Sunday, November 27, 2011

What it means to be a Texan!

Folks, I must confess I do not know Bum Phillips personally.  This article was sent to me a year or so ago by perhaps my very best friend in the world, the owner of Seven Oaks Ranch, in Goliad, Texas, who knows Bum because they are neighbors and share some uniquely Texas past-times together riding cutting horses, cooking BBQ, and trail riding together with the Tejas Vaqueros.  Mr. Phillips essay below is a wonderful look at Texans and our beliefs, please enjoy.

Willie P

Dear Friends,

Last year, I wrote a small piece about what it means to me to be a Texan. My friends know it means about damned near everything. Anyway, this fella asked me to reprint what I'd wrote and I didn't have it. So I set out to think about rewriting something. I considered writing about all the great things I love about Texas. There are way too many things to list. I can't even begin to do it justice.

Lemme let you in on my short list.

It starts with The Window at Big Bend, which in and of itself is proof of God. It goes to Lake Sam Rayburn where my Granddad taught me more about life than fishin', and enough about fishin' to last a lifetime. I can talk about Tyler, and Longview, and Odessa and Cisco, and Abilene and Poteet and every place in between.

Every little part of Texas feels special. Every person who ever flew the Lone Star thinks of Bandera or Victoria or Manor or wherever they call "home" as the best little part of the best state.

So I got to thinkin' about it, and here's what I really want to say.

Last year, I talked about all the great places and great heroes who make Texas what it is. I talked about Willie and Waylon and Michael Dell and Michael DeBakey and my Dad and LBJ and Denton Cooley. I talked about everybody that came to mind. It took me sitting here tonight reading this stack of emails and thinkin' about where I've been and what I've done since the last time I wrote on this occasion to remind me what it is about Texas that is really great.

You see, this last month or so I finally went to Europe for the first time. I hadn't ever been, and didn't too much want to. But you know all my damned friends are always talking about "the time they went to Europe." So, I finally went. It was a hell of a trip to be sure. All they did when they saw me was say the same thing, before they'd ever met me. "Hey cowboy, we love Texas." I guess the hat tipped em off.

But let me tell you what, they all came up with a smile on their faces. You know why? They knew for damned sure that I was gonna be nice to em. They knew it 'cause they knew I was from Texas. They knew something that hadn't even hit me. They knew Texans, even though they'd never met one.

That's when it occurred to me. Do you know what is great about Texas? Do you know why when my friend Beverly and I were trekking across country to see 15 baseball games we got sick and had to come home after 8? Do you know why every time I cross the border I say, "Lord, please don't let me die in_____"? Do you know why children in Japan can look at a picture of the great State and know exactly what it is about the same time they can tell a rhombus from a trapezoid?

I can tell you that right quick. You.

The same spirit that made 186 men cross that line in the sand in San Antonio damned near 165 years ago is still in you today. Why else would my friend send me William Barrett Travis' plea for help in an email just a week ago, or why would Charles Stanfield ask me to reprint a Texas Independence column from a year ago? What would make my friend Elizabeth say "I don't know if I can marry a man who doesn't love Texas like I do?" Why in the hell are 1,000 people coming to my house this weekend to celebrate a holiday for what used to be a nation that is now a state?

Because the spirit that made that nation is the spirit that burned in every person who founded this great place we call Texas, and they passed it on through blood or sweat to every one of us.

You see, that spirit that made Texas what it is, is alive in all of us, even if we can't stand next to a cannon to prove it, and it's our responsibility to keep that fire burning. Every person who ever put a "Native Texan" or an "I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could" sticker on his car understands.

Anyone who ever hung a map of Texas on their wall or flew a Lone Star flag on their porch knows what I mean. My Dad's buddy Bill has an old saying. He says that some people were forged of a hotter fire. Well, that's what it is to be Texan. To be forged of a hotter fire. To know that part of Colorado was Texas. That part of New Mexico was Texas. That part of Oklahoma was Texas. Yep. Talk all you want. Part of what you got was what we gave you. To look at a picture of Idaho or Istanbul and say, "what the Hell is that?" when you know that anyone in Idaho or Istanbul who sees a picture of Texas knows damned good and well what it is. It isn't the shape, it isn't the state, it's the state of mind.

