Saturday, August 31, 2013

Behold the Son -- Forget Your Sin, Receive Double Reward

"And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." (Genesis 48: 5)

When you see Jesus, you see fruitfulness and forgetfulness.

When Joseph was risen to second in command in Egypt, God blessed him with two sons:

"And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. 51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." (Genesis 41: 50-52)

Because of what Jesus did at the Cross, God causes you to forget your hurts, your failures, your sins, and He makes you doubly fruitful in your deeperts hurts, during your toughest moments.

Because of Jesus, God sees you and says "Behold, a Son" for we have all become sons of God in Christ (1 JOhn 3: 1-3). Because you are an adopted son of God, you can be sure that God always hears you (Simeon means "hearing"):

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4: 16)


"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10: 19-22)

Behold the Son Jesus, and He will cause you to forget your sin, make you fruitful, give you the standing of a first-born Son before God, and you can always trust that God will hear your prayers.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rainbows Represent God's Grace -- Not License to Sin

All the colors of the rainbow are contained in the white light of the sun.

When refracted by water, the lights break forth.

The rainbow amazed scientists in the past. Isaac Newton even asked: "What is a rainbow?"

The rainbow is a picture of perfect, white light refracted into its seven base colors.

In contrast, the emblem of the gay rights movement is a six-colored banner, and does not represent a real rainbow.

The first mention of "rainbow" in the Bible refers to God's Covenant with Noah, and with all of us (Whether you believe on Him or not):

"And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. 11And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. 17And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth." (Genesis 9: 8-17)

God established a covenant with all of us, for ever person walking on this earth is a seed, or a descendant of Noah and his three sons.

This perpetual covenant is based on the token, the bow in the sky.

The Light of the World, broken for us:

Jesus is this light of the world (John 8: 12), When God said "Let there be light", He did not create the light, but rather manifested this Light as the first of all things.

That Light is Jesus Christ.

God made a covenant with Abram (Genesis 15), but in reality, God cut the covenant with Jesus Christ:

"17And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces." (Genesis 15: 17)

That smokling furnance and burning lamp was Jesus. If God had cut the covenant directly with Abram, then he would have been responsible for keeping his part, and no man can keep a covenant with God.

Today, under the New Covenant, Jesus, the Light of the World broken for us, is the mediator of the New Covenant.

His blood was shed for us that we may receive His wealth and understanding, in fact, that we may receive all of Him:

"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" (Colossians 1: 25-27)

This hope does not disappoint, by the way (Romans 5: 5), but rather is a certainty of good things to come, because you are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1: 6)

"Accepted" in Ephesians 1: 6 literally says "graced" or "or enriched with grace".

The rainbow, with all seven colors, represents God's grace, not God's permission to  sin, and certainly not a banner for men and women to abuse their bodies:

"For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee." (Isaiah 54: 9)

The same grace which we receive in Christ teaches us all things, including to honor our bodies:

"11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2: 11-14)

Now, homosexuality is sin:

"24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." (Romans 1: 24-28)
Yet sin is a deeper manifest that we are dead in our trespasses, and need life:
"1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Ephesians 2: 1-2)
God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but to save the world (John 3: 16)
When Jesus died on the Cross, He took us from dead in our trespasses to seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesiasn 2:" 4-6) and blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1: 3)
With this wonderful revelation in mind, Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church:
"9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11)
"And such were some of you" -- Paul never denounces the Corinthians Church members for their sin, but rather reminds them who they are in Christ:
"16What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." (1 Corinthians 6: 16-17)
You are one with Christ -- so why would you abuse your body? That's the gist of Paul's message.
In the same manner, because God has sent His Son to die for us, to live in us, and to grant us His standing before God, why live beneath our privileges?
The rainbow is a sign of God's grace, of God's favor through His Son, the Light of the World broken for us. Why would anyone reject so great a salvation to dishonor one's body?

Fast Food Workers Should Rage at Polls

On August 29, a day of fast-food rage flooded (or rather, dripped like slow, dirty cooking oil) onto American streets. These workers were not happy, in spite of all the Happy Meals that they are selling Why were all the "How may I help you?" employees in a bad mood, unwilling to take any orders? They were protesting how much they are making. Most of these employees are barely getting buy on $7.25 an hour (in California, it's $8.00), about $15,000 a year.

Driving their point through to the masses, they want to make at least $15 an hour. To make their case to the country, and to every hamburger-loving patron, these fast-food workers have organized their frustrations, and out of thirty-five cities, these unhappy, Happy-Meal dealers are staging their protests.

One worker whined to a local television reporter:

"People have no idea what I have to do. I have to work long hours. I have to deal with rude customers."

Entry-level jobs are that -- entry level. No one is doomed to stay there, if they choose. That young lady had been working at the job for ten years, and yet she never went anywhere in her life.

Individuals with more reason, self-respect, and no self-pity would respond:

"It's called a job, not a career. It's called opportunity, not difficulty."

Like many younger workers in this generation, a mentality of "Where's mine?" and "Gimme" has become common place. Then again, other societal forces have made hard-working Americans work harder without seeing a generous return on their labor.

Where do the individual flaws originate?

The self-esteem cult of the 1980's and 1990's in our public schools created an unhappy crew of people who are giving out Happy Meals today. Their frustration with their current station has moved them to demand more, to go on strike, to claim that Ronald McDonald is taking them out, and not in a good way.

Let's discuss this in a seven-course meal fashion.

What good will it do to raise the minimum wage? Not much, and definitely less than anything that you can buy on the one dollar at McDonald's or Burger King.

Forcing businesses to pay more for their entry level workers will have consequences, none of which you can take out of the plastic bag and collect:

1. Businesses who have to pay more for entry level workers end up showing more workers the exit, as in unemployment. Free Market economist and Newsweek columnist Milton Friedman began one piece with: "The federal government has just passed a law that will raise unemployment." How? By raising the minimum wage.

2. Businesses who have to raise their minimum wage end up raising their prices. Now consumers are hurting. Imagine having to pay ten dollars for that Big Mac. Not so big, now, is it? And forget about the dollar menu. With inflation of salaries comes inflation of the prices of goods and services.


3. The same businesses forced to pay more of the entry level, the more workers there will be who do not learn the basic skills to thrive in a different line of work. Small business owners often complain that they cannot find workers who know how to do basic things, like clean a toilet or wash down a lunch room.

While fast food employers are fasting from their silence and marching on the streets for more pay, they ought to spend some time reading economics (if they can), or revisit their voting patterns over the past four years, for the current conditions are not merely the fault of entitlement, underworked, overly-demanding employees.

