Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Open Letter to Morgan Freeman From Tea Party Activist Ali Akbar

Oscar winner Morgan Freeman recently called the tea party racist during an interview on CNN.  Yet another despicable lie based on nothing more than repeating the failed attempts by mainstream media and Hollywood to portray the Tea Party in a negative light.  Saying this over and over will not make it true.  Ever.

Mr. Freeman's comments are unfounded and disgusting.  When I read in the news that he said this, my initial reaction was sadness.  I've attended several tea parties here in the Houston area and am a proud member.  I have not witnessed racism.  I have witnessed unity.  I have witnessed fellow citizens proud of their country.  Proud of its foundation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Proud of the Constitution and the freedoms it brings each of us.  This is what I've witnessed at every event.  

The only negativity that I've experienced surrounding the tea party has been from the mainstream media, from Hollywood actors and actresses and from those who have never actually attended.  A friend of mine from Arizona attended one of the Houston tea parties with me last year. She was warned by her family to be careful for her safety. We're both Latinas, you see, but I am happy to report she was safe and that she has a different viewpoint of the tea party movement than she did before she came along with me.  

Photo courtesy of Ali Akbar via CNN

Yesterday, I read an opinion piece from my friend Ali Akbar to Mr. Freeman.  Part of his open letter reads:

"I’ve attended dozens of tea party events. I’ve helped organize them, and I’ve even poken at a few. The tea party is not what is often depicted in the news. It is people of all colors who are terribly concerned about the direction that America is heading. We don’t trust big government to make decisions for us. And we fear that the present administration’s spending is going to lead our country down a path to insolvency, much like what Greece is currently facing.

I’m hoping that you’ll come to a tea party in Tennessee — the place of your birth. Really anywhere in the country that works for you; I’ll set it up with the one of the thousands of activists I know around our great country. I’d be delighted to introduce you to good people who will welcome you with open arms, disagree with you, and then feed you some of the best barbeque you’ve ever tasted."
Please read the entire letter at Tea Party Brew.

Ali's letter truly touched me.  It made me cry.  And I'm a mean opinionated bossy lady. Ask my kids!

I hope and pray Mr. Freeman accepts this invitation.  And I hope and pray Mr. Freeman remembers his own words in the video below when reading Ali's note.





It's time to rid our country of the meme that the tea party is racist. Forever and ever.  Amen.



Citizens United Political Victory Fund Endorses U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz!

Today's endorsement from Citizens United Political Victory Fund of Ted Cruz is another testament to his proven record as a true conservative.

Citizens United joins the ever-growing list of Cruz's Grassroots Army and other key endorsement supporters.


David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United says of Cruz:
"Ted is a rising star in the conservative movement, and he will be a key player in repealing the disastrous liberal policies brought forth by President Barack Obama. I have full confidence that Ted Cruz is the true conservative in the race and will represent the great state of Texas with honor in the United States Senate. Texas deserves another conservative Senator."
Read more here about the Citizens United Political Victory Fund.

And join us and be a part of the Cruz Crew! 


For America.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Help Launch The Cruz Missile!

As President Obama and the Democratic Party continue to push radical agenda aimed to fundamentally change our country for the worse with more federal overreach, more taxes, more spending, more regulations, Cap & Trade, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and oh-too-much-more, Americans must continue to stand firm to stop the assault on our fellow citizens and our declining economy.

Focus is strong to the upcoming 2012 Presidential election, but we must not forget the Senate seat races! We have a true conservative in U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz. Join the Cruz Crew today!
Cruz announced his brilliant 12 Step Plan To Jobs last week while our President's "if you love me, pass this bill" plan won't create jobs. For one, President Obama's "jobs plan" increases pharmacy co-pays for military health care and includes more spending, spending, spending!  Read the Obama "jobs plan" fine print here. Just wrong.

With the continued assault against our country's fundamental principles of small government and fiscal conservatism, the Cruz campaign has launched a new fundraising initiative today!

Will you please join us by donating now to launch our Cruz Missile (if you'll forgive the pun) and fortify the Senate against Obama’s liberal agenda? 