You're what makes Texas. The fact that you would take 15 minutes out of your day to read this, because that's what Texas means to you, that's what makes Texas what it is. The fact that when you see the guy in front of you litter you honk and think, "Sonofabitch. Littering on MY highway."

When was the last time you went to a person's house in New York and you saw a big map of New York on their wall? That was never. When did you ever drive through Oklahoma and see their flag waving on four businesses in a row? Can you even tell me what the flag in Louisiana looks like? I damned sure can't. But I bet my ass you can't drive 20 minutes from your house and not see a business that has a big Texas flag as part of its logo. If you haven't done business with someone called AllTex something or Lone Star somebody or other, or Texas such and such, you hadn't lived here for too long.

When you ask a man from New York what he is, he'll say a stockbroker, or an accountant, or an ad exec. When you ask a woman from California what she is, she'll tell you her last name or her major. Hell either of em might say "I'm a republican," or they might be a democrat. When you ask a Texan what they are, before they say, "I'm a Methodist," or "I'm a lawyer," or "I'm a Smith," they tell you they're a Texan.

I got nothin' against all those other places, and Lord knows they've probably got some fine folks, but in your gut you know it just like I do, Texas is just a little different.

So tomorrow when you drive down the road and you see a person broken down on the side of the road, stop and help. When you are in a bar in California, buy a Californian a drink and tell him it's for Texas Independence Day. Remind the person in the cube next to you that he wouldn't be here enjoying this if it weren't for Sam Houston, and if he or she doesn't know the story, tell them.

When William Barrett Travis wrote in 1836 that he would never surrender and he would have Victory or Death, what he was really saying was that he and his men were forged of a hotter fire. They weren't your average everyday men. Well, that is what it means to be a Texan. It meant it then, and that's why it means it today. It means just what all those people north of the Red River accuse us of thinking it means. It means there's no mountain that we can't climb. It means that we can swim the Gulf in the winter. It means that Earl Campbell ran harder and Houston is bigger and Dallas is richer and Alpine is hotter and Stevie Ray was smoother and God vacations in Texas. It means that come Hell or high water, when the chips are down and the Good Lord is watching, we're Texans by damned, and just like in 1836, that counts for something.

So for today at least, when your chance comes around, go out and prove it. It's true because we believe it's true. If you are sitting wondering what the Hell I'm talking about, this ain't for you. But if the first thing you are going to do when the Good Lord calls your number is find the men who sat in that tiny mission in San Antonio and shake their hands, then you're the reason I wrote this tonight, and this is for you.

So until next time you hear from me, God Bless, and Happy Texas Independence Day.

Penetrating Truth from 1965: The MainStream, Integrity Free TV Media has been Failing Us, since FOREVER

Sunday morning, 1st Sunday in Advent
November 27, 2011

If you think the Integrity Free Media (IFM) has fallen apart or become strictly leftist just in the last decade or so, think again. Here is the longstanding truth about the masters of television and the rest of us, the problem existing ab initio for you Latin fans.

This story serves as a penetrating example, with perfect clarity, that the East Coast elites have long and forever been what we all thought they were:  unresponsive, manipulative, anti-religious and completely inimical to majority American culture, out of synch with the cultural and religious majority of Americans--totally.

Yet these media elites have determined for six decades what we see on TV, how we are led by the tube to think about ourselves.

They fail us, they segment us and, most of all, they have exactly zilch understanding or respect for the bedrock "folks" of this country, those who live in what they contemptuously call Flyover Country as they jet from LA to NYC and back.

Read here the story of what they of the IFM thought would be of interest and commercial success back inf 1965.   Compare it to what you know.  Charles Schulz got it right.  The IFM got it wrong. Could it be that they get everything wrong?  Could it be their every input to the culture is diminishing to us all?

The problem with America's media leaders?   Same As It Ever Was.

