Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ferguson Redux...

America and the world are once again watching racist agitators destroy the town of Ferguson, Missouri. None of us were really surprised by this - well...  except for the Ferguson Chief of Police who said he didn't expect the violence and destruction to be on such a grand scale. Really? They burned businesses in August following the shooting of Michael Brown, they kept the embers glowing, had three months for their anger to fester and grow, had three months to make plans should the grand jury decision not go their way, and the police chief didn't think the protests would be bad? Even the governor knew. He activated the Missouri National Guard - then refused to deploy them Monday night when they were most needed. (Some say that was due to pressure from the Obama administration. While I absolutely believe that to be the truth, I cannot verify it at this time.)

The protesters hold signs that say "Black Lives Matter," and "Stop Killing Our Children." And while I completely agree that black lives matter - all lives matter - the signs that say "Stop Killing Our Children" should be directed at the black community instead of the police. The truth is that 93% of all black people killed each year, including "young black males," are killed by other black people. That leaves 7% that are killed by others - to include homeowners defending their property, business owners defending their businesses, people being robbed or assaulted on the streets, and police.

Blacks make up just over 13% of America's population yet they account for over 50% of homicides nationally. And 93% of those homicides are committed by other blacks. Some will argue that the 93% number isn't that significant since 84% of whites murdered are murdered by other whites. And while that may be true - the significance is the sheer numbers. Whites make up 37% of the population - nearly three times that of blacks. Yet blacks lead the nation in homicides and murder their own at a rate higher than whites.

These aren't my numbers. They are compiled by federal authorities. My point is - if you want black children to stop being killed start with your own community.

Interestingly, very few in the media will talk about these facts and the discussion is non-existent among the outspoken black leaders. You don't hear Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder or even President Obama talking about the huge numbers of blacks killing other blacks. President Obama is familiar with the numbers, I'm sure. He lived in Chicago where the black murder rate by other blacks is the highest in the nation. Yet the only thing he ever talks about is when a black kid gets killed by a white person.

In prepared remarks on the violence in Ferguson President Obama yesterday said "I think you'll find a lot of separate and apart from the particular circumstances in Ferguson, which I am careful not to speak to because it's... it's not my job as President to comment on ongoing investigations and specific cases."

Really, Mr. President?

I actually agree with his statement that it's not his job to comment on ongoing investigations (one of the few things he has ever said with which I agree) - that doesn't seem to stop him from commenting.

"I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home." - Barack Obama, July 22, 2009

"My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said. "All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves." - Barack Obama, 3-23-12

"The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve." - Barack Obama, 8-12-14

President Obama also sent three White House representatives to Michael Brown's funeral. As it turns out, the grand jury believes that Michael Brown was indeed intending to injure or kill Darren Wilson and Wilson was justified in shooting him. So the President, with my tax dollars, sent his representatives to the funeral of a potential cop killer. I'm not happy about that.

Yes, it sure is a good thing that it's not the President's job to comment or involve himself (or his representatives) in local investigations. Otherwise he'd be doing it on a regular basis. Oh, wait...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buying A Stairway To Heaven

The pastor at our church (Dr. Carroll Marr) has been doing a sermon series for the last few weeks called "Classic Rock." It was a three week series with a break in the center for a special guest speaker who was also connected to the classic rock and roll era.

Dr. Marr picked three of the most popular classic rock songs from the 60s and 70s. The first was "American Pie" by Don McLean, about the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in 1959. It was about how each of us can experience something in our lives that stops the music; stops the happiness - and the only way to get it back is through our faith in Christ.

The second song was... get this... "Hotel California" by The Eagles. He played part of each song at the beginning of the sermon and more than once said "Some of you are singing along. Some of you are remembering even if you're not singing, and some of you are thinking "I can't believe he's playing this music in church!"

The Hotel California sermon was about how great things can appear when living a life away from God. So many earthly pleasures and so many things that look so inviting. Then, when you're in too deep and want out it's nearly impossible to go. "You can check out anytime you like - but you can never leave." Not without the power of Christ in your life, anyway.

The third Sunday was a detour but not very far. Our guest speaker was Ken Mansfield, former CEO of Apple Records, USA, and friend of the Beatles. Mr. Mansfield spoke of his relationship with the Beatles and also of his acceptance of Christ as his savior during a time when he was at his lowest. It was a fascinating testimony and one well worth seeing.

The final sermon this past Sunday was based on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven." As you can probably imagine - the sermon was about how a person goes about getting to heaven. You cannot buy your way. Good works don't get you there. Living a good life doesn't work either.

Jesus spelled it out very specifically in John 14:6 when He said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." There is nothing in His words that say good works, living a good life, or being an all around nice person will get you to heaven. There is only one way and it is documented in the most popular and most read non-fiction book that has ever existed. 

We cannot buy a stairway to heaven. The good thing is - we don't have to because that stairway has already been bought and paid for by the only man who could ever do it. Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, bought that stairway for all who believe in Him. It's still there and open for all to climb if you simply believe in what He said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

By the way - anyone can watch and listen to these sermons at "". The final one about a stairway has not been posted as of today but should be shortly. Check it out.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Heartfelt Words From A Marine Parent

This is excellent. It's a heartfelt article by the father of a US Marine who discovered that until his own son joined the Marines he took the military and what it does for granted. 

My Heart on the Line 
By Frank Schaeffer 
The Washington Post 

Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry.

In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.

It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question, "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private
high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.

"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."

When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3,000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not
afford the trip.

We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before.

After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, a black ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."

My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.

Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?

Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?

I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation."  As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform, in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart. 

Awaiting Tragedy In Ferguson, Missouri....

The best possible thing for the innocent people of Ferguson and Saint Louis, Missouri, right now would be for the grand jury to indict Darren Wilson on some charge for the death of Michael Brown. It would mean the protests would have no real reason to become violent and out of hand and possibly the area would be spared the turmoil that is currently pending.

But would it solve the problem.? My thought is that it wouldn't. It might appease the protesters somewhat but if Darren Wilson is charged for false pretenses; if he's charged simply to maintain peace and order in the community and avoid a full scale riot, then justice has failed and when he goes to trial he will in all likelihood be acquitted. If and when that happens the rioting and violence against the innocents will still occur. Falsely charging Wilson now with a crime will only delay the inevitable.

It could be that the grand jury will find valid reasons to charge him. They've certainly got all of the evidence - or so we've been told. According to written articles, in an unprecedented case the prosecutor has presented all of the facts to to the jury - not just a summary so they can decided if he goes to trial. (Normally the prosecutor presents just enough evidence to convince the jury that there is just cause to indict someone. This case has been different all the way around.)

Wilson himself testified on his own behalf - another unprecedented occurrence.

Information supposedly leaked from the grand jury last week said the jury was leaning toward not charging Wilson because they have come to believe the shooting was done in self defense. No one knows if that leak is genuine but many believe Wilson did what he needed to do.

Not so among the crowds that have invaded Ferguson. They don't want to hear that Wilson may have acted in self defense. The protesters don't care about real truth and justice. They care only about their own truth and their own version of justice. Even if Darren Wilson is tried, if they do not get the verdict they want they won't be satisfied. The Brown's attorney, who claims to only want a trial to gain "justice", will not be satisfied if Wilson is tried and acquitted. Justice in their eyes has only one outcome - Darren Wilson convicted of murder. Facts do not matter in that case.

Some protesters, including members of the New Black Panther Party and other radical black activist groups, have threatened to "kill white people" if they don't get what they want. I believe many of the protesters want violence rather than justice. Some want an all out race war and are poised to set race relations in this country back 150 years. Is that really what they want?

I've heard the threats from the protesters. I've heard the demands of the protesters. I've also seen the idiot mayor of Ferguson give in to some of the demands, allowing the protesters to set the tone for their demonstrations. If the grand jury decides not to indict Wilson I believe there will be violence in Ferguson that will demand drastic and decisive action from the police, much to the disappointment of the Attorney General, who seems more worried about the protesters' not being impeded than the police protecting themselves and the innocent people of the greater Saint Louis area.

