Friday, October 31, 2014

Harvard's Original Seal: Divinity and Revelation

Harvard University Original Seal

Before turning into an illiberal cesspool promoting secular deceptions, high-ranking colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton were seminaries.

Today, God has no place, and neither does man, at Yale or any other of these institutions.

Centuries prior, however, the Ivy League Schools were highly respect institutions of learning because they were seminaries.

Men and women studied the Word of God foremost in these institutions. Universities of the Middle Ages were centered on theology, i.e. the study of God's Word and the Savior revealed in the Bible.

The foreign language department taught three languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin.

Why Hebrew? To understand the full revelation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Greek also, for the New Testament. Of course, universities focused on all the classics, pagan as well as inspired.

In the United States, are rather the American Colonies, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton -- these schools focused on the Word of God.

Now, consider the former Harvard Seal. Two of the books are opened, facing up. The third book is facing down. Not just Veritas, but Christo and Ecclesiae accompany the first Harvard Seal.

There is not truth apart from Christ, who declared: "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

This is a bold statement, one which requires a response.

Now, what about the book that is turned down?

This image signified that learning is not just a matter of man's thinking or intervention. Knowledge, wisdom, and intellect depend on revelation, which cannot originate within man, but he must receive outside of himself.

This idea is not noteworthy, really, if anyone respects the scientific method. New knowledge in science requires men to accept that they do not know something, and want to get an answer to a question.

At its core, that is revelation.

Man does not have the answers, nor does he define the values based on his limited experience.

Economic study rests on this reality, too. Economic realities do not make sense to our first hand experience, just as a man cannot make a pencil, yet the extraction, assembly, and distribution of pencils occur on a frequent basis, efficiently.

No One is Conservative Enough (?)

CPAC Convention
No one is conservative enough it seems, these days.

There are too many issues which divide people these days.

Take Glenn Beck. Impeccable credentials, right? He also brought soccer balls to the illegal immigrant youths earlier this year, followed by signals that he was looking for a gig with CNN.

What's going on?

Then there's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He was bold and provocative, not afraid to stand his ground against government spending and union bullying. Yet the last two years, he has compromised on immigration and spending. He also signed into a law which would put a pastor in jail if he wanted to help a minor leave homosexual conduct.

Chris Christie is friendly with Democrats, too.


Ted Cruz is conservative, and even taunted some of his Senate peers that if they voted for cloture during the 2013 shutdown shootout, they were voting to support Obamacare. The most conservative US Senator in the caucus, Tom Coburn, rejected Cruz' strategy: "I guess I'm a RINO now," he commented derisively.

Disagreements on tactics and values have fomented this argument of "not conservative enough."

Too many issues split people up.

Five years ago, politicians were not voting on laws whether students with gender identity disorders would be permitted to go into public school bathrooms.

Five years ago, gay marriage was an aberration, a marginal argument from leftists who were interested in breaking down marriage entirely rather than promoting the civil rights of a persecuted group of people.

Five years ago, we did not have to deal with Obamacare.

Five years ago, there were many point of contention which did not exist.

Now, anyone who budges or argues differently on one issue (decriminalization of controlled substances, right-to-work legislation, forcing the minimum wage, school choice) gets labeled RINO or lib-tard, or some other offensive presentiment.

The views on abortion or widespread as well, even though the biological fact that life begins at conception cannot be disputed.

Views on marriage are dividing Republicans and Democrats, too. Yes, even Democrats are split on this issue. Rhode Island boasts the largest Democratic delegation, and yet the state senate President Paiva-Weed opposed gay marriage, while the five Republicans in the state senate supported the change.

Dinesh D'Souza is conservative - no one would argue
(What does that mean, though?)

This disruption in clear ideological differences has created more confusion for Independents and frustration for Republicans and conservatives trying to regain a two-party balance in Providence. There are a number of pro-life Democrats, too, who feel marginalized in their party.

