Author Archives: Gary P Jackson

About Gary P Jackson

Gary P Jackson is editor and publisher of A Time For Choosing as well as a contributor to They Cypress Times, SarahNet, The Sarah Palin Information Blog, and other conservative sites. A Time For Choosing is a website based on solid Ronald Reagan/Sarah Palin conservatism. We give no apologies, and accept no substitutes. This website is named after Ronald Reagan's iconic 1964 speech at the Republican National Convention of the same name. Although, A Time For Choosing is the speech's official title, it is so iconic, so well known, and so highly quoted, it is simply known as "The Speech." It's time for all Americans to choose the nation they wish to live in. do they want to continue to live in a free nation and retain their God given liberties, or do they want to allow someone to take it all away? Do Americans want a nation where they can live their lives as they see fit, or do they want a totalitarian, oppressive government? It is a time for choosing.

CPAC-American Encore-Twitter Straw Poll: Sarah Palin 58%, Ted Cruz 21%, Scott Walker 13%

Sarah Palin in Western Wear Reflective Pose

By Gary P Jackson

With the start of CPAC, an online CPAC-American Encore-Twitter straw poll went live. Over the course of the event voters were given a list of 16 candidates to choose from. The way the poll worked is every time someone hit the link to tweet support for their choice for President in 2016, a vote was counted. The tweet included the hashtag CPAC2015 along with the candidate’s name.

The top results from the straw poll are as follows:

Sarah Palin 58%

Ted Cruz 21%

Scott Walker 13%

Rand Paul 8%

As with any straw poll, this is NOT scientific, and merely reflects the sentiments of those who took time to vote. [just like the live in-person vote that took place at CPAC]

A very strong and consistent showing for Governor Palin in this poll, which was live well before she had given her outstanding speech. We don’t know if Governor Palin will actually run in 2016. She has not ruled it out. And as her show on the Sportsman Channel is still in first run, don’t look for anything until the Summer, after the new season wraps, at the earliest.

Follow American Encore on Twitter.

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God Bless Texas!

Texas Independence

Since you have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me, you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas! ~ United States Congressman David Crockett at a farewell party after loosing his re-election to Adam Huntsman, a Tennessee lawyer with a wooden leg.

By Gary P Jackson

On March 2, 1836 General Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna, the maniacal ruler of Mexico, learned the true meaning of the phrase “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

With tensions between Texians and the Mexican government at an all time high, the first engagement in the Texas Revolution took place on October 2, 1835, when Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops in Texas, sent a detachment of 100 dragoons, led by Francisco de Castañeda, to the City of Gonzales to retrieve an old [and rather outdated] cannon once left by the military so the townsfolk could defend themselves from Indian attacks. On September 10, 1835 a Mexican soldier had bludgeoned a Gonzales resident, which led to widespread outrage and public protests. Mexican authorities felt it unwise to leave the settlers with such a weapon.

The Mexican Government had previously sent folks to ask the people of Gozales to hand over the cannon, claiming the government meant no harm to them, and only wanted to retrieve the cannon. [sound familiar?] The Texians weren’t buying it!

As news of the approaching Mexican army’s imminent arrival reached Gonzales, residents sent out word to neighboring towns and villages. 140 Texians came to their aid. In the absence of cannon balls, the volunteers gathered up scraps of metal to fire at the Mexicans. James C. Neill, who had served in an artillery company during the War of 1812, was given command of the cannon, which had been mounted on a makeshift cart. He gathered several men, including Almaron Dickinson, together to form the first artillery company of Texians. A local Methodist minister, W. P. Smith, blessed their activities in a sermon which made frequent reference to the American Revolution.

Texian militias generally elected their own leaders. John Henry Moore of Fayette was the leader of the Texians in Gonzales.

The actual battle was somewhat a comedy of errors. The Mexican army had camped outside town, on October 1st. So the Texans took the battle to them. Around 3 am, a dog in the Mexican camp started barking, alerting the troops, who began firing. The noise from the gunfire spooked one of the Texian’s horses, who threw the rider, giving him a bloody nose! Moore and his men hid amongst the thick trees until dawn. It was reported that some, while they waited, raided a local watermelon patch, for a light breakfast!