Merry Christmas,
The Blue Austin Conservative


NOVEMBER 25, 2011 12:00 A.M.
The Gospel According to Peanuts
How A Charlie Brown Christmas almost didn’t happen

Few headlines about network television make me giddy. Fewer still make me hopeful that all is good in the world. But back in August of 2010, I read the following headline from the media pages with great excitement: “Charlie Brown Is Here to Stay: ABC Picks Up ‘Peanuts’ Specials Through 2015.” The first of these to be made, the famous Christmas special, was an instant classic when it was created by Charles Schulz on a shoestring budget back in 1965, and thanks to some smart television executives, it will be around for at least another five years for all of us to see and enjoy.
What people don’t know is that the Christmas special almost didn’t happen, because some not-so-smart television executives almost didn’t let it air. You see, Charles Schulz had some ideas that challenged the way of thinking of those executives 46 years ago, and one of them had to do with the inclusion in his Christmas cartoon of a reading from the King James Bible’s version of the Gospel of Luke.
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
As far back as 1965 — just a few years before Time magazine asked “Is God Dead?” — CBS executives thought a Bible reading might turn off a nation populated with Christians. And during a Christmas special, no less! Ah, the perils of living on an island in the northeast called Manhattan.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” was a groundbreaking program in so many ways, as we learned watching the great PBS American Masters series on Charles Schulz, known by his friends and colleagues as “Sparky.” It was based on the comic strip Peanuts, and was produced and directed by former Warner Brothers animator Bill Melendez, who also supplied the voice for Snoopy.
We learned in that PBS special that the cartoon happened by mere serendipity.
“We got a call from Coca-Cola,” remembered Melendez. “And they said, ‘Have you and Mr. Schulz ever considered doing a Christmas show with the characters?’ and I immediately said ‘Yes.’ And it was Wednesday and they said, ‘If you can send us an outline by Monday, we might be interested in it.’ So I called Sparky on the phone and told him I’d just sold ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ and he said, ‘What’s that?’ and I said, ‘It’s something you’ve got to write tomorrow.’”
We learned in that American Masters series that Schulz had some ideas of his own for the Christmas special, ideas that didn’t make the network suits very happy. First and foremost, there was no laugh track, something unimaginable in that era of television. Schulz thought that the audience should be able to enjoy the show at its own pace, without being cued when to laugh. CBS created a version of the show with a laugh track added, just in case Schulz changed his mind. Luckily, he didn’t.
The second big battle was waged over voiceovers. The network executives were not happy that the Schulz’s team had chosen to use children to do the voice acting, rather than employing adults. Indeed, in this remarkable world created by Charles Schulz, we never hear the voice of an adult.
The executives also had a problem with the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. They thought the music would not work well for a children’s program, and that it distracted from the general tone. They wanted something more . . . well . . . young.
Last but not least, the executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke. The network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Bible.
There was a standoff of sorts, but Schulz did not back down, and because of the tight production schedule and CBS’s prior promotion, the network executives aired the special as Schulz intended it. But they were certain they had a flop on their hands.
“They were freaking out about something so overtly religious in a Christmas special,” explained Melendez. “They basically wrote it off, like, hey, this is just isn’t going to be interesting to anyone, and it’s just going to be like a big tax write-off.”
Melendez himself was somewhat hesitant about the reading from Luke. “I was leery of the religion that came into it, and I was right away opposed to it. But Sparky just assumed what he had to say was important to somebody.”
Which is why Charles Schulz was Charles Schulz. He knew that the Luke reading by Linus was the heart and soul of the story.
As Charlie Brown sinks into a state of despair trying to find the true meaning of Christmas, Linus quietly saves the day. He walks to center of the stage where the Peanuts characters have gathered, and under a narrow spotlight, quotes the second chapter of the Gospel According to Luke, verses 8 through 14: 
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.
“ . . . And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown,” Linus concluded.
The scene lasted 51 seconds. When Linus finished up, Charlie Brown realized he did not have to let commercialism ruin his Christmas. With a sense of inspiration and purpose, he picked up his fragile tree and walked out of the auditorium, intending to take it home to decorate and show all who cared to see how it would work in the school play.
When CBS executives saw the final product, they were horrified. They believed the special would be a complete flop. CBS programmers were equally pessimistic, informing the production team, “We will, of course, air it next week, but I’m afraid we won’t be ordering any more.”
The half-hour special aired on Thursday, December 9, 1965, preempting The Munsters and followingGilligan’s Island. To the surprise of the executives, 50 percent of the televisions in the United States tuned in to the first broadcast. The cartoon was a critical and commercial hit; it won an Emmy and a Peabody award.
Linus’s recitation was hailed by critic Harriet Van Horne of the New York World-Telegram, who wrote, “Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.”
A Charlie Brown Christmas is equaled only perhaps by the 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in its popularity among young and old alike. Thank God the Grinch-like executives at CBS chose to air the special back in 1965 despite their misgivings. If it had been left to their gut instincts, we would have had one less national treasure to cherish come Christmas time.
— Lee Habeeb is the vice president of content at Salem Radio Network, which syndicates Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt. He lives in Oxford, Miss., with his wife, Valerie, and daughter Reagan.