If Darren Wilson is exonerated things in Ferguson and surrounding areas are going to get really ugly really quickly. Despite Eric Holder's demands of the police, tactical units will not only be deployed but will use necessary force to resolve violence caused by the criminals and thugs in the groups. The criminals will get what they want - a fight with police. They'll also use the situation as an excuse to attack innocent people.

People are going to get injured. Some may even die. Residents who want none of the violence should stay indoors and away from the craziness that will ensue. The world is about to see what happens in the United States when an angry mob doesn't get their way and the President and Attorney General side with the mob rather than with the American people. It will be shameful at best - but just one more negative mark on the legacy of President Obama.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Schools Gain Common Core - Lose Common Sense, Part 2

Yesterday morning I read an article about high school kids in Taunton, Massachusetts, who were suspended from school for a Facebook post that showed them dressed up to go to their homecoming dance while holding toy rifles.

The kids, Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira, were suspended indefinitely for posting this picture on Facebook with the caption "Homecoming 2014." I blocked the faces because they are children.

The school found out about the picture on Monday, following the dance, because other kids were talking about it. The kids had the picture taken after their formal pictures because they wanted to have some fun.

"We took them with the airsoft guns because it's our hobby and we wanted to include them in the pictures," Pereira said.

Airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets and with the proper protective equipment are safe and mostly harmless, much like paintball.

The kids say they were taken to separate rooms and questioned by police, without parental consent. Velez said they searched him and his bag.

The school says the problem lies in that they tied the picture to a school function with their caption of "Homecoming 2014." 

"It's not the guns; it's the connecting of that type of posture, that type of thing to a school event," said Richard Gross, the superintendent of the high school. "When you tie that to a school event, that's something to be concerned about."

The school says the dance was uneventful but that on Monday "students were fearful and parents were concerned." I'd like to meet some of those fearful and concerned people. It was a picture on Facebook.

So now what you do in the privacy of your own home can get you suspended from school just because you use the word "Homecoming"with a picture? And why is suspension or expulsion the automatic answer these days? Do teachers and principals talk to kids anymore? Do they try to solve problems with reason and logic?

I'm pretty sure  neither the principal nor school superintendent can point out the rule that says "There will be zero tolerance of students posting pictures on Facebook that show them holding guns while dressed for Homecoming. There will be no exceptions." I would bet a month's pay there is no such rule.

Once again a public school reacts in an absurd manner with punishment for a perceived rule violation far outweighing the act itself.

This morning I read about a 10 year old boy in Massachusetts who was suspended for two days because he pointed his finger and made "ray gun noises." Two female students, age unknown, told the principal they "felt threatened" and the the school decided the boy actions were a threat to their safety.

First of all, the boy is 10 years old with an imagination. Second, it was his finger - how threatening does the principal really believe it is? My guess would be rather than saying they felt threatened the girls were specifically asked "Did you feel threatened by his actions?" and they responded as they were expected to. But I wasn't there.

Schools have a valid right and need to protect their students from violence. I have no disagreement with that. But common sense should dictate what is and isn't violence and/or a threat. A finger gun, like Pop Tart gun, is not dangerous and does not constitute a threat to anyone.

School principals are supposed to be compassionate and wise. They are supposed to exercise sound judgement when dealing with students and disciplinary problems. Suspending a 10 year old for an imaginary ray gun is not exercising sound judgement. It's ridiculous.

We don't need Common Core. We need a return to common sense. We need teachers and administrators who teach honestly, grade fairly, and are genuinely concerned about the education of their students. Sure, there are still some out there. I have family and friends who are teachers. But they're getting fewer and further between. And that development will be harmful to our children.

Obama Defies Constitution, Republicans And The American People

On TV last night our illustrious President told the nation and the world that he will ignore the laws outlined in the Constitution and make changes to our immigration and deportation laws on his own, bypassing the governing body that by law is responsible for immigration. President Obama not only says he has the authority to do so but that he "cannot wait anymore." And in doing so he has seriously violated his oath of office and broken the law.

For years President Obama told the American people he does not have the Constitutional authority to do what he did last night. (He was correct.) Suddenly, after his policies were slammed by the American people in the mid-term elections and the Republicans very decisively won control of the House and Senate, President Obama somehow decided that he does have the authority to change immigration law to suit his own agenda and announced that he will do just that today. (He offered no explanation as to why he didn't have the authority for 5 years but suddenly has it now.)

President Obama said our immigration system is broken. And he's correct. But there is one main reason it is broken and that's because no President in the last 50 years has really enforced the laws of the land. The border has been open the entire time against the wishes of the American people and in violation of the law. That's the reason we have so many illegals in the country today. (And I don't care what the whiners say about them not being "illegal" because that's exactly what they are. They are in the country without authorization and broke the laws of the land by coming here. That makes them aliens who are here illegally. Period.)

Our immigration system is broken because the various Presidents, from Reagan all the way to Obama, have done nothing to secure the border and effectively enforce the laws as written. We may need reform to make the legal immigration process easier but if we don't enforce the laws we already have what makes anyone think we'll enforce new laws?

The President says his administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any other President. But that's simply untrue. What Obama has done is change the reporting system. Until Obama took office the only deportations of illegals reported were those who were caught living inside the United States, were arrested and tried and deported by court order. President Obama, being the slick politician that he is, changed the reporting procedures to include any and every person stopped at the border and returned immediately. That made his numbers jump even though the numbers are bogus. But it made him look good in the eyes of his followers. I know several very intelligent liberals who believe Obama's numbers even though the evidence of his deception is there.

President Obama says he's deporting criminals first. What that means is that he's deporting illegals who get arrested for criminal acts, or who are discovered to have long criminal records in their own country, ahead of the average person who sneaks across the border and doesn't do anything illegal while he's here. But since sneaking across the border is illegal the are all criminals.

Obama also says that our immigration system "yanks children from the arms of their parents." While that's a heart tugging visual,the fact is that the only reason that might happen is if the parents are deported but the children are allowed to stay. And if I recall correctly, the President himself is the one that made that legal by signing his "Dream Act" Executive Order that allows children to stay regardless of the status of their parents. The Dream Act yanks the parents away from the children. And that's because of President Obama himself.

President Obama said last night that his order wasn't amnesty. He said what we have now is amnesty. Let's take a look at that. Merriam-Webster defines amnesty as "a decision that a group of people will not be punished or that a group of prisoners will be allowed to go free." By very definition what he's doing with his Executive Order is granting temporary amnesty. Remember, this is a "Constitutional law professor." I think I'll send him a Merriam-Webster dictionary for Christmas...

So how did the President violate the Constitution and break the law, you might ask. The President does have the right and authority of prosecutorial discretion. That means he can decide in which order to prosecute and/or deport illegals based on current laws. He has the right to deport criminals before mothers and children and has the right to deports people caught for traffic violations before seeking out illegals working in a field somewhere and deporting them. That's all legal.

Where he overstepped his authority with this Executive Order is that he basically said he will not arrest, prosecute or deport any illegal for the next two years except those few for which he determines its necessary. He has chosen not to enforce the law of the land and has broadcast that to the world. But Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” It does not say that the President can enforce some laws and ignore others and does not say he can unilaterally dismiss laws that he doesn't agree with. So in signing this order he is in violation of the Constitution.

A second way he is violating the Constitution is with his intent to issue Social Security numbers and work permits to the illegals effected by this order. The law of the land says that people who are in the country illegally are not legally permitted to work. President Obama is waiving that illegal status and giving them legal work status instead - something he does not have the authority to do.

President Obama has likened his actions to those of past Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. But he's misleading the public when he says that. Both Reagan and Bush went through Congress to take their immigration actions and had newly passed legislation behind their actions. President Obama has no legislation except what he's making up as he goes. His actions are in no way the same as Reagan or Bush. On that particular point he's simply lying to the people. But that's nothing new. You can keep your doctor and your health care plan, remember?

What happens now? The President has basically told Republicans "I will do what I want. Try to stop me." And short of impeachment, which I believe Obama wants to happen so he can play the race/victim card, the Republicans can either simply allow it or they can take his order apart financially. Contrary to what some conservative pundits say I believe a government shutdown, which is being discussed, would be a bad move. They need to fund the government but with specific language that disallows funding for his work permits and other portions of his order. If he can't pay for it he can't enact it. And that's where Congress has the power.

