Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bowe Bergdahl and the Subsequent Silence From America

The ebb and flow of political discussions and the passionate disagreement on issues between good people with sincerely held and diametrically opposed beliefs on what is best for our nation is an intrinsic and vital part of our nation’s life blood.  That said, there are a few issues that should unite nearly all Americans in their support or scorn, as the situation warrants.  Such is my humble opinion. 

One of those “should-be” uniting issues is the disposition of military traitors. 

Last Friday, November 3rd, with little fanfare or even public acknowledgment, it was announced that military judge Colonel Jeffrey R. Nance decided that former Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would be released from custody without having to serve any prison time at the conclusion of his court martial.  He would be stripped of his rank back to private (the lowest Army rank) and given a dishonorable discharge. 

Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after abandoning his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009; charges to which he pleaded guilty.  He then asked that his court martial be adjudicated by the judge alone rather than by a military jury.  I am sure this was done as a smart legal calculation by his lawyer, as a sitting jury comprised of his military comrades would probably be less inclined to provide a favorable outcome for Bergdahl.  Evidently this legal gambit worked.

Leading up to his court martial, military investigators found that Bergdahl willfully and with intention walked away from his unit. His actions were planned and premeditated. One soldier in his unit said that Bergdahl mailed his belongings back home to his parents before deserting. Further, Bergdahl sent an e-mail back to his parents saying that he was ashamed to be an American.

Bergdahl has said he abandoned his post because he wanted to travel to a larger base to report "a critical problem in my chain of command," though he did not specify what the problem was.  As a result of his deserting his unit, he was subsequently captured by the Taliban and remained in their custody for nearly five years.

Capt. John Billings was Bergdahl's platoon leader in Afghanistan and stated that the platoon initially searched for the then-private first class for 19 days, going nearly without food or water during the time of the search.  Retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer James Hatch testified that he and his dog came under fire while looking for Bergdahl. He was shot in the leg, and his K-9 partner, Remco, was shot in the face and killed.  "I thought I was dead," said Hatch, who now walks with a heavy limp after 18 surgeries. He said he was concerned because there was little time to plan the search for Bergdahl, and other soldiers knew he had willfully walked away.

Sadly there are some extreme leftists in America that have embraced Bergdahl’s weak explanation that he only meant to stroll through a dozen miles or so of hostile territory to the next military base in order that he could report on conditions in his own unit, which PFC Bergdahl found to be not to his liking.  Indeed there is even some evidence to suggest that Bergdahl intended to go over to the enemy, whom he had expected to welcome him.

Now Bergdahl was not some hapless kid whom was unwillingly drafted into the Army.  He volunteered, as do all of our current military members.  He took an oath and subsequently violated it in the worst possible way.  The crime of deserting your post in a tactical combat zone is the worst offense a soldier could commit, short of turning your own weapon against your comrades.  Even had no one been wounded or killed in the efforts to find and retrieve Bergdahl, he betrayed a most fundamental trust and thus endangered those who counted on him to do his part in their mutual defense.

Perhaps even more disturbingly, President Obama decided in May of 2014 to reportedly give up cash and to swap five terrorists in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay in exchange with the Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl.  This was not a POW exchange, as the military knew Bergdahl willingly walked away from his post, and therefore had classified him as a deserter and not as a prisoner of war accordingly. 
President Obama surely knew these circumstances when he arranged for the swap, and yet he decided to put further American lives at risk by trading these vile terrorists in exchange for the traitorous Bergdahl.  When asked about the wisdom of releasing these terrorists, Obama stated in a press conference, “Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely.  There’s a certain recidivism rate that takes place.” 

One has to wonder who showed the worse judgement in critical thinking: Bowe Bergdahl or President Obama.  The fact that Obama invited Bergdahl’s parents to the White House for a public ceremony celebrating Bergdahl’s release only served to further disrespect Americans and the military members that Bergdahl abandoned, endangered, and even got killed through his treacherous actions.

Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34, died when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a roadside bomb and a rocket-propelled grenade. Private First Class Matthew Martinek, 20, died a week later from wounds sustained in the same attack. The parents of both Andrews and Martinek told Reuters that they believe their sons died searching for Bergdahl, saying they were told this by other soldiers in the platoon.

Desertion in a combat theater during war time used to be grounds for the death penalty.  Indeed Bergdahl’s actions condemned far better men to injury and death as they searched for him.  The prosecution in Bergdahl’s court martial asked for 14 years imprisonment for the traitor instead, while he could have conceivably received a term of life in prison.  Instead, Colonel Nance inexplicably excused the actions of the traitorous Bergdahl with little more than a slap on the wrist.

Bergdahl “suffered enough” according to his lawyer.  "As everyone knows, he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded. He has lost nearly a decade of his life" Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl's civilian attorney, said at a news conference after the proceedings.  And yet Chief Petty Officer Hatch will walk with a limp for the remainder of his life, while Second Lieutenant Andrews and PFC Martinek will never come home as a result of their search to find and secure Bowe Bergdahl.  One wonders if they and their families have suffered enough too.

The bottom line is that we must hold those that commit the most despicable acts accountable for their traitorous actions, especially in combat theaters.  “Chelsea” Manning and Bowe Bergdahl are now free to happily ever after live their pathetically dishonorable lives after committing such horrific acts of treason.  President Obama further exacerbated the situation by trading five Taliban commanders, who almost surely returned to the battle field against Americans, in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl. 

This should infuriate all Americans, as much as it angers and causes great disillusionment among those military men and women that have vowed to protect us and our nation; that have looked beyond themselves in their sacrifices of protecting something far greater.  When there is little consequence to those that commit such treason, it dishonors those that willingly put themselves in harm’s way.  It serves to only further undermine military morale and discipline.  It weakens our nation.  This is something that all Americans, regardless of our political ideologies, should agree upon.  It is something that should make all of us exceptionally angry.

Ironically, this travesty of injustice continues.

After last Friday’s announcement that Bergdahl would spend no prison time for his traitorous actions, for which he pleaded guilty, his lawyer stated that they now plan on appealing Bergdahl’s dishonorable discharge. 

Fury is too trifling a word to capture what all Americans should be feeling.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Simon Sinek on Millenials and Why They Don't Succeed

My wife and I have had many discussions lately regarding Millennials, especially considering that we have six kids between us that fall into that generation.

For the sake of clarity I want to define the Millennial group of which I speak as the generation of people largely being born between approximately 1982 and 1997, give or take.  You know who they are.  They are the often times impatient, entitled, and lazy generation that largely grew up this way through no real fault of their own.

As a disclaimer, of course not everyone born to this generation exhibits these same characteristics, including most of my kids, but on the whole this does seem to encompass a majority of them.  Further, even the Millennial generation themselves know and understand this.

