Patriot Award Presented to One of Our Own – Alexie Swirsky

Patriot Award Presented to One of Our Own – Alexie Swirsky

The Patriot Award was presented to Alexie Swirsky at the 2024 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by the Harris County Republican Party on April 26.  Alexie was acknowledged for the work she does to promote Republican (i.e. patriotic) values and in part, to her faithful attendance to Harris County Commissioner’s court. She attends to support the only Republican Commissioner, Tom Ramsey. So many court votes are four to one.

One can only imagine how lonely it must feel, especially when there is no one to even second Mr. Ramsey’s proposals or support his Precinct 3’s needs for roads and other infrastructure.  Because he is the only Republican, the needs of his precinct are frequently overlooked and the residents of Precinct 3 are not given the resources they need.  Money is found for murals painted on downtown buildings and the pet projects of the other Commissioners (like doling out $20 million for guaranteed universal income, $1 million of which is slated for the company doing a comprehensive evaluation first) while ignoring seven years of failed jail inspections.

But on every Commissioner’s court date, Alexie is in the court from early in the morning to late at night with an entourage of other people, sometimes a lot of people! Alexie encourages others to speak on topics important to them and on many occasions has risen to say a few words on the topics she feels are most important. Alexie supports the work that Tom is doing to keep crime and costs down for the county while trying to make Houston a better place to live for everyone in the city.

Congratulations, Alexie!

“Take Back Our Border” Convoy – Member Shares Her Experience

“Take Back Our Border” Convoy – Member Shares Her Experience

Mary S. , of Houston, holds a sign at the Take Our Border Back Convoy rally at One Shot Distillery and Brewery in Dripping Springs on Thursday February 1, 2024.
Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman

  “Ladies and Gentlemen! We’ve got ourselves a convoy!” Kris Kristofferson enthusiastically declares in the sappy but enjoyable 70s movie Convoy. It implies something exciting and unusual and wondrous. The recent Convoy movement that’s begun in America is all of that.

The People’s Convoy of 2022 started in California and picked up both 18-wheeler trucks and private passenger vehicles as it rolled across these United States towards our nation’s capitol to make a point against the never-ending forced lockdowns and experimental vaccine mandates. It  involved hundreds of big rigs and hundreds of passenger cars. It was a peaceful, patriotic and faith-filled demonstration of the TRUE Will of the American People against a government that no longer represents us. At the morning and evening meetings, prayers were a constant–and in between we prayed! For our nation, for our families, and for God-praising and freedom-loving people around the world.

This past January, another Convoy, this one originating on the East Coast, began its trek towards a previously little-known community in West Texas:  Eagle Pass, which has recently become world-famous as the epicenter of the battle against an invasion of illegal immigrants–a battle fought between a legal conservative State which rightfully seeks to protect its borders (and citizens) and an illegitimate centralized government that seeks to flood the country with unvetted unknown invaders.

The Take Back Our Border Convoy began in Virginia January 29, 2024, winding its way down the East Coast to Florida, then across the Gulf States to Louisiana, entering Texas near Houston, journeying to Dripping Springs near the state’s capital for a peaceful demonstration there, and on to a special place known as the Cornerstone Children’s Ranch in Quemado, Texas, 21 miles north of Eagle Pass. (Law enforcement discouraged us from going to the volatile Eagle Pass). Unlike the original People’s Convoy, the Border Convoy was composed almost completely of private passenger vehicles and RVs, accompanied by only a few big rigs.

I joined up with the Take Back Our Border Convoy in Houston. Being on a Convoy is the most amazing experience I’ve had. We travel through rural areas when possible, and the turn-out of citizens on the sides of the roads in the country is staggering. Small communities where it appears every citizen has shown up and waited for hours—even in bad weather.  It’s an explosion of red, white and blue as everyone seems to have an American flag to wave, but there are also signs and bright yellow Don’t Tread on Me flags, white Come and Take It flags, individual state flags (especially Texas!), and many others. Some communities gather on overpasses to cheer as we drive under. Some even get their community’s fire trucks on the overpasses with their long ladders reaching way up into the sky, a gigantic American flag looming large and fluttering protectively over our heads. I had to be careful at times because I was driving with wet eyes and a swelling love for the actual people of this beautiful country. I’ve seen big ole tough trucker men choke up at the love and hope these people are demonstrating, hope that we can help turn this country back into the free and righteous land it was intended to be. I heard one lady tell a macho trucker, “Thank you for what you’re doing. You give us hope.” In a voice struggling for control, he said, “No ma’am, I’m thanking you. People like you are giving me hope.” It was a beautiful moment and I’ve repeated his words to others who have thanked me.