As dawn approached, there was a thick fog rolling in. The Mexican soldiers knew they were surrounded, but had no idea by how many men, so they withdrew to a nearby bluff. The Texians came out of the trees and started firing. Lieutenant Gregorio Pérez counterattacked with 40 mounted soldiers. As the Texians fell back into the trees, under the cover of fog, they kept firing, hitting and injuring a Mexican private. It’s been said the old cannon fell out of the wagon it was being hauled in, as it was fired! Unable to maneuver among the trees, Pérez withdrew.

As the fog lifted, the Mexicans attempted a negotiation, again stating all they wanted was the cannon. After some back and forth, Moore met with Castañeda, and told him, in no uncertain terms, they did NOT recognize the rogue government of Santa Anna [the Barack Obama of his time, who had all but tore up Mexico’s constitution, in favor of “ executive orders” from on high.] Moore stated he and his Texians remained faithful the The Mexican Constitution of 1824! It was then Castañeda revealed that he shared their “federalist” leanings, but that he was honor-bound to follow orders.

As Moore returned to camp, the Texians raised a homemade white banner with an image of the cannon painted in black in the center, over the words “Come and Take It

gonzales.jpeg

A replica of the original Battle of Gonzales Flag

Texians then fired the old cannon at the Mexican camp. Realizing that he was outnumbered and outgunned, Castañeda led his troops back to San Antonio de Béxar. The troops were gone before the Texians finished reloading! In his report to Ugartechea, Castañeda wrote “since the orders from your Lordship were for me to withdraw without compromising the honor of Mexican arms, I did so“.

During the battle two Mexican soldiers were killed. The only casualty among the Texians was the bloody nose suffered by the fellow thrown from his horse!

The die was cast, and the battle for Texas Independence began in earnest.

The major hostilities came to a head in San Antonio de Béxar, at an old, never completed mission, known as The Alamo. Not much in the way of strategic significance, The Alamo was, however, the best armored fortress west of the Mississippi, with numerous cannon.

We all know the story of the 13 day siege of The Alamo that began on February 23, 1836, when Santa Anna arrived with 3000 of his elite troops. What you may not know, is on the eighth day, a group of 32 Texian volunteers arrived from Gonzales, reportedly with their old cannon in tow! Neither they nor anyone else would survive, as Santa Anna ordered the slaughter of all defenders of The Alamo. Accounts vary, with some saying everyone died in battle, and others saying some, including David Crockett survived, only to be executed.

Either way, unable to relieve his fellow Texians, General Sam Houston made demands of the provisional Texas government, including being made Commander-in-Chief of all Texas armies, militia and volunteer. First and foremost though, Houston demanded that Independence be formally declared with a document that could be recognized world wide. Remember, all of these Texians were American immigrants, all with an understanding [and inspiration] of the American Revolution. Though it should be noted, a large number of Mexicans, who had also settled Texas, were equally angered by Santa Anna’s “shredding” of their constitution, and eagerly joined the Anglos in the fight for Liberty and Freedom.

Texas Independence was thus Declared on March 2, 1836.

History Tells us Sam Houston headed east, toward what is now the City of Houston. He used this strategic retreat to build and train his army. He also knew by retreating, he would lure Santa Anna into battle, a battle he could not win. The Battle of San Jacinto took place on April 21, 1836. In a surprise attack, Sam Houston’s army went after the Mexican army with a vengeance seldom seen in battle. Shouting “Remember the Alamo” it took the Texians eighteen minutes to soundly defeat Santa Anna’s elite Mexican army.

The_Battle_of_San_Jacinto_(1895)

Henry Arthur McArdle’s 1895 painting, The Battle of San Jacinto

During the battle, Santa Anna, the self styled “Napoleon of the West” ran like a coward. He was later found, dressed as a common soldier, among captured troops. He was found out when the troops started whispering [and pointing] “el Presidente.” As one can imagine, after the murders of their fellow Texians at The Alamo, few were in a hospitable mood towards Santa Anna! They wanted to execute him on the spot. General Houston, however, knew that wouldn’t attain the goal of Texas Independence, and instead, traded Santa Anna his life back, for Texas. Though hostilities between Mexico and Texas would continue for nearly 100 years [some say we are STILL at war with Mexico, including yours truly … though it’s more of a cold war now ….] they were of little consequences, and The Republic of Texas was born.

g-harvey Texas Independence

Texas Independence a painting by G. Harvey

Texans have a strong Independent streak born of hard fought Freedom. From the blood of patriots and tyrants alike. We are born with this Independence, it is ingrained in our very soul. Texas is the promised land.