So we wait. We wait to see what the Republicans will do about President Obama's unlawful acts. The actions of the Republicans over the next few months will determine the course of the federal government for the next two years. If they sit back and complain without taking decisive action then the election might as well have gone to the Democrats. And since Boehner and McConnell don't have much of a track record for defying Obama's actions, the chances of nothing happening are good. The ball is in their court. We shall see what happens.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Will The President Cause A Constitutional Crisis?

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Above is the oath that Barack H. Obama swore on the Bible both times he was inaugurated as President of the United States. Tonight at 8pm Eastern time, President Obama will reveal to the nation and the world whether he will live up to his oath of office to preserve and protect our Constitution or whether he will act unlawfully with Executive Orders, blatantly ignoring his oath, the Constitution and the will of the people.

Of course I'm referring to Obama's upcoming announcement of unilateral action on immigration and allowing millions of illegals to remain in the country without the approval of Congress (who alone has the Constitutional authority to regulate immigration) and the American people, the majority of which oppose what the President wants to do.

President Obama says he "can't wait any longer to act." Really? So after six years in office, during which he had a Democrat majority in the House and Senate for his first two, he now can't wait two more months until the Republicans take control to see if they will propose immigration reform? Why is that? Why is it suddenly an emergency? Are the illegals going to disappear before January? Is the world going to end before January?

While we don't know the answer to the last question we do know the answer to the first two. The reason he's pushing for this now is twofold. First of all, he wants to do it his way, without interference from Republicans. And second, he wants payback for the election. He wants to punish the Republicans and the American people for completely rejecting his policies, which he said were on the ballot. So he's going to push the envelope, maybe even hoping the Republicans will impeach him. Then he can play the race card and try to garner sympathy for the Republicans picking on the first black President of the United States.

And we all know, regardless of the facts, that the main stream media will play his game and condemn the Republicans for it. They're still not ready to admit that they've been wrong in their support for him all these years.

Constitutional scholars nationwide are saying that if he goes ahead with this it could easily lead to a Constitutional crisis. Numerous times over the last six years, in his own words, the President stated he did not have the authority to do what he is now planning to do. And Constitutional experts agree with him that he does not have that authority. Yet it seems he has decided to give himself that authority, Constitution be damned.

This lawless President is going to do whatever he wants in the next two years and it seems the Republicans are unwilling to stop him. They talk big but are they really going to do anything? We shall see. But given the fact that they reinstated Boehner and McConnell into the leadership positions my faith is dwindling. Neither have proved to be an deterrent to Obama's actions so far.

Do Our Politicians Agree With Jonathon Gruber...?

Last week several videos surfaced of economist, professor and a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, Jonathon Gruber, telling his fellow economists that the American voters are stupid. Speaking of the health care law and how it was passed, Gruber said that it was written and promoted in a deceptive way to fool the stupid voters so it would pass. He said that non-transparency to fool the American people is a benefit for politicians and that without it the Affordable Care Act would never have come into being.

Of course the Obama administration denounced Gruber as "never employed by the White House," even though the President had several meetings with Gruber concerning the bill and Gruber received hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation for his work on the bill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi denied knowing who Gruber is, even though in 2009 she said his review and critique of the law was wonderful.

They really do think we're stupid.

Now we have another prime example of just how stupid they think we are. Over the last couple of years the House of Representatives has passed eight different bills to build the Keystone pipeline, a project that would not only help lower energy costs but would employ tens of thousands of Americans. The Senate, under iron fisted Harry Reid, did not even consider bringing the bills to the floor for debate and a vote.

Yesterday, the Senate finally brought their own Keystone pipeline bill to the floor for a vote. Did they have a sudden change of heart about the necessity of the pipeline? Did they realize that jobs on the pipeline would be a good thing for America? Did they finally come to the understanding that bringing more oil into the country would help lower our energy costs?

No, no and no. None of the above.

Their reasoning for the bill is far more simple than that. They were trying to save the seat of one of their own.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D) LA, was up for re-election in the mid-term. In Louisiana, to win an election a candidate must garner 50% of the vote. Landrieu only got 42% of the vote while her strongest opponent, Representative Bill Cassidy (R), got 41%. A second Republican candidate received 14% of the vote which in all likelihood kept Cassidy from winning.

Landrieu now faces a runoff election in December. She is making all kinds of promises including bringing much needed jobs to Louisiana. One of her promises of jobs includes the Keystone pipeline. Hence the pipeline bill. Harry Reid wouldn't even entertain the idea of it until he saw a political use for it. Landrieu told her constituents that she would support the Keystone pipeline being built (it will flow into Louisiana) if she won re-election. Suddenly a bill on the pipeline made it to the Senate floor.

Incredibly, it was defeated by Landrieu's fellow Democrats. I guess they care more about their ideology than saving one of their own. Landrieu is poised to lose the runoff election next month. The Democrats know this. The DNC has already pulled its funding from her campaign. They say they "still care about Landrieu winning" but they're no longer going to spend money to help her do it.

Poor Mary. She can't even get the backing of her colleagues and her party. Of course, when asked why she lost her bid for a third term and why President Obama was so unpopular in Louisiana she played the sexist card and the race card, saying women and blacks have always had a difficult time in the South. Obviously that's the reason. After all, she has only been in Washington representing Louisiana for 12 years and the President has only been elected twice. Yup - sexism and racism at its worst.

Sadly shaking my head...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Obama Still Claiming ISIS Is Not Islamic

The recent beheading of Army Ranger Peter Kassig has once again focuses the world's attention on the evil that is ISIS. The Islamic terrorist group has no morals or human compassion. They fight their jihad to win regardless of what they have to do. Kidnapping and beheading Westerners, murdering women and children, executing Christians and any other people who refuse to follow them is their motus operandi. Instilling fear in the hearts of their enemies by displays of barbarism is a tactic that has worked in civilization in the past. And in some areas of the Middle East it is working today.

In a written statement President Obama addressed the nation yesterday following the release of the beheading video, calling Kassig by his adopted Muslim name. “ISIL's actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own,” Obama wrote. “Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of ISIL.”

While I can agree that Peter Kassig seemed to be a good man who was sincerely trying to help others, I can't help but wonder why the President always seems to feel the need to defend Islam against those of us who know the truth about the politico/religious entity. The President says that ISIS is not Islam yet everything they do can be justified in the Quran. Obama has always made his love of Islam a priority in his administration even as Islam is fighting against us and killing American citizens.

An article in the news this morning says the Obama administration is now conducting a full review of the United States' hostage policy, including the payment of ransom on a case by case basis. While it's not something I have heard before, Fox News reports that "a U.S. policy on hostage negotiations signed by President Bush in 2002 states that ransoms can be paid if officials believe doing so would help gain intelligence about terror groups, but can not be paid for the sole purpose of freeing an American."

The United States had always had a policy that said they would not negotiate with terrorists. Apparently this policy was changed somewhat by the Bush administration (and I'm truly disappointed about it) and was blatantly ignored by the Obama administration in the case of Bo Bergdahl, whose release was attained by negotiating the release of five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay. Three of those commanders are now fighting with ISIS.

If the Obama administration decides that paying ransom to ISIS is the answer to their hostage taking we are finished as a nation. There will be no prevention of hostage taking of Americans, not only by Islamic extremists but by any other world terrorist organization who believes the United States will pay ransom. To entertain the thought of it is simply ignorant.

In other news, it was revealed this week that President Obama had a meeting with the organizers of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests and told them to "stay on course." Once again President Obama shows his racial bias and a complete lack of leadership in a situation involving a black man and a white law enforcement officer. President Obama's statement several years ago: "I don't have all the facts but the police acted stupidly," echoes in my head when ha wades into individual cases and voices his opinions even before the case has been completely investigated.

When you open a dialogue with "I don't have all the facts but..." you're telling the world that you have already decided the facts of the case without knowing what they are. That's no different than the Ferguson protesters, the governor of Missouri, and Al Sharpton calling for the arrest and prosecution of Darren Wilson before the case has even been investigated. I would like the President of the United States to be above such emotional involvement in a local case but he just doesn't seem to be able to help himself. His comment "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon," also put his opinion on the case on public record before the case was investigated.