Yet the issue comes back to this: no one is conservative enough, and this unspoken litmus is dividing political influence rather than channeling it properly.

No one is conservative enough. So where does a voter draw the line? On what issues can we agree to disagree without distancing ourselves or discouraging our chances for real cultural prosperity?

Perhaps defining conservative effectively can ease the frustration on this issue.

A respect for life, natural law, the limits of government, and economic freedom are essential. Yet too many statewide Republican candidates seem to be running from these issues rather than standing on them.

No wonder the litmus tests abound.

So, no one is conservative enough simply because the definition of conservative has not been conserved. . .

Pulled for Opposing Kashkari (Inferences)

Please note that despite the feelings of some in this group, the CRA is a chartered organization of the Republican Party. Kashkari is our nominee. If you want to revel in tearing him down - take it to another group. By charter and Celeste Greig knows this as a former CRA President - we are bound to support the nominees of the GOP. Thank you all for understanding.

Arthur Christopher Schaper - I pulled your post, thanks for your understanding.

I have no problem with being pulled.

Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words.

When I write about being silenced, I never meant to imply that any Republican out there was preventing me from speaking my mind.

The absence of discussion on an issue does not put the issue away.

Being silenced speaks even louder.

The comments I wrote above set off quite a stir from the Administrator of the forum, Aaron F. Park.

When he explained to me his frustration, I was able to explain mine.

He reworded a comment, removing an expletive, and then wrote:

Your comment "being silenced" is misleading.

An organization operates by rules, and they have to be followed.

Fine. I understand why he was upset. He felt that I had tarred him as someone opposing free speech.

I know that is not the case. We explained our disagreements, the moved on.

This kind of unity is needed now more than ever.

Also, the capacity to get angry but to step forward and say "Why are you angry?" rather than get huffed, offended, and walk away: we need more of this.

I was not silenced because of my opinions. My post was removed because the comments mitigate against the fact that the CRA is bound to support the Republican nominee.

Now, I do bring up a bigger issue: to what extent do the procedures and expectations of the group push against the values that the group wishes to represent? This division is getting wider, in my opinion, not just in California, but also in Washington, where Republicans and Democrats who have served in Washington for years have become attached to the label, but have lost sight of the values they were supposed to fight for.

This disjunction has created the dysfunction between the individual and the states v. the federal government. This disunity is becoming toxic.

I still stand by my decision not to vote for Neel Kashkari. My loyalty to party is not as important as my beliefs.

Even William F. Buckley had argued: "Support the Conservative who is the most electable."

Sadly, with the distortions of Prop 14 removing the option of write-in candidates, there was no conservative who was electable.

Republicans running as Democrats, and crashing through a primary with millions of dollars of outside money, are not going to unite the base while bringing independents and disaffected liberals.

I spoke with one Democrat in South Torrance one month ago, and he was ready to vote for Republican candidates because they would be the law-and-order types to end the border crisis and enforce the immigration laws.

And yet, Neel Kashkari supports Drivers Licenses for Illegal Immigrants. He also supports same-sex marriage, abortion, climate change as a viable policy (Cap and Trade), gun control, Common Core, Big Government Bank Bailouts, etc.

'He is not even a Republican!" the Democrat told me. How sad yet telling -- the Democrat understood the Republican Party platform than the gubernatorial nominee.

 Ronald Reagan was right. Voters deserve bold colors, not light pastels. More than looking like Democratic candidate, light pastel candidates simply do not stand out. How can any candidate hope to gain the attention and the traction of voters if no one is paying attention to them?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Called. . .Me!

Last night, while writing up a report on the Rhode Island gubernatorial and Congressional races, I received a last minute call from the:

I know that President Obama is on everyone else's phone, but now Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is sending robo polls to my phone, too?

They must be panicking this year.

I got three questions from a human, though recorded voice.

Did you vote or are you going to vote in the 2014 Congressional race?

Yes, I already did.

If you voted for Ted Lieu, press One. If you voted for Elan Carr, press Two.

I pressed two, without hesitation.