My wife teaches at the local college here and recently asked what the perception of the Millennial generation was to her Millennial-filled class.  Their responses were very interesting and confirmed even by their own admissions the negative perceptions that most folks have of a generation that is unfocused, lazy, entitled, and demanding of instant gratification.

Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker and he spoke on the topic of Millennials in his presentation entitled, "This is why you don't SUCCEED!".  He brought some interesting insights as to the perceptions, causes, and possible solutions to help the Millennial generation overcome the negative stereotypical perceptions that many older generations have of them.  I found the video to be quite interesting accordingly.


Mr. Sinek in particular lists four main reasons why many Millennials behave as they do:

1. Their parents had bad parenting strategies in raising them.  This is very true of the "participation trophy" and build the artificial self esteem strategies of the Millenials' parents.  

2.  An overwhelming obsession with technology and social media.  This is true, as when one wanders out in public, seldom do you see a Millennial not walking with his or her eyes glued to their phone.  Their relationships are typically shallow and superficial as they look to see how many followers and "likes" they have as a means of determining their self worth and social value.

3. Impatience.  Most Millennials have been raised to believe that they can do anything and that they should expect it without hesitation accordingly.  They thus don't want to have to work hard and pay their dues over time to reach a given summit.  They live in a world where instant gratification is required, otherwise, they are likely to turn elsewhere for easier temporary fulfillment, even in personal relationships.

4. Environment.  I am not sure I buy this point of Mr. Sinek's as much, but even our corporate environments cause Millennials to be discouraged as they feel they are not making a difference in their jobs.

Now I know many Millennials that do not fall into the stereotypical generation's characteristics.  Indeed, most of the Millennials that do exhibit the typical characteristics for which their generation are often known, do so through no fault of their own, at leaset initially.  Perhaps though, we can help correct some of these negative characteristics as a society by helping the Millennials in our lives to reflect with some deeper introspection as to why they do as they do so that they might understand how to change things for the better, if they wish.  

It is something my wife and I do with our own grown Millennial kids now, and she does with her college students.  The Millennial generation has unbound talent and ideas to offer.  It is our job as parents and teachers to try and help them do so.  Mr. Sinek's presentation is a good way to start this conversation.


Friday, October 6, 2017

30 Days at Sea Timelapsed

I wished to finish this week off on a good note with something other than politics. 

That said, I ran across this video which I thought was rather fascinating.  It is a compilation of over 80,000 time-lapsed photos taken over the course of 30 days that shows a cargo ship's traveling from Sri Lanka to Singapore to Hong Kong and the oceans it crosses in between. 

I particularly enjoyed the scenes of the sky at night way out on the open ocean away from all land and lights that pollute the night sky.  There is nothing more spectacular than seeing the milky way out on a ship thousands of miles from anywhere.  It truly does make one feel like such an infinitesimally small part in God's amazingly beautiful tapestry of creation as you see the night sky with the myriad stars He breathed into being while feeling the ever-so-gentle rocking of the ship as it momentarily parts the ocean waves to allow one to traverse across its vastness.  It truly is an experience like no other. 

If you ever have the opportunity to travel on the open ocean on a ship, I would highly recommend that you take advantage of it at least one time in your life.  And DO sit out on the deck at night and look up at the sky.  You will be changed at least a little bit by having done so!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Michael Moore's Latest Idea on Repealing and Replacing the 2nd Amendment

Today I came across this sadly bemusing article regarding Leftist film maker Michael Moore's latest idea.  Of course he misses the entire purpose of why our founders insisted that citizens must have the right to keep and bear arms, and it has nothing to do with sport or hunting.  I suppose it would have been more astonishing if he had understood that fact.  

What is truly sad is that there will be quite a few people that will look at his misguided ideas and think this newly proposed constitutional amendment of his is a really good idea. 

Never mind that most of his ideas will do nothing to change the number of deaths by gun violence, but in many cases will actually exacerbate the problem.  Indeed, many of the cities with the worst gun violence in the nation also have the strictest gun control laws.  I give you Chicago as an excellent case in point, as it leads the nation in gun deaths yet again this year.

Evidently these good folks are still of the mind that evil can be controlled via legislation.  Many of these well-meaning folks are the same ones that insist that we should not judge all Muslims by the terrorist acts committed by a small percentage of those that they claim have perverted Islam.  As far as that argument goes, they are absolutely correct.  One would simply ask that this same courtesy be given to lawful gun owners to not be judged by the actions of the few psychopaths that use guns to commit evil acts.  I won't hold my breath on this.

Regardless, here is the article from The Blaze by Dave Urbanski:

Michael Moore proposes change to Constitution that ‘repeals the ancient and outdated 2nd Amendment’

In the wake of the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday night, Moore proposed a 28th amendment to the United States Constitution that “repeals the ancient and outdated 2nd Amendment.”
He began his lengthy Facebook post with the following preamble:
“A well regulated State National Guard, being helpful to the safety and security of a State in times of need, along with the strictly regulated right of the people to keep and bear a limited number of non-automatic Arms for sport and hunting, with respect to the primary right of all people to be free from gun violence, this shall not be infringed.”
Moore — noting the Second Amendment was “written before bullets and revolvers were even invented” — said his proposed amendment “guarantees States can have State militias (a.k.a. State National Guards which are made up of citizen-soldiers who are called upon in times of natural disasters or other State emergencies), allows individuals to use guns for sport and gathering food, and guarantees everyone the right to be free of, and protected from, gun violence (i.e., the public’s safety comes ahead of an individual’s right to own and fire a gun).” 
Continue reading...

 At the end of the day, we have a God given right, and I would argue a duty, to protect innocent lives from evil as best we are able.  By disarming law abiding Americans in contradiction to our Bill of Rights and indeed by natural law's right to self preservation, Michael Moore and those that support his wrong-headed idea are creating far more problems than they ever hoped to solve.

As I am already a "life member" of the NRA, I think I will head off to their web site and make a donation in honor of Michael Moore simply to try and curb what little I can of the damage his foolish notion does with regards to his influencing the uninformed and ignorant in our country.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Kaepernick Contagion: Fighting Racism the Wrong Way

Growing up in the great Pacific Northwest in what was then the rural country suburbs of Portland, Oregon, I found myself cheering for the Portland Trailblazers, including the amazing underdog team anchored by Maurice Lucas and Bill Walton that beat Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76’s in 1977 to win the NBA championship.

When the Seattle Seahawks first came into the NFL the previous year in 1976, I was excited that there was a team that was sort of “local” that I could finally cheer for besides the great Steelers teams of the 70’s.  And cheer I did, usually with little reward for the effort.  Nonetheless, Zorn, Largent, and a handful of other folks became players whom I admired over the years.

I spent a lot of years – hard and disappointing years – of desperate and sometimes pathetic seasons cheering for my Seahawks to even make the playoffs.  It got to the point that if the Seahawks beat the hated Raiders, then it was a successful season, regardless of what their win/loss record ended up being at season’s end.

