Friday, June 21, 2013

Scandalpalooza


Well, it appears the level of corruption in our government is worse than most of us expected it could be. Secret scandals continue to be revealed, incompetence seems to be the norm, political enemies of Obama have not only been ridiculed and bullied openly by those associated with this administration, but now we know that entire government agencies have been working in opposition to conservative groups.

Is this not alarming?  What if a conservative president were targeting liberals?  Wasn't Nixon impeached and forced to resign for targeting his political enemies?  This administration has done something far more sinister and pervasive than what the Nixon was impeached for,...yet the media (for the most part) is still unwilling to abandon their love-affair with this president?  Have they no shame? .. no sense of responsibility?

There are several important fundamental rights upon which this republic was built.  These are being diminished or compromised by the Obama administration.

Freedom of the Press
NEWSDAY
AP files complaint over federal wiretaps
By RICHARD A. SERRANO.

Federal prosecutors secretly obtained records of telephone calls from more than 20 telephone lines belonging to The Associated Press and its journalists over a two-month period, in an apparent investigation of a leak of sensitive information about a terrorist plot in Yemen.

The head of The Associated Press lodged a formal complaint yesterday with the Department of Justice in Washington, for what he called an "overbroad collection" of telephone records of the wire service's reporters and editors.

Freedom of Religion
THE HILL
Complaints of IRS targeting by religious groups on the rise
BY JORDY YAGER

The number of religious groups reporting they were improperly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing.

At least a half-dozen conservative groups say they received an unusual degree of scrutiny from the IRS, according to the Religion News Service, a non-profit news service operated out of the University of Missouri’s journalism school.

Earlier this week Rev. Billy Graham’s son made headlines with a letter to President Obama accusing the administration of targeting the Samaritan's Purse charity and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in an attempt to intimidate the group.

Since then, the Catholics United Education Fund and the Christian Voices for Life have reported significant delays in their applications for tax-exempt status from the IRS.

The Coalition for Life of Iowa also said that it took unusually long to receive their tax exempt status, according to the Thomas More Society, a non-profit group focused on supporting pro-life causes.

Freedom of Speech
HUMAN EVENTS
Obama Declares War on Free Speech
BY ROBERT SPENCER

The Obama Administration has now actually co-sponsored an anti-free speech resolution at the United Nations. Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council last Friday, the resolution, cosponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, calls on states to condemn and criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

What could be wrong with that? Plenty.

First of all, there’s that little matter of the First Amendment, which preserves Americans’ right to free speech and freedom of the press, which are obviously mutually inclusive.  Any law that infringed on speech at all — far less in such vague and sweeping terms — would be unconstitutional.

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
CNN POLITICS
Obama still backs new gun ban
BY TOM COHEN

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Monday reiterated his call for a comprehensive package of steps against gun violence as the focus on possible Senate legislation appeared to narrow to expanded background checks and limited ammunition magazines, rather than a ban on semi-automatic rifles that mimic assault weapons.
_________________________________________________________________________

The four examples above are just a tiny sampling of the infringements on our civil liberties that have been occurring with increasing frequency (and to a greater degree) since the Obama regime came to power.

When we include following list of scandals, there should be more than sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation, impeachment and/or prosecution of the Obama administration.

Fast and Furious - Gun Running to Mexican drug cartels as a means of making the case for restricting guns in the United States.

Spying on James Rosen - The Obama DOJ monitored James Rosen's (reporter from Fox News)  phone communications and and emails because of his unfavorable reporting on the Obama administration.

IRS Targeting Conservatives - Conservatives were given tough treatment and rejected when requesting tax-exempt status (that was easily obtained by other similar organizations with a liberal ideology).

Benghazi Attack - The White House ignored pleas for help from our ambassador and embassy workers to help keep gun-running operations to Al Qaida operatives a secret prior to the 2012 elections.

NSA Data Scandal - Obama's NSA collected millions of phone communications records from ordinary citizens without a warrant, due process or just cause.

Holder's Voter Fraud Initiative - Eric Holder refused to prosecute members of the Black Panther Party who showed up at a polling place with clubs to intimidate voters.  Holder systematically worked to dismantle voter ID requirements in multiple states, even though the Supreme Court had already ruled that the same laws in other states were constitutional.
____________________________________________________________________________

I don't think we've seen the end of the scandals. God help us as we endure this Obama regime. May we live to see the emergence of liberty with a new conservative administration in 2016.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Dam Has Broken?

