John Cornyn vs. Steve Stockman: Spending

20130908 1529 US Capitol

What will Washington throw at us this year and the next? It depends on who you send to the U.S. Senate to represent Texas.

With the national debt nearing $17 trillion, more and more serious questions are facing the United States. Currently the debt crisis is so severe that it will take many generations to pay it back, and many more if spending continues at today’s rate. Future generations face debt accumulated over decades.

 The government has funded robotic squirrels, food stamp celebrations, cell phones for those ineligible, superhero spoofs advocating Obamacare, IRS training videos set in the world of Star Trek, an airplane solely for the President’s dog, aid to countries that persecute Christians, wives for foreign leaders, border fences for other countries but not ours, and much more.

Congressman Steve Stockman, who is running against left-leaning John Cornyn to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, has a spotless voting record on spending bills, tax increases, and pork-ridden government “quick-fixes” like the “Gang of Eight’s” 2013 immigration bill. His mission: to prevent Washington lawmakers from wrenching more power or dollars from the states or the people.

“Try to grasp a trillion dollars—it’s like one dollar bills laid on top of each other—going from the earth to the moon and back again.” Stockman explained, “We’re digging a hole so deep we can’t get out. We are digging our own grave.”

“Debt is a dangerous legacy to leave behind. After kicking the can down the road for fifty years, we are faced with a crisis that could end the United States as we know it. Kicking cans is harder to do each time you do it. The government debt can’t be denied forever,” said Stockman.

When government spends beyond its means, the economy suffers.

“The government has no money on its own. It is completely incapable of raising its own money (other than printing it) and takes its money from us through taxes. If it spends more, you are taxed more. ” Congressman Stockman said. “Businesses will not hire; innovators stay stagnant; workers will quickly assimilate into an even more unsustainable welfare state that grows worse the more people are relying on it.”

Those beyond retirement age may not seem to be affected much by a growing national debt: in reality, they may be affected the most. Higher inflation drives up the costs of food, clothing, medical care, and transportation, making life on a fixed income nearly impossible. Middle class families become poor, and the poor become poorer .

But aside from early-stage debt troubles, countries including Greece and Argentina prove that bankruptcy is a difficult problem to contend with on the national level. After bankruptcy was declared in Argentina, the power turned off, police forces dwindled, fuel became unavailable, and the private sector dissolved into chaos and mobs. Waiting until the worst of the debt crisis to do something, as so many European countries are showing us, would put millions of Americans in physical and financial danger.

Congressman Stockman is working to fight big spenders in Washington, and at the same time come up with a reasonable solution to end the debt crisis. His opponent, John Cornyn, is not.

After voting to raise the debt limit a whopping nine times, Cornyn is fighting to maintain his false conservative image—a particularly hard task considering that he lied to reporters about his recent vote on the debt limit.

Furthermore, FreedomWorks’ Josh Withrow explains:

Senator Cornyn voted against three of the best, most fiscally conservative budgets ever proposed in the United States Senate. He voted against Senator Mike Lee of Utah’s FY 2013 budget proposal to balance the budget in five years and save $7 trillion over ten years. (2012, RCV 101) He also voted against Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky’s FY 2012 and FY 2013 budget proposals to balance the budget in five years and save more than $8 trillion over ten years. (2011, RCV 80; 2012, RCV 100) Instead, he favored budget plans that either fail to balance the budget or fail to specify clearly how balance would be achieved.

In addition to his inexcusable budget failings, Cornyn punishes entry-level workers with his decisions to increase the federal minimum wage, his vote for Medicare Part D (a multi-trillion-dollar entitlements debacle) and T.A.R.P. in 2008—the infamous Wall Street bailout. On top of all these failings he caved on the fiscal cliff tax hike in 2012, the “bridge to nowhere,” stimulus rebates, and a taxpayer-backed mortgage scam in 2009.

“Our federal government’s massive spending is detrimental to the entire world. It is going to ruin the lives of our children and grandchildren if we don’t do something about it now.” Congressman Stockman said, “We are spending so much, so fast, that it can’t be sustained any longer.”

Chosen Ones: Revelation

Nya returned to the core in the late afternoon, as the twin suns were setting. Julietta opened the door for her and half bowed, but Nya ignored her, like always. With Nya was a young corporal, whose hard look and crafty expression made Julietta immediately distrust him. She showed  them into the great room and took her leave.

The corporal looked back at her. “So that was the nurse.” Nya waved her hand as if she was dismissing Julietta as a person. “That is her. I should have sold her long ago, but I wanted this to be kept secret.” “She’s a small thing, but I take it that he has not inherited her weakness?” Nya laughed.

“Of course not! He is from a great line, not of the peasant class that she comes from. Yes, she works well, but I must get rid of her soon. She makes me sick.”

Julietta, who had been returning with a tray of food, almost dropped when she heard the last lines, which she felt involved her. “Yes, corporal. The time has come to take my student under my wing and train him for conquest.” Nya’s eyes glittered. “The wild lands of the north will soon be mine. I will make a name for myself that will go down in history!”

Julietta knew that the time had come for Caro to know the truth. She took in the tray and hastily departed. Nya took no notice.

Heart racing, the girl fled to her own room and knelt by the side of the bed. “Oh God!” She prayed. “Oh, God, give me wisdom! Give me courage! The time has come.” She had not yet risen when Caro burst in, excited at the arrival. “Aunt Julietta! The soldiers have come! They say that it is time to finally leave here and go to the world! Isn’t it wonderful?!?”

Julietta sat down on the bed and smiled in spite of herself. “I bet you can’t wait to see your old friends again. You have been here as long as I have, and I have been here as long as I can remember! Aren’t you excited?” Caro stopped. His friend’s face seemed troubled. “I will not go back to the outside, Caro.” She said, quietly. “And I have no doubt that many of those I knew are dead.”

Caro took her hand and held it up. “What are you talking about? I heard the soldiers…” “I have to leave you, Caro. But there is something you need to know.” She looked up at him, pleading. “Do you remember your parents?” Caro stopped pacing the room and was quite still. “I, I don’t know,” he said softly, “but I have terrible nightmares sometimes. Of a ship, and a girl, and a wicked man. Sometimes I even see a small child with pale hair. But I don’t know if that is a dream or a memory.”

Julietta stood and grasped his hands earnestly. “It was no dream. On the outside, you were a prince, the youngest son of the finest parents in the world.” Her eyes filled, and Caro protested. “That can’t be! She said I was an orphan. And even if I did have parents…” he looked up at the ceiling. “…why would they leave me?”

“You are an orphan. Your parents were killed when you were little. I saw it.” “Who? Who did it!?!” Caro asked fiercely. “And why did they kill them?” Julietta bit her lip. “They were killed so that another could take the throne.” She said simply, and looked up at him. Even at fifteen, he still was taller than her, a sign of what was to come. He turned away.

“Caro, when you go to the world, find Gino, who is called the wise. He will help you find your way. Tell him…” She looked away. “tell him that the princess, Nenya, sent you.” Caro suddenly realized what those words meant. “You mean…”

Julietta smiled. “I am your sister.”

Caro grasped her hands in excitement. “Why did you never tell me this before?” He cried. “I never knew! But now it’s different! Sister, we can go out together from this place, and take back our inheritance! You shall be a queen.” Julietta pulled away. “It’s not that Juliettasimple. There are people who would kill me if they knew I told you this.” Caro didn’t understand.

“How? The Lady Nya protects us, and I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.” Julietta didn’t respond. “Oh, Caro. If you only knew!” She cried inside, as the door opened. “Sir, The Lady Nya wants to see you.” A servant called, and shut the door. Caro turned to go. “I’ll be right back, and we will talk more.”

Julietta stood, and blinked back tears. “Goodbye, little brother. I hope to see you again, someday.”

Taxpayer, Who’s Got Your Vote?

Today, 3288 children will be killed before they are born. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars fund these deaths through Washington’s cold-blooded mandates. You will pay for approximately 18000 more of these killings because of Obamacare, thanks to John Cornyn’s decision to fund this appalling fiscal and moral trainwreck.

Today, the government will spend more than ten billion dollars. No need to wonder where it went: thanks to liberal John Cornyn, the government will be spending billions more because of his decision time after time to surrender to President Obama on pork-ridden spending bills. Cornyn has even given Washington a wildcard on the debt limit nine times.

Today and for the next few decades, if you are in need of medical care, Obamacare will force you, taxpayer, to spend more money for less care—and unlike what Barack Obama and his supporter liberal John Cornyn would have you know, if you like your insurance, you can’t keep your insurance. You will spend thousands of dollars more for your healthcare, thanks to Cornyn’s decision to appease leftist Senate leadership and fund Obamacare.

Today is the day to make this decision: who will you, taxpayer, send to Washington as your Texas Senator?

The Lumberton Outpost proudly endorses Congressman Steve Stockman for Senate.

The Lumberton Outpost proudly endorses Congressman Steve Stockman for Senate.

Cornyn Betrayed Texans, Future Generations with Obamacare Vote

obamacare

Obamacare has received funding and covert support from GOP senators, John Cornyn among them.

Figuratively stabbing in the back his fellow Texas Senator Ted Cruz, John Cornyn voted to fund Obamacare with his colleagues Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, and Dianne Feinstein. Cornyn’s decision to fund the President’s leftist health care law hands $2 billion to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

“Obamacare has serious implications for those of us with consciences,” Congressman Steve Stockman said, “Abortion is taking the life of an unborn human being, and this atrocity is carefully entwined with the Democrats’ taxpayer-funded flop. Liberal John Cornyn betrayed Texans, especially unborn Texans, when he funded Obamacare.”

