Friday, April 30, 2010

Financial Reform; More of the Same

Star Parker wrote an excellent posting regarding the Wall Street reform legislation now being schemed over and put together by those "well-meaning and altruistic" politicians of ours in Washington.

She sums it up very well by saying, "The exercise now underway in Washington to reform our financial services sector revisits what we just went through in health care. Take a problem caused by government going where it doesn’t belong and then propose to solve it by doing even more of the same."

I encourage you check out here complete posting at this link here.

The Trailblazers' Season Comes to an End

Well, unfortunately last night in game six of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Portland Trailblazers finally succumbed to the final defeat of the season. The Phoenix Suns managed to beat the Blazers four games to two in the series and thus will move on to face the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the playoffs.
Portland, despite being loaded with young impressive talent, has just been plagued with ridiculous amounts of injuries to nearly all of their key players this season. We still did not have our two centers of Oden or Przybilla back over the past few months of the season. And to add insult to injury, (literally) our all-star Brandon Roy ended up with a meniscus tear in one of the final few games of the regular season, where we beat the hated Lakers on their own home floor.

While Roy returned to play after surgery in the last two playoff games against the heavily favored Suns, one cannot help but wonder if he had been healthy for the first four games if that might have been enough to propel the Blazers past the Suns into the second round instead.

Well, after drying my tears, I have to say that I am very proud of our Trailblazers and the herculean effort the guys put forth in spite of this horribly injury-plagued season. They still managed a 50 win season and a sixth seed berth in the playoffs. My only hope is that they can get rested and repaired so that they can be contenders next year.

With Nate McMillan's coaching and the talent and chemistry on the team, anything is possible. In the meantime, I guess I am now a Utah Jazz fan for the remainder of the playoffs. Barring their demise, anyone but the evil Lakers will do just fine!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Norman Mattoon Thomas, Socialist & Democrat

Down on the Plantation

I read Star Parker's book Pimps, Whores, and Welfare Brats which told her story of being a single mom living on the welfare system in L.A. years ago and how she transformed her life and took responsibility for herself. It was a very inspiring book. Ms. Parker has gone on to be an excellent spokeswoman for personal responsibility and conservative principles since then.

Further, Ms. Parker has formed her own think tank named CURE, which stands for Center for Urban Renewal and Education. It is dedicated towards "fighting poverty & restoring dignity through faith, freedom and personal responsibility". You can check out her website here.

My dearest mother in law, whom I love very much, sent me an email yesterday with an article that Star Parker had written and I thought is more than worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

Six years ago I wrote a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation." I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas. A poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism.

I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.

Through God's grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican congress and signed into law by a Democrat president. A few years after enactment, welfare roles were down fifty percent.

I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth producing American capitalism.

But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.

"This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending-it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care, and education."

Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place "with unprecedented transparency and accountability."

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.

Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- The War on Poverty -- which President Johnson said "...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty."

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single parent homes and out of wedlock births.

It's not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Democrats Are The Real Party of Wall Street

Arizona's New Illegal Immigration Law

Arizona’s governor Brewer has just signed a new state bill into law that allows police to question those they suspect might be illegal aliens. In light of the huge amounts of problems that illegal immigration has had on Arizona, this seems to be a rather practical response. The fact that the federal government has completely abrogated their duties to protect our borders has made the states realize that if anything is to be done, they are the ones that will have to do it.

Not surprisingly there has been a huge uproar from the likely suspects regarding this new law. Many people are calling this law racist and un-Constitutional. I suspect that most American’s don’t really care about a person’s race if they are here legally, thereby nullifying the charges of racism. I find it astounding that others can call the enforcement of our borders and immigration laws as un-Constitutional. That is ridiculous in the extreme.

Now I am not without sympathy towards poor immigrants wishing to find a better life for themselves and their families, nor am I not entirely certain that given their circumstances I myself would not be doing the exact same thing. That being said, they are by definition here in the United States illegally. Granted most of these people are fine law-abiding folks that simply want a better opportunity for themselves.

Unfortunately there are far too many elements within the millions of illegal immigrant groups that are here to profit through crime, gangs, drugs etc. Phoenix has become the worst city in the nation for kid-nappings largely because of illegal immigration and their ties to various Mexican drug cartels. This certainly makes the passing of this law very prudent, and the public has been shown to support it by 70% in Arizona.

Our nation absolutely MUST fix our abysmal immigration laws so that a reasonable amount of people can indeed come to America in order to live and work. The current system we have is absolutely broken. Unfortunately, President Obama and most Democrats in congress think that providing amnesty to those illegals already here is the first step to fixing the problem.

First and foremost we need to secure our borders to ensure no more illegals can enter our country. We need to then place draconian fines on those companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. If we keep more illegals from entering and then provide no incentive for them to stay once jobs start drying up for them, the problem will by and large solve itself. The downturn in the economy has already been an impetus for many illegal aliens to return to their home countries as there is no longer any work here for them.

