Newt Gingrich tells it straight and plain at the Iowa Freedom Summit Jan. 24, 2015 in this 15 minute speech.​

The Lighter Side...

Ronald Reagan at his best - communicating with humor, good will, and the ability to laugh at himself.  (With a short contrasting look at a different communicator at the end.)   Click here

Ronald Reagan - The Great Patriot -  "We Are Americans"     Click here​

Deficits and Debt by John Rivard

Our plate of problems is full.  Even overflowing.  Hard problems, with hard decisions facing us.  What’s the biggest problem we have?  That’s easy.  It’s our debt!  With continued deficit spending piling on!  

The USA is on its way to bankruptcy.  We are in danger of becoming Greece.  We have spent and spent and spent, and promised payments (entitlements) to everyone; now we are finding out we can’t pay the piper!  Europe is in the same mess.  Their six- decade march towards the nanny state is coming up against the economic reality that socialism works great until you run out of other people’s money!  Europe is beginning to address their problem. But we aren’t at that stage yet.  We are just beginning to   admit that we have a problem!

How can one understand the problem when the numbers are so big?  To illustrate with real numbers from the 2011 budget, our income is $2.170 trillion, expenses are $3.820 trillion, meaning we must borrow $1.650 trillion this year (of which over 40% will be financed by China).  Our debt (the accumulation of all our past deficit spending) is $14.271 trillion.  The budget included  reduced spending of $38.5 billion. Difficult to evaluate... right?  But by scaling down our federal finances to the family level we can begin to relate.   If we drop eight zeros from all the above numbers and pretend we are a family, here’s our situation.  Our income this year is $21,700 and we will spend $38,200, so we need to charge $16,500 on our credit card.  The previous balance owed on our credit card is $142,700.  Recognizing that we can’t go on this way, we cut our planned expenditures by a whopping $385!  Now we can relate.  Now we can see we are living way beyond our means.  We are staggered by the amount of debt that we have!  Worse yet, our planned cuts were so small they are almost meaningless!  We are in a bad way, getting worse, fast!  We are beginning to understand that we can’t survive this way! 

The debt is the big problem, because it is huge in relation to our income, and growing out of control with each year’s deficit spending.   The first step to dealing with the debt is to reduce, then eliminate, the annual deficit.  This means reducing expenses and increasing income. Increasing income can come from increasing taxes or increasing the tax base (improving the economy).  Catch 22 is that increasing taxes decreases the tax base by stifling the economy!  So the only sure way is cutting expenses and growing the economy!   Cutting government is the  answer. But because entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) are 40% of the budget, any meaningful cuts must include revisions to these programs. 

Our debt was accumulated by deficit spending under both Democrat and Republican controlled governments. Now as we face the so-called "fiscal cliff,"  the debate will continue to rage.  Be a part of it! Be informed!



​​​John & Marlys Rivard - Conservative Texans

This speech by a member of the Canadian Parliament is an excellent and sobering assessment of the United States and European socialism programs.   Pierre Poilievre is a Member of Parliament since 2004. In April of 2012, MP Poilievre stood up in the House of Commons to defend economic freedom and to warn his colleagues to avoid the mistakes of the US and European socialist governments.  His introductory comments follow:

Canada by contrast is strong. To stay that way, we must never repeat the mistakes of Europe and the United States and we must instead focus on what Canada has already done right.  What went wrong in the United States? Many believe that the 2008 financial collapse and recession were the result of irresponsible behaviour by business and banks. In fact, this behaviour was merely the symptom. The illness was massive government intervention to turn the mortgage business into a social program.

Our dog "Dandy" wanted to go to the Tea Party Rally in Clear Lake (Houston) in 2014

   (Because a little culture never hurt anyone...)

  • Bob Hope & James Cagney (great dance routine, 1955)  Click here 
  • "I Believe," a beautiful presentation by Andie's Isle.  Click here

Houston, Texas

God Bless America

      The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of "GOD BLESS AMERICA." But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.   The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.   This was the era just before TV when radio shows were huge, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.

       Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up. So she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written but never published, 22 years before in 1917. He gave it to her, and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

        To this day, "God Bless America" stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry -- and for many generations of Americans to follow.  Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you'll enjoy it and treasure it even more.    Many people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts with "God Bless America." 
        Here's the link.

​​​​                                      In Memory of Marlys Rivard

Marlys Stament Rivard, age 79, died on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in hospice care at her home in Clear Lake City, surrounded by friends and family.  She died after a courageous six-year battle with congestive heart failure and Parkinson’s disease with complications.

 Marlys was born Jan. 19, 1941 in Minneapolis MN to William J. and Stella Fries Stament.  She married John Rivard in 1963 and the couple lived in the Houston area for their 56 years together.   Marlys was a loving and devoted wife, an exceptional mother and home manager and the Rivard family financial officer and social director.  She was a “professional Mom.” 

Marlys and John raised three beautiful daughters, two of which suffered severe brain injuries in separate automobile accidents during their teen years.  With courage, steadfast perseverance and dedication, Marlys directed and led the long fight back from coma and the subsequent years of rehabilitation for both daughters.  Although daughter Kathleen ultimately succumbed to a seizure-related loss of oxygen to the brain, the rebuilding of daughters Kathleen and Stephanie was Marlys’s greatest accomplishment, a tribute to a mother’s love and commitment to family and duty.  During the years of rehabilitation for their daughters, Marlys and John helped establish the local chapter of the Brain Injury Foundation to help other families suffering this silent epidemic. 

 After the 1989 death of daughter Kathleen, Marlys and John found relief and pleasure in dancing, which became an avocation.  They traveled to and danced in all 50 states, finding joy, exercise and purpose in polka, Cajun and country-western swing dancing.  They became ambassadors of dance, and helped publish a monthly newspaper, The Texas Polka News, continuing that publication for a dozen years after the death of its founder.  Marlys’s “Red-Neck Recipes” monthly feature became a popular part of the paper.  Their dancing adventures found them dancing in 485 Texas dance halls over their 24-year dancing career.  Her irrepressible personality made fun happen in whatever circles she traveled.
Marlys was an excellent seamstress who made all the wardrobes for the Rivard daughters as they were being raised, and all her own clothes.  Later she volunteered two days per week for 20+ years in local charitable thrift shops benefiting battered women, turning this community service into an opportunity to become clothier for her family. 

 After daughter Kathleen died in 1989, Marlys turned her mothering energies into shepherding the 4-year-old class at St. Bernadette’s Mother’s Day Out program for five years, thereby creating the “Kindergarten Cop” role before Arnold Schwarzenegger did.

 A staunch social and fiscal conservative, Marlys was ever ready to talk politics and was never known to lose a discussion with a liberal.  She would say this was because she was “right.”  The Rivards became active in politics and Marlys became a Republican precinct chairman before their daughter’s head injuries eclipsed all such activities. 

Marlys had a strong belief in God and her Catholic faith.  The Rivard family became active in their parish church affairs, helping to instill solid Christian values in their daughters.  She served on the Parish Council at St. Mary’s in Laporte and started a Junior Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), building on her earlier success as a Brownie leader.  In later years as she battled her illnesses, Marlys developed a strong devotion to the Archangel Raphael (associated with healing), the Virgin Mary - Undoer of Knots (who unties knots in our lives), and Padre Pio. 

 The Celebration of her Life began with a Vigil Service and Rosary at Crowder Funeral home, 111 E. Medical Center Blvd., Webster, TX  Sunday, Jan. 12.  The Funeral Mass was Monday, Jan 13 at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, 3131 El Dorado Blvd., Houston, TX .

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to either of two favorite causes, the Houston Chapter of Texas Right to Life (713-782-LIFE) or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation promoting research into the cause and cure of Parkinson’s disease.