Despite laws since the mid-1970s that are meant to prevent taxpayer funded elective abortion or abortion coverage, Obamacare ignored the wishes of half the nation (58% of American adults identify as pro-life, compared to 39% pro-choice) by permitting federally subsidized Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to provide abortion coverage through state insurance exchanges.

The overwhelming amount of new funding will drastically increase the number of abortions overall, but especially those covered by taxpayer-subsidized plans. A report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute predicts that taxpayers will fund 18,000 additional abortions each year.

A less publicized mandate will make a number of Americans to directly pay for coverage of elective abortions. In one of the federally subsidized exchange plans that cover abortion, enrolled individuals will be required to pay a surcharge of at least $12 per year from their own income. The low-lying fee in violation of religious liberty is so unnoticeable that few individuals or families will be aware of the surcharge’s purpose.

Many other controversial mandates are already coercing citizens into funding politically-charged abortion drugs and procedures, but the voluminous regulations of Obamacare will wreak more moral, religious, and economic havoc than analysts predict.

“Because Obamacare was funded, Texan taxpayers will now foot the bill for the purchase of health plans on exchanges. Some of those plans will cover abortions. This is an outright sellout: the right to life and the right to religious liberty were trampled by Texas’ own senator. Liberal John Cornyn’s footprints are all around this bald-faced backstabbing,” Congressman Stockman said, “He agreed with Harry Reid that human life isn’t as valuable as winning another election and appeasing Washington minions.”

 

Charlie Henson’s Story

Times have changed since the 1940s.

Times have changed since the 1940s.

The year was 1938. Times were hard, and President Franklin Roosevelt was just beginning his second term, presiding over the worst depression in U.S. history. Trouble was brewing in Europe and around the world. War was on the horizon for many countries. Hitler’s regime was gaining strength, and his shadow of tyranny was soon to stretch across the globe. As many can tell you, things weren’t looking up.

Fifteen-year-old Charles Henson and his family were struggling; he could not find a job. There simply were not any to be had. At that point, any work that could be offered would be accepted, but he stubbornly clung to his dream.

Henson explained, “I had always had a hunger to go to sea. But you had to be sixteen years of age to get a seaman’s certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard.  So, my mother swore an affidavit that I was sixteen and the kind Coast Guard commandant issued me my seaman’s certificate.”

Soon he had an official, paying job at the Magnolia Refinery. As a utility man aboard the S.S. Aurora (a tanker), Henson received $60.00 a month.

“This I sent home to mom. It saved our family.” he said.

From 1938 until 1941, the seafaring teen visited countries all over the world. He “made” every deep water port on the planet.   Africa, China, Russia, and Burma were only a few of the exotic places that Henson visited – at such a young age.

“I could hear all the noises you heard in the old Tarzan movies,” he said, “It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Henson soon got himself a promotion to ship’s steward.

“My job was to peel potatoes and clean the officers’ state rooms and other odd jobs. It was out of the weather, rain, and cold, so I was happy,” he explained.

On December 7th, 1941, everything changed.

“Well, time went on, Pearl Harbor took place, and the first thing you know this little ol’ seaman got himself drafted into the Army along with God knows how many thousands of others. So, I was sent to Fort Sam Houston.” Henson recounted.

“In the meantime, prior to this, while I was still sailing in the Merchant Marines, the Germans were sinking our ships at a rate of 2 and 3 a day, from Corpus Christi all the way up the coast to Portland, Maine. That’s were they operated. There was one occasion where they sunk a ship in the channel of the Mississippi River. That’s how close they came.” Needless to say, the United States was hurting badly.

The Armed Forces were getting into gear, but unfortunately the Navy was lacking.

“Been there just a couple of months when a Colonel came in one day and they gathered up all the guys that had Seaman certificates, which included me, about forty-five of us if I remember right. He said “We’re taking you to CampEdwards, Massachusetts.” Where they were going to form a brand new organization, called the Engineering, Boat, and Shore Regiment. You’ve seen pictures of the invasion at Normandy of the little boats coming in? Well, those little boats, as Germans used to refer to them as, were the Higgins Boats. They carried the troops from the ship to the shore. That’s what we first got started in at CampEdwards, Massachusetts, called the Engineer, Boat, and Shore regiment. So, we trained with those little boats for four or five months. And first thing off the bat they promoted me to Sergeant because of my experience on ships and made me a coxswain.”

By this time, trouble was really brewing. Millions of men were headed off to war, thousands to never return. Germany remained defiant; it continued its mission to conquer the world.

Henson continued, “Anyway, about four or five months after we created the Engineer, Boat, and Shore regiment, they had a notice on the bulletin board one day for everybody that held a seaman certificate to report for a big meeting they were going to have. So we did. And what happened – most people aren’t aware of what I’m fixing to tell you – out in California, there was a shipbuilder by the name of Henry Kaiser. Anyways, he taught us how to build ships. The transport ships called Liberty ships. Henry Kaiser, that was his name. And Mr. Kaiser taught us like Mr. Ford taught us to build the Model T. On an assembly line. Consequently, we were turning out two or three ships a day in our shipyards from California to the East Coast. All of a sudden we had plenty of ships, but no crews for them. Where were the crews?”

They had been drafted into the Army!

“Like I say, not many people are aware of this. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, all merchant shipping – ships, crews, and officers –  were placed in direct jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard. That automatically made us members of the Coast Guard. Anyway, they called this big meeting, it gave us – everyone who held a Seaman’s certificate – a choice. We could go back to sea and man these ships, or stay in the army, whichever. They could use us in either place. So a lot of us we knew ships, so we chose to go back to sea. Now we weren’t getting out of anything because they were still sinking ships up and down the coast! So we went back to sea, and that put me in the Coast Guard. Consequently I hold two Army discharges, and one from the Coast Guard.”

Henson ended up on a refueling tanker. When battle groups operated, they contained “carriers, battleships, light cruisers, destroyers, destroyer escorts, and even submarines, that’s what you call a battle group.”

“Every time a group sailed out to combat, they always had either two to three, maybe more, tankers for fuel. If they ran low on fuel, they couldn’t turn around and go into someplace, you know, to somewhere else for their fuel. So that’s what I was doing there on the refueling tanker. I did that for a number of months all over the South Pacific,” Henson said. “Well, I got the urge to go back into the Army in 1945. I got interested in law enforcement. And I don’t remember now at this point why I decided I wanted to go into the military police, but that’s what I wanted to do. So I put in for a transfer. It was turned down. Put in again for transfer, it was turned out. So I set down and wrote a letter to Admiral Emory S. Land.”

The last letter did the trick. He was sent to the 382nd  Military Police Battalion in Bremerhaven, Germany.  He “put in” the next three years in the MP Corps in Europe, the New York First Army, and the San Antonio Fourth Army. Henson had some fascinating memories there.

“While serving in the 382nd in Germany, with… an O.D. (Officer of the Day) , I saw two sides of this man. He always carried a Thompson sub-machine gun when on O.D. duty. One night, while I was on duty and part of the emergency squad of six men, I was relaxing at the booking station.” Henson said. “We suddenly got a call of a shooting at a local carnival the people of the city were giving for the children. We had a list of wanted deserters to look for; MP on duty at the carnival spotted one of the soldiers who was wanted for desertion. When challenged, the deserter fired at the MP on duty. The MP fired back but missed – and hit a little girl who was at the carnival. Fortunately, she survived. The deserter ran into one of the bombed-out buildings and locked himself in the bathroom, lined with tiles. In Europe, buildings had very little wood – construction was different, and they used much more tile and stone. We, at the station, responded to the call. Upon arrival, the MP on duty showed us where the deserter was. This O.D., a first Lieutenant, walked up within ten or twelve feet of the door. He demanded the deserter come out. His reply: ‘You come get me!’ The Lt. never said another word. He slung that Thompson and fired the entire magazine of 32 rounds of 45 caliber bullets into the door, making an ‘x.’ Then the Lt. said, ‘Drag his ass out of there.’ Well, you can imagine what those 45 slugs did to him as they ricocheted off the tiles – and into him. This was the one side of that First Lieutenant O.D. About a month later, in the dead of winter, we responded to a call to the railroad yard. Civilians were taking coal from the fuel dump. There was snow and ice everywhere, and old women and barefooted children were trying to keep warm. I ask the Lt., ‘What do you want us to do?’ After a few minutes, he said to me, ‘Not a damn thing. Let them have it or they will freeze.’ This was the other side of the same man – compassion. What memories.”

Henson’s story is undoubtedly very powerful; it shows that those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it. After seeing oppression in such a forceful, personal way, Henson’s mission is to warn Americans of what could very well be there fate if they don’t take action.

Involved politically and following issues, Henson wants to awaken the slumbering citizens around him. They haven’t seen what tyranny is like yet. One way Henson gets his message across is writing down his memories of war, bigotry, regulations, big government, concentration camps, and the incredible effects that the government has on family, children, and education. Wartime Germany – or in fact, Germany at any stage of Hitler’s rise to power – was not pretty. His firsthand experiences illustrate this well.