CruzMissile

The Cruz campaign has been fortunate to receive the endorsements of conservative fighting Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey. They need reinforcements like you to help reinforce conservative principles.

I hope you will join me and join the Cruz Crew and donate today!

Thank you and God Bless!


Monday, September 26, 2011

VA Settles with Veteran's Groups at Houston National Cemetery

Last week, the Veteran's Administration agreed to settle the lawsuit regarding censorship of freedom of speech and freedom of religion at the Houston National Cemetery.


Photo by Michael Stravato of the New York Times
To recap, my previous article entitled God Bless Our Military ... Just Not At The Houston National Cemetery, shared how the Houston National Cemetery Director, Ms. Arlene Ocasio, was requiring grieving families and volunteer groups to not use the words "God" or "Jesus" at any funeral ceremony without her prior approval.

The Department of Veterans Affairs also defended Ms. Arlene Ocasio stating the accusations in the lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs and Ms. Arleen Ocasio were "categorically false."  Local elected officials complained and Congressman John Culberson, U.S. Representative of Texas District 7, took it upon himself to go undercover at a military hero's funeral and found the truth. He personally witnessed the censorship of freedom of speech and freedom of religion at the funerals of our veterans. Read about his experience here.

Late last week, Houston Chronicle's Lindsey Wise shared the following terms to the settlement that were agreed to by the mediating parties.  These terms are currently awaiting Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips' sign off:
  • The VA will not interfere with prayers during burial services.
  • The VA will not edit or control the speeches of speakers at ceremonies or events at the cemetery containing religious messages or viewpoints and cannot ban religious words in verbal communications between the volunteers and veteran's families.
  • The VA will not ban religious speech or words like "God" or "Jesus" in condolence cards or gifts.
  • Payment by the VA of the veterans groups' $215,000 in legal fees.
  • The VA will have a Bible, Cross and Star of David placed on an open shelf within the Chapel, that will be easily accessible and available for use by families if they so choose.
  • The local members of VFW District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies would resign their positions as official VA volunteers. They will be free to provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes so that veterans' families can decide if they would like these groups to provide any services at the cemetery.
While many have asked for the resignation of Houston National Cemetery Directory Arleen Ocasio, the status of her position is not addressed in this agreement.  Hmm.

Full details of the settlement can be found at the jump here. While the parties involved are not yet commenting on the settlement terms as the judge has yet to sign off on the agreement, I see this as a victory for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  I also believe it's really sad a lawsuit had to be filed for rights highlighted in our Constitution. This is yet another sign of the sad times we're in, but our faith will remain strong.

Listen.  As I've said previously, if you choose not to pray, that's your choice. I respect all faiths and beliefs so I won't force mine on you and you don't force yours on me. Americans should be able to pray as they wish, when they wish, and if they wish, without the permission or supervision of any government entity or any person for that matter. And should those grieving families wish to have the VFW Honor Guard, the Houston National Memorial Ladies or any other volunteers there to help in their greatest time of need for support, they should be able to do so too.

Please continue to help our military and their families by supporting one or more of the following wonderful organizations:

Thanks to the Liberty Institute for helping these groups.  And many thanks to all of you who have called, emailed and voiced your support to the veterans.  Without them, we wouldn't be the greatest nation on the planet.  God Bless America and may God continue to bless our military!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Choose To Be Cheerful

Today I share the power of prayer with my daily affirmation from my Daily Word pamphlet.


The dawning of a new day fills me with the hope of infinite possibilities.  As I begin each morning, I feel my oneness with God, with nature and with all life.
There is much to appreciate as I spend a few moments of gratitude:  the people and animals I love, the things that bring me comfort, the shelter of my home, the fulfillment of my work and activities.  The more gratitude I express the better I feel.  My heart fills with gladness and a smile crosses my face.  I am cheerful, encouraging and kind.  I look for and find the good in all circumstances, even the challenges.  I see the deeper meaning in my life.
My cheerful attitude and grateful heart lead me to joy and peace.


