Ella: A New Miniseries

 

Ella, starring Avery Danielle, Frank Bolton, Sophie Hannah, Andrew Stecker, Joshua Boertje, Michael Sung-Ho, Martin Brady, and Michael Swan.

Ella, starring Avery Danielle, Frank Bolton, Sophie Hannah, Andrew Stecker, Joshua Boertje, Michael Sung-Ho, Martin Brady, and Michael Swan.

 

Last week the first episode of Ella, a new adventure miniseries, was released on Vimeo.

The award-winning creators of the series—writer and producer Eric Johnson, producer Scott van Dalen, and director Zac Anderson—wanted to craft an impactful, unforgettable story.

“My favorite part of telling stories is the impact they can have,” Johnson said, “I want to tell stories that are inspiring and impactful.”

Ella’s dramatic cinematography, compelling plot, and strong dialogue serve as clear indicators that Johnson, Anderson, and their team succeeded.

“I’m not quite sure where the original idea for this show came from. I wanted to write a story about photographers, so I just sat down and started. That’s how I came up with the concept. From there, I ran the idea by Zac and Scott, and we made the idea bigger and better,” said Johnson.

The story begins as Ella, her friends, and her sister are celebrating her 23rd birthday with a hike into the woods; the group is taking pictures and having fun. (Except Dave, who’s mad that there is no cell phone service in the middle of nowhere.)

“Low key, quiet, and photography,” turns into something far more sinister. Ella sees something through her camera lens that is out of the ordinary: two murderers and their victim.

After seeing what Trev, the leather-clad gunman, doesn’t want them to see, they hikers have to run for their lives. And they all have choices to make. Ought one of them to take the car and leave the others behind? Is there even anything to be done?

Ella has the option of running away from the scene and abandoning her friends, or risking herself to save the others. As the disaster unfolds, she decides to try to find out what is important to the gunmen in pursuit and why they were there in the first place. The story is very much one about characters and their selflessness (or lack thereof):

Johnson continued, “The theme of the show is a very important aspect to me, but not a lot of people ask me about it. The theme of Ella is selflessness. Every character is either selfless, selfish, or somewhere in between. Ella, our hero, represents one extreme while our villain Trev represents the other.”

Ella is an intriguing example of how Christian filmmakers can branch out into new genres and tell a story–from a Biblical worldview–without resorting to cliché plots or preaching a sermon.

You can watch Ella here. (Please note it probably is not suitable for young audiences.)

Heroes and Cowards

Kyle&MooreMuch has been said recently about the new Clint Eastwood directed film American Sniper. A lot of good. A lot of bad.

The film tells the story of Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American History.  Kyle served four tours as a Navy SEAL in Iraq, accumulating 160 confirmed kills.  His actions saved countless American soldiers.

Some of the film’s more famous critics include comedian Bill Maher, actor Seth Rogen, and director Michael Moore.

Rogen equated the movie to a Nazi propaganda film and Maher made multiple comments about Kyle being a “psychopath patriot.”  Michael Moore, the keyboard warrior that he is, tweeted saying “We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”

Let’s break all of this down.

Seth Rogen, the man that makes movies full of vulgarity and pot-smoking deadbeats, is criticizing a film that shows the reality of war and tells the story of a man that protected American troops from terrorists.  He’s probably just jealous that his new movie was all but forgotten when American Sniper premiered.

Bill Maher is a comedian.  A controversial one at that.  He makes his living by saying things that many see as offensive.  He mocks patriotism and the military.  He can do this because people like Chris Kyle protected his right to do it.

I’m not even sure where to start with Michael Moore.  The ball-cap wearing butterball is claiming that snipers are cowards. He’s criticizing someone who shoots enemies that can’t shoot back.  But, apparently, Mr. Moore doesn’t understand how war works.  If you get a chance to have an advantage over your enemy, you take it.  You can’t call a man a coward just because he’s more advanced than his enemy.   Well, I suppose you can when you’re Michael Moore.

But in more recent news, the Islamic terrorist group ISIS showed the world its true face.  And suddenly nobody’s pointing out Chris Kyle’s flaws.  You see, ISIS killed Christians.  ISIS beheaded 5 year olds.  ISIS drenched a man with gasoline, locked him in a steel cage, set him on fire, and filmed as he screamed and flailed until he died.

And yet Kyle’s critics are silent about all of this because even they can’t deny that his actions pale in comparison to the death and destruction that ISIS is causing.

They’re silent because it’s not edgy to criticize terrorists.  Bashing a lifesaving American soldier keeps them relevant.  Condemning evil doesn’t.

The FDA: All About Fads

Widespread dietary issues in the United States don't need to be subjected to more federal interference, but rather, less.

Widespread dietary issues in the United States don’t need to be subjected to more federal interference, but rather, less.

Hundreds of lawsuits, thousands of fuming activists, an entire government administration, dozens of significant Congressional moves, and even proposals to cap the size of sodas have resulted from America’s supposedly offensive eating habits.

 

Advocates of government intervention are all too quick to find a problem (currently the most hyped-up issue is the obesity epidemic) and demand that Washington, D.C. address the situation by throwing money at it, assigning a few Congressional-Chief-of-Staff wannabes to a federal administration, and tossing a couple hundred tactical Barney Fifes in the mix for good measure.

 

After successfully shooting down decent education standards and methods, punishing men and women who chose to risk their lives serving our country, butting into medical matters, squeezing between manufacturers and consumers everywhere, and regulating everything from chemical elements in dish soap to the size of seat belts, it was only natural that the federal government would also insist on meddling in what Americans are and are not allowed to eat.

 

The Left despises almost everything American, and yes – that includes diet.

 

The “obesity epidemic” and the rise of weight-related health problems in the United States is definitely a problem, but Washington bureaucrats aren’t the solution and never will be. Government can only do a few things in any situation: tax, subsidize, ban, ignore, or talk about a given problem.

 

For years now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has adopted a policy of doing each and every one of those things to different foods, manufacturers, and corporations –it isn’t a game of chance, nor is it a matter of what’s scientifically or nutritionally better for the American people. Everything is decided by lobbyists’ money.

 

Government taxing, subsidizing, or banning a product almost always has a negative effect, but it can get worse. When lobbyists introduce cash and the bureaucrats accept it, the American people end up with a corrupt stronghold of special interests dollars fighting against their best interests.

 

Limited consumer options, wealth redistribution, and high food prices are the best the federal government has to offer; the only true solution to America’s dietary woes – if they can be called woes – is to permanently do away with the middleman between consumers and food: namely, government. Allowing free market forces to prosper is the only solution to the problem.

