Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Access”: the new euphemism for legalized killing

October 29, 2017

Some very sad and disturbing developments regarding the new euthanasia law in Canada.

In the article below, it describes how political leaders are being approached “about modifying the law to allow family members with degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s access to the procedure.” So apparently “access” is how they’re going to frame it. Killing your relative with Alzheimer’s will become a “right”. Watch and see.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453213/never-enough-euthanasia-canada

In another article (link is below this paragraph), children are in the crosshairs. Doctors are being approached “by parents about the option of seeking medically assisted death for children.” The author of the article warns, “Once a society agrees that killing is an acceptable answer to human suffering, there are few logical off ramps.” The writer continues, noting the case of the Canadian father who killed his daughter with car exhaust because she had cerebral palsy (click on link within the article). And once again, you’ll see that advocates of euthanasia frame it in terms of a nice, acceptable euphemism: “access”.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453151/canada-child-euthanasia-matter-time

Not long ago, I watch a powerful six-part series that explained the history behind the Nazi death camps, particularly Auschwitz. Hitler began his path to genocide with a 1939 decree to euthanize mentally and physically disabled children. From there it was expanded to adults, with doctors employed to make decisions as to who would live and who would die. It was at this point they started experimenting with methods to kill large numbers of people in the most efficient manner, including gassing. Shortly thereafter, mass murder was employed to rid the Nazis of the Jews, gypsies, and anyone else deemed to be an enemy of the Third Reich.

Oh, don’t be silly, Teri. We’re a long way from that! Really? During the campaign last year, I received threats that I would be among “the first to go” for not supporting Trump. There are also documented cases of well-known people receiving threats that were far worse than what I received.

And let’s not even get started about how “access” is  the favorite euphemism for abortion and abortifacient advocates, especially in minority communities.

I think we are living in dangerous times.

 

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Pagan tribalism on steroids

October 28, 2017

I find the following article disturbing. Falwell has completely abandoned the gospel for the political limelight.

The article describes how Falwell calls on evangelicals to join “the war” against “fake Republicans” and not support candidates just because they may be Christians. It goes on to talk about how this will benefit Trump and make him the “greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.” (But I thought he already was the greatest, Jerry…) Falwell also notes how candidates don’t have to “be the pastor of your church”, clearly a swipe at Cruz whom many Trump-supporting “Christians” mocked because of Cruz’s faith, as did Trump many times who would pretend to hold up a Bible in rallies, and mock Cruz for being “saaa–aaa–ved” in a sing-song manner.

As a Christian, I will certainly consider if a candidate is an evangelical, but more importantly, I consider if the stances a candidate takes are in keeping with biblical principles. Falwell offers up some mishmash of a candidate maybe not being the most conservative, or voting on the issues the right way, and not being part of the establishment. Oh, and being “successful”.

Bright. Shiny. Object. Alert!

But vetting a candidate requires more than just reading candidates’ statements. It involves finding out what makes them tick, going to candidates’ forums or rallies,  hearing them speak, and not just what they say, but how they say it, and the language they use, and how they behave and what they say in unscripted moments.

I see Trump eschewing biblical principles…a lot. The profanity and vulgarity he uses. The mocking of others. The lack of compassion. The lack of a servant’s heart. The focus on himself. Self-aggrandizement and boastfulness. The insecurity of who he is as a person.  The constant reminders of the material things he has acquired in which he apparently finds solace. Three marriages and the brokenness he’s caused families and spouses through it. The attitudes and haughtiness he expresses toward those different from himself. The attitudes and frequent degradation toward minorities, people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds, and women. The spreading of vicious lies with no basis. The total and complete lack of humility.

These things were evident from the very first day he announced and were reinforced every day of the campaign and since the day he was elected.

But hey! He’s “successful” and wants to tear down the establishment. So full steam ahead, according to Falwell. (Never mind four failures in the form of bankruptcies and five deferments for military duty.) Party on, says Falwell. Indeed, the party is Falwell’s new gospel. Let’s make men’s souls right through executive orders.

Never mind eternity.  Never mind the condition of one’s soul. Never mind if someone is right with God. What happened to the Great Commission? Or, is that just so 2016?

https://www.christianpost.com/news/jerry-falwell-jr-evangelicals-dont-vote-faith-back-steve-bannon-204441/#.WfT3rqrsEfA.twitter

Jerry Falwell Jr. to Evangelicals: Don’t Vote Based Upon Faith, Back Steve Bannon’s Effort Instead

By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter |

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is calling on evangelicals to join Breitbart Chairman Steve Bannon’s war against “fake Republicans” in Congress, and not support candidates because they are also evangelicals.

Thee 55-year-old Falwell, the son of legendary pastor and conservative political activist Jerry Falwell Sr, praised Bannon, who espouses populist and economic nationalist views, during a recent interview with Bannon’s own news outlet Breitbart, which has been criticized for providing a platform to alt-right views.

During the interview, Falwell was asked what he thought about the former White House chief strategist’s self-proclaimed war against establishment Republicans.

Earlier this month, Bannon, who stepped down from his role in the Trump administration in August, told a gathering of evangelicals at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit about his “war” against the GOP establishment and called on values voters to “finish” the war.

“I love it,” Falwell said of Bannon’s war against the establishment in the Senate.

“I knew when [Bannon] left the administration, he was doing it for a reason,” Falwell was quoted as saying. “A good reason. And now we all know what it was. He sees that for Trump to be successful, those guys got to go. I’m so proud of him for going after them and leading the effort and Laura Ingraham is out there helping the effort too.”

Evangelicals shouldn’t support candidates because they share their faith, Falwell added.

