To the Loyal Members of the Barker’s View Tribe:
Five years on, this crude experiment in expressing an alternative opinion on the news and newsmakers here on Florida’s fabled “Fun Coast” continues to exceed my wildest expectations.
Thanks to your amazing support, I have so much to be grateful for.
Since its humble beginning, Barker’s View now draws thousands of views each month from across the street and around the globe (over a half-million since its inception) – providing what, I hope, is a unique take on the issues of the day beyond the government soundbites and spin – a watchful eye that holds those in positions of high responsibility accountable.
A lone voice in the dark and tangled wilderness that lets our ‘powers that be’ know the great unwashed masses are paying attention.
I believe we are making a difference, too – all thanks to your loyal readership, civic activism, and participation in our sacred democratic processes.
And, we have some fun along the way. . .
As a life-long civil servant, writing these posts is incredibly cathartic for me, and it continues to be a source of pride, one that has returned a much-needed sense of purpose to my life – while the process of pondering the issues and composing my thoughts keeps my feeble mind limber.
I also give thanks for the many wonderful relationships this blog has allowed me to cultivate in the community. Barker’s View has confirmed my long-held belief that we all want to be heard – and to have our opinions considered and valued by those who establish public policy.
Thank you for listening to mine.
I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to the elected and appointed officials whose political assholery provides such rich fodder for these diatribes.
Seriously – Thank you for having the courage to stand for high office.
It’s a hard dollar. But on those days when you get it right, your work makes a true difference in our collective success and quality of life.
To those of you who hold positions of great responsibility in our community and the members of our social, civic, and economic elite – those precious few who ‘get it’ and have the self-confidence and common sense to accept withering criticism and use it to your advantage – I enjoy the continuing repartee and thank you for providing me your valuable insight on the important issues.
To the social media site administrators who allow Barker’s View on their pages – thank you for promoting a higher understanding of current events and providing a forum for open dialog.
And, to Big John, who hosts me each month on his local public affairs forum GovStuff Live! – your friendship, and tireless support of grassroot initiatives in our community, is an inspiration.
Your efforts are important to the life of our community.
For me, the best part of this forum is hearing your feedback, discussing differing opinions, and arguing the fine points, because that drives a larger discussion of the problems we collectively face – interaction that can bring us closer to the solutions we seek – a real connection that lets us know we all have an equal and important voice.
Whenever someone tells me, “You said exactly what I was thinking, but could not say,” or a perfect stranger stops me to talk about the issues in their neighborhood – it gives value to the effort – a sense that the writing, such as it is, has meaning.
Sometimes you agree with me – other times we vehemently differ – but we can remain friends and perhaps gain a better perspective through the heated competition of ideas.
I cannot think of anything more purely American than that.
On this Thanksgiving 2020, please accept my sincere thanks and deep appreciation for taking time out of your busy day to read, think, exercise your freedoms, and form your own opinion on the issues of the day.
May God bless each of you, your families, and our men and women in uniform at home and abroad – our brave military, law enforcement, and first responders – who go in harm’s way to protect us every day.
I’ll be back next week with more hypercritical insight on the news and newsmakers, and, “…perhaps that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.”
I hope you will join me.
From the Barker family to yours – Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
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