A cheerful heart is a good medicine. ~ Proverbs 17:22



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ted Cruz's 12 Steps To Jobs = Brilliant!

Last week, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz laid out a very different jobs plan that President Obama.  The President's "if you love me, pass this bill" plan won't create jobs.  That "jobs plan" increases pharmacy co-pays for military health care and more spending, spending, spending!  Read the Obama "jobs plan" fine print here.

Photo from HispanicRepublicansofTX.org
As I've written in previous blog postings, Cruz, the former solicitor general of Texas, is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate running for the seat of Kay Bailey-Hutchison who will be retiring at the end of her term next year.

We have a leader in Cruz and the video below lays out his 12 step plan to jobs.


Read the plan specifics here.

Ted Cruz is a candidate that truly is as good as it gets.  Ted continues to win straw poll after straw poll with the latest at the Garland Tea Party just last week.  Texans can see a true conservative in Cruz who understands the importance of small government, talks the talk, walks the walk and listens to the citizens of this great state.

And while the word on the street is that this is a two-man race between Cruz and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Dewhurst has missed 9 ... yes NINE ... invitations to attend these types of events prompting the question:  Where in the heck is he?!

Join Ted Cruz's team today.  Learn more here!

God Bless Texas!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Benefit Concert for Texas Wildfire Victims **UPDATED**

UPDATE 9/27/2011:  
George Strait has been added to the list of performers!  Read more here from weareaustin.com!


KHOU Channel 11 Houston reports today:
"An Oct. 17 concert featuring Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett will benefit Central Texas wildfire victims. Kyle Chandler, who on Sunday won an Emmy for best actor in a drama in the final season of the TV show "Friday Night Lights," will help host the benefit. Chandler recently did public service announcements in support of volunteer firefighters across Texas."
The concert will take place at the Erwin Center in Austin and sounds like great fun for a great cause!  Tickets are $25, $25, and $100. VIP tickets are $250. All tickets go on sale FRIDAY, September 23rd at HIGH NOON and will also be available online at texasboxoffice.com.

And now, one of my favorite Lyle Lovett songs. Enjoy!


Many families are still suffering in Texas, so please learn more on how to help here: How To Help Texas Wildfire Victims.

Thank you and God Bless!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class Warfare and President Obama

Peace is hard.  But class warfare isn't.  And it's happening now right before our eyes.

The All American Blogger writes:
"The president outlined a tax increase he’s calling the Buffett Rule, or something silly, which loots more from the rich, richer and richest Americans. It’s a tax hike he says is necessary to pay for his American Jobs Act, also know as the next Keynesian failure to not convince leftists that Keynes was wrong."
Exactly.

But wait. I thought you shouldn't raise taxes during a recession?


Ah, we're in the Obama Depression.  YouTube is glorious!

Our President and his latest plan targets a specific population of our fellow citizens stating they need to spread their wealth even more than they already do.  Is that fair?  No, it is not.  Look how much they already pay.  Fair indeed.


Everyone is already paying more.  I know I am.  You are too.   More at the gas pump.  More at the grocery store.  More for higher education.  More for clothing.  More, more, more.  Will it ever end?  It will never end as long there is a population of our country who does not pay.

I LOVE Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan!  If 10% is good enough for God, 9% should be good enough for the Federal Government.  Can I get an Amen?  AMEN!

When you get down to it, President Obama's plan is class warfare straight up.  

Photo via Townhall.com
Heck, the President said just today that charges against him of waging class warfare is his badge of honor. SHAME on you, Sir!


Share it with everyone you know.  Together we can educate the public on the truth.  It really is out there.


Rick Perry's Latest Campaign Video: WOW.

If this video does not move you, I'm not quite sure what will.

Whether you're a fan of Rick Perry or not, the message is powerful.


A great country DOES require a better direction.  AND a new President!

The United States of America is the best.  No apologies.  

We WILL get our country working again.

Count on it.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CBS Houston Most Valuable Blogger Awards

Jersey-Texan won!  WOW!  You like me, you really like me!

Thanks to all who nominated and voted for me as the CBS Houston Local Affairs Most Valuable Blogger!

