Friday, November 10, 2017

Houston Veterans Day Parade Cancelled. Shame on You, City Hall



The City of Houston has cancelled the Veterans Day parade. Instead, the city will host Travis Manion Foundation's 9/11 Heroes Run. The worst part, after the whole disrespecting veterans thing - the city didn't even bother to announce the decision. How many people will wake up Saturday morning thinking they are going to attend the annual parade? 

So, the city took down the relevant page on their website and eliminated it from their Facebook page, according to this article. How's that for cowardice? I checked out the website accounting of this year's activities and it only made me angry.

This is what is now on the city website:


Houston is a cornerstone of Veterans Day celebrations in the United States.  As a city, Houston is proud to pay tribute to our men and women in the military by providing an annual “Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Celebration”.  This civic celebration honors and celebrates the brave men, women, and families who pay the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom.
The celebration this year will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday November 11, 2017 with the 9/11 Heroes Run which was cancelled on 9/11 this year due to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
All proceeds from registration (excluding cost of shirts/fulfillment) will be donated to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The salute continues with the AARP Veterans Job & Resource Fair complete with Symbols of Freedom - military displays and activities surrounding the reflection pool in Hermann Square at City Hall.
The traditional Veterans Day Ceremony presented by H-E-B will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of City Hall ending with a moment of silence in memory of the signing of the WWI Armistice.
The entire event will take place from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 11.


Are city officials telling Houstonians that there is no way the nation's 4th largest city can possibly schedule '9/11 Heroes Run' at better time than Veterans Day weekend? It's not like Veterans Day wasn't already on the calendar when the Run was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. Why was this parade bumped? 

I have nothing against the 9/11 Heroes Run. The proceeds are going to Hurricane Harvey relief. What? Seems to me, if this is the substitute for the annual parade, the least that could be done as a gesture of goodwill would be for the proceeds to go to a charity for veterans. Is that too much to ask?

It is worthy to honor the fallen and it is worthy to honor heroes. However, veterans deserve their own day and separate recognition. Veterans Day honors all veterans, not just the fallen. It is the very least we can do as grateful Americans.

Shame on you, Houston leadership. How unfortunate that this bad decision now tarnishes the goodness felt about a city pulling together in a really tough year. This is disgraceful.

After local television and radio coverage began of this story, some well-known Houstonians have stepped up and, in an impromptu move, have organized a parade. That's what leadership is. That's #HoustonStrong.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Texans Take a Knee and I Take a Pass

Sometimes I read something so stupid that I have a hard believing that someone in America really believes what he is saying. Case in point - the outrage over Texans owner Bob McNair's comment on a conference call with other NFL team owners. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. 

McNair is a well-known Houston zillionaire and philanthropist. He owns the Houston Texans football team. He is an older white man and for that he must be punished. This is where we are in today's world. McNair used an expression that each and every one of us has heard come out of the mouths of our parents or grandparents. He said, of the mess that the NFL finds itself in over players taking a knee instead of standing for the National Anthem, "We can't have the inmates running the prison." First, some of the Texans threatened to walk out of practice, then McNair apologized. Twice.

"McNair released a second statement Saturday afternoon and insisted he wasn't referring to the players with his "very regretful comment." Instead he says he was "referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years."
He then apologized to NFL players saying: "I am truly sorry to the players for how this has impacted them and the perception that it has created of me which could not be further from the truth. Our focus going forward, personally and as an organization, will be towards making meaningful progress regarding the social issues that mean so much to our players and our community."
As you may imagine, apologies are not good enough any more. The 79 year old owner is presumed racist and that will not be easy to overcome in our hyper-sensitive environment. I've heard reasoning that because a large percentage of players are African-American, this comment must be directed at those players - that McNair isn't sensitive to the life experiences of black men. I get it. There are a lot of black men and women in prison. There are also a lot of other demographics, too, including white Americans. 

So, then I read Sunday that the Texans were going to do a big protest against McNair before the game in Seattle. Left tackle Duane Brown led a call for the protest and successfully encouraged all but four players to take a knee before the game. I find it interesting that it happened at an away game, not in Houston. I have to think the response from the ticket holders would have been a bit different at home. I watched just enough of the broadcast to see that happen and listen to the announcers give me their hot takes on it and then I changed the channel. Yes, I only watched because I am writing this

Here's the thing - I say, the more protests, the better. I'm a political person and I like discourse. I encourage all people to get involved and make use of their God-given rights, within our Constitution. What better way is there to honor the sacrifices of those who came before us? I have lots of veterans in my family, both living and deceased, who fought for my right to speak up.

