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A WAPO LOL and a year of Biden blunders

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

A WAPO LOL and a year of Biden blunders

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

I have to wonder, who are the 40% or less who still support Joe Biden? In my mind, I just see a bunch of circus monkeys sitting in a circle filling out polls for the DNC.

But then I start to see the comments some of you leave for me, and I realize with great concern that there are real people who think Biden is actually doing a good job.

It must be terrifying to live within a liberal mind. Or then again, maybe it’s wonderful being blissfully unaware of reality? Either way, I’m glad I don’t have a liberal brain.

Clearly one of those people who thinks Biden walks on water is an editorial writer for the Washington Post.

WAPO’s liberal columnist Dana Milbank suggests that Joe Biden has received harsher treatment from the media than President Trump did.

I’m not sure what Milbank is smoking, but he looks like one of those 1960s hippy types still fully engulfed in some kind of purple haze to make that comparison. I actually started laughing as I read it, thinking that maybe it was satire.

Sadly, it wasn’t. He really believes what he is saying. But then again so do some of you who leave your baseless comments that hold as much substance as a spaghetti strainer holds water.

Milbank cites several headlines where the media has raised concerns about Biden’s administration and the future of the Democrat Party heading into the next two election cycles.

All legitimate headlines, by the way, but the articles cited are mostly media attempts to advise their liberal allies that the days of fooling the American people are coming to an end. This “negative” portrayal of Biden prompts Milbank to write, “My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy.”

Remember kids, just say no to drugs. This is a prime example of what happens when you kill brain cells.

Milbank continues down his delusional path by attacking Trump, going so far as to saying 45 “waged a racist campaign against Black Lives Matter.”

Oh boy. Where did this guy’s parents go wrong? Did they drop this guy on his head one too many times as a baby? 

Milbank, of course, fails to acknowledge the media’s four-year misinformation campaign. I hate to bring up facts, because I know they don’t matter to some of my haters here, but as we all know, everything the media reported about Trump was proven to be untrue.

On the other hand, Biden’s failures thus far are without dispute. If he’s getting those “harsh” headlines, as Milbank points out, well, they are most definitely deserved.

Shall we take a little look at what Biden has done so far?

  • Inflation is at a 30-year high. This administration kept pushing a false narrative that Americans being hit squarely in the wallet is only temporary and that COVID is to blame.
  • Inflation was kicked into high gear by Biden’s disastrous energy policy. With a stroke of a pen, Biden ended America’s energy independence, giving full production control back to foreign suppliers.
  • In a different stroke of the pen, Biden approved Russian pipelines that give our long-time adversary hell bent on returning to Soviet-era supremacy control of energy production over our NATO allies.
  • Biden has lost complete control of illegal immigration by ending Trump policies that were, at long last, getting the southern border under control. The consequences have been surges in human and drug trafficking.
  • This, of course, coincides with the Biden administration’s firm belief that COVID doesn’t exist at the southern border and only tests illegal immigrants if they are showing “obvious symptoms,” before bussing them into American communities. In the meantime, Americans are not getting the same carefree treatment when it comes to COVID.
  • Biden orchestrated a complete disgrace in Afghanistan by turning an honorable planned withdrawal into a full scale surrender. His inept leadership led to 13 American warriors being killed and all he could do about it is check his watch as their flag-draped coffins returned home.
  • Biden swore up and down that he was the only one who could stop the virus and even declared July 4 as Independence Day from the virus.
  • More people have died from COVID under Biden’s watch, than under Trump’s. And now Biden and his Democrat comrades are trying to use Omicron as the latest scare tactic to exert more control over American freedoms.
  • Biden called Trump a xenophobe for shutting down travel from China, but shut down travel from South Africa for a variant that is slightly worse than a cold.
  • So COVID is dangerous again, according to Biden, but apparently not at the southern border where there is no such thing as viruses or fentanyl trafficking.
  • Biden has still not challenged China on the origins of COVID even though the rest of the world already knows what happened, but we’ve covered that already.

This is just a small sampling of the damage Biden has caused. Unfortunately, our adversaries abroad rightfully see Biden as a weak leader. The real damage is yet to come, so as always Patriots, stay vigilant. 





Within a crazy world, find what you are thankful for

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

Within a crazy world, find what you are thankful for

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

Thanksgiving was once my favorite holiday because it’s all about family and friends without the commercialization associated with Christmas.

I say, “once was,” because I admit that the older I get the less tolerant I am for drama and political ignorance. I was even telling myself the other day, “Self, you used to be a political humorist, but you’ve lost your humor lately.”

It’s true, it’s true. My only defense is that this administration has gone too far beyond the laughable and is outright dangerous. It’s hard to find humor when you watch liberals moving full steam ahead with the power to actually do some damage to this great Republic.

So I have found myself on a war footing ever since the obvious coup attempt taken against President Trump that has led to this disaster called the Biden presidency.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there has been a Thanksgiving for several years where I haven’t either worked or had some family friend ruin my former favorite holiday with a dramatic or political breakdown.

It’s reached the point where all I want to do is watch football, have a great meal with the immediate family, do a little day drinking and call it a holiday. Ahh, sounds nice doesn’t it? Just a drama-free day. It shouldn’t be too much to ask, but it usually is.

However, there are still many things I am thankful for during what is really a day of reflection, so let’s take a look at a few of those things.