If I were standing on a stage, this is my speech:  I would also like to thank God, my parents, handsomehub Steve, my brilliant and ridiculously funny son Jacob, and my gorgeous and fabulous daughters Jessica and Angela for all putting up with me 24/7. They deserve a big high five for that alone.  HA. 

With the honor of bragging rights until next year, I also won a $50 Amazon gift card.  Not sure what I'll use it for, but Christmas is coming around the corner in only 95 days!

In the meantime, I decided to donate $50 to Operation Gratitude who sends packages to our military.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause that:
" ... annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in Transition Units."
May God bless our military always!

Be sure to also check out CBS Houston for news, sports, weather, traffic, and the Best of Houston.  They rock!

Thanks again for your support!  I am truly honored and will do my best to continue to share good information.  After all, knowledge is power!




Monday, September 19, 2011

Day of Rage!

In case you missed it, there was a "Day of Rage" protest on Wall Street and across our nation on Saturday.  Organized and promoted before, during, and after via social media and corporate designed electronic devices.  To take place on a day when Wall Street is closed. Umm.  Ironic.

Photo via numerous tweets

Laughter is the best medicine and we need to laugh in order to stop from crying over the direction our country is headed.  After last week's brilliant video by @MisfitPolitics, many thought they could never top Attack Watch, but ch-ch-check out their latest on the "Day of Rage."  It's heeeelarious!



Oh.  And for those of you reading this that may *really* believe the top earners of America don't pay their "fair share?"  Think again.

ht @somethingfishie

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Celebrate Constitution Day!

On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed by 39 brave men and the world was changed forever.   Over a hundred countries have since used it as a model for their own.  And as it is also a living document, it is one of the oldest surviving constitutions.  



In honor of the 224th birthday of the Constitution this Saturday, here are a few ways for you and your family to celebrate:
And this post would not be complete without the awesome that is School House Rock:



One of my favorite quotes from Patrick Henry:  The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Obama's Broken Promise. Again. Le Sigh.

Wow.  Just wow.

Courtesy of Smart Girl Politics, the following report by Seamus Kraft, Director of Digital Strategy & Press Secretary of the House Oversight Committee documents a flawed, broken process manipulated and exploited in ways that benefit President Obama's allies.  

Photo from openwalls.com

For real.

Read below on just how the administrative state has broken President Obama's promise of regulatory reform.

Transparency at its best, right?  Riiiiiiight.  Just when I think there's no way it can get worse, it does.  493 days.



(WASHINGTON) – 

President Obama recently halted the implementation of a controversial job-killing regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying he recognized the “importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty” in the economy.  



While the President has spoken about, and even launched an effort to evaluate regulations that create unnecessary burdens, agencies in the Obama Administration have regulated in the opposite direction Spotlighting these regulatory failures and impacts on job creation is the focus of a newly released report and hearing held today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“The federal regulatory process is broken, being manipulated and exploited in ways that benefit allies of the Obama Administration such as environmental groups, trial lawyers, and unions.  Regulators have, in too many instances, been willing accomplices in the strategy advanced by outside interest groups to circumvent the oversight and accountability checks in the regulatory process,” Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said.
The report released by Chairman Issa and the Oversight Committee documents a flawed and broken system that punishes job creators and stifles economic growth.  Key findings include:
  • The number of proposed rules has increased from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010;
  • Employment at regulatory agencies has climbed 13 percent since President Obama took office, and the number of staff working on regulatory matters is on schedule to increase at a rate of 10,000 new employees per year in 2011 and 2012;
  • The number of full time regulatory employees is expected to reach an all-time high of 291,676 in 2012;
  • The Obama Administration has already imposed 75 new major regulations that will cost more than $380 billion over ten years;
  • The Administration has 219 economically significant regulations in the pipeline right now—that, if finalized will impose costs of at least $219 billion on the economy over ten years. 
In addition, the report outlines numerous examples in the rulemaking process where federal agencies and regulators ignored, circumvented or openly flouted direction given by the President.