 

Constitutional Authority: Zilch

 

First and foremost, the federal government has no constitutional authority to interfere with food: the Tenth and Ninth Amendments strictly prohibit it. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” reads the Ninth — meaning that even though there isn’t an amendment specifically regarding federal regulation of food, you still have the right.

The Tenth Amendment is fairly self-explanatory: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The FDA has no legal right to exist in the United States.

 

Central planners, the only beings that can make adequate food choices.

 

The very concept of central planners – particularly in the area of diet, food choices, and food manufacturing – defies everything that modern liberalism claims to support. Specifically equality, diversity, and justice.

 

If the entire nation (except for the gifted minority running the FDA) is deemed incapable of making its own dietary choices, the left’s “equality” façade becomes apparent. Big government in and of itself assumes that a nation is an institution full of sheep-like citizens so dull they cannot be trusted to make a satisfactory decision about what’s for dinner. Central planners are not the only adequately equipped beings on the planet that can make food choices – although that’s a stretch, because it has yet to be decided if central planners as individuals are capable of making decent dietary choices.

 

The definition of liberty: “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” One’s way of life most definitely does include eating habits. Even from a textbook-defined point of view, the FDA curtails freedoms and intrudes where it’s not welcome.

 

FDA: all about fads

 

Central planners are not only against equality, liberty, and property, they’re corrupt. And they’re government, meaning that they are first in line to accept politically correct standards and fads.

 

The FDA never does promote food safety; it promotes political correctness. In the 60s and 70s, Washington began promoting eating less meat, eggs, and dairy; in the 90s, it began pushing carbohydrates and low-fat options. Currently the government is attempting to promote more vegetables and whole grains.

 

If you sense a flip-flop, maybe that’s because there is one. Knowledge is constantly changing, the scientifically proven and nutritionally ideal diet is always morphing into something new.

 

When it’s considered that what may be assumed as healthy at the moment may actually be tantamount to poison, it makes even less sense to have a central planning organization that bans certain foods and promotes their “safe” and “healthy” alternatives.

 

Barney Fife, revisited

 

barney fifeWhoever thought it was a good idea to give milk regulators machine guns? The FDA is more than a nuisance, it’s a dangerous nuisance. If you start to sell raw cheese or unpasteurized milk, expect a visit from the FDA’s modern-day equivalent of Barney Fife.

 

When government micromanages citizens’ lives, it fosters a police-state mentality. Evidenced by federal sting operations on Amish farms and food co-ops, personal food preference is a crime with the FDA. Importing your food may land you in jail; eating your favorite cheese may be a federal crime; bringing your own lunch to school could be a no-no with stiff consequences.

 

Diet is one of the most personal aspects of life on earth: religion, lifestyle, health problems, preferences, allergies, and price ranges define what a person eats. When government mandates what is allowed and what isn’t, whether raw milk is bad for you or if organic food must be certified, the state eliminates possibilities and violates the inherent rights of mankind.

 

The only solution

 

In the 70s, the FDA’s pet peeve was heart disease; now it’s the obesity epidemic. No matter what the case, the problem could be solved not by more government intervention in what Americans eat, but by less. Fewer regulations means lower food prices; lower food prices means more healthy eating options (for those of us with less grocery money than Michelle Obama has at her disposal).

 

A free market allows you to eat what you want, when you want – but you have to pay, and you have to face the consequences of your decisions.

 

In the end, the lawsuits, fuming activists, and insanely unworkable proposals about banning fast food or GMOs, keeping raw milk illegal, or mandating “nutritious” school lunches is unjustifiable totalitarian baloney.

 

Parental Rights: Streusand vs. Babin

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

When the people’s representatives cease to fight, freedom ceases to be. In a famous quote by Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

“We stopped fighting back against the left’s attacks,” said Liz, of Lumberton, “Freedom ends wherever the apathy starts.”

Who has what it takes to stand against Washington and its invasion of local schools and to stand up for home school freedoms and parental rights?

Who has what it takes to stand against Washington and its invasion of local schools? Who can we trust to stand up for home school freedoms and parental rights?

With the advent of Common Core, the Department of Education’s antics, sweeping education “reforms,” and standardized testing, private schools and home schooling families are faced with the possibility that the educational freedoms they campaigned for, fought for, and sometimes even faced legal consequences for could disappear.

In the similar battle for parental rights, liberals are forever trying to gain the upper hand; through political tools like CPS, they might one day succeed. Even in Texas, educational freedoms and parental rights are under fire: CSCOPE revealed a threatening trend in public schools’ curriculum, while legal situations including the Tutt family’s plight show that the battle for a family’s rights is waging even at the local level.

As John Philpot Curran said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”

Unfortunately, not many representatives in Washington are vigilant.

Every session, hostile congressmen introduce bills that would abolish academic freedom as we know it.

As the Texas Home School Coalition’s (THSC) President, Tim Lambert, has mentioned numerous times, candidates who agree with freedom are no longer enough; we need those who are willing to fight for freedom.

One of the crucial races in our area is the runoff between Congressional candidates Ben Streusand and Brian Babin. While Streusand opposed CSCOPE as Texas chairman of the pro-home schooling organization Americans for Prosperity, Babin’s record and position on the detailed aspects of academic freedom and parental rights are unclear at best.

Streusand and Babin are examples of the fault line in the Republican Party: tea party vs. establishment. The difference between Streusand and Babin is the difference between a vocal, passionate representative and a silent, behind-the-scenes Washington shadow who exists to occupy a chair.

Streusand has received the endorsement of numerous pro-home schooling organizations, among them a difficult-to-obtain stamp of approval from the THSC.

While Babin would sit quietly in his Capitol Hill office building, Streusand intends to fight from the very start, beginning his war on cronyism and corruption with a vote against John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

Streusand—who has made it painfully clear where he stands on issues like the Department of Education, state-mandated testing, and CPS overreach—is willing to fight for Texas from the minute he takes office.

At this point, voters should ask themselves not just what a candidate believes, but also if he will fight for those beliefs. Brian Babin (despite having home schooled for a few years) doesn’t have what it takes to stand up for Texas home schooling families or for their parental rights.

As President Reagan said, freedom is never more than one generation from extinction—if on May 27 voters choose Streusand to be their representative, perhaps oppression can be held at bay for another two years: Streusand is the champion for home schooling rights that Congressional District 36 needs.

 

 

Too Many Ribbons, Too Little Time: No-Show Babin Strikes Again

Babin withdrew his scheduled presence at the Tri-County Tea Party's forum (presumably to avoid debating his opponent) for a ribbon-cutting elsewhere.