(The worst part of the Trayvon Martin case was when George Zimmerman was acquitted and Attorney General Eric Holder opened a hot line and advertised nation wide for any and all information that he could use to open a civil case against Zimmerman. What a pathetic and shameful show of racial bias by our "activist" Attorney General that was.)

The President of the United States is supposed to be a person who handles the big picture without involving himself (with blatant ignorance) in individual cases of police work. If he had waited for the Professor Gates case to be fully investigated then, after he had all the facts and determinations from the police department, made a statement that he thought the police did something wrong I could respect that opinion based on him having all the facts. But he likes to jump in prematurely and pronounce how he feels about certain cases even though he is ignorant of the facts. And that is unbecoming of the Office of the President.

I guess failed leadership is to be expected from a President who negotiates (weakly) with Iran over their nuclear program, pretending they won't attain a weapon, calls ISIS the "junior varsity team," meets with illegal aliens outside the White House and wants to reward them for breaking our laws, and gets caught in lie after lie but then lies about the lies he told. Nothing the man does surprises me anymore - unless it's something good for the country. But that hasn't happened anytime recently.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Republicans Are Going To Do What???

On November 4th the American people sent a clear message to President Obama, the Democrats and the Republicans. That message was "We're fed up with ineffective leadership in Washington and we don't like the direction in which the country it moving. It's time for a change. It's time to let the Republicans try to fix things."

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to spin that into "The American people said they want us to work together," anyone with a functioning brain got the message - particularly those Democrats who were voted out of office.

The Republicans heard the call. Immediately following the election they set about organizing their new agenda for 2015. Their first order of business was to decide who was going to lead the House and Senate come January. And that's where they began to show they didn't get the message after all.

In two moves that stunned many Republicans nationwide, the House and Senate once again elected John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to lead their respective houses. Neither of these fine gentlemen was desired as their majority leader by the people - the ones who voted for a change. Neither has the trust of the majority of the voters. Both are seen as weak by many.

They had their first shot at making serious and productive changes in the way they do things and they blew it. Strike one.

So what's their next project to prove nothing has changed? President Obama has promised to sign an Executive Order giving the equivalent of amnesty to just over 4 million illegals in this country "if Congress doesn't act quickly enough." He has had six years to work on immigration reform, including his first two years when the Democrats held all three branches of government. Instead of working on his reform he chose to push his piece of garbage highly questionable health care bill instead.

Now, with only 8 weeks before Republicans take over the House and Senate, the President insists that immigration be done before the end of the year because....  well, because after January 20th he won't have as much negotiating power as he currently has with a Senate majority.

The President has basically threatened the Republicans. He is promising to sign an act that many Constitutional scholars believe is unconstitutional and could lead to a constitutional crisis. And the President doesn't seem to be worried about it at all. In fact, he's all but challenging the GOP to stop him.

So what are the Republicans planning to do about it? One of their ideas is to institute another government shut down. You read that correctly. There is a temporary spending bill and a long term spending bill being created right now in the House. Republicans are actually talking amongst themselves about not signing a spending bill at all, allowing a government shutdown to prevent any funding for Obama's amnesty decree.

The Republicans lost big numbers because of the government shutdown just last year. Even though it was caused as much by the Democrats as the Republicans, Republicans took the brunt of negative public opinion because of President Obama, AFGE, and a liberal main stream media. Republicans were blamed and the people believed it. (That actually tells you how fed up the American people are with the Democrats since the GOP swept the mid-terms this year.) So now their first official act will be to shut the government down again? Really? Whose brilliant idea was that?

From all outward appearances it seems nothing will change in the new Congress come January. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are starting off their leadership with bad ideas. They'll have the ability to push legislation through to the President's desk but if said legislation is bad are we gaining anything?

The American people need to keep a close eye on Washington - not only after January but between now and then. The President is working to make changes that could e detrimental to our nation and the Republican leadership is working to effect the same ol', same 'ol. We voted for change and action. If the Republicans aren't going to deliver we need to send them a clear message that they too can be replaced!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Muslims In The House?

Some people in this country are in an uproar once again because they're just not happy with the First Amendment. Oh, they like when it allows them to say whatever they want to say about whatever topic they choose. They just don't like it because the amendment gives that same right to everyone - even those with whom they disagree.

They get angry because people they don't like can say things that go against their core beliefs. They tend to believe that only like-minded people should have the right to free speech and that certain other groups should not. They believe that if the beliefs of a certain group are beliefs they don't share that that group should not have the right to express those beliefs publicly.

You probably think I'm talking about liberals. And it's true - they do fit the mold of everything I've said. But in this case I'm once again talking about Republicans and conservatives. 

The United States House of Representatives opens each session with prayer. It's rather surprising really, considering how hard the Democrats have been working to remove every aspect of God from every aspect of the government. But it is a tradition as old as our nation and so far it hasn't changed in the House.

What has changed is that a Muslim cleric was invited last week to offer the morning prayer. Republicans and conservatives nationwide are going crazy, denouncing the act of allowing a Muslim to pray before Congress. Many are saying it should not be allowed - that Muslims have no business orating the opening prayer in the House of Representatives. And while I'm not thrilled about it - I must disagree that it should not be allowed.

Like it or not we have two Muslim representatives in the House. The First Amendment allows that if other religious denominations are represented by a spiritual leader for the opening prayer then the Muslim representatives have the same right to representation. If a Muslim cleric prayed every day or every other day or once a week it would be different. But that's not happening. It seems to happen about once a year. That's not unreasonable. What's unreasonable is for any American to want to prevent it from happening. The First Amendment applies to all whether we like it or not.

Now - let's jump over a few blocks to the Washington National Cathedral. On Friday, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, better known as the Washington National Cathedral, held its "first-ever recitation of weekly Muslim prayers" in the iconic Episcopal sanctuary. 

The historic event was said to be a chance to hear leaders of both faiths call for religious unity in the face of extremist violence and hate. The Muslim leader 'called on Muslims, Christians and others to come together and make “common cause” in the fight against extremists who appropriate Islam."

“We come to this cathedral with sensitivity and humility but keenly aware that it is not a time for platitudes, because mischief is threatening the world,” Rasool said. “The challenge for us today is to reconstitute a middle ground of good people . . . whose very existence threatens extremism.”

Now see - I'm OK with that part. If American Muslims want to finally begin fighting Islamic extremism we need to support them 100%. What I'm not OK with is the fact that a Christian church allowed people to pray to someone other than the one true God inside their church. The Bible is very clear about who God is and He is not Allah. 

Reverend Franklin Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, spoke about it on Thursday, prior to the event.

“It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins,” said Graham. “Jesus was clear when He said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6).”

My church has Christian services in different languages, including Burmese and an African service. We invite Muslims in the area to attend our services if they wish (and some do.) But we do not and would not allow Muslims to have a service to pray to Allah.

And that's not bigoted, racist, or any other term one might want to attach to it. It's simple fact. And contrary to the situation in the House of Representatives, Muslims have every right to practice their religion but do not have the right to pray wherever they wish, particularly in a Christian church.

If it was up to me I would have hosted the Muslims for the event of dialogue against Islamic extremism but I would have not turned it into a Muslim prayer service. It would have been a civic meeting. If both groups wanted to open with a simple prayer that could be permissible but I would have tried to avoid that as well in the name of fairness to both groups. After all - it would not be polite to invite Muslims to a meeting in your church if you make them sit through your prayer without allowing them the same privilege unless you arranged that ahead of time and they agreed.

Anything that religious leaders in this country can do to get American Muslims to finally step up and publicly denounce extremism is a positive step. God knows it's something that's been long coming. If that includes Christians working side by side with Muslim leaders then so be it. That can be accomplished without Christians praying in a mosque and without Muslims praying in Christian churches.

I wonder if the Muslims have a meeting on the same topic at a local mosque if their Christian guests will be allowed to open with a Christian prayer service? Anyone want to make a bet?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shaking My Head In Wonder...

This one is going to irritate some and will downright piss others off. Some will be able to discuss their differences with me, some won't. Some will probably even boycott me. So be it. I tell it like I see it.