President George W. Bush signed into the law a federal minimum wage increase in 2007, a concession to the Democratic majorities of 2006 which reduced him to falling back into his more liberal ways and relying heavily on his veto power. He helped increase unemployment, despite clamoring from economists left and right.

Then came 2007, housing crises, massive recessions, and Big Bank, Big Business, Big Government Bailouts. CEOs do not strike for higher wages. They called Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (then Tim Geithner) for a multi-billion dollar help line. More fiat money from the Fed, more debt on this country, less wealth for everyone, (plus the inflation of college tuition and deflation of learning) and now everyone is making Big Macs instead of living large in a real career.

Let's not forget President Obama's hand in this fast-food fiasco. From the 2009 stimulus, to the Auto Bailouts, to ObamaCare, Obama super-sized Big Government. His insurance mandates (and higher taxes) have forced businesses to cut hours, lay off workers, and push working poor to resort to food stamps to get by (and buy little).

Fast food employees cry: "I can't live on this salary." They have a point, but raising salaries is not enough. With President Obama's high taxes, increasing food prices, and jobless recovery recovering very few, fast food employees are fed up. Instead of taking to the streets, they should take to the polls, demand free market reforms, and then they can say "I'm lovin' it!" about their options.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Easy Reader, Gay Marriage, and Real Issues in California

Gay marriage is on a roll in this country. Eleven states have legalized it, and the Supreme Court just struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 enacted by Bill Clinton.

Yawn, shrug, meh.

Gomer Pyles got married to his partner of thirty-eight years in Hawaii (he also grows macadamia nuts). Yawn. I wonder why Barney Fife didn’t show up. The town drunk getting dunked in the city jail was more entertaining in Mayberry than anything else. “Laugh with them, not at them,” the recently-deceased Andy Griffith often shared.

All I could do is shrug at this point. Marriage is a private matter, and only because the state got involved did men and women (sometimes hetero, sometimes homo) have to get a license to get married.

As more people who live the “gay lifestyle” see the opportunity to tie the knot, fewer people feel tied down to get married in the first place. “Meh” most of them share. Elton John still admits that his daughter would have been better off with a mother. He and his partner have not married, either.

Aside from the facts that the parts do not fit, that men and women throughout history have engaged in different types of contact and conduct, then returned to celibacy or normalcy, or that the high incidence of disease, death, and dysfunction has discouraged the conduct in many communities, who really cares if two men or two women get married.

The very people who want to, must be accepted with their lifestyle.

Last week, Easy Reader News published a picture of two gay men kissing each other.

As a resident, as a reader, and as a reasonable man, I have to wonder what is the value of such a cover, in the first place. I think about the youth in our Beach Cities who walk into public libraries and see covers of Easy Reader News, along with provocative covers from LA Weekly and other alternative publications.

“You have to accept me!” one gay-rights activist asserted over and over. That’s tyranny, with a little “t” of course. Then again, a lot of homosexual activists shouting “You have to accept me!” is more troubling, and the record shows. Activists have attacked churches in the past. Now, little children in Massachusetts have been taught that they may or may not be gay (How about that. It is a choice, after all!) Religion-affiliated adoption agencies have been forced to close down because they will not allow gay couples to adopt. Churches are changing their by-laws, for fear of lawsuits. These development are not good for a free society.

Of course, one of the most stringent arguments from the “Rainbow Lobby” (or “Rainbow Nazis” for the South Park crowd) goes something like this: “I was born this way,” or “I’m here. I’m queer. Get used to it.”

Well, most Americans are getting used to it, and the argument is getting used up. Yawn, shrug, meh.

No one really cares anymore, except that people who insist on living out their life, and you liking it, are getting on people’s nerves. Gay marriage has been a short-term for the liberal element in this country, yet in the long-run, it may end up doing nothing more than dragging up the non-attention of the Democratic Party to the serious, sensitive issues which the current administration has ignored or worsened.

Frankly, I do not believe that people are born gay, and I do not believe in gay marriage. At this point, this argument is non-essential, since the Supreme Court struck down Prop 8 on procedural grounds. So what if two consenting adults choose to marry. The greater concern lies with the risks toward youth, toward animals, and a free society.

California Children in wealthier districts are losing money for their public education just because they were born to wealthy parents. Palos Verdes parents are complaining about the Prop 30 bait-and-switch. More tax dollars were supposed to bring down class sizes. Didn’t happen.

Inner city kids are kidding no one with the low test scores and lower morale, as teachers unions and educrats preen to the lowest bidder to keep their statist-status quo government-ism in place. The students did not choose the parents (or lack thereof), they did not choose to be born in bad neighborhoods, and still they cannot choose the schools they want to attend. How is this fair, and why didn’t Governor Brown do something about it?
Speaker John Perez cares about transgendered students, so that he and/or she will be able to go to the bathroom of his/her choice instead of using a faculty or health office bathroom to change.

Liberal operatives have been hiding behind social issues for the past two election cycles in order to distract voters and tie up elections with non-essentials, while cities are going broke, public sector unions are taking more than voters, taxpayers, and just about everyone else can afford. Schools are failing, and flailing for funds, and Governor Brown, despite his best efforts, cannot push back against a federal order to release ten thousands inmates from overcrowded California prisons.

Gay marriage has become "yawn, shrug, meh" for voters, and California has seen enough of rainbow activism to make us sick, even of Skittles. When will Democrats start showing their true colors, when will they step up an deal with pension abuses, prison problems, and the host of other social and fiscal problems eating away at the state of California?

And for that matter, when will see a man and a woman embracing on the cover of a magazine? Such simple love has been all too missing from the media.

Forget the Future: Ponder the Present, Look at Local Leaders

Polling for the next President of the United States has turned into the current habit of political pundits to avoid the present. On countless websites (and counting), both conservative and liberal, advertisements and petitions are asking for our thoughts about who will be the next Democratic or Republican contenders. One attack ad has tied New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Texas Governor Rick Perry as anti-choice and anti-woman.

How many polls have I peered into which attempt to predict the next Presidential match-up, is just appalling, not to mention unappealing. Why would anyone spend so much time wondering who the next President will be when the current President is doing all sorts of things, many of which are apparently not apparent, and certainly creating more uncertainty?

Frankly, I am all mixed-up about the whole thing, that people are pondering the future when they should be pounding the President presently. The federal government cannot implement its own health care mandate, and by executive order President Obama is backing away piecemeal from his terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad law. He has waffled on gay marriage, and gaily he signs executive orders on gun control while refusing to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.