What an interesting few days in the world of 'journalism'. It appears some liberal propagandists are conflicted about whether they should cover the Benghazi Cover-Up. Because of this, nearly every media outlet, regardless of political leaning, has dipped their toe in the water of this story the past few days (but most aren't quite ready to admit the obvious, that this White House has been lying to us for months).  Here are a few of the more surprising recent reports (and comments).

ABC NEWS
White House Edits Benghazi Attack Talking Points
by Jonathan Carl 
May 10, 2013


MSNBC: Benghazi Scandal Makes White House 'Look Terrible'

REUTERS 
Pressure rises on White House over talking points
By Jeff Mason and Mark Hosenball
May 10, 2013

The report by ABC News gave new momentum to the highly partisan flap over whether the administration tried to avoid casting the September 11, 2012, attack as terrorism at a time when the presidential election was less than two months away.

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-FetoriABC released 12 versions of the administration's "talking points" on Benghazi that appeared to show how various agencies - particularly the State Department and the CIA - shaped what became the Obama's administration's initial playbook for explaining how four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the attack.

The report came two days after a hearing by a House of Representatives committee in which Gregory Hicks, a former U.S. diplomat in Libya, gave a dramatic account of the night of the attack and what he described as a poorly handled response to it.

The hearing was the latest in a series of efforts by Republicans to raise questions about the administration's response to the attack by suspected Islamist militants, with an increasing focus on the role of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a possible Democratic presidential contender in 2016.

The White House has cast Republican questions as an attempt to manufacture a scandal. But the reaction to Friday's report by those in both parties suggested that Benghazi was not fading as an issue.

Obama's administration appeared to acknowledge that on Friday. White House spokesman Jay Carney held a hastily scheduled background briefing for reporters, as officials tried to defuse any political fallout from the talking-point memos.

Read more ...


Jay Leno: "Hope and Change the Subject"




CBS NEWS
Emails reveal a flurry of changes to Benghazi talking points
by Sharyl Atkinson
May 10, 2013 
[Updated 8:45 p.m. ET]


As House Republicans piece together the events in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, that led to the death of four Americans, the focus has fallen on the talking points the Obama administration used to describe the attack in the days following.

The talking points were revised numerous times before United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice used them on political talk shows on Sept. 16. While the White House says the changes were merely stylistic, the changes suggest administration officials were interested in sparing the State Department from political criticism in the wake of the attack.
  • Carney: WH didn't "hide" anything on Benghazi talking points
  • Kerry: Benghazi hearings revealed nothing new
  • Boehner: More Benghazi hearings on the way
CBS News has learned there was a flurry of approximately 100 interagency government emails on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 regarding the content of the talking points to be released to members of Congress regarding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi. The email list included officials from the White House, State Department, CIA, FBI and others reviewing the talking points.

An early set of talking points was ready for interagency review at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14.:

11:15 a.m. talking points: "....we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa'ida participated in the attack."

4:42 p.m. talking points: Changed "attacks in Benghazi" to "demonstrations in Benghazi."

Added: "On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the Embassy [in Cairo] and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy." This news that a warning had been given was later removed.

Added: "The Agency [CIA] has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa'ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador's convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks." This news of advance warning of a threat was later removed.

Removed reference to "ties to al Qa'ida" and again changed "attack" to "violent demonstrations."

In a 6:52 p.m. email: John Brennan, then-Deputy National Security Advisor (now head of CIA) asked for removal of "the crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals from across many sectors of Libya society."

7:39 p.m. email: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed the most sweeping concerns. "I have serious concerns about all parts highlighted below in arming members of Congress with information to start making assertions to the media that we ourselves are not making because we don't want to prejudice the investigation... Why do we want the Hill to be fingering [al-Qaeda linked] Ansar al-Sharia when we aren't doing that ourselves until we have investigation results? And the penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency [CIA] about al-Qaeda's presence and activities of al-Qaeda...[which] could be abused by members of Congress to fault the State Department for not paying attention... so why would we want to cede that, either?"

8:59 p.m. email: A facilitator of the email threads answers Nuland's concerns about "prejudicing the investigation" by stating "The FBI did not have major concerns with the points and offered only a couple of minor suggestions." Nonetheless, they remove a paragraph referring to Ansar al-Sharia from the next version.

8:59 p.m. talking points: Changed "we do know" to "there are indications that" Islamic extremists participated in the violent demonstrations."

Removed "Initial press reporting linked the attack to Ansar al-Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved. Ansar al-Sharia's Facebook page aims to spread Sharia in Libya and emphasizes the need for jihad to counter what it views as false interpretations of Islam, according to an open source study.