Excepted from a Certificate signed by Texas State Representative James T. Cox and handed to my mother and father on the occasion of my birth, and kept, along with my original Certificate of Birth:

To all whom these Presents shall come

this Document shall forever Certify that into The Citizenship of Texas

Gary Preston Jackson

with the full heritage of hardwon freedom, with the fine tradition of noble service and with the firm belief in greater progress, was born. A new Texan destined to take a place beside the heroes of peace and war.

In the year A.D. 1959

We Texans take or Freedom and our heritage seriously.

God Bless Texas.

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Video: Governor Sarah Palin Reprises Her Commander-in-Chief Role, Honors Veterans at CPAC2015

Governor Sarah Palin at CPAC 2015

By Gary P Jackson

Introduced by Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, Governor Sarah Palin gave a powerful speech in support of our nation’s military. Alaska’s former Commander-in-Chief spoke, not as a politician, but as the proud mother of a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Governor Palin talks about the horrific treatment our veterans suffer at the hands of the federal government, and what must be done to fix things. She talks about the need to put our veterans “first in line” when it comes to health care benefits and other services, and notes illegal aliens receive far better, more preferential treatment.

The Governor also talks about the need for better opportunities for veterans returning to civilian life, and the absurdity of having to go to school to “get a piece of paper” to certify they know how to do a job they were already well trained for in the military. After all, one of the military’s selling points is you can learn skills that translate to jobs in the civilian world! [Which is true]

Almost every sentence is quotable, so instead of boring you …. here’s her full speech, courtesy of of our friends at SarahNet:

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Governor Palin, who got many standing ovations, was the one speaker folks wouldn’t let leave the stage without getting a handshake from and the obligatory selfie with!

Like this one from Keira Lyn:

and this one:

Seen.com has a collection of tweets about and user generated images of Governor Palin here.

BTW, since the “legitimate media” seems to focus on what Governor Palin wears as much, or more than what she says, let me just say what a great outfit she had on. Loved the skirt and the shoes! That would be a great outfit to have her official White House photo made in!

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“Irrelevant” Sarah Palin Steals the Headlines at SNL’s 40th Anniversary Bash

Politics is downstream from pop culture.

~ Andrew Breitbart

Sarah Palin definitely gets pop culture. She has a transcendent pop culture factor.

~ Andrew Breitbart

By Gary P Jackson

On Sunday night Lorne Michaels and his team put on an excellent tribute to 40 years of Saturday Night Live. It was a well done stroll down memory lane, and the entire cast deserves accolades. That said, it’s the little hockey mom from Wasilla, Alaska who grabbed all the headlines.

From the dress she wore on the red carpet [and who may have worn it before] to who she was seen with: Alec Baldwin, Al Sharpton, and Taylor Swift; to her skit with Jerry Seinfeld, tongues are wagging and the media is spinning.

First the dress! Governor Palin, who turned 51 a couple of days ago, was absolutely stunning in her white dress and trademark Kawasaki glasses.

sarah-palin-shows-some-skin-in-short-dress-at-snl-40

Sarah Palin SNL 40 1

Sarah Palin SNL 40 2

What had lips flappin’ though, is the dress is the same one Bristol Palin wore to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2011.

While the lamestream media was doing it’s thing, haters gotta hate, Michelle Malkin and others noted women often share clothes with their daughters.

In the real world, women wear dresses more than once! Shocker, I know.

This is where I feel obligated to remind readers that, as Governor, one of the first things Palin did was get rid of the Executive Chef at the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau, looking to save the state money, while saying she didn’t want to “spoil” her kids. She also famously put the jet Governor Murkowski bought on eBay. [later selling it through a broker, when eBay created the buzz, but no buyer] A jet that worked well when Murkowski wanted to go live it up with his cronies in Washington, but useless for traveling in most of Alaska, a state that has more pilots per-capita than any other state, but with most airfields considered primitive, at best, and unsuitable for jet use.

As most know, with Juneau, the state capitol, being so remote and inaccessible, much of the state’s business is done in Anchorage, and there is a Governor’s office there. When working out of Anchorage, Governor Palin would drive herself to work, a sixty mile trip, one way, in her own car, without a security detail. Governor Palin cut spending in her office by a cool million dollars annually vs the previous two governors; Republican Frank Murkowski and democrat Tony Knowels. Borrowing Bristol’s dress, rather than spending money on a new one, is typical of Governor Palin’s fiscal ethics, and just another reason millions would support her if she runs for President.

Others have more to say about this:

And of course ….