I’m thankful for batteries. I mean think about it. No matter how old I get, they are a remarkable invention to me that will stand the test of time. Just little bundles of power sitting on the store shelf whenever you need them. This Bud’s for you inventors of bundled energy. Cheers.

I’m thankful for indoor plumbing. Can you even imagine what people went through in the old days and even still today in some areas of the world? What a literal pain in the behind it would be to have to walk to a smelly outhouse in the middle of a stormy night just to do your business. Yessir, I’m thankful for that convenience.

I’m thankful for coffee and vodka. One starts my day, the other ends it. 

I’m thankful for my dog, Oreo. I’ll tell you more about her someday. She’s not only my child, she’s my favorite child. Oh, don’t worry. I’m not spilling any secrets here. All my kids know Oreo is my favorite child. I’ve made that pretty clear on several occasions over the years.

And of course, I’m thankful to be an American, but also grateful to know what that really means. So, in essence, I’m thankful I was born with the correct brain wiring to be a conservative. So in even more essence, I’m grateful I’m not a liberal.

I’m also very grateful that more and more Americans are waking up to the nonsense of liberal policies. The great awakening has begun.

But most of all, I’m grateful for you. As I said in my first visit with you, I don’t take this time with you for granted. I know you all have busy lives. I know you have other options, other ways to spend your time.

For those of you who spend a little of that time twice a week with me, well, it is more appreciated than I am able to express. So thank you my fellow patriots, and yes, even you, my liberal haters.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and may God bless and keep you.





Manatee County Legislative Delegation Meeting 2021

In front of a packed chamber, Manatee County’s State Delegation met in the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Chambers.  This is an annual meeting held by our local state delegation to create a formal setting so they can listen to local leaders and passionate citizens present topics important to them.  The local delegation uses this opportunity to get the input they need from the community to bring to Tallahassee for consideration as they represent the community in their policy-making decisions and appropriations requests.

Left to Right, Representative Will Robinson, Representative Tommy Gregory, Representative Michele Rayner

The local state delegation includes the local elected Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senators.  Today’s meeting included Representative Tommy Gregory as Chair, Representative Will Robinson, Representative Michele Rayner, and Senator Jim Boyd.  Senator Boyd was unable to attend. 

The meeting is made up of 4 parts.  Part 1 is for local bills to be presented.  Part 2 is for local legislative priorities to be relayed by local officials and organizations.  Part 3 is for public comment.  Part 4 is for closing statements.

Manatee County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Chair Vanessa Baugh and David Hutchinson

There were 4 bills presented to the delegation.  These bills were unanimously approved and will be taken up to Tallahassee for completion.

Manatee School Board, Reverend James Golden

The Local Legislative Priority part of today’s meeting was kicked off by Manatee County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman, Vanessa Baugh.  She identified the top priorities identified by the BOCC – Funding for Piney Point, Moccasin Wallow Road improvement funding assistance, and support for Community-based Foster Care.  She also shared additional items that Manatee County is looking for support and continued efforts including key bridges, broadband, and affordable housing.

The Local Legislative Priority section included the following speakers:

  • Manatee County Clerk of Courts – Angelina Colonneso
  • City of Bradenton – Mayor Gene Brown
  • Manatee County Metropolitan Planning Organization – Chair Vanessa Baugh and David Hutchinson
  • ManaSota League of Cities – Mayor John Chappie
  • Town of Longboat Key – Mayor Ken Schneier and Town Manager Tom Harmer
  • Peace River ManaSota Regional Water Supply Authority – Mike Coates
  • Manatee School Board – Reverend James Golden
  • Guardian Ad Litem for the Twelfth Circuit – Paula Adams
  • University Park Rec District – Mark Barneby
  • City of Palmetto – Mark Barneby
  • City of Holmes Beach – Vice-Chair Terry Schaefer
  • USF Sarasota Manatee – Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, President
  • New College of Florida – Pat Okker, President
  • Manatee Chamber of Commerce – Jackie Dezelski, President and CEO
  • Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance – Susan Goldstein
  • Mote Marine Laboratory – Dr. Michael Crosby, President and CEO
  • Safe Children Coalition – Brena Slater, CEO
  • Liberty Caucus – Kevin Wright
  • Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast – Christine Johnson
  • Bishop Museum of Science and Nature – Martha Wells
  • Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLiCRA) – Pat Arends
  • Manatee Habitat for Humanity – Diana Shoemaker
  • Florida Retired Educators Association – Susan Daravec
  • Women’s Voices of SW Florida – Kate Danehy-Samitz
  • Manatee County Democratic Party – William Clapper
  • NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties – Colleen Thayer, Executive Director
Manatee County Chamber of Commerce, Jackie Dezelski, President and CEO
Liberty Caucus, Kevin Wright

The Public Comment section included several speakers presenting their opinions and views on topics including abortion, affordable housing, medical malpractice litigation, 2nd amendment rights, and phosphate mining, and election fraud.

The full meeting can be viewed below.




The curious case of Kyle Rittenhouse and another epic media fail

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

The curious case of Kyle Rittenhouse and another epic media fail

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

Silly me.

I actually believed after the evidence was laid out in the Kyle Rittenhouse case that the country would have a moment of unification over that young man’s acquittal because it was a clear-cut case of self defense.

I thought for a moment that people would come together and realize that this was a political case from the very beginning.

But once again, the liberal mind went in a different and illogical direction.

How this case ever became an issue of race is mind boggling, to say the least, but I know people who still think Kyle Rittenhouse killed unarmed black men at a peaceful BLM demonstration.