I must say that I was surprised to be getting a call from the DCCC.

Then they asked me when I was born, and my gender.

Maybe I should have given them wrong information, just to mess with them.

I toyed with that idea, then I pressed on and pressed the buttons.

Ted Lieu -- Worried?

State Senator Ted Lieu must be worried, and the Democratic Congressional Committee must be worried for him if they are polling this race so late into the election.

At any rate, no matter who wins, the fact that Democrats are spending time and money on otherwise "safe" seats should be a clear indication that they are running scared in 2014.

IS another shellacking heading for Washington and for California this time?

File:Elan Carr.jpg
Republican Elan Car
Putting pressure on Ted Lieu

Last minute polls like the one I just received would suggest -- yes!

South Bay B-One Bob: "Hell No!"

 Before you rush to judgment, let me be clear.

I am not a big fan of all of B-One Bob's rhetoric.

Bob Dornan (R-CA)

Bob Dornan was a firebrand, and still is one. Sometimes he burned a little too harshly.

I thought it was bad political judgment for him to primary challenge strong fiscal and social conservative Dana Rohrabacher in 2004.

But we need the fire, the passion, and the boldness of B-One Bob Dornan back in Congress.

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has it, without the cursing, too.

We need more of this boldness but this time in the House of Representatives.

Bob Dornan was the House Rep for the South Bay and the Beach Cities in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His politics did not mix perfectly with every resident of the South Bay. Then and now, we need representatives who do  not seek to appease our sensibilities. We need leaders who will say "No!" to tyranny and "Hell No!" to the lies.

Bob Dornan did exactly that on the floor of the House in 1995, in one of the rare occurrences when other members of the House stifled his dissent of President Bill Clinton.

These were Dornan's remarks:

My good friend John Lewis was there the day that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his stirring speech. I hate to disagree with him on anything, but I was offended by Clinton's speech last night on fifteen points, and I'll do a five minute special order tonight that I just signed up for. I can only mention four. The Ark of the Covenant was the Old Covenant. The New Covenant was the Son of God Jesus Christ. And I was offended when he used that term in New York Democratic Convention and repeated it over and over and over again last night.

Not enough people, let alone politicians, know about the New Covenant. When people know that the Son of God enacted this new covenant, they have boldness to meet any challenge (Hebrews 4: 16)

Number two: to put a medal of honor winner in the gallery, that joined the Marine Corps at sixteen, fudging his birth certificate, that pulled that second grenade under his stomach, miraculously surviving and saving his friends six days after his seventeenth birthday. Does Clinton think putting a medal of honor winner up there isn't going to recall for most of us that Clinton avoided the draft three times and put teenagers in his place?  Possible to go to Vietnam?

The media pounced on allegations that President George W. Bush was a draft-dodger. He wasn't, and Dan Rather ending up losing his position as CBS news anchor over that false story. Why was B-One Bob the only one saying anything on the floor of the House?

Number Three:  The line on the Cold War. Even Andrea Mitchell of NBC took note that that's Ronald Reagan's prerogative, George Bush's, and everyone of us who wore the uniform or served in civilian capacities to crush the evil empire. Clinton gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

Wow! Allegations against the President's anti-war past, too?

And by the way, Mr. Speaker, the Second Amendment is not for killing little ducks, and leaving Huey, Dewey, and Louie without an aunt and uncle. It is for hunting politicians like Grosney 1775 when they take your independence away. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time.

Ouch! Since when have we heard lawmakers like that defend our Second Amendment rights, or call out the draft-dodging records of our executives?

A loud applause broke out in the chamber after Rep. Dornan's remarks. Another Congressman, who was not present for Dornan's speech, wanted the words read back. Even though the Democratic lawmakers moved for the comments to be stricken from the record, they ended up repeating his rhetoric at length.

Vic Fazio (D-CA)
Democrats were incensed by Dornan's speech, including Vic Fazio of Northern California:

I think the gentleman from California owes the entire institution, the Congress and the President, an apology.

