Category Archives: View From The Ridge

The View From The Ridge – An Introduction


Greetings! I’m sure you’re asking, “What is The View From The Ridge?” Let me try to explain.

I’ll start by introducing myself. I am Randy Barlow. I am semi-retired with a professional history that includes extensive experience as a journalist (both broadcast and print), corporate communications, and management in the hospitality industry.

My work as a journalist helped to hone my natural interest in the world around me. I learned to research my subjects, and to look well beyond the obvious, for the meanings that are often hidden. I learned quickly that things are seldom as they seem. My credibility was on the line, therefore, I made every effort to make sure my sources were reliable, and that their information was sound.

In business, I saw the final result of a number of well meaning government programs. Most of these programs were intended to improve the lives of the workers. But instead, this government involvement often increased the cost of doing business to the point that many of the very workers the programs were designed to help lost their jobs because the business could no longer afford them.

I learned that we cannot sit idly by while our government strangles our economy. We must speak out, and share the benefit of our experience.

I live in Jackson county, Tennessee, between Gainesboro and Livingston. We’re “out in the country.” I am not surrounded by the high-dollar lobbyists that infest Nashville and Washington. I’m breathing fresh air, and talking to common people, just like me.

The View From The Ridge is intended to present a fresh outlook, from someone who is far away from the trappings of power and prestige. From someone who would like to see us take a common sense approach to the issues that seem to baffle our high-priced politicians.

Going to my house, once you go up Columbus Hill, the road twists around the sides of the hills (they’re not mountains, regardless of what my city friends may say), and often, there is a drop-off on both sides of the road. Literally, at that point, the road is running the ridges.

There is one spot, just down the road from here, where I can stop on the roadway (on the ridge) and look down on a barn and a farmstead. It’s at least a mile away, and from this vantage point, I’m seeing it through the trees and foliage in the summer, and the bare branches on the hillsides in winter.

The simplicity of that view, and the consistency of that farm and barn, from season to season, is the inspiration for the title, “The View From The Ridge.” We’re here, on this ridge, looking around us. Here, we’re surrounded by the common sense reality of daily life.

The View will sometimes be political. Sometimes we will view current events. And, sometimes, we’ll just view the whimsical things that take place in this world of ours.

Welcome aboard! I hope we become close friends as we share “The View From The Ridge.”

Please send comments to Randybarlow (at) msn (dot) com

What Is A Democrat?


Looking back, I can remember when United States presidents opened every televised “Address to the Nation” with the words: “My fellow Americans.”

I remember how those words made me feel. As if I were a part of something great, and our leader was sitting down to tell me what I needed to hear. It was as if our president felt that I, and my family, needed to know what he was doing to protect and preserve the American way of life. But more than just telling us what he was doing, he was letting us know what he expected of us. We were expected to do our part.

When I was a young child, I was laid-up for months at a time on three different occasions, while I recovered from surgery. Those were some of the happiest times of my life. I passed a lot of hours in the company of my “Uncle Herschel.” He was married to my mother’s sister. He was slightly older than my grandfather, and he was a wonderful man.

We spent hours reading the Tennessean newspaper, then discussing the issues of the day. There was an ongoing war in the Congo. The Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. Then, there was Fidel Castro’s demand for 500 bulldozers in exchange for the return of Americans captured and held hostage in Cuba.

And, the civil rights movement. That’s right: we didn’t have to go overseas to find problems. There were riots and bombings, and marches right here in the United States.

As a country, we weren’t perfect, but we weren’t all bad. We had problems of our own, right here at home, but we were trying to fix them.

There’s something I learned in my childhood that many of today’s kids are being cheated out of. As a kid, I was taught to love America. But, the America I learned to love, is disappearing, and is almost gone. What we have today is not the same.

In the 1950’s, 60’s, and into the early ‘70’s, my home state of Tennessee was a Democratic stronghold. Statewide elections, for Governor or Public Service Commissioners were decided in August in the Democratic primary. Many of the candidates claimed in their stump-speeches that they were a “Conservative Democrat.” They printed the “Conservative Democrat” slogan on their campaign cards, too. Right above the logo for the printer’s union. The Union Bug they called it back then.