Needless to say, 2013 ended up being a horrible year for me.  I lost my wife of 22 years that year and everything seemed dark and despairing for me.  And yet, a reprieve from the darkness started 2014 as my long-suffering Seahawks finally went to Super Bowl XLVIII to play the Denver Broncos.  I know it seems silly, but it was almost as if my wife had pulled Jesus aside in heaven and asked if He could help me out a bit as I needed something to smile about then.  Whether Jesus helped or not, my Seahawks trounced the hapless Broncos 43 to 8 that Sunday and smile from ear to ear I definitely did!

It is amazing what changes four years will bring.  This last Sunday, my Seahawks took the field in Nashville to play the Tennessee Titans, but they decided to take the field after the finish of the national anthem was played.  So did the Titans.  I am, needless to say, embarrassed to be a Seahawks fan today.

This nonsense all started last year when San Francisco 49'ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided he wanted to make a statement against racism and oppression by kneeling when our national anthem was played instead of standing as a sign of respect for our nation.

Now I absolutely agree that Mr. Kaepernick has every right to his free speech, just like we all do. Further, if his coach and employer in the NFL do not forbid his protest, he is even free to take a knee as The Star Spangled Banner plays as he gets ready to do his JOB.  That said, he and the hundreds of other NFL players and other professional sports athletes that now seem to be following suit, should not be mistaken in their protests.

The flag doesn’t represent a skin color.  It doesn’t represent liberals or conservatives.  It doesn’t represent men or women.  It doesn’t represent gay or straight people.  It doesn’t represent people of faith or atheists.  It represents all of us: We the People of the United States of America.

Many people of all colors, political ideologies, and beliefs have died so that Mr. Kaepernick and hundreds of other millionaire pampered athletes can take a knee in protest over the country that allows them this right to free speech in this “racist and oppressive nation.”

Do we have issues of racism and hate today in America?  Sadly yes.  But if this protest that was started by Mr. Kaepernick was simply meant as a means to start a discussion on racism and oppression, then he and his fellow athletic supporters, just missed the boat.

President Trump once again, while correct in principle, could not state his opinion in a statesman-like and dignified manner when he tweeted out obscenities at these athletes.  Instead of taking the high road, now that the media and world attention were clearly focused on this event, the Kaepernick clan chose instead to make this about President Trump instead of their professed cause.  President Trump punked them, it would seem.

There are plenty of ways for Mr. Kaepernick and for any famous athlete to make a national case for this important cause besides showing disrespect to the nation and those that died protecting it.  While that may engender some support from Leftist fringes, it will not serve their truly important cause well with the majority of Americans.  It will only serve to further divide an already turbulent nation.

I am fairly certain, that NFL game attendance and TV viewership will suffer as this trend continues. An overwhelming majority of Americans are good and decent people.  They are compassionate and abhor racism as greatly as I do, and would be otherwise sympathetic to Colin Kaepernick’s cause, if he had chosen to present it in a better way.  He might have persuaded them to rally behind him in this discussion.  By doing what he did though, he has disrespected the country and those millions of Americans past and present that have dedicated their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in protecting it.

I have a football with the Seahawks' logo on it that is signed by “#3 Russell Wilson, SB XLVIII Champs” sitting in a glass case on my desk in my office.  My brother had connections and asked if Wilson could sign that for me after their amazing win.  It is a possession that I have cherished since that historic Seahawks' win.

Today, I am thinking about putting it away and out of sight in my closet.

One wonders, if this continues, whether many Americans will do the same with the NFL.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Voter Fraud and It's Ramifications

Many folks among the fringe Left have long propagated the myth that there is virtually no voter fraud in this nation.  Further, there has long been a cry that there is an attempt to suppress "undesirable" people from voting by some Republican sources in an attempt to solve this "mythical voter fraud" issue.  

The claim is that there are many racist Republicans who are simply trying to prevent Hispanic and Black people from voting, especially since demographically they tend to vote more often for Democrats and progressive programs.

While I absolutely stand in solidarity with folks who insist polling places should be consistent in their placement, accessibility, and hours of operation for every polling station across the nation, I further think that requiring positive proof of eligibility to vote should also be mandatory.  In this day and age, this is certainly not the hardship for most people that some would lead us to believe.  After all, if we are concerned about foreign influence in our elections and keeping elections fair, shouldn't we ensure that ONLY U.S. citizens legally authorized to vote in a given state and jurisdiction are the ones that are actually voting?  

Despite the outcry from some folks that seemingly have a lot more to lose by ensuring fair elections occur without voter fraud, President Trump established a commission to look into this serious issue. And it is a very serious issue as the Pew Center for the States 2012 Study indicates.  It found that there were 24 MILLION voter registries that were inaccurate, duplicates, or out of date.  Further it found that 2.8 million people are registered to vote in two or more states.  It also confirms that there are 1.8 million deceased people which are still registered to vote.  

The Daily Signal's Hans von Spakovsky wrote an excellent article about the second resultant meeting on September 12 of President Trump' Advisory Commission on Election Integrity which occurred in New Hampshire.  Of course the Leftist mainstream media either ignored the findings of this commission or declared them a sham.  

I am not surprised; however, objective voters should indeed be very concerned with some of the findings.  Read Mr. von Spakovsky's article for more details.

As Evidence of Election Fraud Emerges, the Media Wants to Keep You in the Dark
If you have no idea what happened at the second meeting of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in New Hampshire on Sept. 12, I’m not surprised.
Though a horde of reporters attended the meeting, almost all of the media stories that emerged from it simply repeated the progressive left’s mantra that the commission is a “sham.”
Almost no one covered the substantive and very concerning testimony of 10 expert witnesses on the problems that exist in our voter registration and election system.
The witnesses included academics, election lawyers, state election officials, data analysts, software experts, and computer scientists.
The existing and potential problems they exposed would give any American with any common sense and any concern for our democratic process cause for alarm.
The first panel included Andrew Smith of the University of New Hampshire, Kimball Brace of Election Data Services Inc., and John Lott. They testified about historical election turnout statistics and the effects of election integrity issues on voter confidence.
Lott also testified that his statistical analyses show that contrary to the narrative myth pushed by some, voter ID does not depress voter turnout. In fact, there is some evidence that it may increase turnout because it increases public confidence in elections.
Read more here...


Specifically from the article, von Spakovsky reported that the Speaker of the House for New Hampshire  referenced a recent report stating,

"...over 6,500 individuals in 2016 used an out-of-state driver’s license to take advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration law to register and vote on Election Day.
Despite a law that requires an individual with an out-of-state license to obtain a New Hampshire license within 60 days of establishing residency in the state, only 15.5 percent have done so.
Many have tried to explain this away be saying those voters must all have been college students living in New Hampshire. Perhaps that is true.
But it may also be true that voters from Massachusetts and other surrounding states decided to take advantage of New Hampshire’s law to cross the border and vote in a presidential and Senate race, which were decided by only 3,000 and 1,000 voters, respectively."