The drain on the schools, prisons, hospitals, and welfare programs from illegal immigrants FAR outweighs the economic gains they bring to our economy. Let’s fix the problem once and for all. Secure the borders. Severely punish those that hire and exploit illegal aliens, and then fix the immigration laws to LEGALLY allow a reasonable amount of immigrants to enter our country on a path to citizenship or on work visas.

President Obama, not surprisingly, has already voiced his displeasure at Governor Brewer signing this bill into law for Arizona. He has implied that the federal court system may be brought into play regarding it. Evidently Obama doesn’t want to take care of his responsibility to guard our nation’s borders, nor does he want anybody else to do the job that HE is supposed to do. Get ready for the next big fight where our President wants to thwart the will of the people.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sarah Palin on President Obama's Lack of Faith in American Exceptionalism

Asked this week about his faltering efforts to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama did something remarkable. In front of some 47 foreign leaders and hundreds of reporters from all over the world, President Obama said that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”

Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it. America’s military may be one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever seen, liberating countless millions from tyranny, slavery, and oppression over the last 234 years. As a dominant superpower, the United States has won wars hot and cold; our military has advanced the cause of freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan and kept authoritarian powers like Russia and China in check.

It is in America’s and the world’s interests for our country to remain a dominant military superpower, but under our great country’s new leadership that dominance seems to be slipping away. President Obama has ended production of the F-22, the most advanced fighter jet this country has ever built. He’s gutted our missile defense program by eliminating shield resources in strategic places including Alaska. And he’s ended the program to build a new generation of nuclear weapons that would have ensured the reliability of our nuclear deterrent well into the future. All this is in the context of the country’s unsustainable debt that could further limit defense spending. As one defense expert recently explained:

The president is looking to eliminate the last vestiges of the Reagan-era buildup. Once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “ended” (not “won”), the arms control treaties signed, and defense budgets held at historic lows while social entitlements and debt service rise to near-European levels, the era of American superpower will have passed.

The truth is this: by his actions we see a president who seems to be much more comfortable with an American military that isn’t quite so dominant and who feels the need to apologize for America when he travels overseas. Could it be a lack of faith in American exceptionalism? The fact is that America and our allies are safer when we are a dominant military superpower – whether President Obama likes it or not.

- Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin's Take On the Dis-Invitation of Franklin Graham

My, have things changed. I was honored to have Rev. Franklin Graham speak at my Governor’s Prayer Breakfasts. His good work in Alaska’s Native villages and his charitable efforts all over the world stem from his servant’s heart. In my years of knowing him, I’ve never found his tempered and biblically-based comments to be offensive – in fact his words have been encouraging and full of real hope.

It’s truly a sad day when such a fine patriotic man, whose son is serving on his fourth deployment in Afghanistan to protect our freedom of speech and religion, is dis-invited from speaking at the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service. His comments in 2001 were aimed at those who are so radical that they would kill innocent people and subjugate women in the name of religion.

Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can’t abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith? What a shame. Yes, things have changed.

- Sarah Palin

Friday, April 23, 2010

Late Night Humor

I thought I would start the weekend with quotations I got off a joke email a friend sent to me.  Enjoy!

The liberals are asking us to give Obama time. We agree and think 25 to life would be appropriate.
- Leno

America needs Obama-care like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.

Q: Have you heard about McDonalds new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser.

Q: Whats the difference between Obamas cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers and threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners.

Q: Whats the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers.

Q: What was the most positive result of the Cash for clunkers program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.
- Letterman

Obama Budget Cuts in Perspective

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bishop Wester Responds to Maureen Dowd Regarding Abuses in the Church

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

I was dismayed to read in The Salt Lake Tribune Maureen Dowd's column regarding, among other things, what she perceives to be the cause of Catholic clergy sexual abuse of minors ("Catholics need to be able to trust their leaders," Opinion, April 9).

This is a very serious issue that demands careful analysis and thoughtful commentary as part of an overall effort to eradicate this terrible scourge from the Roman Catholic Church and indeed, from all of society. Sadly, I do not believe that Dowd has helped this cause.

My main concern with the article is that she misses the point. The terrible tragedy of the sexual abuse of children and young people by the clergy cannot be pinned on the discipline of celibacy as Dowd would have it. Would that it were that simple. She seems to want to go back to the "disciplines that the church was founded on" and yet excludes the discipline of celibacy.

If celibacy were the culprit in this matter, then how does one explain that, according to studies, only 2.5 percent to 3 percent of the clergy have engaged in this criminal behavior? That means that 97 percent of the celibate priests are not involved in this behavior. Moreover, according to best estimates, 10 percent of all children in the United States are sexually abused at some point in their childhood. Clearly, the vast majority of these perpetrators are not celibate.

In fact, contrary to the simplistic notion that Dowd portrays, celibacy is a revered tradition in the church, with many spiritual and pastoral benefits. I agree with Dowd's intention to find the causes of the horrible reality of child sexual abuse, a reality that plagues our country, indeed, our entire world, not just the Catholic Church. However, I find her attempt lacking.