9:24 p.m. email: Nuland responds: "These don't resolve all of my issues or those of my building leadership. They are consulting with NSS [National Security Staff.]"

9:25 p.m. email: Jake Sullivan, then-Secretary of State Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff (now National Security Advisor for Vice President Biden) tells the group "I spoke with Tommy (Vietor-then-spokesman for the White House National Security Council)... we'll work this through in the morning."

9:32 p.m. email: Sullivan to Nuland: "Talked to Tommy (Vietor). We can make edits."

9:34 p.m. email: Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser to President Obama regarding a federal agency Deputies meeting that's been called the next morning to discuss the talking points: "...we don't want to undermine the investigation...we want to address every department's equities including the State Department, so we'll deal with this at the Deputies meeting."

The CIA's legislative affairs representatives loops in then-CIA chief David Petraeus, notifying him of "major coordination problems... State has major concerns... the Bureau [FBI] cleared the points but [Ben] Rhodes said they will be reviewed in the Deputies meeting."

Saturday, Sept. 15:

Approximately 8 a.m.: An Obama administration deputy's meeting commences approximately with interagency representatives discussing the talking points.

9:45 a.m. talking points:  Removed: "On 10 September the Agency [CIA] notified the Embassy in Cairo of social media reports calling for a demonstration and encouraging jihadists to break into the Embassy.

Removed: "There are indications that Islamic extremists participated in the violent demonstrations."

Removed: "The wide availability of weapons and experienced fighters in Libya almost certainly contribute (sic) to the lethality of the attacks."

Removed: "The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qa'ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. Since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador's convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has (sic) previously surveilled US facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks."

11:08 a.m. talking points: Removed "Islamic" from the reference to "Islamic extremists."

11:26 a.m. talking points: Changed "US mission" to "US diplomatic post."

Via email, the representative for the CIA sends Petraeus the final version of the talking points writing: "We worked through the Deputies Committee this morning and they're sending these out for final approval... State [Dept.] voiced strong concerns with the original text."

2:27 p.m. email: Petraeus answers that he doesn't like the talking points and he would "just assume they not use them... This is not what [Rep.] Ruppersberger asked for. We couldn't even mention the Cairo warning. But it's their call." Ruppersberger is the lead Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and had asked for talking points.

Meantime, a U.N. official informs U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice in an email: "The first draft of the talking points apparently seemed unsuitable based on the [deputy's meeting] because they implied the CIA warned about specific attacks... [at the deputy's meeting] Mike Morell [deputy CIA director] noted the points would be edited and he would be happy to work with [State Department Deputy Chief of Staff] Jake Sullivan and [Ben] Rhodes. [Denis] McDonough [then-Deputy National Security Advisor to Obama, now White House Chief of Staff] , on Rhodes' behalf, deferred to Sullivan. Jake [Sullivan] would work with the [intelligence community] to finalize the points that could be shared with [the House Intelligence Committee]. I spoke with Jake immediately after the [deputy's meeting] and noted you are doing the Sunday shows and needed to be aware of the final posture that these points took. He committed to ensure we were updated in advance of the Sunday shows."

A senior administration official told CBS News Friday: "The CIA circulated revised talking points to the interagency after the Deputies Committee meeting, which Jake attended. Jake Sullivan did not, however, comment substantively on those points."

Another administration told CBS News in an email: "The CIA circulated revised talking points to the interagency after the Deputies Committee meeting on September 15. Neither Jake Sullivan nor Ben Rhodes drafted those revised points... Mike Morell prepared them. Reports suggesting that Sullivan or Rhodes revised the points is just false. The minor edit they did make were to clarify that the Benghazi mission was not a consulate. As we have said all along, these points were revised by the CIA."

A senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the drafting of the talking points tells CBS News: "The changes don't reflect a turf battle. They were attempts to find the appropriate level of detail for unclassified, preliminary talking points that could be used by members of Congress to address a fluid situation. "

"Overall, the changes were made to address intelligence and legal issues. First, the information about individuals linked to al-Qaeda was derived from classified sources. Second, when early links are tenuous, it makes sense to be cautious before pointing fingers to avoid setting off a chain of circular and self-reinforcing assumptions and reporting. Finally, it is important to take care not to prejudice a criminal investigation in its early stages."

