Month: March 2015

Who do I think I am?

After publishing dozens of controversial conservative opinions I often receive emails from readers asking the same question: “Just who do you think you are, anyway?” It’s rhetorical, of course, but still a fair question. Perhaps I should try to answer. First, I’m mostly who I’ve chosen to be: a politically conservative Roman Catholic. Those governing forces -- philosophy and faith -- guide me in most affairs. I’m conservative because I believe the maxim “that government is best which governs least.” I’m Catholic because I believe the church is what it claims to be. I’ve chosen to be the husband of a remarkable woman, and believe our marriage is a sacred, unbreakable bond. Together we’re the parents of five wonderful children, and choose to believe we’re solely responsible for their health and well-being, along with the formation of their faith, character and education. Second, who I am was heavily influenced by my upbringing. I’m the youngest of seven children born to a firefighter and freelance writer. My siblings partially raised me, too. From my bothers I learned about hard work, art and history. From my sisters, tenacity, compassion and taste. My siblings (that's me on the bottom right)Our little three-bedroom, one-bath house in Mobile was always full of people, dogs and cats and was very noisy (especially during Alabama football games). We learned to eat fast and speak loudly. Those years were a harmonious mess. Knowing now how much life costs and how little my parents earned (never more than $30,000 annually), I don’t…

Our legislatures could use a few more Marines

Marines are a special breed. Their famous motto, “Semper Fidelis,” which is Latin for “always faithful,” represents how these warriors remain faithful to their mission, to their fellow Marines, to the Corps and the country -- regardless of the consequences. It’s an indelible principle that continues to guide them long after they’ve hung up their uniforms and joined the civilian world.Alabama State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw“There’s no such thing as a former Marine,” explained General James Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps. “You’re a Marine, just in a different uniform and you’re in a different phase of your life. But you’ll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico.”State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, is a Marine, and Alabamians are fortunate to have him serving in our State Legislature. Last week, after hearing from the constituents he was elected to represent, the conservative lawmaker rented space on a billboard in his North Alabama district that read, “Governor Bentley wants to raise your taxes. I will not let that happen. Semper Fi – Senator Bill Holtzclaw.”Holtzclaw and his constituents were responding to the governor’s plan to break his campaign promise by proposing a more than half-a-billion dollar tax increase. The vast majority of Holtzclaw’s constituents are conservative (I’m one of them) and our senator is simply following-through on the agenda we elected him to pursue. His billboard was a message back to the neighbors who had been stopping him around town, calling…