“Don’t look at a candidate on whether he has the same religious background as you do. Don’t look at whether he or she fit to be the pastor of your church. Look at who’s going to vote right on the issues. Look at who’s actually succeeded in real life outside of the political world. That’s who they need to vote for. It may not be the most conservative candidate. But it’s got to be somebody who’s not part of the establishment and has succeeded in real life,” he said.

Falwell, who is one of the president’s most loyal evangelical supporters was one of the first evangelical leaders to endorse the thrice married billionaire in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, claimed that he coined the phrase “fake Republicans” to describe the likes of Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Falwell argued that if a handful of “fake Republicans” in the Senate can be replaced during the midterm elections of 2018, then Trump could potentially become one of the greatest presidents in American history.

“I heard somebody on the radio this morning, one of Mitch McConnell’s friends, bragging about how the Republicans have gone 95 percent with Trump’s agenda. Well, the five percent is always the one — the issues that matter,” Falwell explained. “It’s always the issues that matter. They don’t always, the group of ‘fake Republicans,’ they don’t always vote against it. They just make sure enough of their buddies vote against it to kill it. It’s all done behind closed doors. They got to go. And I think if they go, Trump is going to be the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.”

Falwell added that he was proud of the 63-year-old Bannon for trying to oust the Republican establishment.

“He’s probably the only guy who could organize an effort to primary out these, I keep saying ‘fake Republicans’ because that’s what they are,” Falwell said. “They deceive their constituencies into believing they are something they’re not. I think that’s the worst kind of politician.”

Falwell even asserted that he has “more respect for the Democrats” than he does for “fake Republicans.”

“[A]t least the Democrats admit what they believe. At least they tell their constituencies how they feel on the issues,” Falwell stated. “These moderate ‘Fake Republicans’ – they play the people. They mislead them. They pull the wool over their eyes. I just think that’s the worst type of deceit in politics.”

Falwell added that the days of politicians being able to fool voters is over.

“I think now the people have wised up because they talk to each other on Facebook and they get their news from so many different sources, and they are starting to see how they’ve been fooled,” he stated. “I think that groundswell is what happened to Luther Strange and I think it’s going to happen to a lot of them next year. It’s the only hope for the country. We really don’t have a majority in the Senate, and I don’t think in the House. Paul Ryan is in a lot of ways just as bad as a lot of the senators. He hides it. But it’s a sort of a vicious acquiescence.”

Bannon and his allies have claimed victories in recent weeks as the Bannon-backed Roy Moore defeated incumbent Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican Senate primary and as Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker announced that he would retire in 2018. This week, Bannon claimed another victory after Flake, a Trump critic, announced that he would not seek reelection.

“The establishment Republicans are in full collapse. They’re not even fighting back. They’re out of ideas, guts and out of money,” Bannon told the Financial Times. “Flake was polling like crazy and the numbers were coming back terrible. Flake shows you one important thing. The money is getting turned off. He went down without a fight.”

 

It’s an exciting time to be a federalist these days

October 19, 2017

 

This is something I wrote in response to a friend’s post on Facebook regarding third party votes being “wasted”.

 


 

It’s not a wasted vote or a third party if one or the other of the major parties dissolves.

Both of the major parties are in disarray.

However, democrats always rally together in the end, just as they did in 2016 when I saw my Bernie friends reluctantly vote for Hillary. The anti-corporate Bernie faction hates the corporatist Hillary faction, though.

The GOP is another matter. A commentator on a Sunday show said there are three factions: the establishment, the conservatives, and the Trump supporters. And never the twain (or three) shall meet, as Kipling said.

Fortunately, the federalist party, started by a conservative last year, has drawn disaffected republicans, conservatives, independents, and libertarians, as well as others including democrats, with a simple message of smaller government, life, and accountability. They also want to avoid the pitfalls that other “third” parties have experienced. They seek to focus on local elections, and build from the ground up, and not shoot for the top spot with no support.

The GOP started as an upstart party in 1854 as the Whigs were deeply divided into pro- and anti- slavery factions. Lincoln didn’t join until two years later. And four years after that, we had the first republican in the White House, who won, by the way, over a divided democrat party.

And that was all without the media and communications avenues available today!

I think it’s an exciting time to be a federalist these days.

 

Values and the Christian Right

October 17, 2017

By  |  October 16, 2017, 09:34am

http://theresurgent.com/values-and-the-christian-right/

In the following article Susan Wright, rightly points out the hypocrisy of the church and how it is losing its effectiveness “to a world that is growing increasingly sick.” This is largely due, she says, because of American evangelicals’ embrace of  “an unrepentant man.”  Wright notes, “You cannot proclaim Christ and the cross convincingly, however, when you choose to mix in the ungodly and unrepentant, for the sake of raising your profile.”

This hypocrisy and loss of effectiveness was made clear at the Values Voters Summit recently when two of the president’s acolytes, Bannon and Gorka, brought “a message of war and division into a forum where the audience in attendance are supposedly ambassadors for Christ.” Additionally, Bannon said at the summit that “economic nationalism is a centerpiece of values voters.”

Bannon at VVS

Not only should it not be, it’s evil for Bannon to say so.

David French asks:

bannon vile

Wright points out that VVS, at least in the past, has focused on “pro-life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom ideals.” She adds, “We need a voice in the marketplace of ideas, especially in these days of darkness and strife.” Although, Bannon and Gorka tried to sell much of what they had to say as “religious freedom”, it was not.

The spiraling downward of the Christian witness in association with Trump has “ruined their witness to a world that needs them to be a light.”

Just today, Trump mocked Christians everywhere.