Here's the flip side of that - I utilize my right to protest with my feet and my pocketbook. Or, in this case, my remote control. I no longer support the NFL. When President Trump tweeted that players should be fired for not standing for the National Anthem and then the gesture escalated as the players reacted to that tweet, then I said, "I'm out." A handful of players taking a knee doesn't sway me one way or the other. This all began last season with a now unemployed social justice warrior disguised as a football player. Barack Obama was the president, if you remember. A couple of his teammates did the same and that was that. Now it's just all about being anti-Trump or, now, anti-McNair. 

I love politics. I love football. I hate politics taking over football. I watch sports to escape the current events of the day. I love competition. It's a game, it's not rocket science and it will not cure disease. It is grown men making lots of money playing a game for a living. Taking advantage of that high profile life to divide and not unite - the current cry from those doing the exact opposite - is wrong. I have stopped watching professional football and it makes me sad.

Thank God for the Houston Astros. I am a "bandwagon" fan as I watch the World Series. I was once a baseball fan, back in the day, but lost interest as the greats of my day retired. With this current Astros team, though, I have found renewed zest in watching them play. What a joyful team! These guys are young and talented and eager to win. It has been heartwarming to see the Astros and their opponents stand and sing the National Anthem, as is the custom. It is particularly wonderful to see all the players who are immigrants to America participate. 

Go Astros. And, thank you.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Congresswoman Wilson's Disgraceful History on Voting Against the Veterans


Four Green Berets, the story goes, were ambushed and killed in Niger after a meeting with local leaders. Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright were killed. Sgt. La David Johnson was the only African American soldier in this foursome. President Trump called all four families to extend his condolences yet only one call is making headlines. Now, why would that be?

Make no mistake about it. In the minds and hate-filled political agenda of the political left in America, this is Trump's America and it is a racist place led by a white supremacist. Florida Representative Fredrica Wilson took advantage of her friendship with the aunt who raised Sgt. Johnson and went to the press with her interpretation of a phone call placed to the aunt from President Trump.

In order to boost her own political profile with the public, Wilson not only vilified Four Star General Kelly after he told his own Gold Star Dad story to the White House Press Corps Thursday in response to Wilson's hideous interpretation of President Trump's phone call but she made it into a racial accusation. The ugly political left and their willing cohorts in the media were only too happy to take this accusation and run with it. Here are two examples, from Twitter, one from a Hillary Clinton mouthpiece and one from MSNBC: 



“Kelly isnt just an enabler of Trump. He's a believer in him. That makes him as odious as the rest. Dont be distracted by the uniform,” Hillary Clinton’s former spokesman and CNN contributor Brian Fallon tweeted.
“I am stunned by John Kelley's lies about a black woman who he called an 'empty barrel,'” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell tweeted.

These are the only two examples I'll leave here. The others from celebrities, leftists and the #NeverTrump (an ever shrinking) brigade are all over social media and are brutally nasty. Mind you, the general was relaying his own story and taking the press through the process of how the fallen are taken from the battlefield through their return to America. The left, never known for supporting the military, showed their true colors once again. Believe them all when they tell you who they are.

The congresswoman has a poor record voting in support of military veterans and on funding the military.
The measures that Wilson opposed included a bill that could have ensured that families of four soldiers slain in Afghanistan in 2013 received death and burial benefits. […]Despite Wilson's claim to be “committed to honoring our service members, not only with words but with deeds,” she has voted against most bills ensuring continued funding for veteran benefits, including payments to widows of fallen soldiers, the vote-tracking site shows.She has also opposed measures designed to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs.In March 2013, Wilson opposed the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act,” which prevented a government shutdown and provided funds for the U.S. military and the VA.The bill, which passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by the Obama administration, provided funding to the military and the VA until the next government shutdown showdown. […]Later in the year, Wilson again voted against a resolution aimed at ensuring benefits paid to the veterans and their families would not be affected by the government shutdown in October that year. […]The congresswoman also opposed numerous bills aimed at improving VA services provided the veterans and their families. (FoxNews.com)

The congresswoman claimed that General Kelly's use of the term "empty barrel" was a racist slur. Truth is, that phrase goes all the way back to Plato. 

For the left, it is all about identity and grievance politics, always. When the congresswoman first came to the U.S. House of Representatives, she was informed she would not be allowed to wear her hats on the floor. She called this a sexist rule, though it was put into place for men not to wear hats on the floor. Duh. It dates back to September 14, 1837. 