Culture Corner

Closing Thoughts

More About Budgets, Deficits and Debt by John Rivard

Ronald Reagan - The Great Communicator

The Conservative Texans,  John & Marlys Rivard

Deficit and Debt

Canadian Comments on US Economic Failures

​​​​​Try God - the original 24/7/365!


We hope you enjoy this site and would like to hear from you.  
Send us an e-mail with your question, comment or suggestion. 

Thanks for stopping by, and remember the 10th Amendment…

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,  nor prohibited by it to the States,

are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. ”

(Revised 01-19-2020)

E-mail John & Marlys Rivard

Item 1:  Who you should support for President, based on matching your beliefs with candidates’ stated positions.  Take this fun and informative political quiz.  Works regardless of your political persuasions, because it matches your beliefs with candidate’s stated positions.  Note that you can expand the list of questions under most topic, and expand the answer selections beyond a simple Yes or No.  I encourage you to do this because it brings up the nuanced positions of particular candidates (but you don’t know which when you are selecting your position).  This is really a very useful tool.

Item 2: Citizenship Quiz.     Country Knowledge

Welcome to the home page of

(from a 1979 interview, less than three minutes)

Dr. Martin Luther King - "Be the Best of Whatever You Are"

The Conservative Texans

These pages provide excellent information to help understand the deficit and the debt.

  • Great information about the National Debt - click here
  • A Budget that can't be balanced - a six minute informative video - click  here
  • A three minute entertaining video about our deficit - presented in family terms - click here

You are currently viewing our home page.   We have included some supplemental pages with items of potential interest. You can view these pages by clicking on the page selection icons near the top of this page. A synopsis of these supplemental pages follows.

Enduring Freedom Editorials:         
While you're here, we invite you to check out our archived  Enduring Freedom Editorials.  (Or click the link at the top of this page.)   The articles span the period Oct 2001 to current,  beginning with "An Open Letter to Muslims in America" (written just after 9/11).

Archived Items of Enduring Interest:
Items of enduring interest  are retained on the "Archive" page.   These include:

  • ​David Barton video on "Faith of Our Fathers"
  • The Leadership Institute
  • The Heritage Foundation  
  • Texas Right to Life
  • America the Beautiful (lyrics)

Click "Archives" link at the very top of this page.


The Daily Word: 
Our handicapped daughter Stephanie Rivard Lane produces a Christian "Daily Word" that you may find inspirational.  Click the "Daily Word" link at the top of this page.


My Story - Memories of Growing Up on a Wisconsin Dairy Farm: 
In 2005, I wrote my life story which I entitled "RIGHT TIME ... RIGHT PLACE,  Memories of Growing Up on a Wisconsin Dairy Farm."  It was intended for my family and siblings, as a collection of memoirs and life lessons learned.  Some from my generation may find it interesting.  At the present time, I have posted eight chapters of general interest.  Just click the "My Story" link at the top of this page.

Good Citizenship…

"We Are at War with Radical Islamism" 

Milton Friedman "Schools" Phil Donahue on Capitalism

Hi, and welcome to our site!  We are Texas conservatives.  We are Republicans by evolution, having escaped our Democrat upbringings in the 1960s as we matured into a better understanding of the political parties, platforms and values.   We came to realize that our personal conservative social and financial values were consistent only with the Republican Party. We are Texans by choice since 1961.  We raised our children in Texas, and have lived here all of our married life.  We were active in Texas politics at the local level, and until sidelined by health issues in 2015 traveled Texas while dancing as our avocation.  We remain active in promoting conservative ideology and candidates.   We were distressed at the 2012 election results, and created this website as a forum for promoting  conservative cause and ideals, in hopes of helping to save our Republic.

The election of Obama for two terms revealed that a majority of the electorate voting then does not understand or accept capitalism, the free enterprise system, and conservative principles and values.  The popularity of socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democrat primaries confirms that the seduction of outright socialism is a significant threat to this nation.  If we are to preserve and protect our Republic, we need to do a better job of communicating the principles of conservatism.  To that end, we invite you to explore our website.