Trump on Pence and gay rights

This was particularly egregious because it’s an out-and-out lie and total misrepresentation of what Christians believe regarding homosexuality. I’m not going to get into the weeds of what the evangelical view of homosexuality is here because that would take us off point. Of course, Christians don’t believe that. Many will excuse it as Trump just making a joke. No doubt, leftists who would never agree with Trump will use this to mock Christians as well. Not only is Trump not a friend to Christians, this shows downright hostility toward us. Indeed, I believe he wanted to clearly differentiate himself from Christians and Christianity. Aside from the inflammatory imagery of hanging, while not a huge fan of Pence, Trump’s mocking statement not only aligned the president with leftist demagoguery, it pigeonholed Christians as advocates of violence toward homosexuals. Christians don’t want to be forced to violate their conscience in order to conform to the government’s edict regarding the homosexual lifestyle, but that is not discrimination, nor is it violence toward homosexuals. Far from stopping the attacks on “Judeo-Christian values” and religious liberty, Trump is leading the charge.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/13/politics/trump-values-voters-summit/index.html

The church has brought all this upon itself. Large numbers of believers embraced an unrepentant man who said he doesn’t need forgiveness, as Wright points out in her article. “The Christian right are now willing to yoke themselves unevenly for political power. They give platform to reprobates to promote chaos and division, because the ends justify the means. The lines between their faith and their political leanings are blurred.” Christians have no one to blame but themselves for losing their soul for a political win.

Values and the Christian Right

By  |  October 16, 2017, 09:34am

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” – Matthew 5:13 NIV

Salt is meant to preserve against decay, as well as to draw out what is good and flavorful in food. In the reference above, “salt” refers to the character of Christians, as we are called to do a good work of drawing out others from the world that is lost, and introducing them to the Good News, which the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

“Do not be deceived: [a]’Bad company corrupts good morals.’” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 AMP

The apostle Paul spoke these words of warning to the Corinthians, who were allowing false teachers and bad teaching to weave through the church, corrupting the true gospel and leading believers down the wrong path.

What was true in the early days of the Christian church is no less true today. When we allow ideologies that have nothing to do with this faith that we proclaim to worm their way into the Church, what we get is a watered down version of Christianity that does little to bring the full glory of Christ to a world that is growing increasingly sick.

It is, in fact, not worthy to be called Christianity, at all.

This past weekend, the Values Voter Summit, sponsored by the Family Research Council and a host of other right wing, presumably Christian organizations, was held in Washington, D.C.

The VVS began in 2006 and has boasted an impressive lineup of conservative speakers, promoting pro-life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom ideals to a receptive evangelical crowd of voters.

All of these are good and right and as Christians, we need a voice in the marketplace of ideas, especially in these days of darkness and strife.

Our nation is hurting. Moral relativism has distorted what once was, and it has set us adrift, apart from the blessings of a holy God, Who cannot look on sin. This I believe, wholeheartedly. The uglier things get in our streets, the more convinced I am.

You cannot proclaim Christ and the cross convincingly, however, when you choose to mix in the ungodly and unrepentant, for the sake of raising your profile.

That’s what happened this weekend, when the VVS chose to give a forum to Steve Bannon and Seb Gorka, two recent refugees from the Trump administration, and by every account, nasty, combative individuals.

I have to wonder how much influence President Trump had over the VVS, in allowing them to give a platform to two men who had very little to say about pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, or religious freedom issues?

Trump, himself, is an unrepentant man, having declared publicly that he had no need for God, because he’d never sinned.

We know, per 1 John 1:8, that any who says he does not sin is a liar, and the truth of God’s Word is not in him.

Apparently, that’s something evangelical voters are willing to overlook, at least, as long as the political party affiliation is right.

Trump’s words at the VVS tickled ears, but knowing how he treats people, openly displayed on social media and during his rallies, the wise should keep in mind this was a speech written for him, not by him. He was simply reciting what was given to him to say, with no heart behind those words. They were as empty and meaningless as his claim that we were ending an imaginary “war on Christmas.”

As for Bannon and Gorka, their talk was about war and getting even with political opponents.

Is this where Christians in America feel we need to be?

Unfortunately, many on the evangelical political right think we can legislate morality, and we cannot.

So confused in their battleplan are they, that they would allow men like Bannon and Gorka to bring a message of war and division into a forum where the audience in attendance are supposedly ambassadors for Christ.

It’s the same ignorance of the message of the cross that allowed for a man like Donald Trump to win the GOP nomination, and the presidency, in the first place.

Trump has promised to end the Johnson Amendment, in order to give pastors the right to promote political candidates, and has called this a “religious freedom” issue.

It is not.

Pastors in America are already protected by the First Amendment and can preach the Word of God freely. If there is any fear, it is unfounded. Allowing men to step up in the pulpit and claim that they will be the ones to fix this nation will not, in fact, fix anything.

That Trump thinks it is a religious freedom issue and that there are Christians and Christian organizations going along with it speaks ill of the condition of the American church.

No, the Johnson Amendment never should have been, but mainly because there never should have been a need for it.

Keep God’s house holy.

The Christian right are now willing to yoke themselves unevenly for political power. They give platform to reprobates to promote chaos and division, because the ends justify the means. The lines between their faith and their political leanings are blurred.

They do this, well meaning, and sadly, most won’t realize they’ve lost their saltiness, having ruined their witness to a world that needs them to be a light.

 

 

 

 

 

A profoundly important message from David French: Don’t let the left define conservative opposition to Trump

August 2, 2017

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450057/conservatives-oppose-trump-maintaining-values-virtue

A great article describing the dilemma that many conservatives find ourselves in today: caught between a radical left that despises everything conservative, or even moderate, and a moderate, vacillating, morally relative republican party that has embraced a rudderless party head, and a “right” that has exhibited as much ugliness and hate as the other side. French exhorts conservatives to “pursue conservative ends through virtuous, constitutional means” and to “do their best to advance conservative goals while at the same time loudly and unequivocally condemning this administration’s absurd excesses.” French urges us to “undertake the difficult task of forging and maintaining an independent identity” or risk being associated with Trumpism.