“All of the history you can study and read about what happened to other countries can happen here. And is. We feel safe. Don’t you? ‘Here in the United States, we’re the most powerful country in the world.’ We were…In a way it’s good that young people have this feeling of protection. But don’t ever forget that the only thing that you have that’s for sure and concrete is faith. Faith in God that He meant what He said. The people of Germany didn’t realize this. One day we sailed into Hamburg, Germany. This was before the war. Hitler was just beginning a speech to his own. And he was ‘blah blah blah’ on these loudspeakers attached to telephone poles up and down the street. All you could hear was Hitler ranting and raving about ‘Deutchsland Deutchsland uber alles!’ That’s ‘Germany, Germany over all.’ Today Germany, tomorrow the world. That was his ambition. I was still just a kid, but I’d followed my fellow crew members into a sort of German bar. If I remember right, there were five of us. One of them was the boatswain, he had like a foreman’s job. I don’t drink, never have drank, and never will drink. But I enjoyed going and seeing, you know, all these things and sights. So I had a soft drink and the boatswain was leaning back in his chair, and Hitler was talking. Talk, talk, talk, talking. We saw these two guys come in who they referred to as the brownshirts, what they call storm troopers. What they were was Hitler Youth ranging from 18-25, and they were dressed in the boots and tan trousers, and the brown shirts. And the first thing Hitler did was to take over, however he did it, the children in schools. A child as you well know, when it’s born, in one sense, is a brand new computer. And whatever you program into that child’s head is going to be there, from now on. They call that brainwashing, brainwashing you into believing something that isn’t true. That’s what Hitler did to these young men. As they graduated, they became Storm Troopers. Now these guys were very vicious. They were absolutely vicious. Meanwhile, the boatswain was leaning back in his chair, and these two guys had come in and were standing at the bar looking around. They carried, besides their pistol, a nightstick, a rubber nightstick about this long, called a truncheon. Hitler was still talking over the loudspeakers. The boatswain said, uh, a profanity. ‘Won’t that *** shut his ***** mouth?’ One of the brownshirts looked up, and he started walking over to our table. One the way over to our table, he undid his truncheon and backhanded the boatswain upside the head and across the mouth. Knocked all his front teeth out, split his lips. He was on the floor and of course there was blood flying everywhere. And the brownshirt said to the rest of us, ‘Take him back to the ship.’ That’s just an example of how you control people, once you get the power to do it. Anyways, that was just one of my experiences. This was before we got in the war.”

History has a way of repeating itself. Henson’s quest is to prevent his beloved America from becoming the next victim of totalitarianism.

John Cornyn vs. Steve Stockman: Amnesty

cartoon-vote-democratCongressman Steve Stockman, a pro-border champion and a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, has constantly fought against porous borders and Democrats’ amnesty measures. Stockman’s opponent, John Cornyn, on the other hand, has not only voted for such legislation, but has introduced a Reid-style amnesty bill of his own.

Stockman was a key figure in defeating the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, the infamous big-government amnesty bill introduced by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” in 2013. Rallying Congressional forces to halt the burdensome act, Stockman stopped Harry Reid’s pet legislation in its tracks after citing a oft-ignored Constitutional mandate: the origination clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 7), which requires that all revenue-raising bills originate in the House.

Stockman pushed his colleagues, who jumped on board, to support a blue slip—a procedure that bars any unconstitutional revenue-raising Senate bill from consideration in the House.

“Even Harry Reid now admits the Senate’s Amnesty bill is unconstitutional and cannot become law … By creating their own amnesty taxes Senate Democrats broke the rules. Senate Democrats were so hell-bent on ramming through a gift to radical political activists they didn’t bother to check if it was even legal … They got caught trying to sneak an illegal bill past the Constitution’s borders,” the Congressman explained.

“Not only is the Senate amnesty bill an abuse of taxpayers and immigrants, it’s utterly unconstitutional.  The Senate cannot invent its own amnesty taxes,” said Stockman.

S. 744 was destined to die thanks to Stockman’s constant efforts, which thwarted Senate Majority Harry Reid’s efforts to send it to the House.

Stockman has sponsored a constitutional amendment to prevent citizenship and benefits to anchor babies of illegal aliens, as well as a bill declaring English the official language of the United States. While Stockman’s pro-border and anti-amnesty record is flawless and consistent, John Cornyn, Stockman’s opponent in the March 4 Republican primary, has pushed Obama’s amnesty scheme for illegal aliens.

Voting twice to support Obama’s leftist amnesty agenda (RCVs 146 & 147, 2013), Cornyn also voted with Democrats to kill a Republican filibuster of Reid’s amnesty plan after Reid assured him Democrats had the votes to pass it. (RCV 146) After hindering Republicans, Cornyn then voted with Democrats to proceed to a vote to pass the plan in the Senate (RCV 147).

“Cornyn not only stabbed Ted Cruz in the back when he voted for Obamacare funding, he insulted legal immigrants and betrayed the American people with his Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act. He wants to give illegals five years of amnesty, work documents, and even a border pass on the taxpayers’ bill,” said Stockman.

“Cornyn worships at the altar of well-lined special interest wallets. He refuses to heed the Constitution or Texans,” said Stockman, “When you cast a vote for Cornyn, you cast a vote for an even more intrusive, hypocritical, and unreliable government and an even weaker border.”

Steve Stockman, a constantly fighting for taxpayers and legal immigrants, is the only reliably pro-border and anti-amnesty candidate to represent Texans in the U.S. Senate. On March 4, the decision is yours.

John Cornyn vs. Steve Stockman: Gun Rights

Senator John Cornyn's gun rights record is less than satisfactory, as he continues to question open carry and attempts to expand the national instant background check system.

Senator John Cornyn’s gun rights record is less than satisfactory, as he continues to question open carry and attempts to expand the national instant background check system.

An ardent protector of the right to keep and bear arms, Congressman Steve Stockman has not only waged war on Obama’s leftist agenda and other recent gun-grab attempts, but has also fought for restoring gun rights unjustly and unconstitutionally lessened by current laws. Stockman’s Safe Schools Act of 2013 (H.R. 35) and the Student Protection Act (H.R. 2625) are only two facets of his pro-gun record.

The Safe Schools Act would repeal federal laws mandating “gun free zones” around schools.  According to crime statistics analyzed by GeorgiaCarry.org, mass shootings in schools increased 500% after the anti-gun legislation was enacted in 1990, making Stockman’s bill an obvious imperative.

“I have one concern – protecting children from dangerous predators. By disarming qualified citizens and officials in schools we have created a dangerous situation for our children.  In the 22 years before enactment of ‘gun free school zones’ there were two mass school shootings.  In the 22 years since enactment of ‘gun free schools’ there have been 10 mass school shootings. Not only has the bill utterly failed to protect our children it appears to have placed them in danger,” said Stockman.

“The data do not lie. Our schools are safer when peaceable citizens are allowed to defend themselves from the irrational and dangerous,” Stockman continued.  “What would have been horrific massacres on school campuses in Pearl, Mississippi and Grundy, Virginia were averted by armed staff and students. Armed citizens save lives.”

Pro-gun groups and 2nd-Amendment champions, whether in Congress or not, stepped up to support the beneficial legislation. Gun Owners of America, an organization with a no-compromise outlook, said of the legislation and its sponsor:

We told you that Rep. Steve Stockman would be the most aggressive defender of our gun rights on Capitol Hill.

He proved us right on Thursday, when he introduced the VERY FIRST pro-gun bill in the Congress, in the face of a tidal wave of anti-gun hysteria. Congressman Steve Stockman has introduced H.R. 35, the Safe Schools Act of 2013 — a bill to allow principals, teachers, and staff to possess firearms in order to defend their students.

“Not only have so-called ‘gun-free school zones’ proven to be anything but that, they appear to have placed our children in even greater danger. [Congressmen] co-sponsoring the Safe School Act is the first step toward protecting our children,” added Stockman, “Leftists’ Harmful and counterintuitive policies have not created gun-free zones, but they have made defenseless victim zones. Criminals, unlike liberals, will discover this and act upon it before it’s too late. It is time to stand up for children forced daily into these unsafe environments.”

Stockman’s opposition to infringements of gun rights in public schools is not confined to the issue of “defenseless victim zones.” H.R. 2625, the Student Protection Act, curtails “zero tolerance” policies used to punish children for innocent play.  Zero-tolerance policies, misunderstood and abused by school authorities, punish children for innocent play—even so much as nibbling a pastry into an alleged gun shape —and are blatant attempts to indoctrinate students into accepting gun control.

“Instead of nurturing young minds these policies are traumatizing children who did nothing wrong. These policies are instilling in them irrational fears,” said Stockman. “Why are taxpayer dollars being spent to subsidize this insanity?”

Stockman notes that schools should be places where children learn, not leftist brainwashing facilities in which “cops and robbers,” the word gun, and classic childhood twig-weapons are strictly verboten.

Stockman concluded, “Something must be done to restore sanity to the schoolroom. The Student Protection Act would end the practice of using federal taxpayer dollars to subsidize schools that enforce these policies that abuse and harm young children.”

Stockman’s efforts to transform our nation’s public schools into safe environments conducive to your child’s liberty and learning are efforts you shouldn’t ignore when you cast your ballot on March 4.

 

Olivia Althoff: The Development of Stalin

Stalin, the unusual and despotic Russian leader

Stalin, the unusual and despotic Russian leader

During the Cold War, Joseph Stalin was the supreme ruler of the USSR. Stalin was known for being shrewd and controlling in his position. This was mostly due to his past experiences before the Cold War, including his family life as well as the political unrest he was raised in. While in control, about 20 million people died an unnatural death. Those that died suffered from starvation from found guilty of a crime and were killed. Several past experiences shaped Stalin into the despot he was during the cold war.

Joseph Stalin was born in 1878 in a small village in Georgia, which at the time was a province under the control of Russia.  Joseph’s surroundings, during the early part of his life , had a big impact on him. His family had very little money. His Father worked as a cobbler while Joseph’s mother worked as a housekeeper. Stalin’s father was abusive towards both he and his mother and eventually his father left the family. Because of his relationship with his father Stalin became very mistrusting.

Not only was Stalin’s personal life unstable, but also the political situation of the 1900’s was in turmoil.  At that time, the Russian leader, Tsar Nicholas II, was being strongly opposed by the people of Russia.  Eventually this unrest led to revolution between the Bolshevik party and the provincial government. Stalin became increasingly interested in the revolution and eventually joined the Bolshevik party.  As one might assume, this revolution gave hope to the young Stalin that life was better than what he what he had experienced when he was younger.