Dornan didn't back down, but cut right through with his singular rebuttal:

Hell No!

We need representatives like that who will not play the political correctness game.

Not only will I not apologize, I believe that the President did give aid and comfort in London, to the enemy in Hanoi. I'll accept the discipline of the House. I will leave the floor, no apology, but the truth is the truth.

Voters in the South Bay need that kind of boldness once again representing us in the state house and the federal government: Unafraid to speak truth to power, unabashed to expose the failures of our president, unwavering in support for the Second Amendment and all our rights.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gillespie's Unsung ObamaCare Reforms

Ed Gillespie
Once a reliably red state, Virginia has gone blue in the last six years, and despite the roaring discontent with President Obama and the Democratic Party, it looks as if Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie will not be able to capitalize on the voter discontent for a victory in the Old Dominion State.

His poor polling hides from national attention his bold proposals to undo and improve the Affordable Care Act, but even the Washington Post took the time to review his reform package.

Ed Gillespie, Senate candidate in Va., unveils alternative to Affordable Care Act

Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie unveiled a health-care reform proposal Friday, offering an alternative to a law he would like to see repealed.

So much for the mainstream media meme which argues that Republicans are just the "Party of No!"

Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman who is challenging Sen. Mark R. Warner (D), has made opposition to the unpopular Affordable Care Act a cornerstone of his campaign. Democrats have repeatedly challenged Republicans who oppose the health-care law to explain what they would do after a repeal. Gillespie is one of a handful candidates who have done so.
“We can do much better, and my alternative would,” he told about 100 business executives at the Virginia Small Business Partnership Summit in Tysons Corner.
We can do better: Americans have been thinking and feeling this sentiment. Gillespie articulates it without reserve.
His plan would end the individual mandate to buy health insurance, the health-care exchanges and all of the law’s industry regulations. In their place, he would offer tax credits that increase with age and family size.

A bold maneuver. The individual mandate is a tax, and a crippling one which will hurt average families, including young people who will no longer be able to stay on their parents' insurance, even after their twenty-six birthday. The regulations on industries are driving up the costs of health insurance, too, while rationing the available number of doctors and health care providers still willing to put up with the paperwork.

Adults younger than 35 would get $1,200 a year. Those 35 to 49 would get $2,100 a year. Those 50 and older would get $3,000 a year. For every dependent child, the credit would increase by $900.
While many individual premiums have gone up under the Affordable Care Act, Gillespie argued that competition — including across state lines — would help lower premium costs in the individual market. Citing Government Accountability Office numbers, Gillespie said the credits would be sufficient to buy coverage in most cases. This GAO report refers only to base rates, noting that actual premiums could be higher. In addition, under Gillespie’s proposal, family plans would no longer be required to cover young adults until age 26.

Competition is the missing element in many discussion on Obamacare, too. The state health care exchanges do not constitute choice, however, since they rely on taxpayer, government money instead of gaining profit through voluntary trade. However, tax credits alone may create a different form of inflation, unless the regulatory burdens and state exchanges are removed right away first. That incumbent element may not prove difficult, since ongoing legal challenges to Obamacare are ruling that the federal government can only grant subsidies in states with their own health exchanges, The federal exchange will fall apart in the majority of states, then, which have not enacted their own insurance markets.

File:Ed Gillespie - Fairfax County GOP Meeting.JPG
Ed Gillespie in Fairfax County, VA

For those with pre­existing conditions, Gillespie proposed that policies could be purchased during specific windows. Parents of newborns would have six months to obtain coverage for them. When children turn 18 or leave their parents’ insurance, they would have six months to get coverage. People who lose employer-based insurance would have two months. Once those policies were in place, they could not be revoked.

“No one with continuous coverage could be dropped from their insurance or be repriced due to a pre­existing condition,” he said.

That policy would perform some of the same functions as the individual mandate, Gillespie said: ensuring that people don’t “game the system by going without insurance but then trying to buy it after a costly diagnosis.”