The Border Convoy was warmly received by the residents of Dripping Springs. I had lost a lawn chair along the way. When I asked one lady for directions to a WalMart to replace it, instead of giving me directions, she brought me a new more expensive one, along with her husband to shake my hand! Love of God and hope for our nation filled every conversation.

While approximately one-third of the Convoy spent a delightful day in patriotic Dripping Springs, two-thirds split away to travel to Arizona, where the Convoy again divided into two segments, one of which continued its cross-country journey to California. On Saturday, February 3, all three locations in the border states of Texas, Arizona, and California had simultaneous rallies at which we, like our first President George Washington, dedicated our nation to being a God-inspired nation and ourselves to living God-inspired lives. 

That Thursday night, those of the Convoy who had remained in Dripping Springs had a rally at a quaint massive outdoor BBQ called One Shot Distillery and Brewery in Dripping Springs, Texas. Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent helicoptered in to the delight and booming cheering of a huge crowd of Convoy participants and local townspeople. Former Governor Palin delivered a passionate speech about the current state of our country and the necessity of common men and women raising their voices when a government becomes pitted against its people. Rocker Ted Nugent gave an equally passionate yet comedic speech imbued with his own brand of wacky, hilarious humor…plus performed his particular rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

The next day we convoyed to Cornerstone Children’s Ranch in Quemado near Eagle Pass. Per the mission’s website: “Cornerstone Children’s Ranch was established in 1998 as a non-profit Christian ministry whose mission is to serve the children and parents of low-income, indigent families along both sides of the Texas-Mexico border.”

In the afternoon, around Castroville, I broke from the slow-moving Convoy to speed ahead and meet my husband in Quemado. I went through Uvalde alone, but the streets were lined with what appeared to be every man, woman and child who lives in Uvalde. The site of that horrific, heart-breaking school shooting two years ago, Uvalde had planned a Neil Diamond-like “Brother Love Show” town event: “ Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes.”

I had to drive through Uvalde with tears in my eyes. In this poor but patriotic community, there were no huge flags and firetrucks, but what there was was every niño and niña enthusiastically waving a small hand-held flag. Streets lined all the way through. Schools and day care centers had let out to attend the event and had given small American flags to the kids to wave. The residents must have thought I was a Convoy honcho, making an advance pass through Uvalde in my flag-festooned SUV, because they cheered, waved their flags and hands, and jumped around as if I were a Trump motorcade. It’s a good thing car horns don’t get hoarse because that’s the Convoy way of waving back. It felt rude not to honk constantly. A one-woman parade!

I must confess, I drove my way through Uvalde with a lump in my throat and a swelling heart, overwhelmed by the grief these people have experienced, combined with the bond I was sensing with the freedom-loving people everywhere in America, regardless of location and the poisonous division the enemy has encouraged. America is still that shining city promising hope and freedom. I prayed for peace and comfort for the stricken families of that community that Evil visited that awful day in May 2022. I marveled that these people still have such love for this country and how earnestly they want the protection all US citizens have had sworn to them by oath by all our government officials. So many of our politicians have violated their sacred oaths and primary duties.

The Convoy communicates on a walkie-talkie app, which I was listening to as I drove ahead of them. When the Convoy behind me was approaching Uvalde, a member came on the app and led us in prayer for healing for the citizens of that community as we drove through. Others voiced more prayers and hushed respectful comments in emotional voices.

The story was the same in the other small, poor communities we drove through as we approached Quemado: it seemed every citizen–even smiling afghan-wrapped grannies in wheelchairs–came out in the cold rainy weather in full force to cheer us as we traveled. The Propaganda Press was saying they hate us and want us off their land. Another complete lie.

I  hit the hail storm on a lonely deserted road skimming the infamous border…alone…as night approached. My windshield looked like my car was underwater in a lake. I had to edge off the road blind, completely unable to see if I was driving off a cliff, into a culvert, or what. But I was safe. Lightning flashing and thunder crashing. Water rising rapidly. Wondering about tornadoes. The hail sounded like demons were hammering on the roof of my car. I thought “golf ball size.” When the rain slowed, I saw it was only pea-size. Then I worried about flash flooding or getting stuck in the mud so I got back on the highway a little before I was really ready. But I made it ok. Whew!

While I was pulled over alone on that deserted highway, being pummeled by hail and rain, watching the constant lightning snake through the sky, it was a scene from Hell.  The thought came to me that the Devil was throwing everything he had at the Convoy to stop us. I texted some friends, and we were praying together via text during those frightening minutes. I was not alone. I felt God and my friends’ love in my car with me. We prayed for the Convoy behind me next, and they too were all unscathed, which, given the huge number of vehicles traveling together, I know was a miracle.