Although Joseph Stalin had no particular interest in the religious life, Stalin’s mother enrolled him into the seminary when he was 16. Even though Stalin was able to pass the seminary exams, he was expelled from the seminary because he missed the final exams. After leaving the seminary, Stalin became heavily involved in the revolution against the Tsar. This was due to the fact that he had stumbled onto writings of Vladimir Lenin; who was the leader of the Bolsheviks.

Stalin’s first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, had a big impact on Stalin. They married in 1906 but Ekaterina died shortly after in 1907. At her funeral, Stalin was said to say,” This creature softened my heart of stone. She died and with her died my last warm feelings for humanity.” While Ekaterina was still alive, she bore one son, Yakov Dzhugashvil. Yakov joined the red army then was later captured by Nazi troops during WWII. Stalin refused to rescue Yakov, who died in a concentration camp. Later, most of Stalins first wife’s family was killed during Stalin’s Great Purge. Because of how deeply his wife’s death had an effect on him, Stalin was never the same thereafter.

Stalin’s revolutionary life became the beginnings of his political career. After being expelled from seminary, Stalin went underground. As a revolutionary, he went by the name Koba. In 1907, He played a major role in the organization of the Tiflis Bank Robbery. The Bolshevik party carried out this robbery but historians dispute whether or not Stalin actually participated in the robbery itself.

A life of crime and hardship effected Stalin’s outlook on life. It is not hard to see how Stalin used his later power to commit crime without consequence. This included several purges as well as hunger and starvation for the country of Russia.

Stalin”s involvement in the Communist party increased after he met Vladimir Lenin in 1905.  In 1912, Stalin became the news editor for the Bolshevik party”s newspaper, the Pravda. Stalin then was soon appointed into the central committee of the Bolshevik party.  Stalin was caught by the police and exiled seven times to Siberia for his revolutionary actions. It is not hard to imagine that being exiled to Siberia had an effect on Stalin. Later he would track down most of his fellow prisoners and have them killed on false charges.

Although Stalin was not seen as a politically significant figure in the Bolshevik party, he was able to maneuver himself into the position of General Secretary. The Bolshevik party leader, Vladimir Lenin, became very sick and eventually died. Before he died, Lenin wrote urging Stalin’s removal from his post as General Secretary saying, “Stalin is too coarse and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more considerate to the comrades, less capricious, etc.” Although Lenin did request Stalin’s removal, the letter was never released to the public and so Stalin was able to remain in his post as general secretary. Using his position, Stalin took over the communist party and thereby became the despot of Russia.
Before the cold war, Stalin’s early leadership foreshadowed Stalin’s character. His first main objective: push Russia to become as industrialized as the Western World. He accomplished his goal by initializing the Five-Year Plan. The Five-Year-Plan was a set of objectives to achieve in a record five years.

Part of the Five year Plan was to collectivize farming; this meant that around 25 million farmers were forced onto state farms. As a result, about 20 million people starved because they could not produce enough food for themselves and the government. Stalin waved these tragedies aside claiming that Russia had never been so prosperous. Around the 1930’s Stalin also initiated the first of his great purges. Stalin tried and executed about half of the Communist party members. This included several of his top generals which would come back to haunt Russia as they participated in World War II with weak military leadership.

When World War II broke, Stalin, fearing invasion from Germany, signed a non-aggression pact with Germany. Germany broke this treaty and Russia was invaded. However, when the harsh Russian winter struck, German troops were forced to retreat. Stalin was set now against Germany, becoming an ally to Britain, France, and soon America.  Stalin’s alignment with the allies was the first step in the development of the Cold War.

Although Joseph Stalin did advance Russia to become a super power and eventually one of the major players in the Cold War, he was a cruel and hard man, caring little for humanity. Several experiences in his deplorable life contributed. During Stalin’s early life, his family life was very unstable and undesirable.  Because of his situation he was influenced to become a part of the Bolshevik party. While in the party, Stalin committed mass crime and was exiled to Siberia. When Stalin came to power, he had several million people killed, while 20 million people starved because of his Five- Year plans. Even though his actions propelled Russia into a new age, Stalin remained a heartless cold, human being.

From Dirt Road to Interstate

Not too many years ago, the United States was a primarily agricultural nation: in fact, 64% of 1850 U.S. labor force participants worked on or owned a farm. The massive shift from farmhouse to apartment building and dirt road to interstate is a well-documented one, and perhaps the most major shift in America’s economy.

In 1850 GDP per capita averaged around $2,303 (in 2009 dollars), compared to 2012’s GDP per capita at a whopping $49,226 dollars (also in 2009 dollars). Despite a sluggish economy and a flailing system of international trade, this is a massive amount compared to the flimsy 1850 total.

Although statistics and GDP measures are never accurate, beyond reasonable doubt the number reveals a very obvious and a very remarkable trend, benefiting mankind and showing the signs of a maturing, developed economy: specialization of labor.

In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith first pointed out that a crowd of pin-makers, each executing just one of the many functions involved in creating an 18th-century pin, would make an exponentially larger amount of pins than one worker, who Smith hypothesized would only succeed in making twenty or thirty every day.

Workers on an assembly line are indirect examples of labor specialization: while labor specialization in the kitchen, during chores, or in simple tasks is more easily understood, labor specialization market-wide is extremely complicated.

Workers on an assembly line are indirect examples of labor specialization: while labor specialization in the kitchen, during chores, or in simple tasks is more easily understood, labor specialization market-wide is extremely complicated and leads to the many diverse professions we see today.

This labor specialization philosophy led to highly efficient assembly lines and eventually to the early 20th century automobile industry’s success in mass-producing large, complex vehicles. Smith’s 1776 observation was not revolutionary but was still nothing short of insightful; considered the “father of capitalism,” Smith realized over 130 years ahead of time that specialization of labor paired with free markets would lead to extraordinary success. In assembly line entry-level jobs specialized functions are—for example—tightening a screw. In a broader sense specialization of labor means different sectors of the economy manned by very specifically trained people.

Modern agriculture, aided by constantly improving farm equipment, science, and seeds, is a far cry from the grueling autarky of 1850s. Struggling to stay afloat themselves, farmers rarely produced much excess food to sell to other members of the community. (Even then, technology, transportation, and communication were not sufficient to distribute the food where it was in demand.)

Rather than employing their time in education or recreation, families would spend from sunrise to sunset slaving away at farm chores—perhaps, some would say, this resulted in healthier, stronger children. It did not: life expectancy was around 35-38 years, and many children died before reaching the age of 12. The rural agricultural autarky allows for little to no medical progress. In survival situations, all science regresses while a single man or a single family attempts to eke out a meager living in the wild. The 1850s was nowhere near this stark an existence, but the point stands: life is hard when one is separated from market forces.

While one man is an excellent builder and the other is a skilled cook, in an autarkic situation the first man would be forced to cook rather than continue in his area of expertise, building. The second man would be forced to build rather than cook, meaning that both of them spend excess amounts of time on mediocre (maybe even inferior) products and services that would be best split between them. The 19th century was an era of discovery, and likely the most important of all advances in that hundred-year span was the widespread introduction of labor specialization, a convenient, beneficial, and life-changing free market necessity improved by agricultural technology. This allowed farmers talented in a particular trade to pursue other interests; they accepted the opportunity.

By 1860, farmers made up 58% of the population; by 1870, 53%; by 1880, 49%; and in 1930, a mere 21%. Currently farmers make up less than 2% of the population in the United   States.

The dramatic transformation is no mystery.

Specialization of labor is the reason that the average American was no longer forced with the question of survival at every turn; it was the reason that the economy blossomed into an even more diverse and thriving market; it was the reason that while the number of farmers decreased, burgeoning scientific knowledge allowed fewer farmers to feed hundreds, and even thousands, more people.

Farmers everywhere were offered the benefits of specializations of labor: soil scientists, irrigation experts, livestock specialists, veterinary medicine, railroads and later automobile transportation services—as well as better weather prediction capabilities—began combining to form a new world that had never been explored before.

Family farms, although quaint and maybe nostalgic, still somewhat prevalent and quite wonderful, are not like they used to be. Even “family farms” do not operate on their knowledge and their experience alone; specialists from every field combine in different ways, in a seamless system of free market harmony (revision: free market harmony stifled by the FDA) that brings food from all over the nation and around the world to your grocery store.

Longing for Home

The strong breeze is blowing through the treetops, and I am longing for home. My brother and I do not consider Texas as our permanent place, but only a temporary dwelling until we are reunited with our family. Three weeks is too long of a wait for the fellowship that awaits us when we return.

If I stand outside and close my eyes, I can imagine that I am there: in that large green yard that is so familiar. I can see the gazebo with its creaking swing, those azalea bushes: are they in bloom yet? The fence to the horse pasture, the pond, the playhouse, on my right the house of my uncle, where the trees are covered with Spanish moss, and where an old, faithful dog once rested.

But behind me is the most precious of all: the home of my grandparents. It is small, I suppose, not large enough to hold all of us family at once, or so it seems, but when we are all together we all feel at home.

I think about the people there: cousins all over, from Danielle’s joyful, perky imagination to Charity’s childish laughter to the rough-and-tumble boys to the twins. And then there are our uncles and aunts, and Granny & Papa. Sometimes we despair of ever seeing them, especially in the boiling summer when we feel like we’re a whole planet away from them.

But in the spring, you begin to hope, and imagine that you can see them right then, and can feel the glorious belonging that awaits you hundreds of miles away, the feeling that makes the long trip worth while.