Following are a few of the quotes from the article that I found particularly encouraging and uplifting.

First, we conservatives must understand that everything that happens in this administration will be tied directly to Trump, and unless we can undertake the difficult task of forging and maintaining an independent identity, even our longest-held and most cherished beliefs will be defined as part and parcel of “Trumpism.” Lower taxes? Defunding Planned Parenthood? Border security? Originalist judges? These are positions that Trump adopted for his campaign, but they mean no more to him than the next change of clothes. For conservatives, however, they reflect core principles and ideals that existed long before Trump and will exist long after. It is crucial that we avoid — as much as humanly possible — his enduring taint.

 

As a practical matter, this means conservatives should do their best to advance conservative goals while at the same time loudly and unequivocally condemning this administration’s absurd excesses. No one should be more angry at Trump’s tweets than conservatives. No one should be more concerned about Trump’s conduct toward Russia than conservatives. And, yes, no one should be more alarmed by White House chaos than conservatives. In reality, until the next round of voting, only conservatives have the true power to keep Trump in check.

 

Conservatism’s foreseeable future will be defined by a choice: Pursue conservative ends through virtuous, constitutional means or succumb to Trump apologism. Some on the left will scorn conservatives regardless of which option they pick. After all, to many liberals, conservatism is the original sin, and nothing else really matters. Some on the angry populist right will scorn those conservatives who choose to maintain their integrity as “weak” or naïve. After all, to the angry populist Right, winning is everything, and nothing else matters.

But conservatives should ignore the radical Left and the angry populist Right. When it comes to values and vision, our mandate is clear: We must always choose both.

Here’s the entire article.

Don’t let the left define conservative opposition to Trump

by David French
August 1, 2017 2:48 PM

The faithful conservative must now choose sides in two different culture wars. It’s predictable as night following day. Whenever a conservative criticizes Donald Trump — or even attacks the GOP for enabling his rise — some on the left will respond, “Well, if you really opposed him, you’d oppose his agenda.” Just ask Republican senator Jeff Flake.

In promoting his new book, Conscience of a Conservative, Flake yesterday published an excerpt from it in Politico. It’s a worthwhile read. He attacks the Republican party for entering into a “Faustian bargain,” going along with the “very bumpy ride” of a Trump administration to “achieve some long-held policy goals,” and argues that policy victories won at the expense of principles and “institutions conducive to freedom” will ultimately prove to be “Pyrrhic.” His meaning is clear: Pursue conservative goals, but do so while respecting democratic values, maintaining public integrity, and preserving constitutional structures.

The response was swift, and made clear that a number of folks on the left aren’t content for conservatives to merely oppose Trump. For Flake to be truly credible, his critics seemed to assert, he would have to . . . cease being a conservative. Here’s Slate’s Jamelle Bouie:

tweet 1 for article

As my colleague Jim Geraghty notes today, New York Times book reviewer Jennifer Senior subsequently echoed Bouie’s argument:

But Flake has also cast most of his votes in favor of Trump’s policies. Just last week, he voted for the bill to repeal Obamacare without replacing it, and then he voted for the hastily assembled “skinny repeal.”

This isn’t a serious critique. Do progressives really believe that conservatives should abandon their beliefs in response to Trump? Does that mean voting against tax cuts and conservative judges? Is the only credible opposition to the man grounded in, say, conducting a fair Russia investigation and defending Obamacare? This is akin to the argument for civility one hears all the time on campus: “Our community would be harmonious if only those conservative bigots stopped talking.”

It does, however, does highlight two important truths.

First, we conservatives must understand that everything that happens in this administration will be tied directly to Trump, and unless we can undertake the difficult task of forging and maintaining an independent identity, even our longest-held and most cherished beliefs will be defined as part and parcel of “Trumpism.” Lower taxes? Defunding Planned Parenthood? Border security? Originalist judges? These are positions that Trump adopted for his campaign, but they mean no more to him than the next change of clothes. For conservatives, however, they reflect core principles and ideals that existed long before Trump and will exist long after. It is crucial that we avoid — as much as humanly possible — his enduring taint.

Thus, wrapping both arms around Trump in the hopes of winning a few legislative victories or confirming a few judges risks exactly the Pyrrhic victory that Flake predicts. As I asked just days ago: With the benefit of hindsight, how many Democrats are grateful today for Jimmy Carter’s victory in 1976 and for his meager legislative “accomplishments?” His incompetence helped give the GOP the White House for the next dozen years, during which time Republican presidents appointed a majority of the Supreme Court and more than 500 lower-court judges. The Democratic party had to essentially remake itself to win back the White House.

As a practical matter, this means conservatives should do their best to advance conservative goals while at the same time loudly and unequivocally condemning this administration’s absurd excesses. No one should be more angry at Trump’s tweets than conservatives. No one should be more concerned about Trump’s conduct toward Russia than conservatives. And, yes, no one should be more alarmed by White House chaos than conservatives. In reality, until the next round of voting, only conservatives have the true power to keep Trump in check.

The second truth that’s emerging — on both the #Resistance left and the angry populist right — is that there are now two fronts in the culture war. There’s the classic Left/Right split — the battle of pro-life versus pro-choice, say, or of single-payer versus market-based health-care reforms. This fight rages, and it will continue to rage for the foreseeable future. The second front, however, is between those people of all political persuasions who continue to believe in constitutional processes and basic democratic norms on the one hand, and those people who’ve adopted the anything-goes, end-justifies-the-means tactics of the campus social-justice warrior or the “Flight 93” Trump supporter on the other.