This proposal is important. Insurance companies cannot assume complete risk and cost. Otherwise, why have health insurance in the first place?

For those with pre­existing conditions who can’t afford insurance with a tax credit, Gillespie would set aside $75 billion over 10 years to set up state-run high-risk pools.

This part is not a good idea. More government risk-taking is wrong. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should discourage federal risk management from now on.

Instead of the so-called Cadillac tax on very expensive ­employer-offered plans, Gillespie would cap the tax exclusion for those at $20,000 per family plan and $8,000 per individual plan.
Medicaid, expanded in some states under Obamacare, would go back to its previous eligibility levels. The 11 million people who the Congressional Budget Office estimates would sign up for Medicaid by 2015 would be eligible for tax credits instead.

There. Let individuals take control and responsibility for their health care and health insurance. It's time to get people off the government dole, middle class as well as working class and corporate.

The plan is modeled on one created by the conservative 2017 Project. That plan was scored by the Center for Health and Economy as saving taxpayers $1 trillion compared with the Affordable Care Act. The think tank was founded by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist.

Saving money -- now there's something we haven't heard about for years.

Democrats argued that a plan such as Gillespie’s would push too much cost on consumers while exposing them to the vagaries of a less-regulated marketplace.

Electoral results  (2008 v. 2012)

Marketplaces are already well-regulated, by competition, persuasion, and better choices from individual seeking a better product with less money. Free markets are not absent of rules, but have the simplest regulations which require all companies to make wise choices about supply and demand, or face loss, bankruptcy, an asset reduction.

Gillespie's plan to remove the individual mandate and state health care exchanges, coupled with tax credits and increased competition across state lines incorporate key free market reforms which define the Republican Party platform and can advance a positive, pro-growth image of the party in the next two years.


Obama is On the Ballot

"I am not on the ballot this fall.  Michelle’s pretty happy about that.  But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot.  Every single one of them." President Barack Obama

Yes, President Obama, you and your policies are on the 2014 ballot.

Yet candidates and incumbents of your party are running away from you faster than a nurse from an ebola quarantine.

Voters will get to judge their reaction to the following disasters, failures, and scandals under your presidency.

Gun rights: President Obama has run around the Constitution to restrict gun rights, or has relied on big liberal donors to coerce lawmakers and executives to curb access to firearms as concealed-carry permits.

Obamacare: men and women who took responsibility for their health care and purchased health insurance are getting punished for doing the right thing because of the Orwellian Affordable Care Act, which has turned out to be neither affordable nor caring.

Immigration: an illegal immigrant youth crisis has crowded the Southern border of the United States. Normally strongholds for Democratic control in New England are pushing aside or at least questioning liberal Democratic control.

Ebola: Americans do not feel safe because of the outbreak of communicable (and fatal) Ebola virus. Reports from Congressmen and federal health officials suggest that President Obama wants to bring infected immigrants to the United States to grant them treatment, too.

Jobs: This jobless recovery has given birth to a stagnating recovery. Wall Street may have crested 17,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but that means nothing to the homeless and unemployed covering themselves with the business section of the New York and LA Times. When Democratic lawmakers like Rhode Island Congressman David Cicciline take pictures of his district's unemployed, there is no way that they can run from this President or his deep responsibility for terrible policies bankrupting businesses, pushing profits into tax shelters, or forcing corporations to invert and move overseas.

President Obama and his policies are on the ballot, and Democrats across the country are scared.

If the Democratic Party was a brand of dog food, they should have been taken off the shelf by now.

HuffPo Puff Piece on Egyptian Woman

Once again, the Huffington Post put up a puff piece missing substance, but full of inference which really infers very little.

The writer and videographer of this post wanted to recreate the discomfort for viewers which Egyptian women face in Muslim countries:
What It's Like To Walk Alone If You're A Woman In Cairo

File:Women in Egypt.jpg
Two Women in Egypt (Source: Yareite)
The stories relating what women experience in Islamic nations should make any Western feminist or civil rights activist boil over in rage.