So, for the Florida congresswoman, it's all about the "isms". Perhaps a refresher history course is in order. Or, maybe just a few tips on simply using Google before lodging absurd, self-serving criticisms. 

President Trump called all four of the families. I wonder why this one phone call caused such a stir, don't you? Just kidding. We know.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Barack Obama Didn't Call General Kelly After Son Was Killed In Action


Thursday I watched the White House press  briefing and I saw an American hero emotionally walk the press corps through the process of transferring a fallen soldier from the battlefield to the delivery of the news to his or her family. His emotion was in check, to be sure, but he did tear up a bit as he spoke. I teared up as he spoke. He is a Gold Star Dad and the whole episode has caused him much pain. 




I now have Taking Chance on my to-watch list. 

What strikes me is the fact that General Kelly's Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, didn't make a phone call to him or his family to express his condolences in the loss of their son in Afghanistan. There are not so many four star generals and even less who become Gold Star Dads so I find it disturbing that so little personal attention was given to the loss. If we are to believe the narrative promoted from the political left that Obama respected the military so much and Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden were so attentive to the needs of military families, surely a phone call from Obama to General Kelly would be a normal action. But, it wasn't and it didn't happen. Apparently General Kelly did sit at Michelle Obama's table at a breakfast one time. 


"A White House official said Obama did not call Kelly after his son’s death but did not say whether the former president reached out in some other fashion. White House visitor records show Kelly attended a breakfast Obama hosted for Gold Star families six months after his son died. A person familiar with the breakfast — speaking on condition of anonymity because the event was private — said the Kelly family sat at Michelle Obama’s table.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

United Republicans of Harris County Invites Public to Event with RPT Chairman James Dickey



You Are Cordially Invited To A 
United Republicans' Meeting
With Special Guest

James Dickey,
Chairman,
Republican Party of Texas



TOPIC
"Update on the
Republican Party of Texas"

Plans for the 2018 Election Cycle

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
6:30 pm Coffee and Conversation
7:00-8:00 pm Program

 Trini Mendenhall Community Center
1414 Wirt Road
Houston, TX 77055
(Event and Parking are Free!)


*CLICK TO RSVP FOR THE EVENT 
PLEASE RSVP BY OCTOBER 7, 2017
Thank You

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Surviving Hurricane Harvey: Part Four - It Was The Reservoirs, Not the Storm That Flooded West Houston

Simply put, an area of west Houston was sacrificed in order to protect other subdivisions from even more dramatic flooding. These subdivisions, now flooded at devastating proportions, have no history of experiencing flooding. The Army Corps of Engineers released water from the Addicks and Barker Dams. This, we were told, was to allow room in the dams should more rain fall. Water in the reservoirs was released - controlled releases - to make room for future rain water. Buffalo Bayou needed relief, we were told. The result of this decision was unprecedented flooding in neighborhoods from near-in west Houston all the way to areas in Katy. To say this is tragic is not an exaggeration. 

Houston City Councilman Greg Travis, District G, has done an excellent job keeping residents informed of actions by the Corps of Engineers and the City of Houston. This explains what action was taken and the video link is a helpful way to understand how the water moved as it flooded the area.   



The storm of Hurricane Harvey didn't destroy us, it was the reservoirs after the storm that did that. Now, the mayor has approved the power to be cut off in homes and apartments that were flooded, on the heels of a mandatory evacuation order. This hampers the ability to allow some who wish to stay in their homes despite the water and protect their property. People who have dry homes are told their power will remain on but that isn't always the case. Councilman Travis, for example, said his home didn't flood but his power was cut. There is a number to call if this happens: 713-207-2222.

Some people from outside ask why Texans don't buy flood insurance. It is estimated that only 20% of those flooded out have flood insurance. In this case, it is because most of these homes are not on flood plains. The area has never flooded and homeowners weren't advised to buy flood insurance. My husband and I never bought flood insurance. We survived Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Ike without our home flooding.

I watched Mayor Sylvester Turner on some of the Sunday morning talk shows and he did a good job encouraging people to keep their plans - the City of Houston is open for business. He went on to say that "95% of the city is dry now." I understand what he was doing - it's his job to keep the city and its economy moving forward - but that is an exaggerated number. In my own case, my home remained dry and our power has stayed on. Our Internet and television was only out briefly - a matter of some 8 hours or so due to a truck crashing into a utility pole - so we are grateful beyond belief. But, the down side is that we are limited in our travel due to flooded streets all around us. Imagine an island surrounded by water - that is how we continue to live. The Corps of Engineers foresees reservoir releases for the next 10 days or so and flooded streets will remain while that continues. It's a waiting game. 