I read an article on Facebook today about a Walmart store in small town, Ohio, that was successfully petitioned by Muslim students at Miami University (of Ohio) to begin selling halal meats in their store so Muslims in the local area could find halal meats that conform to their religious beliefs. The local Walmart store complied with the petition and began selling the halal meats. Some "conservatives" on Facebook went absolutely crazy.

The article explained very well that this was a decision made by one store to accommodate local customers - a wise business decision if you ask me. But people became irate, as you can read from the comments copied directly from the thread (without names, of course). I didn't edit any of them...

THey already bowed to HALAL meats! Off my shopping list!


I think its just certain walmarts I work at wal mart and so far we aren't selling the meat if I ever see it in my store it will be my last day I will walk out right then

I shop threw Amazon and gave up on Walmart years ago.
Before everybody gets up in arms about this article.Has anybody cared to see if this article is credible or not?
The ones near me also do this, They sell it in a separate section. Just like the pricey Market Districts by Giant Eagle.
good we can behead the cashier if she to slow

ugly women cover they faces super, no more ugly fat chicks because they covered up
If this is what Walmart is going to do to appease muslims, than I'm going to pull my support of Walmart and shop somewhere else. Good-Bye Walmart!
instead of the hill-billies at Wal+Mart we are going to see Camel Jockie memes XD
Butt kissing Wal-Mart. Guess they'll find out how many white people don't like having Muslim cult beliefs shoved down their throat. There are some other great places to shop. They aren't as cheap as they used to be anyway. We will be spending our money at Dillons. Hy-Vee, Dollar Store, anywhere else.

BOYCOTTING Walmart. Hope their HOLIDAY sales hit the basement floor.
BY, By by Wallie World!

I finally had to respond: How easy it is to turn Americans against themselves. This article is about one store in one town in one state yet so many people on here are ready to write off Walmart for it. Just as they want to write off Home Depot for holding a training class at a store in Dearborn, Michigan, whose population is about half Muslim now. SMH

And I was attacked... which was the basis for this post.

Person who will remain unnamed: Glen - if you are to stupid to know that if they got it in one town it will spread. Wal-Mart has buckled under in this town and it will spread. Sam Walton would turn over in his grave. He was a good man and a wonderful Christian.

I rarely get irritated when people on Facebook attack me because many people are brave in cyber space - even if they're misguided, misinformed or just plain ignorant. So it was that I had to respond to the attack, but politely.

To "unnamed person..."  - that would be "too" stupid. If you're going to insult me at least use proper grammar. 

Second - Walmart sells kosher products for Jews. Don't believe me? Check out their supply of Hebrew National Hot dogs and/or Vlassic Kosher Dill Pickles. Is it OK with you for Walmart to violate the First Amendment of some Americans (that would be Muslims) because you don't like their religious beliefs? Really? The First Amendment protects everyone - even you.

Third - I doubt you speak with authority for Sam Walton. If he was a Christian (and I'm not doubting that he was) he would understand that the Bible says we are to love all people and treat them as we would treat ourselves - with respect and dignity. So don't play the Christian card on me. Christians do not hate.

Selling halal meats in this store was a decision made by the local manager. Because of your hatred you want to decide how the First Amendment is applied - to select groups approved by you. And who cares if Walmart nationwide decides to sell halal? You are not being forced buy it. You're not being forced to shop there if it means that much to you. But you know what you could do right now? Not shop in that one store. How simple is that?

Oh - and please don't try to insult me by calling me a liberal or something. A little research will show you I'm a very conservative Christian. And I happen to believe in the rule of law and the Constitution rather than fanaticism.

Have a nice day.

I understand people's anger. I really do. What I don't understand is their demand to enforce the First Amendment only according to their own religious and/or political views without regard for the fact that the First Amendment not only allows Muslims to be American citizens but protects their right to worship as they choose. It also protects (and lawfully demands) the right of Walmart or any other business/corporation to provide goods and services to people of all faiths. Do they really want to prohibit corporations like Walmart from meeting the demands of their customers based on religious beliefs? What happens if some evangelical Christian demands the removal of decorative candles that depict Catholic symbols? What happens if Christians in general demand the removal of Jewish foods and items? Are the prepared to take it that far or will the only discriminate against Muslims?

Liberals in recent years have been known for wanting to curtail free speech with which they happen to disagree. Yet here are professed conservatives wanting to do the same thing.  ??

These "conservatives" who claim to be "Christians" don't seem to have the whole Christian thing down. At least one "Christian" in the comments wanted to demand Mass every Sunday in the store. Setting the stupidity of the demand itself aside, (since Muslims aren't demanding their religious services be held in the store) some Christians don't believe Catholics are Christians, therefore bringing up another problem. In their world who gets to decide who is an "acceptable Christian" and who is not? Do you understand where I'm coming from with this? How fare do you really want to take this absurdity?

The bottom line is this - if you want to boycott Walmart because one store in Ohio decided to stock some items requested by Muslim customers in their store that is absolutely your right. If you think vilifying Walmart in the name of Jesus is valid then in my opinion you are misguided. Jesus wouldn't care one way or another if Walmart sold halal meats to Muslim customers. Jesus taught love and understanding of others. Muslims need to eat too. 

I really don't think Sam Walton would care either. Business is business.

Last week in Kroger I bought a can of coffee that came from Guatemala. Many of the illegal immigrants that are crossing the border are coming from Guatemala. We'd better boycott Kroger for selling that coffee! After all - no store should be selling coffee from a country that doesn't follow our beliefs and way of life. Oh, wait...

In The News Today...

Part 2 of "The New Faces Of Conservatism" will appear tomorrow. Today I wanted to talk about a few things I saw and/or read through various news outlets.

Where to start...

Democrats in Washington will find any excuse for losing the mid-term election besides the truth - that the American people are tired of their failed leadership and their constant lies. Now they are saying the main reason they lost is because the United States voters, who have elected Barack Obama twice to the Presidency, voted Republican in last week's election because they are racists.

“We lost because of ideological differences within the Democratic Party and with our Administration. We lost because our party has, to some extent, lost white Southerners due in part to the race of our President,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) recently told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Fudge, who is the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, a pathetic and racist organization in and of itself, went on:

“Our community organizations and churches mobilized to encourage early voting opportunities with programs like ‘Souls to the Polls,’ and African American activists and state leaders stood ready to combat any instance of voter intimidation or fraud,” she said. “Black elected officials crisscrossed the country to discuss the urgency and importance of this election. We phone banked, knocked on doors and held ‘Get Out the Vote’ rallies. Our losses were not a referendum on African American political engagement. We did our part, so don’t blame us!”

So they had people out there pushing to drum up the African-American vote and it still didn't win them the House and Senate seats they needed so it has to be racism. What has this country come to when political leaders in Washington are allowed to take the floor and declare the voters racists just because they lost an election - an election that was full of serious issues that far surpass the race of the President (who was not up for re-election) or the candidates? I'm disgusted by these people who use that word as an excuse for anything and everything.

But Fudge isn't the only one who threw the race card. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D), who faces a runoff against her Republican challenger next month, was asked why President Obama has a hard time in Louisiana.

“Let me be very, very honest with you,” Landrieu responded in an interview. “The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”

Uh...  Mary - maybe that's because he doesn't really have a clue what leadership is. Just a thought. She went on to say that some voters, probably the ones who aren't racist, are sexist and won't vote for a woman - even though she has been elected twice by those voters.

“It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place,” Landrieu told reporters, speaking of the upcoming runoff. Just like those racist voters who re-elected President Obama, those sexist voters who re-elected her last time are now apparently exercising those sexist beliefs.

Exit polls showed that nearly 75% of voters were against an executive action that granted amnesty to illegal aliens and big government interference in state policies and programs. But I forgot - that's racist too. It's not about disagreement with Democrat policies. It's about the skin color of the law breakers and the gender of the candidate(s). Right Congresswoman Fudge? Right Senator Landrieu?

In other news, another "Oops" moment has arisen for the White House and the spin began immediately in an effort to minimize it. 