For the Right, that fight is right now raging within the GOP and the conservative movement more broadly. On one side are those like Ben Sasse and many of my National Review colleagues — men and women with unquestioned commitment to conservative principles who don’t believe you should sacrifice virtue, honesty, or integrity to raise or lower tax rates or excuse conduct on your own side that you’d condemn in your opponents. On the other side are the unabashed Trump apologists like Sean Hannity and his allies on talk radio and online — people who hunt “deep state” bogeymen and find no Tweet too silly/shocking/offensive/inflammatory to excuse. They bathe in “liberal tears” and gleefully “fight fire with fire.”

For the Left, the equivalent fight rages more on campus, where an increasing number of liberal professors and administrators are expressing alarm at the intolerance and even violence of the #Resistance. But it extends beyond the academy, too: Just today a New York Times staff editor published a brave and searing condemnation of the “progressive hate” that corrupts the Women’s March.

Conservatism’s foreseeable future will be defined by a choice: Pursue conservative ends through virtuous, constitutional means or succumb to Trump apologism. Some on the left will scorn conservatives regardless of which option they pick. After all, to many liberals, conservatism is the original sin, and nothing else really matters. Some on the angry populist right will scorn those conservatives who choose to maintain their integrity as “weak” or naïve. After all, to the angry populist Right, winning is everything, and nothing else matters.

But conservatives should ignore the radical Left and the angry populist Right. When it comes to values and vision, our mandate is clear: We must always choose both.

 

A time for choosing

July 29, 2017

Forgive me for borrowing from President Reagan, but with the republican repeal debacle, many are finally coming to the realization that republican control of the federal government is all for naught.

Tweet

Conservative radio host, Shannon Joy crystallized the repeal mess this way (on Twitter):

Shannon Joy Kabuki theater

As she points out in #7: “It’s time for conservative leaders within the GOP to fish or cut bait. Leave the GOP or accept your fate in the party.”

Of course, I’m no leader, just a voter. I left the republican party around the time of the republican national convention last year in which Trump was officially nominated. I had actually left a year earlier, but returned to vote in the primary for some conservative friends who were running for central committee, and for Ted Cruz (even though he had already dropped out of the race). I knew the republican party, with its embrace of Trump, had abandoned anything remotely conservative. I did not vote for Trump or Clinton in the general.

Although I am still unaffiliated (I believe the federalist party has to have a state charter with the secretary of state in California in order to officially register as a federalist), I have come to appreciate the new federalist party that was formed for small government, liberty and life-minded voters. It has drawn libertarians, conservatives and others disenchanted with traditional party politics. It seeks to avoid the pitfalls of many “third” parties and focus on getting people in at the local level where we can have a real impact. These people can potentially move up. While it may be awhile before the federalist party has an impact at the national level, I’m convinced it’s the way to go. Several well-known conservatives have indicated in positive terms they like what they’re hearing from the federalist party. While they are not yet ready to jump ship, that could change. Abraham Lincoln became a member (in 1856) of  an upstart republican party formed in 1854 as the Whigs descended into a divided abyss. Four years after joining, he was the nation’s first republican president.

As we have seen with the repeal debacle, the two major parties have become virtually indistinguishable. It appears the republican promises for Obamacare repeal were meaningless. Worthless.  This writer acknowledges this, while not offering an alternative–which I believe the federalist party is.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/28/republicans-healthcare-conservative-voters

I’m a conservative and I now see voting republican is a waste of time

McConnell 2

‘Conservatives might conclude that Republicans, having failed to take seriously the discontent of ordinary Americans, don’t deserve to govern after all.’ Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

What would you conclude if you voted for a candidate or a party because of a promise to repeal or change a law that you strongly felt was harmful and unjust, but once in office the party refused to do it? You might conclude, rightly, that those politicians didn’t really work for you, and the party didn’t care what you thought.

That’s precisely the message Republicans have been sending their constituents throughout the Obamacare repeal fiasco. The failure of Senate Republicans to pass a so-called “skinny repeal” in the early hours of Friday is merely the latest instance of GOP fecklessness on health care reform.

Even the attempt at skinny repeal was a tacit admission that Republican lawmakers were never serious about repealing Obamacare. After failing to get enough GOP votes for a repeal and replace bill and then failing earlier this week to pass a straight repeal bill, the skinny repeal bill was a cowardly attempt to make it seem like they had exhausted all options.

But the Senate bill that failed on Friday morning wouldn’t have done much, repealing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, a tax on medical devices, and a handful of marginal items but leaving the rest of the law’s vast and deleterious regulations in place. On its own, it would have done more harm than good, sending already rising premiums up another 20%, hastening the collapse of the individual health insurance market, and shifting the entire healthcare debate from the Senate floor to a closed-door conference committee where the details of the bill would be worked out in secret.

Yet whatever harm skinny repeal might have done to health insurance markets pales in comparison with the harm congressional Republicans have already done to themselves. Unwilling to take the political heat of repealing and replacing Obamacare as they promised, Republicans are in effect enshrining Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement – and making it their own. The most likely scenario now is that Congress will, at the behest of panicked insurers, pass legislation to shore up failing insurance exchanges. In other words, Republicans will save Obamacare.

For seven years, Republicans have campaigned on promises to repeal and replace Obamacare with a “free-market” health care system. They wrested control of the House and the Senate from Democrats on these promises. Donald Trump– along with every other GOP presidential candidate – campaigned on it last year. Republicans voted time and again for politicians that trumpeted their hatred of Obamacare and swore to do something about it.

You don’t need a long memory to see why failing to repeal the law might enrage conservatives. As my colleague at the Federalist Chris Jacobs has noted, House Republicans even floated a version of skinny repeal in 2015. “Conservative groups could have supported it – just to keep the process moving, and continue the momentum for a broader repeal – as leadership is asking them to do right now,” wrote Jacobs.