Me too!

Governor Palin showed up on the red carpet with Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria in tow.

You gotta love it when Sarah tells Baldwin she still loves his brother even more! As the story goes, Palin and Baldwin actually hit it off when she appeared on SNL in 2008. Like Lorne Michaels, Baldwin was said to be impressed with Palin, the person. Something most people who meet Palin, even those who disagree with her politics, have said.

One of the bits during the show included a question and answer session with Jerry Seinfeld. This is a bit that was popular on SNL years ago. Governor Palin stood up to ask a question, and Seinfeld pretended to confuse her with Tina Fey. Palin corrects Seinfeld, then asks how much Lorne [Michaels] would pay her to run for president in 2016, a nod to how much mileage Tina Fey got out of portraying the Governor. The whole bit is hilarious, Palin’s part is at the end:

The media made a big deal about who the Governor sat with in the audience, Taylor Swift …. who was seated next to Steven Spielberg. Our friends a Twitchy said it best: 2 women who know how to Shake It Off

Then there was this:

Of course, noted tax cheat and race bater Sharpton tweeted:

…. and, while Governor Palin showed nothing but class, Rev Al tweeted this:

Many responded to Sharpton’s tweet by reminding the racist pig to pay his taxes! [He owes some $4.5 MILLION in back taxes -local, state, and federal]

I find it interesting how much heat a supposedly “irrelevant” woman can bring!

The great Andrew Breitbart often said politics were simply downstream of pop culture. He knew the only way to win the culture wars, as well as the political wars, was to be among them. To take part, instead of just set back and bitch about it. He also noted Governor Palin was one of the few that “got it,” having high praise for her ability to connect with people using pop culture.

I think this tweet from Stephen Miller says it all:

The entire show was great, but as usual, it’s Sarah Palin who garnered the lion’s share of the attention.

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Ratings Gold: Governor Sarah Palin Joins SNL’s 40Th Anniversary TV Special on Sunday

sarah-palin-SNL 2008

Sarah Palin and Lorne Michaels on SNL in 2008
Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

By Gary P Jackson

In 2008 Governor Palin hosted Saturday Night Live, which netted the show it’s best ratings in 17 years, so it’s no surprise Lorne Michaels asked her to return for this 40th anniversary special. SNL is hoping for big numbers and has basically taken over VH1 Classic which has been showing nothing but past episodes, 24/7, all month.

From People Magazine:

Live from New York, it’s … Sarah Palin!

Saturday Night Live’s one-woman ratings bonanza, Sarah Palin will participate in the show’s 40th anniversary special, a political source tells PEOPLE.

SNL producer Lorne Michaels invited Palin to return to the show and the former Alaska governor accepted, a source close to Palin confirms.

Palin, the Republican VP candidate who was regularly spoofed on the show by spot-on comic doppelgänger Tina Fey during – and after – the 2008 presidential race, showed she was a good sport by appearing on the show herself two weeks before Election Day that year.

No hard feelings since then? You betcha!

PEOPLE hears that Palin will return to SNL’s 30 Rock studios bearing gifts – three “Alaska Grown” hoodie sweatshirts for Fey and her two little girls.

SNL’s 40th anniversary special airs Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC

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Multiple Standing Ovations For Governor Sarah Palin at Houston Energy Summit

Sarah Palin new glasses

Before Sarah Palin was Governor of Alaska [and after she was term limited out as Mayor of Wasilla] she was Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. One of the most powerful jobs in Alaska, and the oil and gas industry as a whole.

Once elected Governor, Palin was then elected Chairman of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, which comprises all of the oil and gas producing states in America. The National Governors Association, comprised of Governors from all 50 states elected Palin as Chairman of their Natural Resources Commission.

Palin is a recognized expert on oil and gas production and has been involved in exploration and developing best practices and ethics for the industry.

She is quite famous for taking on Big Oil, numerous times. So much so, industry insiders wrote the best seller Sarah Takes On Big Oil which is still available through Amazon.

By Gary P Jackson

Governor Palin headlined the Decision’s Maker’s Breakfast at the North American Prospect Expo in Houston on Thursday. She was greeted by a standing ovation and left to one as well. “It’s always a pleasure to be back in Alaska’s sister state Texas.” Palin told the excited audience.