When I think of North Carolina, I wonder about Heaven. Could it really be any better? I start to imagine Heaven being like my Granny & Papa’s house, familiar and loved, except without  some things. There will be no fear of death, no wondering if you will ever see them again, no heartbreak over the bad choices people make, no rivalry, no getting hurt playing soccer. Maybe it will be like coming home to North Carolina, but there will be no goodbye.

And maybe the most spectacular of all will be that Jesus himself will be there with us! It would be like standing in the hallway looking in on all of our family, and having no one missing. No one off playing a game, no people who refuse to come, but all together.

That is my home. I wonder how long it will last. There are some things that you will have to let go of, and maybe that wonderful place will be one of them. But I believe that even if the place is destroyed, it will go on, like in the Chronicles of Narnia. In C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, the children were travelling through Aslan’s country, and they found a house that had been destroyed in their world, but was still standing in his.

When they asked about it, they were told that there, “no good thing is destroyed.” If Lewis is right, then I don’t need to worry about things here, because I have so much to look forward to.

But while I’m here on this earth, longing for my Heavenly home, my thoughts turn to the place that I think of as home, where so many that I love live. Soon I will go there again, so while I wait I imagine…what adventures await us?

God only knows.

Walking Through the Mud

Adults who claim that teenagers should "get involved" are so busy mudslinging, hurling personal attacks, making rude quips about my age, and proliferating profane comments that they do not notice that they've lost my generation.

Adults who claim that teenagers should “get involved” are so busy mudslinging, hurling personal attacks, making rude quips about my age, and proliferating profane comments that they do not notice that they’ve lost my generation.

At political forums, at Republican clubs, at leadership conferences of all types, on radio talk shows, on blogs from around the country, on news websites galore, in motivational books and speeches, and even in churches, I hear that young people need to get involved. 

I cannot agree more with this statement, which is why it is important that other teenagers are encouraged to become involved in both the legislative process and the political sphere.

Many young people are far too occupied with media, parties, friends, or unnecessary hours at a public school for them to have a chance to effectively prepare for their career, whatever that may be. Far too often I watch my peers use the best years of their lives for an exercise in futility.

However, I have discovered that many of the people who instruct their younger counterparts to start “doing something” either fail to “do something” themselves or refuse to allow young adults or children to learn from them or work alongside them.

Perhaps it is an issue of pride, or perhaps it is an issue of fear. (I, for one, would probably have trouble overcoming the worries that a young apprentice might mess something up.)

Although teenagers may be apathetic, maybe this careless attitude is at least partly attributable to the sort of negative feedback and comments I have received,  calling me a “positively ridiculous” “spoiled teenager.”

According to mature voters and seasoned politicians, I am nothing more than a “bratty little kid.” They hope I “fail at everything” I ever do. They want to know why anything I say can be trusted, because after all, I’m just a stupid high school student. This is not an isolated case, it must be noted.

In addition to attacking the very generation that they swear should “get involved,” they attack each other constantly with slander, lies, out-of-context rumors, all manner of mud, and incessant backstabbing sprinkled with a flavor of espionage.

This is what even calm, clean campaigns generally do on a very broad level. But what would motivate leaders and politicians to backstab their own constituents, fellow opinionated citizens, and potential voters with very personal attacks and lies comprised of nothing much else than insults and name-calling?

I will leave it at this:

Adults, if you want to attract my generation, our votes, or our loyalty, please quit acting like toddlers.

How Was School?

Government's role in education is changing for the worst. Choosing leaders carefully is essential to prevent this catastrophic transformation.

Government’s role in education is changing for the worst. Choosing leaders carefully is essential to prevent this catastrophic transformation.

How was school?

That traditional question mothers and fathers ask whenever a student arrives home from a long day at school is a question that voters should start asking themselves, particularly in the race between David Bradley and Rita Ashley for the State Board of Education (SBOE).

With ever more government involvement in education, parents—in other words, concerned citizens with a massive personal stake in the state of public schools—should evaluate what and how schools are teaching their youngsters. Disruptive and controversial leftism infiltrates even small, rural schools, spoon-feeding blatantly liberal social concepts as fact to trusting elementary-age children.

The advent of C-SCOPE and Common Core coupled with the disappointing mistreatment of the Kountze Cheerleaders in 2012 and the 2013 Lumberton Burqa incident brings these issues closer to home. Throughout the United States and throughout Texas, children are forced into politically correct molds designed by leftists for leftists.

No matter if they are bound for the local school board or the United States Senate, leaders wield enormous influence in whether schools will produce revolutionaries or educated graduates; thus it is imperative to choose a trustworthy candidate who can vouch for your child’s rights and your local school’s independence from central planners.

One crucial election concerning education features long-time conservative David Bradley against the out-of-place, left-leaning Rita Ashley. Even Texas liberals recognize that Bradley is a major asset to the average Texan parent: “Losing David Bradley would be a huge blow to the conservative bloc…” (Houston Chronicle 12/23/2013)

While Bradley, endorsed by Texas Right to Life and other pro-life organizations, has a consistently pro-life record and advocates for such a stance in public schools, Ashley is closely linked to and supported by Wendy Davis’ biggest fans. The rigidly anti-life curriculum and worldviews currently in public education are catastrophes that Ashley would not only refuse to oppose, but perpetuate.

Bradley is a liberal’s worst nightmare and a student’s advocate: rather than edging closer to leftist teacher’s unions, Bradley has faithfully fought for Christian students, beneficial standards, stronger curriculum, and a true atmosphere of free speech in schools rather than politically motivated academic oppression.

On election day, March 4, 2014, ask yourself, “How was school?”

Think hard, and ask your child too—it probably wasn’t very good, and it probably was not to your satisfaction. Public education’s many obvious problems can either be perpetuated or solved, and a vote for the latter will be a vote for David Bradley.

 

report card COLOR 2014A copy copyWho else supports David Bradley? Check out his endorsements: 

Conservative Republicans of Texas

Gun Owners of America

Texas Alliance for Life

Texas Home School Coalition

Texas Right to Life

Young Conservatives of Texas

U.S. Congressman Randy Weber, District 14

Robin Armstrong, Texas Republican National Committeeman & former Vice Chair,

Republican Party of Texas

Cathie Adams, President, Texas Eagle Forum; former Chair, Republican Party of Texas

David Barton, of WallBuilders, former Vice Chair, Republican Party of Texas

State Board of Education Chairmen:

Chase Untermeyer

Don McLeroy

Gail Lowe

Barbara Cargill, present chair

Cynthia Dunbar, former SBOE member from Fort Bend County, Liberty University Advisor to Provost

 

For more information about David Bradley, visit BradleyforTexas.com

 

 

Our Fallen World

God has given us a glorious creation, but it is often covered by the curse of sin.

God has given us a glorious creation, but it is often covered by the curse of sin.

When you live in the country, you see many beautiful things: bright skies, majestic trees, colorful birds, and gorgeous landscapes. Sometimes it is hard to believe that our world is under a curse. But it is.

We keep chickens, and last year around this time we had twelve baby chicks the we put in a pen. They loved being outside and pecked the grass non-stop, frolicking in their chicken ways. They hated it when they had to be brought inside, so one night we decided to let them sleep in the open.

That night our dogs, led by the infamous Clare d’ Sneak, crept in and murdered the trusting chicks in their beds. The little chickies did not fear their guards and did not stir until it was too late.

Instantly, the beauty of life was plunged into the despair of death. Why did they have to die? Why did we not stop them? What went wrong? Is it our fault? Mom says that dogs are examples of disgusting behavior. I’m sorry to all dog lovers, but you have never seen a group of country dogs going in for the kill. Or for entertainment.

Everywhere around us is the glory of God stained by the curse of sin. Our world is sick, and it is our fault because of our bad choices and our sin. Because of this, death is prevalent, and creatures who should help each other tear each other apart.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by all the evil that drenches our world. What can we do to stop those who are slaughtering each other?

Well, it seems like nothing from here. But whatever we can do, we should. This world and all of its death is only temporary, and will soon pass away. But the good that you do will last forever, long after all the scandal and curse is forgotten.

So, like it says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Don’t give up! The nightmare will soon be over. Do your best, and do not be discouraged.

Old Glory: McDaniel’s Error

It is one of the most precious emblems of freedom in the world; the embodiment of our spiritual heritage; the representation of our historical sacrifices for liberty; a tribute to the men and women who gave the ultimate price for freedom: the American flag. Yet today it is cheapened—nay, mocked—as an attention-getting political device upon which Wayne McDaniel, candidate for Hardin County Judge, hangs his offensively-placed campaign signs.

Wayne McDaniel's disrespectful use of the American flag as an attention-getting apparatus to hold political signs.

Wayne McDaniel’s disrespectful use of the American flag as an attention-getting apparatus to hold political signs.

Old Glory, as it is sometimes called, is more than just a piece of cloth. It is blood, sweat, toil, and tears, justice, freedom, equality, and loyalty: no matter who is in the White House and no matter what party controls Congress, the American flag still represents these sacrifices and ideals—something that cannot be changed.

Respecting the flag sometimes seems silly, perhaps even trivial. However, flag etiquette is far from arbitrary: when the flag is displayed or handled, it is the physical representation of America and lives lost in its defense. That is something easily understood, and hopefully, easily remembered.

Occasionally our flag is disrespected or burned: a deliberate show of hatred not necessarily against America, but what the flag historically stands for. Occasionally the flag is forgotten outdoors: usually a careless misunderstanding or apathy. Occasionally the flag is misused, as it is made to represent ideals that it does not, parties that it cannot, or people that it is not meant to represent.

This is why Wayne McDaniel is wrong.

The flag code (Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 8, i) bars the use of advertisements on a flag pole or halyard that is flying the American flag, which is one reason why McDaniel is inconsiderate in his using the flag’s halyard as a mere campaigning contrivance.