My former neighborhood still has large parts underwater. Remember when I wrote about moving to our current home last January? My husband was able to drive up to our former home this morning and spoke with the current owner. The house remained dry inside by the grace of about a 1/4 of an inch. That warmed my heart. We cling to the good stories because the bad ones are overwhelming. So many of my friends and acquaintances in 'my' part of town have lost homes and cars and much of their possessions. 

We will get through this. We are grateful. #HoustonStrong

Onward.





Sunday, September 03, 2017

Surviving Hurricane Harvey: Part Three - Goodness Abounds



The good far outweighs the bad in response to Hurricane Harvey and the recovery efforts in the aftermath. Texans helping Texans happens spontaneously. There is no such thing as sitting around and waiting for outside help around here. Volunteers from across the country have felt our pain and risen to the occasion. All of this revives hope for the human race.

Houston, know for its diversity, is the nation's fourth largest city and it is home to immigrants from literally any country you can think of. The greatest asset of this city, to me, is the glorious mix of people and cultures who all live together peacefully with a live and let live kind of attitude. You know all those riots in the streets of other large cities around America? That doesn't happen here. I don't know why but I think it has to do with the attitude of the city. We're simply not havin' that stuff. This isn't to say there aren't distinct differences in opinions and that conflict doesn't happen. There are problems here like other places. It is to say, though, the Texas spirit thrives in Houston. Immigrants to the city embrace it. Texans look out for each other - even those among us who are not here legally. As Congress continues to refuse to seriously tackle immigration reform, people are here in limbo, hurricane or not. One of the first announcements made by the mayor and the police chief was about those living here illegally - no one was in jeopardy of facing an ICE agent for simply seeking shelter and aid due to the storm. 

Only in America would a fund be established to help "undocumented" Houstonians during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The local ABC network affiliate's self-described "social media contributor" on Twitter actively promotes it.



One caption for this claims: "575,000+ undocumented immigrant families live in & surrounding suburbs. Many don't qualify for Gov aid." 575,000 undocumented in one American city. That is unheard of in any other spot in the world. Shame on national media in town asking local and state politicians - even Governor Abbott - about any pending DACA decision coming from President Trump. This should be an issue for Congress, not another executive order from the sitting president. Obama did it for political expediency. America's immigration system deserves, indeed demands, honest reform. Here is a good recap of a particularly shameless DACA discussion inserted into stories of Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

Remember the photograph of President Trump holding us the Texas flag during his first stop in Texas, during his first trip after Harvey struck? It was in Corpus Christi and a crowd of locals gathered as the president thanked first responders for their work. A teenage boy brought the flag to see the president and the Secret Service asked if he'd allow them to borrow it. He did. Marcos Garza asked for donations of water and baby wipes for his hometown and then said, "I think we should support the president during his run right now, because he kind of needs it." 

There are many ways to help all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. How about some retail therapy? Here is a list of retail outlets who are donating all or a portion of the proceeds of merchandise to recovery efforts. Remember when people unfamiliar with basic economics mocked former President G.W. Bush for telling America to go shopping after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks? Yeah. Well, patronizing retail outlets stimulates the economy and helps recovery efforts. Simple, right? 

After you do some shopping, you may want to go out for a bite to eat. Here is a list of some local establishments donating portions of receipts to hurricane recovery efforts.

The list of heroes during this horrible time is long and continues to grow. There are no words to measure the hard work and dedicated spirits shown by our first responders and the countless volunteer rescue workers. 

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote a good piece capturing the urgency of Congressional approval of federal dollars to be sent to Texas for recovery efforts. As happenstance would have it, Ms. Noonan was in San Antonio delivering a keynote address to a group of think tank types gathering for a convention. 

Recovery is beginning. As water recedes, people are able to go back to their homes and start the process of tossing out damaged possessions and repairing their homes. Streets are lined with the fruits of peoples labors and family heirlooms alike, not just soggy carpeting and moldy drywall. Streets in my part of town are still flooded due to reservoir releases so police secure the entrance to our development and once out on the street, it is difficult to maneuver around to something as necessary as an open grocery store.

This, too, shall pass. We will get through it. We are grateful.

Onward.