Monthly Archives: September 2012

Mixing Politics and Religion…time to end the taboo?

If you know me personally, you probably know that I’m not especially fond of politics, don’t tend to put signs on my lawn, don’t talk politics much.  However, since my brother dragged  enlisted me in this joint blogging venture 😉 ,…I’ve been forced to consider something beyond the bare fact of exercising my duty to vote in elections.

Fair warning:  for a Sunday post, this may cross a line for some of you.  But I feel increasingly that it is imperative to speak out, while we still can.

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Google the clichéd phrase, “Religion and Politics Don’t Mix” and you’ll get a wealth of essays, written from both sides of the aisle, which support that time-worn statement.

Until recently, I’d have said I agree.  I would have frowned on our pastor telling us who we should vote for, discussing political theories or favoring particular candidates from the pulpit.   But a couple of days ago, JTR wrote a post in which he linked to a four-minute, impassioned, eloquent statement from a black pastor, E.W. Jackson, the founder of STAND (Staying True to American’s National Destiny).  In case you missed it, here it is again:

We belong to God… It is time for Christians to have the faith and courage to refuse to associate with a political party that has over the years become anti-Christian, anti-church, anti-Bible, anti-life, anti-family, and anti-God…

It’s not about party, but principle.  It’s not about race, but righteousness…We don’t need the Democrat party, or any party. We need God.  God will take care of us.

I pray that Bishop Jackson speaks that message from his pulpit today.  And that he will speak from any other pulpit he is invited into, every Sunday between now and election day.  And I pray to God that the people he is addressing–black Christians who have historically, reflexively, voted Democrat–will listen, and heed the call.

It is certainly true that neither major party has a corner on the righteousness market.  A vote for one party or the other is not going to usher in the New Jerusalem…although it could lead us to the Tribulation.  I don’t believe that Republicans, Democrats or Libertarians have an imprimatur from the Lord.

But every decision I make has consequences, and generations will reap what I sow.  As our friend James, over at Biltrix, wrote recently, we are responsible to form and inform our consciences before casting a vote.  The Catholic Church has been admirably proactive in helping its members do so, by preparing a Voters Guide for Serious Catholics, in which it outlines five nonnegotiable issues  on which to base one’s voting choice.   I would recommend all my evangelical Christian friends read this document also.  It lays out in plain speech five intrinsically evil issues which seek (or already have) legal protection…and argues that if one votes for a candidate who supports one or more of these issues, then one is complicit in that support, and morally accountable before God.

This is very serious.  And yes, I realize that pastors are being warned by the IRS that:

Any activity designed to influence the outcome of a partisan election can be construed as intervention. If the IRS determines that your house of worship has engaged in unlawful intervention, it can revoke the institution’s tax-exempt status or levy significant fines on the house of worship or its leaders.

The above paragraph is from a letter sent by the IRS to 60,000 pastors at the start of this election season.   But both Catholic and non-Catholic Christians are making  a compelling case–an overwhelming one really–for the Democratic party, in its current manifestation, to be anathema to Bible-believing Christians.   Should they not be able to say this plainly to their congregations?  As the apostle Peter asked, two millenia ago, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  (Acts 4:19-20, NIV)

If you have Christian (or Jewish, for that matter) neighbors, friends, co-workers who tend to vote Democrat…I’d urge you to challenge them to explain to you why they can in good conscience do so, in the face of so much anti-Christian (and anti-Israel) political doctrine.  If these friends or co-workers happen to be part of  the black community…I urge you to share Rev. Jackson’s four-minute video with them.  (And of course, please share Bishop Paprocki‘s five minute video with Catholic friends.) Dare to be socially awkward.  Risk losing a friendship.

Speak the truth in love.

If there has ever been a time when we need to talk about religion and politics in the same breath, it’s now.

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The EYE is always watching (Part 2)

The eye.

It’s back.