When asked, she still isn’t ruling out a presidential run in 2016. Many in the media are ridiculing her for not committing, never mind most so-called hopefuls haven’t either. Here’s the thing. Governor Palin still has her TV show on The Sportsman Channel and new episodes, already filmed, are still airing. Once she declares, The Sportsman Channel will be forced to discontinue airing episodes. There are only a handful of episodes left that haven’t aired. I have no idea whether Palin will, or will not run. I do know there is absolutely no hurry for her to declare, especially when basically no one else has, yet. We all know the rules seem to be different for Governor Palin, but come on!

We have some excepts from Governor Palin’s speech, sourced from several reports. Her speech included a moderated question and answer session. [Which will be reflected by highlighting questions asked]

Energy is my baby. I absolutely love it. It’s the theme that I miss most about my governing responsibilities. Being able to help spur investment and exploration and development and, you know, responsibly extracting that most valuable resource we have in Alaska and so many other places. And being able to feed and fuel our great nation with what God has created for man’s responsible use.”

My husband Todd started off with BP on the North Slope of Alaska. We raised our kids with that North Slope lifestyle. Thank you so much for paying my bills for many years.

About Obama asking Congress to designate parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as a wilderness area, although he will look into opening the Atlantic coast to oil and gas exploration:That’s a bogus exchange. The Atlantic potential out there has already been tried. … Picture a football field — that’s ANWR — and a postage stamp. That’s the size of what we need to explore.

Not to mention the fact offshore drilling has major environmental risks not found when drilling on land! ~ Gary

Concerning slumping oil prices and job cuts:Now is the time to start planning for more drilling, for more production. With downturned prices like this, it gives y’all a chance to sort of catch a breath, right, and plan for the future. We can look at it as the glass half empty or half full. Of course, the half empty part is the job losses. From a humanitarian standpoint, it’s sad to see people threatened with their employment. But, on the other hand, these low oil prices can actually really help spur our economy and, ultimately, help the industry.

Right now low oil prices are helping to spur our economy, though they are hurting the oil and gas industry. Now is the time to plan for more drilling and more production. It’s a time to catch your breath and plan for the future.

Can government do anything to help the industry at this time?Usually government just gets in the way, and is so much of the problem in our economy. But right now government can spur more production by lifting the export ban.

But instead of common sense moves like that, the administration is hurting the industry by blocking Keystone XL, by pursuing land grab in Alaska. By enabling an EPA guilty of vast regulatory overreach. The punative aspect of it is to really stick it to the American people.

The president is not for American energy independence. If he were he wouldn’t be trying to lock up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. That’s 20 million more acres he wants to lock up from development.

All we need to explore and develop ANWR is a 2,000 acre swath. Alaska is 400 million acres when you consider our water and land. A postage stamp in the middle of a football field. That’s all the land we need to develop.

As for the Keystone XL pipline:It’s a no-brainer. It’s basic infrastructure. We have millions of mile of pipe streaming across this country. It’s the safest way to transport friendly fuel. It’s a shame [President Obama] has taken off the possibilities for America and for Canada to transport this fuel. It will get to market somehow.

Currently the oil in question is being transported by rail. There have been numerous spills due to derailments. NOT having the Keystone Pipeline is an environmental disaster. With the pipelines, spills are virtually none existent. Conspiracy theories have sprouted due to the fact the railroad used is owned by one of Obama’s top cronies, Warren Buffet. In public Buffet has said he is for the pipeline, even though it would hurt his bottom line. ~ Gary

The administration is not understanding the inherent link between energy and security and energy and prosperity. He’s rewarding the environmentalists who are extreme in saying there would be environmental harm in developing ANWR. They worry about the impact on the moose and caribou. Well we’ve had the Trans-Alaska Pipeline for decades, and that pipeline has not been adverse at all.

On the contrary, “the animals like the warmth that the pipeline gives off. “The animals mate under the pipeline. I haven’t actually seen it but that’s what I’m told. If oil and gas development is risky to wildlife, if it is to hurt one caribou, then that one caribou should take one for the team and allow the rest of the country to benefit.

sarah-palin-alaska-pipeline

Governor Sarah Palin and her team in front of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

Speaker John Boehner, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, they took the time to fly up to Alaska and actually visit ANWR. The president has never been up there. Politicians need to take the time to see for themselves what they’re voting on.

I can’t wait for 2016. That election I can see from my house. I hope for a GOP candidate who understands energy and understands infrastructure.

Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat candidate because she has the money. After her, it’s a shallow bench.”

Is there any chance a dark horse could emerge to challenge her?Not really, because of the money. Hillary Clinton will seize the opportunity to collect those funds. Hillary is it.