So let me put this into perspective.  Republican Kelly Ayotte lost her U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Maggie Hassan by 1,017 votes, when there is an appearance that, in a worst case scenario, as many as 6,500 individuals may have fraudulently voted in the general election.   Even if only a sixth of those same-day registries were fraudulent, that still is more than enough to sway the outcome of the election.  Considering the neighboring state demographics, is it difficult to believe that a majority of those 6500 votes would have likely gone to Ms. Hassan?

In conclusion, with Ms. Hassan now in the Senate and voting "No" on the repeal of Obamacare, it is easy to see the ramifications of voter fraud affecting a controversial national "law", whose repeal would have otherwise been decided by Vice President Pence issuing a tie-breaking vote had this likely fraud not occurred.

This is just the latest example of the utmost importance of veracity in our elections, and why We The People should ensure that every person that votes is a U.S. Citizen that is legally allowed to cast a ballot.  There is simply way too much at stake to not do so.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Black Lives Matter group takes the stage at pro-Trump rally — what happens next is amazing

I came across this article today and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  Perhaps there is hope when people of good will stop talking AT each other and start talking WITH each other.  Instead of looking for and assuming the worst of our political opponents, perhaps we can stop and look to see the common humanity in each of us.  In doing so, despite the naysayers who seemingly want it to be different, we can indeed find some common ground and start working on making this a better place for all of us... together!

From the Blaze's Sarah Taylor:

Black Lives Matter group takes the stage at pro-Trump rally — what happens next is amazing

Between competing pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, a silver lining was found with a Black Lives Matter group who unexpectedly took the stage during a boisterous pro-Trump rally.
What happened?
A Black Lives Matter group marched near the rally and passed closely to the stage. As they walked and shouted chants of “Black lives matter,” the group received jeers and boos from many people attending the pro-Trump rally.
At first, the mic-wielding organizer of the Trump rally told pro-Trump congregants, “Don’t give them the spotlight,” and “They don’t exist.”
No one could have predicted what would happen next.

Read more...



Friday, September 15, 2017

The Rescinding of DACA and the Restoration of the Governmental Balance of Powers


Long before President Obama, specifically via his Department of Homeland Security, approved the unconstitutional directive to prevent the deportation of the children of illegal immigrants, he correctly stated no less than 22 separate times that he did not have the constitutional authority to overturn, amend, or violate existing immigration law that was duly passed.  Regarding a theoretical executive branch mandate granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, President Obama specifically stated that,

 “… for me to – simply through Executive Order – ignore those Congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

And yet, President Obama proceeded with his un-constitutional DACA directive anyway.

President Trump has recently rescinded that un-constitutional executive branch directive and in doing so gave the rightful authority back to congress in order to deal with this very difficult issue within the next six months.  It is my fervent hope that congress will stop kicking the can down the road and get a fair law passed within this time frame.  This should be something that both Democrats and Republicans discuss and come together on to find a solution for the good and safety of America, instead of continuing the partisan politics that have so ensnared this process in recent decades.

Now I certainly don’t blame the children of illegal immigrants that were brought to America and know no other country.  Indeed it would be exceptionally cruel to deport them back to their countries of origin at this point.  That said, it certainly is not fair that their parents, even with altruistic intentions, violated federal immigration laws and brought them here illegally.  There must be consequences for this if we are to remain a nation of laws.

I would make these suggestions to congress as they work to draft a new immigration law: first, the children affected by the rescinding of the DACA order should be allowed to stay in the United States and be granted legal status accordingly, perhaps with even a long term path towards citizenship. However, it is my opinion that all of the parents of these children that violated the law, while they should also be allowed to stay here if their children are minors, should be limited severely in the federal entitlement programs to which they can apply and also they should not ever be granted full voting citizenship rights.  I hope that congress will draft just such a law accordingly.  I won’t hold my breath.

If there are no consequences for having broken our immigration laws, what is to prevent this from reoccurring?  After all, President Reagan signed a law providing amnesty to illegal aliens back in 1986 with the understanding that congress would provide for better immigration and border protections.  Obviously those things never materialized, and we are dealing with even greater numbers of people coming to America illegally today.

President Trump laid out the case very well when he rescinded DACA the other week:

"In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36.  The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties.  Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time. . .  
The temporary implementation of DACA by the Obama Administration, after Congress repeatedly rejected this amnesty-first approach, also helped spur a humanitarian crisis – the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13. . .
The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.  Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers." 


Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan enthusiastically responded to President Trump’s righting of the balance of powers in this matter immediately after the announcement:

"President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air. Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Donald J. Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches. Now, the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will work to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution on this and many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement." 

Congress should indeed work swiftly under the six month guideline that President Trump has provided to finally come up with comprehensive immigration reform.  No full amnesty should be given nor path to citizenship provided for those that were adults and knowingly broke our immigration laws when they came to the United States.  Those minor and/or dependent children that were brought here by their parents, should be allowed to stay, along with their parents, but with the consequences I have suggested.

It is absolutely unfair to Americans, let alone all of those folks that would like to be Americans whom have respected our laws and asked to come into our country legally to be held to far higher standards than those that have entered illegally.  After all, those folks trying to do things the right way – the legal way – are also Dreamers!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dennis Prager on the Differences Between Leftism and Liberalism

I have been absolutely inundated with projects for work lately, so unfortunately my writing for the blog and even responding to some of the wilder comments posted on past articles simply hasn't happened.  That said, I came across this article written by Dennis Prager that I found to be quite interesting.

There are absolutely differences between a liberal and a leftist.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the leftists are growing as a group in their influence, often times hardened through invincible ignorance. Conservatives and Liberals should unite in their denunciation of some of their more extremist views. Enjoy the article:

           Leftism Is Not Liberalism. Here Are the Differences.
What is the difference between a leftist and a liberal?
Answering this question is vital to understanding the crisis facing America and the West today. Yet few seem able to do it. I offer the following as a guide.
Here’s the first thing to know: The two have almost nothing in common.
On the contrary, liberalism has far more in common with conservatism than it does with leftism. The left has appropriated the word “liberal” so effectively that almost everyone—liberals, leftists, and conservatives—thinks they are synonymous.
But they aren’t. Let’s look at some important examples.
Race: This is perhaps the most obvious of the many moral differences between liberalism and leftism.
The essence of the liberal position on race was that the color of one’s skin is insignificant. To liberals of a generation ago, only racists believed that race is intrinsically significant. However, to the left, the notion that race is insignificant is itself racist.
Thus, the University of California officially regards the statement, “There is only one race, the human race,” as racist.
For that reason, liberals were passionately committed to racial integration. Liberals should be sickened by the existence of black dormitories and separate black graduations on university campuses.
Read more... 


