Saturday, July 7, 2018

Can't Chicken Just Be Good Chicken Because It's Good?

Can we just stop?  I know it's the fault of people on the left AND the right, but could we just stop politicizing EVERY issue and every item?  We're politicizing food; most recently with Blue Bell ice cream, and over the past few years, chicken.  Chick-fil-A chicken, to be exact.

Most recently, the company has been ranked number one in fast food for customer satisfaction.  Kind of goes with the corporate purpose that Truett Cathy came up with many years ago which is, "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive impact on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."  Pretty cool, huh?  Here's a link to the article written by The Daily Caller about our recent accolades.

Thing is, people are STILL politicizing the business.  I'm not even talking about the leftists, and trust me, there are some out there still doing that.  I'm talking about Chicks On The Right.   I follow them on Twitter (rethinking that decision now) and they re-posted the Daily Caller's article with the title, "Sorry, Libs, Chick-fil-A is Officially America's Favorite Fast Food Restaurant."  I mean, really?

Hey, it is totally cool that Chick-fil-A was voted number one, no doubt about it, but I'm starting to wonder if we have to take every chance we get to thumb our noses at liberals?  Then I start to ask myself the following questions: Does this comment or activity win us elections?  Does this convince people to want to vote Republican?  Does this advance our ball down the court any further than it was before we made the comment?

Do the memes of 'snowflakes' and 'safe spaces' help our cause?  Do the words, 'libtard' and 'Demonrats' do any good?   Just because the left does it to us, doesn't mean we have to respond in like kind. It's all a distraction from the issues.  Wag the dog, people. 

I have decided that I'm laying down my pitchfork and my torch.  I'm still in this fight for liberty and freedom for the long haul, though.  I just wish that more of my friends and colleagues would lay their torches down, too and pick up a walk list and do some promoting instead of demeaning.  As a good friend of mine eight years ago once said, "What 'FOR'"?

Friday, July 6, 2018

U.S. Senator Cornyn Speaks Reason Regarding Supreme Court Nomination

Y'all done gone and done it.  No, seriously.  Y'all, and by y'all, I mean Empower Texans done gone and made me defend John Cornyn.  It's absolutely the last thing I thought I'd ever do since he has been the subject of criticism a few times here on the blog.

John Cornyn, the senior US Senator from Texas had an article, dare I say a hit piece, written about him on Empower Texans about the upcoming Supreme Court pick by President Donald Trump.  In the article he was quoted as saying,..."Cornyn cautioned Trump against selecting any nominee with a publicly stated position on overturning court precedents such as Roe v. Wade.”   He goes on to further explain his opinion, “I think that would be a terrible mistake, for the president to nominate somebody who had that sort of agenda,” he said adding that “we don’t need judges who have either personal or political or ideological agendas, in my view. And I think that ought to comfort all of us.

Alright, now let's think about this objectively before we get emotional.  I know, it's hard to do in politics, but it's necessary.  Would you want someone with a preconceived agenda, even if you agreed with it?  My answer, NO.  Judges are supposed to be impartial.  They aren't supposed to announce ahead of time on how they would rule on any case.  We as conservatives always cry out about 'legislating from the bench' or that we're concerned that whomever is nominated has an agenda.  That's where our hypocrisy rears its ugly head.  Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to point out the hypocrisy on the 'right' side of things. 

The thing about Empower Texans and, well, ALL of us is that we're writing articles that simply confirm our own bias.  Like in the video Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Battle Round Two, when Hayek says, "Are they doing real science or confirming their bias?"  I think that's something that we could apply to this situation here.  Read the article that Empower Texans wrote here and decide for yourself.

A Facebook friend says it even better than I could, so I've included his comment here, " Cornyn’s conservative credentials or the lack thereof aside, the headline is misleading. Cornyn did not tell Trump not to nominate a pro-life justice, he “cautioned Trump against selecting any nominee with a publicly stated position on overturning court precedents such as Roe v. Wade.”
Justice Willet has made this same statement time and time again, judges should not declare how they will rule on any case until they hear the case in front of them, just as Scalia did before him.
Cornyn was saying that there is a difference between a pro-life judge and one who declares ahead of time that they are actively seeking to overturn any specific precedent, regardless of which one it is."  