A video surfaced a few days ago featuring liberal MIT Economics Professor Jonathon Gruber, one of the civilian architects of the Affordable Care Act as well as one of the architects of the Massachusetts health care law. Gruber, speaking at an economics conference (Gee - that sounds like fun, huh?) made several statements about the Obamacare law that told the American people what Republicans have been saying all along.

The Affordable Care Act would not have passed if the American people actually knew what was in it from the beginning. Never mind that 72% of Americans didn't want it to pass anyway - that was irrelevant to the Obama administration. But Gruber said it would not have passed at all if the public and the Congressional Budget Officer weren't deceived about the details of the law.

"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. So it’s written to do that," Gruber told the economists.

"In terms of risk-rated subsidies, in a law that said health people are gonna pay in — if it made explicit that healthy people are gonna pay in, sick people get money, it would not have passed. Okay — just like the … people — transperen— lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get anything to pass."

Of course, the White House and key Democrats are spinning the story in an attempt to negate the negative impacts. White House Propaganda Secretary Press Secretary Josh Earnest told Fox News' Ed Henry (the only reporter who asked about it) “The fact of the matter is, the process associated with the writing and passing and implementing of the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent,” and said that President Obama "is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.”

Right Josh. All that writing by the Democrats behind closed doors and the bribes that were spread around to gain last minute support - those are transparent alright. At least to those of us who can see through Obama.

Earnest then tried to turn the conversation around by attacking Republicans.

“It is Republicans who have been less than forthright and transparent about what their proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would do in terms of the choices are available to middle class families.”

In typical liberal fashion, Earnest took a situation in which the Democrats and the President look really bad and said "But you Republicans did this!" The immaturity that seems to permeate the White House right now is astounding.

Although Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House, spoke of Jonathon Gruber by name in 2009, she now denies knowledge of even who he is.

Asked about a Republican health care bill that the CBO had said would cost subsequently less than Obamacare, then Speaker Pelosi said "We’re not finished getting all of our reports back from CBO, but we’ll have a side by side to compare. But our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange."

Asked about Gruber's comments just a couple of days ago, now House Minority Leader Pelosi said “I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill.”

How quickly a Democrat can forget someone when it's convenient. The President himself has yet to comment on the matter. But that's understandable. He's busy trying on traditional Chinese clothing and planning another assault on America via his threatened amnesty order.

Finally, the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, is set to be released any day. Police and protesters are gearing up for the possible outcome. Police have been advised by the governor to be "ready for anything" even as the protest leaders, members of such groups as the New Black Panther Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Amnesty International, and other radical organizations, (along with non-radical groups as well) say they will try to maintain peace and order without giving up their protest efforts. The facts of the case are still unimportant to their cause if they (the facts) don't agree with the group's desired outcome, it seems.

President Obama expressed "real heart-driven concern" about possible violence in Ferguson following the upcoming release of grand jury findings in the case. He did, however, promise federal assistance to the governor in whatever capacity it is needed.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday said he offers “the department’s continued assistance” and urging “continued and direct communication between elected officials, law enforcement and community leaders in the days ahead to help deescalate tensions and assist with planning.” He also called for law enforcement to use restraint. 

Restraint is good - until such time that the protesters prove restraint will not stop the violent behavior. Sometimes in riotous situations, as used to be said in the federal prison system where I spent my career, "It's time to kick ass and take names." If and when the protesters make that motto necessary let Eric Holder and the federal government beware if they get in the way. It's not going to be pretty.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Imagine A World Without Steve Jobs...

Process that for a moment. Imagine there was no Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, Inc.

Imagine there was no Apple, Inc. Imagine a world without Apple computers, McIntosh computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iPad minis....

You don't own any Apple products, you say? Fair enough. How about the people you know? Do they? Do you own any kind of smart phone or android? Those products stemmed from Apple technology.

The fact is Steve Jobs was instrumental in many of the technological advances of the last 30 years or so. He was brilliant, innovative and savvy. And he almost never was.

Steve Jobs was adopted as an infant. His birth mother, a 23 year old college student, was in no position to keep and raise a baby when she became pregnant. According to Jobs himself, she "went through a difficult time" to have him. She could have aborted him and in this day and age, she very likely would have. Instead she chose to deliver her baby and give him away as an infant.

Jobs forgave his birth mother for giving him up and eventually, after his adoptive mother died, was able to track her down. When she met him she reportedly burst into tears, apologizing for putting him up for adoption. (Can you imagine finding out years later that the baby you gave away became a Steve Jobs or equivalent?)

“I wanted to meet her mostly to see if she was OK and to thank her, because I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion,” Jobs told a biographer. “She was 23 and she went through a lot to have me.”
“Don’t worry,” Jobs told his birth mother. “I had a great childhood. I turned out OK.”

It turned out that Jobs also had a natural sister who was born to his mother and birth father several years later. She and he became very close.

“As we got to know each other, we became really good friends and she was my family,” he said. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

My point of this is not to demand sweeping changes to the abortion laws in this country. Right or wrong I truly doubt that Rowe vs Wade will ever be changed. I don't believe the American people would go for its repeal after all these years and, as I said the other day, it's not something the Republicans should take on as an issue immediately. There are far too many other things that need immediate attention. I could be wrong but that's my humble opinion.

No, the point of this post is to get people to think. If you or someone you know is weighing the pros and cons of a possible abortion, share this little story with them - particularly if they happen to have a phone or an iPad. If Steve Jobs mother had aborted him there would be no Apple, Inc. Would we have an alternative? Possibly. But who's to say? Jobs was one of a kind and his contributions to the world are immeasurable. 

Steve Jobs was just one man but imagine what the world would be like today if his mother had made a different choice. Abortion is always a choice. The government allows it but doesn't force it to happen. That is up to each individual mother. It's just something to think about...

The New Faces Of Conservatism

Today I start a series on the new conservative politicians in the United States and their possible (or inevitable) future impact on American politics. This series will consist of several posts, number as yet to be determined by length....

Now that the midterms are over and the Republicans soundly defeated the Democrats nationwide, it's time to begin looking seriously at the 2016 presidential election - not only who the candidates should be but who has the best chance of winning.

Establishment Republicans and the main stream media have already put some indications out that they would support Jeb Bush should he decide to run. Jeb, the most liberal and progressive of the Bush family, did a decent job as governor of Florida but very few voters are interested in having another Bush in the White House. Some say he might be the only one who can beat Hillary. Personally, I doubt the Bush machine, just because he's a Bush, could ever beat the Clinton machine if it came down to it. And his liberal stance on immigration, amnesty and education have me turned off. Would I vote for him? I would if he is the only choice to keep another Democrat, particularly Hillary Clinton, out of the White House. But that would be the only reason.

Let's not forget that any Republican embraced by the main stream media cannot possibly be a good choice for the nation.

Others in the Republican elite are talking about Mitt Romney running again. While Romney would be far better than Bush for our economy and our world standing (given his vast and successful business experience), he took his shot and proved that he was unable and unwilling to stand up to strong opposition. Romney had so much ammunition to use against Obama during the 2012 election but being the nice guy that I truly believe he is, he declined to do so - and lost. Who can say if it would be different in 2016? He's still the same nice guy. I'd rather go with someone who didn't fall short last time.

Even John McCain has expressed an interest in another possible run. I won't even comment on that.

When Ronald Reagan ran for President in 1980, he ran on a conservative platform. He had been a Democrat until 1962, but had actually campaigned for Richard Nixon in 1960. He was also the President of the Screen Actors' Guild - one of the most powerful unions in Southern California. He became more and more conservative in the late 50s and became a Republican in 1962.

Following a successful stint as governor of California - possibly California's best years - Reagan ran for President in 1980 on a conservative platform of tax cuts and smaller government. Advisers, media and the Democrats said he couldn't win on that platform... but he did. His conservative policies reversed our pathetic economy and world standing left by Jimmy Carter and in 2004 he was re-elected - winning the popular vote in 49 of the 50 states!

Reagan had his problems. Of that there is no doubt. But his conservative principles made the country more prosperous, stronger all the way around, and made the world a safer place. "Peace through strength" was his motto. And it worked. Reagan's work eventually led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, even though it actually came about during the George HW Bush administration. Have no doubt that it was Reagan who made it happen. His famous statement: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," still resonates with the call of freedom.