Friday, September 1, 2017

What Heroes Do

Excerpted from Airboating Magazine

Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston. Almost all of them driven by men. They're using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.

Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there's a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.

These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they're so much better than.

These are The Quiet Ones. They don't wear masks and tear down statues. They don't, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.

But they'll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They'll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.

When disaster strikes, it's what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. And then they'll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they've never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.

And the next time they hear someone talk about "the patriarchy", or "male privilege", they'll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.

In the meantime, they'll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work's done.

They're unlikely to be reimbursed. There won't be medals. They won't care. They're heroes. And it's what heroes do.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Republicans' Lies and Broken Promises

Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, stated it masterfully in describing my frustration with the entire Republican Party.

"In January of this year, they formally controlled both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Every single thing they’d ever promised was now possible. They now had the power to enact every single spending cut they’d ever solemnly pledged. All those wasteful programs designed to fill the liberal sandbox — PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NEH and the rest of the alphabet soup; all the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to multi-billion-dollar corporations; all of the hundreds of billions of dollars directed toward leftist social engineering — poof! All of it could come to an end with a stroke of a pen. They now had the power to restore fiscal tax sanity too. Remember the flat tax? The fair tax? Slashing the highest corporate taxes in the world? Giving you a tax break? All of it could be done with a snap of the fingers.
Repeal Obamacare? Check. End illegal immigration? Check. Build the wall? Check. Crush the Deep State? Done, by God, done! There was not a damn thing the Democrats could do to stop them from draining the swamp. Except the Republican leadership didn’t mean it. With the exception of the Freedom Caucus in the House, and literally a handful in the Senate, the rank-and-file didn’t either. Not one word of it."

Mr. Bozell is correct.  And that is why I have not been a Republican for several years now.  I donated a few dollars to what I assumed were worthy candidates here and there, but I'll be damned if the GOP ever gets a single nickel in donations from me ever again until they KEEP THEIR PROMISES!

Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the congressional leadership begged for the voters to give them the senate so they could enact a republic-saving agenda.  We gave them the senate.  They then asked for a Republican president that would sign their bills into law.  Even though I refused to vote for President Trump, we gave them the White House.  And still we flounder with all of the difficult large agenda items that were solemnly promised to us would finally be dealt with and fixed.

The Democrats are weak and inept, but the Republicans are cowardly and spineless.  Congress is broken and until we hold our elected officials accountable by removing from office every damn one of them that failed to keep their promises on these vitally important issues, we will only continue to get more of the same.

In that vein, the Republicans should be very afraid.  They think that because the Democrats are worse, that we will keep voting for them.  They are wrong!  2018 will prove to be a blood shed for the GOP if they do not come together soon and start doing the work that the people elected them to office demanded of them.  They will fall back into minority status having accomplished nothing of significance, and it won't be the Democrats fault.  No, the blame will be squarely on the shoulders of the spineless cowards that failed to deliver on their promises, despite having the power to finally do so.  Shame on them yet once again.

Friday, August 25, 2017

An Interesting Rendition of Our National Anthem

A friend forwarded this video clip of a gentleman's artistic take on our national anthem before a hockey game.  Stay with it until the end.  I didn't see the end coming, but was glad I watched the entire thing.  Cheers and God bless the United States of America!

video clip



Thursday, August 24, 2017

To Denounce ALL Hate and Racism

Once again it seems America has come completely unhinged, with the help of the mainstream “un-biased” media there to fan the flames of our own cultural destruction.  Sadly, racism has always been a problem in our nation, and around the world, for that matter.  Even more sadly, it will always be present in our society to at least a hopefully minor extent.  It is an inexcusable evil that, when left unchecked, has resulted in the dehumanization of others so that they could be exploited, enslaved, and even murdered.  Even more sadly, the number of people enslaved today throughout the world in 2017 exceeds the numbers that were enslaved in 19th century America.  Many of these slaves today are perniciously sold and used as sex slaves.

Yet despite such horrific numbers, America was doing far better with its racism problem in recent times, until the last decade or so.  We even had a majority of Americans vote for our first black president.  While I agreed with very little of President Obama’s policies and had seen many disturbing signs that had cracked his polished veneer while he was still running for the White House, I too was buoyed by the fact that America in its decency could indeed elect a person of color to the presidency.  Indeed, I would venture that the timing in our history was such that Barack Obama’s color was absolutely an asset to his election.  (Never mind the foolishness of voting for someone simply because of their color, instead of their qualifications.)

I was greatly disheartened, however, to see that rather than further unite our nation as Americans, President Obama squandered the good will bestowed on him by a significant majority and decided to insert himself into more localized incidents; indeed he was often prompted to do so by the complicit mainstream media once again.  The net result was that instead of us all simply being “Americans”, he further divided us into hyphenated Americans, most especially black-Americans and white-Americans.

Recently in Charlottesville, Virginia, there was a relatively small gathering of assorted white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and various nut-job racists that gathered with a permit to exercise their first amendment rights to spew their vile speech.  It should have been a minor story of only local interest, but sadly some Nazi-wannabe thought it would be a great idea to become a domestic terrorist and kill people by driving his car into a group of counter-protesters.  Luckily only one lady was killed instead of the dozens that could have been.  This terrorist, whom I will not name to give him further notoriety, will hopefully be punished to the fullest extent of the law for his act of murder accordingly.

It seems that the inflamed result of this event for some of our brothers and sisters on the far left is to insist on tearing down any vestige of our national history if it is even tangentially connected to the confederacy or even much of western civilization.  Indeed, eight statues and monuments have been destroyed, defaced, or pulled down by these radicals on the left since the Charlottesville murder. 

One of the monuments defaced was of St. Junipero Serra, who was a priest and tireless advocate for Native Americans.  Another monument was a bust of Abraham Lincoln, which leads to the question; do these idiots have any idea of what they are even protesting?  They certainly don’t have any historical knowledge evidently.    

Recently, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz implored his fellow liberals,

 "Do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues. Many of these people, not all of them, many of these people are trying to tear down America. Antifa is a radical, anti-America, anti-free market, communist, socialist, hard-left sensorial organization... They use violence. Just because they are opposed to fascism and to some of these monuments, should not make them heroes of the liberals. ... Doing what Stalin did, just erasing history and rewriting it to serve current purposes does pose a danger. And it poses a danger of education malpractice. I'm a liberal, and I think it’s the obligation of liberals to speak out against the hard-left radicals, just like it’s the obligation of conservatives to speak out against the extremism of the hard right.''

Professor Dershowitz makes a good point.  Since the far-left hate groups of Black Lives Matter and antifa want to tear down confederate statues, what is to stop them from wanting to tear down monuments to Washington, Jefferson, and Madison?  After all, these founding fathers were slave owners too.  What is the difference between Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee to these ignoramuses? 