What happened to objectivity?  I guess that's gone by the wayside along with manners and civil discourse.  Honestly, I'm writing this as someone who cares deeply for the health of the Republican party and for our unification efforts going forward into November.  Empower Texans seems that they are only capable of attacking Republicans, not ever attempting to bolster the Republican ticket in order to help defeat Democrats.  I guess that's what happens when your group has only a single financial backer and they have an agenda.  Ironic, isn't it?       

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The 2018 Texas GOP Convention and Censure

Andrew Breitbart once said, "If you can't sell freedom or liberty, you suck."  Yep, that pretty much sums up my weekend at the Texas GOP convention this weekend.  Let me expound.

I have been a delegate to the state convention every two years since 2010.  This convention marks my fourth convention and probably the most disappointing convention for me to date.  The attitudes displayed by my fellow convention goers was very saddening to me.  It's true what people say about politics bringing out the worst in people.

What I saw on display was the opposite in lots of cases of what we as Republicans and Libertarians claim to be 'for'.  We claim to be for a lot of things, freedom of speech, freedom to conduct your lives with personal responsibility, free markets, etc.  However, freedom of speech was the biggest bit of hypocrisy I saw within the convention and attitudes of convention goers.  When candidates and office holders were on stage, they were at times met with boos and jeers from the audience.  Some of them were shouted down and not even given a chance to speak their mind.  Just because we don't agree with someone one hundred percent of the time doesn't mean that they should be shouted down.

Another problem I have is with the idea of censure. To censure someone means to express severe disapproval  of someone or something, typically in a formal statement.  Apparently, that's what the Texas GOP is all about.  The idea that we need to censure elected officials because we don't like a bill that they voted for or against.  Or the idea that they're not conservative enough.  There was an effort underway at Convention to offer up censure of several different Republican office holders; one of which was John Cornyn.  Now, while I don't agree 100% with Senator Cornyn, do I think he needs to be censured?  NO.  In my opinion, censure is a dangerous habit to start.  Here's why, plain and simple; when do you stop?

Here's something else to think about; just like when Margaret Thatcher famously said, "The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.", you could change it to read something like this, "The problem with censure is that you eventually run out of allies in the Republican/Conservative movement."  If you censure EVERY office holder and precinct chair or county chair, for that matter, you run out of people to actually work with.  Some will disagree with me and say that we need checks and balances.  To which I would AGREE.  Here's the 'but'; we already have checks and balances in the form of...ELECTIONS!

It's easy for all of us as activists to focus on the echo chambers of our lives, but unless you actually get out and knock some doors or do some phone banking to help elect Republicans, we'll never win, no matter who censured who.  And remember,  "If you can't sell freedom or liberty, you suck." 

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Political Chicken Endorses Charlotte Lampe for SREC

Dear Texas Delegate,

Congratulations on becoming a delegate to this year's convention!  I hope you're just as excited as I am about all of the activities coming up and the duties that we'll be fulfilling as delegates.

One of the duties that we'll be working on is electing party officers to our State Republican Executive Committee or SREC.  There are two representatives chosen from each Senate District and they do the job of representing us at the SREC meetings which are held quarterly in Austin.

Charlotte and I at Senate District Convention
My good friend Charlotte Lampe is running for the SREC position in Senate District 7.  From her website, "She is a committed grassroots activist that has been fighting to protect conservative principles for over 40 years. Many might agree that politics has a bad reputation which creates only endless conflict.   However, because of your love of our Country, our Texas, and our republican way of life we are connected. She might never have met you, if not for politics that bringing us together to fight for a common cause. She talks with many people and is inspired by your dedication to our political process. For Charlotte, you are the unexpected joy that makes politics worthwhile."