And, looking back, a Democratic run Tennessee was a great place to grow up, and the United States was still looked up to as the defender of freedom for the whole world.

That leads me to a simple question: Here in the 21st Century, Just what does it mean to be a Democrat?

As I was growing up, my Dad and my Mom were strong Democrats. They knew Senator Albert Gore. That’s the senior Gore. The one that was married to “Miss Pauline.” They wouldn’t have even thought of voting for a Republican. They were Democrats, and they didn’t hesitate to let you know.

Now, let’s look at today.

Today’s Democrats wave the name of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy around to give a positive light to their political Party. Think about it, the Democrats are having to go back more than a half-century to find a Democratic president they can quote, or a Democratic President they can be proud of.

In 1960, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a Democrat, was elected president. He was good looking, young, charismatic and a veteran of World War II. He was the first of a new generation to hold our nation’s highest office.

Kennedy’s Democratic Campaign Platform called for increasing defense spending. He wanted to build and maintain a stronger military.

Kennedy wanted to strengthen the economy by cutting taxes, and reducing the federal government’s intrusion into private business. Kennedy campaigned against the excessive bureaucratic rulemaking that was strangling the business community even then.

What are today’s Democrats working for? ObamaCare is breaking the healthcare system. It’s costing us all more money, and the health care is nowhere near as good. That’s the greatest achievement of today’s Democrat.

In his inaugural address, President Kennedy made it clear that freedom is not free, and that every American has an obligation to do their part to maintain the American way of life. Think on his words: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

Where does that place our current welfare system, that supports nearly half the American people and untold numbers of immigrants, both legal and illegal?

This same John Kennedy, who the Democrats brag about today, followed up his “Ask not” challenge to service, by recognizing that man, alone, is not enough. Kennedy knew that we must remember to keep God in our lives, as individuals and as a nation.

Here’s what he said: “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessings and His help, but knowing that, here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”

Kennedy challenged us to explore the stars. Kennedy made the commitment to put man on the moon, then bring him home, before the end of the 1960’s decade. Kennedy challenged us to give, to excel, to look to the future. Kennedy challenged us to ask for God’s blessings and His help, but knowing that here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.

That’s the John Kennedy today’s Democrats talk about.

But, where is the Democratic Party that elected John Kennedy? It’s gone, and has been gone for many years.

Where is their support for a strong military? Kennedy faced down Russia, and the nuclear weapons that were on Russian ships bound for Cuba. He did that from a position of strength. Where is the strength in today’s Democratic proposals to gut our military?

Kennedy spoke of a “good conscience” being our “only sure reward.” Where is the “good conscience” in performing abortions then selling the body parts of the aborted fetuses?

Kennedy challenged government leaders to “go forth to lead the land we love, asking “His blessings and His help.” Can we expect God to bless and help a nation whose leaders force God fearing Christians to condone and support same-sex marriages or face criminal prosecution and financial ruin?

This is the Democratic party today. Fighting to block Christians from being able to talk about their God, or sharing the commandments contained in their Bible. Fighting to legalize behaviors that the Bible condemns and prohibits.

Today’s Democratic leaders are using threats and intimidation against Christians. They are doing their best to make it illegal to speak out against behaviors that are wrong. You’re in danger of prosecution if you publicly support moral and ethical behavior.

Today’s Democrats have erased this country’s borders. Today’s Democrats have turned their back on the American citizens. They have thrown their loyalty to the illegal immigrants. Instead of us, Americans, the Democrats are protecting the millions of people who have no legal right to even be in this country.

The year 2016 will be a pivotal year for the United States of America. It must be. To pivot means to change direction.

This country must reverse its course. John Kennedy said it, in his inaugural speech. It stands true today.

“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessings and His help, but knowing that, here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”

The Democratic party has changed. It’s not the same party that elected Kennedy. Even though his standards were different, they’re still invoking JFK’s name as the Democratic standard-bearer.

When you think about it, it’s a shame that’s its been more than 50 years since the Democrats have had a president they could brag about.

I’m Randy Barlow, and that’s “The View From The Ridge.”

Please send comments to Randybarlow (at) msn (dot) com