Babin withdrew his scheduled presence at the Tri-County Tea Party’s forum (presumably to avoid debating his opponent) for a ribbon-cutting elsewhere.

For the fourth time, congressional candidate Brian Babin cancelled a scheduled public appearance —a move that is frustrating Tea Party supporters who want to hear both sides of the race.

Hosted by the Tri-County Tea Party, the May 12th event has been planned for months. Babin withdrew from the event with only a few days to spare. The cancellation has disappointed many of his supporters, undecided voters planning on attending, and particularly the group’s members, who continue to point out the investments of time and money that were poured into the now-futile event.

The Tea Party’s leader, Aubrey Vaughn, noted that the spaghetti dinner and forum has been in the works for over three months; the Tea Party had contacted the campaigns in early to mid-April, when both of them confirmed their presence at the event.

Babin’s campaign contacted the Tea Party on Friday—three days before the event—and deserted the group for a ribbon cutting in less challenging territory.

“He’s a fair-weather debater,” said Lynn, a Lumberton resident, “He can’t hold his own against Streusand and he seems to know it.”

“Is this becoming of someone who wants to serve? The issue here is above politics. People attending these events are not just his opponent’s supporters, they are his very own. There are still undecided voters who have made it a point to attend events where he hasn’t shown up,” said a spokesperson for the Tri-County Tea Party.

Many of Babin’s supporters maintain that it’s a commonplace scheduling conflict, not an unusual occurrence considering the hectic lifestyles of politicians up for election. Others are suspecting a pattern.

“It’s the fourth time a public event like this one has been cancelled. Is it just me, or is Dr. Babin afraid to face his opponent?” said Elizabeth.

The four cancellations have not only earned Dr. Babin the nickname “No-Show Brian,” but have also been described as a “near dereliction of duty” inappropriate for the “real East-Texan” image that his campaign has been desperately attempting to convey.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vaughn explained that the show must go on: Mr. Streusand is intending to keep his commitment and will still make an appearance despite Dr. Babin’s last-minute decision.

Babin vs. Streusand: on Obamacare

ben streusand

Streusand speaking at the Texas Tea Party Tax Day event on 4/16/14

“Obamacare is not about improved health care or cheaper insurance or better treatment or insuring the uninsured, and it never has been about that. It’s about statism. It’s about expanding the government. It’s about control over the population. It is about everything but health care,” said conservative paragon Rush Limbaugh.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has been one of the most divisive political issues of all time. Even before the 2008 presidential campaign, the PPACA began polarizing Washington and establishing an even greater precedent for redistribution in healthcare—and ultimately, in nearly every area of life.

Republican leadership has often bowed to democrats on the issue, even after regaining control of the House in 2010. Despite being in relatively early stages of enactment, Obamacare’s morally unconscionable mandates, exorbitant taxes, and crippling regulations are motivating taxpayers around the nation to reconsider their choices on the ballot and to search for bold representatives who will challenge the damaging law.

With congressional candidates Ben Streusand and Brian Babin in a May 27 runoff, voters in Texas Congressional District 36 are seeking a representative who will fight the healthcare debacle at every turn. Babin has made it evident that not only will he yield to corrupt house leadership, he also merely wants to superficially alter the democrat’s pet project.

“Redistribution and centralization are two powerful poisons, detrimental to freedom and economic progress in even small quantities,” said one Lumberton voter, “Obamacare should be weakened and diluted everywhere possible, but the only thing that will spare the United States is a complete defunding or a full repeal.” 

Babin’s constant promise to “pull the teeth out of Obamacare”—signifying that instead of repealing or defunding the law he wants to salvage a trainwreck—pales in comparison to Streusand’s fiery vow to fight Obamacare even when it means political retaliation. 

“Obamacare is having a real and lasting impact—one of totalitarianism and government control. Future generations are going to be faced with our mistakes, trapped in a quagmire of state dictates. We have precious little time left before a full repeal is possible. It doesn’t matter if a representative will vote for defunding or repeal, what matters is if they will actively seek to achieve this end and if they are willing to fight for this cause,” said Sharon Clark, a home schooling mom deeply involved in the political sphere.

As Clark pointed out, a superficial alteration in a draconian regulatory fiasco accomplishes little and demonstrates a deep weakness in the Republican Party.

“I will pull the teeth out of Obamacare,” Babin repeatedly claims, saying little else other than that he “knows” what he’s talking about because he’s a dentist.

Streusand, on the other hand, has intensely affirmed his willingness to fight for a complete repeal, no matter the political or personal consequences.

“America needs a full repeal,” Streusand said, unafraid to back up his words and oppose the House establishment.

“The first vote I’ll make in the House will be against Speaker John Boehner,” he added, in contrast with Babin’s weak statement claiming he will not “attack fellow Republicans.”

Overall, a promise to “pull the teeth out of Obamacare” and a refusal to “attack fellow Republicans” sends a signal that Babin is hesitant to fight for what his campaign ads say he believes in.

“I truly decided to support Streusand when I heard him say that when or if he goes to Washington, he intends to step on a lot of toes and irritate a lot of people. A few minutes later, Babin spoke and explained how he wouldn’t ‘attack fellow Republicans,’” said Jill, who lives in Lumberton.

Obamacare is still very much an issue with southeast Texans—Houston’s impressively numerous medical facilities lead the nation in technology and research, yet Obamacare threatens to suppress the innovation that makes up a large portion of CD 36’s economy. Working families, young entry-level workers, and the elderly alike have a personal stake in supporting Streusand, who fiercely opposes PPACA and its principles.

Ronald Reagan proclaimed that socialism would be left on the ash heap of history—while Babin is apparently reluctant to cross House leadership and discard one of socialism’s primary introductory laws, Streusand is not only willing to do so, but fighting for full repeal. Voters are more than likely going to make the distinction on May 27.

BBC Announces New Show, “Doctor Whom”

The Doctor in an English and literature classroom, featured in an exciting preview of BBC's 2015 series.

The Doctor in an English and literature classroom, featured in an exciting preview of BBC’s 2015 series.

LONDON—Late Tuesday the British Broadcasting Corporation, best known as BBC, released its 2015 plans for Doctor Whom, a show about an adventurous and grammatically fascist English Ph.D.

BBC revealed that “the Doctor” will travel through all time and space to correct bad grammar, part of the Labour Party’s push to improve educational aspects of the publicly-funded news organization.

A sneak peek of the first episode shows the Doctor traveling to 15 June 1992 to the United States, in an attempt to alter Vice President Dan Quayle’s spelling of “potato.”