Meantime, an administration official with knowledge of Nuland's role told CBS News: "During interagency deliberation of points the CIA wanted to give to members of Congress, Victoria Nuland raised two legitimate procedural concerns: 1) they recommended Congress make assertions to the media about responsibility for the attacks which the administration was not yet making publicly so as not to prejudice the investigation - points she herself was not yet authorized to make publicly. She wanted to ensure interagency consistency of messaging. 2) they selectively noted Agency warning in a manner which might have led Congress to believe the State Department had ignored them. This appeared to encourage a blame game before the investigation was complete. She did not make changes to the points. Rather, she asked for higher level interagency review, which the White House agreed was necessary. She played no further role in the handling of these points.

Friday, the White House responded saying:
  • The amount of editing of the talking points was normal
  • The CIA drafted the talking points, and on Saturday consolidated all comments into a final version. No mention was made of Ansar or al Qaeda because despite opinions, the CIA did not know for sure whether the attack was planned or opportunistic, nor who was responsible.
  • The White House made only one change in the final version of the talking points which went to Rice: "consulate" replaced by "diplomatic facility."
  • None of the political people - Pfieffer, Plouffe - were involved in any of the discussion.
  • Rice herself speculated on Sunday that that attacks "could have been" by terrorists.
  • Bottom line: this was not political. Because the intelligence was evolving, the talking points were edited (by the CIA) for caution and prudence.
Friday's State Department response:

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki: "The State Department first reviewed the talking points on Friday evening with the understanding that they were prepared for public use by members of Congress. The spokesperson's office raised two primary concerns about the talking points. First that the points went further in assigning responsibility than preliminary assessments suggested and there was concern about preserving the integrity of the investigation. Second, that the points were inconsistent with the public language the Administration had used to date - meaning members of Congress would be providing more guidance to the public than the Administration."

CBS News State Department Correspondent Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.

THE NEW YORKER 
Spinning Benghazi
by Alex Koppelman
May 10, 2013

It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.

carney-libya-580.jpgOn Friday, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl revealed the details of the editing process for the C.I.A.’s talking points about the attack, including the edits themselves and some of the reasons a State Department spokeswoman gave for requesting those edits. It’s striking to see the twelve different iterations that the talking points went through before they were released to Congress and to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who used them in Sunday show appearances that became a central focus of Republicans’ criticism of the Administration’s public response to the attacks. Over the course of about twenty-four hours, the remarks evolved from something specific and fairly detailed into a bland, vague mush.

From the very beginning of the editing process, the talking points contained the erroneous assertion that the attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved.” That’s an important fact, because the right has always criticized the Administration based on the suggestion that the C.I.A. and the State Department, contrary to what they said, knew that the attack was not spontaneous and not an outgrowth of a demonstration. But everything else about the changes that were made is problematic. The initial draft revealed by Karl mentions “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi” before the one in which four Americans were killed. That’s not in the final version. Nor is this: “[W]e do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.” That was replaced by the more tepid “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” (Even if we accept the argument that State wanted to be sure that extremists were involved, and that they could be linked to Al Qaeda, before saying so with any level of certainty—which is reasonable and supported by evidence from Karl’s reporting—that doesn’t fully explain these changes away.)

Democrats will argue that the editing process wasn’t motivated by a desire to protect Obama’s record on fighting Al Qaeda in the run-up to the 2012 election. They have a point; based on what we’ve seen from Karl’s report, the process that went into creating and then changing the talking points seems to have been driven in large measure by two parts of the government—C.I.A. and State—trying to make sure the blame for the attacks and the failure to protect American personnel in Benghazi fell on the other guy.

But the mere existence of the edits—whatever the motivation for them—seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue. This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now. In his regular press briefing on Friday afternoon (a briefing that was delayed several times, presumably in part so the White House could get its spin in order, but also so that it could hold a secretive pre-briefing briefing with select members of the White House press corps), he said:
The only edit made by the White House or the State Department to those talking points generated by the C.I.A. was a change from referring to the facility that was attacked in Benghazi from “consulate,” because it was not a consulate, to “diplomatic post”… it was a matter of non-substantive factual correction. But there was a process leading up to that that involved inputs from a lot of agencies, as is always the case in a situation like this and is always appropriate.
This is an incredible thing for Carney to be saying. He’s playing semantic games, telling a roomful of journalists that the definition of editing we’ve all been using is wrong, that the only thing that matters is who’s actually working the keyboard. It’s not quite re-defining the word “is,” or the phrase “sexual relations,” but it’s not all that far off, either.

Photograph of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney answering questions during a press briefing on May 10th, by Win McNamee/Getty.