I am personally endorsing Charlotte Lampe for the position of SREC Committeewoman because,  
"I have known Charlotte for the past six years or so. We are both precinct chairs and activists in the same area of Harris County. I have always admired Charlotte for her spirited involvement and her stick-to-itiveness when she works on an issue or a campaign.

Charlotte doesn't take 'no' for an answer. She makes sure that fairness and justice prevail in every situation. She's creative and she's resourceful. She's passionate about liberty and freedom and she's committed to making sure we elect Republicans to office. For these reasons and many others, I'm proud to endorse Charlotte Lampe for the position of SREC Committeewoman to represent SD 7 and the great state of Texas."

The vote for SREC will be held on Friday, June 15, at 8:00 AM.  Please be sure to show up and vote for Charlotte Lampe!  She will be a great representative for SD 7!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Harris County Tax-Assessor Collector Refuses to Purge Voter Rolls

Imagine having an ailment and going to the doctor for it.  The doctor examines you, runs blood work and tells you in no uncertain terms what you have. Great, right?  Then, the doc looks you in the eye and tells you that he isn't going to do a damn thing about it.  Knowing full well what you're sick with, he or she won't help you fix the problem.

Now, think of the 'health' of our elections here in Harris County.  I know that the Republican Party here in Harris County does a heck of a lot to protect the ballot box.  We've set a precedent across the state of Texas with our Ballot Security Committee headed up by former True the Vote stalwart, Alan Vera.  He along with other members of the committee staff the polling places during elections to ensure that integrity at the polling place is maintained.  Alan also drafts legislation to help protect our ability to cast our votes.

There is something else called the voter rolls that have to be kept up with.  The Tax-Assessor Collector is in charge of maintaining the health of the voter rolls.  What ARE the voter rolls?  It's basically a list of names of people who are eligible to vote in our elections.  If you're like me, you think that the only people who should be allowed to vote in elections are American citizens.  Well, Ann Harris Bennett, our current tax-assessor collector would disagree.

Ms. Bennett is aware of the ailments of our voter rolls, and just like that doctor who refused to fix your problem to make you well, she's doing the same thing.  According to a Washington Times article, Ms. Bennett is quoted as saying,
         "Once a person is officially registered to vote, a state may only remove them from the voting list if: the person dies, changes residence, asks to be removed from the list, or becomes ineligible under state law because of criminal conviction or mental incapacity,” Ms. Bennett said in court papers. The National Voter Registration Act “does not create any obligation for a state to conduct a list maintenance program to remove the names of voters who may be ineligible due to lack of citizenship.”

Unbelievable.  I disagree that non-citizens should be allowed to vote in our elections, obviously.  So does our current County Clerk, Stan Stanart.  I read the article and found that he was not quoted in it at all.  So, I sent the article to him to get his reaction.  Here's what he had to say,  
          "This is ridiculous and just plain wrong.  It is her responsibility to investigate and remove all ineligible people on the voter rolls – including non-citizens.  I wish the voter registrar would share with me the names of anyone they know who voted and whom they later found to not be a citizen.   I would quickly turn then over to the DA or Attorney General for investigation and prosecution."
For context, Stan Stanart runs the elections in Harris County and he works to head off voter fraud at every turn.  

More from the article: "Ms. Bennett is fighting a request by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative group pushing to clean up voter rolls, which asked the county to turn over records of people who’d signed up to vote then later admitted they weren’t citizens.

She is one of what appears to be a trend of registrars arguing that groups looking to add more names to the voter rolls are protected by the  NVRA (National Voter Registration Act), but those looking to trim bloated lists of old or erroneous names are not entitled to use the 1993 law to pry loose records."

 To Ms. Bennett, I would say, you have an obligation to the voters in Harris County to keep our voter rolls clean.  There is such a thing as election integrity, and you should be striving to maintain it. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Parental Rights Deserve Eternal Vigilance: Arizona's SB 1473 Proves It

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few." -Wendell Phillips
Eternal vigilance.  That means you have to keep your eyes on things, right?  For like, a really long time.  As an activist, eternal vigilance over our freedoms is something that comes to mind for me.  One of those freedoms is the right to parent a child the way that you, the parent, see fit.  Fighting for parental rights was actually my first foray into politics back in 2009.  It's a subject that I will always be passionate about.The gubmint don't always agree with that sentiment.  Take a look.