But they didn’t. Influential conservative groups such as Heritage Action came out against the plan, as did a group of conservative senators, saying the bill “simply isn’t good enough”, and that because all of them had campaigned on fully repealing Obamacare, “we owe our constituents nothing less”.

Back then, repeal meant, at minimum, doing away with the major parts of Obamacare: Medicaid expansion, subsidies, all the new insurance rules and regulations and taxes that the law imposed on health insurers and ordinary Americans.

Of course, it was easy to make such statements in the fall of 2015. Barack Obama was never going to sign a repeal bill, skinny or not. In hindsight, the dozens of repeal votes from Republicans in both chambers seem now to be so much political grandstanding. Moderate Republican senators who voted for full repeal in 2015 hypocritically oppose it now, and conservative senators who opposed skinny repeal in 2015 supported it on Thursday. They are all guilty of the same rank hypocrisy.

There is a grave danger for Republicans in all of this. If there’s one thing the 2016 presidential election should have taught the GOP establishment, it’s that Americans are disgusted with politics as usual – the showboating, the sloganeering, the canned talking points and the pervasive, poisonous insincerity of it all.

That’s why Republican primary voters rejected, one by one, a field of presidential candidates full of experienced politicians. GOP voters were told their 2016 candidates were diverse and accomplished – and indeed they were. But they all had one thing in common: they were politicians, and Americans were fed up with politicians and politics as usual. So fed up, in fact, they did something drastic, maybe even reckless. They elected Donald Trump president.

Now that the politicians have failed them yet again, and in such spectacular fashion, conservatives might conclude, with good reason, that there’s no point voting for Republicans because they don’t deliver on their promises once in power. They might conclude that Republicans, having failed to take seriously the discontent of ordinary Americans, don’t deserve to govern after all.

The author is a senior correspondent for the Federalist

 

 

 

 

 

For real change, make local elections a top priority

May 26, 2017

by JD Rucker

May 25, 2017

http://datechguyblog.com/2017/05/25/for-real-change-make-local-elections-a-top-priority/

Can you name the Vice President of the United States? How about the two U.S. Senators in your state? All members of Congress (or at least your own district’s representative)? Governor? If you’re reading this, chances are good that you can easily answer these questions because you’re at least a little interested in politics.

How about your Mayor? Any or all city council members? School board members? County Auditor? Unfortunately, this is where many Americans start to fail the test. Admittedly, I would have failed the test a couple of years ago. Like many Americans, I voted for local elections based upon name recognition, party affiliation, or whether or not I’d received a flyer or received a knock on my door. I spoke to a woman the other day who said she voted for whoever had a sign in her next-door neighbor’s yard because “that lady keeps up with this stuff.”

Every American should keep up with this stuff. It’s THAT important.

When I started flirting with the idea of leaving the GOP last year, I explored several third parties. I sat on conference calls with leaders of one party, had an audience with the chair of another, and spoke directly to three third-party Presidential candidates. Invariably, the discussions were discouraging. It wasn’t that they didn’t have good ideas. It was that only one party could answer an important question: “What are you guys doing to win local elections?”

They were all sinking time, money, and energy into getting their Presidential candidate on ballots, but only one party was actively running in local elections. They made it clear that they weren’t actually giving much support to local candidates, but at least a few people were willing to use their party’s name a registration to run for office. I tracked back to see how many elections they’d won over the years. 13, including two in 2016. How could a party that was sinking all of their resources into a futile Presidential race think it was okay to put next to zero effort into local elections?

This is why I helped form the Federalist Party.

Local elections ARE important. They don’t get the press coverage. The people who win these offices can’t bomb Syria or impose tariffs on Canada. On the other hand, they make decisions that directly affect our lives. They choose the way many of our children receive their education. They set guidelines to either encourage or discourage business growth. Some bring communities together. Others divide communities further apart. It’s imperative that we all start paying closer attention to the races and leaders that live next door. That’s not to say the people in DC are not important, but they receive too much emphasis compared to the politicians in our own backyards.

As a party, we intend to focus on local elections from two perspectives. First, we want to identify principled candidates and win local races. Then, we want to localize decision-making as much as possible for the nation. There is currently way too much influence coming from DC in areas they’re simply not qualified or empowered to address.

There are areas in which the federal government should hold the power. These have been clearly enumerated. It’s time to return the rest of the power of government where it belongs: states, counties, cities, communities, and most importantly to individual Americans.

 

A Christian perspective on the immigration and refugee issue

February 16, 2017

This was written by my husband on Facebook and I thought he voiced his thoughts well on this very volatile issue.

Rob Pool

Please bear with me. What I am about to write is the result of a week long time of soul searching and reflection upon this issue. My thinking on this issue has gone back and forth all week. I’d like to share with you (or maybe just need to get my thoughts written down for myself) how I, as a Bible believing Christian view the refugee issue. Remember, I speak only for myself and not all people that claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

This article was posted by several of my friends in the past week. Initially I was angry. I hate that people (usually on the left) use Scripture to make political points. The point of the Bible (but really the New Testament) is to tell a story of God’s love for the world. The whole New Testament can really be summarized with one verse- John 3:16. Jesus and the New Testament writers instruct human beings on how to better love God and their neighbors, But really makes no proclamations (as far as I can remember) on how nations should behave (much is said in the Old Testament about the Nation of Israel and their off and on relationship with believing and trusting God).

Anyway, I saw this article and started writing a post to slam it. Once again, I thought, the left is misquoting Scripture to suit their needs. So I looked up the verse. And it was quoted exactly as the version I read (New International Version (NIV). Nuts! Well they must be taking the verse out of context. Yes, that’s it. Common mistake among those wanting to “use” Scripture for their own purpose. So I went to a good website that answers a lot of Biblical questions, www.gotquestions.org. And guess what? The verse actually pertains very well to this issue and the verse is completely in context. I suggest you read the text in the following link, but will only quote the most pertinent part here:

“Jesus begins the parable by saying it concerns His return in glory to set up His kingdom (verse 31). Therefore, the setting of this event is at the beginning of the millennium, after the tribulation. All those on earth at that time will be brought before the Lord, and He will separate them “as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (verses 32-33).