Nevertheless, the hard-wiring of human beings requires news of the next flair, a new phase has drifted into our electoral process. People get bored all to easily, now more so because of Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Flickr, this and that and then some.

Whatever happened to “I want my MTV?”

So, who will be the next presidential candidates in 2016? Will it be Christie vs. Hillary?

Who cares? (I cannot afford to spend any more time on this)

All of this advanced polling is polarizing in its peculiar pettiness. Who knows who will run in 2016? How about asking: “Who’s running the country now?” How do you feel about what they are doing? Do you know who your US Senators are (you have two of them.) What about your congressman? Believe me, my Congressman is Henry Waxman, and he knows that I have problems with him (so much so, that he never lets me share them with him in public). For that matter, he never lets anyone question or challenge him. Must be worried about something. . .

(Visit “Waxman Watch” to find out why)

But really: why are people all put out about the next Presidential election?

Democrats want to get rid of Abominable Obama as fast as they can. He has become the George W. Bush of the Democratic Party, ruining the liberal brand, and liberalism in general, by exposing how state-sponsored everything means nothing but bad for the individual, for the local leaders, and for anyone who cares about their civil liberties.

Instead of looking into the political process of the future, voters, pundits, and activists need to look at today, pay attention to their current leaders in their city halls and local school boards. All of this obsession with federal races has caused voters to neglect the greater good that our local leaders can do, and the greater damage they get away with.

How many city council members have opted to raise taxes instead of cut spending? How many residents have yelled at their city leaders for pandering to city employee unions instead of representing the best interests of the city?

Bell, California should serve as the warning for a sleepy, do-nothing, don’t-care voting electorate. Robert Rizzo ran through city coffers like aqua-vitae with a midwife – really fast, and enjoying every minute of it. “Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughter”, Rizzo snidely warned his conspiring city council colleagues, all but one of whom was ranking in six figure salaries while the city was going bankrupt, while the police were seizing vehicles for the easy cash, while residents wondered what happened to their basic services.

When the LA Times demanded that city leaders come forward with their pay, and Rizzo acknowledged that he had been taking (or rather raking in) $800,000 a year, he abruptly resigned. Two days, weeks, not even months later, and low-and-behold, he was stealing with red hands from city coffers, all with the help of colluding councils and a deluded electorate.

Then I look at Downey, California (a city with an all Republican city council). No two cities so close together could be so different. A golf course thrives next to the Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. Friends of mine who live in Lynwood love Downey. “Don’t get me started!” when I started talking about the fun in Downey. “Oh, please get started”, my friend replied. Aerospace, green space, space to breathe; safe streets, public facilities facilely serving the public. Gotta love limited government and local control.

Stop pandering to polls, stop pondering the future President. Pay attention to the present, and look at the local leaders in your locale. People need to pay attention to politics, and all politics (that counts) is local. What happens in Washington does not often stay there, but what happens in your backyard stays with you, whether you like it or not, and you can do something about it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Plains Speak Grace to Every Mountain

“Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” (Zechariah 4: 7)

Cultural anthropologists have discovered that ethnic groups which remain in the mountains never thrive, never prosper.

Those peoples which people the plains, which expand along low-lying lands prosper and thrive.

Stanford Professor Thomas Sowell is one of the most widely respected columnists and academics in syndicated print, and he spends an extensive amount of his writing exploring these cultural differences, distinctions which rise about race, color, and other pseudo-academic metrics trotted out by professors to justify hollow government programs.

Let’s consider the physical/geographical reasons for these distinctions, then pursue more symbolical/scriptural/spiritual implications for this phenomenon.

Why do ethnic groups stay in the mountains when they could inhabit lower-lying and flat lands?

The mountains afford protection from marauders. The need for security on all sides afflicts every member of the human race, and the comfort of high, rocky places proves too easy for men and women to resist.

Why do mountain-based individuals fail to thrive, unlike communities which plant themselves then proliferate in lower-lying lands?

Individuals who seek security in the mountains isolate themselves because of the geography which lifts them up and away from other people. Mountains prove difficult for travels to navigate. The land is unsuitable for farming, the essence of civilization, since farming permits mankind to prepare his basic needs in advance and afford him leisure time. The same people who insist on inhabiting the mountains, the same groups which cannot establish farms and herds, often rely on theft, pillaging, and out-right barbarism to survive. Such people are not only unhabituated to interacting with other people, they develop survival skills which clash with civilized communities in the plains.

Individuals who live in the mountains, isolated from other people, do not trade, do not engage, do not learn new skills. They remain uninterested in the worlds around them, in part because they are unaware of them, in part because they have no interest to travel. With no trade, with no experience with diverse cultures and innovations, mountain peoples do not advance.

Why should people who live in remote, high places seek anything outside of themselves, anyway? Such a stagnant existence does not change from the inside out, anyway.

Only peoples from the plains reach out into the world, driven by the possibilities of climbing higher terrain, of reaching to the top of mountains, oftentimes because the mountain is there. People who live on plains see everything from a lower level. The challenges which face them are acute, and the need to overcome them prominent. Those who live on the plains see nothing but plain around them, yet interact with other peoples whose lives are not as plain as theirs, or vice versa.

Those who live on plains see the lack in their surroundings. They realize that without effort, they cannot defend themselves. At the same time, they recognize the opportunities of waterways and pathways. They live off their own crops, they harvest the extra foodstuffs which they have raised, trade these goods, and with the spare time afforded them, they develop skills, crafts, and arts to travel further and trade more.

Such was the case with the Spanish, when the kingdoms of Castile and Leon joined under one monarchy. The pasture lands and farming interests of Western and Eastern Spain converged in one crown, and the same plain forces took on the occupying Muslims in Southern Spain.

When the Spanish expelled the Moors in 1492, their royalty commissioned explorers to acquire new lands. They reach the Canary Islands, where rugged mountain peoples were still subsisting in a stone-age existence, one which exposed them to the easy conquest. Mountain people who rely on their strength never last in the face of those who develop talents from their weaknesses.

Transforming these cultural/geographical realities into spiritual verities, those who live in the mountains typify those who live by their own strength, who trust in their own efforts, who rely on brute force instead of wisdom. Leaning on what they see, and advancing no further, they sit, self-satisfied, and do nothing.

Those who live in the plains represent those who make nothing of themselves, who realize that they are nothing on their own. Not trusting their efforts, they look for guidance from the Highest Power, and seeking His strength, they appropriate his prowess to overcome their weaknesses. They do not resist learning from others, either, since they have nothing, and thus have nothing to lose.