Hoisting McDaniel’s cheesy red and white campaign signs to the same halyard as Old Glory is false advertising. McDaniel’s sign does not represent blood, war, and courage. It does not stand for justice and freedom. The white outlines of the letters do not stand for purity. Most of all, it does not, and cannot, stand for America. Likewise the American flag does not represent the McDaniel campaign.

McDaniel’s breach of flag etiquette may have been unintentional, but it takes only common sense to understand that using the flag for advertising purposes is improper. McDaniel, a bureaucratic administrative officer in the Sheriff’s office, should understand flag protocol, making his disregard of etiquette even more blatant and appalling.

On election day, remember: the flag represents the blood of soldiers, the courage of patriots, God’s justice, America’s blessed freedom, and a special sort of governmental purity that is hard to remember and even harder to live up to. Make sure that your vote reflects what our flag represents.

Circus Comes to City Hall

LUMBERTON – For a limited time only, a locally-based amateur circus is offering a free show at the Lumberton City Hall.

Featuring clowns, magicians, contortionists, and animals of all kinds, the circus is comprised of talented local folk. Visitors describe it as being a one-ring format, but with multiple performers and a variety of acts. Rumors have it that the show is purposefully in conjunction with Lumberton early voting.

Clowns, wearing brightly colored clothes and dramatic expressions, mingle with the crowd and even hand out trinkets, papers, and balloons.

IMG_3874

A collection of clowns waits for guests at the City Hall’s temporary circus.

“Oh, they’re hilarious conversationalists! So talkative, so nonsensical, so fantastical—all this made up stuff, as if they were talking gibberish,” said Earl Boater, who had never voted early before. “It was definitely worth it.”

The contortionists were particularly well-liked, as one spectator described.

“The clowns and the magicians just gathered ‘round those bendy folks,” Betty Clark said, “Obviously they were the most popular of the performers.”

“They were stretching the physical bounds of reality and truth with the contortionist tricks. It was absolutely dazzling the way they could stretch, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say they didn’t have a backbone!” added Liz, a faithful early voter, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

Magicians, many attendants say, were also quite stunning as they played tricks on early voters and curious onlookers.

“Pointed questions, riddles, muddy references, and so much more,” said Buddy, who isn’t old enough to vote yet, but found out because of his job at Dairy Queen close to City Hall. “I had the time of my life trying to understand them and the tricks. One day I’d like to learn how to do that.”

Children were advised, despite the otherwise kid-friendly show, to avoid the animals, quite a few of which had not been trained and were not caged. Parental guidance was suggested for the snake exhibits and dog show.

“Yeah, the prize pigs are sometimes prone to sling mud around,” said one circus performer, “I would stay away from them if you want to keep clean.”

If you or your family would like to visit the circus, it will make a reappearance on March 4 of this year, with a possible summer review, and the another performance in November.

 

Dangerous Pest Infestation Threatens Beaumont

BEAUMONT – A reporter pit has been discovered in a vacant local building, a revelation that has worried both pest exterminators called to address the situation and local residents.

The reporter pit, which the journalists called the “hideout”, was characterized by excessive drinking, pity parties, and Organizing for Action campaign events. Investigators noted that the pit was an extremely dangerous place for conservatives or political candidates in general to enter.

“We found the bones of several campaigns discarded outside, including the Romney 2012 campaign and the Ron Paul campaign for president,” said a law enforcement officer, “There are signs that the victims were beaten brutally in editorials and headline news.”

The reporter pit is constantly buzzing with activity, and in this picture, is "packed out" with "standing room only."

The reporter pit is constantly buzzing with activity, and in this picture, is “packed out” with “standing room only.”

“I always knew that the Beaumont Enterprise had problems,” said a Beaumont local, a reader of both the Houston Chronicle and the Enterprise. “Now I understand why all of the local television journalists and talk show hosts always acted like they were drunk.”

“These pests are harder to get rid of than mice, sting more than a wasp, and they can hide like snakes. They’re a real problem,” said a professional exterminator called to address the situation.

“This election season has provided a perfect climate, the perfect atmosphere, for this pit to thrive. I can only hope that a conservative victory will drive them away, or at least make them a tad less confident,” said the exterminator.

The reporter pit is expected to remain, and the stolen building may have to be demolished if the pit continues to thrive. Exterminators working in conjunction with the owner of the property have found it difficult to vacate the captured building-turned-saloon, mostly due to the excessive flashes, cameras, tripods, computers, and printers preventing them from entering safely but also because of the pests’ tendency to plaster updates about the attempts on every media outlet within reach.

“But the upside is, if a political candidate is annoying you, just toss a forged campaign document in there, close the door real quick, and watch them have fun. Just like a little kitten or something, playing with its prey,” continued the exterminator.

The pit is said to have a negative effect on Southeast Texas journalism, but experts note that there are such pits throughout the United States. In fact, the hideouts have become particular problems in New York.

Law enforcement officers have not made a statement on the hazardous pit, but did mention that cautious citizens should have nothing to fear.

Ted Cruz Visits Spindletop, Touts American Energy Renaissance Act

Ted Cruz speaks about his American Energy Renaissance Act to a crowd of reporters and energy workers.

Ted Cruz speaks about his American Energy Renaissance Act to a crowd of reporters and energy workers.

BEAUMONT — Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a “conservative rock star” and one of the most well-known Republican legislators, today released information about his American Energy Renaissance Act (AERA), a law that would expand U.S. energy exports, stop EPA overreach and Obama’s war on coal, prevent federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and force Congress and the President to approve harmful EPA regulations, as well as improve domestic refining capacity.

At GladysCity, a museum in the form of a village that celebrates Southeast Texas’ heritage in oil and gas, the Senator’s press conference was at a fitting location. Cruz stated that on the tenth day of the twentieth century the Lucas Gusher officially began the Spindletop oil boom. The discovery propelled the United States, and particularly Texas, into energy-plentiful modern life and improved the financial status and living conditions of people around the world.

Cruz drove the point home with the simple question, “Can you imagine doing that [hydraulic fracturing] in San Francisco?”

Pointing out that Texas’ gentle regulatory environment allowed it to account for Texas prosperity and job creation in the oil, gas, and electric industries, Cruz noted that although the President considers raising the minimum wage a method to secure financial success for entry-level workers, in reality “Obama’s minimum wage is zero dollars … for all the unemployed people.”

The American Energy Renaissance, as Cruz calls it, of hydraulic fracturing has occurred mostly in North Dakota and Texas, where regulation is minimal. “The American Energy Renaissance did not come from Washington,” Cruz said, “It came from the American people.”

Cruz and his fellow speakers George Strake, former Texas Secretary of State, and Railroad Commissioner David Porter touched on the fact that entrepreneurship, not Washington mandates, brought about economic success and a higher standard of living.

After describing the havoc Washington has wreaked on the coal industry and its workers, Cruz said that the “most catastrophic” threat that the EPA had hurled was to further regulate hydraulic fracturing, a crucial aspect of American energy independence and the Texas economy.

The AERA, Cruz explained, would approve and build the Keystone pipeline and streamline the process of approving other nationwide pipelines and international energy infrastructure. The AERA would also support passage of the REINS Act, “a separate piece of legislation not included in this bill, which would require congressional approval of all major rules and regulations.”

Cruz concluded that the EPA’s current regulations are nothing compared to what they plan to do. “What will be most harmful is what the EPA threatens to do.” The American Energy Renaissance Act would not only limit the federal government’s interference, but would spur a drop in energy prices, boost the economy, and provide the jobless with work, something that the American people are in desperate need of. Ted Cruz intends to make D.C. listen.

Chosen ones: Passage of time

Gino & Opal

Opal and Gino held a small meeting in the living area of Opal’s house. “I don’t like this, Opal. I have an uneasy feeling about this.” Opal shook her head. “The princess is counting on us, Gino! We have to find her!” “How?” Gino, always practical, countered. “Swim the watery depths of the core? Even if we didn’t drown, we would be killed seven times over.”

Opal, with all the solemnness a young girl could muster, answered “If I did not know you, I would think you a coward.” Gino, a dark haired shepherd boy of about twelve, sighed. “Out of the mouths of babes. So I am scared. This is madness. I am loyal to the king, and I despise this tyranny, but I cannot justify sacrificing everything on a hopeless attempt. Besides, this is foolish to speak of. What could you, a three year old with the vocabulary of a student, and me, a simple shepherd, do? I can think of nothing.”

The girl gazed at him quietly. “Neither can I. I would probably be in trouble for the rest of my life from my parents if I tried to do anything amazing or deadly or something.” Gino sighed and rolled his eyes at her language, but she continued. “We have to do something. The passage of time is approaching. We have to act before it is over.” She stood, looked about her, and then her eyes went blank. Gino jumped to his feet. “What is it?” He shouted, half shrinking into the shadows.

Suddenly the door flew open, and the secret police burst in. “What is this?” The chief yelled. He recognized Opal and scowled. “It’s the little witch.” Opal’s eyes grew wide with fright, and Gino jumped out. “Leave her alone!” The man grabbed his arm and pushed him back. “You’re under arrest for plotting against the queen.” “But we’re just kids!” Gino protested, looking as confused as Opal. “All offenses will be punished. Come!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A boy laughed as he made his way into the hall, soaking wet. “Auntie Julietta? I’m back!”

A young woman left the room and gasped as she beheld the dripping teenager in the center of the room. “Caro! Why didn’t you get the clothes out of the wet room? You know that…” She looked as if she was about to say something, then resumed her speech. “Nya doesn’t wish the carpet to be wet.”