It has been posited to me that Washington and Jefferson were great founders of this country so their slave owning is somehow overlooked or excused.  I frankly don’t buy it, as those guilty of tearing down statues to somehow hide our history don’t seem to love the idea of America in the first place, so why would they leave its founders alone? 

Now personally I obviously don’t think any vestige of our founders should be disturbed, much less destroyed, but for the sake of consistency on the far left, how do they reconcile this disparity in their targeted anger?  Further, do these fools think that by removing statues or defacing monuments, we will somehow purge our history?  We fought one of our bloodiest wars over the sin of slavery.  That sin was paid for in blood.  We need to acknowledge that and try to make this nation one for all Americans again.

Today’s far right hate groups are grotesquely wrong in their racism and hate.  The far left hate groups are likewise wrong in their counter-racism and hate.  The calling out of the extremes on both the left and right fringes should be the cause of every decent American.

That said, “both-siderism” is something that has taken a lot of flak lately from some quarters, particularly from the far left.  I suppose I am guilty of this from a political perspective.  But I really don’t consider myself as pointing out what’s wrong on the left as a means of deflection from the wrongdoing on the right.  On the contrary, I could care less what political persuasion one is.  I am pointing out what is right and what is wrong - period.  

It is because of this that I can unequivocally point out all violence, racism, and hate regardless of the group that is fomenting it, whether it is from the KKK or the BLM; the neo-Nazis or the antifa crowd.  All are despicable and all are deserving of decent Americans’ condemnation accordingly. (And yes, some are indeed worse than others are, but that doesn’t give any of them a free pass because their transgressions’ results of hate are less in body count.)

At the end of the day, we need to come together once again, regardless of color, faith, or political persuasion to call out against the wrongs and evil in our society.

In the meantime, if folks want to help fight against white supremacy, perhaps they should call out the evil of Planned Parenthood, which aborts approximately 266 black babies every day.

Just a thought…



Friday, August 18, 2017

The Daily Signal: Far-Left ‘Antifa’ Agitators on the Rise in the Age of Trump

 I found this interesting article by Ken McIntyre and Kevin Mooney on The Daily Signal regarding antifa that seemed particularly relevant in light of our current discussions on this blog.  It definitely lends credence to the "many sides" comment of President Trump.  Enjoy.

When self-described anti-fascists showed up in force Saturday to oppose a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, some of them turned violent, according to media reports and eyewitness accounts.
President Donald Trump did not specify radicals who operate under the banner of Antifa, an abbreviation for anti-fascist or anti-fascist action, when he said Tuesday that “both sides” bore responsibility for the violence and bloodshed that left three dead and dozens injured.
It is hard to know at this juncture how many of the hundreds of counterprotesters considered themselves affiliated with Antifa. Nor is it clear how many of them were among those who squared off against the white supremacists marching in downtown Charlottesville, trading punches and blows, some with lengths of wood.
The full facts await the findings of a Justice Department investigation of the Charlottesville violence announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Antifa is a coalition of hyperviolent activists who are far-left anarchists or communists,” said Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the Washington-based Capital Research Center. “They could be considered domestic terrorists. They are not legitimate actors in the democratic process.”

Read more here. 



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The 3-Step Argument the Left Makes to Justify Violence Against Conservative Speakers

I ran across this article today which further clarifies a point I have been making for awhile now.  Let me state at the outset that most folks on the Left are good and decent folks and do not support nor advocate these type of tactics; however, there is a significant and growing number of other folks on the Left that think the ends justifies the means.  These are the folks that we should all unite against together to publicly denounce and marginalize them, just as we should do for the KKK, Neo-Nazi's and other hate groups from the Right.

We, as Americans, enjoy the constitutionally-enshrined right to free speech, even when that speech is deemed offensive by others.  Indeed, non-offensive speech with which everyone agreed would not ever need to be protected by a constitutional amendment.  That is not to say that we should accept or not challenge repugnant free speech.  We absolutely should and indeed have a moral duty to do so. That said, when we have become so tender as to not even want to hear opposing view points, are we not thereby weakening ourselves and our own convictions?

Enjoy!


The 3-Step Argument the Left Makes to Justify Violence Against Conservative Speakers

By Ben Shapiro

Free speech is under assault because of a three-step argument made by the advocates and justifiers of violence.
The first step is they say that the validity or invalidity of an argument can be judged solely by the ethnic, sexual, racial, or cultural identity of the person making the argument.
The second step is that they claim those who say otherwise are engaging in what they call “verbal violence,” and the final step is they conclude that physical violence is sometimes justified in order to stop such verbal violence.
So let’s examine each of these three steps in turn. First, the philosophy of intersectionality. This philosophy now dominates college campuses as well as a large segment, unfortunately, of today’s Democratic Party and suggests that straight, white Americans are inherently the beneficiaries of white privilege and therefore cannot speak on certain policies, since they have not experienced what it’s like to be black or Hispanic or gay or transgender or a woman.
This philosophy ranks the value of a view, not based on the logic or merit of the view, but on the level of victimization in American society experienced by the person espousing the view. Therefore, if you’re an LGBT black woman, your view of American society is automatically more valuable than that of a straight, white male.
 Read more...


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fascist Roots of the American Left

By Dinesh D'Souza

In 1925 the Jewish philosopher Theodor Lessing spoke out against the repressive political climate of Weimar Germany.

Although Lessing’s explicit target was the cravenness of the Weimar regime of Paul von Hindenburg, his real target was the emerging power of Nazism, and he blamed the government for yielding to it.

The Nazis recognized immediately the threat posed by Lessing. Adolf Hitler youth at Lessing’s University of Hanover formed a “committee against Lessing.” They encouraged students to boycott his lectures.

Nazi youth then showed up and disrupted Lessing’s classes. Lessing was forced to give up his academic chair the following year.

In his account of what happened, Lessing later wrote that he could do nothing to prevent being “shouted down, threatened and denigrated” by student activists.

He was helpless, he said, “against the murderous bellowing of youngsters who accept no individual responsibilities but pose as spokesman for a group or an impersonal ideal, always talking in the royal ‘we’ while hurling personal insults … and claiming that everything is happening in the name of what’s true, good and beautiful.”

This was fascism, German style, in the 1920s.

Read more...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Drinking Beer and Tax Reform

President Trump and congress have stated that one of the next major issues on their agenda, which they will begin working on in 2017, will be tax reform. 

Now I don't necessarily believe they will be any more successful with this exceptionally difficult endeavor than they were with repealing and replacing Obamacare.  After all, the GOP senators had already voted to repeal the inaccurately named Affordable Care Act multiple times when it didn't matter and had no chance of actually being repealed when President Obama was in office.  Of course they refused to cast that same vote when President Trump would have signed the bill.  Why would we believe that these integrity-challenged charlatans would be willing to expend political capital to fix our broken tax code next?