With this allegory of mountain people versus people of the plains, let us look at every challenge not as something to endure, nor something which we must overcome on our own. Regarding ourselves as nothing and God as everything, let us call on Him by the power and authority of His Jesus for every need, speaking His grace or unearned, unmerited favor to every mountain in our lives, and trusting in Him who is from the beginning, we can rest assured that He will raise bring down every mountain and raise up every valley (with every plain) in our lives, in ourselves.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Identity, Intuition, Initiative

So, what wins elections?

Is it the money?

Hardly -- Bloomfield outspent Waxman four to one, and he still lost. The voter split throughout the 33rd Congressional District, the 66th Assembly District in the South Bay, and the 40th Congressional District, which stretches from Long Beach to Orange County is diverse. Distinct constituencies ended up fostering little difference in the final vote count. Each Democrat won the seat by six points.

I have charged before that the lackluster voter turnout killed Republicans. It was Romney's fault all the way.

The demographics alone cannot kill a Republican's chances when he or she is running in a heavily Democratic district. Scott Brown in Massachusetts carried the Senate seat by five points, even though the Republican registration is 11%, and three-to-one Democratic.

Andy Vidak just one a state senate seat in the Central Valley, two-to-one Democratic.

How did he do it?

I advance the following ideas to explain why.

1. Identity. The voters in his district knew the cherry farmer, and they knew him very well. He was a well-recognized name in the Valley. His family lived and worked in the region for decades. People knew him, and they could relate to him. With identity, one can also factor in community, as a candidate who has ties with helping other people will give the impression more solidly that he wants to help others. More than a non-politcian, he was a hard-working, salt-of-the-earth farmer who wanted his fellow farmers to get the best out of their representation in Sacramento.

2. Intuition. Vidak knew the problems facing the Valley farmers, and he responded to them. He did not waste his time talking about taxes and spending. He connected the generic issues to their impact on his neighbors, and the fact that he was "the farmer down the road" (literal meaning of "neighbor) enabled him ot understand their plight without having to ask, or even stumble in his search to understand them. Focusing on local issues will give Republicans an edge every time, since part of the party platform focuses on individual liberty and local control. Too often, an ideologically conservative mantra simply won't cut it. Why cut taxes and spending in general? How does that help me? Will the cuts proposed by the candidate hurt my interests, too? Vidak talked about water, farming, and the billion dollar bullet train boondoggle. Everyone was listening.

3. Initiative. Vidak wanted to win, and the statewide party got the word out. Residents in the South Bay (Los Angeles) helped out with this race. How did they learn about opportunities to step in? The recently elected CA GOP Chairman Jim Brutle reached out to voters in the Los Angeles area.

One of his most disturbing pronouncements motivated attendees to step up:

"Governor Jerry Brown is the only conservative voice in Sacramento with any power."

The Republican Party cannot expect to get very far depending on "Governor Moonbeam" to solve the Golden State's problems. For the first time in decades, Republicans are on the margins looking in, and with Democrats pressured by lobbyists and unions and special interests of all kinds, the hope of reaching across the aisle and pulling more "right-thinking" Dems to think and vote for themselves is highly unlikely.

Let's consider the three I's -- identity, intuition, and initiative -- compared to Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Identity -- Mitt Romney did not even know who Mitt Romney was. His positions flipped and flopped, even while he was campaigning for higher office. His "47%" remark distanced him considerably, not just from voters, but even from himself. How this man could disdain so many in this country before on group of likely voters, then share stories about restoring companies, and other bloggers' sharing about his acts of charity, created nothing but confusion,.

Intuition -- People just did not like this guy, and he did not really know them, nor did he take the time to know them. He was still holding offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. For a man who had been running for President for seven years, such lapses of perception were unforgivable. For many Republican primary voters, he was not the first or even the second choice. A blue-blood moderate who pretended to be a red-hot conservative elicited laughter, not praise (including from faux-conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks). Romney did not understand the bread-and-butter issues facing American voters (he probably could not have told anyone the current price of milk, either). He did not even bother to present himself as someone who had struggled in hard times (living on a stipend per month as a Mormon Missionary in France does not count).

Initiative -- This part really hurt Romney. He was not a fighter. How could he be? He was trying to run out the clock on a bad President with a bad economy and a bad spate of laws which a majority of Americans did not like. His own sons shared after Romney's election loss that he really did not want to run, but he felt compelled to do so. He was stiff and awkward in interviews, and aside from his first debate with President Obama, Romney was accommodating and appreciative (Huey in the 66th never went really negative. As for Gary DeLong, his trust in his business acumen and city council experience did not measure up to Lowethal's connection.)

Republican campaign managers and consultants (especially in California) still think in terms of money, persuasion, advertising. These metrics certainly help during a primary fight, but when facing higher odds to take down experienced candidates, the candidate who wins has to know who he is. know what the voters need, and have the know-how, go-how to get it done.

Vidak had it, and he won. Romney didn't, and he lost. The California GOP needs to step up the three I's in order to win key seats and take back Sacramento, and the Golden State, for all Californians.

Libertarianism: The Heart of Conservatism

Despite all the rhetoric, Republicans have ratcheted onto President Reagan’s legacy to their hurt (“Government is not part of the problem; it is the problem” is problematic, as Reagan’s actions and words did not quite match up: the War on Drugs, raising the debt ceiling without cutting the spending. Still, there is one piece of Reaganite advice (among others) which Republicans should regard:

I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. – Ronald Reagan

More than mere vogue, libertarianism is a demonstrable, present-day rebellion to the failures of the current GOP Establishment’s “No more taxes! No spending!” conservatism and the unhinged, tax-and-spend liberalism of the Obama Administration, whose policies are stretching government overreach into our pockets, onto our healthcare, and right through our privacy into our cell phones and Internet correspondence.

The libertarian argument for less government is hardly heartless, but a hearty call for good governance.

US Senator Edward Brooke (R-Massachusetts) commented in a recent interview that the Republican Party “must have a heart as well as a head” [2:00-2: 205].

That heart, libertarianism, does not dismiss the needs of the individual who cannot care of himself. The context for Brooke’s statement informed the notion that the government should never do for man what he can do for himself, yet government can step in to do things which alone people cannot accomplish. Public infrastructure, for example, or criminal sanctions for law breakers should not be doffed to the private sector alone. The abuse of prisoners in private prisons has demonstrated that profit only as a motive can be unprofitable to the greater good of society. A proper tax structure which provides rather than perverts public safety should be promoted in all locales.