As for Vice President Joe Biden?He’s been in politics long enough to have voted against the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

Palin says the field of GOP candidates representa deep bench.”

Common sense conservatives — we’re going to have our hands full.

Is Sarah Palin considering a run?I’m so sorry you asked that. It’s just too early. But a lot can change.”

Can we win?I don’t underestimate the wisdom of the people. Enough is enough for this hopey changey stuff that didn’t work.” America needs common sense. America needs to reclaim exceptionalism.

Candidate Obama promised to fundamentally transform America. But we don’t need that. We need to restore what’s great about America.

On the topic of international relations:

It’s been said that Saudi Arabia has recently been trying to seek back bigger market share. To penalize the shale players. And that the U.S. is going along with it to extract penalties against Putin and Iran.

But a side effect is that the U.S. is becoming more of the global oil swing player. The Saudis are basically allowing America to take over the decide on production levels and the market.

With so much of the world oil supply dominated by OPEC and Saudi Arabia, it’s just such a shame that we are so enormously under the influence of foreign countries.

We want to get out from under that. That’s why I support things like Keystone and fracking and horizontal drilling.

America should have the ultimate goal of being really energy independent, instead of going over to Saudi Arabia and bowing before the king. We don’t want to have to rely on what’s going on over there.

It’s tough to imagine that the Middle East can get even worse than it is, when you consider the evil. The terrorists spreading out across the globe. America losing its position of strength.

But it will get worse.

The Saudis will try to get rid of competition, which includes America.

Russia will be a problem as well.Putin is like a wounded bear. Very unpredictable. He still has the KGB in him. He bullies his neighbors.

There’s reports out there that billionaire Russians out there are helping to fund some U.S. environmental groups that oppose fracking and basic developments here so that the public will want to ratchet down production. That would bolster the position of the Saudis. The Russians. These dollars coming into environmental groups. I would like to find out whether that’s true.

America has to stand up to all this. It’s a psychological, emotional type thing. Our young people are losing the sense of what it means to be America. The Constitution, freedoms. What we will do on our lands. How we will responsibly develop God-given resources for our use. The founding fathers created a blueprint to allow us to be exceptional. We are exceptional.

Freedom isn’t free. You have to fight for it. That’s why I support the U.S. military. They are America’s true heroes.

Thanks to Michelle McCormick for her hard work and contributions.

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Governor Sarah Palin: Why “Drill Baby, Drill” was Right

Sarah Palin CPAC 2014

By Gary P Jackson

This op-ed by Governor Palin originally appeared in the Texas Tribune and she posted a note on Facebook :

It’s always a pleasure returning to the beautiful Lone Star State. This week I’m in Houston speaking with the industrious men and women of America’s oil patch at the North American Prospect Expo. These are the unsung heroes of our nation’s energy renaissance.

In the brutal economic environment of the last six years, one sector had good news to report, and it came straight out of America’s oil patch. From 2007 to 2012, employment in the energy industry rose a dramatic 31.6 percent while employment nationwide fell 2.7 percent. U.S. oil production increased from 6.5 million barrels per day in 2012 to 7.4 million barrels per day in 2013, and in December, the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas produced its billionth barrel of oil. Thanks to American energy entrepreneurs’ drive and innovation, we’ve surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer. This truly is a great American success story, and it’s a proud moment for those of us determined to educate D.C. bureaucrats on the link between energy and our security and prosperity.

Apparently, the president is pretty proud, too. In his State of the Union address last month, he boasted about the surge in oil and gas drilling, saying, “We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.” From the way he’s talking, you’d think he coined the phrase “drill, baby, drill.” But it was just three years ago while campaigning in Miami that he lectured, “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.” Respectfully, Mr. President, “yes we can.” And yes we did. Average gas prices were well over $3 in 2012, but in the first months of 2015, they’re near $2, with some states enjoying even lower prices.

Despite his newfound appreciation for drilling, the president fails to mention that most production is on private and state lands out of his control rather than on federal lands he can over-regulate and lock up. In fact, under the Obama administration, natural gas production on federal lands — onshore and offshore — has fallen an astonishing 28 percent while production on private and state lands, many sitting atop prolific shale plays like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, thankfully increased by 33 percent. Similarly, under Obama, oil production on federal lands has fallen 6 percent but increased by 61 percent on nonfederal lands.