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About 4 months ago we covered a story that made me tighten the straps on my tinfoil hat: a program to install permanent, stationary license plate scanners on the freeway. At the time, the government officials assured us that the information was only to be used to combat drug trafficking.  Feel free to go back and read the post: it was creepy, yet the official position was along the lines of “oh, you silly dears. We have only the purest of intentions for our fancy-schmancy privacy-invading technology. Don’t worry your little head about it“.

That was a scant 4 months ago.

Seems they’ve been workin’ some late nights over at ‘Big Brother Industries’ since then:

(***Video courtesy of John Galt over at YouViewed/Editorial blog).

Oh, yeah: this should work out just great.

You can either find out if this is going on in YOUR community, or you can shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh, well”.

Hey, it’s just freedom, after all. It’s not like it’s that important….

Hey, “Bush-Lied-People-Died” crowd! Where are you guys NOW?

My, how times change.

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The White House has now acknowledged that the events on 9/11/2012 in Benghazi were, indeed, a terrorist attack. This comes on the heels of their insistence that, for two weeks, the attacks were inspired by a “YouTube video”. You will hear only a very few of the reporters (for now) report on the obvious and flagrant lie: the White House immediately suspected terrorism, and it now is certain that they confirmed this as a terrorist act within 24 hours.

Now, do me a lil’ favor, if you please: think back to the Bush years, when the mantra of “Bush Lied, People Died” became as ubiquitous as hearing “Bless you” after a sneeze. This narrative was constant: G. W. Bush had intricately planned and rationalized the Iraq War, misleading our nation & the world into a war-for-oil, and not to prevent Saddam Hussein from using his non-existent WMD’s.

Remember all that? I sure do.

Consider, then, that prelude to the War in Iraq took from September 12th, 2001 to March 19th, 2003. Over a year, with mountains of evidence. And somehow he fooled everyone? For over a year? This man, who throughout his presidency was repeatedly portrayed as being slightly dumber than a bag of hammers, was able to construct history’s most complex prevarication, without the truth leaking out? Code Pink and the Media would then have us believe Bush was, incongruously, the world’s first-ever ‘stupid evil genius‘.

Only Liberal logic could make that claim with a straight face.

And yet, the mantra persisted, and is still accepted as fact today by many in the self-professed ‘Smart Party’.

In contrast, this month is what it looks like when a president actually lies, even if that president is protected by the Media as if he were Charlemagne 2.0.

Because now, when his own Press Secretary says that it is “self-evident” (two weeks later, of course) that this attack was not from a whacked-out Muslim mob spontaneously reacting to an unknown YouTube clip but an actual act of terror, we have the Obama Administration flailing around, jumping from story to story, as each previous lie unravels.

And yes, the word is lie. 

Not a shading of the truth. Not spin. Not a fib. Not a dodge.

A big, fat, ugly, narcissistic, contemptible lie.

And a lie which cost, and will continue to cost, American lives. Coming on the heels of Fast and Furious, this is beyond unconscionable.

It will be all I can do to contain my emotions as I watch our current elected Commander-in-Chief waltz around the countryside, promising Utopian solutions to problems he has created. We keep precious little alcohol in our house at any one time, and I may need to stock up in order to cope.

But after watching the self-serving and pusillanimous way he has allowed these atrocities to occur and then tried to obscure the facts afterward, I can only hope you’ll join me in trying to alert everyone to his treachery prior to election day.

***Shorter version of that last sentence: “help us kick him to the curb”.

Romney: “I want to get us back to being AMERICA”

A quick follow-up from our earlier post today.

Courtesy of HotAir.com:


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The debates are next week, as Erika Johnsen at HotAir points out, and the stunningly stark differences between the two candidates should be even more visible.

Just for a quick review, here’s a (very) partial recap of Obama’s record:

I don’t care if you voted for Obama last time. Don’t much care if you were a Ron Paul supporter, or still currently favor Gary Johnson. It doesn’t concern me in the slightest if you are “uninspired” by politics today. Those are indulgences which a country in decline can no longer afford.

If President Xerxes is allowed a second term, we’re toast. Doomed. Consummatum est.