I am also troubled that Dowd writes as if we were back in 2002. She seems ignorant of all that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has done these past eight years to provide for the protection of children and young people in the church. The USCCB has paid millions of dollars to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to study the nature and scope as well as the causes and context of the problem. The conference has also implemented a thorough policy for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and received from Rome the establishment of particular law for the United States, making these policies canonically enforceable.

As of March 23, more than 6 million children in Catholic schools and religious education programs have undergone safe-environment training, which provides children with the information and skills they need to help them in a threatening situation. In fact, here in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, church authorities were well ahead of the curve. In the early 1990s they incorporated into the diocesan handbooks strong policies to follow in dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.

During that same time frame, a Utah state social worker gave a workshop to priests that emphasized the new reporting rules issued by the government. In my opinion, the Catholic Church in the United States has done more than any other institution to study this intractable issue and to provide for the safety of our children. Arguably, today the church is the safest institution in our country for children and young people.

Certainly, the sexual abuse of minors is a tragic crime that has devastated the lives of many people. As a leader in the Catholic Church, I reiterate my profound sorrow for and apology to those who have been abused by clergy. I admit that the church has made mistakes in the past in dealing with that abuse.

We have learned much in the past eight years and have come a long way in providing safe environments for our children and young people. We remain committed and vigilant.

However, such an effort cannot be limited to the Catholic Church. Sadly, sexual abuse takes place in every corner of society throughout the world. It is a terrible, dark secret that needs to be shattered by the light of day as we discover its causes and look to that day when it will no longer haunt our world.

Such an endeavor does not admit to facile answers. Rather, it demands that we all work together to protect our most precious, God-given gifts: our children. This is the only right thing to do.

The Most Rev. John C. Wester is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

America's Exceptionalism

I have long noticed a phenomenon, particularly amongst our brothers and sisters on the left side of the political spectrum, to bash our country endlessly.  This has ever been the case in recent generations, but it seems to have hit a crescendo during the times that Republicans hold office. Now, that we have an uber-leftist as President, I had expected this nonsense to recede in waiting until 2012 when a conservative was elected back to the office. Evidently I was mistaken, as the Obama administration routinely is the biggest culprit of running down America these days.

Despite all of the hyper-socialist transformational tendencies of President Obama, this is definitely something to which I, and I suspect a majority of Americans, take strong exception. President Obama, his sycophantic mouth-pieces in the media, and his diminishing ranks of followers seem to be almost gleeful in pointing out the errors, evils, and shortcomings of our greatest of all nations. (even if they have to make it up as they go sometimes.)

Now granted, America has not been perfect as a nation, not that any nation ever has; however, typically America eventually admits its sins and does what is necessary to make things right.

For instance, many of our founders were troubled over the issue of slavery, but in order to form our nation they set the issue aside at the time. Eventually in 1861, that issue came to the forefront and one of our bloodiest wars ever was fought to end the evil practice of slavery via the Civil War. We nearly tore this nation apart in blood to atone for that sin.

Other parts of our history of which most decent Americans are understandably ashamed happened such as the displacement and overall treatment of American Indians as we swept westward as a country in fulfillment of our manifest destiny.

We have not always done the right thing as a country, but we are very good at eventually making amends for those seldom affronts.

More importantly, America has always been a beacon for good. For Liberty. For the opportunity to strive to reach one’s dreams.

Millions and millions of immigrants have journeyed to our shores over our 234 year history in order to find a better life; to find a life they could not have in their old country. And many of those immigrants embraced America and improved their lives and those of their posterity. Indeed, if the borders were open to the world’s population to become a member of any nation of their choosing, how many of the world’s six billion people would rush to call themselves Americans today?

In America’s relatively short existence on this earth as a nation, just look at what we have accomplished. It is my belief that our divinely-inspired Founding Fathers put in place a nearly unprecedented form of government where We The People were to govern ourselves through representatives of our own choosing. Our natural rights, derived from our Creator, were protected in a strong and also previously unprecedented Constitution that has become the very model for many free nations’ own constitutions since then.

Our prosperity through a free market system where hard work, perseverance, and risk are often rewarded has been unparalleled. Because of this, we have been the breadbasket of the world, the leaders of commerce, the greatest of inventors and innovators, and a friend to all that would be our friend. From the discovery of flight to reaching the furthest parts of space thus far, America has lead the way. Ingenuity is rewarded in this nation. All of these things are possible because of the gift of liberty from God as established in America by our founders.

Even our poorest people are wealthier than those from nearly anywhere else in the world. Our poor typically have a home, a television, perhaps even a car, where the poorest of some nations are lucky to have food to subsist upon. Our poor typically are more likely to suffer from obesity.

We have a military that is unmatched in human history in its might, and despite such strength, we do not use it for creating an empire of lesser nations. We have used our military strength in rescuing those allies that were unable to fend for themselves in war such as France and Britain in WWII, and in the liberation of nations from evil tyrants. We have used our might to help protect our friends in Europe under the umbrella of our strength during the darkest days of the Cold War. We have not asked for riches or land in return for this. We have paid in our blood and treasure to protect our allies. Our friends have unfettered access to the world’s seas and airspace in large part due to the protection of those sea lanes and air space by the United States military.