These are reasonably intelligent people I’m referring to, but they are also liberals who swallowed whole the media lies about this case. They are still refusing to spit up those lies and take a bite out of the truth instead.

I’m still hearing that an armed Rittenhouse crossed state lines, which is a lie. Still hearing that his mother drove him to Kenosha, which is a lie. Still hearing that Rittenhouse had no connection to Kenosha, which is a lie. Still hearing this was racially motivated and Rittenhouse is part of a right-wing white supremacist militia, which is a lie.

Why is it so difficult for the liberal mind to grasp the truth even if they started out believing one thing, but learned the opposite? It’s quite remarkable and also quite disturbing.

The prosecution jumped on this case and brought charges against Rittenhouse as a political statement, and did so before even taking the time to review the evidence.

That, also, is quite disturbing. The prosecutor’s opening statement about Rittenhouse chasing down a convicted pedophile and shooting him in the back is a lie. I mean, what was he thinking knowing the jury would be seeing the video showing just the opposite?

If you watched the trial, I don’t need to repeat all of the bumbling and stumbling from the prosecution, but what is disturbing is that they continued this farce all in an attempt to get a win.

Much like the left-wing media who has been spreading lies and misinformation about this case, these prosecutors only cared about a political victory and had no problem sacrificing the life of an innocent young man to do so.

It’s beyond sickening that men like these are allowed to practice law and are put in a position of authority where they pursue, not justice, but a need to improve jury trial victories regardless of guilt or innocence for their own personal future political gains.

Now the left is elevating the dead pedophile, who I won’t even give credence too by naming the scum, and convicted felon Anthony Huber who was actually the one illegally armed as heroes.

The prosecution did the same and actually referred to these two individuals, as well as the rest of the rioters as heroes while disgustingly downplaying their roles in the devastating riots last summer following the shooting of a black man by police.

That incident also sparked lies from the media in the Rittenhouse case with talking heads on TV claiming Jacob Blake was unarmed and was killed. Media pundits made that claim even though the man shot is not only very much alive but admitted that he was armed.

It was a justified shooting and even the largely corrupt DOJ had to admit that much, but the media doesn’t want you to know that. They will go to any length, up to and including lying, to continue their manipulation of the masses.

I couldn’t believe the level of lies and misinformation from the media through this process. It was laughable until I saw people I know argue those fake talking points, just as I saw those same people arguing the falsehoods levied against Trump for four years.

One would think there would have been lessons learned there, as well. Even the NY Times and Washington Post publicly called for more journalistic integrity based on the lies they peddled to help push the fake news surrounding Trump’s Russian collusion hoax. 

But one apology for getting multiple things wrong doesn’t reverse the damage and if you say you acknowledge the mistakes, but continue that behavior, it really doesn’t change the narrative.

I question how many people who are saying they are “heartbroken” that Rittenhouse wasn’t convicted of murder even watched the trial or took the time to research the facts. And for anyone who did one or both of those things and are still claiming justice wasn’t done, well, you just can’t cure the liberal disease.

The lies I listed above are facts. There were many subjective arguments made, as well.

I saw people saying, “What business does a 17-year-old have with a gun?”

I was already in the Army at the age of 17. The average age of the soldiers in Vietnam was 19. I fail to see what his age had to do with anything, and quite frankly, he handled that weapon quite well and was clearly knowledgeable on gun safety.

It’s a lot more than I can say for that idiot of a prosecutor who made ridiculous statements about firearms and ammo to make it sound way more dramatic than reality. Then he comically pointed the AR-15 at the jury. That, in and of itself, is the primary violation of gun safety, especially putting your finger on the trigger for God’s sake.

He also held the weapon wrong and his trigger finger placement was completely incorrect, but that’s beside the point. He had already made it pretty clear he did not know what he was talking about.

Make no mistake Dear Reader. This was a snapshot of a much larger problem in America. The media is up in arms and continues to assault this young man because they believed they could influence the outcome with their usual misinformation tactics that have worked so well in elections.

The left is furious because they don’t want any pushback on their anti-American agenda. They want anyone getting in the way of their goal of anarchy. And for the most part, they were winning. Until now.

Is Kyle Rittenhouse a hero? If the left can call those thugs that got killed and wounded by Rittenhouse heroes, we can certainly look at Rittenhouse as one. Rittenhouse is a young man who wanted to help, used common sense to arm himself knowing he was going into a dangerous situation and bad things happened.

But bad things happened because bad people forced a good young man into action. Rittenhouse didn’t ask for any of it, but he did everything he had to do in the face of fear.

I call that heroism, but in its literal sense, not in some made up left-wing version of the word. Heroism isn’t always a pretty thing, but the ugliness of a situation that dictates action, doesn’t take away from its actual meaning.

So yes, I’d call Kyle Rittenhouse a hero on those terms any day.

The media is doubling down, going from misinformation campaigns to flat out lying. It’s clear those tactics are still effective at some level based on hearing people use those lies as their argument.

But thank God for those jurists who did their due diligence and came to the truth despite being harassed and illegally intimidated by a MSNBC photographer under orders from MSNBC executives.

I’ve also heard the ridiculous argument that Rittenhouse should not have been there in the first place. But when I bring up the fact that those thousands of rioters shouldn’t have been there in the first place, I get no response from my liberal friends. They came to riot using a justified police shooting to justify their actions. Oh, the irony of it all.

