I don't think we are the world's policeman. Our foreign policy should be based on what is best for our country, not how we might be able to make the world "better" in the view of whichever party is in power. I am for reform of our legal system so that our laws will protect and be responsive to the people, not crafted to enrich lawyers. I believe that the right to a speedy trial does not mean a trial in a year or two, maybe. I believe in charity, not welfare. I believe that we should change how we are waging the "War on Drugs" by legalizing, regulating and taxing them just like we do alcohol. I am in favor of the "Fair Tax"; tax what I spend, not what I earn. All of these issues are important to me, and there are many others that I could list.

But right now, today, in the United States of America, there are three issues that trump all others. If we fail to bring about These Three Things, we will lose all hope of accomplishing any of the other things that are important to me, and probably we will have lost all hope of accomplishing any of the things that are important to you. What are These Three Things?

Limited Government
Fiscal Responsibility
Free-Market Capitalism

These Three Things must be the message we herald from the mountaintops as we approach the elections. These Three Things must be the message heard at Tea Party rallies. And These Three Things must be what we require of any candidate for whom we vote starting right now. Hopefully the candidates that you support will also agree with you on many of the issues you deem important. But even if the do not, we must elect men and women to our governments at the local, state, and federal level who will fight for These Three Things. For if we do not, I fear we will lose our ability to fight for anything.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tax Day Tea Party In Cullman Alabama

The Tax Day Tea Party rally begins at 4:00 pm on the steps of the Cullman County Courthouse this Thursday, April 15, 2010. Candidates for Governor of Alabama Tim James, Robert Bentley and Roy Moore will speak. We will also hear from some of our locals including Dale Moore, Wade Harbison, Tom Barnes and Sarah Walker. There will be information and a sign up sheet if you are interested in getting more involved in the local Tea Party movement. Bring a chair if you wish. Donations in support of the Local Tea party will be accepted.

If you do not get involved by making your voice heard, who will? The supporters of the Tea Party believe in a constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and free-market capitalism. Please forward this email to everyone you know who is interested in restoring the Constitution and putting government back into the hands of We, the People!

I hope to see you at the Court House!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Address to America

These Three Things

My name is Bobby Taylor. I am an American. I was raised by great parents who are part of what Tom Brokaw calls the Greatest Generation. Theirs is the generation that sent 16 million men and women into harms way during World War II to protect our freedoms and defend the greatest country in the world; The United States of America. Luckily for my mother, my brothers and sisters, and me, my father survived the war in the South Pacific. Regretfully, almost three hundred thousand of the Greatest Generation gave their lives so that I, so that we, can live and work and raise our families in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. They took responsibility, very personal responsibility, for assuring that we could continue to live the American Dream!

I grew up on a small family farm in Cullman County, Alabama. My parents taught me that good things come from hard work, and that life offers no guarantees. They taught me the value of honesty and integrity, and they taught me that I am responsible for who I am, what I have, and where I will go. My parents taught me that if I want something, I have to work for it. They taught me that nothing in life is free! They taught me to be responsible for myself while being willing to help others. I learned that when I fail, it is my responsibility to pick myself up and try again. I learned that it is not anyone’s responsibility but mine to provide what I need or what I want. It is not the government’s job to take care of me. Not only should I not expect the government to take care of me, I know that I do not want the government to take care of me, because in order for the government to give me anything, it must first take it from the person who created it, or grew it, or earned it. And as I have already said, nothing in life is free. If I allow the government to take care of me, it will want something in return. It will take my liberty. My parents taught me, and I learned, and I know, that I must take personal responsibility for my life!

Our country was founded by people who believed that good things come from hard work. They did not come to this new land expecting to be given anything but a chance, and they got a chance. At first it was a chance to starve during the cold winters. A chance to die from disease. A chance to be killed by an unseen enemy. But because they worked hard and persevered, our Founding Fathers were given the chance to create the greatest country in the world; The United States of America. They didn’t quit, and they didn’t ask somebody else to take care of them. America’s early settlers chose unbelievable hardships in order to have freedom and opportunity. Do you think it was easy for the refugees on the Mayflower to leave their homeland and everything they knew, cross a big ocean on a small boat, and settle in a new land just so they could be free to worship their God in the way they wanted? Do you think it was easy for George Washington and his soldiers to spend a cold, wet winter at Valley Forge without proper equipment and food, just so they could fight another battle, a battle that they would probably lose? Do you think it was easy for Jim Bridger, Kit Carson and hundreds of other Mountain Men to cross the Mississippi River and the plains, and then have to conquer the Rocky Mountains, as they sought their individual freedom and expanded our new nation? Remember, these earliest freedom-loving Americans did not have the Interstate Highway System to make traveling easy, they did not have the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to keep them safe, and they did not have government healthcare to take care of them when they were sick. These real American Patriots voluntarily faced hardships that we cannot even comprehend just so that they could have freedom and opportunity.

Let me ask you a very important question; what are you willing to do in order to have freedom and opportunity? Are you willing to do without government handouts? Are you willing to make your voice heard? Are you willing to take action so that the out-of-control Federal Government knows that you will not trade your freedom and economic opportunity for bigger government, more taxes, and a national debt that is bankrupting us for generations to come? I know we want to be free, but are we willing to face the hardships that may be required to maintain that freedom?