Despite all of these things, I still hear from those that decry our excesses. They state how we consume 25% of the world's energy, and yet they fail to realize that this is rewarded in unmatched productivity in farming, manufacturing, and services that benefits that same world far more than the output of any other nation’s.

A week ago, President Obama’s top science and technology official, who has argued for the economic de-development of America, warned science students that the United States cannot expect to be “number one” forever. “We can’t expect to be number one in everything indefinitely,” Dr. John P. Holdren said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Why can we not expect this, sir? We have achieved more than any other nation on earth despite being younger than most nations on earth. It is because we do not accept failure and do not feel ashamed at being the last remaining superpower that we can continue to be that “shining city on a hill” to which President Reagan referred.

To run down our country and defer to lesser nations rather than lead the way in the cause of liberty and freedom is unacceptable. Accepting the soft bigotry of low expectations will only weaken us as a country. That is not what our founders envisioned, not what millions of Americans fought for, and not what we have together spent in blood, treasure, and our sacred honor to protect and defend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Proper Way to Handle a Recession

With the prevalent and rampant revisionist history of FDR, The Great Depression, and the current handling of our recent recession under President Obama, I finally reached the point where I no longer have any patience in dealing with those that spout such nonsense.

Keynesian economics as practiced by the huge governmental spending (i.e. stimulus packages) and foolish monetary policy of allowing the Federal Reserve to print huge sums of money does not correct an economic recession. FDR did this through his New Deal policies and ironically prolonged the Great Depression accordingly.

The Forgotten Depression that occurred in 1920 and 1921 during the unjustly-maligned President Warren Harding's administration is hardly ever recalled precisely because of Harding's excellent and non-Keynesian handling of the situation.

In 1920, unemployment had gone from 4 to 12 percent (today's national average is currently 9.7% in comparison). The gross national product had dropped by 17%. Instead of stimulus spending and printing or borrowing money, Harding cut the federal budget by 50% and ended up reducing the national debt by a third. He further did an across the board tax cut for all citizens. Lastly, he ensured that the newly created Federal Reserve did not start printing additional money to trigger inflation.

The result is that by 1923 the unemployment rate had fallen back to 2.4% and the roaring 20's were ushered in until The Great Depression and the exact opposite policies were enacted via Hoover and then FDR to try and correct it. Recovery did not happen until WWII started for us in 1941.

There is an excellent posting on this by historian Thomas Woods here. He does a far better job of explaining the intricacies of this than I ever could. It is refreshing to see that there are those that attempt to tell the truth about our history instead of looking at things through a myopic political eye. I strongly encourage any of you that care to read the truth of the matter on The Forgotten Depression, The Great Depression, and how we are going awry in today's depression by reading Mr. Woods' article.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Cowboy's Prayer

Jake, the rancher, went one day
To fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty
And the clouds rolled gray and dense.

As he pounded the last staples in
And gathered tools to go,
The temperature had fallen,
The wind and snow began to blow.

When he finally reached his pickup,
He felt a heavy heart.
From the sound of that ignition
He knew it wouldn't start.

So Jake did what most of us
Would do if we had been there.
He humbly bowed his balding head
And sent aloft a prayer.

As he turned the key for the last time,
He softly cursed his luck
They found him three days later,
Frozen stiff in that old truck.

Now Jake had been around in life
And done his share of roaming.
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked --
It looked just like Wyoming !

Of all the saints in Heaven,
His favorite was St. Peter .

So they sat and talked a minute or two,
Or maybe it was three.
Nobody was keeping' score --
In Heaven, time is free.

'I've always heard,' Jake said to Pete ,
'that God will answer prayer,
But one time I asked for help,
Well, he just plain wasn't there.'

'Does God answer prayers of some,
And ignore the prayers of others?
That don't seem exactly square --
I know all men are brothers.'

'Or does he randomly reply,
Without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it's the time of day,
The weather or the season.'

'Now I ain't trying to act smart,
It's just the way I feel.
And I was wondering', could you tell me --
What the heck's the deal?!'

Peter listened very patiently
And when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition,
And he said, 'So, you're the one!!'

That day your truck, it wouldn't start,
And you sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time,
With hundreds of us trying.'

'A thousand angels rushed,
To check the status of your file,
But you know, Jake , we hadn't heard
From you in quite a long while.'

'And though all prayers are answered,
And God ain't got no quota,
He didn't recognize your voice,
And started a truck in Minnesota '

unknown author


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Contract From America

Back in 1994 soon-to-be-speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republicans in the House of Representatives captured the majority back from the Democrats with the 104th congress under the promise that they would pass a legislative agenda named The Contract With America.

Unfortunately not all of those very sensible items in that contract were passed into law, and the Republicans eventually lost their way with governing in a Constitutional manner and were thrown out of office and the placed back into the minority governing party accordingly.

With the excesses, corruption, and out-right illegal (un-Constitutional) usurpations of the current presidential administration and the Democratically-controlled congress, the Tea Party has coming into being and has been warning those in congress that THEY work FOR WE THE PEOPLE.