And finally, there are the despicable people and media pundits who argued that Rittenhouse was “acting” when he broke down on the stand. I am, unfortunately, all too familiar with a PTSD panic attack and that was a classic example of one.

These liberal talking heads have no shame. But I hope they continue down this road. I hope they keep playing the race card, especially in instances that don’t even involve people of color.

We can never help those who were born with the affliction of liberalism. There is no cure for that, but the left has always relied on the uninformed and that’s what is starting to change in America.

More and more Americans are waking up and paying attention. The more the left spirals into the lunatic fringe, the better, as far as I’m concerned. People are looking at what they are doing and finally asking themselves, “What the hell is happening here?”

And they are taking action. Whether it’s people like me who will burn bridges to call them out at every turn or whether they are silently taking actions with their votes at the local, state and national levels, it gives me hope.

For that, I can go into this coming holiday feeling thankful.





Did Manatee School District grade the border effort?

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

Did Manatee School District grade the border effort?

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday gave himself an, “A for effort,” in his handling of the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border.

Oh boy, let’s break that one down shall we?

Given how intertwined school districts across the country are with the Biden administration as of late, it makes me wonder if our school superintendent used her graduation numbers inflating skills to help Mayorkas’ self grading style.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was caught in a lie on the same day, by the way, regarding whether FBI agents had taken any action against parents exercising their God given rights to free speech at school board meetings.

A whistle blower disclosed that Garland’s FBI was indeed using “counter-terrorism” tactics to track “threat targets,” otherwise known as parents. The leaked email was dated one day before Garland testified before a Senate committee where he testified under oath that no such actions were being taken.

Never in my time of following politics have I seen so many blatant lies spill out of a single administration in such a short amount of time, but Mayorkas’ self grade of an, “A for effort,” is a self-delusional lie right up there with the rest of them.

Mayorkas refused to grade himself for his actual handling of the border, but he is apparently proud of his efforts.

First of all, “A for effort” is something you tell your friend when he trips over his shoelaces and does a faceplant on the sidewalk. It’s not a real thing. It’s more sarcasm than reality because all you are saying is that you failed, but in a good way.

So no Director Mayorkas, we the people give you an F on results and an F on effort because what exactly are the alleged efforts taken?

Illegal immigration is up 128% from the time Biden took office. An estimated 2 million illegal immigrants will have made their way to the U.S. by the end of the year and that’s just the ones who have been caught.

Mayorkas couldn’t answer a single question about how many of those illegal immigrants are convicted felons, sex trafficking victims, drug mules, etc.

And we know for a fact that the illegal immigrants are only being tested for COVID if they are showing “obvious” symptoms.

We also know that millions of dollars of border wall materials we paid for are just laying on the ground.

This administration keeps saying there really isn’t a solution to the problem and they are doing everything they can to fix it. Well, first of all, Trump pretty much had solved the problem so the easy solution is to go back to his policies and keep building the wall.

When they say they are doing everything they can to fix the problem, what exactly are they doing? I don’t see them doing anything so again, you can’t give yourself an “A for effort,” when there is no effort.

Mayorkas took exception to Sen. Ted Cruz asking if Biden or Kamala Harris had been to the facilities where children were being held in “cages,” during Tuesday’s testimony.

Mayorkas said he did not agree with the term “cages,” even though the left and their media allies so labeled the facilities as cages during the Trump administration even though they were built by Obama and Biden.

I swear you could not hire a professional fiction writer to script this surreal reality we are being forced to endure.

The media even circulated a photo of children in the “cages,” saying it was taken under Trump’s watch, but we know that the now famous photo used in 2018 was actually taken in 2014 under Obama.

And then there were the false claims that mounted border agents were using whips to force Hatian illegal immigrants back across the border. Mayorkas initially defended the agents but then towed the Biden line by promising swift punishment of those agents, “within days.”

Months later, the IG has declined to investigate the false claims but Mayorkas or Biden have yet to apologize for helping to spread the fake news narrative that those agents somehow did something wrong.

A for effort? What a farce. 

No, it’s much more similar to the friend tripping over his shoelaces while the rest of us laugh at the absurdity of it all. Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about this administration’s “efforts” to completely destroy the fabric of our Republic.

And poor Kamala is now upset that she was put in charge of the border. Remember how she was going to solve it all by getting to the “root causes” of illegal immigration?

So she goes to one “border” station miles away from the border and now she’s crying in her office because old sleepy Joe won’t give her something important to do. Well, Kamala had something important to do and she failed, just like she has failed at everything in her political career.

When you are too busy making a fake science children’s show that was supposed to be a visit with real kids, but instead was staged with child actors instead of doing the job you were supposed to do, is there really any wonder it’s an epic fail?

And yet, she still has a 28% approval rating. But I know that anyone telling a pollster they approve of Kamala, or Joe for that matter, isn’t paying attention and are the same people they show on TV who don’t know what the Revolutionary War was.

That’s what I love about people who immigrate here legally. They know more about America than a lot of these so-called Americans who will never understand just how blessed they were to be born in this country while living in ignorance of her greatness.

Sorry, there are no high grades for anyone in this administration. Not even our school superintendent can inflate that fact.





‘If not me, then who?’ A belated Veterans Day message

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

Tales from the Mark Side

‘If not me, then who?’ A belated Veterans Day message

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

“If not me, then who?” is a question very few young men and women ask when making the decision to become a warrior and defend this great nation.