Read more ...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mainstream Media? TURN IT OFF

This week a troubling story is being covered in the blogosphere and is being wholly ignored by most of the mainstream media outlets.  There is a massive campaign underway this weekend by those of us in social media to get the word out about the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell.  The mainstream media has been silent on this trial and the grizzly deeds of this man.  

This graphic is being used by those who are standing up for the unborn (and the babies who were murdered after their birth). Many are replacing their user-profile pictures with this graphic on various social media sites.  Feel free to use it yourself to take a stand.  



The next graphic shows the empty seats in the courtroom that were reserved for those in the media who would cover the trial.  

These empty seats are a chilling reminder that our media is no longer providing us with the truth. Where is freedom of the press? Are these journalists in bondage to huge corporations that refuse to allow them to speak openly or report objectively? We no longer hear the news as it happens via the mainstream media, we are being fed a lot of propaganda in the name of news by the MSM.  Some of the biggest scandels to occur over the past several years have not been reported.  This Gosnell story illustrates how our MSM is now much more interested in advancing an agenda than telling the truth. 

At first the lack of coverage of this story angered me, but now I am actually afraid. We are now in an age where the mainstream media is first (and foremost) a propaganda tool for those who would silence those of us who disagree. Then, they spend the rest of their time covering up the misdeeds of those with whom they agree. 
Is there no decency? Does anyone even care anymore that the Fast and Furious Scandal was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people? What about the citizens killed in the Benghazi scandal?  Now we have a doctor severing the spinal cords of babies and killing mothers who are aborting their children, and still SILENCE from the MSM? If this government decides to take action against those of us who disagree, will this MSM aide them by refusing to report it?

There is one course of action, and only one. We can no longer allow this MSM to continue on with this behavior. The only language they understand is money. They feed on the revenue generated by their advertising. When you tune in to listen to them, follow their news stories online and on your mobile devices, or when you purchase their magazines and newspapers, you are enabling them to brainwash millions of Americans.  TURN IT OFF!  Join our army of citizen journalists and help us resurrect honest journalism in this country. YOU report what you see and hear with your own eyes and share that with the blogosphere so that we can get the information out to others. This may be a sloppy way of getting news out to the masses, but at this point, we can't just wait for the MSM to clean up their act. I fear they never will.

So are you ready to take a stand?  TURN IT OFF!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Catholic?

We watched this week as a new pope was selected for the Catholic Church.  I, not being Catholic, find the whole ritual a bit odd; but, nevertheless, it is quite an interesting spectacle that dates back centuries, so, naturally, I followed the coverage as Pope Francis took his place as leader of the world's largest Christian denomination.

But, there is one thing that always surfaces each time a new pope is selected (or whenever a pope makes any pronouncement regarding the behaviors of those who call themselves Catholic), and that is how certain public figures who proclaim they are 'Catholic' participate in behaviors and proclaim  views that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church.  That got me to wondering ... 'Why do these people choose to associate with a church they don't agree with?'

What is the purpose of joining a Christian church (any church)? I suppose most would say to secure eternal security, to  fellowship with like-minded believers, to worship a Holy God, to render service to the community through self-sacrifice, to acquire knowledge about the Scriptures, and, finally, to submit to the lordship of Jesus and the fatherhood of God.

So, why do certain politicians chose to associate themselves with the Catholic church when their views (and political activism) work in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic church?  Perhaps they should find another body of believers who share their views?  .. or perhaps they aren't believers in Jesus at all?  What purpose is served when people call themselves 'Catholic' but do not believe in the teachings of that church?


Well, here's a short list of reasons some of these public figures call themselves 'Catholic' when there is little evidence in their life or speech that they actually practice the teachings of that church.
  • It's popular to be a member of a church. I am not sure this is as true now as it may have been in the past, but, for politicians, I suppose those who call themselves 'Christian' are slightly more 'electable' than those who do not.  From my perspective, however, people can call themselves whatever they want, it doesn't mean they are what they claim to be. You can sit in your garage and call yourself a car, but that doesn't make you a car.
  • Something we have 'always done' Tradition has a powerful bond on many people. If you come from a family that has always been a member of a particular denomination, then I suppose it isn't easy to step away from that. But, here's a newsflash, if you aren't practicing the teachings of the church you 'attend' .. then you have already 'left' that church.  Don't be an idiot.  Being in a church building has no meaning.. it is the life you live the other 167 hours each week that really matters.
  • Subversives. There are those who call themselves Christians (or Catholics) that have no interest in following Christ, have no desire to learn about or emulate Jesus, but, who actually undermine the work of God's Church. These subversives don't exist in the minds of many people, because many believe these people are 'made up' by those who love to believe in 'conspiracy theories'.  Well, call me crazy, but when someone is occupying one of the highest offices in government, calls themselves Catholic, are members of a political party that denounces God and cheerfully fights to protect a 'woman's right to kill her children' .. I am not sure how you could view those individuals as anything other than subversive church-members.  Those behaviors don't build up the church, in fact, it could be the devil himself who is directing those behaviors.