BBC’s Doctor Whom has been hailed by critics as grammatically revealing, particularly since the Doctor’s greatest weakness is his tendency to overreact to double negatives and subject/verb disagreements. This element of the Doctor’s personality is shown in the preview of an upcoming episode, where he and his vehicle—a time machine disguised to look like a metal filing cabinet—are stranded in 19th century rural America.

The Doctor’s name is apparently a secret, but the main character’s “one constant companion” is “sentence diagramming.”

Future exploits of the Doctor will include encounters with space aliens who often use incorrect forms of your and you’re; a much-lauded visit to 10 Downing Street; and a battle with the stubborn inhabitants of Fleet Street, who refuse to acknowledge the correct use of possessives.

English majors are enthusiastic about the show’s New Year’s Eve debut in 2015, but critics are unsure of Doctor Whom’s chances.

“Americans don’t want to be told to spell ‘neighbour’ with a ‘u,’” said one critic, speaking of the show’s potential popularity with Yankees, “But I think we can all agree that this show will probably be more popular with Britain’s language arts majors than any other science fiction series of all time.”

District 36: Texas Needs a Champion

Texas Congressional District 36Congressional District 36’s runoff between Ben Streusand and Brian Babin is the subject of controversial and acrimonious debate. Whilst Babin supporters decry Streusand as a furtive finagler and “Washington insider” set on “buying” a House seat, Babin is lauded as a honest East Texan who has spent most of his life within the arbitrarily drawn district lines which allegedly bear cultural and ideological significance. (Or so say Babin’s supporters, who impute these qualities to the administrative borders.)

Meanwhile, Streusand—who has spent two decades studying political figures, honing his debate skills, probing into laissez-faire economics, and working with the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity—is not only underestimated, but attacked for qualities and experience worthy only of praise.

Supporters attempt to portray Babin as a working man’s hero and a conservative steady. Babin is an honorable man, and as far as ideology and policy goes, a fairly faithful conservative. However, there does seem to be more to the story.

While it’s clear that Babin isn’t comparable to Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, or Eric Cantor (any such comparisons or attacks are merely speculation), research makes evident that Streusand is the more dependable and strategic of the two—and as a plus, Streusand’s economic knowledge makes him a firm favorite from a Misesian standpoint.

True to the last

Babin and Streusand hold many things in common; in the past both of them have had governmental leadership positions, but the similarity ends there—these men responded to their roles in dramatically varied manners.

Appointed in 2002, Streusand served on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and in 2011 became a member of the Texas Pre-Paid Higher Tuition Fund’s board of directors. Raising taxes a total of six times—and on one occasion by as much as 187%—Babin apparently betrayed his conservative principles during his time as Woodville’s mayor, city councilman, and later as a member of the Lower Neches Valley Authority.

As far as policy, positions, political actions, and votes go, the Babin camp can find nothing substantial with which to attack Streusand—who can best be described as “true to the last.”

Only a pea shooter?

In matters of economic knowledge and ideological thought, Streusand holds a strong advantage over Babin. Economic arguments will be at least one crucial factor in these candidates’ effectiveness in Congress, equipping them with the ideological strength they need to oppose Washington’s debacles. Sending a man with little or no economic knowledge to Congress is like sending a soldier armed with a pea shooter into enemy territory.

Streusand, as his volunteers are quick to add, places a high priority on explaining why he believes what he believes. Well-versed in 20th and 21st-century free enterprise economists, he is familiar with not only Misesian theory but the Austrian School of Economics, Adam Smith’s theories of capitalism, and likely the most relevant Washington issue, the ins and outs of the Federal Reserve. He is well-equipped for the hostile environment in the House.

Principles should not be whimsically accepted, but carefully considered and adopted when reason and morality point that direction. Streusand is the one candidate who appears to have a tangible, logical reason for everything that he supports and additionally, an argument to defend his logic. In campaign speeches and elsewhere, he points to economic concepts, principles of Common Law, and God-given rights that define his standpoints.

image

The Constitution is not the reason for conservatism, nor should it be treated like one: it’s the supporting evidence for the real reason, and a restraining order for those who would ignore it.

Meanwhile, Babin points to “constitutional” rights and constitutional rights alone. If a piece of paper (albeit an important one) is the one thing that defines Brian Babin’s arguments and political views, it does not bode well for his potential constituents. Constitutional arguments have severe limits: chronological, practical, and logical. Men are fallible and don’t last forever. The same goes for their documents—it’s one reason why conservatives cannot live on Constitutional arguments alone. As a result, Babin would likely be short work in a House floor debate.

The Law of Association

Finally, the political “Law of Association” gives one last contrast between Babin and Streusand: endorsements, supporters, and issues. Who endorses a candidate, who supports a candidate, what issues the campaign brings up, and how the candidates attack the other reveals a plenitude of between-the-lines political knowledge.

The Beaumont Enterprise is head over heels in love with this man's ideology. If Babin is what he claims to be, what does the Enterprise see in him that's worthy of an endorsement?

The Beaumont Enterprise is head over heels in love with this man’s ideology. If Babin is what he claims to be, what does the Enterprise see in him that’s worthy of an endorsement?

For instance, in 2008 the Beaumont Enterprise endorsed Barack Obama, the most left-leaning U.S. President of all time. In 2012, they endorsed democrat Max Martin for Congressional District 36, the same seat in question on May 27. It should raise a red flag—or perhaps several—that in 2014, the publication has endorsed Brian Babin and is willing to show shameless bias in his favor.

Babin has an impressively lengthy list of endorsements, but there’s nothing impressive about the content.

On the other hand, faithful conservative organizations with prestigious endorsements have shown sincere support for Streusand: Gun Owners of America, Texas Alliance for Life, Pro-Life Nation, and the Texas Home School Coalition are only a few of the reliable nationally operative organizations that have stood behind Streusand and his liberty-oriented positions on gun rights, abortion, and education (to name a few).

Babin attacks Streusand for the location of his residence; Streusand attacks Babin for tax increases and ideological flaws. Babin plays to partisan emotions when he calls Streusand an “outsider” for living outside district lines and an “insider” for having economic and political experience; Streusand appeals to those interested in real and relevant issues. What a candidate attacks is the inverse of what he will defend. Going by what his campaign attacks, Babin seems to have adopted a formula for increasing political tension and strengthening establishment cliques. Streusand, however, should be commended for refraining from personal attacks and focusing on only Babin’s policy blunders.