In contrast to the rising libertarian impulses, the declining trends of Progressive doctrine, initiated under President Woodrow Wilson and culminating under President Barack Obama, have only ushered in progress for the state, but not for the citizen. While the government asserts itself as the source of all things good, the individual has become diminished and distanced, wondering why the costs of food, health care, and public safety are rising, and why the basic services of the state are receding, and why fewer people are able to live and thrive on their own.

Then again, one repeated criticism against conservatives, libertarians, and limited-government types, a grip which liberals and progressive love to lob, relies on the charges of anarchy and anti-government ravaging. “They want to get rid of all government!” liberals will cry; or “They would just as well force everyone to dig a hole in the backyard instead of collect their taxes for a sewer system,” progressives will pout. Such hysteria demonstrates a concerted lack of understanding of true liberty, one which requires rules, yet rules which require everything from everyone cannot contain, but rather constrain liberty. With libertarianism, the state has its place, but smaller.

Libertarianism does not mean eliminating government entirely or discourage any intervention by force. The essence of this growing philosophy, per conservative columnist George Will, concurs with the heart of Brooke’s statement and also Reagan’s statement of heart:

So let’s be clear about what libertarianism is and what it isn’t. It is not anarchism. It has a role in government. . . [I]t basically says before the government abridges the freedom of an individual or the freedom of several individuals contracting together, that government ought to have, A) a compelling reason and B) a constitutional warrant for doing so.

There is a place of the state, one which protects our rights, secures our borders, and provides an adequate, stable monetary system. The state should regard the needs of marginal populations, too: the mentally ill, miscreants, and minors. Those issues cannot know their rights, have abused them, or have not yet learned their full consequences.

There is a place for the state. This assertion is no novel statement, but doctrinal, found and founded in the founding Declaration of the United States of America:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

To protect our rights, not create them, and not compel someone else to pay for them: there the role of the state is best defined. And confined.

Is there a compelling, constitutional reason for the state to step in? Let’s consider one controversial example. Under Obamacare, state power has only made matters health care worse. Taxes have increased, with access declining and rationing to follow. Doctors are leaving the profession. In California, legislators are scrambling to pass laws which will expand the number of people who can practice medicine, since fewer people choose to under the growing regulatory burdens of the Patient Protection (Ha!) and Affordable Care (Double Ha!) Act. Obama’s signature legislation has been heartless from its inception.

When the Republican Party reasserts its heart, libertarianism, this country will beat strong once again.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Government Secrets and Leftist Bias in "Random Lengths News"

Following the conviction of  Pvt. Bradely Manning for releasing United States classified information to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Random Lengths News Publisher James Preston Allen decries the intervention of the state into our private lives. He also denounces the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan. “One would that after all these years of war and with our growing sense of insecurity, we all would object to the ongoing pilfering of our national treasury,” Allen remarks.

I could not agree more.

He commiserates with private (Ha!) NSA Contractor Eric Snowden, now in political asylum in Russia, for releasing to the public disturbing information that the United States government has been wire-tapping foreign and domestic phone calls as well invading Internet data. I doubt Snowden will feel safe for long, as if anyone can be safe in that country where citizens are openly punished for thinking for themselves and resisting government force.

He then faults the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as based on “false premises”, when the Wikileaks cables confirm that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that Bush administration officials were still seeking them. I imagine that Syria’s dictator is using those weapons against his own people.

I could not be more vocal in my disagreement and disappointment with Mr. Allen in ignoring the sources of Big Government getting bigger in our lives.

While President Bush tarnished the fiscal conservative brand with wars unending and domestic spending uninterrupted, President Obama has only done the same, but far more, with worse consequences. President Bush’s domestic wiretapping infiltrated foreign calls entering the United States. President Obama has been on everyone’s phone (including libertarian US Senator Rand Paul who refused to end debate until the Attorney General confirmed that President Obama would never use drones against American citizens. Holder held up for eleven hours, only to answer “No!”, but why did the Obama Administration take so long to answer the question? Under five years of President Obama, the United States government has run up annual trillion dollar deficits. Obama has increased the national debt (and the burdens of future American taxpayers) by 50% in five years.

Liberals, progressives, and mouthpieces for the left jumped up and down about Bush’s spending, the wars, and the invasion of our privacy. When President Obama commits the same policy blunders, no one criticizes him, including “progressive” publisher James Preston Allen.

Fair and balanced, are we? Hardly!

When All Seem Against You, Know that He is For You!

"36And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me." (Genesis 42: 36)

Jacob was more accurate than he realized when he shouted at the nine of his sons who had returned from Egypt with grain, but without Simeon.

They had deprived their father Jacob of his beloved Son Joseph, even though Jacob did not know at the time that he was now the second-in-command in Egypt, the son who would save the whole world (just like our Lord Jesus!)

Just when things seem at their lowest point, let us look to the Cross, where man did the worst thing possible -- crucify God's own Son -- and from that terrible sin came forth the greatest glory -- our redemption and promotion in Christ from dead in our trespasses to alive forever and seated in heavenly places, blessed with all spiritual blessings.

Such was the case for Joseph, as anyone can read in Genesis 37:

"And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams." (Genesis 37: 18-20)

"We shall see what will become of his dreams", the brothers conspired together, hoping to stifle their brother's somnabulous glories. While they hoped to kill Joseph and his dreams, they ended up setting Joseph up for prominence. They made his dreams come true!

Joseph would later tell his brothers:

"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." (Genesis 45: 5)

Yet at the time, things certainly seemed aganist Joseph, except that he knew that the LORD God was with Him (Genesis 39: 2)

As for his father Jacob, when he learned that his son was dead, his reaction was truly pitiful:

"34And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard." (Genesis 37: 34-36)

The Holy Spirit moved Moses to detail the two events side by side. Jacob laments that he will go down to his grave, but at the same time Joseph is already moving up in the world, sold as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of Pharoah's guard.

For me, though, in reading this passage, I focus on Jacob's reaction, and how much God loved Him in spite of his upsets,in spite of his turmoils.

Jacob is God's covenant man, people! He was blessed by Isaac, even though he took the first-born blessing by stealth. Yet he never had to, since the LORD told Rebecah that the elder (Esau) would serve the younger.

Nevertheless, Jacob met with nothing but favor in his life, even when his father-in-law Laban tried to cheat him, even with two wives warring with each other for children, plus their maids.

In the latter part of his life, he had children with his beloved Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The same Joseph would add many blessings to his father, his family, to the nation of Israel, and ultimately the world.

When faced with the prospect that his son was dead, Jacob mourned greatly, convinced that he would never see his son again. "I will go down to the grave mourning", he declared.

Yet that was not the case at all!