What is The Secret to Success?

Perseverance - to persist in pursuing something in spite of obstacles or opposition
-Webster’s Dictionary

What is The Secret to Success?

I will tell you that perseverance is the key ingredient to achieving your goals. As far as I am concerned, perseverance is more important than brains, talent or money.  Story after story illustrates how those with perseverance achieved success while others with more money, more talent and more intelligence stopped just short of success.  There is an old story about a young man who went to California during the gold rush days, took all his money and began digging a gold mine.  He hit a vein of gold and was sure he was set, but soon, the vein played out.  The young man continued to dig the mine but there simply was no gold left, or so he thought.  Rather than loose everything he had, the young man decided to play it safe, and sell his mine to an older prospector for enough money to recover his losses and allow him to return back to the East.  The old prospector began diligently digging in the mine he purchased from the young man.  He dug just three feet further when he hit the main vein of gold.  The mine became one of the most prosperous mines in California and the old prospector become one of the wealthiest men in America during the latter half of the 1800’s.   Had the young miner held on, persevered for just three more feet, he would have become rich beyond his wildest dreams. 

When you try to achieve something you are guaranteed to have obstacles that get in your way.  The more experience you have the easier it is for you to deal with the obstacles and thus people begin to think you posses special skills or talents. But what is really happening is that your experiences, gained because you persevered, are giving you confidence to overcome bigger and more complex obstacles as they get in your way.  And the bigger your dream the bigger the obstacles you will have to overcome.  That is a fact of life. 

To overcome obstacles you must persevere.  As you continue to grow and consistently work through life’s challenges you will notice a pattern as you work through challenges and move on to success.  This pattern is known as the Success Threshold and the graph below illustrates the pattern:

What always happens as you try to accomplish new goals is the difficulty level constantly increases as the process continues. Just before the new level of success is accomplished, the difficulty level does two things, it peaks and then it levels off and sustains for some period of time.

The difficulty level will peak to a nearly an unbearable level, and then sustain.  Think about your life as you have grown from a kid to where you are now.  I noticed this in college.  As I began to take new courses I had never been exposed to, it felt as if I would never master the subject, I was mad, frustrated and ready to quit, but because I was in college and needed the courses I couldn’t quit, so I persevered and all of a sudden, “bam” everything seemed to click together and things got easier and easier in that class.  This happens all your life, with practically every new challenge you face, but until you have enough experience or someone points the pattern out to you, you don’t really realize that it is a repeatable cycle.

The problem is that although this is definitely a repeatable cycle, it is not scientifically defined so there is no way to tell exactly when the peak will hit or how long the sustained level of difficulty will remain.  And sadly, most people interpret the sustained level of difficulty as an impossible barrier and quit, perhaps only moments from reaching their goal or achieving their dream.  But people who are committed to their goals and who understand the cycle learn to look for the pattern.  When they feel the difficulty leveling off and sustaining, they summon up a second wind, they push harder, they hang on longer, and they keep moving forward.  They simply know that a breakthrough will occur.