With that in mind, they have now come up with an excellent list of Constitutionally-directed and common sense rules to restore freedom, liberty, and justice to our greatest of all nations. This list of legislative items that has come from grass roots people across America is entitled The Contract From America, and politicians of any party would do well to take notice, vow to support, and then follow through in producing and voting for the appropriate legislation to get these enumerated items below enacted into law.

Following is that contract and you can go to their website to sign your support for it here.

The Contract from America

We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

Individual Liberty
Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.

Limited Government
The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.

Economic Freedom
The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.

1. Protect the Constitution
Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)

2. Reject Cap & Trade
Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)

3. Demand a Balanced Budget
Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)

6. End Runaway Government Spending
Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)

7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)

8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)

9. Stop the Pork
Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)

10. Stop the Tax Hikes
Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)

Here's to You Mr. Jefferson

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love and Taxes

Today is April 15th. Tax day. A day that most liberals love. (At least the liberals in congress do.) Well, nineteen years ago on this day, I decided to take what had otherwise been a gloomy day and make it into one of the very best days of my life.

You see, my beloved wife agreed to marry me and we eloped and got married on this day 19 years ago today. Of course we ended up having a church wedding in July of that year just so I would have two anniversary dates to remember. :)

These past nineteen years I have been blessed with my beautiful wife and best friend right by my side. Her intelligence and sense of compassion have shown me how to be a better man.

I have made many mistakes in my life, but I am ever thankful to God above that I got the most important decision in my life right when I asked my love to marry me. I am also eternally grateful to him that he gave my wife the singular flaw of having bad enough taste in men to say yes to my proposal. (Okay, she doesn't like the Portland Trailblazers, so she actually has two flaws.)

Anyway, I cannot think of a better way to have taken a necessary evil of a day devoted to paying taxes and turning it into the celebration of the anniversary of the union of the most wonderful girl in the world with me. I love you immensely, honey! Happy anniversary!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The General's Prayer

General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was our nation's last five-star general. His fiery command of many campaigns in WWI, WWII, and Korea distinguished him as a true patriot. But MacArthur was also a man of prayer. "A Father's Prayer", written by the general "during the early days of the desperate campaigns in the Far East in WWII" is a model for every father today. The prayer follows:

Build my a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, have not lived in vain.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pastor Gives a Sermon on the Stimulus Package

I would love to meet the Pastor of this predominantly black church in Virginia. He definitely seems to "get it". Perhaps we should each decide who our real leader is. It is amazing to see that very little has changed in 4,000 years.

Good morning, brothers and sisters; it's always a delight to see the pews crowded on Sunday morning, and so eager to get into God's Word. Turn with me in your Bibles, if you will to the 47th chapter of Genesis, we'll begin our reading at verse 13, and go through verse 27. Brother Ray, would you stand and read that great passage for us? ....(reading)...

Thank you for that fine reading, Brother Ray... So we see that economic hard times fell upon Egypt , and the people turned to the government of Pharaoh to deal with this for them. And Pharaoh nationalized the grain harvest, and placed the grain in great storehouses that he had built. So the people brought their money to Pharaoh, like a great tax increase, and gave it all to him willingly in return for grain. And this went on until their money ran out, and they were hungry again.

So when they went to Pharaoh after that, they brought their livestock -their cattle, their horses, their sheep, and their donkey - to barter for grain, and verse 17 says that only took them through the end of that year.

But the famine wasn't over, was it? So the next year, the people came before Pharaoh and admitted they had nothing left, except their land and their own lives. "There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh.." So they surrendered their homes, their land, and their real estate to Pharaoh's government, and then sold themselves into slavery to him, in return for grain.

What can we learn from this, brothers and sisters?

That turning to the government instead of to God to be our provider in hard times only leads to slavery? Yes.. That the only reason government wants to be our provider is to also become our master?


But look how that passage ends, brothers and sisters! Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt , in the land of Goshen .. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly." God provided for His people, just as He always has! They didn't end up giving all their possessions to government, no, it says they gained possessions! But I also tell you a great truth today, and an ominous one.

We see the same thing happening today - the government today wants to "share the wealth " once again, to take it from us and redistribute it back to us. It wants to take control of healthcare, just as it has taken control of education, and ration it back to us, and when government rations it, then government decides who gets it, and how much, and what kind. And if we go along with it, and do it willingly, then we will wind up no differently than the people of Egypt did four thousand years ago - as slaves to the government, and as slaves to our leaders.

What Mr. Obama's government is doing now is no different from what Pharaoh's government did then, and it will end the same. And a lot of people like to call Mr.Obama a "Messiah," don't they? Is he a Messiah? A savior? Didn't the Egyptians say, after Pharaoh made them his slaves, "You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh"?
Well, I tell you this - I know the Messiah; the Messiah is a friend of mine; and Mr. Obama is no Messiah! No, brothers and sisters, if Mr. Obama is a character from the Bible, then he is Pharaoh.

Bow with me in prayer, if you will.