It spotlighted EPA’s sue-and-settle approach to bypass the process and avoid transparency on a recent lead paint rule with dire consequences for job creators; abuse of the emergency rulemaking process and use of ‘interim final rules’ regarding Obamacare, causing health plans to lose grandfathered status; and, an ‘enhanced review process’ initiated by EPA of a Clean Water Act provision in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, among others.
“The businesses owners and workers who bear the brunt of these regulations are not Fortune 500 executives, they are main street business owners and workers from around the country,” Issa said.  “These firms, their families, suppliers, customers and employees all bear the cost of these new and proposed regulations.  For them and businesses around the country, the price is greater than just compliance—it is a hidden tax of uncertainty on our economy,” he added.
Beyond the costs and implications for job creators from regulations, the Oversight Committee report also pointed out that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the federal agency charged with serving as a watchdog over federal rulemaking, has failed to take meaningful action to address the breakdown in the process.
“Thus far, the rhetoric we have seen from the Obama Administration on the issue of regulatory reform has not been matched in deed,” Issa said.
A copy of the Committee’s report is here and testimony and other hearing-related information is available here.


Is your head spinning too? 493 days, my friends.4-9-3.  This is when we can make a difference and get out and vote for a candidate with proven leadership and a small government mindset.  We also should also begin reporting these types of assaults as shared above on the American public to
Attack Watch!  After all ...

For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~ Ephesians 6:12


Moms Against Hunger and the Texas Wildfires

As fires still burn in Texas, patriotism is in action.

Photo via 365thingsaustin.com


Adding to my previous post How To Help Texas Wildfire Victims from last week, Moms Against Hunger has joined the many organizations and individuals with boots (and heels) on the ground helping my fellow Texans in their greatest time of need.  ht @SarahInTx for the link!

Please consider sharing the information received below and making a donation, if possible.
May God Bless all those who have been directly affected by the wildfires and may rain visit us all soon.  Thank you for your continued support!



My Good Friend, 

We desperately need your help to feed thousands of Texas residents who are displaced and have lost their homes to the wildfires that are raging across the state. 

Moms Against Hunger and our 60 volunteers are working distribution lines that are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day to provide food, water, juice, and toiletries to Magnolia residents who are watching and waiting to find out if their homes have been consumed by fire or if they were spared. 

Most residents have already been out of their homes for five days; some know that they have lost their homes and are homeless; and many are staying at local shelters, with family members, or are living inside their vehicles. 

What they need most are the basic essentials that people use every day – tooth brushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, baby wipes, water, juice boxes, headache medicine, Imodium, and even coloring books for children who are not in school. 

FEMA is not on the ground and the Red Cross is not providing meals for firefighters or the displaced. Moms Against Hunger is here, and we are working with local church ministries to help them organize distribution lines and provide them with several days worth of food, water, and necessities. 

When you have lost everything, being able to eat a meal is a comfort and a blessing. 

Please CLICK HERE to send an URGENT DONATION to help victims in Magnolia, Texas, who are homeless and displaced because fires have destroyed their homes. Our Moms Against Hunger WILDFIRE RESPONSE TEAM needs donations to provide food and supplies to all who are in need! 

As firefighters continue to battle the infernos that are raging across the state, we are doing what we can help them and the families who are in need. We have already sent all of the socks we had to the firefighters who have been standing in water with wet feet for days now. In addition, we continue to work to keep nerves calm while residents wait to find out what has happened to their homes--parents are anxious, but are trying to keep their children from being afraid. 

We know what we need to do to help, but we need your generous donations to do so. We need funding so we can buy supplies for firefighters – masks, shovels, sunscreen and hand wipes. We also need food, water and supplies for the short-term use of shelters. 

Every day, residents wait behind police checkpoints in the ash and smoke-filled air, watching the devastation and the helicopters that continue to dump tons of water on the raging wildfires that look as though they will never stop burning. 

We are fortunate that we have been able to help so many families, but our supplies are diminishing and we need your help! No one else is here to help, it's just Americans helping Americans right now. 