The sheep on Jesus’ right hand are blessed by God the Father and given an inheritance. The reason is stated: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (verses 35-36). The righteous will not understand: when did they see Jesus in such a pitiful condition and help Him? “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’” (verses 39-40).

The goats on Jesus’ left hand are cursed with eternal hell-fire, “prepared for the devil and his angels” (verse 41). The reason is given: they had opportunity to minister to the Lord, but they did nothing (verses 42-43). The damned ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” (verse 44). Jesus replies, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (verse 45).”

Salvation does not come from our good works, but from our faith in Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins on the cross. For Christians, works come as a result of salvation- not the reverse. And in a small sense I might say that the article’s title does not truly reflect the breadth and scope of “belief in God”.

Several days ago, Teri told me about a group of Christian leaders that wrote a letter to President Trump. She mentioned it was signed by two pastors with churches in O.C. that we have attended over the past two decades, The Crossing in Costa Mesa and Mariners Church in Irvine. Here is the link to that letter:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/…/Washington_Post_Eva…

In this letter the Christian leaders, while acknowledging President Trump’s desire to keep Americans safe, also state their commitment to follow Scripture and care for those that are persecuted and also their willingness to accept responsibility for a larger number of refugees than allowed with the executive order. This helped cement my belief that my attitude must change.

Throughout this whole issue I realized something. Fear is the driving factor behind our wanting to keep people that may hurt us away. And that fear is completely understandable. But the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Oops, I hate it when I’m forced to consider whether or not to follow the words I say I believe in!

So, where does this leave me now? Well first, and above all else, I will trust God- trust Him that He loves me and wants what is best for me. As to a temporary restriction on immigration, I find nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits it, and actually think that presidents have a right to do so. I will do what the Christian leaders told President Trump, “As Christians we are committed to praying for our elected officials. Our prayer is that God would grant President Trump and all our leaders divine wisdom as they direct the course of our nation. We also pray for the vulnerable individuals whom their decisions directly impact.” Beyond that, should we accept some refugees, whether Christian, Muslim or any (or no) religion, I will follow what Scripture declares and welcome them and give them comfort.

To my friends that post articles that seem controversial please understand that many times I do read them and use the articles, as iron sharpens iron to strengthen my arguments. Or, as happened in this case, to sometimes listen to God, study and conform my believes to what the Author of the Universe wants me to believe.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/you-cant-believe-in-god-and…?

Or, you can, but God won’t be very happy about it.
huffingtonpost.com

Saddened…

January 10, 2017

I was struck with great sadness today earlier while getting my coffee. I was thinking about what a crummy year 2016 was, and across my mind flitted that day in May (before the June primary) when Ted Cruz had a rally in Irvine–and it occurred to me, that was the happiest day of 2016 for me, other than when he won the Iowa caucus. Those two days were filled with the hope and promise of a return to constitutional principles, values, and liberty. The other 364 days (it was a leap year) pretty much sucked, except for family times and times spent in church either worshipping or learning more about my Savior, and personal time spent reading the bible.

I also thought about Ted Cruz continuing to prop up the PE and the republican party. And I cried. Was I as guilty of admiring a personality as much as those with whom I fought most of the year, who in a cult-like trance seemed to unquestioningly and blindly support the PE?

I don’t think so. I think I admired and supported Cruz for the principles for which he fought and his resolute leadership in not accepting a counterfeit liberty. I’m puzzled, confused and disappointed, though, by his turnabout regarding Trump and none of his statements regarding it has been satisfactory. It appears he has become one of them and is no longer the man who said, “There is no universe in which I will consent to that.” Coupled with the acceptance and near worship of Trump by many in the evangelical community, including those in leadership–indeed, the near giddiness of some…I can’t help but think of Franklin Graham’s statements that Trump was an answer to prayer–is astounding and deeply troubling.

I still stand by Cary Gordon’s “5 Steps to Political Ephiphany”  http://stepstopoliticalepiphany.com/ as the standard we should use in evaluating our duty in voting as Christians.

I didn’t vote for either, and voted third party. My conscience is clear, but my heart is still heavy with great sadness over what has occurred. And what it portends.

At the time…

November 22, 2016

At the time that David French wrote this article for the National Review, it was painful to read. My first reaction to reading it was, “Ouch.”

Although this was published on September 24th, some of the things French says here  have been weighing on my mind.

Like most who thought that the liberal progressive donor didn’t have a chance, but who actually pulled out a win (which some say  wasn’t so much about him winning, but her losing–the Obama coalition didn’t “show up”), we thought that had Cruz not endorsed, he would have come out smelling like a rose.

Now with the liberal progressive donor’s win, it looks like Cruz, whether or not he had endorsed, may end up being the most visible casualty of this horrible cycle. I still will oppose the winner with everything I have. He is still the unfit, unprincipled, liberal progressive donor that he was before. There is nothing to suggest that he is, or ever was  conservative or would know a conservative principle if it came up and slapped him in his face. He has reversed every stance through which he lured  voters into supporting him, and shows every indication of governing as as a leftist. Buoyed by left-leaning “moderate” republicans who have openly indicated they want to “crush conservatives”, he is an anathema to conservatism as much as Hillary Clinton is. Aside from reports of him refusing to study for debates or simply to be informed on the issues, he sidestepped this most basic of work by deflecting in the debates and interviews and going off on tangents wholly unrelated to the question at hand. Moreover, recent reports also discuss his lack of impulse control. So basically, we have someone with the emotional maturity of an 8th-grader handed the most powerful job in the world who is rudderless, resistant to putting in the work necessary for a demanding job, thin-skinned who lashes out at slights with 3 a.m. tweets, brags about the size of his genitals on national tv, demeans and degrades women and minorities and takes advantage of same as a matter of course, and lacks the ability to comport himself. How do you spell spoiled rich kid? With the millions of free media and publicity this guy received, it’s not like these things were not made obvious. America, you’re fired.

