Opinion: Ukraine

By George Smith  –March 13, 2022

Yes, the situation worries me. I don’t like the concept of war in any sense, regardless of circumstances. I understand at times that personal safety, protecting one’s country and family and protection of one’s friends and allies requires a strong response.

That said, throughout history wars have mostly been about the psychological bugaboos surrounding four elements: Turf, territory, title and ego.

Many times, one or more of these elements are the motivating factors of wars. In the case of Vladimir Putin and his ordered invasion of Ukraine encompass three (maybe all four) of those elements. He has his turf, wants more territory, believes he is ordained as the world’s leader and has a gargantuan ego.

With those four elements at work…what will stop him? The Ukraine borders? Since when in history did borders stop any invader set on domination, increasing his power and influence and believing that conquering others was his destiny?

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Opinion: I do not openly embrace negativism

 Opinion: I do not openly embrace negativism

By George Smith  –February 19, 2022

I do not openly embrace negativism for the sheer sake of being negative. I do, however, by DNA, education and professional experience, do not suffer fools lightly and do not accept a “truism” until it has, in fact, been verified as true by two or more reliable sources.

Yes, I write negative commentary; yes, I call out the inexcusable abuses foisted upon individuals or groups by people of wealth and power who think it their right to use their position  to do so.

My intent in providing my viewpoint  is two-fold: To present a different viewpoint, and to create an environment for thought.

Getting folks to agree with me has  never my intent in writing thousands of opinion pieces, both print and electronic; proving a simple pathway of thought-provoking commentary … that is what I seek.

I detest pomposity to any degree, just as I abhor people in power-positions proclaiming themselves experts in

areas in which they have no knowledge except for the simple act of listening to and mimicking parrot-speak from one-trick talking  media ponies.

I do not hate Donald Trump. I simply do not see in him one iota of any redeeming social value. I do not wish him any harm, other than whatever legal troubles he brought upon himself. I do admit, however, the sheer act of reading his obituary could easily create a need for me to do the Tigger happy dance.

Unlike many rich folks and a majority of politicians, I do not want my detractors to break out in boils or or be forced to drink sewer water.

I have to assume they, at times, are as uncomfortable in their skin just l as I am comfortable in mine.

Now, that possibility makes me smile.

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Texans, get out there and vote

Opinion – February 16, 2022

from  Marshall News Messenger

Ross Ramsey: Hey, Texans, get out there and vote!

 

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Early voting started on Monday, which is also Valentine’s Day and the anniversary of the 2021 polar vortex that caused blackouts that killed more than 200 Texans and possibly as many as 700. Voters have a lot of things to consider when they go vote this year. This list is incomplete, but it’s a start.

The latest freeze didn’t knock out the grid. It didn’t completely wipe out the mosquitoes either, but that’s another subject for another day. The arguments about whether the state’s electric grid is as reliable as it ought to be haven’t stopped, and they won’t until people trust that the lights and heaters will stay on in extremely cold weather.

And by the way, it’s still winter, even if we enjoy high temperatures of 70 degrees on some days. On Feb. 14, 2021, the first day the polar vortex hit the state, the high in Dallas was 31 degrees and the low was 13 degrees, according to the daily weather history at the Old Farmer’s Almanac. A week later, the high was 75 and the low was 46. In Houston last Valentine’s Day, the high was 39 and the low was 30, followed, a week later, by 68 and 46. San Antonio? A Feb. 14 high of 32 and a low of 23; on Feb. 21, it was 73 and 40.

As of this month, more than 80,000 people have died of coronavirus in Texas. The 7-day average of deaths was, as of Feb. 9, 192 per day across the state. Most Texans — 58.5 percent — are fully vaccinated. Hospitalizations from the virus are falling from near-record highs in January, down to more than 9,000 patients, and the number of ICU beds is increasing.

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At least one contested city council race

City Government – February 16, 2022

from  Marshall News Messenger

Marshall to see at least one contested city council race in May

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The filing period for the Marshall City Council elections in District 5, 6, 7 will officially close Friday, Feb. 18. So far four people have filed for a spot in the May election thus far.

Incumbents Amanda Abraham, of District 6, and Micah Fenton of District 7, have both filed for re-election. Thus far no other community members have filed for either district spot.

Incumbent Vernia Calhoun is unable to run for re-election, having volunteered to serve as the District 5 councilmember for eight years, the maximum amount of time.

