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January 25, 2011                    Vol. 1:1    



 When we started Crosswinds Foundation, we recognized that one of the greatest influencers of culture is found in the political arena. Without question, government policies and legislation can have a tremendous impact on culture; as do the "movers and shakers" who use their power and celebrity to influence those who hold political office and shape public policy.


As such, we knew this was an area we would need to tackle. However, we wanted to make sure we had the right person on board to do it properly. I am pleased to inform you this has now come together and you are reading the first newsletter of our new organization, "CapStand Council for Policy and Ethics".


Though the CapStand office will be located in the nation's capital, Washington D.C., we recognize that political influence is found not only in Washingon but in the capitol buildings of our States, and local government entities, as well. So, while our emphasis will be on what is coming out of Washington, from time to time, we will also address State and local topics.


You are being sent this newsletter as a subscriber of the Crosswinds Foundation newsletter. However, I encourage you click on the link to the side and sign up for the Capstand newsletter, as well, to make sure you don't miss any future issues.


We welcome your thoughts and input as we begin this new journey.


With Best Regards,

Bob Signature

Bob Waldrep



Genesis - Beginnings

By Linwood Bragan

Linwood Bragan 

"In the beginning..." In our personal lives it is a time of new resolutions, for the calendar the new decade, for the economy hopeful new expansion, and for Crosswinds a new endeavor. In keeping with our mission statement of informing, instructing and influencing our culture, Crosswinds Foundation is starting the New Year with a new addition: CapStand Council for Policy and Ethics.  Or new organization will be reporting from Washington DC, the very heart of political influence in our American Republic.


What you need yet another report from DC? Frankly, most people try to avoid thinking about Washington DC. A study I've often heard quoted says the average American pays only 7 minutes attention a week to politics. I'm sure that in recent years most of us considered even that much to be a waste of time.


However, 2010 proved to be a year unlike most others. Among continuing wars, terrorist strikes, waning economies, constitutional crisis, political maneuverings, and the rise of the Tea Party to fight the MoveOn faction of the body politic; the realities of our culture's continuing conflict came crashing into our homes almost daily. In fact, after all we've been through last year, I wouldn't be surprised if the study I mentioned has to be modified to say Americans think about politics 9 to 12 minutes a week. Should you be giving more time to this?


Without question, what goes on in Washington is highly influential to our culture. Yes, truth be known, Hollywood, the music industry, fashion, and the elite institutions of America are upstream from Washington in their influence. However, much of what promotes and enables, or empowers, these influences to take hold are the laws that are being contemplated, created, elevated, debated, and manipulated in our nation's capital. More attention to political policy and legislation is certainly warranted.


Many folks are aware of the clash of civilizations present in the world. Today, it is too often couched as a fight between radical Islam and Christianity. That is a gross oversimplification. For, besides the fight of radical Islamists with outsiders, Islam is also at war with itself when one views the discord among several factions within its faith. Christianity is not without its own internal problems; its woes are almost too vast to enumerate.


Post-Christian Europe seems to be in an endless state of neurotic flux with what it should do with itself, with others, and with its future. Post-communist Europe and Russia are in a search for any foundation upon which to build their lives. And Asia's billions, striving to rise from poverty and deprivation, struggle with conflicting philosophies of economics, religion, society, and politics.


In light of the global situation, on occasion we'll be writing with an eye toward an international perspective; however, for the most part our focus will be keeping you informed about domestic matters. Because that is where your life is lived. And frankly, it is in that arena where we can each have our greatest influence on America's culture.


I'm serious when I say that we can influence culture. Yes I mean ordinary American citizens. That means you, it means me, your neighbor down the street, the person sitting on the pew in front of you or behind you, and the guy or gal you work with.


Just think of two examples that have occurred in the last 12 years. From the Left side politically: two retirees in California came up with an idea after hearing a talking head on TV say that it was time to move on from the Clinton sex scandal. Their idea was a website and an organization now numbering in the millions named MoveOn. The name derives from that commentator's remark that, "It was just sex; we should all just forget it and move on." More than anything else it is MoveOn that nominated, financed, worked the long hours and elected Barack Obama President of the United States.


The second example also spawned from a TV talk show. While reporting from the floor of Chicago Board of Trade a reporter for CNBC, Rick Santelli ranted that we all ought to have another "tea party". From that very comment some people e-mailing back and forth to one another decided that indeed they would have exactly that, a tea party. But a funny thing happened on the way to the tea party. An average dad, Mark Meckler, from Sacramento somehow wound up e-mailing Jenny Beth Martin a stay-at-home mom in Atlanta Georgia. Their e-mail correspondence spawned additional e-mails. Not dozens, hundreds, or thousands, but as with, tens and hundreds of thousands of e-mails in a matter of just a few months. Scores of tea party gatherings at tax time hosting tens of thousands of taxpaying citizens resulted. We now know the further results of the Tea Party - Nancy Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House of Representatives.


MoveOn and the Tea Party are just two among many groups seeking to influence the established order in Washington. They come in various sizes, agendas, abilities, and passions to influence the policymakers in our capital. What we will endeavor to do is to examine and explain methods, manners, and meanings, along with the import for the average American.


Some forty years ago I first started volunteering in political campaigns. I was bitten by the political bug and have never been able to fight off the effects of the virus. While the average American thinks about politics 7 minutes a week, in my lifetime I've used up a few millennia of those 7 minute weeks. That brings with it some good things and some bad. While it can bring experience and perspective to my view, I must also fight off cynicism. I shall endeavor in my reporting to keep my eyes open and bring to you a healthy skepticism of both the Left and the Right, when warranted.


I believe that these "culture" winds, whether blowing at gale force or as a gentle breeze, can be successfully navigated and we can remain true to our course. I know it can be done having seen many examples of it during my years of volunteering and serving in the political arena.


Life's foundational principles and the application of them to our own personal lives and those around us is CapStand's stake in this endeavor. We will strive to inform and instruct on personal righteousness and scriptural foundations not political correctness, or fad. But beyond that we intend to challenge you to engage in and influence our society and its culture - to take a stand for what you believe. Our very civilization, as we have known it, faces stresses and structural changes that America has not faced in over 100 years; Western civilization for several centuries.


Please understand: we are not soliciting your vote for any candidate or party! We are unashamedly hoping to challenge you to engage with us in understanding the principal foundations of our national heritage, the covenants upon which it was built, and in the crucial restoration that must soon be undertaken.


So while Democrats in the Senate plot and scheme, Republicans in the House rant and rage, President Obama tries to lead, lobbyists peddle their wares, interest groups protest in the streets, bureaucrats seek to broaden their power and taxpayers simply try to survive, CapStand will help provide some understanding and comprehension of what it means, why it's happening, and what its impact will be.


We pray doing so will prove to be a valuable use of your 7 minutes a week. And, so it begins.


CapStand Executive Director, Linwood Bragan

Mr. Bragan brings a wealth of experience to his position at CapStand Council. He is an Attorney, Counselor & Consultant based in Alexandria Virginia. On Capitol Hill, Linwood most recently served as the Counsel and Legislative Assistant to Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri's 2nd District. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Attorney General - Associate Counsel for the Alabama State Banking Department and on Gov. Bob Riley's staff.


A graduate of the University of Alabama, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the College of Commerce and Business Administration; he obtained his law degree at Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in 1991.


Linwood began his political life in 1972. His campaign experience covers operations, finance, grassroots and management.  Twice he has been a candidate himself.  Since 1984 Mr. Bragan has been active with election integrity/ballot security efforts.


He has lectured in 20 states on political activism, finance, organization and elections from New England to the Rockies and the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.

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