Lord, You alone are worthy to be served, and we rely on You, and You alone. We confess that the government is not our deliverer, and never rightly will be. We read in the eighth chapter of 1 Samuel, when Samuel warned the people of what a ruler would do, where it says "And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.."

And Lord, we acknowledge that day has come. We cry out to you because of the ruler that we have chosen for ourselves as a nation. Lord, we pray for this nation. We pray for revival, and we pray for deliverance from those who would be our masters. Give us hearts to seek You and hands to serve You, and protect Your people from the atrocities of Pharaoh's government.

In God We Trust...

In Praise of Partisanship

Yes, you did read that right. I am absolutely for partisanship. Considering the Socialist/Marxist element that is so pervasive in the Executive and Legislative branches of our federal government currently, it is rare that a bipartisan agreement can or even should be considered, in my opinion.

There are certain core values that should never ever be compromised as a legislator or president, in my opinion again. Our representatives should always stand unerringly for life from its conception until natural death. Our representatives should abide by the Founding Fathers' intent as spelled out in our United States Constitution. Our representatives should not compromise ever on anything that would cause these core values to be weakened or placed in jeopardy.

One does not compromise for the sake of "bipartisanship" on issues where freedom is eroded by having done so. I give you the recent passage of health care as a prime example of this. For once in a long while I am proud of the Republicans for standing strong against this atrocious attack on our personal freedoms and the Constitution. The fact that this bill became law by the force of the Democratic majority alone puts the blame squarely where it should be on them.

Now just because I expect my elected representatives of any stripe to be uncompromising partisan people, does not mean that I expect them to be uncivil. Laying out one's case with facts, figures, and historical context is necessary. One can usually disagree without becoming hostile about it though.

Name calling and demagoguing are not acceptable. And, this is not to say that one should automatically discount every idea that comes from the opposition party either. Never reject a good idea simply because you do not like the source. Occasionally the Democrats can put forth a good idea, regardless of the fact that I am currently unable to come up with an example of one immediately.

This nation was founded on tough rousing debate of ideas. Indeed, it was not even unanimous in our nation's Declaration of Independence among the thirteen original colonies. (NY abstained the vote.) Debate and partisanship in arguing ideas is crucial to our surviving as a strong and vibrant nation. Compromise for the sake of comity amongst parties alone is a cancer to democracy.

I used to find it amusing and now just disgusting that President Obama claims to have wanted bipartisanship and to usher in a post-partisan administration. This comes from a man that had the most liberal voting record in the senate that never compromised towards the right end of the political spectrum on anything. That is fine. That kind of partisanship is exactly what I am advocating. From that standpoint you know where each person stands on an issue. What disgusts me is Obama's pretensions otherwise towards wanting bipartisanship. This just smacks of guile and deceit, which of course it is. When President Obama claims he wants bipartisanship, what he is really saying is that he wants the GOP to come over to his side of the issue.

Stand tall, speak from your core values with integrity, and do not compromise for the sake of political expediency or gain. Many things are far too important to forge a "bipartisan" law simply for the sake of getting along with each other. Being an extreme partisan in defense of liberty is not a vice!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Quotations from Our Democratic Leaders

The depths of arrogance, foolishness, and just plain stupidity exhibited by our supposed elected representatives to the federal government has often times been something that common sense Americans have noted with wonder and disgust. Lately though, there seems to be even more fodder to thoroughly enrage common sense and freedom-loving Americans. Of course, most of these quotations come from the party in power: The Constitutionally averse Democrats. I give you examples of some of their recent statements.

- "If you pass the [pro-life] Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more." Rep. Bart Stupak (D, MI) quoting Democrat leaders that summarized the issue for him by explaining that easy access to abortion is essential to saving money for the government. (Quoted in National Review Online). I find this particularly disturbing particularly in light of this "principled" man vowing to stand firm for life, until he decided to vote against life.

- "A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes." Nancy Pelosi, claiming that the GOP has left its "imprint" on the health care bill. (Quoted in THE HILL). This quotation is about as stupid and indicative of the left as John Kerry's infamous, "I voted for it, before I voted against it."

- "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it." Nancy Pelosi, addressing the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties. This is just transparency at its finest. See my posting on this issue on my blog here.

- "Once we kick through this door, there'll be more legislation to follow." Nancy Pelosi yet again, as quoted to left-wing bloggers regarding health care. (Washington Post)

- "Your employer, it's estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 percent, which means they could give you a raise." Barack Hussein Obama, as stated to a Strongsville, Ohio crowd while there giving a speech to push his health care bill. (Quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer) I wonder what credible source made such a fantastically inaccurate estimate. Now if he meant that premiums would by necessity have to RISE by 3,000 percent, then I will buy the veracity of the quotation.

- "I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate." Barack Hussein Obama, from an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier as he dismissed objections to Pelosi's "Deem and Pass" tactic. Yes, I am certain our Dear Leader could care less about proprieties and legalities as long as his agenda is enacted.