So far, we've been able to provide meals for 1,500 firefighters each day – meeting them at their checkpoints during every rotation. And on Monday, we will be expected to take meals to 2,200 firefighters, but we are running low on everything that we need to provide for the firefighters and the displaced. 

Helping those who are in need is what Christ would want His followers to do. 

We are doing everything we can to provide help to everyone in the community, but we have an emergency on our hands and we desperately need your financial contribution to continue to do God's work by helping those who are in need. 

Please CLICK HERE to send anURGENT DONATION to help victims in Magnolia, Texas, who are homeless and displaced because fires have destroyed their homes. Our Moms Against Hunger WILDFIRE RESPONSE TEAM needs donations to provide food and supplies to all who are in need!The need is desperately URGENT! 

Your donation will help provide meals to the firefighters, those who are working at the command centers, and help to feed Texans who are displaced and have no home to return to. 

During this disaster, a meal, cold water, and a toothbrush and toothpaste are genuine luxuries. These are simple items, but they make a world of difference in the lives of those who have lost their homes – and those who are fighting to saves lives by battling the fires. 

Will you help to provide one of the 2,200 meals that Moms Against Hunger is giving to the firefighters; and help fund our efforts to distribute food, water, baby items and toiletries to Texas residents who are displaced or homeless? 
Your gift WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of thousands of people. 

Please CLICK HERE to send an URGENT DONATION to help victims in Magnolia, Texas, who are homeless and displaced because fires have destroyed their homes. Our Moms Against Hunger WILDFIRE RESPONSE TEAM needs donations to help provide meals to the 2,200 firefighters who are working 24-hour rotations to battle the fires! 

NOW is the time for you to decide---should I or shouldn't I? Thousands of victims are looking to you to help. Remember ... FEMA is not here, the Red Cross is not helping to feed the firefighters and residents ...so we are depending on you! 

In fact, we cannot continue our work without you. 

Please take this important first step and say 
YES to those in need. 

DONATE NOW 


We thank you in advance for your love and compassion, 

Dr. Gayla Holley Founder and President 
MOMS AGAINST HUNGER 

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:17-18 


MOMS AGAINST HUNGER 
Contribute online or by mail: 
Department Code 6854 P.O. Box 25 
La Porte, Texas 77571 
momsagainsthunger.org

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remember 9/11: Never Quit.

In honor of 9/11, Heritage.org has released a short video about the events that have changed our lives forever. Please take a moment to watch and share with your family and friends.


Never Forget.  Never Quit. 

And as you take this weekend to reflect on that horrific day and hug your family and friends a little tighter, please remember our troops are still at war with those that carried out that unforgivable act and still wish us all grave harm. 

Our military sacrifices all to keep us safe 24/7 365 days a year.  Please consider making a donation via Move America Forward to support our troops and help them during their deployment. 


Never Forget.

Never Quit.

God Bless our Military and America ... Always.



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How To Help Texas Wildfire Victims

I wanted to follow-up to my Monday post on the Texas wildfires to focus on the many organizations and individuals on the front lines helping those in need.

A reminder of the Texas numbers from Governor Perry's office in The Statesman:

  • 4: Deaths in the past week. RIP and prayers for the families and friends of those lost.
  • 118,400: Acres burned in the past seven days.
  • 181: fires in the past seven days.
  • 20,900: Fires that have destroyed more than 1,000 homes since the fire season began in December 2010.
  • 3.6 MILLION: Number of acres burned since December 2010.
  • 700*: Approximate number of homes burned by wildfires in the past seven days, about the same as the previous nine months. *Over 1,300 since 0700 hours 9/8
  • 121: Number of mutual-aid system firefighters from across the state who are currently fighting the Central Texas fires, using 72 fire engines and 18 command vehicles.
  • 40: Texas Forest Service aircraft deployed statewide, including 15 single-engine air tankers, 12 helicopters and 13 aerial supervision aircraft assets deployed to multiple fires.
  • 8: Texas Military Forces resource groups deployed so far.
  • 2: CH-47 Chinook helicopters
  • 3: UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters assisting with fires in Bastrop County
  • 1: UH-60 Blackhawk staged in Austin to fight central Texas fires
  • 2: UH-60 Blackhawks assisting with the fires in Colorado County
  • 3: Ground wildfire support packages consisting of 4 dozers and 16 personnel each.