Good, Better, Best

With even allegedly “conservative” legislators bowing at the altar of cronyism, with lawmakers yielding to the forces of government oppression, and with even the people’s advocates surrendering to corruption and despair, Texas needs a champion to represent the people of District 36. On May 27th, it’s important that you vote not only for a good man, but for the better man—vote for Ben Streusand.

 

The School Bus to Cuba: Far From Magic

The school bus to Cuba?

The school bus to Cuba?

A dictatorship’s existence hinges on one thing: controlling the people. The most obvious means is through capturing the attention and support of children and teenagers; advocates of big government have been eager to embrace the younger generation, and the chief method by which they can obtain support is through the public education system.

“The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda – a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas ready-made. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens,” H.L. Mencken described.

“It may seem conspiratorial to assume that the American education system is involved in a concerted effort to indoctrinate students,” said Jill, a Texas homeschooler, “But every new education ‘reform’ makes it seem less and less like an attempt at political correctness or open-mindedness and more like a deliberate measure to mold the next generation into something only a totalitarian would want.”

With the advent of Common Core and the Department of Education’s centralized debacle, schooling in the United States is going through a metamorphosis which can hardly be described as freedom-friendly.

Creating a compulsory education law is the first step; then comes eliminating alternatives to public education. On a global level, what does a totalitarian education system have in common with the Department of Education?

One of the Nazis’ first moves was to outlaw most youth groups; they replaced them with the mandatory Hitler Youth, an organization that existed for over twenty years and replaced social activity, religion, and sports for many young Germans. The compulsory program claimed an entire generation for its own.

When the Soviets took over East Germany after World War II, “right away, the Soviet occupation force banned private kindergartens …” as Anne Applebaum described in her book, Iron Curtain. Rewriting history textbooks was the next move (after snagging all of the toddlers and sending a great deal of “fascist” teachers, who refused to teach Marxism-Leninism, to the Gulag or leftover concentration camps).

The Soviets, quite literally, hijacked any and all youth gatherings within its territory. When the Hungarian Catholic youth group Kalot, a popular alternative to Madisz, (its state-run counterpart) refused to yield control to the communists, its leaders were arrested and sentenced to labor camp.

Chinese education is described as having “no distinction” between propaganda and indoctrination—and the state keeps a tight grip on children and teenagers, giving them a carefully thought-out diet of propaganda and political rallies from their first day in school.

In Cuba, one of the first moves after the Revolution was to nationalize all schools. The Communist Party of Cuba created the Unión de Pioneros de Cuba” (Union of Pioneers of Cuba). Without joining the Pioneros, Cuban children cannot attend school—furthermore, schools encourage students to turn in their parents if they overheard a conversation about government or other “illegal” activity.

The list of seized education systems could go on.

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education,” said Albert Einstein. Especially in light of Common Core, most schooling, particularly social studies and liberal arts, is little more than rote drill, regurgitated speculation, and reformulated history. If anything can get in the way of learning, it would be forcing students to memorize nonessential information—and particularly since academic success and the student’s career are contingent on doing well on said standardized test.

Texas would do well to back out of the entirety of the federal education system, although that is well nigh politically impossible.

Leftists know well that few forces can eliminate the resistance like a dictator-friendly mandatory education system. President Barack Obama can be justifiably classified as a leftist, but he still does not qualify as a dictator; the federal government’s education system may be sympathetic to communism and nauseatingly politically correct, but it is not comparable to the “Union of Pioneers” just yet, though it must be noted that there are plenty of similarities between the two systems.

However, that does not mean that parents, students, and citizens should not keep an eye out (government thrives on neglect), nor does it mean that the federal education system does not have the potential to follow Cuba’s example.

While D.C.’s attempt at education is a miserable failure in an academic sense, it is far from conspiratorial to say that bureaucrats and left-leaning special interests groups have been successful. The school bus to Cuba may take a while to get there (it isn’t magic, after all) but for sure it’s on its way.

If Texas is to remain free, public education must be kept under close watch. At this stage in the game, the best thing for children and their freedoms might be to abolish the current system altogether.

Marcus Agrippa and John Valastro

pantheon

There’s no difference between Marcus Agrippa using slave labor to build the Pantheon and Lumberton officials forcing citizens to pay for a recreation center — except, no offense, Agrippa’s building looks way better.

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt,” said John Adams, our nation’s second President.

Wallowing in profligate excess, the federal government has done its part to shackle the next dozen generations of Americans to elephantine financial obligations accumulated from decades, almost a century, of politically-motivated interventionist detritus (i.e., Wall Street bailout, the stimulus façade, poverty reduction programs, social security).

Government officials are quick to approve pork-barrel projects—for instance, a recreation of the Pantheon in Lumberton, the sidewalk to nowhere in Kountze, and the Ford Park debacle in Beaumont, all of which are taxpayer-funded, multi-million dollar whims. Legislative bodies from Congress to City Council are hasty to approve lavish budgets that rob Peter to pay Paul, and as the saying goes, these demagogues can count on Paul’s vote.

Put simply, government, no matter how local, has no authority to construct domes, theaters, towers, or contrived projects like bike trails in rural Southeast Texas, because as John Locke explained and as Thomas Jefferson believed, life, liberty, and property are intertwined rights. When one of them is absent or curtailed, the others are also threatened.

Property rights are in mangled condition, considering the federal government is run by Keynesians—but this means more than just citizens are losing money.

Earning money takes time: when money is taken, time itself has been stolen. Property is an extension of the earner’s being. When government decides to take such-and-such percentage (all taxes added up, this could mean a nearly 75% rate), a citizen has lost jurisdiction of days, weeks, months of his time—and if anything, this is an encroachment on the right to life and liberty itself.

Using tax dollars to construct a Performing Theater Arts Center is no different from Marcus Agrippa using slave labor to build the Pantheon—a legal theft of a man or woman’s time.

Municipal, county, and federal governments tossing around a million here and a billion there seems normal these days, but government is entirely incapable of generating revenue on its own. The money so carelessly squandered on special interest grants and insane building projects is not “government” money in any capacity, but private sector funds.

“Government funds” seems official, authoritative, and legitimate, but in reality, “government funds” are nothing more than the product of what French economist Frederic Bastiat called legal plunder: the legally required and protected taking—theft, plunder, pilfering, purloining—of a man’s time and money.

The Bonanza Era: Southeast Texas Sawmill Heritage

An early sawmill in Texas

A logging operation for an early east Texas sawmill

Winding through rows of grayish, unpainted clapboard houses, miles upon miles of alternately dusty and muddy streets buzz with activity: ragged, mop-headed children—coming to or from playtime on the railroad cars and mill ponds—trot in flocks to their collective destination; lanky, grim-faced loggers, who make an honest living but live a tough life, rush away from a screeching whistle signaling that work is over; and housewives watch the chaos as they attempt household chores, despite the airborne sawdust forcing itself into “every nook and cranny.” The sweetish smell of pine logs paired with the natural Texas humidity and the steamy sawmill fog made for a trademark industry odor.