The powerful philosophy behind that question takes on no greater meaning than when chiseled onto a warrior’s headstone. It’s a painful reminder that the lives of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and only the few will ask it and then act on it.

It’s not a new quote and has been used by many as a call to action, but I prefer to tie it back to Mahatma Gandhi’s. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

For a veteran, the only way to enact that change is to leave all you’ve ever known and loved and to potentially put yourself in harm’s way to protect the very things you’ve left behind.

For some of us, it was just instilled in how we were raised, which is why you often see generations of family following in the footsteps of their firefighter, law enforcement or military family members.

I was raised by a U.S. Army Special Forces officer who served three tours in Southeast Asia. My Green Beret father served in Laos and Cambodia training local tribes to fight the VietCong infiltrating their lands leading up to the Vietnam war itself. Dad went back to serve in the first year of the war in 1965.

Before he went back to war, my mother and father made a conscious decision to have another child just in case he never came back and I am the product of that decision.

I have two older brothers, both who were surprise pregnancies. I remind them to this day that I was the only one planned.

We were raised to love our country even if there wasn’t a lot of love within the family. In the end, we all served and followed Dad’s footsteps into the Army. In turn, all of our sons, save one, did the same.

Dad did come back from the war, however, and went on to serve until his retirement in 1979. He died in November of 2000, so this month is the 21st anniversary of his passing. Even as I write that, I can’t believe it’s been that long already.

I typically sum up my childhood by telling people Dad died in the war, it just took 20 years to kill him. He essentially drank himself to death.

As a young boy, I mostly loved and feared my father. I won’t bore you with the details but I had a recurring nightly nightmare from about 5 to 6 years old of Dad hunting down and killing our family.

Dad started every morning as soon as he woke up with Vodka and orange juice. Breakfast of champions, I suppose, but he’d switch to bourbon on the rocks around noon and drink until he passed out later that night.

His life, and subsequently ours, were put on a daily loop of the same thing for the rest of the time we lived together as a family.

It wouldn’t be until I joined the military myself that I would come to understand who my father was. As a boy, I remember him standing in front of the television watching the 1975 chaotic fall of Saigon.

My mother was at his side and neither were saying a word, so at 10 years old I asked what was happening. Dad just turned around and said something to the effect that the war was ending.

I had just cut off a .45 record version of “Monster Mash” off the back of the cereal box. Do you remember when you used to be able to do that? I thought at the time, and even at 10, what a modern marvel it was that you could get a new record off a cereal box.

Anyway, I responded with something along the lines of, “Let’s celebrate and listen to my new record.”

It was one of the few times Dad was patient with me. He knew I didn’t understand what he was suffering watching the chaos of the Saigon evacuation unfold after sacrificing so much of himself in defending South Vietnam’s freedom against communist aggression and expansion.

Of course, I came to know what that had to do to him inside, and even more so how it must have hurt to have the country turn on him during the war as anti-war protestors began their disgusting personal campaigns against veterans.

Even after my own service, I wanted to know more about who my father was. I read everything I could get my hands on about Vietnam’s long warring history with the Japanese, Chinese, France and then America.

I learned what led to American involvement and the incredible heroism our Vietnam warriors displayed while embroiled in a war our own government wouldn’t let them win.

Can you even imagine sacrificing so much only to see your own government treat your sacrifice like it was nothing? I know our Afghan vets today can relate, but thank God the one lesson of Vietnam was learned and we don’t blame our veterans for the mistakes of our own failed leadership.

I saw my father in a different light at the end of it all. I’m not going to pretend it solved all of our problems. We still had a rough relationship and at the end, we were estranged for his final three years on earth.

He went into Hospice without me ever knowing and died refusing to see me over an argument we had three years prior.

Dad didn’t make it easy to love him, but I respected him despite all of his other failings. 

I didn’t respect some of his choices, but all of those other things paled in comparison to the fact that he decided to ask himself as a young man, “If not me, then who?”

The societal consequences of Dad asking himself that question during Vietnam’s tumultuous and divisive time at home is what ultimately impacted who my father became more so than the war itself.

My family are fighters and inflicting violence upon those who intend harm to our loved ones at home is not a problem for us. Being betrayed by our government and, in my father’s case, a betrayal by the very people he served to protect is another matter altogether. That is what changed and impacted my father, not the war.

That is what killed him.

I joined the Army just seven years after the Vietnam war officially ended, and already by then America had come to realize the horrible mistake they had made in the way they treated Vietnam veterans, for the most part.

I was blessed to have served during a time where I was taught and trained the skillsets of war by Vietnam veterans still serving at the time.

You have never flown a combat mission until you have had a Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot at the controls. Lord have mercy, those guys can fly.

Anyway, the day my father died, he paid me a visit. I know that may be an unexpected twist to this story, but bear with me.

I was a sports writer at the time and worked a lot of nights and weekends so I was sleeping in the morning when the phone rang. I woke up and for a second, I saw my father at the bedroom door smiling at me. I knew what it meant.

Dad smiling at me rarely happened in life, by the way. I shrugged it off and went to answer the phone. My mother was on the other end to let me know Dad had died.

I responded with, “I know. I just saw him.”

I went back to bed and a little later I was awakened with a “Mark,” being softly said in my ear.

It was just one word, but it was my father’s voice. In that one word, I felt an overwhelming peace within his voice and I knew he was OK. I knew that he had found the peace that escaped him for much of his life.