Perhaps saddest of all is the hit that the church took regarding its witness to the unsaved. Not only did well-known and respected evangelicals leaders excuse the winner’s rhetoric and behavior, but so did scores of believers, including some in my own family. So when an unsaved person says Christians are hypocrites, what will the believer say then? The news that “evangelicals” in large numbers apparently helped this moral reprobate limp over the finish line, says more about the moral void in this country and what’s being taught, or rather, not taught, from the pulpit than almost anything.

This could mean that Cruz will never be president. What hurts the most are the lies and accusations that the winner made against Cruz and were repeated ad infinitum by vile, cult-like supporters of the winner. Yes, I hope these despicable things perpetrated by the winner on Cruz are revealed and laid bare. Yes, I’m disappointed by Cruz’s endorsement of the winner, but I’m even more disappointed that the country could elect such a terrible person to the presidency. Yes, we knew that Clinton had her flaws, but we knew what she would do and we could oppose her forthrightly. I fear for this country and for our liberties under a man who never spoke of the concept of liberty while campaigning and would simply say things that he knew people wanted to hear without having any moral or ideological compass to guide him except his own self-aggrandizement. And the fact that the winner continues to tacitly give legitimacy to the alt-right racists, by not only not denouncing them, but appointing one of their standard-bearers to a high position in his administration is disturbing.

No doubt there was pressure to endorse. A fan of the show House of Cards suspected it was an endorse-or-we’ll-destroy-you type of ultimatum. Perhaps. But French suggests that’s not enough to acquiesce to the pressure. There are more important things.

What pressure? You might get primaried? You might – gasp – lose your Senate seat? Good heavens – the nation just can’t survive without Cruz in the Senate!

We’re all replaceable. All of us. I’m reading Nathanial Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition, and I’m struck by the extent that perhaps the closest thing to an irreplaceable person in all of American history – George Washington – intentionally exposed himself to Brish volleys. Why? Because he knew what great commanders have known for millennia — while there are substitutes for even the best generals, there is no substitute for valor. That’s no argument for mindless recklessness (Washington hardly led every charge), it does reflect the reality that there are times when you pledge your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor for the cause you hold dear

Similarly, while there are substitutes for any senator, there is no substitute for respect for the values and constitutional principles that made this nation great. And if a politician has to expose himself to Reince’s public relations peashooter to — quoting Cruz himself at the convention – “defend our freedom” and be “faithful to the Constitution,” then by God you do it. Too bad Ted couldn’t. Perhaps someone else will.

By the way, I didn’t vote for either the winner or the loser, but voted third party.

The Lesson Ted Cruz Taught Us

By David French

September 24, 2016 2:26 PM

The dominoes are falling – as we knew they would. On Friday Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump, just weeks after a mic-dropping moment at the Republican National Convention, where he pointedly refused to endorse the man who insulted his wife and accused his father of conspiring to kill JFK. Instead, in the face of a chorus of boos, he urged delegates to vote their conscience. The implication was clear – a conservative of conscience should not support Trump.

Whatever. Now he’s on the Trump Train, and in heeding the GOP conductor’s call of “all aboard” he’s teaching us once again an important lesson about the contemporary American political elite. They’ll take risks to achieve upward mobility, but the prospect of truly diminished influence is apparently too terrifying to contemplate. To quote the Hamilton musical, once they get in the “room where it happens,” they just don’t want to leave.

That’s why you saw fading Republican stars jump on the Trump Train early – he was their hope for continued relevance. That’s why you see establishment Republicans falling all over themselves to endorse Trump despite his manifest ignorance, mendacity, and unfitness. They want to remain in the establishment. That’s why religious right leaders keep endorsing one of the sexual revolution’s most ardent practitioners. They can’t abide the thought of political irrelevance. They all do it by convincing themselves – down to the very core of their beings – that the nation would be worse off without their unique talents, wisdom, and judgment.

Let’s be clear, between the Republican convention and this weekend, absolutely nothing changed about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump and Clinton are the same politicians with the same towering self-regard and same unfitness for the presidency. Trump is the exact same person who Cruz once said could “plunge” this nation “into the abyss.” Clinton is the exact same person we’ve seen throughout a quarter-century of dreary, corrupt years in national public life. What changed is all this “pressure” I keep hearing about. “The pressure is building,” people say. It’s time to get in line behind Trump.

What pressure? You might get primaried? The terrifying Reince Priebus might get angry? You might – gasp – lose your Senate seat? Good heavens – the nation just can’t survive without Cruz in the Senate!

We’re all replaceable. All of us. I’m reading Nathanial Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition, and I’m struck by the extent that perhaps the closest thing to an irreplaceable person in all of American history – George Washington – intentionally exposed himself to British volleys. Why? Because he knew what great commanders have known for millennia — while there are substitutes for even the best generals, there is no substitute for valor. That’s no argument for mindless recklessness (Washington hardly led every charge), it does reflect the reality that there are times when you pledge your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor for the cause you hold dear.

Similarly, while there are substitutes for any senator, there is no substitute for respect for the values and constitutional principles that made this nation great. And if a politician has to expose himself to Reince’s public relations peashooter to — quoting Cruz himself at the convention – “defend our freedom” and be “faithful to the Constitution,” then by God you do it. Too bad Ted couldn’t. Perhaps someone else will.