Fast forward to 2016. The United States needs a conservative leader. Conservative policies and principles have proved over and over that they work. There are blinding examples in the country today. Let's take a look at a few.

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin

In 2010, Wisconsin was in a state of economic turmoil. Unemployment was high, as were the state's budget deficits. Public employee unions and pensions were factors that were draining the state's funds. Walker ran on conservative principles and policies and won with 52% of the vote. After being sworn into office, Walker, in 2011, introduced a controversial budget repair plan which limited many collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

The legislation made more than $1 billion in cuts to the state's biennial education budget in addition and $500 million in cuts from the state's biennial Medicaid budget. Both were challenged and, following court battles, both survived, along with new voter ID laws. 

Unions went crazy after Walker signed the new legislation. They organized, both inside and outside the state, and protested for weeks. But the bill passed and the state's economy began to improve. The unions campaigned against Walker from all angles, collecting money from labor unions and liberals from around the country. In 2012, a recall election was held in an attempt to toss Walker from office. It failed. Walker defeated the challenge and became the only governor in the United States to survive a recall election. He must be doing something right.

Walker's conservative approach to governing has worked. When he took over as governor in 2011 the state had a deficit of $3.6 billion. Today the state has a surplus of over $900 million. Unemployment has fallen from 9.2% to 6.3%. Liberal critics say Walker's job growth isn't impressive and that there are other deficits that have not been addressed. But the state is in far better shape than it was. Facts are difficult for some liberals to swallow.

Scott Walker ran on his record for re-election this year and won with over 52% of the vote compared to his Democrat challenger with 46.6%. Critics called it a close race but given the fact that Democrats and unions from all over the country helped his opposition I'm thinking that the 5+ point spread wasn't all that close.

Walker's conservative principles are working in Wisconsin just as Reagan's did in Washington. And it's only the beginning.

To be continued....

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Belated Happy Veterans' Day

Some of you may be wondering why I didn't post my usual salute to Veterans' Day yesterday. I wanted to but for two things - Arden and I were traveling and I was sick. No worse time to be sick than when you're on the road. And no - I don't have Ebola. As far as I can tell I had food poisoning. Gotta stop eating in restaurants while traveling...

Veterans' Day is the one holiday each year that is for me and my fellow veterans. Sure, Independence Day is for me - it's for all Americans. Labor Day is for all Americans - even if it was created as a socio-economic tribute to the workers by labor unions, of which I have never been a member.

Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Lord. New Years is just that. Memorial Day is not for all veterans, as some believe, but for those who sacrificed their lives in defense of our great nation. Presidents' Day is the day they chose to honor the birthdays of two of our greatest Presidents by combining their birthdays into one holiday that doesn't usually fall on either day.

Martin Luther King day honors Dr. King and is about freedom and civil rights. Columbus Day honors the founding of North America. And Thanksgiving is for all to give thanks for the blessings we have been given by our God and Creator.

Veterans' Day is for people like me - those who at some time in their lives put on the uniform of the United States military and spent some years doing what they were told to do in service to their fellow Americans. Some of us were soldiers, some were pilots, some were medics, some were sailors, others Marines and Coast Guard. But we all served our nation, our Commander(s)-in-Chief, and our fellow Americans.

The old saying "A veteran is someone who, at some point in his/her life, writes a blank check to "The people of the United States of America" in the amount of "Up to and including my life," didn't strike me as something that applied to me until a dear friend pointed it out. I didn't go into harm's way when I was in the Air Force - except maybe being in Germany in a time when the Red Army Faction was blowing up American targets and kidnapping and executing random US military personnel, because there were no wars going on at the time. I never saw combat. However, I was subject to go if and when it was necessary. And would have proudly accepted the call.

My son's mother was in the Air Force at the time as well. Together we had to sign paperwork that said if we were both ordered to duty in a war zone who would we leave our son with in the meantime. There was a single mother who lived in our apartment building, also active duty, who has to sign that same paperwork. Ever have to make a decision like that? (Chances are they wouldn't have made my wife and I both go and leave our son behind but we still had to make that designation.)

Everyone who joins the military makes sacrifices. They lose some of their freedoms - such as complete freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom to wear what they want, freedom to quit a job they just don't care for, etc. They are under the control of the government for the time they are in. The government tells them where they are going and what they are to do. And they can't say much about it without serious consequences.

Families of veterans sacrifice as well. They too are subject to the whims of the government. They must choose to follow their beloved service member to his/her assignment or be separated from him/her for the duration. And there are many assignments to which a spouse or loved one cannot follow.

Less than 0.5 percent of Americans serve in our armed forces. That's about 1.6 million out of 300,000,000 plus citizens. When you think about it that's not a lot of people to defend our nation and her people - particularly since we are involved in global affairs. It's a pretty big sacrifice. Winston Churchill said it best: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

So a day late and a dollar short, I want to offer a sincere thank you to my fellow veterans and your families for your sacrifice, your courage, and your honor. Together we stood and accepted the call of our nation. Together we stood, as the prophet himself did in Isaiah 6:8, and said to our God and our country: "Here am I. Send me." 

Most of us would do it again in a minute if necessary. We are brothers and sisters in arms. We are the few who put country ahead of self. We are the 0.5 percent.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Do Elected Officials Maintain Common Sense After Elections?

Everyone by now has heard about the openly lesbian mayor of Houston who has singed an ordinance which allows people of the city to use any bathroom that is open to the public, male or female, depending on what "gender they identify with." It matters not what gender they are, says the mayor. What matters is who they identify with. In other words, a man can now legally enter a women's bathroom in a mall just by saying he identifies as a female.

Understandably, many people are upset about it and believe it could lead to many problems, particularly sexual predators using it as an excuse to get close to victims. Imagine a peeping Tom dressing as a woman so he can enter the lady's room to see what he can see? Unimaginable? Certainly not in today's society.
A group of five Christian pastors led a petition drive to reverse the ordinance. They garnered over 50,000 signatures - three times the number of signatures necessary to place the ordinance on a ballot so the people can decide whether or not it's something they want in their city. Subsequently, the city's legal office subpoenaed sermons, speeches and other public remarks made by those pastors, ostensibly to see if they were "using their churches for political reasons."

A legal firm, representing the pastors pro bono, have taken up the cause saying that the city's subpoena of the sermons violates the First Amendment. Senator Ted Cruz and others have also criticized the mayor's office.

“For far too long, the federal government has led an assault against religious liberty, and now, sadly, my hometown of Houston is joining the fight,” Mr. Cruz said in a statement. “This is wrong. It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American.”

I must agree - not only about the subpoenas but about the ordinance as well. In 2006, the LGBT community made up 4.4% of the population of the City of Houston. So 8 years later it could be as high as 8 or 9%. That leaves over 90% of the population that is not part of that community. So I would bet that the majority of Houstonians (?) are against this new ordinance for a variety of reasons. Even though the numbers of LGBT supporters are growing I would still make that bet. And the mayor should be checking with all of her constituents before passing such a major ordinance. Such a small minority should not be dictating the moral behaviors of such a large majority.

The mayor, reacting to pressure from the pastors' attorneys and the public, has backed off of her request for sermons and speeches, but not before attempting to justify the subpoenas by saying the pastors were politicizing the pulpits. She obviously doesn't understand that for most Christian pastors this is a moral and Biblical issue rather than a political one.

Now let's move West on I-10 to the lovely city of San Antonio. A liberal city on the San Antonio River, it's home to The Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas and many other interesting and historical attractions. I always enjoy visiting and have several good friends who live there.

On the radio yesterday I heard about a new city ordinance in San Antonio that is just another example of the loss of common sense by elected officials. Beginning in January of 2015, hand held cell phone use will be illegal while operating a motor vehicle. 

The law - 19-255, begins with "(1) ENGAGING IN A CALL means talking to, dialing, or listening on a hand-held mobile telephone, but does not include holding a mobile telephone to activate or deactivate the device."

You may use a phone that is mounted to the vehicle, on speaker mode, or via a Bluetooth device but you cannot hold it, even for GPS use.