How can this apply to your life?

Remember the Success Threshold!  Never quit, and when you think you just can't bare to continue, realize you are most likely about to accomplish success, and just keep pressing forward. 

Develop the talent and skills you need to accomplish your goals.  In addition to perseverance you do have to have some talent, some vision, some goal, some training and some skills to be successful.  But I am here to tell you that the people who achieve the highest levels of success are not those with the most talent, the most skills, or even the best vision.  The ones who achieve their goals and realize their dreams are the ones that simply fail to quit.  They persevere, they hang on, they keep moving in the direction of their goals and dreams, even when most of those around them are saying them to “give it up”, “get real”, “can’t you just be happy with what you have?”  Their struggles, their little successes along the way, their recovery from failures, helped them develop a confidence that few around them have and even fewer understand.

Persevere and success will come!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Free Stuff Is Never Free!


The folks who are getting the free stuff don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff  can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff. And, the folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop.

And the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting! Now...  the people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

So... the people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff and giving them the free stuff in the first place. We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

It is simply common sense folks, failure to change this situation will spell the end of the
United States as we know it.

Keep this in mind in 2012 when you vote!  

Willie P

Deficit Spending in Simple Terms

A friend sent me this a month or so ago, I love it when complex things are simplified so that we can all understand.
The lunacy of the Congress’ inability to understand economics is, in my opinion, the largest threat to the US in the last 20 years.
The current US Budget (although officially our current President hasn’t submitted a budget) is a mess:
•Income to the U.S. Treasury: $2,170,000,000,000 ($2,170 Trillion)
• The Money Congress spends each year $3,820,000,000,000 ($3.820 Trillion)
• The yearly deficit (money we don’t have) is $1,650,000,000,000 ($1.650 Trillion) So we have to find a friendly banker to loan us the money, so let’s just assume for the sake of simplicity that we have a really high limit Visa card that we use to get the additional cash advance each year to pay for all that extra stuff.
• The problem is that the National Visa Card already has a balance due of about $15,000,000,000,000 ($15 Trillion) since we have been overspending for a very long time. But hey we have good credit so adding another $1.65 Trillion to the bill is not a problem.
• Our brilliant President and Congress decided, that the country should really cut its spending, so they formed a Super Committee to figure out how they could cut $120,000,000,000. Of course the Super Committee couldn’t figure this out, it was just too hard for them to make such a large cut. And $120,000,000,000 ($120 Billion) is a lot of money but to put this in the perspective that all of us could better understand, let’s remove 8 zeros from each number and pretend it's a household budget.
• Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Outstanding balance on credit card: $150,000
• Total budget cuts: $1200
Just how long can any family that you know of continue this irrational financial management? Can the USA be far from financial collapse if we do not get our spending under control? You be the judge, and vote accordingly!
Willie P

Deficit Commission Failure

Are you kidding me?

The Congressional Super Committee to address the Federal Government's uncontrolled spending spree or your and my money couldn't find a way to cut $120 billion a year over the next ten years out of a Federal Spending budget of $3,500 billion. $120 billion is less than 3.5% in cuts. Is there anyone in the world who believes that the government could not cut it's budget by a measley 3.5%?

Additionally our Ruling Elite elected officials that "we the people elected" currently spend $1,200 billion more than we take in in revenue. We borrow the rest or we extract it by force from the tax payers. So even if our Super Committee of the Ruling Elite had somehow found $120 billion cuts to make, that would have meant that we were still spending over $1,080 Billion more than we take in each year.

Could you run your household by spending 30% more than you make each year? So why should "we the people" allow those we elected to run our country continue to destroy the country each year by their irresponsible fiscal policy?

And BTW the Super Committee never had a goal of actually reducing spending, their goal was to simply slow the rate of spending by $120 billion a year but they couldn't even agree on that.

So I say what the Super Committee members should have done when they announced their failure, was to submit their resignations from Congress effective immediately. We should demand that kind of accountability from those we hire and pay extremely well each year to represent OUR interest.

But I am just an old country boy from small town America, and I could be wrong!

Willie P