- "As Sunshine Week begins, I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my Administration to be the most open and transparent ever, an effort that will strengthen our democracy and ensure the public's trust in their government. We came to Washington to change the way business was done, and part of that was making ourselves accountable to the American people by opening up our government." Barack Hussein Obama, two days before approving "Deem and Pass" (Quoted in National Review) Who in the hell is Obama kidding!?!? Any transparency in his Administration has only come from the right-wing blogosphere and Fox News trying to pry the truth out of the murky abyss of the White House. That quotation is the very definition of audacity!

- And lets not forget the recent comments from Representative Hank Johnson when questioning an Admiral of whether deploying additional Marines to the island of Guam would cause it to "tip over and capsize".

In my opinion, it is time to vote out every last single representative and senator in the House and senate. We might lose a handful of good conservatives within that group of 535 members, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make if we can put common sense conservative Americans in office in order to right the ship of state. And oh yes, lets by all means have a mutiny and vote out the captain of that ship in 2012. THAT is change I can believe in!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hannity states "Obama Will Go Down In American History as the Worst President We Have Ever Had"

Admittedly Hannity can be obnoxious. That being said, he is also correct about 95% of the time. I strongly suspect that, as per the case he lays out in the following video, Mr. Hannity is correct once again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Scandals in the Catholic Church

Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary eloquently addresses and helps to place into context the scandals in the Catholic Church and how God can allow this to occur in His church.

She does an excellent job here, as is typical with nearly all of her writing. Go here to read her posting on this.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Quest of Lieutenant Colonel Larkin

I have now heard from multiple people, and invariably and even understandably these folks are rabid supporters of President Obama, that Lieutenant Colonel Larkin is a racist because he is what they derogatorily refer to as a "birther". That is to say that LTC Larkin is one that does not believe that Barrack Hussein Obama was born as an American citizen on American soil.

Colonel Larkin has served eighteen years in the United States Army and has already served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is refusing orders, including those to deploy again to Afghanistan until he is sufficiently convinced that President Obama is Constitutionally qualified to serve as President of the United States. Colonel Larkin wishes to see an original birth certificate signed by the delivering doctor for Mr. Obama as proof of this qualification. If such is presented, he claims he will fulfill his duties and follow his orders, including those to deploy.

He is in the process of being court-martialed because of his stand on this and his resulting refusal to follow what he feels may be illegal orders.

Colonel Larkin's argument is that if President Obama is not Constitutionally qualified to be President then he as commander in chief of the armed forces is also not legal. This makes all orders, especially those regarding the war in Afghanistan as illegal and illegitimate.

Now I am not one that put much stock in this argument that President Obama is not legally qualified to be President. I tend to think that he has been vetted legally to hold the office, regardless of the fact that President Obama routinely has violated multiple other tenets of the Constitution since having taken office.

That being said, I understand Colonel Larkin's argument and see no signs of racism attributable to this man. He is simply following his conscience, in my opinion.

Further, a man of immense intellect that has served our nation with honor also agrees. This man is also a man of color. He has gone so far as to write a posting in support of Colonel Larkin on his own blog. He is definitely someone that would not be supporting Colonel Larkin if there was even the semblance of racism in Larkin's motives behind his disobeying what he considers are illegal orders. The name of this man of color that is in vehement support of the Colonel is Ambassador Alan Keyes.

Those that claim racism on behalf of LTC Larkin are absolutely mistaken. They have a right to disagree with Colonel Larkin's stance on the issue, but that does not give them the right to assume motives of racism as the cause when there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.

I am frankly tired of being called a racist myself when I exercise my Constitutional right to free speech in criticism of President Obama in many of his un-Constitutional and Marxist policies. It is not President Obama's color that abhors me. It is these policies. Further, I voted for a man of color for president long before I ever even knew the name of Barrack Hussein Obama. That man is the very same Alan Keyes.

Obama Plays The Foolish Dove

President Obama is seemingly on a course to fundamentally change every aspect of our nation that has made it strong, prosperous, and safe. He has routinely ignored Constitutional restrictions on his powers and grown the size and scope of the executive branch and the federal government on the whole to no good end. He has, along with the progressive sects in congress, done much to hinder or out-right dismantle the free-market capitalism that has been the bulwark of America's innovative spirit, and stoked the desire to improve one's self through upward mobility, and indeed to savor and cherish our very freedoms.

I now read in a story in today's New York Times how President Obama wishes to fundamentally change our nuclear weapons policies that have managed to keep us safe since their invention. It is bad enough that Obama has stated how he wants to unilaterally cut back on our own nuclear arsenal and scrap theatre missile defense shields, but now he also wants to weaken our nuclear weapons policies too.

As per the NY Times story, "For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack."

So basically, President Obama has taken nuclear weapons off the table against possible enemies even in the event of a direct attack on the United States with weapons of mass destruction used against our people. This is absolutely amazing.

Now I understand that much has changed since the Cold War ended, but a basic tenet in a fight is not to telegraph your moves to your enemy or in this case, tell him that your most effective attack against him is something that you won't consider using.