I also knew the personal importance of why he chose me to make his one and only afterlife visit. We had had a rough go that didn’t end well. Just in that short vision of seeing him at the door and hearing his voice told me everything I needed to know.

I was happy for him that he found the peace in death he could not find in life.

It was that experience where my lifelong journey to find the meaning of life and my love for Christ truly kicked into high gear. So yes, I probably grieve much differently than others. In short, I’m happy for those who are, not moving on, but returning home.

There is always a lot said on Veterans Day and I’m grateful for all of it, and for so many different personal reasons. I didn’t want this message to be lost among all of those other great messages, so I hope you will forgive the brief venture away from politics to share this personal message with you.

“If not me, then who?”

For all those who asked themselves that question when charting their destinies on this earth, whether military veterans, firefighters or law enforcement officers who choose to be the few that run toward danger, I thank you for your service.

You define the greatness of America. You are the spirit of everything this great country represents. You are the chosen ones and may God bless and protect your journeys.





A different kind of liberal mandate is unfolding at the gas pump

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

A different kind of liberal mandate is unfolding at the gas pump

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

The progressive push for a Green New Deal in Biden’s so-called Build Back Better legislation has rightfully received a lot of push back, but Biden has other ways to push that agenda, and at the cost to the working family.

I have no issues with green energy, but progressives continue to push an agenda that this country simply can’t flip a switch and adapt to overnight, economically speaking. And like everything in America, there should be options and choices, not one way forced down our throats by a government that is allowed to exist by and for the American people.

When Biden shut down the Keystone Pipeline, environmental hypocrite John Kerry said, well those pipeline workers can just get jobs making windmills.

That’s how out of touch these people in charge are right now. Career politicians have no clue who the American worker is or what the American worker does because they have never worked for a living.

They live in the same bubble as Hollywood celebrities who live their lives literally in a world of make believe. They have no idea what living in the real world is all about and what it takes to survive.

Biden’s policies to put control of oil production back into the hands of OPEC, while destroying our first venture into energy independence in 70 years thanks to Trump, is an act of lunacy.

I’m not name calling here. I’d love to be challenged by any Democrat who thinks that it is a good policy to shut down our pipelines while allowing our adversaries to do it without throwing some environmental hazard fairy tale at me.

So sorry, I’m a creative guy, but lunacy is all I got.

I’m no conspiracy theorist either, but at the same time, I’m not blind and certainly not ignorant. It’s becoming pretty evident that Biden is intentionally making fossil fuels so painful to Americans that his goal of every American driving an electric vehicle is a mandate of another kind.

Besides shutting down the Keystone pipeline project, while simultaneously approving a Russian pipeline project that will make NATO allies dependent on Russian oil, Biden is now looking at the possibility of closing the Michigan pipeline.

And there is absolutely no reason for it. The White House said it’s studying the market impact of shutting down the pipeline. I wonder how much that study is costing the taxpayer. I can tell you the market impact: It won’t be pretty and if you think gas prices are high now, just you wait.

And we have three years of this president signing economy-killing executive orders all in support of green energy mandates, electric vehicles and keeping his beloved Amtrak alive.

Amtrak has been long subsidized by federal tax dollars for decades, because like the post office, they simply don’t know how to create a business model that makes money.

Old Joe has a long love affair with Amtrak, as has been publicly noted by him over and over again with a fake story about some Amtrak employee telling him he had traveled more than a million miles.

Except that didn’t happen either. The man Biden referenced was long retired when Biden says the conversation happened.

And even if it was true, who cares how many miles you’ve traveled on Amtrak? That’s a reason to keep giving a failing company millions of our dollars every year? What are you, the Manatee County School District?

Granted, that one is not a Hillary Clinton level lie alleging she was under sniper fire in Bosnia, which proved to be untrue, but it is another lie. Lying is something Biden has never been shy about doing if it serves his purpose of crowd manipulation.

That’s why he kept telling that lie several weeks to crowds after it was already proven to be a lie.

However, the consideration to shut down the Michigan pipeline is both manipulation and vindictive politics.

Biden hired former Michigan Gov. Granholm as Secretary of Energy and you don’t think there is some payback to Michigan residents there? Makes about as much sense as hiring former small town mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation.

A small town failed mayor, I might add. He couldn’t even manage his own city’s bus system, but now he’s in charge of the entire country’s transportation system. I mean, come on, is there any wonder that very system is in chaos?

The politics of political favors run swamp-level deep in this administration. Remember when we had a president who hired people who knew what they were doing because they were qualified? Yeah, me too. Good times.

And then, of course, Granholm cackled when asked what her department could do to increase oil production.

She called it a “global commodity” and said she wished she had the magic wand to get OPEC to increase production because they are the ones in control.

What’s funny about that? Just one year ago, America didn’t need OPEC to do anything and if we did, Trump just reminded them that if they wanted continued military defense financial support from the USA, they better step up production.

And they did.

Now OPEC tells Biden no, and can you blame them? Biden’s entire political strategy is to eliminate fossil fuels so he is basically telling OPEC he wants to put them out of business, but then asks them for more business?

Good Lord, you just can’t make this nonsense up. We all remember how well the “magic wand” comment went for Obama when it came to him saying Trump could never get U.S. manufacturing companies to come home.

But he did.

And now they are leaving again because of Biden’s policies.

Biden recently insulted Americans saying we aren’t smart enough to understand how the supply chain system works. I’m pretty sure he’s not smart enough to understand because he can’t figure out how to solve it.