Yet very rarely do militant feminists in the West say anything to defend Arab women.

Now, homosexual activists are teaming up with Islamic advocates, too, even while ignoring the fact that individuals practicing that form of conduct face stiff penalties (including death) in Islamic countries.

When I was looking this Huffington Post column highlighting the plight of women in Egypt, however, I found much ado about nothing.

The readers watch a video of her walk for five minutes along a Cairo bridge. The American who filmed this piece writes:

Today we will be filming what it's like to walk down the busiest bridge in Cairo as a girl," says American-born filmmaker Colette Ghunim, introducing the short clip, above. From that point on there are no more words spoken -- just the leering gazes from almost every man Ghunim walks by.

Yes, there are men who look at her, young and old. There were also women in the footage, too, and they looked at her.

This kind of emotionally charged content is not journalism, hardly scientific, and not meaningful.

I would not call it journalistic malpractice, but irrelevant and unrevealing.

This blurb might explain why a number of men were looking at her:

Colette walked down the Kasr El-Nil bridge, secretly recording with an iPhone. She held it by her mouth with headphones plugged in and pretended to talk on the phone. She pretended to be deep in conversation, looking straight ahead of her. Whenever she felt eyes on her, she turned the phone slightly towards them. The clip was filmed in a single 5 minute walk around sunset, as people often gather on the bridge after the temperature cools down.

She was talking loudly on a phone, or rather pretending to talk on the phone. Such behavior can give the impression of mental illness, in that she was obviously not talking to someone, and the dialogue she was improvising probably sounded disjointed and strange.

Then this passage follows:

She also noted that the purpose of "Creepers on the Bridge" is not to denigrate Egyptian, Arab or Muslim men, but to call attention to a problem facing women around the globe.

This hyperbole commands no respect. What data suggest that women around the globe are harassed by streets of men looking at them? A five minute video does not indicate an epidemic of leering men, not even in the Arab world.

This HuffPo puff piece is one more example of manipulative liberalism masquerading as unbiased journalism, and does a disservice to the cause of helping women who are assaulted and discriminated against in certain countries around the world.

Not Ten, but Just Two: Believe on Jesus, and Love One Another (As Jesus Loved You)

Canon J. John shared a powerful conversion message last night on TBN (October 29, 2014).

Canon J. John

When he was younger, an evangelist at his college had asked him: "Has Jesus been knocking on your door?"

He had no idea where the door was, but one day John asked Jesus: "Come on in."

The eyes of his understanding were then enlightened, and a wonderful warmth filled his heart.

Indeed, his experience describes the new birth which every Christian experiences.

I was saddened, however, when I then heard him talk about his reintroduction of the Ten Commandments.

"I heard the Lord tell me to teach them backwards," he shared on this program.

Then he went to his pastor, and John admitted while retelling the story: "I told my pastor: 'I think the Lord has given me a God idea. And if it's not a God idea, then at least I think it's a good idea."

Right away, he admits that he was not sure that he was hearing from the Lord. The fact is that he was not. It was a "good" idea, the same way that it seemed like a good idea for Abraham to sleep with the servant girl Hagar rather than truth the Lord's power and timing so that his lawful wife Sarah would conceive a child.

There's a larger revelation which needs to be received on this matter.

The Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments, they were a good idea at one time.

Today, the Old Covenant has come and gone.

The Old Covenant, engraven on stones, was fulfilled at the Cross.

Consider what Paul writes to the Corinthians in his Second Epistle:

"7But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." (2 Corinthians 3:7-11)


Notice that the ministration of righteousness exceeds in glory. This is a righteousness that we receive by faith, not by works (cf. Philippians 3:9)

The writer of Hebrews outlines the elements of the New Covenant:

"10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
Now, consider what the writer of Hebrews shares next:
"13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
The Old Covenant has faded and passed away, because it has been fulfilled. We don't need it anymore if we have passed from death to life in Jesus. In Christ, we are dead to the law (cf. Romans 7:4).
Now, what I have found particularly troubling is that men and women like Canon J. John say "The Lord said" as if that silences dissent. And what's worse, he goes against the Gospel by bringing back the Ten Commandments!