Regardless, we can hope that these cowardly and incompetent people that populate our House of Representatives and Senate might overachieve just once in their careers and actually be able to enact meaningful tax reform.

Of course any tax reform that doesn't raise taxes on the "evil rich" will immediately be vehemently decried by some of our fellow Americans as being grossly unfair and exploitive of the poorest amongst us.  It is nonsense, as the poor do not pay federal income taxes currently and surely won't in the future, but mark my words that the cacophony of demonization will happen as surely as President Trump will continue his incessant "tweeting". 

With all of this being said, a friend of mine recently forwarded this simplified explanation of how our progressive tax system functions, and the likely results of that reform being excoriated by the ignorant and ideologically partisan pundits and politicians when and if actual tax reform does come to fruition.  Enjoy!

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.  If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
 So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.
“Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20".  Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected.  They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men?
How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?  They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted that from every body's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink their beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.
So the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (29% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (17% saving).
Each of the six was better off than before and the first four continued to drink for free.
But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man.  He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man.  "I only saved a dollar too.  It's unfair that he received ten times more benefit than me!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man.  "Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2?  The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important…they didn't have enough money among all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists, politicians, and pundits is how our tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction.  Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.
In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

U.S. History Quiz

This history quiz link was forwarded to me by a person who thought that this was rather difficult and a good indicator of one's knowledge of U.S. history.  The test contains 102 questions and was rather rudimentary, in my opinion.  There was only one question that I had to take an educated guess on.  A vast majority of these questions should be, and indeed used to be, common knowledge for anyone that had successfully passed 8th grade U.S. history class.  One wonders if that is even objectively taught any more today.  Indeed, even this test had some editorializing towards a PC - progressive bias with a few of the questions.  Anyway, see how well you can do on this basic U.S. history knowledge quiz.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Matt Walsh: Stop pretending you’re killing Charlie Gard ‘for his own benefit,’ you monsters

I have been monitoring the ghoulishly "enlightened humanitarians" over in the United Kingdom and their "benevolent" reaction towards Charlie Gard and his parents.  It is vile, disgusting, and flat out evil what these folks are insisting must happen with regards to Charlie by effectively sentencing him to death.  Perhaps Charlie will likely die regardless, but doesn't his parents have a right to try to provide all possible care for him, and failing that don't they have the right to at least bring him home to die with them?

Once again, Matt Walsh does a brilliant job in capturing my thoughts perfectly on poor Charlie and his tormented parents at the hands of the socialized health care system in Great Britain.  It is the inevitable outcome that always occurs when the state is granted the power of life and death over its citizens without there being any recourse for them.  We are no longer merely slouching towards Gomorrah in our Western civilized nations.  We have evidently already arrived there in England.

"The parents of Charlie Gard are back in court this week, continuing the struggle to free their baby from captivity and bring him to the U.S. for treatment.

As you hopefully are aware by now, Connie Yates and Chris Gard have been fighting with courts and hospitals in the U.K. for the right to seek medical care for their sick baby. So far, European death panels have determined that Charlie must die, because, in their estimation, his life is no longer worth living. His parents are not allowed to bring him elsewhere for treatment, nor are they even permitted to bring their child home to die in their arms. He is being held as a condemned prisoner in a state funded hospital, with his mother and father permitted only visiting hours to come and weep over the child they are not allowed to save.

But Connie and Chris have been granted one last chance in court to prove the validity of the treatment they hope to obtain for Charlie in the United States. Any sane and decent person would say that it doesn’t matter if some judge or some collection of doctors in London think the treatment will be ineffective. It’s the only chance Charlie has, and his parents have the right to give it a shot. But it doesn’t work that way because the laws in Europe are neither sane nor decent. Charlie had the misfortune of being born into a system of socialized medicine, where government officials get to decide who is worth saving and who must die on the altar of resource efficiency."
Continue reading the rest of this excellently stated essay here. 

UPDATE: Connie Yates and Chris Gard had a court hearing yesterday to see if the judge would allow them to have their baby treated in the United States or other countries that have offered help.  They ended up storming out of the court because of the judge.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thomas More, The Rise of State Supremacy and Modern Day Persecution of Faith

For the first millennia and a half after Christ first walked the earth, to be Christian was to be Catholic. There were no other “interpretations” of Christianity.  Then in 1517, a rather obscure Catholic monk and scholar by the name of Martin Luther penned his grievances in the form of “95 Theses” that decried much of what he correctly saw as corruption within the Catholic Church. He was not correct however, according to Orthodox Catholic belief, in his new interpretation on sola fide (salvation by faith alone) and sola scriptura (Biblical scripture as the only authority for Christians).  But that is a topic for another time.

That said, the horse was out of the barn, and the genesis of the Protestant Reformation was at hand.  No longer was the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, considered to be the first among equal brother bishops when it came to Christian authority for many Christians following this schism.

A little over a decade later in 1529, King Henry VIII of England appointed Thomas More, a deeply religious Catholic lawyer and scholar as his Lord Chancellor for the kingdom.  At that time England had not yet fallen to the Protestant schism and was still united with Rome in its Catholicity.  Then King Henry VIII desired an annulment from his wife Catherine in order that he could marry Anne Boleyn.  He drafted a letter requesting the Pope’s permission to obtain the annulment and requested that his good and faithful chancellor, Thomas More, endorse his request.  More, due to the dictates of his Catholic faith, respectfully refused.

Henry was enraged and over the next couple of years he isolated More in ever greater measure as he purged many of the clergy who supported the Pope that had refused to grant him his annulment.  It was becoming obvious to Thomas More that King Henry VIII was breaking away from the church in Rome.  This was something that Thomas More could not abide and thus he offered his resignation to the king in 1532.  King Henry accepted the resignation but was deeply vexed by what he considered to be More’s failing loyalty towards him.

By 1533, King Henry VIII had already declared himself to be the head of the Church as well as the State so that he no longer fell under Rome’s Christian authority thereby allowing him to establish the Church of England which subsequently allowed him to marry Anne Boleyn.  Thomas More, still a loyal English subject, refused to attend the wedding or coronation of Queen Anne but sent a letter of congratulations instead.  King Henry was highly insulted by this perceived slight from his friend.

King Henry, on April 13, 1534, ordered Thomas More to take an oath in which he acknowledged the legitimacies of Anne's position as queen, of Henry's self-granted annulment from Catherine, and the superior position of the King as head of the church. While acknowledging Anne as queen, More refused to acknowledge Henry as head of the church, or his annulment from Catherine.  The king was furious and had More arrested, tried, and imprisoned in the Tower of London accordingly.

Exactly 482 years ago today on July 6th, 1535, Thomas More was executed for his "conspiracies against the king" accordingly.

Five hundred years later, we now have closer to 30,000 different Christian denominations, all proclaiming their own authority for their beliefs and wildly varying interpretations of Christ’s message for all of us.  Sadly, as the world has become ever-increasingly coarse, crass, and not coincidentally more secular, the more orthodox Christian faiths are becoming ever more under attack from society and the state.