Two community members have filed to run for the open District 5 position, Reba Godfrey and Ken Moon.

Community members interested in filing for the election can pick up an application for the general election ballot at the City Secretary’s Office at Marshall City Hall. Candidate packets can be picked up in-person at City Hall, or accessed online at http://www.marshalltexas.net.

The General Election is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, at the Marshall Convention Center, located at 2501 East End Blvd. South.

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Trump mystery solved?

Politics – February 13, 2022

from  CNN

Trump mystery solved?

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“An enduring mystery might finally have been solved,” Eugene Robinson  wrote in the Washington Post. “Remember when Donald Trump ranted about how ‘people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once,’ and nobody knew what on earth he was talking about? Maybe he was referring to personal difficulties in trying to flush away official White House documents.”

Robinson was referring to a report from Maggie Haberman’s forthcoming book that White House staff ran across toilets that were clogged with “wads of clumped up wet printed paper.” Trump denied disposing of records that way and brushed off reports that his administration failed to safeguard legally protected documents.

“Most presidents have violated the Presidential Records Act,” wrote historian  Julian Zelizer. “But former President Donald Trump’s actions go further than previous presidents, amounting to egregious violations of a law that came about in the aftermath of President Richard Nixon’s traumatic Watergate scandal… In recent days, the nation has learned that Trump made a habit of tearing up documents while he was in office. There have also been several news reports of Trump administration staffers putting documents in burn bags to be destroyed.”

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Legitimate political discourse

Politics – February 13, 2022

from  CNN

‘Legitimate political discourse’

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Richard N. Bond served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1992 to 1993. So he has an informed vantage point on the world of trouble the RNC brought upon itself with three little words. The committee passed a censure resolution against Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger earlier this month that described the House select committee on which they serve as a politically-motivated effort to target citizens who engaged in “legitimate political discourse” on January 6, 2021.

In an open letter to current RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, Bond wrote, “At a time when our focus as a party should be on the Biden administration and Democrats at every level of power, you made former President Donald Trump’s unquenchable thirst for revenge against Republicans who disagree with him the political story of the week.

Recalling the events of January 6, Bond noted, “More than 725 rioters from nearly all 50 states have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the storming of the US Capitol. Five deaths are directly attributable to events of that day; approximately 140 law enforcement officers were treated for injuries. It could take millions of dollars to repair the damage caused by the rioters, according to congressional testimony by the architect of the US Capitol.”

As historian Nicole Hemmer wrote, “legitimate political discourse” is “an odd way to describe the actions of a mob that chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as it clashed with police before breaking through the doors and windows of the Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. And while, after widespread ridicule, the RNC insisted that it was referring only to the nonviolent protesters supporting Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him, its attempt to whitewash right-wing violence is part of an ongoing pattern on the right… The end result of these efforts to minimize, excuse, and erase right-wing violence is an environment that invites even more of it.”

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Opinion: Voting Is A Right

By George Smith  — January 29, 2022

Voting is a right guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution.

Why, then, are Republican in numerous states enacting laws that make voting harder?

Simple answer: Because they don’t like voting trends in certain states that go against GOP-backed policies, candidates and philosophies.

Republicans don’t like no-excuse mail-in ballots; in various states they want to eliminate drop-box voting; one state even made it against the law for folks waiting in line (sometimes for hours) to be given good or water.

The evidence is clear: Republicans in political jobs will do whatever it takes to curtail the vote totals of minority voters, which tend to lean to Democratic candidates and platforms.

It is not right; it is political partisan expedient.

Leaders are needed to support removing more barriers to voting, not trying to silence the people.

Shoot, I want every eligible citizen to vote to the point that I would not be against a law to set up a million-dollar lottery in every state with the winner being someone who took the time to vote. Let’s encourage everyone to vote, not try and figure out ways to suppress vote totals via partisan legislation.

Bottom line: Restricting the avenues for citizens to cast a legal ballot is unAmerican.