In the late afternoon the Convoy arrived at the Children’s Ranch in Quemado (which means “scorched“ in Spanish). The country road leading to the Ranch entrance was lined with citizens cheering and waving flags. The Propaganda Press was also there, spouting shouted hatred over megaphones and creating sound bites for itself. Chillingly, we saw a man taking photos of our license tags and faces as we crept towards the entrance. We knew who he was and what he was doing, but Convoy participants believe the time has come for good people to stop doing nothing and allowing Evil to triumph. The time has come for good men and women to start publicly calling it out and fighting it with Goodness. 

Both nights we were at the Ranch, we had programs with powerful speakers, pastors and laypeople. And the music. Oh, the music! The spiritual music was compelling and uplifting. Truly amazing to hear such passionate powerful voices making such beautiful music in the barren burnt-grass wasteland of Scorched,Texas. Even in such a hot place, I had chills. It was like Woodstock without the drugs, alcohol and sex! Two Days of Peace, Love and Christian Rock ‘n Roll.

☮️ ❤️ ✝️ 🎶

It was truly a spiritual, peaceful and prayerful exercise of our 1st Amendment rights, but the Propaganda Press lied six ways to Sunday about our purpose and our character. We were called racists, trailer park trash and fake Christians. The opposite was the truth.I met fascinating righteous people from everywhere. Many were poor blue collar but many were retired with fancy RVs. I was particularly taken with ones from Canada, Minnesota and North Dakota. Freedom-loving people from everywhere. We are finally uniting and saying Evil will not triumph on our watch.

The food was excellent and free—provided by whom I don’t know—but we could donate, which we did generously in support of the Ranch. The Convoy participants separately found their own ways home from Quemado, to spread messages of hope, love and courage to the different corners of this battle-torn country and world.

— Mary Shea

A Sea of Good Red

A Sea of Good Red

I want to tell you about my first time at a Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) Convention (October 12-14, 2023) to encourage you to consider going to their 2025 Convention. Wow, what a wonderful weekend! The theme was Rosie the Rivetor, the iconic woman showing her fist curl during WWII letting everyone know women of the USA were a force to be reckoned with – just as we are today. There was a sea of red jackets and dresses with red, white, and blue bling everywhere. And then there were the Rosie the Rivetor getups – so fun! These women love God, love our country, and love our way of life.

We had many great speakers in this well-organized event. We heard from Ted Cruz, Dan Patrick, and Governor Abbott. We got the news that five of six items on the agenda for the Governor’s third special session were passed in the Texas Senate just that past week. They were: 1) universal school choice, 2) pay raises for teachers — especially those in rural schools that make up 65% of Texas schools, 3) $5.1 million for border security, 4) forbidding vaccine mandates by private employers in Texas, and 5) an anti- trafficking bill.

I loved hearing twice from our Railroad Commissioner, Christie Craddock. Christie makes so much sense when speaking about the oil and gas industry in Texas. Riley Gaines spoke to us – what a strong young woman. I enjoyed hearing from Reps. Brandon Creighton and Mays Middleton. Rep. Steve Munisteri told us about Angeline Eberly and how her firing of the canon in 1842 “into the General Land Office Building, which aroused the town to what it considered to be theft. The ensuing conflict became known as the Archive War, which was won by the Austinites and preserved Austin as capital of Texas and keeper of the archives” .This was exactly what was needed at the time. 11,000 women like Angeline Eberly make up TFRW today.

We heard how TFRW, founded 68 years ago, was instrumental in turning Texas from 149 Democrats and 1 Republican in the Texas House in 1960, to a majority of Republicans in the House and a supermajority of Republicans in the Texas Senate now. We were told the women of TFRW asked our legislators, “What can we do for you?” and then proceeded to get their requests met. One of the judges who spoke told us how the upcoming election in November 2024 is vitally important to our courts – especially our appellate courts since more than half of the appellate judges are up for re-election.

We had opportunities to talk with our elected officials, candidates, legislators, and judges. There were numerous conservative organizations at the booths with educational material and bling. I learned that the function of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC https://texasgop. org) is to govern the Republican Party of Texas (RPT).

I met attendees Victoria and Joann from Tomball and Carol from El Paso. It was a real pleasure getting to talk to these dynamic women, plus I had the opportunity to know more deeply the women I traveled with: Gail, Venita, and Donnie.

At our SD7 caucus, we elected a new senate district director for TFRW: Donnie Lubeck from TEXAS TEA. Funny story: Ronnye Cowell has been our fantastic SD7 director until this latest round of redistricting that left us without a district director. So two women, Bonnie and Donnie ran for this position. My take? Maybe your first name should end in “onnie” to run for the District 7 Director position.

It was a powerful few days and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the 2025 TFRW Convention and hope you will consider joining me. []

Diane Houk