So: Step up. Help out. Call. Write. Contribute to a campaign. Put up a sign. Do something.

Like an unsightly stain on your new shirt, Obama won’t go away just by our wanting him to.

Not Black; Not White; Just AMERICAN

The Great American Melting Pot was once heralded as one of our country’s greatest strengths. The U.S.A took people of all nationalities, creeds and colors and made each of them Americans. You didn’t disavow your heritage: you added them into the goals of your new home and called the whole thing FREEDOM. Today, however, there continues to be a push to segment and divide our nation, turning one group against the other.  It’s visible in many arenas, but nowhere more publicly than by our journalists.

On a daily basis, reporters and columnists laud the Democrats’ iron-fisted control of our Black population, and then insult the Republican du jour as racist for not having the Black Americans’ best interests at heart.

Huh?

Watch the following video clip, courtesy of Rubino World blog and you can see what I mean:

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First of all, that’s a solid answer from Romney. It’s not about White America, and Black America: it’s about America, period. We’re the ‘Melting Pot’, remember? But what made my head whirl like a top was the question itself. Can anyone even imagine, in your wildest flights of fancy, a single reporter ever asking President Obama, “…what would you say to the white community to assure them that you would be their president also?

C’mon, get real. The fact that Jim Acosta went to J-school to go on TV and ask this mindless and blatantly racist question should tell you all you need to know about journalism today.

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There is a mini-revolt going on, though. It’s small but picking up steam. We can see it in the defection of Rep. Artur Davis, who was immediately disowned by the Congressional Black Caucus after he split with Obama’s policies and the Democratic Party.

Can’t have anyone leaving the Democratic Plantation, now can we?

Abandoning and decrying his former Party, Davis (a politician who supported Obama the first time around) blows a hole in the meme that Obama supports the Black community.

Consider also this quote from Northwestern University professor Aldon Morris:

“Social conditions for poor and working-class blacks have actually worsened since Obama took office,” he wrote in the authoritative Contemporary Sociology.”

The black/white wealth gap has widened; the black unemployment rate has risen to alarming proportions, especially in inner cities; the home foreclosure crisis has hit the black community with fiercely disproportionate consequences; poor black and brown communities continue to be devastated by crime. The murder of black and brown youth is commonplace, even just blocks from Obama’s Chicago mansion and his new home in the stately White House. At the same time, public education for blacks has deteriorated drastically.”

And, he added, “Above all, the massive incarceration of black and brown people during the first decade of the twenty-first century has been so crippling for those communities that it has been diagnosed as the New Jim Crow.”

We heard no such dissension from prominent Black Americans four years ago. Today, however, the biggest reason (I think) we’re seeing some push-back against the “if-you’re-Black-you-must-be-a-Democrat” doctrine is that clear-minded people are seeing firsthand the destruction of this administration. They are then arriving at the only logical conclusion: Obama is an incomparable disaster as President…for all Americans, irrespective of their skin color. And if anything, Blacks are getting the worst end of a bad bargain.

Some more numbers to buttress my point, this time from American Thinker:

“As of June (2012), the African-American unemployment rate is a staggering 14.4%, with Latinos and Hispanics having an unemployment rate of about 11.0%, while the unemployment rate for whites is 7.4%.  Compare these rates to December 2008, the final month before Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office.  Whites wereunemployed at the rate of 6.6% and Hispanics were at a rate of 9.2%, while blacks had an 11.9% rate of unemployment. 

Blacks have taken it in the chin to a greater degree than other demographic groups in the labor market during Obama’s economic disaster.  Essentially, one out of every seven African-Americans is unemployed.”

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“…from 2009 through 2011, black minimum wage workers swelled 16.6%, while whites had only 5.2% more minimum wage workers.  Not only, then, has there been a disproportionate increase in the number of African-Americans who are in the unemployment line, but there is also a greater number of blacks working for minimum wage.  This surely wasn’t the change African-Americans were looking for in Obama.”