He certainly doesn’t understand how the energy supply system works when you give up your own independence to hand control back to a foreign entity, basically tell them you don’t like the product they produce and then expect them to help you?

If that’s not a Ron White moment of, “You can’t fix stupid,” I don’t know what is.

Biden doesn’t understand the inflation problem either, which by the way hit a 30-year high this week. He doesn’t understand that when your policies cause the price of gas to go up, everything goes up.

Petroleum goes into a lot of manufactured goods. If the price of that petroleum goes up, so does the price of those goods.

Fuel is needed to deliver and distribute goods. If the price of fuel goes up, so does the price of those goods.

There might be a lot of cogs that make the supply chain go round and round, but that’s the very first cog that is easily repaired with Trump’s common sense policies.

If you break that first cog, everything breaks behind it.

No Joe, it’s really not that hard to understand. What’s easy to understand is that you are just a really, really bad policy maker. Biden always has been and always will be a bad policy maker. Unfortunately for us, he now gets to do it at the highest executive level.

It’s going to be a long three years of this nonsense but there is hope to make a statement in one year by making him a lame duck president by taking the House and Senate in one giant red wave, locally, statewide and nationally.

Want to save America? Vote Republican and for God’s sake, vote policy over personality.





Florida GOP Lawmakers Threaten To Pull State Out Of OSHA Over Biden Vaccine Mandate

Quick bit: Florida is taking the “Don’t Mess With” title.

Full Story:

Top Republican lawmakers are calling on Florida to ‘pull out’ of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – or OSHA – following President Biden’s ‘workaround’ with the agency in implementing a vaccine mandate for employers.

Last week, the White House announced that OSHA would levy fines of up to $14,000 per violation of the mandate for companies with more than 100 employees – a rule that will begin January 4th.

State Representative Alex Andrade (R-Pensacola) argues that the vaccine mandate marks “the first time that OSHA is being used and manipulated to go after people’s private health decisions.”

“If OSHA’s going to be abused by the federal government for purely political reasons, it’s time for us to get out, and it’s time for us to start creating our own plan,” added Andrade.

Florida To Pull Out Of OSHA?

A joint statement by Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson warns that lawmakers will “discuss our own ideas for legislative action” in combating the vaccine mandate.

One of those actions being discussed will include “whether now is the time for Florida to withdraw from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and establish our own state program.”

The statement would add that the OSHA rule “is a reckless one-size-fits-all approach to Covid-19 vaccine mandates.”

Florida filed a lawsuit against the Biden vaccine mandate in regards to contractors.

“It’s important for us to take a stand,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “Tossing people aside is just not something we can tolerate here in the state of Florida, so we are going to do everything we can.”

RELATED: ‘Radical Intrusion’: DeSantis Sues Biden Over Federal Vaccine Mandate

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Amounts To Constitutional Overreach

Andrade argued that the OSHA vaccine mandate “is a constitutional overreach and abuse of the delegated authority that OSHA has in this context.”

He made those comments before President Biden officially announced the start date for the OSHA vaccine mandate.

Days later, a federal appeals court echoed Andrade’s argument, temporarily blocking the administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandate and suggesting it raises “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”

Demonstrating they have no desire to abide by the Constitution, the White House advised businesses to ignore the court’s pause on the vaccine mandate, saying employers should continue to abide by their demands despite the legal ruling.

The administration seems to acknowledge their OSHA mandate is on shaky legal ground.

Back in September White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted a post indicating the possibility of implementing the OSHA emergency standards would be “the ultimate workaround for the Federal (government) to require vaccinations.”

They admit to trying to work around the Constitution and the law. OSHA is complicit in doing so.

Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced a measure to abolish OSHA based on the vaccine mandate overreach.

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‘The racist and xenophobic voice in Manatee County’

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

‘The racist and xenophobic voice in Manatee County’

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

Have you ever sat and watched your robot vacuum make 30 passes across the living room floor and still somehow miss the one visible clump of dust over and over again?

I have too much time on my hands apparently, but I recently watched that very thing happen. The vacuum kept rolling by that little clump of dust, but kept missing it by a half inch on either side.

Clearly, it doesn’t take a lot to entertain me. I was one of those babies that you could just put in the playpen and I’d entertain myself for hours and I haven’t changed much in more than a half century. Give me a decent toy, leave me alone and I’m a happy little camper.

In the end, the vacuum parked itself back on the charger and that little piece of dust just sat there.

As I was watching this scenario, I realized what was playing out in front of me is a pretty good analogy of how the liberal mind works. Their electrical wires are firing, but their signals just don’t quite get to the right place.

Listening to Nancy Pelosi is a lot like watching that vacuum miss that little dust pile. She jibbers, then jabbers, comes so close to making a point and then spews out more gibberish.

You just sit there and say, “Ooh, that was so close to sounding like a sentence, Nancy.”

I’ll give you another example of a liberal mind misfiring and this one’s a little closer to home.

My former boss at the Bradenton Herald took it upon himself to begin attacking me on Twitter recently. He tweeted out that I’m not the Conservative Voice of Manatee County, rather “The racist and xenophobic voice in Manatee County.”

I’m not going to mention his name because it serves no purpose, and I don’t take the low road when it comes to keyboard warriors.

Besides, even if I said his name, the overwhelming majority of you would ask, “Who?”

Ten years as an editor at the Bradenton Herald and I’m still asked by media contacts in the community, “Who is this guy?”