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Ed Smith for Harrison County

Election News – January 29, 2022

FORMER MARSHALL MAYOR ED SMITH ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR THE OFFICE OF HARRISON COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN

Former Marshall Mayor, Ed Smith, is announcing his campaign for Chairman of the Republican Party of Harrison County, Texas. Smith, an independent oil and gas producer and businessman, is known for his commitment to public service in East Texas, having served six terms as mayor and city commissioner of Marshall, and for his service on numerous boards, including appointments by Governor Rick Perry to the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority, and Future Gen Committee. He also has served on the I-69 Alliance Board of Directors, and East Texas Council of Governments. Throughout his public service career, Smith has been an advocate for East Texas citizens and taxpayers advocating for limited government and limited government spending, maintaining low utility rates in East Texas, and his stance on pro-life and second amendment rights. Chairman of the Harrison County Republican Party – is a volunteer position which entails organizing and leading the local party, overseeing county elections, candidate filings, and precinct and county conventions.

Smith enters the race at the prodding of local party officials who believe there is too much divisiveness in a stagnant Harrison County Republican Party.

Ed Smith says “I want to unify and grow the party, to bring people together to actually look for solutions and fight for good policies.”  Smith learned the importance of service while he was a young man watching his dad serve as Chairman of the Harrison County Republican Party and as a Republican District Judge. Smith is quick to point out that he is a Reagan Republican and affirms Reagan’s famous quote – “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.” Smith promises to bring transparency back into local party meetings and finances.  As Mayor, Smith was known for his commitment to transparency in contracting, conservative budgeting practices and public access to meetings

As a 6th generation Texan, a lifelong resident of Harrison County, an active Republican all the way back to High School and College organizations, a campaign worker, a delegate to the state and national Republican Conventions, Ed Smith has a proven record of community service, commitment and success.

“While others have diminished the party through subtraction and division, we can grow the party by addition and multiplication.”

 A more complete bio of his broad-based experience and fight for Harrison County residents can be found on Facebook @EdSmithMarshallTexas  

Click here for more info about Ed Smith

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Opinion: A Slap In The Face

 Opinion: A Slap In The Face

By George Smith  — January 19, 2022

Patriotic Americans, real Americans, ALL citizens who love this country and believe in the Constitution as a living document, should be four-square in favor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Creating rules simply to make voting by eligible citizens harder is, simply, un-American.

Passing laws and/or reforming voting district boundaries to make it harder for people to vote, or to render their vote ineffective, is a slap in the face of any attempt to have an honest, ethical government.

Yet, here we are: One party, unhappy with the recent voting trends, are changing the rules and making it harder for so-called opponents of their policies and programs to have an honest say-so at the ballot box.

If American political leaders truly believed in “equality under the law”, they would hold hands and pledge to create a system which encouraged a safe and easy way for every eligible citizen to vote … easy, with convenience, just not ”often”.

Voting is a right of all eligible Americans. Nothing — NOTHING — should ever be considered to create a hardship to excising that basic right.

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Opinion: It’s Been A Year

 Opinion: It’s Been A Year

By George Smith  — January 17, 2022

It’s been a year since Joe Biden took the oath of office to become the 46th president of the United States.

It has been a horrendous year for the president, the nation, the world.

Covid won’t retreat. Russia is rattling sabers. The Democrats Party is strangling itself with internal conflict. The GOP is manipulating the absolute right to vote for every citizen. Vice President Kamala Harris is AWOL and most people could care less. Biden’s cornerstone policy changes in voter registration and laws, and filibuster reform seem to be spectral fantasies.

Inflation is whooooo-high: Gas prices climbing; a single tamale at a taqueria can run $3.25; you can see the back of an abundance of grocery shelves; prices across the board continue to climb.

 It is a sucker bet that the Republicans will regain control of Congress at November’s midterm elections.

To put it succinctly: President Biden is a lame duck president with 1,095.75 days left in his presidency.

It is not an overstatement that our democracy is in peril. The most divided national populous in 160-plus years is simmering and seems ready to implode.

The causes are apparent: Stress over the pandemic, an inept administration which displayed great promise and vision but had no viable game plan to execute necessary strategy; a worn-out leader who could not hark back to his younger days and build fences; cabinet members with bad public policy ideas, inexperience in their bureaucratic arena of interest…or both; partisan politicos of both parties more interested in personal programs and maintaining power than in ensuring the future of America.

Bottom line: Same old, same old. The only thing certain is this downward  spiral of democracy that what we are experiencing today will get worse before it gets better.

And, here’s hoping that better days are ahead. Because what we, as individuals, as a nation, as a global community, are going through now quite simply … sucks.

For positive change to occur, the words and actions of calm patriots must prevail and our leaders must embrace the true ideals of democracy.

All the average citizen can do at this point is pray.

Prayer can’t hurt at a time when the United States needs a true and lasting miracle.

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