Monday, June 4, 2012

THE High Priest (Neal Boortz) Announces Retirement

I awoke this morning, later than normal, and engaged in my normal routine. I logged into the websites I use to gather information and communicate. I turned on my Apple TV With A5 Chip Processor and brought up WSB radio to listen to Neal Boortz. They were on a news break. The top story broadcast out of the WSB Atlanta news team was an announcement that Neal Boortz, the "High Priest of the Church of the Painful Truth" is retiring.

I dropped my coffee. Neal has become such a staple to my morning information gathering and commentary screening it felt like a blow. Though the words used were "is retiring", my not yet caffeinated brain registered something bad. I began to scramble to get the reasons thinking pessimistic thoughts. "Why?"

Then Neal came on and gave a partial explanation. I thought this workaholic would only retire if his doctor and wife forced him to, or he was physically incapable of continuing. According to his statement on the air and his longer explanation on his website, that is not the case. That news brought a huge sigh of relief.

According to Neal's own story, he originally planned to retire in 2009. However, numerous people asked him to wait a few years. Sean Hannity is named as the person among those voices who was most influential in Neal's decision to remain on the air through Obama's first administration. We owe Sean Hannity no small amount of gratitude for convincing Neal to stay on these past three years. Without Neal, a needed daily dose of common sense would have left many people deficient. Many of the controversial policies and actions taken by the government may have gone unnoticed. Many of the issues reported in the "new media" would have gone ignored by the Mainstream Media had Neal not brought those subjects to the airwaves, forcing the Democrat Media Complex to discuss them.

Those who missed this morning's show missed a rather emotional but great show. It was a landmark show and worth listening to, even if you normally avoid it. Herman Cain and Jeff Foxworthy were among the numerous callers who congratulated and thanked Neal for his years on the air. 

This year, Neal's last, will be among his most important. Andrew Breitbart died. "Shoq", Soros, Van Jones, Brett Kimberlin, and their ilk move to silence Rush Limbaugh. Aaron Walker has been jailed for writing the truth about a convicted domestic terrorist and the activities of his NPOs. The "Fourth Branch" of government has become mostly just a propaganda machine for the socialists instead of the public outlet for checks and balances the First Amendment intended it to be. Left-wing activists seek to silence conservative and libertarian news outlets that publish facts, information, and commentary they refuse to. America needs a strong Libertarian voice to join those on the right in an effort to bring the facts and the truth to people. Neal is that voice.

I first heard Neal's program in 1993. I was on leave from Berlin, Germany. My father had moved from Chicago to Atlanta. He put on the program. Back then, talk radio was not my chosen entertainment. I was in my mid-20s and in the military. So, I tried to remain apolitical. However, here was this guy talking about things that AP and AFN wouldn't. I was hooked.

Over the course of my military career, I sought out Boortz. I have his books (Somebody's Gotta Say ItThe Fair Tax Book, The Fair Tax: Answering the Critics, The Terrible Truth About Liberals,  and The Commencement Speech You Need To Hear) on my shelf. When I couldn't receive his show, especially while overseas, I went to his website to read his program notes and rants. His perspective, even when I disagreed, was a necessary part of my information input. It was Neal who inspired me to read the US Constitution at least once a week. It was Neal who caused me to research the Libertarian Party in 1995, when I joined it. Yes, I was a card-carrying Libertarian until January 2002. You can scream all you want when I say this, but George W. Bush was who inspired me to leave that party. I still have a libertarian lean with many issues.

Neal's reasons for retiring just make sense. In essence, yes, he is "Going Galt", though his primary reason for retiring is a far less political reason. I did much the same thing. I left a comment on Neal's blog about it.

I retired for a number of reasons. It was a hard decision. I loved my job as a Senior NCO in the Army. However, my disagreement with many of the new policies coming from the current administration were in direct contrast with what I believe and what I know. I worked in intelligence and could see several poor decisions that I could pay lip-service no longer. My conscience would not allow me to serve policies that I felt to be contrary to the US Constitution and the government system described by the Federalist Papers that this great nation adopted in 1789. [Yes, the Constitution was written in 1787. Consider the ratification date.]

Like Neal described in his decision to retire from practicing law, my blood pressure had skyrocketed. In addition, I acquired an auto-immune disorder that eats away at my Vitamin-D. Knowing the current policies were not supportive of workable military operations that would lead to the desired end-states in Iraq and Afghanistan, several symptoms of my PTS increased, namely rage and nightmares. So I hung up my spurs.

The best decision I have made in my life, so far, was "going active" from the National Guard for the last 20 years of my 24 year military career. My second best decision was to retire. It has enabled so many other great things in my life in just that past year. My rage episodes are now rare. So I no longer have to exert and waste that energy to fight them. Now I can be outraged. Now I can research my reasons for discontent and voice it, with factual data to validate and support reasons for it.

And I am engaged to a wonderful woman whom I have been in a committed relationship with since 2008. I don't think that marriage would have been possible had I remained in service. My dedication to duty would have had me deploying all over the world doing some things that I couldn't share with the love of my life. My role in the military was not conducive to marriage. Now I have time to be a family man. That excites me.

I am currently self-employed. I make a few dollars here and there writing, researching, fact-checking, and proofreading. My hard-earned military pension covers my living expenses. If I received a pension that was "fair" by Obama's standards (using teachers as an example) I'd be getting twice as much. I honestly think I deserve more since teachers don't get shot at or have prices put on their heads by terrorists. However, I am content with what I earned. If I wished, I could be working at something that gives a regular paycheck. The truth is that I don't need it, yet. So, in essence, I "Went Galt" on August 1, 2011.

Neal desires to travel and spend time with his wife (Donna), daughter, and grandchild. I more than understand that reason. I desire to start a family and spending time with them. If you need a reason to retire, that is probably the best one. The reason we work is to support our families. It makes sense that we enjoy the fruits of those labors. Donna has earned time traveling with Neal, and vice versa.

Obama's rhetoric has claimed those like Neal who have earned and accrued a certain level of wealth have earned enough. Obama desires to further tax those who earn in the highest tax bracket should have their tax-rate raised. No, it is not a "fair share". A "fair share" would mean everybody pays the same amount or the same percentage. So, as Neal stated in his announcement, he has made enough and will retire. He will no longer have a regular income to tax. You an call that "Going Galt" if you wish. However, Neal has stated that he plans to be a fill-in guest host as well as doing small-spot commentaries such as those Herman Cain currently does on Neal and Erick Erickson's shows. Herman Cain will go from his role as a fill-in guest-host and short-spot commentator to taking over Neal's show.

Neal, this is a personal note to you, stated with sincerity and the deepest respect. You have been a positive influence in my life over the past 20 years. I thank you for the support you have shown the military. I took that personally. I felt that you supported me and those I cared so much for -- My Soldiers. Thank you for saying things that needed to be said. Thank you for being that friendly voice I could tune in to hear when I could find a station carrying you. Thank you for the years of program notes, news stories, and commentary on your website. Thank you for being that friend I have never met.

Enjoy your last seven months on the radio. I know I will. Please, continue to blog and write articles for Town Hall Magazine. I think you'll find the outlet necessary from time to time.

Most of all, enjoy that retirement you earned and deserve. Donna seems like a wonderful woman. It is about time her patience saw its rewards.

And Neal -- that flutter you hear isn't tinnitus. It is the standing ovation that will increase daily over the next seven months. 

Health and Happiness. Adios My Friend (AMF).