Well, if you’ve read the Bradenton Herald in the past 10 years and have seen the word “that” or “who” misspelled, that’s who he is.

Apparently he’s made several snarky remarks about me since I started this precious time with you, but none were worth taking up this time with you until he took the typical liberal stance with calling me a “racist” and “xenophobic.”

He departed the Bradenton Herald about a month or so before me, but the difference is that I’ve been loud and proud about being fired for refusing to apologize for calling out Biden’s Afghanistan treason on social media. As well as refusing to apologize to McClatchy executives for it and telling them I loved my country more than I loved my job.

On the other hand, I’ll just let him keep being rather incomplete in what he tells people about his departure. Oh, I have stories about our time together with McClatchy, but those are for another day and another project.

His racist and xenophobic comments directed toward me were tweeted about my piece on illegal immigration and Biden’s plans to pay off those illegal immigrants “traumatized” by President Trump’s policies.

Biden, by the way, didn’t have any knowledge of that policy when asked by a reporter. The White House later had to walk back Biden’s claims that the report issued by the Wall Street Journal was a “garbage report.” Biden, of course, has since walked back his own comments of not knowing.

Who is running the show in that nut house?

Anyway, of course I strongly oppose this ridiculous action being taken by Biden, and of course I completely oppose illegal immigration. I know a lot of liberals don’t know this, but “illegal” means it’s against the law. I do believe in legal immigration.

So his liberal rage toward me is not surprising nor are his typical, and quite frankly, boring liberal attacks. His bias was on full display for Trump’s entire administration. Like I said, I have stories. Documented stories, I might add.

But I’m not taking up your time to fire back at him personally. His comments just prove my point about how Manatee County has been saturated with liberal media for far too long.

And again, it’s not about the reporters at the Herald. It’s about McClatchy management.

Calling me a racist and xenophobic is just liberal nonsense, of course. But then again, this is someone who believes Rachel Maddow is a journalist, so that should tell you everything you need to know.

So if it helps him sleep better at night to attack me on a personal and political level then that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but eventually those opinions expose you for what you are.

I take pride in my Conservative values of loving my country, having served my country and standing up for this Republic.

What do liberals take pride in? I think that’s a legitimate question worth exploring at some point, and we will.

If he wants the community to know what he really believes in while pretending to be a “newspaper man,” then I’m all for it. So keep tweeting and while you are at it, go tweet yourself.





Conservative values win the day … except in Manatee County?

Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

Conservative values win the day … except in Manatee County?

By Mark Young

mark.young@manateeherald.com

It was a stunning Tuesday election night victory for Conservatives, but not in Manatee County.

There was a lot of wasted money that went into this Manatee County School District special election to continue an extra one mill tax. Some of which we’ve already discussed, such as $300,000 just to hold the special election and the six-figure salary to the lucky person who organized the special election.

Then there is the money spent on covering the county in vote yes signs and producing misleading social media ads.

I’m sure the district spent well over a half million dollars on this special election that could have been better spent, but again, what’s a half million dollars when it comes to taxpayer money?

The way this district throws money down the drain, the cost of this special election is just a drop in the bucket because they have you, their very own cash cow they believe they can come and milk anytime they want.

So why should they be fiscally responsible?

I won’t repeat a lot of what I’ve already argued except to say again that a school district of 50,000 students who can’t properly educate our children within a $1 billion budget shouldn’t be in the business of education.

I’m not surprised the district was successful given their misinformation campaign, but I am surprised by the margin of victory.

The district said the tax is all about the students and teachers, but failed to tell voters the truth about every aspect of why they had come crawling back to the taxpayer yet again.

Failing to tell the entire truth equates to a lie and this school district lied to you.

But what is done is done and now it’s time to look ahead. Now, more than ever, it is important to keep a wary eye on this district and monitor how it spends your money and educates our children.

I’ll give you just a couple of examples. I’m sure most parents aren’t aware that in the 2019-20 school year this district spent $40,000 on Panorama surveys.

Panorama is the company owned by Attorney General Merrick’s son-in-law and is the gateway to the Critical Race Theory curriculum, which shames young white children for being white.

There are many examples inside this shady district to watch, to include relatives of school board members previously teaching without a degree but getting paid at a PhD salary, removing the Pledge of Allegiance from elementary classrooms and the many, many scandals that have already been outlined.

If you really believed this special election was about the teachers and children, then all I ask is that you pay very close attention to what this district is up to in the coming months and years.

You voted for it, so now you own it. And if you own it, you must take some responsibility to ensure that it is cared for consistent with the intention that encouraged you to vote for it in the first place.

You don’t just get to give this district more of our money and turn a blind eye to the aftermath.

The district played a successful shell game and won your money. Watch carefully what they do with it. I can promise you one thing: this victory will only embolden this district in the future to come back for more.

And because their misinformation campaign was so successful, they will continue to mislead you about what they are up to next, as they have done so often in the past decade.

With that said, congratulations to Virginia voters who gave conservatives a clean sweep in what has become a blue state. As I write this, the New Jersey gubernatorial election is still too close to call, but, win or lose, it is another big statement that this country is fed up with the progressive movement.

And a big congratulations to voters in Minneapolis for shooting down the effort to defund and “reimagine” their police department.

That was another misinformation campaign, but thankfully did not succeed. I’ll get into the whole ridiculous defund the police movement at another time.

For now, stay vigilant patriots. We’ve won a couple of big battles, but lost an important one on the homefront. We have more work to do.