I dearly would love to see the day come when the need for nuclear weapons and other WMD's no longer exist, but unfortunately until the second coming of our Lord, that day is not going to happen on this planet. By unilaterally disarming the United States, removing the ability to defend against other nations' nukes (via the scrapping of missile defense systems), and then invoking new doctrines stating that certain elements in our defense are now off the table, all this does is embolden our enemies as they will certainly see this not as a sign of our commitment to peace but rather as a sign of our weakness and a lack of intestinal fortitude when it comes to defending our nation and its interests.

President Reagan understood this. He was hugely responsible for our winning the Cold War, accordingly. Reagan understood that peace is achieved through having superior fire power. You can have the best of intentions for peace, but unless you are prepared to fight a war, that peace will likely be very ethereal.

In the school yard, a bully will generally not pick on the biggest and strongest boy there, even if that boy is typically good natured. The bully will rather pick on the kid that portrays weakness or shows an unwillingness to fight back when the bully demands his lunch money.

Human nature is consistent in this matter pretty much across most cultures and nations that would be threatening towards us. This is definitely true with adversaries in the Middle East who only respect strength, and will see Obama's overtures as a huge sign of weakness and lack of resolve on behalf of the United States of America.

One does not make the world safer by disarming one of the few nations that abides by the rules and generally respects the rights of other nations. Evidently this is not a lesson that Obama is willing to learn without doing it the hard way. Our country is decidedly less safe for his foolishness at being the Dove and supposed peacemaker accordingly.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Man of Faith

A few weeks ago, a good man and friend of mine that has returned to the Catholic faith decided to join the Knights of Columbus, which is a fraternal organization of Catholic gentlemen dedicated to Christ, Church, and service to the community.

Well during the first degree ceremony to initiate my friend into the Knights, I heard one of the other Knights speak about the "Romanian" that would be joining that evening as well. I had the privilege to shake my friend's hand after the ceremony as well as the hand of the "Romanian". I thought little more about it until this last weekend.

You see, we had a short retreat early Saturday morning for the 43 members of RCIA that would be officially joining the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil Mass later that evening. (The Mass was beautiful and very joyous to watch as these good people glowingly went through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and first communion, by the way.) Anyway, after the retreat, I noticed the "Romanian" was helping some other volunteers to prepare the church for the Easter Vigil that evening.

At one point, I went up to him to thank him for his work in helping to prepare the nave for that evening. It was something that I did as a spur of the moment after-thought as I was walking past him. I am so glad that I stopped and took the time to talk to the "Romanian", who goes by the name of John. Our conversation that transpired was amazing and inspiring.

John began to tell me his story of how he came to America. He had grown up and lived in the Transylvania region of Romania for most of his 61 years behind the iron curtain of the cold war.

John lived under the very brutal dictatorship of Nikolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu was one of the very evil rulers of this Soviet Union satellite nation that seemingly delighted in the persecution of his people. In particular, there was no place for God and Christianity in Ceausescu's Romania, just as there was not in any nation trapped behind the iron curtain.

Well, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of Romania overthrew Nikolai Ceausescu and his wife Elena and executed them both for their crimes perpetrated against the Romanian people; A people that were severely punished or killed for choosing to worship God during Ceausescu's reign.

John said that he always believed in Christ though, even despite the knowledge that should that become public, he would possibly suffer a horrible fate.

Well John relayed how he eventually came to the United States seven years ago. He did his best to tell his story in his broken and poor English. (Unfortunately my Romanian skills are non-existent). John spoke of his faith and the magnificence of God, Christ, and the Church and how lucky we are without even knowing it that we are free to worship God as we please. It is something that seemed to amaze him how many people took this basic tenet of freedom for granted here.

John further told me and showed me pictures of his two stunningly beautiful daughters, who both are professional models in California, and of his beloved twin grand-daughters. He is exceptionally proud of his family and the fact that his daughters have taken advantage of America's blessings and have availed themselves of good college educations as well.

He inspired me with his marveling at our nation's freedoms and blessings. Although I am very aware of the exceptionalism of this last great nation that still is a shining city on the hill, admittedly I too take many of our freedoms for granted. John in his broken English and with emotion in his eyes and his hands clasped as if in prayer reminded me that our freedoms are indeed blessings from God and that they must be fiercely defended. And he is a man that knows of which he speaks. I am grateful to him and to God for this divine reminder!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

After a very beautiful three hour Mass last night to celebrate the Easter vigil, I awoke this morning to find that the world outside has been blanketed with a gleaming pure white cloak of new snow. The sun is bright and shining and the air is cold, fresh and crisp. It is a day that is full of promise.

It is beautiful and I am so very thankful for this beauty and all of the blessings that our Lord has given to me, no matter that I am undeserving. I am especially grateful for his ultimate sacrifice of death on the cross as atonement for my sins! The celebration of His resurrection and rising today destroyed death for all those that believe in Him... and I do believe, Lord Jesus Christ!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Last Supper

Today is Holy Thursday and marks the celebration of our Lord's last supper as He celebrated the passover meal with His disciples on the day before His crucifixion and death for our sins. Tonight's Mass is a beautiful one and I am looking forward to it greatly.