Right away, this account puts aside the "Word of Faith" teachings which warn us to watch what we say. I still get frustrated when I hear preachers say things like "Don't say 'I could die for some cake' because you are speaking against yourself!" Jacob spoke such a sorrowful end for himself, yet the covenant which God had cut with Abram, later Abraham, which then blessed Isaac and Jacob is not based on our feelings, not based on our understanding, but rather is based on the blood.

We have a New Covenant in Christ because God does not remember our sins anymore, and our sins are all cleansed (and keeping being cleansed) because of Jesus' death on the Cross.

So, do not feel bad if you feel worried, if you see hardships in your life. Do not assume for one minute that God has abandoned you. If you believe in your heart and confess out your mouth that Jesus is Lord, then you are saved, and this salvation does not stop with our first confession, but we can believe and receive His righteousness and grace every day (Romans 5: 17)

Just when things seem against you, know that God is for you today, because you are Christ's. and Christ's is God's. (1 Corinthians 3: 23) Jesus your heavenly Joseph has prepared everything for you:

"28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8: 28-30)

Followed by:

"31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? " (Romans 8: 31-32)

and ending with:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8: 37)

Friday, August 23, 2013

No More Krauthammer Conservatives

Washington Post Op-Ed columnist Charles Krauthammer is one of the most compelling minds in newsprint.
His caution and his craft bring a medical precision to political debate. A former liberal and speech-writer for Vice President Walter Mondale, Krauthammer shared his conversion from liberalism following his reading of Harvard Professor Charles Murray Read’s work Losing Ground, which documented then denounced the United States welfare system. Murray’s research convinced Krauthammer to reject government intervention and favorfree market reforms to bring back people from poverty and restore
Still a liberal on social issues (he remains pro-choice), Krauthammer remains a viable and reliable conservative voice on just about everything else. His views on American foreign policy, however, have veered away from the “Mr. Conservative” polemics of Republican Robert Taft, and even the careful advances of Dwight David Eisenhower.
An early champion of the Bush Administration, Krauthammer coined the “Bush Doctrine” because of the President’s insistence on forging democratic regimes for our benefit. Krauthammer recently praised former President Bush for “keeping us safe”. Reviewing the United States’ military’s extended stay in Iraq, and ongoing presence in Afghanistan, Krauthammer’s vision of a robust foreign policy based on American preeminence and dominance is waning.
Like many Bush supporters, I celebrated the invasion of Iraq following reports that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The drive to eradicate unwieldy, violent dictators in the Middle East appealed to me, and many voters, because eradicating the roots of terrorist cells like the wisest course of action for preventing future attacks on Americans soil.
Such Wilsonian aspirations were both stirring and popular in those early days of the Bush Administration. Even former Clinton diplomats praised President Bush for removing Saddam Hussein from power. “He was a weapon of mass destruction.” The Washington Post later reported that American forces a large cache of chemical agents. The Wikileaks cables also vindicated President Bush, with reports that American military were still looking for WMD. Bush was right, according to Krauthammer.
Following years of Middle East fighting, though, the Krauthammer dogma of throwing everything military at Islamic terror no longer has the grand and grandiose appeal of years before.
Indeed, President Bush’s Second Inaugural claimed that the peace of our democracy depended on democracy flourishing in other countries. The idealism of expanding American limited government, chasing freedom rainbows in the vapid and dry deserts of Asia moved voters. However, the same civil rights activist who welcomed Bush’s military intentions, Natan Sharanksy, also criticized the rapid zeal to hold elections in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. A free society, according to Sharansky, must be based on more than open elections. The rule of law, the respect for human rights (including freedom of speech, the press, and religion) must be inculcated. Can native peoples learn about their own cultures and share their values with their children, too?
The answer to those four questions remained “sometimes” to “No!” during the fraught American ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Krauthammer’s conviction of a robust, intervention foreign policy has fallen apart. His mixed neo-conservative idealism is now a nightmare from which the United States military must free itself, an ideology which the Republican Party is breaking from, and which voters across the political spectrum reject in greater turns.
The United States cannot go about the world putting out every tribal disturbance. During Bush’s Presidency, intelligence regarding radioactive explosives in Niger was flawed, and American reconnaissance missed the Arab uprisings in Tunisia, then throughout the Arab World. The ethnic, religious, and blood-bathed tribal rivalries exploding throughout North Africa all the way to Central Asia, including the protracted civil wars in Egypt and Syria, are beyond the control of any policy expert or President to contain, let alone control.
Bush’s wars in Iraq may or may not have sparked the spirit of uprising in oppressed and indigenous communities throughout the Arab World, yet the cost of policing the world, plus ruinous domestic policies of expanding home ownership, helped propel nationwide financial meltdowns, which threw the entire world into an unprecedented and stagnating economic slowdown. The Arab world was rife with corruption and despotism for decades, yet safety within a predictable poverty was tolerable. With the explosion of communications technology, matched with an unsettled yet educated Arab populace, a revolt against political oppression was inevitable.
The same forces which have propelled political anarchy throughout the Middle East resist American diplomacy. US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has repeatedly pressed for ending foreign aid to other countries, including Israel (“They do not need our help”) and Egypt (“We cannot help them”). Despite their deep division, US Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have joined with Paul on this issue. Krauthammer contends that their agreement on anything cannot be good.
I disagree.
Bush’s interventions have not created popular democracy envisioned by the Framers, realized after decades of peaceful political schism. The Arab turmoils roiling the Middle East defy political calculation, and their culture after-shocks are as unpredictable as the sudden revolts unpredicted by American intelligence. Thankfully, for the good of this country and the Republican Party, Krauthammer’s neo-conservatism is coming to an end.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Flee, Filthy Filner (and End the Democratic War on Women)

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is joining a growing troop of Democratic politicians who kiss first and ask questions never, or who shoot (pictures of themselves) first and refuse to answer questions ever.

From now deceased Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studs (D-MA) who slept with a minor and received censure from the House of Representatives, to President Bill "I did not do that to that woman" Clinton, to former New York Congressman and current mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his all too hot dog hot shots of himself, and now San Diego's current mayor, the Democratic Party has not borne down on its own members when they engage in perverse personal behavior.

Even though the Democratic Party has retained the supermajority for the first time in decades, their commitment to the best interests of California residents remains unclear or unreal to this day. Democrats have already lost a state senate seat in the Central Valley (Congratulations, Andy Vidak!), and challengers from the Republican Party are rising up to challenge Steve DeMaio’s unlikely Congressional reelection. For all of their problems, the party of women, minorities, and disparate interests is losing touch with reality.