I don’t know if the facts will be enough to sway the Black community. There is a built-in inertia that is driving them towards the Dems which will be tough to  redirect. Even news that they will fare worse under Obamacare hasn’t altered their votes, …yet. However, I’m heartened when I see men such as Reverend E.W. Jackson give addresses like the one below (thanks to RightPunditry for the link):


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It is essential that all Americans, of all backgrounds, come together and reclaim the American dream: a dream of hard work, family, community, sacrifice, and striving to succeed. We didn’t become the greatest and most prosperous nation in the history of the planet by waiting for Big Daddy government to shower us with free goodies from his “stash”. We worked, shoulder-to-shoulder, to make each of our lives better. We believed in our founding documents, and lived our lives accordingly. These ideals are Conservative in nature, yet there are virtually no Conservatives left in the Democrat Party today. This is not a coincidence.

Alfonzo Rachel actually summed this up better than I can 4 years ago:

Our next president’s job will be to see that those values, those dreams, can become an achievable reality again. NO easy task, obviously. But if we all do our part in the next few weeks, and afterward, it will happen.

Surprise, surprise: “U.S. Officials knew Libya Attacks were work of Al Qaeda”

Wow, who could have guessed this was the case? Other than, well, …everybody?

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:

“U.S. Officials Knew Libya Attacks Were Work of Al Qaeda Affiliates”

The phrase res ipsa loquitur comes to mind: “the thing speaks for itself“.

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

I’d say this is despicable, but that word just doesn’t quite encompass the enmity I’m feeling towards these traitorous cretins.

And just to review: it was a full FIVE days later, or four days AFTER they knew this was the case, that the Obama Administration trotted out UN Ambassador Susan Rice to make the rounds on the Sunday talk shows and deliberately lie to the American people.

Yes, lie. There is no other word for it. 

THIS is your current administration, folks.

Anyone want them around for four more years? You must truly hate our country if you do.

TAXMAGEDDON (Be afraid; be very afraid…)

I abhor repeating myself, but some things bear repeating.

Therefore, I’m once again linking a brief description from Heritage.com on the imminent threat of Taxmageddon, which is the half-trillion-dollar tax tsunami slated to hit our shores in January, 2013. Also included is a new, bold, easy-to-understand graphic.

If you like paying more of your income in taxes, you’re simply gonna love this.

There is only one way for us to avoid this, boys & girls….and giving Obama 4 more years ain’t it.

Please share.

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Taxmageddon Is Huge – 

  • Unprecedented Tax Hike For 2013: Starting January 1, 2013, Americans will face a $494 billion tax increase, the highest ever in one year. Obamacare’s tax increase over 10 years barely edges ahead of Taxmageddon at $502 billion. The average American household would see its taxes rise by $3,800 in 2013 alone. And this is just for one year. Taxpayers would see even higher tax hikes in succeeding years.
  • Expiring Tax Cuts and Obamacare’s New TaxesAlmost 34% of the tax increases from Taxmageddon come from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Another 25% comes from the expiration of the payroll tax cut. Most of the remaining increases come from Obamacare, notably from the start of the hospital insurance 3.8% surtax on all forms of income over $250,000.
  • Taxmageddon Hits the Middle ClassTaxmageddon falls primarily on middle- and low-income Americans. That’s because 60 percent of the Bush tax cuts went to middle and low-income taxpayers. The expiration of the patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will cause these taxpayers to pay a tax they were never supposed to be hit with, and the expiration of the payroll tax cut is a tax hike almost exclusively on middle- and low-income families. That’s just the direct impact. Americans at all income levels will feel the pain of Taxmageddon because it will slow job creation and wage growth.

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UPDATE: Please see a friend of ours’ post on this, as well.

BLACK METTLE:  100 DAYS UNTIL TAXMAGEDDON

 

A Tale of Two Unions: NFL refs and Chicago teachers

It’s no secret: I’m not a big fan of unions. So, please keep that in mind as I say the following: “Hey, NFL!!! Pay the darn Refs and bring them back”.