Just 100 years ago, this was the face of southeast Texas.

Logging was an unbelievably large facet of both the United States economy and the southeast Texas economy.

Before the Spindletop oil boom from 1901 to the late 1920s, logging constituted the primary economic pursuit of southeast Texas. Eager entrepreneurs in search of financial success transformed the entire economic outlook for Hardin, Newton, Jasper, and even Jefferson counties.

Recognized mostly for their proximity to major local cities Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Houston, small towns including Kirbyville, Evadale, Silsbee, and even Lumberton owe their existence to the Bonanza Era of Texas sawmills—a period of unprecedented Texas dominance and involvement in the lumber industry, from 1876 to 1917.

Texas is and has been predominantly successful in raising livestock. In modern times, pumping oil and gas has also been an economic forte in the Lone Star state; but for the past 150 years, the lumber industry has also fared remarkably well.

One of the top three logging and lumber-exporting states during the Bonanza Era, Texas has remained among the top ten lumber producing states. The Piney Woods region and the Big Thicket near the eastern border of the state have contributed much to Texas’ excellent lumber statistics, more so than any other area of the state.

Many Texas sawmill towns (corporately-owned communities usually sponsored by the mill’s owners) have disappeared entirely, becoming ghost towns inhabited by surprising numbers of tourists, curious locals, and historians. However, a number of them are still existent and thriving today.

While many sawmill towns have vanished or dwindled to nothing, in some instances the centrally located mills, which once comprised town centers, have survived despite the absence of a surrounding village.

The Voth sawmill can still be seen today, on the banks of the Pine Island Bayou.

The Voth sawmill can still be seen today, on the banks of the Pine Island Bayou.

J. Frank Keith’s 1902 sawmill located in Voth, on the banks of Pine Island Bayou and mere yards within the Jefferson County border, is visible from Highway 96 going from Lumberton to Beaumont. Because of the 2,000,000 acres of dense virgin forest that once covered what is now known as southeast Texas, over six hundred sawmills were in existence simultaneously at one point during the Bonanza Era.

Hardin, Tyler, Polk, Newton, and Jasper Counties were covered in highly profitable stumpage (log measure of uncut trees or logs), to which landowners interested in farming gladly sold the logging rights to nearby sawmills. Jefferson County, however, was a far cry from its heavily-forested northern counterparts.

W.T. Block explains in his book, East Texas Mill Towns and Ghost Towns, “Jefferson County has a most unusual sawmill history, not because of any great forest which stand within its boundaries, but due to its proximity to the Neches River and its tributaries, Sabine Lake, and the Gulf of Mexico.”

The sawmill building on the banks of the Bayou was a relatively large one, a 50,000-foot operation provided with logs from Saratoga. A newspaper later reported in November 1904 that:

…The mill is logged from Stutts on the Warren, Corsicana, and Pacific Railroad in TylerCounty. The logs are hauled from Stutts to Warren, 22 miles, and thence to Voth, 32 miles distant, a total distance of 54 miles…A new dry shed with a capacity of 1,000,000 feet of lumber has just been put up. The logs at Voth are dumped into Pine Island Bayou and are used when needed… 

The Kirby Lumber Corporation, the founder of which is responsible for the construction, existence, and names of many local sawmill towns (including Kirbyville), purchased the Voth sawmill in 1924. In 1948, the mill was still operating at a 75,000 feet capacity and continued until 1952, when the Kirby Corporation consolidated much of its milling operations.

The sawmill, which many residents still drive past on a daily basis, was the last significant sawmill in Jefferson County to shut down—and with it died many of the tight-knit but easily unraveled industrial communities accompanying the era.

Detailing sawmill towns of the Bonanza years, Thad Sitton and James Conrad described in Nameless Towns, “Mill-town children grew up using their heavy-industry surroundings as a playscape. They walked the rails, visited the depot to meet passenger trains, clambered about on the elevated dollyways after quitting time, rode the big draft horses in the corral, tobogganed down sawdust piles, chased each other leaping from stack to stack of lumber air-drying in the yard, walked logs floating in the millpond, stole handcars from the shop and pumped them about on the rails, went on moonlit courting walks down the railroad tracks and across the lumberyards, and otherwise enjoyed the mill town and its environs. For children and adults alike, the millpond did double duty as a center of recreational life, which included fishing, swimming, frog-gigging, and even dancing.”

The Bonanza Era was a time in which thousands of Texans spent their childhoods in such communities; in fact, many elderly southeast Texans can remember—although not necessarily having lived in them—the sawmill towns once abundant in Hardin County. The cultural impact of sawmill towns and the highly influential lumber industry has shaped the local identity.

While the lumber industry remains an enormous force in the Texas economy, it bears little resemblance to the miniature empires established by men like John Henry Kirby. Even as recently as the early 1990s, lumber was a leading industry in Texas. The Bonanza Era is over—but the impact it made on southeast Texas life can never be forgotten.

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.

 

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

 

 

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.

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.

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

Icepocalypse Traumatizes Texans

Over three hundred Southeast Texans have ended up in the hospital due to the arctic weather that froze water on these flowers.

Over three hundred Southeast Texans have ended up in the hospital due to the arctic weather that froze water on these flowers.

 

SOUTHEAST TEXAS – A weather phenomenon so rare in Southeast Texas that it has been deemed a “once-in-a-century” occurrence, a trail of snow and ice left by a polar vortex has shut down must commerce and nearly all roads.

 

Most Texas residents have never experienced such inclement weather in their lives.

 

Long-time Lumberton resident Donna Wanto Becolde said, “It swept through here on Thursday night and Friday morning, and all the while it was basically a blizzard of snow and sleet and freezing rain. Approximately a quarter inch of frozen stuff bombarded the Lumberton area. It’s a wonder that I live to tell the tale.”

 

Texas law enforcement officers have been seeking out Southeast Texas residents to ensure that they were still alive in the 33 degree weather.

 

“Why, we was about to go swimming when all of a sudden, the temperature ducked below 72 degrees. I think my daughter might have gotten frostbite,” said a concerned Silsbee father, detailing the surprising beginning of the incident.

 

At least three casualties have been reported from the “icepocalypse” or “snowmageddon” – as inconvenienced and suffering Southeast Texas individuals have dubbed it.