The Filner affair is not so much about the transgressions of human nature in and of themselves. Republicans and Democrats in higher public office have engaged in personal indiscretions before, indiscriminate and egregious. Yet while Republicans who have transgressed come clean or leave office, the Democratic leaders get a pass or even a pat on the back. The rapidity in which Democratic leaders continue to stand by their men, even when they continue to conduct themselves inappropriately, is just disturbing. While Democrats love to point fingers at Republicans and conservatives in general who did not live perfectly by family values, the California Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee have some explaining of their own to do. How can they claim to care about the woman vote or a woman's right to choose when they dismiss or diminish the frequent report that a woman's plea of "No!" was ignored?

For a party which claims to champions women's rights, for a political interest which claims to care about a woman's right to choose, why do party leaders like Governor Jerry Brown, or Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles/South Bay) and especially President Barack Obama say nothing regarding San Diego mayor Bob Filner's unfit conduct?

Just a reminder for anyone in California or in the country who is not up to speed on Filner's follies:

As recently as July 15, four victims came forward claiming that the San Diego Mayor made unwanted advances and touched them inappropriately.

Within two weeks, Filner had admitted in a press conference that he made mistakes, that he engaged in inappropriate conduct with female staff and agreed to enter rehab. Even though he had not finished his treatment, he left earlier than expected.

The number of victims complaining about Filthy Filner jumped from eight over the next few weeks to eighteen in the past few hours, and these female staffers, including his former PR manager, have complained of his aggressive, unprofessional and immoral conduct towards women, describe his opprobrious misconduct as the "Filner Headlock" or "The Filner Dance", in which he would isolate women then attempt to take advantage of them.

Filner still has refused to resign, and Democratic leaders have remained silent, and only now have Democratic leaders even discussed drawing up a resolution for Filner to flee. The double-standard of silence and secrecy is deafening and without defense. Republicans have begun mounting a vigorous recall effort, and this past weekend called for Republicans, conservatives, and disaffected Democrats (whose numbers will grow if Filner continues to remain in office) to recall Filner

Democrats jumped up and down about Missouri Congressman Todd Akin for speaking on behalf of the unborn. They hammered Mitt Romney because he wanted every to be able to get a job. US Senator Liz Warren played the "War on Women" card in order to sink her opponent bipartisan Scott Brown. The Democratic Party in general castigates Republicans as "anti-woman" and anti-choice."

Yet Democrats still stand by a man who demeans and abuses women, and who refused to let them choose to be left alone.

I applaud every San Diego resident, both Democrat and Republican, as well as independents, for stepping up and demanding that Filner step down. Even the San Diego Union-Tribune has trumpeted their disapproval and expect the embattled and burdensome mayor to leave office.

As long as Filner remains in office, he merely sends the message to his city and this state that elected officials are not accountable for their actions, whether in private with coworkers as well as before the public whom they swear to serve. Every California voter should voice their disapproval with this man.

It’s time to flee, filthy Filner, and end the Democratic War on Women which you are waging!

Raise Up Massachusetts Brings Bay State Down

Progressive policies abound in the Northeast. Rhode Island is the most liberal state in the union, with Massachusetts closing in behind. The mantra of the progressive movement argues that the bigger the government, the better the people. Put the right folks in charge at the top in Beacon Hill, and everything will trickle down for the greater good of all. If we can find the best people, those with loftier thoughts and more information than the rest of us average shmoes, then everything will work out for the best, right?


Last week, I wrote about the fatal consequences of a socialized, sharing-and-caring system, where everyone gets what they need and everyone provides for everyone else. Within one year of living on such an immoral system, more than half of the original Plymouth settlement died out. When Governor Bradford instituted private property, and allowed everyone to grow their own food and turn a profit on anything left. Everyone lived, survived, and thrived.
Such metrics of "trickle down" work in a free market, where men and women exchange good, services, and ideas free of coercion. A free market forces men and women to compete for the most customers by offering the best product and service at the lowest cost. This argument fails for some people only because fear-mongering and envy tends to inspire many government initiatives, often in the best interests of government leaders and never the people whom they are elected to lead.

When the government gets involved, people get hurt because the government uses force, and never evenly or efficiently. When the government wants to make everything fair and equal, the consequences impact businesses and entry-level workers. Those who create wealth with innovation and investments end up closing their business our moving to another venue altogether.

Notwithstanding the poor record of progressives policies, which really should be called regressive and reactionary, a new liberal-progressive movement in the Bay State, called "Raise Up Massachusetts", wants to bring up the minimum wage and grant workers mandatory sick. Two of the interest groups' grandest supporters (this cannot be good) US Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren believe that allowing the voters to vote up the minimum wage by two dollars over the next two years, then tie future increases to the rate of inflation will help Massachusetts' work get more money for their labor.

Minimum wage laws ensure the opposite, in fact creating a minimum of workers as a diminished number of businesses lay off workers, refuse to offer raises, or raise the prices on their goods. Entry-level employees, youth, and minority workers are harmed by minimum wage laws every time. Businesses cannot afford to take on interns, then they cannot find well-trained employees because they never learned the basic skills as entry level workers/.

The "Raise Up" still argues for a minimum wage:

The minimum wage in Massachusetts has been stuck at $8 an hour since 2008, yet costs keep rising – and workers are long overdue for a raise. Workers can’t afford the basic necessities, and it’s an everyday struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Why is living in Massachusetts so expensive? "Mister Governor" Deval Patrick taxes soda, candies, and computer equipment. Massachusetts tax rates are some of highest in the country. Health care costs are rising because of Patrick's price controls. Beacon Hill Democratic Dominance has driven away the incentive for businesses to survive and thrive.

Former Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge could not have said it better:

Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.

Yet government policies which require a minimum wage hurt the strong, i.e. business classes, and the weak: those still looking for a job.

Republican US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez could have denounced the minimum wage with this argument. . .

As for mandatory sick days, businesses need to decide what they offer their employees. If one company refuses to offer sick days, yet another company does, guess which one gets more applicants? Governments which force businesses to offer sick days create perverse incentives for employees to skip work and still get paid. No productivity, no product, no profit, no workers: That cycle is not good. Most corporations do provide sick days, anyway, but based on a worker's performance.

In no wise are handouts, government interventions, and welfare without boundaries and deadlines humane, holy, or wise. "Raise Up Massachusetts" merely promotes the same bring-down regressive-progressive policies which prevent a man from prosperity and good health.