I can't get get into the hearts and minds of these public figures who call themselves Catholic (or Christian), but I will say that the evidence in a person's life is the most powerful indicator of whether they are (or are not) followers of Christ.  And, just like the rest of us, they will be called to account for their actions (or lack of action) one day.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Never Retreat!

I had an interesting conversation on Facebook earlier this week after posting this graphic.  One of my friends decided to use this as an opportunity to lambaste me for sticking to conservative ideals. To sum up our conversation ... she believed that Republicans lose because they support causes such as life, gun rights, traditional marriage, and securing the borders. I, of course, insisted we must stand for conservative principles, but I never really mentioned the fact that I was not a Republican (but, a conservative). This exchange with my Facebook friend got me to thinking: has the GOP establishment brainwashed the majority of conservatives into believing it is best to stay silent on principles to win elections?  The answer to that question is NO. But, it will take a lot of work to undo the damage that is being done to the psyche of conservatives in this country, because there are a large number in the Republican establishment (aided by the conservative media) that share her views.  We have a lot of work to do.

I am currently reading Erick Erickson's book -  Red State Uprising: How To Take Back America and Erickson does a masterful job of explaining why retreating from conservative ideals not only results in a more progressive and growing government, but it actually diminishes opportunities for success. People are hungry for truth-tellers, for leaders who are passionate, articulate, intelligent, and who offer real and lasting solutions. People are tired of politicians who say anything, do anything just to get elected .. but then fail to deliver on any of their promises. People are tired of politicians who put loyalty to their party ahead of loyalty to this country and the American people. Voters detest candidates who hide their true convictions .. and despise those who pretend to support causes, when their actions are not indicative of that support. 

We need to know what we believe and articulate those beliefs with confidence to those who are searching for answers. Conservatism may not be as popular as it was during the days of Ronald Reagan, but that is only because conservatives have been silent. We need a voice .. we need to step forth with boldness. Retreat is never a path to victory. Don't be duped by those who would crush the conservative movement in this country. Anyone who tells you that you should stay silent on your principles has either been deceived by the cautious and retreating Republican establishment, or they are actually working to wipe out the conservative movement. Neither of these groups are your friends.

One of the best cases of how grassroots conservatism can appeal to the masses was the election of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. He was an unknown when he decided to step into the race to face the powerful Lieutenant Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst. The GOP establishment quickly rushed to embrace the candidacy of Dewhurst and painted Cruz as extreme and unelectable. Remarkably, Cruz went from 2% in the polls to coming in 2nd in the general election and prevented Dewhurst from reaching the 50% of votes needed to avert a run-off.  Cruz went on to win the run-off with Dewhurst by 14% to the astonishment of the GOP party leadership in Austin (and Washington, D.C.). All the conventional wisdom gave Cruz ZERO chance against the powerful (and much better known) Dewhurst, but the truth-telling Cruz was just the right candidate to break through the establishment controlled process (and media) to bring in the votes and grab the power from the establishment.


Now, my Facebook friend pointed out that Texas voters are more conservative than the rest of this country .. and, as such, she felt the Cruz victory was something that could only happen in Texas. I don't agree with that .. and here are just a few more examples to indicate that thinking is wrong.

  • California elected Ronald Reagan as governor. Reagan won the presidency in a landslide. He took both blue and red states. Reagan ran proudly as a conservative. He supported gun rights, life, traditional marriage, and limited government. He never backed down from conservative ideals. Reagan's conservatism was not a detriment to his political viability, it was an asset.
  • Marco Rubio ran as a tea party conservative in Florida against the establishment candidate Charlie Crist. He supported gun rights, life, opposed excessive government regulation and lambasted the bloated and ineffective federal welfare system. He handily beat Crist (who is now a member of the Democratic party). Rubio never backed down from conservative ideals. Rubio's conservatism was not a detriment to his political viability, it was an asset.
  • Deb Fischer ran as a staunch conservative Senate candidate in Nebraska. She supported life, gun rights, opposed EPA regulations and had a tough stance on illegal immigration. The same state that had elected the liberal Ben Nelson awarded Fischer with a victory. Fischer's conservatism was not a detriment to her political viability, it was an asset.
  • Rick Snyder ran as a pro-life and pro-family candidate for governor of Michigan. He had a strong platform that opposed the big labor unions. Running as a conservative in the deep blue state of Michigan seemed like the longest of long-shots, but Snyder won the race. He subsequently signed into law some of the most sweeping union-busting reforms in recent history. Snyder's conservatism was not a detriment to his political viability, it was an asset.