To help visualize the size of the Bastrop fire, here's a map that shows the area.

Wildfire updates: City of Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

TRACK Texas wildfires, their locations, movement, containment and more via:



Texas Department of Transportation provides Road Closures map so plan accordingly.


The website for the Texas Forest Service has current updates.  Check them out.

Tea Party boots on the ground CALL TO ACTION with Citizen Patriot Response.

Facebook Pages:


Donate directly to the American Red Cross Central Texas 
and get updates too.

You can donate when you're grocery shopping at HEB.  Find the store nearest to you HERE.

Can you provide supplies and relief to families? Please email/call:

  • Celebration Church Texas - please email: serve@celebrationchurchtx.com.
  • Faith Family Services in Hutto is picking up clothing and food donations for delivery to area pantries and organizations in direct contact with victims. They are also coordinating emergency housing with area homes. For more information, email: faithfamilyhomes@yahoo.com or call 210-334-1708.
  • Operation Supply Drop is delivering vital supplies. Please consider helping them out. 

Your support is critical and urgent!

Help Texas and the Wildland Firefighters by making a tax deductible donation to Texas Wildfire Relief Fund today!

A big Texas thanks to U-Haul! They are offering 30 DAYS FREE STORAGE for those affected by fires.   Please support them with business!

Need to listen for emergency notifications?  Yes, there's an app for that: Scanner Radio.

And much more info on how to help can be found on KXAN's website at the jump here!

Some wildfire photos from across Texas this week:


Photo Courtesy of CNN Wire 


Photo Courtesy of MSNBC


Photo Courtesy of US Daily News Blog


Photo Courtesy of MSNBC


Photo Courtesy of the Atlantic


Photo Courtesy of Dan Nelson


A few more pics I took from my iPhone Sunday to show how close the Montgomery and Grimes County wildfire are to me in Cypress, a suburb NW of Houston.   Yes, the wildfires are everywhere.


Photo by Michelle Lancaster


Photo by Michelle Lancaster


Photo by Michelle Lancaster

And this also on Sunday at dusk from my daughter Jessica on her way via I10 West back to college at Texas State. We later found out she was a mere 5 miles from a fire moving near the freeway. Too close.


Photo by Jessica Lancaster

If these pictures don't quite capture the magnitude of these Texas wildfires, this picture of the Austin skyline taken on Sunday afternoon will.


Photo Courtesy of deannaroy.com

A frightening video of a wildfire up close and personal from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department:


So if you can, please help where you can, whether its monetarily or by giving your time. And please share these links, email addresses and telephone numbers with those you know to spread the good word. Thank you and God Bless!

Twitter users please follow news on these wildfires by using hashtags:
#txfire #txwildfire #centraltxfires.


Monday, September 5, 2011

UPDATED! Wildfires: Bastrop + Central Texas + More. Texas Is On Fire.

As many of us are relaxing with family and friends on this Labor Day, my fellow Texas in the Bastrop area are fleeing huge wildfires.  97% of Texas is under a drought warning so while it feels nice outside from the lower temps of the winds from Tropical Storm Lee, these winds are fueling an already too dry ground with the fast moving firestorm.


Photo Courtesy of CNN Wire


Over 450 homes have been destroyed and a mother and baby were killed when they could not escape the fast moving wildfire in time.  Over 25,000 acres have burned across Texas jumping the Colorado River and highways in the just the past few days.  If you are in these areas, please use caution and stay safe.


Just take a look at this raw footage from Texans in the path of these wildfires: 




And this where I've driven so many times on my way from the Houston area to Austin:




And one more that shows how quickly you can go from thinking the wildfire is far away to yeah ... not so much:




So for those of you who may be making snide comments about Governor Perry cancelling his attendance at this week's GOP Debate in SC to help lead Texas and her citizens in containment, restoration and recovery of and from these devastating wildfires, I say STOP it now.  Looks like our Governor was trying to participate in DeMint forum FROM Texas, but CNN now reporting it cannot happen. It is what it is. 