An article I read said that one of the reasons they passed the ordinance is because last year a six year old girl was struck and killed by a driver who admittedly dropped his cell phone and was searching for it on the floorboards, distracting him while he was driving. 

“If he didn't have the cell phone he wouldn't have lost control of his cell phone and my grandson would still be alive,” Stephen Abrams told the court.

While my heart breaks for this grandfather and the girl's parents, the driver wasn't distracted by talking on the phone. He dropped the phone and instead of pulling over to search for it he searched for it while continuing to drive. That can happen if you are eating a sandwich and drop it. And how many of us have spilled coffee or soda on ourselves while driving? Will they next outlaw eating and/or drinking while driving?

This seems like nothing more than a money making scheme for the city. Why do I say that? Section (f) of the ordinance - the next to the last section. "(f) An offense under this section is not a moving violation and may not be made a part of a person’s driving record or insurance record."

They're not going to make it a moving violation or give you points for using a phone. They're simply going to fine you $200. I can't help but wonder if the police officer who pulls you over will say "Go and sin once more," after writing the citation...?

The other interesting section exempts all EMS personnel from the ordinance if they are on duty.

"(4) by a person who is an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle while acting in an official capacity;"

...because we all know that EMS personnel, whose vehicles are fully loaded with communications equipment from radios to computers, need to be able to make their calls while driving.

Fortunately, the law does allow drivers to call 911 to report an emergency or illegal activity. 

While I am OK with banning texting while driving (because it takes rapt attention to type a message on a phone), talking on the phone while driving, whether it's a hand held or mounted phone, is really no more distracting than having a conversation with a passenger or disciplining your kids in the back seat. Dialing the phone is distracting - even if you're using a mounted phone - unless you're using voice dial. But how many people do that?

Setting a GPS system while driving is just as dangerous as texting. And with this new law, even if I set my GPS on my hand held phone and set it on the dashboard I will be in violation of the law because I'm using a phone that is not mounted to the vehicle. How much sense does that really make?

People will undoubtedly violate the ordinance anyway. It's human nature. Cell phones have a tendency to make people feel self-important, as evidenced by people who use their phones in movie theaters, restaurants, etc., completely oblivious to what's going on around them. I doubt this law will change that. About the only thing it will change is the revenue for the city. But isn't that the idea?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Republicans....

Congratulations on your big victory last night. Americans sent a message to the President, to the Democrats, and to you. That message is "We're tired of our nation going in the wrong direction and we want you (the Republicans) to do something about it." So what are you going to do?

From the conservative standpoint, come January things will be better for several reasons.

1. As of January Democrats will no longer be in control of the Senate. Bills will actually go to the President's desk. It will be up to him to sign or veto the legislation - each and every one.

2. The Republicans will be able to prevent the President's liberal appointments to various offices, including the Supreme Court.

3. Harry has made it OK to go with a simple majority vote of 51 on many things. That will be a plus for Republicans now (although I truly doubt he'll leave it like that. You'll be seeing that change back in December, I'm sure.)

OK. Those are good things. So what else can we expect?

Already there are calls for the Affordable Care Act to be repealed. That's a good thing except... what is your alternative? What will you offer the American people who have lost their current plans? Health care reform - doing something to curb the ever-rising costs of healthcare for the average citizen, is something that should be a consideration. What will you do?

What will you do to help create jobs? Corporate tax cuts, combined with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, will help. We have the highest corporate tax rates in the world. That's why so many jobs are going overseas. What are you going to do to fix that?

Anyone with a working brain knows that the "Republican war on women" is a creation of the Democrats. So that's not a problem. But honestly, forget about the whole abortion issue for a while. I'm not advocating abortion nor am I saying it's a good thing. However, I have serious doubts that Roe vs Wade will ever be overturned. The only way that will happen is if there is if all three branches of government are controlled by conservatives. That can't happen for at least two years. So focus on things you can do now, please?

What are you going to do about ISIS? The President's half-hearted air campaign is being waged to make him look like he's doing something. For the most part ISIS is laughing - and advancing. The White House has stated their goal is not to take back conquered territory but to stop them from gaining any more. ISIS apparently isn't paying attention because they keep advancing - even acquiring American made weapons from Syrian rebels that we are arming. They have established their caliphate in the Middle East with our President's blessing. What are you going to do about that?

The borders of our country are nearly non-existent and the President is threatening to make things worse. He has already stated he will sign an Executive Order to get what he wants in immigration reform. He really only has two options - to stop all deportation or to order the Border Patrol not to do their jobs. Or both. Both of them would be impeachable offenses since he took an oath to uphold and enforce the laws of the land. He hasn't upheld them very well so far. What are you going to do about it?

Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants to repeal Common Core. A great idea if you have an alternative plan. Our public schools were not doing well before Common Core. They won't do well after it unless you have a plan to improve them and the education system. What is your plan?

Conservatives in Washington have two years to learn to communicate their message of conservatism to the public and to lay out their plans for 2016 and beyond. You need a spokesperson who can connect with the people. Who might that be?

The Republican party is happy and united today. But what about tomorrow? In-fighting, attacks on Tea Party Republicans by the establishment elite, even underhanded tricks like getting Democrats to cross party lines to vote against your Tea Party challengers all are leading to the destruction of the party as it is supposed to be. Over 50% of Republicans believe the party needs to return to its conservative roots yet the new conservatives (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee) are ridiculed and condemned by the likes of John McCain and Thad Cochran, as well as by Republican pundits like Karl Rove. The American people want unity and conservatism, not progressivism and in-fighting. Get your act together!

The economy still sucks and we are nearly $18 trillion in debt. What are you going to do about that?

You won a major victory last night. But what's important is what you do from here. I would remind you that you won the House in 2010 but Barack Obama was still re-elected in 2012. We will be watching.

Again, I ask you.... what is your plan?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We Voted!

Last night my wife and I set our alarm for 6am so we could get to the polls early. The polling places opened at 7am and we wanted to beat the crowds. When the alarm went off I was awake but Arden wasn't so sure she wanted to get up early after all. By the time she got up, we got dresses and had our coffee it was nearly 8:30. (Who can vote accurately without coffee...?)

Anyway - we traveled the five miles or so to our rural polling place and discovered we were the only ones there. Our neighbor directly across the street greeted us at the door. She was a volunteer polling assistant. We showed our IDs and our voter registration cards, signed our names verifying we were who we said we were and making an official notification that we were voting, and went to the voting booths. It didn't take long and as we were voting, more and more people arrived.

Our neighbor said we came at the right time. She said at 7am the line was out the door. That worked out well for us.

Today my wife and I cast our votes for a stronger Republic that is the United States of America.

We didn't cast our votes for socialism, more welfare and food stamps, bigger government and greater entitlement programs. We cast our votes for individual freedoms and the responsibilities that come with them.

We didn't cast our votes to allow our borders to remain open and for people to continue entering the country illegally. We cast our votes for border security and enforcement of our immigration laws.

We didn't cast our votes for continued and ever-increasing political correctness. We cast our votes for the freedom to disagree with anyone without being called a racist or some kind of "phobe" (attach your own prefix.)

We didn't cast our vote giving politico-religious groups the right to take over our nation and/or vilify anyone in the country who disagrees with them. We cast our votes for religious freedom that does not advocate violence against non-believers.

Today we voted for the separation of powers between the three branches of our government so that no one branch, particularly the executive branch, can do whatever they want whenever they want.

We voted against amnesty for illegal aliens and against any executive action that would lead us closer to that.

We voted against the government sticking it's hand even deeper into our pockets to take more money for those nearly 47% of Americans who depend in the Obama administration and the Democrats for a living.

We voted against the evil that is Obamacare.

We voted against a Justice Department that selectively enforces the laws of the land.

We voted against an Internal Revenue Service that targets political groups that oppose the President.

And we specifically voted to take control of the Senate from the irrepressible majority leader, Harry Reid.

We voted today to take back our country - not from a black skinned President but from the policies he and the Democrats have pushed in this country that have kept our economy from growing, kept us from expanding our own natural energy development (that doesn't involve the failing green energy programs), left millions more unemployed and out of the work force, and has reduced our overall national security.

We voted against President Obama and the Democrats. And we're proud of it.

We voted for the Republic that is the United States of America!