There are many more conservatives that we could add to this list, but having said that, the number  of other examples is not nearly as large as it could be. If only MORE conservatives would simply stand up for their ideals and not run and hide (as is suggested by the GOP establishment). The GOP establishment has been feeding us the lie that conservatism loses since Reagan. In spite of the numerous victories showing that thinking is wrong, anti-conservative establishment types still have a firm grip on the GOP party apparatus, and, as such, they often discourage conservative candidates from entering races, they discourage candidates from fighting for conservative principles, they dismiss the idea that conservative principles can be (and often are) appealing to the majority of voters, and worst of all, they sometimes actually fight against candidates who have a strong conservative platform. (Karl Rove is doing precisely that, now)


That must change. We can not win if we don't fight.  Our principles are not crazy or extreme, in spite of the 24/7 propaganda war to the contrary. If we don't articulate our message, and if we are not willing to stand up and fight for conservative principles, then we cede government to the progressives. That is not an option. When it comes to the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans, failure is not an option. Stand proud, conservative warriors.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Will we stand for liberty?

There is a battle raging in this country against people of faith. The Housing and Human Services (HHS) mandate in Obamacare calls for all employers to offer healthcare insurance that covers free abortifacients and contraception. Hobby Lobby Stores along with Catholic Institutions have come out against this mandate as an assault on their first amendment right to freedom of religion. Hobby Lobby is wholly owned by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. Hobby Lobby submitted a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency injunction against this mandate, but were denied Wednesday by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. An attorney for Hobby Lobby Stores said Thursday that the arts-and-crafts chain plans to defy a federal mandate requiring it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill, despite risking potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day.

The mission statement of Hobby Lobby includes the following:
The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with Biblical principles. 
Jeannie DeAngelis of The American Thinker says this about the decision to defy the mandate:
Despite facing millions in fines, the non-compliant Hobby Lobby and Mardel Inc. CEO and founder David Green refuses to surrender the companies' religious convictions. Green has said he'd rather abandon the business. A $2.2 billion-a-year company that is willing to close its doors rather than compromise its core principles? Now that's impressive.
This is a test - Are we willing to fight for religious liberty?

Regardless of our personal beliefs regarding contraception and abortion, this behavior by our federal government should give every liberty-loving American pause. If we allow the government to force businesses to act against their religious beliefs in this one case, where will it end? Isn't this precisely the reason we have the religious liberty protections afforded to us in the Bill of Rights?

It is hard to communicate these religious principles to abortion-advocates, but I will attempt to make it easier for those who are confused about the Hobby Lobby stance to understand how the Greens and other people of faith are so unwilling to subsidize abortifacients.

Imagine a law being passed that you must pay for your employees to kill their children. That you must not only condone the killing of these children, but you must actively participate in their killing by providing the weapons (free of charge) to facilitate the killing. Imagine that you are being forced to provide these weapons by federal mandate.. and if you deny that mandate, you will be forced into bankruptcy.

The Greens believe that abortifacients are killing instruments. Whether or not you share this belief, should we not tolerate this belief in America? Nearly 55 million abortions have taken place legally in America since 1973.  People of faith who believe abortion is murder have been forced to live in a society that condones the practice of abortion. Now they are being forced to participate by providing abortifacients to their employees?

Now is the time for every liberty loving American, regardless of their personal stance on abortion, to stand up against this tyranny. This over-reach of the federal government is a gross violation of their Constitutional authority. If we don't take a stand now, we can be sure that more unconstitutional federal mandates will follow.

Take a stand with Hobby Lobby on January 5th 
by participating in the Hobby Lobby shopping day.


Write your senators and representatives voicing outrage 
over this unconstitutional over-reach:


Addresses for Senators and Representatives

Educate your friends and family about this issue by sharing this blog post and other articles explaining the Hobby Lobby story.

We must not rest until this is made right. If Hobby Lobby is forced out of business by the federal government, other businesses owned by people of faith are sure to be targeted next. Don't stand by as our liberties are being destroyed. Stand up and fight to preserve the rights of American citizens and businesses. Our rights come from God; it is our government's duty to honor and protect those rights. When our government fails to secure our rights, we are obligated to stand up against it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

These are the times that try men's souls...