I understand that he'll be criticized whether he stays or whether he returns home, but I am thankful he's returning to Texas.  After all, Texans have been fighting these wildfires for MANY months now with no relief.  Over 3.5 MILLION acres have burned in Texas in 2011, so please stop politicizing Perry's decision to return to Texas. 


Governor Perry is quoted as saying "I'm not paying attention to politics right now ... There will be plenty of time for that. People's lives and their possessions are at stake and that's substantially more important."  I couldn't agree more.  For those of you still skeptical, and I know many are, please instead turn that negative energy into something positive by helping your fellow citizen by donating to one to the suggested links below.  


Various updates can be found at City of Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management.


Track all the Texas wildfires here!  There are many links to monitor the movement and locations.  This link provides wildfire containment percentages when you click the fire icon. 


Please also check this map from the Texas Department of Transportation on what roads are closed so you can plan accordingly.


To help picture the size of the Bastrop fire, here's a map that shows the area it covers.

Please help by donating here (ht @KXAN_News):


  • FIREFIGHTER MANPOWER REQUEST: Anyone in Central Texas that has firefighting experience is requested to call 512-978-1187!
  • American Red Cross Central Texas - only monetary donations at this time, but check the website for additional info on assistance that can be provided.
  • To get involved providing supplies and relief to families affected by the wildfires, please email: serve@celebrationchurchtx.com.
  • A Facebook page is taking donations, but no cash at this time.
  • Faith Family Services in Hutto is picking up clothing and food donations for delivery to area pantries and organizations in direct contact with victims. They are also coordinating emergency housing with area homes. For more information, email: faithfamilyhomes@yahoo.com or call 210-334-1708.
More info on how to help can be found on KXAN's website at the jump here!  


Thousands of updates on properties and evacuations in Texas can be found on the Texas Storm Chasers Facebook page.

Your support is critical and urgent – Help Texas and the Wildland Firefighters by making a tax deductible donation to Texas Wildfire Relief Fund today!

Support the communities affected by the Texas wildfires 2011 Facebook page.

Operation Supply Drop is delivering vital supplies.  Please consider helping them out.

U-haul is offering 30 DAYS FREE STORAGE for those affected by fires.


Want to listen for emergency notifications?  iTunes really does has an app for that:  Scanner Radio.


Twitter users please follow news on these wildfires by using hashtags #txfire #txwildfire #centraltxfires.

Please say a prayer for all those affected by these horrific events.   And pray for rain in Texas too because as it stands now, it doesn't look like any is coming soon.



Much appreciated if you added additional ways to help our fellow Texans to the comment thread too ... :)


Here are a couple of pics I took from my iPhone Sunday (1615 hours) to show how close the Montgomery and Grimes County wildfire are to me in Cypress, a suburb NW of Houston.  


Photo by Michelle Lancaster




Photo by Michelle Lancaster


And this also on Sunday (1800 hours) from my daughter Jessica on her way via I10 West back to college at Texas State.


Photo by Jessica Lancaster


And another taken from in front of our house in Cypress Sunday evening (1845 hours).


Photo by Michelle Lancaster


If these pictures and videos don't quite capture the magnitude of these Texas wildfires, maybe this picture of the Austin skyline taken on Sunday afternoon will.


Photo Courtesy of deannaroy.com


And you can see the fires in Texas FROM SPACE.

Central Texas wildfires by the numbers.

Way too close to us all.  Praying for all those in the path of these destructive wildfires and for the firefighters that are doing all they can to protect us. 


Thank you!


From Mike Flynn at Big Government:
Texas Tea Parties Mobilize to Assist Firefighters, Victims of Wildfires

Learn more about Citizen Patriot Response today!



Pic below received today 9/7 taken driving to Houston near Bastrop.  WOW.  Prayers!




UPDATE 9/8/2011:  In regards to media stories that the Texas Forest Service budget was slashed by Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature, please read this that proves those accusations as FALSE.  Just keeping you in the loop to the truth.