There are signs of this rising secularism and attack on sincere religious belief everywhere.  Indeed, a little over two weeks ago Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven,
“suggested that all Church of Sweden priests be compelled to perform gay marriages, despite the Lutheran church’s position that clergy members should have the right to refuse… The prime minister indicated in an interview with a church magazine that if a priest cannot bless a gay marriage, they should consider another vocation. 
‘We Social Democrats are working to ensure all priests will consecrate everyone, including same-sex couples,’ Lofven told Kyrkans Tidning magazine.
‘I see parallels to the midwife who refuses to perform abortions. If you work as a midwife you must be able to perform abortions, otherwise you have to do something else… It is the same for priests,’ he said…
In the interview, Lofven, who is not religious, defended the perceived political incursion into the practice of religion, saying ‘the church must stand up for human equality.’"
This seems to be the trend in which our modern enlightened society is inexorably heading.  Indeed, our neighbors to the north in Canada have passed “hate speech” laws that are chilling for Orthodox Christians to say anything negative about the sin of homosexual acts, even from the pulpit.

The government of Wales has proposed registration and inspection of religious schools and churches to evaluate if they are complying with “fundamental values”—an option Welsh evangelicals call highly intrusive and “an unwarranted incursion into private religion and family life.”

In America, bakers, photographers, and other business owners with deeply held religious beliefs have been excoriated in the press, secular society, and even the courts for their refusal to bend to secular law in its requirements to provide goods or services for same sex couples when celebrating what they deem as a religious rite of marriage.

Even former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently questioned Russ Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, in antagonistic fashion because of Vought's Christian beliefs, specifically in the form that those that do not accept Christ as their Lord and savior are condemned by God.  It is a belief that is common amongst all three of the orthodox Abrahamic faiths that refusing acceptance of their core beliefs invites possible damnation.

Now never mind the minor detail that the United States Constitution itself states that there is to be NO religious test administered for those seeking public office, the fact remains that we, as Americans, should be free to exercise our religious faith and answer to our own consciences in line with our first amendment, and more importantly, God-given rights.

When the state, president, or king would usurp those rights of conscience given to us by God, are we not obligated to follow our faith in God over that of the laws constructed by man?

Sanders wrote in his defense of his statements against Mr. Vought:
“In a democratic society, founded on the principle of religious freedom, we can all disagree over issues, but racism and bigotry—condemning an entire group of people because of their faith—cannot be part of any public policy.”
Senator Sanders fails to understand that even people of deeply held religious convictions, (and sometimes especially those very people) absolutely can and do work with and befriend others of differing or no beliefs on a daily basis.  Senator Sanders, by his pronouncement would basically preclude any Christian, Muslim, or Jew from holding office by his own secular PC standard.  Only the secular world and man’s law should hold sway over our governance in Sanders' world, it would seem.

Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers, politicians, civil servants, and religious freedom, refused to compromise his own beliefs five hundred years ago in order to accommodate the powers of the secular world as commanded by King Henry VIII.  He refused to surrender his faith and his integrity even for the crown and at the pain of the forfeiture of his own life.  He understood the supremacy of God’s law foremost.  More saw it as scripture teaches, 

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” ~ Mark 8:36

If only our modern day public servants and leaders were to exercise such integrity and follow the enormously brave example of conscience demonstrated by St. Thomas More.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hate Trumps Love from the Left

I recall several years ago how Sarah Palin was castigated by many on the Left and in the mainstream media (but then I repeat myself) for having the temerity to release a map that "targeted" certain congressional districts for which Republicans could concentrate.  The word "targeting" was labeled as hateful and inciting violence to shoot Democrats, as it was released shortly after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords by a mentally deranged man.  It was patently ludicrous and nothing but faux outrage.

Fast forward to today and we have the unhinged, out-of-power Left waxing eloquently, or not so eloquently, with their far more explicit hate speech towards President Trump and the Right.

Although I am not a fan and do not listen to him, I have come across this list that Sean Hannity's staff has put together of recent hate speech spewed from some of our Leftist brothers and sisters who purportedly wanted to make "love trump hate".  I'd say they were off to a very bad start, wouldn't you?

* Hollywood Actor Mark Ruffalo calls on NBC News to "cease hiring white conservatives."

* "Knights for Socialism" group at a Florida University teaches students how to "fight the fascists."

* Anti-Trump "resistance" leaders say they want to "Make America Ungovernable," call for "direct action" tactics against Republicans.

* Kathy Griffin's photoshoot depicting President Trump's severed head.

* Charlie Sheen wishes death on Donald Trump, tweeting, “Dear God; Trump next, please! Trump     next, please!" following the death of actress Carrie Fisher.

* President Trump murdered in musician Marilyn Manson's music video.

* Katie Tur insinuates Donald Trump will begin killing journalists on MSNBC, saying “Donald Trump has made no secret about going after journalists"

* Unhinged NYU professor calls on students to attack conservative speaker Gavin McInnes, calls his supporters "Nazis."

* Rachel Maddow says Donald Trump wants to murder journalists.

* Comedian Jim Carrey supports Kathy Griffin's photoshoot, says he dreams of killing President Trump.

* Madonna says she wants to "blow up the White House" during a speech.

* Black Lives Matter say they want to "fry cops like bacon" during a rally in Minnesota.

* President Obama urges liberal activists to, "Get in their faces."

* Actor Mickey Rourke goes on anti-Trump rant, says "F*** him, F*** the horse he rode in on, his   wife's one of the biggest gold-diggers I know."

* Rapper Big Sean raps about murdering Donald Trump with an icepick.

* Late-Night host Stephen Colbert goes on anti-Trump tirade, calls him "Vladimir Putin's c***-holster."

* Comedian Bill Maher jokes about Trump family incest.

* Rapper Snoop Dogg stages phony execution of 'clown' Donald Trump.

* NBC and New York Times contributor Malcolm Nance calls on ISIS to suicide-bomb Trump-owned properties.

* NYC Theater group stages performance of 'Julius Caesar,' showing the savage stabbing-death of  'Donald Trump.'

* Protesters in Philadelphia chant "Kill Trump - Kill Pence" during May Day demonstrations. "

And sadly, this doesn't even come close to listing all of the over-the-top hateful and violent rhetoric coming from some on the Left.  Yes, I know the Right has been guilty of going over the line in the past too, but nothing like this, especially considering the actions following some of this hateful speech.  Hateful and violent speech like this is never acceptable from anyone, regardless of party affiliation.  We should ALL stand together and condemn it accordingly!

But, it seems that we are indeed a nation sorely divided and returning to civil discourse, let alone reuniting as fellow Americans appears to be a lost cause.  In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"  Sadly, the answer from the Left appears to be a resounding " HELL NO!"