The youth laughed again. “Aunt Julietta, everything’s wet. I’ve been wet since the day I was born. And I had already used all of the dry things. I had to come in here to get them.”  Julietta’s face was sad, but she sighed and tried to smile. “Oh, all right, go find some new things to get into. I suppose you went out on the boat.” Caro had disappeared, but he yelled back “That’s right. I’m becoming the best pilot down here.”

He reappeared, with a lonely look. “I’m also the only pilot down here. Aunt Julietta, can’t we move somewhere where there’s more people?” Julietta sighed and said nothing. “Please, aunt Julietta. Who were my parents? Why do we have to live alone?” “I can’t tell you that now, Caro. Dinner will be done soon, and I have to get the table ready.”

Time had been kind with our brave girl. Though fifteen years had passed, Julietta had submitted to her life as bravely as possible. She had grown tall and fair haired, with grey eyes that seemed to see through what was happening. She said little to anyone but Caro, but when she did speak it was as if she had thought carefully before opening her mouth. She was a stark contrast to the deadened and faded Nya, who spoke, and people listened with trembling. She had been forbidden to tell Caro who he was, and what had happened. But she had told Caro the things that few of her countrymen knew.

She told him how the creator had given them the gifts of life, and a place to live, food to eat, and special gifts. She told of their forefathers, who had given up immortality for a shallow lie. And she told him that he was special. Every day it was becoming clearer.

Julietta saw more than ever that Caro had been given strength. If he put his mind to it, there was nothing that he could not accomplish. Under the gentle instruction of Julietta, he used it to pilot the small boat through the mysterious core. But if Nya took that power, it could be disastrous.

Nya did not suspect in the least that Julietta was anything more than what she said she was. So far she had done her orders quickly and without murmur, but Nya still found fault with her. Every time Nya visited her “project” she found fault with the girl.

Her loathing was not because Julietta was lazy or dull or disobedient, but because she bore herself like an angel, and Nya was painfully conscious of whom she had been whenever she saw her. For that reason she would have gotten rid of the girl except that she was incompetent to raise Caro herself, so instead she simply avoided them. But her visits were becoming more frequent.

Nya saw with pleasure that her experiment was working. The boy was becoming strong; soon he would be stronger than her. And that meant she must take him for her service.

But first she had to get his nurse out of the way.

 

Generational inheritance

When a father hands down something to his children, that is good, right? He can tell them about all that he has seen and heard, and they will in turn tell their children. But what if he doesn’t?

What if what he hands down is nothing but compromise? What if instead of truly believing what he says, what if he is just saying what he has heard? Do you think that his children will believe?

This was the world of the early judges. The fathers did not believe, so the children did not either. They heard the works of YHWH but never saw them, nor did they see any change in their parents. Each generation was more corrupt than the one before it, until they were as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah.

Why did this happen? Because of the disobedience of those who came before. The tribes came in ready for battle. In the beginning, they worked together and were strong. They conquered their enemies and drove them out. But then, something changed.

Judges 1:27-28 Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages, for the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely.

They stopped working together, they stopped trusting God, and did not destroy the idolatry that was going on in their ‘backyards’. Because of this, and of their lack of faith, they became worse than the pagans.

The point that I am trying to prove is this: Listen to God, and live what you believe. Future generations will be shaped by this one.

Falling Stars

There, it happened again. The actor, singer, star became bored and decided to do something awful to get attention. Oh, and look. The sports hero has lost his game to another. Where are our heroes?

It’s interesting how much we idolize one another. Why is that person better than us? Because they are popular? Beware, if that is your foundation. Popularity is a fickle thing, it comes and goes as the tide, and it is unpredictable. Talent? That is something, but there is always the fear of the unknown. You might be hurt and never play again. Beauty? That fades (in the world’s eyes) over time. Eventually your stardom will crumble, and you only live for what others think about you.

In the animated movie Bolt, Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus) is a girl who has everything: a great career, popularity, fame. But it costs too much. Her dog, Bolt, has never been able to play like a dog should. And when he goes missing, her agent callously tries to replace him with another. But no one understands the world behind the scenes: a lonely girl who misses her only friend there.

Unfortunately, life is not a Disney movie. Most stars do not just quit. They live on the admiration of their fans, and feel pressured to do something to earn attention. Like displaced teens trying to be noticed, they do, well, stupid things. They become addicted to things like alcohol and drugs, or act inappropriately.

That is the world behind the scenes: a sad, wicked world where people live only for themselves and what others think of them. It is a hopeless world. In all the glitter, there is a community of people crying out for attention, who desperately need a savior.

Penny’s actress would have done well to remember her part in Bolt. Maybe it would have saved some heartbreak. Or maybe not. We never are told what “could have happened.” We must only gather up the pieces of the falling stars and try to explain to our children that their heroes are no longer heroic.

Global Warming

It seems ridiculous right now for people to talk about ‘global warming’ or it’s new name, ‘climate change’ in the middle of a Texas Spring. In other words, it is February, and it is under 80 degrees. Here. It is most likely under 8 degrees in other places, which brings to light an interesting contrast.

The south is flooded with snow. We simply have no idea what to do with it. Back home in North Carolina, there were two accidents with people I know because of the snow, and one of them is serious. People are griping and freezing, and what does our government talk about?

Climate change?

It seems silly, and it is. Instead of talking about how to recover from the “Icepocalypse” as my friend Rachel calls it, we must dither on the fact that somewhere, ice is melting…in Southeast Texas, for example.

That also brings to light the poor ‘global warming’ scientists that were trapped in ice, because they were trying to study the effects of the massive heat wave on Antarctica. Apparently it wasn’t as warm as they hoped.

The real state of the planet is that our earth goes through different phases of cooling and warming routinely. There are many different factors for this, including volcanic activity and tides.

Proponents of global warming say that we should take care of the environment, and I agree. We should be good stewards of the earth God has given to us. But trying to scare people into doing it by sticking on ‘climate change’ isn’t going to help.

Sibling Rivalry

What does this post’s title make you think of? Your family? Joseph and his brothers? Your constantly fighting neighbors? Or even (in a REALLY messed up situation) Amnon and Tamar?

Sibling rivalry is when siblings, brothers and sisters, have big fights. But it can also mean when your thoughts aren’t consistent.

Imagine your beliefs as a family. In  that family there are different members, and in a worldview there are many different thoughts. When you try to explain your worldview by attacking one of your own statements, it is called Sibling Rivalry. I did not make this up, I actually learned about it in a book by Gregory Koukl called Tactics.

Sibling rivalry is rather comical to watch. In the book, Mr. Koukl mentioned two instances where a person mentioned how God couldn’t allow evil, and then in the same breath said that good and evil are relative. The arguments do not agree—like squabbling siblings they take each other out instead of supporting the point.

Unfortunately we fall into the trap of attacking ourselves regularly. We say that things are wrong but refuse to make people repent of them. We say that murder is wrong but also say that taking life is not murder, therefore defeating the purpose of the argument. We say that we are the one body of Christ, but fight among ourselves over things like Baptism. It is an easy trap to fall into, and soon we are stuck in the ridiculousness of contradiction and cannot come out for fear that others will laugh at our blunder. So we get mired in our silliness until we are put to shame.

We need to take a strong stand. We can no longer afford to defend our ideas by destroying them. We are making the church look like a fool because of our compromise. The sibling rivalry must stop!

Until we can stop attacking ourselves, we are not credible in the eyes of the world. How can we be the light of the earth if we keep fighting amongst ourselves on the most trivial of things? How can we be God’s witnesses when we cannot say a good word to our brothers and sisters because they hold a slightly different view of theology? How can we be the moral compass when we refuse to tell people that they are sinful?

Titus 2:7-8 “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

Reaping What You Sow

What one gets at harvest-time depends on what one plants.

What one gets at harvest-time depends on what one plants.

Meghan is my pal, and I’m proud of that fact. She befriended me the very first time she met me; I cherish her friendship.

She is much younger than I am, but that matters little. I’ve never given much thought to my friends’ ages, much less chosen them because of their ages. For most of my life, I’ve adopted friends older than I am (sometimes old enough to be parents or grandparents).

My pal Meghan holds the same convictions about age. Imagine my delight when she presented me with a most precious gift, a Barbie-doll coat hanger, among other things, and a plastic zebra. It brought a smile to my face because I clearly recall giving similar gifts to my older friends when I was around her age. As my toy animals were very important (big emphasis on very) to me, it gave me an idea about how much this gift meant. Probably more than most things she could give.

It occurred to me that I’m reaping what I sowed—seeing the returns on my long-time investment, so to speak. Although my harvest will not be entirely good, it does bear witness to the fact that the little things come back to you. In my case, it came back to me on earth.

“You reap what you sow” is usually a solemnly interpreted phrase, something likely mentioned when a father corrects his son for misdeeds or irreparable harm has been inflicted on a friend.

I’ve noticed that the phrase has an almost universally negative connotation. The Bible has much to say about getting what you earn (check out Galatians 6:7, Job 4:8, Luke 6:38, Mark 4:24, and Proverbs 22:8, for instance). These verses are far from negative, although for some deeds and for some words, it can be taken as a warning.

Seemingly insignificant things, like baking cookies for a friend, sending a hand-written card in the mail, making a point of talking to someone, or giving gifts for no reason will not only make someone’s day, but will one day make yours–just like Meghan made my day.

 

 

Taxes: Financial Plagiarism at the Point of a Gun

Plagiarism is a vice. Some might argue that copying work without acknowledging the author could even be a crime. Stealing the academic or intellectual accomplishments of hard-working students or commendable authors is unjustifiable maliciousness, sprouting from a desire to be seen as something other than reality—or from the wayward motivation of sloth. Stealing another person’s physical property, whether that property is gifted or hard-earned and self-acquired, is obviously a sin, as is the theft that is plagiarism. But other than both being sins, plagiarism and physical theft are not much different; bureaucrats and taxation bear many similarities to the sly college student slipping in some stolen sentences.