Recently an article on that topic came across my email and I thought it was worth sharing. Texas Public Policy Foundation puts out a daily email about stuff that's happening around the U.S., not just Texas or Harris County.  They published an email about a bill in Arizona about drug addicted babies being removed from their mother's care and their parental rights being terminated.  Now, that might sound logical to you, especially if the mother has proven the capability to harm her child.  As Paul Berlin would say, Now, for the rest of the story..."

The idea of the bill is to actually remove the provision that so many states have which is known as 'next of kin' or 'kinship' law.  The state of Arizona wants the default to be that the child be placed with total strangers, not with grandma or an aunt or uncle.  Say what?!?   
        "When children really must be taken from their parents, study after study has shown the children do better when placed with relatives than when placed with total strangers,” reports Richard Wexler in the Arizona Daily Star  and“That’s why 45 states have a preference for kinship care in their state laws. SB 1473 would remove the kinship care preference in Arizona law and set up new barriers to relatives that create a subtle de facto preference for affluent strangers.”

I share this with you because no one's parental rights are ever free from the danger of being removed.  Think it can't happen to you?  Think again.  As I said in my opening quote: 
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few." -Wendell Phillips

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Happy Sixth Birthday, Political Chicken!

Happy Sixth birthday, Political Chicken!  Yep, the little blog that could is turning six years old!  Looking back, I think I may have missed writing a fifth birthday blog, so look for this blog to be twice the birthday fun!

Honestly, I haven't been super active on the blog for the last year, but what I have been doing is  physically being active on the local political scene.  To me, that's the most important part, physically doing something instead of sitting behind a keyboard talking about doing something; sometimes termed a 'keyboard warrior', something that I'm not.

Last year found me busy as the Vice Chair on the Local Government Committee, which has been one of my favorite roles within the local party structure.  I think I'm a great fit for that position since I've made it my business to write about almost nothing besides local elections, local taxing authorities and the like.  I have a wealth of information that I've put together right here at The Political Chicken Blog.  Don't just take my word for it, take a look for yourself!

Beginning in December of last year and into the beginning of this year found me involved in the campaign for Paul Simpson for Harris County Republican Party Chair.  The GOP Chair is the leader of the local party and it's an important position.  Paul was reelected, thankfully and it was time well spent to help out.  I've been a Simpson volunteer since 2012 and this time I was the Grassroots Coordinator for the campaign and I enjoyed the heck out of it.  Maybe I do have a future in politics after all.  Hmmm....

Working on this campaign as we speak, but again, physically doing something AND simultaneously writing about doing it, is the race for District K on Houston City Council.  The late Larry Green left a position to be filled and two Republican party precinct chairs are running to fill that seat along with seven Democrats.  If we turn out just the right amount of Republican voters, we could make into the runoff.

Normally on all of my birthday blogs, I share with you the top performing posts, the ones that have the most page views.  Not this time, though.  I'd like to mix it up a bit and share with you some of the posts that never got published here on The Political Chicken until now.  I'll be opening the vault, much like Disney when they reproduce some of the classics.  I hope you enjoy.

This one coming straight to you out of the vault is called "They Didn't Let Us in at First Either" which discusses the struggle that the tea party faced to be accepted into the rank and file GOP.

I also wrote another article shortly after Britain exited from the EU entitled, Does A Brexit Equal a Texit? in which I discuss the plausibility of Texas seceding from the United States and becoming it's own nation. 

Just to mix it up even further, I'll include one of my own personal favorites because it discusses something that I do every day: home school.  The title is We Will Not Conform: Portrait of a Home School Family..

That concludes another trip around the sun for yours truly, The Political Chicken!  And as always, stay tuned to The Political Chicken!  You won't want to miss!