For the record, "Raise Up" claims faith communities among their ranks, and one Go Local Worcester writer claimed that government subsidies are the Christian thing to do. Men and women of religious persuasion support free markets and free people, not state-sponsored handouts. One Catholic priest, Father Robert Sirico, denounces greed and corporate collusion, yet asserts persuasively that the free market is the greatest engine for punishing greed and graft while protecting consumers. Government ensures the enforcement of contract, punishes fraud, and maintains a stable money supply, provides the roads and fairways for trade, then gets out of the way.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Providence Archbishop Joins GOP: Hallelujah!

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island

Archbishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island announced last week his decision to switch his voter registration from Democrat to Republican. Catholics by culture (not by nature), tend to vote Democratic because the party has often represented itself as the voice of the poor, the dispossessed, and the strangers in our midst. Those characterizations no longer hold any value, according to Bishop Tobin.

Tobin represents a diocese in the most Catholic state in the union. His switch is transformative, and perhaps not just temporarily, for Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Republican Party, while signaling the last rites for the anti-Democratic hypermajority in Providence.

At first, I could only ask: "Forgive me, Father, but why now?" Not that I am unhappy with the change, mind you, but why now, and not, say, thirty years ago? Why did the most hold Reverend decided that the Democratic Party no longer deserved his reverence?
His words (I kid you not):

"The a-ha moment for me was the 2012 Democratic National Convention. It was just awful,"


Then he shared:
"I just said I can't be associated structurally with that group, in terms of abortion and NARAL [Pro-Choice America] and Planned Parenthood and [the] same-sex marriage agenda and cultural destruction I saw going on," Tobin said. "I just couldn't do it anymore."

First, about that Democratic Convention and other distasteful elements which certainly disgusted Rev. Tobin, there is plenty more he could have confessed (not that he needed to). Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chaired the committee to approve the Democratic Party platform in 2012. Party leaders originally adopted a platform which would remove God and would no longer recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Villaraigosa moved to remove those changes, and the delegate floor booed, and loudly.

The Democratic Party has become the party that says "Boo!" to God and denies Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I wonder if Hamas and Hezbollah sent delegates to Charlotte, North Carolina, too? Notwithstanding the public denunciations, President Obama and Mayor Villaraigosa reinstated respect for the Deity and recognition of Jerusalem. Ironically, such anti-democratic procedures define the Obama Administration, in which the President does not listen to voters, does not acknowledge the initial law-making powers of Congress, and plunges ahead to ignore and neglect key sections of laws which he has passed while willingly refusing to enforce the laws already on the books.

Now, back to the key issues of gay marriage and abortion, the two issues which issued Rev. Tobin away from the Democrats and to the Republican Party. Any partisan organization which endorses same-sex marriage will not be joined in holy matrimony with a religious community which adheres to "Male and female he created them".

Besides, "gay rights" as a political mantra is grating on people. In the past few months, many "gay prominent" television sitcoms have been cancelled. In my opinion, Americans are getting tired of the six-colored rainbow being shoved down their throats. A libertarian attitude of "Live and Let Live" defines the Republican Party, so if two men consensually choose to sleep together, that's their problem. Sadly, left-wing homosexual activists have told me to my face, and to anyone who cares to listen (a dwindling number): "You have to accept me!"

"Have to" and "accept" together make as much sense as "legitimate rape" or "Obamacare will not raise health care costs." A free society is based on tolerance, an asset within peace-keeping and peace-making spiritual communities, but not so with Democratic Party leaders (Obama still has not take our troops out of Afghanistan!)

Moreover, the current Democratic platform on abortion is extreme, one which permits an abortion at any time on the taxpayers' dime. US Senator Barbara Boxer of California declared: "A baby is a baby when the mother takes him home." Are you kidding me? Try running that line by a doctor or a nurse, and they will remind you of the legal responsibilities (and liabilities) weighing on health care practitioners once the baby is born.

The reformed DNC platform implicitly achieves this extreme pronouncement on abortion because the leaders removed "New Democrat" former President Bill Clinton's language "safe, legal, and rare" on abortion.

Democratic leaders love to castigate Republicans as "anti-choice" and "war on women" types. Just one reading of the Kermit Gosnell trial in the Philadelphia inner cities should demonstrate that Planned Parenthood and abortion on demand is taking an exacting and immoral toll on women, especially minorities and the working poor. The majority of Americans do not support the Democratic Party's expansion of abortion, and neither does Rev. Tobin. Most women certainly do not. Instead of responding to the culture on abortion, Republicans in Rhode Island and throughout the country should go on the offensive. "Safe, legal, and rare" must be the GOP Platform, and the Rhode Island GOP can start this conversation.

God bless Bishop Tobin for switching parties. Let us hope that the rest of his flock follows his move to honor Providence as revealed in the Bible, then retake Providence the capital for their good, and the greater glory of all.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bobko Censured?

Hermosa Beach city councilmembers Peter Tucker, Howard Fishman, and Jeff Duclos are drawing up a censure motion against Mayor Patrick "Kit" Bobko because he shared his views regarding Hermosa Beach's appointment for city police chief.
Bobko has been the focus of Hermosa Beach political controversies before. Following The LA County Grand Jury's report about Hermosa Beach's $14 million in unpaid pension liabilities, Bobko took his fight for pension reform to the public, more recently

Recently, Bobko issued an
independent press release to the public regarding his concerns over the newly appointed chief of police. Last year, Hermosa Beach public sector unions issued flyers about the dangers of pension reforms, which would cause quality staff to seek employment elsewhere. Bobko publishes his views on a city appointment, and he gets a scolding. Really?

Still, Councilmembers Jeffrey Duclos, Howard Fishman, and Peter Tucker, along with a nudge from former councilmember George Schmeltzer, have moved for Bobko's censure because of his breach of city protocol.

Last year, Former Treasurer David Cohn was caught up in an embarrassing extortion scheme from a masseuse who possessed the former Treasurer's Ipad containing confidential city information. The Daily Breeze reprimanded councilmembers Duclos, Fisher, and Tucker for not censuring Cohn. The same members are now moving to censure Bobko.
The mayor wants to make public to the public his concerns about the appointment of the city’s chief public safety officer. Certainly the residents of Hermosa Beach should know the selection process, and they should know that the previous selection process was so flawed, that the previous appointee had black marks on his record. They might also want to know why Duclos, Tucker, and Fishman are picking their battles so arbitrarily.

Instead of castigating a mayor for informing the voters about their processes of hiring, Hermosa Beach residents should rebuke those councilmembers Duclos, Fishman, and Tucker who refuse to lead and deal with real issues. Voters should applaud Bobko for refusing to play political games, and instead informing voters, going out of his way to make known the goings-on in Hermosa Beach.