 

“One man walked outside, and unbeknownst to him, the temperature was a lethal 49 degrees. His last words were ‘What is this feeling?’ as he collapsed to the sidewalk – by then strewn with cold raindrops,” said the man’s neighbor.

 

Despite the casualties, traffic disasters, and power outages associated with weather below freezing, most Southeast Texans have survived. Approximately three hundred have ended up in the hospital because of the weather. One woman suffered a heart attack after seeing a snow flurry.

 

Authorities have already assured citizens that counseling will be available to traumatized residents who have endured experiences that include the sensation of sleet falling on one’s head, being forced to turn the heater on, and other such uncalled-for cold weather problems.

 

“It’s far from over,” continued Donna Wanto Becolde, “We’ve still got a lot to deal with before the temperature returns to a reasonable average … I can’t remember having experienced a winter this cold.”

 

The National Bible Bee

The National Bible Bee is an event that starts in the summer, with families who signed up in the spring receive their boxes of materials the first couple days in June. The box contains an official Bible Bee t-shirt, a list of verses, and an age-coded study for each contestant. Also, if you so choose, you also receive a bible in your translation, or you can donate them. Parents receive a parent guide as well.

Kids from 7-18 can compete in three different age categories, Primary (7-10), Junior (11-14), and Senior (15-18). The contest comes in two stages, the first being locals. In order to compete in a local bee you have  to find a host in your area. Sometimes people have to travel for hours to make the meeting, but it’s worth it. A host site, usually a church or a school, is also needed.

Children are given a book to study and 24 verses to learn, two per week in the 12-week study period. These numbers are always changing, but the foundation in charge, Shelby Kennedy, named for a young woman whose last wish was to memorize scripture, is always trying to make the study easier, more precise, and more competitive.

At the local bee, children must fill out a written test about the book and some verse knowledge, and then do an oral recitation round, where contestants recite the verses the judges ask as word-perfect as possible, to receive the most points. The host feeds the scores to the national headquarters.

Out of the combined score of the written test; which is multiple choice, the contestant’s final score is determined. At the headquarters, a computer or something picks the top 100 scores of each age division and reports to the host and the family. This process usually takes a few days. This year, 120 were picked, but more than ten never come.

Then the contestants are given a much bigger task, at least 100 more verses. They also have to make their own study guide of another book. This study period is also shorter—little more than 11 weeks to learn a lot more material. Then the contestant must travel to the nationals location, next years is Orlando FL. (By the way, this is information known only by Nationals contestants) The trip can be long.

This year’s was in Tennessee. One girl I interviewed, Emily, drove from California. She said that she had done the contest since year one, and that the test was easier than the locals. I personally disagree with that, but she had been there before so I’ll take her word for it.

Several people I talked to had worked with HSLDA to campaign for Cuccinelli  in Virginia, among them I found a girl who was a lot like Rachel. People from Alaska, Michigan, California, Texas, Oregon, and other states were all there…a vast multitude.

Friends are made. You laugh and talk with these people, get to know them. It’s a really amazing experience, and I hope that others will be able to experience it too.

I didn’t make it to the semi-finals and I’m happy about that. The contest gets really intense, with one mistake knocking you out, on 10-20 verse passages. But the whole atmosphere is just so friendly and vibrant, that you sometimes forget the contest, or the two-mile-long hallway to get to your room.

The Bible Bee creates incentive to learn verses, and to watch these 6-8 year olds quoting scripture…it’s just awe-inspiring.

Life in 2113: Accurate Predictions

For hundreds of years, people have made predictions by analyzing data and attempting to trace trends. The rate of innovation, meanwhile, has astounded onlookers and shattered expectations: the founding fathers assumed it would take approximately a thousand years for civilization to reach the Pacific Ocean.

100 years from today, it's hard to predict what will be going on. But it is fairly certain that what you are reading will happen.

100 years from today, it’s hard to predict what will be going on. But it is fairly certain that what you are reading will actually happen.

 

For 2013 historians, guesses dating back to the 1930s or 1860s merely provide a good laugh (check out this 1930s video) If the best predictions are the funniest ones, it matters little how likely the situation may be or even if the situation is possible. The world of 2013 must maintain the tradition of ridiculous propositions for the future. The generations following ours need this article for reference – or at least for laughs.

 

Here are five predictions for the year 2113.

 

  1. The 19th century slapstick comedy series the “The Three Stooges” will be revered and recited just as Shakespeare is today. Entire theaters, built in period 1930s style, will be dedicated to remakes of the show; drama clubs will perform episodes as plays. Schoolchildren will be required to study the complicated and archaic language and vocabulary of the Stooges. Meanwhile, the incredible table manners of the stooges will inspire the 2113 MP – who will consider the three well-mannered and composed.

 

  1. Khan Academy, a free internet-based education resource for students, teachers, and the general public, has formulated an encouraging problems-for-points systems that is creating an online hierarchy based on the amount of points earned and subjects mastered. When the economy collapses, the KhanAcademy elite will rule the world with their points, establishing a plexus that explains the Star Trek world’s desertion of actual money.

 

  1. In 2113, the average earth family will have two or three space shuttles. If the husband and wife have jobs on different planets, probably more than two or three. Depending on how many children (and if they also have jobs) the family may even own a starship variant.

 

  1. Only the 2113 equivalents of 2013 rocket scientists and nuclear physicists will know, or even need to know, pre-algebra. Advanced mathematics will be tended to by iPhones and homeschoolers.

 

  1. Texas will have formed its own Republic, eventually taking over the entire world. By 2015, the Republic will have been established and will be ruled by President Chuck Norris and Vice-President Ted Cruz. By 2023, the Republic will conquer Europe and the remainder of the U.S. In 2025, the Republic of Texas will give China (existing until 2029)  New Jersey, California, and Greece. This will lead to the collapse of the rogue country, and Texas at that time will claim the rest of the world. Yankees that cling to their traditional noncompliance will be exiled to a large labor camp in what was once New Jersey.

Without The Cacophony

Working in a Congressional Office can be challenging. Fast-paced, sometimes hectic, and almost always noisy, Congressman Steve Stockman’s Washington D.C. Office holds many different opportunities for many types of people – including those who cannot hear the usual office cacophony.

 

Even though they cannot hear, deaf interns come to work with a cheerful attitude, strong work ethic, and big dreams. The interns skillfully feed information into databases, read and sort constituent mail, research legislation, run errands, and much more – their only limitation their inability to answer phone calls. However, many interns are adamant that not answering phone calls is an enormous benefit: “no angry constituents or difficult callers, and no distracting office environment.”