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.


Boy, have times changed since those infamous words were first penned by Thomas Paine. Our Country was going through the last days of agony in a battle to free us from the clutches of tyranny. The hapless American soldiers of the American Revolution were not equipped with the best weaponry, in fact, many didn't have warm clothes or shoes to wear in the brutal winter battle at Trenton. The number who deserted far outnumbered the brave souls who stood with General George Washington. The British soldiers were far better equipped and were confident they would crush the rebellion. The patriots who fought then probably assumed they would never come out of the battle alive, but they pressed on regardless. The misery these men endured will likely never be fully appreciated.

I am in the middle of reading a book by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen entitled To Try Men's Souls. This is a work of historical fiction that is based upon real events surrounding the battle at Trenton. The characters developed in this novel give new meaning to what life was like for those who fought to establish this nation. I find myself tearing up often as I imagine what they must have been thinking as they pressed on in a battle that everyone said was hopeless. The phrase give me liberty or give me death was more than just hyperbole .. it was their anthem.  Many men died, but the ones that pressed on in spite of the most ridiculous odds achieved one of the most glorious victories in human history. They established the first nation on earth that was governed by ordinary men, that valued liberty, acknowledged that rights come from God Almighty alone and that it is the duty of government to preserve, protect and defend those rights.


We've come a long way since that battle in Trenton. As a nation we have grown disengaged, lethargic and somewhat selfish. None of those characteristics were common among the American survivors at the battle of Trenton. In fact, any one of those characteristics would have resulted in certain defeat.

The people during the time of the Revolution were very engaged in the public debate. Conversations in the home centered around this new government they were forming. Arguments about exactly how this new form of government should be organized were taking place between working class people from every profession. There was no cable-television or radio, so people were limited to the news received by word of mouth, pamphlets and newspapers. In spite of this, people in this country were very knowledgeable and engaged in the affairs of government. Perhaps more so than at any other time in this nation's history. Seems strange since news is so readily available in this 'information' age.

A sad reality is .. that a very small percentage of our citizenry today is knowledgeable or interested in government. They take for granted that everything they've come to expect from government will always be there. If they look at history, they would know that few governments survive over the long term. We are heading into dangerous territory.. and many of us are unaware of the fragility of this system.

The system of government we have in America today barely resembles the one set up by the founders. The size of the country alone means that the number of those working at the federal level to represent us are each 'representing' a huge number of people compared to the numbered they would have represented at our founding. We've capped the number of representatives for logistical purposes, but what we haven't done is put in safeguards to assure that the government is held accountable by we the people.  One person being sent to Washington, D.C. can represent millions of voters back home. That was unfathomable by our founders.

We have little discourse about governmental affairs in homes anymore, and decisions about what laws are crafted and passed are left to professional politicians. Most of us assume that politicians will 'do the right thing' and ignore all those crazy extremists who suggest that the legislation being crafted and passed is undermining the Republic  Maybe we don't believe politicians always 'do the right thing' .. but believe that the system will survive in spite of bad laws.

But, they are both wrong. We are a nation of laws. Our entire system of government rests upon one founding document along with various amendments to that document .. that is our United State Constitution. If you read our Constitution and then examine the sorts of legal decisions handed down and laws routinely passed today (and unconstitutional executive orders), you'd see little of what goes on in government is remotely similar to what is described in our Constitution. We keep creating new 'roles' for the federal government that were never even imagined by our founders under the pretext of 'helping' people. But what we are not understanding, is that the Rome Republic followed a very similar path.  The Roman Republic collapsed when it ignored its laws and traditions and began to do more things and promise things to curry favor with voters. The cycle ended with tyranny under Julius Caesar. Are we headed for a similar fate?

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the brave men who fought at the battle of Trenton. They gave up everything to secure this nation for us. Many even gave their lives in defense of an idea of freedom. We wake up every day in the greatest and most free nation on earth, yet most of us take it for granted. We can't afford to take it for granted anymore. Our liberties are slowly being dissolved. The Constitution is being ignored and those who favor a continued weakening of our Constitutional government in favor of a European-style socialism are growing in numbers and influence inside our government.

Complacency is no longer an option. We may not have to sacrifice our lives to restore this nation like the brave souls at Trenton, but we are not going to be able to sit idly by if we expect a change in course. The time is NOW to speak out and begin the hard work of restoring what is left of this Republic. These are the time that try men's souls.  Are you up for the battle?