America is great, but it is not perfect. Here are the major problems with our government, These Three Things:

Number One: Government is too big, and it wants to get bigger. Many of our elected officials, and here is something that is truly bi-partisan, believe that we are unable or unwilling to take care of ourselves. Big Government believes that it knows what is best for me and it believes it knows what is best for you! Big Government does not understand that personal responsibility and liberty is the bedrock that supports our Constitution and is what has set us apart from the rest of the world. I am not an orphan who can do nothing without Big Government’s help. I am an American, and I can stand on my own two feet and I want to stand on my own two feet! Hey, Big Government, get off my back and get out of our way!

Number two: Big Government has to have a big checkbook. The only problem is that Big Government does not have any money. So guess what? Big Government has to tax me, and tax me some more, and Big Government has to tax you! As long as we allow Big Government to grow, our taxes will grow even faster. But that is not the worst of it. The worst part is that even though Big Government keeps taking more of our money in taxes, it is still spending more than it has taken from us. The country’s debt is no longer our debt. It now belongs to our children and grandchildren. No business can survive by continually running up debt, and neither can Big Government. Eventually Big Government’s house of cards will fall, and mighty will be its fall. Hey, Big Government, stop stealing from me and my children and my grandchildren!

Here is the third problem with Big Government: It thinks it can run our business, and many of our businesses, better than we can. The free market is what made America the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind. American ingenuity, not government control, is what makes our economy the envy of the world. You can go to any country in the world, and you will immediately see just how much better Americans live than the rest of the world. Oh, sure, you can find the rich in foreign countries, and you can find the poor in America. But nowhere else in the world will you find the abundance of goods and services that are commonly available to most Americans. Our government cannot balance its budget. It can’t make a profit off its rail service or the Post Office, even though they are monopolies. Union Pacific Railroad and Federal Express can turn a profit, but not Big Government. Now we are letting them run, or maybe I should say ruin, our healthcare system. Duh. Has anyone looked at the VA Hospital System to see how the government is doing at managing healthcare? Has anyone noticed that Medicare and Medicaid are broke, and that already many doctors do not accept patients who are “government insured”? Government was never meant to run our businesses and Government should stay out of our business. Americans using the free market and free enterprise made us the richest country in the world. Hey, Big Government, let free market capitalism grow our economy!

What can we do to bring America back to its roots and insure our country survives and prospers so that our children and our grandchildren can achieve the American Dream? We must do These Three Things:

Number One: Vote for candidates who support limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the free market. Enact term limits at the voting booth to get the “old school” politicians out of the way. A candidate may have views different from you on many issues, but they must promise to support these three positions in order to get our vote: Limited Government. Fiscal Responsibility. Free-Market Capitalism.

Number Two: Call, write and email your Congressmen and the President. Let them know that you are not going to sit quietly by while our country and our children’s future are foreclosed on because of their irresponsibility. Let them clearly know that you are in favor of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the free market. Every time you hear something that makes you feel bad about our country, and every time you hear something that makes you feel good about our country, let your elected representatives know about it. Sound off!

The third thing we must do: Tell your friends and neighbors how you feel. Tell anyone who will listen how you feel. Do not be a “closet” patriot. Everybody else is coming out of the closet, so must the American Patriots. Attend rallies, marches and town halls so that our message of Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility and Free Market Capitalism is amplified across the country. Create a blog and use Facebook to voice your opinions. Communicate in every way you know so that our message is heard loud and clear. If there is not a good candidate running for an office in your district, then find someone to run who will protect our country by upholding our Constitution. If there is no one else, then it just might be your turn. Support the movement. Put your wallet where your mouth is. You do not have to give hundreds of dollars to make a difference. Every little bit helps. How much we really care about our country will not be measured by how loud we yell, but by how much time, effort, and regretfully, money, we are willing to invest to maintain our freedoms.

The battle we are in now is a bi-partisan, multi-cultural battle. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, left or right, straight or gay, whether you are religious or atheist, pro-life or pro-choice, whether you are young or old, black or white, whatever your "cause", Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility and Free Market Capitalism will make your life better. These Three Things will make America better. The only people who will be hurt by These Three Things will be the professional politicians who are robbing us and stealing from our children and generations to come, and those who think Big Government should provide for their every need by creating a welfare state that redistributes the wealth of America and where personal responsibility is a thing of the past.

The United States of America is a great country. It is the greatest country. But we are on the wrong track. We must get back to our roots. We must once again make our Constitution the supreme law of the land. We can no longer be quite. Our message must be heard. We will be heard. We must elect representatives who will uphold our Constitution, and who believe like we do in These Three Things; Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, and Free-Market Capitalism.

May God bless you. May He bless our cause. And may God Bless America!

Bobby Taylor is a retired entrepreneur who lives in Cullman, Alabama. He and his wife, Kim, have four children and six grandchildren. Bobby is a proud veteran, having served six years in the U.S. Army, who describes himself as a Constitutional Conservative. He loves the outdoors and is a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association, the National Rifle Association, the Great Smoky Mountains Association, and the Iditarod Trail Committee. Bobby Taylor can be contacted through his website at www.wildroamings.com.