Because Monday night was ridiculous.

But before we get into the Packers/Seahawks football game debacle, we need to include some context:

Sometimes you have folks that you could replace with almost anyone. The recent Chicago teachers strike would be a fair example: based upon their students’ test scores, we could replace half of the existing Chicago Public School teachers with African Grey Parrots and the test scores would likely go up.

Consider:

“…(79%) of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.”

To be sure, all the teachers in Chicago can’t be bad. But obviously a LOT of them sure as heck are, and more than a few must struggle just to find their Home Room each day.

And yet, in light of these teachers’ overall colossal failure, the Union requested (and ultimately received) a 42% pay increase versus the last 10 years which would boost average Chicago teacher compensation into the $100,000 range. In addition, Windy City teachers received total wage increases of 19% to 46% during their 2007-2012 contract, depending on such factors as length of service, according to a fact finder’s report issued in July.

Just an FYI: that also makes CPS teachers among the highest paid in the nation. If you’d like a quick breakdown of how this all worked out so well for the union, here you go, courtesy of Reason.com:


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Horrified? Good. So was I.

Now we can discuss what I mentioned at the beginning, because in the NFL, we have another union strike/lockout, but one which is decidedly different from the Chicago fiasco. It makes for an interesting, and frustrating, comparison.

First of all, check out Monday night’s NFL game as described by PJMedia. The Green Bay player clearly intercepts the ball, but the Seattle player battles him for it…after it’s caught and he’s down.  

Yikes.

Now I’ll just borrow a couple of paragraphs from the L.A.Times article:

Three weeks of gross incompetence by unqualified replacement officials crystallized in two moments Monday night that pushed the league’s integrity to the brink.

In one moment, Packers safety M.D. Jennings clearly intercepted a final-play pass while falling upon Seahawks receiver Golden Tate in the end zone, preserving an apparent 12-7 Green Bay win.

In the next moment, the replacement officials ruled that Tate had made the catch, and upheld that ruling after replay review, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 victory.

…..

It’s finally happened. After three weeks of forgetting the rules, losing track of the ball, and haphazardly administering this country’s national pastime as if they were salesmen on vacation from Foot Locker, the replacement officials have finally done serious, irrevocable damage. The arrogant NFL’s middle-school and small-college substitutes for the locked-out regular officials have finally, actually, literally made one wrong call that decided the outcome of a game.

This is a strike that, by all accounts, is ultimately about money (…..the refs want more. You’re shocked, I can tell). However, there’s more to it than that. In the case of the NFL refs, they make a nice salary for a part-time job, receiving about $149,000 (on average) in 2011. However, for that money, and especially as compared to the Chicago teachers, all-in-all they do an incredibly complex job pretty darn well.

Yes, I admit it.

All professional referees have to make split-second calls, on live TV, while mentally juggling a rules book that is starting to resemble the U.S. tax code. They also have to maintain control of the game, which is no small task in a sport filled with chiseled physiques, million-dollar egos and “prima donna” tempers.

And, what do they get for their efforts every week? They are castigated from one end of the country to the other. By way of comparison, Teachers are universally loved and feted. Referees? Any sports fan will tell you: the only 100% unifying thought in the stands is that EVERYONE hates the refs.

But please, everyone, stop yelling at the replacement guys, okay? The only people who truly AREN’T at fault for any of this are the rent-a-refs.  From day 1, they weren’t even partially prepared for this stage….and the NFL knew it. One day Joe Six-pack was refereeing some Division III schools (or even a high school) and the next day, he has to learn a new rules book while working games that are almost incomprehensibly faster, rougher and more physical than any he’s even imagined.

They were all set up to fail.

Both sides (the League and the Refs) need to get this done, but the League needs to step up first, in my opinion. There’s only a little over a hundred refs: pay ’em. They obviously do a job that no one is going to replace any time soon.

The referees are an essential aspect for the success of their industry.

Maybe someday, the Chicago Public School teachers will be able to say the same thing.