Excessive taxation is an effort to deny reality, a plot to mask the future and a trap to disguise the present. It is oftentimes the product of lawmakers’ laziness when lowering the budget would be too inconvenient. But most of all, it is a low-risk chance of wrongfully benefiting from the work of others.

Plagiarism is usually committed on unsuspected laptops and inconspicuous notepads, but taxation is everywhere in the public sphere—because taxation is the public sphere. (Government cannot raise any revenue other than the income pilfered from private sector operations.) Government’s main life-blood is taxation, and government’s only assurance of funds is force. A tax means a law, a law means government, and government means force; plagiarism is quiet and unassuming, but taxes are bold thefts. You can oppose them, but you cannot refuse them.

Taxes are plagiarism in a physical sense. In a bid to save the day and make the deadline, lawmakers will likely throw new taxes into their enchanted cauldron brimming with cronyism. While plagiarism merely pains and perhaps harms the author, taxes altogether deprive the worker of the fruits of his labor. “Copying” in a literal sense is impossible financially.

All the same, taxes are the unacknowledged use of someone else’s paycheck—whether to halt impending doom or alter the appearance of reality. Plagiarism is an undesirable and insidious malice attributing the work of one to a thief. It is still little more than a wrongful copy-and-paste function. Taxes are massive transfers of physical property representative of labor, distributing the work of one to the hands of one undeserving.

The power to tax is little more than the ability to financially plagiarize.copy and paste

The Power of Music

violin and sheet music

Our family has small children, so it is no surprising that we watch quite a few animated movies. Though these movies are for younger children, it is often us older ones that muse on them for the longest time. In animated movies, Music plays a big part in the narration.

Music is often used to carry a feeling. It can convey the weightlessness of flying, the gloom of a bad decision, the strength of family. We don’t usually notice the score of a movie when we watch it for the first time, but the more you watch, the more you discover.

Even children’s movies have a theme, an idea that they want to convey. If the theme is family, then the music, the scenes, the action all work together to make the strongest point they can. In two movies that we have watched recently, we have noticed the use of a song in the course of the narration to cover a painful subject and a long period of time. We call them “Titanic” songs, because you can foretell the effect of the character’s actions in the song on the rest of the film.

One of these, from the Lorax, is aptly titled “How bad can I be?” In this song, one of the characters falls from ambitious inventor to heartless billionaire. My dad remarks that it is interesting that in the song, he really does prove “how bad could this possibly be” and thinks that the song is applicable to anyone who tries to justify his actions. In another, two sisters are forced apart by an accident. The younger sister pleads to be accepted and loved by her former best friend by asking “Do you want to build a snowman?”

We call these “Titanic” songs because they are often painful to watch. You know that the character/characters will be hurt by their actions, but you want to keep watching to see the ending, hoping that it will turn out right. And of course it will, because it’s an animated movie.

Music has the power to ease pain, to inflict it, or to bring peace, to take it away. The power of music is seemingly endless. That is why it is so effective in breaking your heart.

The case for secrecy

top secretWith all the news today, things that were supposed to be kept secret are often revealed, sometimes with devastating results. Secrecy is looked down on. But there is a time and a place for secrecy. Think of the Christmas Story. Imagine if, when Joseph was told to flee from Egypt in the middle of the night, Bethlehem news ran a story on the flight  the next morning. Herod would love it, of course. Secrecy is important.

Our founding fathers knew the value of secrecy. Obviously battle strategies only work if they are secret, secret attacks would be pointless without the first word. And the conventions for making the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were secret of necessity.

The Declaration of Independence was kept secret because if the British knew where the men who were writing it were, they would go in and arrest them. However, the war was over by the time that the Philadelphia convention was called. But secrecy was no less important.

The events of the Philadelphia convention to create a new constitution were kept a strict secret for a very good reason. Basically, the reason was to keep the delegates from being interrupted by public uproar every time a new rumor was heard. The delegates knew very well that their work would be talked over and argued over and fought over until the nation was worked up. They wanted to be able to make decisions without having to explain themselves to everyone outside.

Secrecy was pressed upon everyone. Washington didn’t write about the proceedings in his journal, even though there was probably no chance of it being read, because he knew the significance of secrecy. The delegates even had to elect a companion for Benjamin Franklin whenever he went to parties, for fear that the talkative man would mention the proceedings of the convention. One of the delegates was careless enough to drop his copy of the suggested resolutions on the street outside. Happily, Washington found it, but he was extremely upset that one of them would be so careless.

According to the story, Washington stood up at the end of the day, told the delegates how important the secrecy was, and threw the copy on the table. Telling them where he had found it, Washington told the owner to come and take it, then left the hall. No one admitted to losing his paper, but the guard was kept extra vigilant afterwards.

Secrecy is something that is not wanted right now. We chafe against the fact that we do not know some of the things that the government does. I suppose that the people back then did too. Imagine the surprise of the people when they discovered that the convention had created a whole new constitution instead of modifying the present state of things, laws called The Articles of Confederation. And the constitution was one of the best documents, in my opinion, that was created by the government in this country.

Secrecy can be important. But even when everyone else is surprised, the men who wrote the Constitution knew that God sees in secret, and most of them, I’m sure, wished for God’s blessing on the new nation that needed it so dearly.

The Great Divide: the Final Verdict

After a thorough examination of the detrimental gap between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, as well as what should be done to rectify this ideological mishap, the final verdict must be recapped.

 

  • Churches should talk politics. Politicians should talk church. The right to free speech is an important one, and it can’t be curtailed for fear of “offending” someone. This unspoken social law is one that we should ignore; it is contributing greatly to our current desperate leadership situation as well as the “great divide” itself.
  • Christians should realize that the church’s duty – caring for the poor – cannot possibly be relayed to the state. From a Biblical perspective, this is not desirable; from a fiscal conservative view, it is unconscionable. The remedy to this confusion is simple for Christians: talk politics and examine everything from a Biblical worldview.
  • Most of all, it’s important that fiscal conservatism rests firmly on the principles of social conservatism. One without the other is like a bird with one wing – functional to a degree, but unable to get off the ground. Without the acceptance of Natural Law (based on the existence of God and a conscience), fiscal conservatism is meaningless.

Dream of My Forefathers

The American Dream has been around for centuries -- and signing this Declaration was something done to preserve the principles of that dream.

The American Dream has been around for centuries — and signing this Declaration was something done to preserve the principles of that dream.

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires,” leftist author John Steinbeck noted. Steinbeck’s portrayal of the optimistic and hardworking attitude characteristic of Americans bears witness, albeit negative, to the phenomenon known worldwide as the American Dream. Demonstrating a profound steadfastness to individual liberty, the United States’ founding paved the way for a culture of mind-boggling multifariousness—a melting pot of nations and races, as British playwright Israel Zangwill denoted of his metaphorical cousins in the United States. Elements in the melting pot are always adding new traditions and holidays to the mix. Jewish immigrants brought Hanukah, Catholics from Europe introduced Mardi Gras, and the Irish presented the States with another increasingly prevalent custom, Halloween. Every American has a different opinion on holidays and their accompanying traditions, but all Americans have one custom in common. The melting pot Zangwill described created possibly the only aggregate tradition of the United   States: a fire that a craving for liberty ignited, the American Dream is the greatest and most widespread tradition in the nation.

The American Dream predates the United States itself. A spiritual predecessor to the lofty aspirations later citizens and immigrants would enthusiastically accept, the seemingly modest hopes that explorers and colonists had for this continent encompassed the Old World. Offering endless possibilities, this newly discovered plot of earth attracted adventurous folk and persecuted sects from Europe and beyond. Despite the likelihood of death and disease, former farmers and merchants turned courageous trailblazers trekked into desolate stretches of wilderness where common sense mandated that none venture. No settlers were waiting to escort them to a new home, no army existed to protect them, and little else but hardships and personal tragedy were anticipating their arrival on this million-mile swathe of unknowns. Hopes for freedom for children, grandchildren, and generations to come drew them to the shores of what others dubbed a hardscrabble dernier cri. The first wave of explorers, settlers, and colonists died away. The Dream they left behind lived to become the oldest American tradition.

No matter the synonyms for the American Dream, the inspiration is the same: an innate desire to do what one was born to do, to accomplish that lifelong purpose with felicitousness, and to execute one’s goals uninhibited. Evidenced by its prosperity, the United States promised the chance to work towards one’s dreams. Foreigners with hopes became Americans with a reality. Unlike the gradually accepted St. Valentines Day, Christmas trees, or Easter eggs, immigrants harbor the American Dream long before they make the United States their home. The poorest of the poor can afford this tradition, a heritage not physical or ancestral. Distinctly universal, the American Dream has something for everyone.

The Dream of the first Americans was a burning desire for a free and independent nation. Tyranny and persecution, the plight of unfortunate millions flocking to the States, did not stifle a longing for adventure and success. Persecution strengthened the longing. For others, America’s only worthy offer was an abundance of precious metals and land. The nature of the American Dream is forever the same, but the manifestation of the Dream is always changing. Every man, woman, and child cultivates a unique Dream: owning a business, attending college, marrying, buying a house, or becoming a scientist, for example. Rather than merely nebulous, the American Dream is more individualized than any other tradition on the face of the planet.

Young children oftentimes insist that the best tradition is gift-giving on Christmas, fireworks on New Year’s Eve, or candy on Halloween. These children have yet to learn that the American Dream, one of the most glorious guardians and motives of liberty, the most individualized and numinous of all customs worldwide, and the most universal habitude in this nation, is the greatest and most beautiful American tradition. But to preserve this inherently American custom, we must defeat totalitarianism, the enemy of all hopes and all success.