 

Matthew Bennett (on the left) with two other deaf interns at Congressman Stockman's office.

Matthew Bennett (on the left) with two other deaf interns at Congressman Stockman’s office.

Matthew Bennett, the data-entry team leader, is optimistic, and very motivated: “When I first started working here a month ago, I did data entry and very low level work. However, because I was very dedicated and motivated despite the repetitive work, they decided to test me by assigning me to do a complicated Access database development. After I completed the project and several others, I was promoted to data-entry team leader and now manage a team of interns.”

 

Matthew manages and works with other deaf interns – “I enjoy working here, because I get to build my managerial experience,” he said.

 

In addition to his full time internship, Matthew attends college at night, full time and will graduate this December with a perfect GPA.

 

“Before working here, I worked for the Department of Defense for several years … as a Data Management specialist. After working there, I decided that I want to spend the rest of my life working in government … I decided to get my Masters in Public Administration in order to obtain a supervisory position,” Matthew continued, “After my internship is over I would like to pursue a career here in Congress or go back to the Department of Defense in a … position with high level responsibilities.”

 

“Due to limited and substandard education for deaf children available in Tennessee when I was a young child, my mother decided to uproot her entire family and relocate to Colorado to ensure I receive an exceptional education,” He said. “If it was not for my mother’s courageous and momentous decision to relocate despite of so many unknowns, I fear I probably would be living in a trailer park and living off on welfare.”

 

Despite enormous obstacles (some from society and some from people) Matthew has pursued his ambitions and remains an inspiration for others, deaf or not, in the office.

 

Working together and communicating through sign language, the interns are dedicated to their duties. Many of them aspire to careers in Washington. Allara, who knows two languages and is currently studying at GallaudetUniversity, would like to work for the United Nations. Lily says she would like to either work full time at Congressman Stockman’s office or find a job related to information technology. Greg would like to start a business of his own, providing administration services to non-profit organizations.

 

Congressional internships not only offer valuable experience in the legislative process, they provide a chance to become familiar with typical office proceedings. Meeting leaders and learning how to become one as well, these interns are overcoming significant challenges to achieve their goals.

 

Interning with Congressman Stockman in particular offers special opportunities to deaf interns.

 

“My favorite part of working here is the friendly people and learning experiences.” Greg said.

 

“My first impression of Congressman Stockman was that he is a very approachable man, kind to everyone regardless of their position,” Matthew concluded. “This is a very important part of being a leader. Everything he has done since the first day I met him clearly demonstrates his exceptional leadership.”

Approval Ratings Should Not Surprise

Neither Democrats or Republicans like the caving, compromising, and backhanded deals that Congress is so famous for.

Neither Democrats or Republicans like the caving, compromising, and backhanded deals that Congress is so famous for.

Washington’s approval ratings have been plummeting in the aftermath of a two-week long shutdown. While the media took Republicans to the woodshed, the American people demanded that Democrats repeal or defund Obamacare.

 

After kicking the can down the road, Congress’ popularity dropped yet again: a recent Associated Press survey found that a mere 5% of those interviewed were happy with the Senate and House.

 

When asked if they preferred something over Congress, interviewees quickly gave predictable answers. For example: Brussels spouts have held a steady 69% approval rating; lice remain at 67%; colonoscopies at 56%; and cockroaches at 45%.

How the Government Shutdown Affects You

The government shutdown isn't much of a disaster. Obamacare, the reason for the budget struggle that caused the shutdown, is the real problem.

The government shutdown isn’t much of a disaster. Obamacare, the reason for the budget struggle that caused the shutdown, is the real problem.

With leftist howler monkeys wailing nationwide about the government shutdown, many Southeast Texans are left wondering whether this temporary budget situation is truly detrimental.

 

The IRS has warned the nation that all audits are being suspended and all taxpayer services will cease — although taxes still must be paid. Around 800,000 of 2,000,000 federal employees have been furloughed. Many Americans will be pleased to hear that the Environmental Protection Agency (a.k.a. the Economic Punishment Agency) has declared 96% of its employees non-essential.

 

The majority of Texan taxpayers have yet to see a downside to these developments. (However, non-taxpayers are complaining because their benefits may be slashed.)

 

To the average American spectator, the politics of the shutdown are revolting, to say the least. The much-publicized Honor Flight of veterans disallowed from visiting the Washington, D.C. World War II memorial sparked a public outcry, in addition to inspiring a number of Congressmen and Congresswomen to move aside the barricades. To the average public sector worker, the politics of the shutdown may be painful: federal employees are protesting, picketing, and demanding their jobs.

 

The howler monkeys’ trump card has been the unemployment aspect of the shutdown, and how the millions of bureaucrats rely on the government for life itself. The great irony of the week-long “end-of-the-world” budget situation is the fact that the dispute is not over the budget itself, but over Obamacare – one of the greatest job-killing laws of all time.

 

Millions of hardworking Americans will experience extreme financial hardships to accomodate the President’s healthcare law, including lost access to lifesaving medical care or drugs, unemployment, or demotion to part-time status. Meanwhile, the same Congressional howler monkeys that heartlessly demanded passage and implementation of Obamacare are now crying foul when federal employees are temporarily furloughed. In reality, these bureaucrats are merely sharing the experience of thousands of other Americans and small business owners — a taste of their own medicine, because hundreds of thousands of these employees are in charge of enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s regulations.

 

President Obama’s October 1st message asserts that the federal government is the nation’s largest employer, almost as if his objective was to point out how staggering the amount of bureaucrats had become.

 

The President’s message to the American people claims that “…the House of Representatives can end it [the government shutdown] as soon as it follows the Senate’s lead, and funds your work in the United States Government without trying to attach highly controversial and partisan measures in the process.”

 

Fortunately, the defunding of Obamacare is anything but highly controversial. Over 53% of Americans support a full repeal. Even in light of thousands of polls conducted on this subject, the statistics cannot express the average citizen’s contempt for the Affordable Care Act.

 

The government shutdown is not severe, and is far from a complete shutdown. Lumberton residents in particular have little to fear — unless one is a government employee or welfare recipient, life may actually be a little easier for now.

 

Although Southeast Texans may not be able to visit the Big Thicket National Preserve or be inconvenienced by the local IRS office for half a day, they can look at the bright side of things. First of all, Texas Congressman and Senators are leaders in the fight to exempt America from the Affordable Care Act, and make an enormous effort to oppose the howler monkeys’ agenda. Lastly, the National Endowment for the Arts has finally given us a cause to rejoice: they finally admitted that their employees are useless.