Our Mission:  To Help Preserve and Protect Our Republic

Supplemental Pages

Things getting too heavy?   Need to lighten up?  Try...

Check out “The Girls on Fox News,”  a catchy little YouTube tune with a good visual message…

Ray Stevens. The Obama Budget Plan (circa April 2011, 3:25 minutes)

Dean Martin & "The Duke"  talk about values (circa 1960s, 3:20 minutes)

A Walk for the President

"We are no longer a Christian Nation..."  (Barack Obama)
Really?  Shall we ignore our heritage?  Obama could benefit from this short video walk.
All politics is local electronic...(things change!)
The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun!
              There's nothing wrong with our society that couldn't be cured by watching daily re-runs of  "The Waltons" and "Walker, Texas Ranger!"  

   Progressive politics and progressive disease have one thing in common… 
things are getting worse!


Things worth believing in...

The movie "Secondhand Lions" is one of our favorites. It's a story about a young boy being raised in Texas by two elderly uncles, played by Robert Duvall (Hub) and Michael Caine (Garth) with Joel Haley Osment as the boy Walter.  In one poignant scene, Uncle Hub gives this advice to Walter:
.. "Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."
That's good advice in these troubled times. We need things worth believing in!


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is most remembered for his "I have a dream" speech, deservedly so.   He should also be remembered for this speech, presented here in observance of his birthday.

Six months before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967. Part of his “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” speech is the tale of the street sweeper, reproduced below. 

And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better. 

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.

If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.  Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.

Are you among the many confused by the ongoing debate about our federal budget, deficits and debt?  Do your eyes glaze over when you hear the arguments?  Do you wish that somebody could make it simple?   I would like to try to make simple by explaining some of the terms. Let's begin by talking about budgets.

There are two methods of budgeting, "baseline budgeting" and "zero-based budgeting."  Baseline budgeting is the way that our federal government budgets are currently developed. Baseline budgeting is based on the premise that everything spent last year in every department (or program) establishes the baseline for this year's budget. This means that everything spent last year is considered wise, essential, and must be increased to keep pace with inflation and the growth of the population. As a consequence, the budget for every department and program grows, every year, without ever stopping to examine whether the expenditure is necessary or affordable.   At the very least the budget grows in accord with a projected inflation rate and the increase in the population. On top of that, legislators often add additional monies for additional services or programs within that department or program. The result is an exponentially growing federal budget.  Any attempt to reduce the rate of increase in the new budget is called a "cut" by the politicians, particularly by progressives. With this approach legislators can claim that they "cut the budget," while actually increasing the amount of money spent!

Zero-based budgeting is exactly the opposite. It is based on the premise that every expenditure must be justified every year regardless of what was spent in past years! Zero-based budgeting is used by businesses (and you and I) to establish a budget. Zero-based budgeting is advocated by conservatives.

It is clear that if we are going to control federal spending we must use zero-based budgeting! To achieve that, every voter must understand these terms and be prepared to take part in the debate.  Don't ever be fooled by claims that a budget has been "cut" simply by slowing down the rate of increase!

About deficits:  The federal deficit is the amount of money that we are short in any given year. The deficit is the difference between income and expenses in that year. It is the amount by which we go "in the hole" for that particular year. The deficit must be made up that year by borrowing money, usually by selling government bonds, many of which are purchased by foreign nations such as China.

About our national debt:  Our national debt is the sum total of all past deficits.  It currently stands at over $16 trillion!!!  In the first four years of the Obama administration the national debt increased from $10 trillion, an increase of 60%! Folks, that is a huge and dangerous amount of debt.  It is unsustainable. It is an extreme danger to our economy and our nation. It is immoral.

We must cut federal spending now. The key is zero-based budgeting and an informed electorate. 
So you are the key!

For more information about budgets, see 
Baseline budgets .........
Zero based budgets .....

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.  One is by the sword.  The other is by debt." 
        (John Adams, 1826)