Though they like to take credit for this energy renaissance, politicians weren’t the ones who searched the shale formations for resources to extract. It was our private sector, and its responsible use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, that spearheaded the shale gas surge.

Our nation is blessed with the natural resources, the knowledge and the workforce to now take this energy renaissance to the next level. What we lack is the political leadership and courage to do so. T. Boone Pickens summed up the problem by observing that “a five-minute conversation on energy can’t happen in Washington, because within three minutes, you’ve run out of everything they know.” The private sector’s natural adversary has always been the market forces of supply and demand, so the last thing it needs is the artificial adversarial forces of political machinations.

Alaskans understand both of these frustrations. We know the challenges of wildly fluctuating oil prices. During the heyday of our trans-Alaska oil pipeline, oil prices were high, the boom was on and state government spent fast. Then the bottom fell out: $9 per barrel. Alaskans drove around with bumper stickers that read, “Dear God, give us another oil boom and we promise not to piss it away this time.” Alaskans also know the frustration of fighting against politicians in D.C. who constantly attempt to lock up huge swaths of our resource-rich Arctic land and water. Just last month, the Obama administration released a plan to potentially expand offshore drilling in Virginia and the Carolinas while placing millions of acres in Alaska off limits to future development. The president’s advisers would have you believe he’s being pragmatic, but to those in Houston and Anchorage, it looks like pretzel logic.

If the administration sincerely wanted to help our domestic energy sector, it would lift the four-decade-old ban on exporting crude oil. American producers shouldn’t have to beg permission of our own government to export our resources while the White House negotiates increased oil exports with Iran. For an administration not shy about acting on its own, it has no excuse to ignore this and not even consider lifting the ban. I challenge the watchdog press to ask why this is so.

The energy sector has been a star athlete, and Washington is scrambling on the sidelines, unaware of how to react. Let’s remind them that our government is supposed to work for us, not get in our way. Let’s tell them, “Just watch.” Watch how America’s oil patch fuels our nation’s economic engine. Watch how continued investment, innovation, exploration and production allow the U.S. to remain the global economic powerhouse. Watch the men and women of America’s new energy boomtowns in states like Texas show the bureaucrats in D.C. that no matter what roadblocks are placed in their way, they’ll find a way through and build a stronger America.

Besides the facts Governor Palin always brings to the table, the most interesting thing, to me, is where the appeared originally. The Texas Tribune is based in Austin, Texas and is as far left in it’s editorial content as can be. Kudos to the Tribune for hosting the Governor’s op-ed and allowing it to be seen by an audience that wouldn’t normally take the time to read anything Palin writes. Now let the further speculation regarding 2016 begin!

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Peace On Earth

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From all of us, to all of you, a wish of peace and hope for today, tomorrow, and for all time.

Merry Christmas and may God Bless

Gary Signature

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Remembering Joe Cocker

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Joe Cocker at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

By Gary P Jackson

The world has lost a true music legend. Joe Cocker, of Mad Dogs and Englishmen fame, has died after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 70.

The singer who was known for his gravelly voice, and unique performing style, was born in Sheffield, England and had a career that spanned over 50 years. He was living in Colorado at his appropriately named Mad Dog Ranch with is wife of 27 years, Pam, when he passed away.

Cocker was probably best known for his rendition of the Beatles tune: With A Little Help From My Friends which he took all the way to number one on the charts in 1968. Some, including myself, feel Cocker’s version of A Little Help was better than the original Beatles recording. It was certainly the definitive version. Cocker would perform this tune at Woodstock in 1969, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Cocker is also known for his wildly successful Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour of 1970, which visited 48 cities across the US and spawned a wonderful live album and movie of the same name.

All in all, there are some 40 Joe Cocker albums, including 22 studio albums. Along the way he recorded such greats as the Randy Newman penned You Can Leave Your Hat On, Dave Mason’s Feelin’ Alright and Leon Russell’s Delta Lady and an amazing version of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window which his great friend Paul McCartney gave him, and he managed to get out before the Beatle’s own version hit the airways! Cocker was friends with both McCartney and George Harrison, and they would often play him Beatles tunes before they recorded them.

The 1982 duet Cocker recorded with Jennifer Warnes: Up Where We Belong from An Officer And A Gentleman, hit number one and went on to earn him both a Grammy and an Academy Award in 1983. Cocker was recognized with an OBE for services to music in 2007

Like many of his day, Cocker got mixed up with drugs and alcohol and was on his way to joining Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison as a casualty of drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013 he told an interviewer: “Drugs were everywhere and I dived in head first!” He had problems with both heroin abuse, as well as excessive drinking.

In 1978, after years of abuse, with his career in shambles, and suffering deep depression, he met his future wife Pam Baker while he was staying at Jane Fonda’s ranch in Santa Barbara, California. Baker, a local summer camp director, persuaded Fonda to rent Cocker the ranch house. A huge fan of his music, it was Pam who convinced him to turn his life around, and they started dating. They were married in October of 1987.

In the 2013 interview Cocker stated:

It was Pam who helped me get myself back together. She made me think positively. I was very down on myself. She made me realize people still wanted to hear me sing, and convinced me I could escape the downward spiral.

Joe Cocker and his wife Pam 1996

Joe Cocker and his wife Pam in 1996 at their Colorado ranch [Mike Daines REX Features photo]

Besides doing crazy things like throwing his shoes at the audience, Cocker once said, during his drug and alcohol days, at his worse, he would be so drunk during concerts he would just sit down on the stage and stare into the crowd until they all left!

After hooking up with Pam he got clean and sober, and stayed that way.

It was in the early 1980s that we saw Cocker in Austin, Texas at a place called The Club Foot, “The Only Club Named After A Physical Affliction” as their signage and advertising propaganda proudly stated. Charlie Midnight was the opening act. Not that we cared.

Joe Cocker was awesome. The band was tight, his singing was as good as it ever got. It was a work night, with work being 100 miles north in Waco, but we stayed until the last encore. It was worth being useless the next day! Having been lucky enough to grow up during a period when many Hall of Fame legends toured, and blessed to have seen many of them perform live, that night is one that will always remain one of the best concerts among many “bests” I’ve had the privilege of seeing.

Though he lived in Colorado for decades, he was still proud of his English roots, saying:

I’ve been living in the States so long that I thought about becoming a U.S. citizen, but I’d have to renounce my allegiance to the Queen. As a proud Englishman, I don’t think I could do that.

In September of this year Billy Joel, while performing at Madison Square Garden noted that Cocker was “not very well right now” and asked that he be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Upon his death, Cocker’s agent Barrie Marshall, said Joe was “without doubt the greatest rock/soul singer ever to come out of Britain.

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler tweeted:

Bryan Adams added:

Sir Paul McCartney said he would be “forever grateful” to Cocker for turning With A Little Help From My Friends into a “soul anthem“, saying: “I knew him through the years as a good mate and I was so sad to hear that he had been ill and really sad to hear today that he had passed away. He was a great guy, a lovely guy who brought so much to the world and we’ll all miss him.

Ringo Starr tweeted:

Edgar Berger, Chairman and Chief Executive of Sony Music Entertainment International, who signed Cocker, said he was “one of the most humble men I’ve ever met.” adding: his voice “will forever be etched in our memories.”

Joe Cocker was still performing as of 2013, and here’s video of him performing at Hammersmith Apollo in London in May:

Feelin’ Alright

Fire It Up:

Summer In The City Covering the old Lovin’ Spoonfuul classic, which he makes absolutely his own:

Of course NO tribute to Joe Cocker would be complete without:

With A Little Help From My Friends Live from Woodstock, 1969

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window With Leon Russell from the 1970 film Mad Dogs and Englishmen

You Can Leave Your Hat On a favorite of exotic dancers for decades!
Video from the movie 9 1/2 Weeks with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. Most definitely NOT safe for work! [nudity]

Godspeed Joe, you were one of the greats and will be sorely missed.

To quote the Righteous Brothers: “If there’s a Rock and Roll Heaven, you know they got a hell of a band!” [RIP Bill Hatfield]

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The rise of the right in Israel

Originally posted on eileenhart:

Since Prime Minister Netenyahu has fired Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni for undermining Bibi, the recent poll numbers of the direction of where Israel is going suggest a major shift to the right is taking place.  Early polling has begun.  While Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni claim they are forming a unified center left coalition, Tzipi has not confirmed her position.

If such a merger becomes a reality, the Labor-Hatnua alliance would produce a combined 24 seats in the Knesset.  So they claim.  The consensus of recent polling data shows that Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beiteinu and Hatnua are bound to lose seats.  In reality, the concept of a successful alliance between Herzog and Livni is non-existent.

The fighting over the 2015 budget, taxes, defense and the economy are all on the table and suitable causes for each of the parties to debate upon.  However, there are members of the Knesset…

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