What does Paul say to Christians about returning to the Ten Commandments?:

"6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1: 6-9)

Paul was shocked -- shocked-- that men and women born again in Christ would go back to the Ten Commandments. Paul was emphatic in his outrage: If he or any other messenger of the Gospel, or an angel from heaven (not a demon from hell) preached something else ... let him be accursed.

Wow! This is not a game, people. Let us not bring believers back under law. Let us not do despite to the Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10: 27-29)

Canon J. John reminds me of many Christians who once they are saved by grace through faith, are then convinced that they can be perfect through the law.

I do not doubt that he is born again. I vehemently reject his argument to bring back the Ten Commandments, even in a "positive" light.

Paul was as subtle as a meat cleaver with Christians who were foolish--yes foolish--enough to go back under law after being saved by grace:

"1O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:1-5)

The error time and again which I find from the most well-meaning of preachers misses the big issue: man is dead in his trespasses, and needs life. He does not help: he needs life. Man does no need help, instruction, guidance, training to keep the rules. 

He needs to know that the Ruler, the King of Kings, wants to keep us!

When we are saved, we receive His life, and we do not grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord or bear more fruit for Him through our efforts.

Let us never forget that through the law is the knowledge of sin, not the Son:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 20)

God the Father invites us to grow in grace and knowledge of His Son:

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3: 18)

That word "Amen" is crucial, because it means "believe" or "I believe it," and this faith is all based on the Cross. Either you believe Jesus did it all, or you do not, and it is not open for debate.

Today, under the New Covenant, it is no longer about the Big Ten, because Jesus fulfilled them fully and forever.

It is no longer "Just Ten". Now it has become "Just Two", because there are two different commands which replace the Old Covenant.

John summarizes the "Just Two" like this:

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (1 John 3: 23)

Jesus spoke of these two simple directions in the Gospel of John:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 29)

and then:

"A  new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13: 34)

These are not commandments in order for God to bless us, but because He has blessed us. The goodness of God leads us to repentance, to believe on Him (Romans 2:4), and we love because He first loved us! (1 John 4:19).

This pattern of moving from Ten to Two is very compelling.

Throughout the Old Testament, a number of times a group numbered in twelve is divided into ten and two.

This separation is a picture of us leaving the Old Covenant (Ten Commandments) and entering into the New Covenant (Grace).


Jacob had twelve sons, but the first ten were from lawfully defined wives and bondwomen (Leah, Bilhah, Zillah). Jacob's favored sons came from his beloved wife Rachel (ewe lamb, picture of Jesus our perfect Savior): Joseph and Benjamin.

When twelve spies visited the Promised Land, ten of the spies (a picture of the law, and the Old Covenant) gave an evil report, focusing on themselves and then their enemies. There were only two spies who gave a graciously true report: Joshua (God is savior, and also the Hebrew name for Jesus!) and Caleb, which means "faithful' or "whole-hearted".

The two spies represent the New Covenant, in which we believe on Jesus whole-heartedly, focusing on God and His Word:

"And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." (Numbers 13: 30)

When King Rehoboam (Freer of the People) become king, he offended the twelve tribes so much, that ten of the tribes divorced from Rehoboam and established their own kingdom. The two tribes which stayed loyal to the king were Judah (Praise) and Benjamin (Son of My Right Hand)

Through the Finished Work of the King of Kings, Jesus fulfilled the law and rendered it inoperative to condemn us, freed us from its ministry of condemnation, and has brought us into a New Covenant, where He is our God, and all we do is Praise and thank Jesus, the Son at the Father's Right Hand.

We no longer try to keep Ten Commandments, which no one could ever keep, anyway:

"Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?" (John 7:19)


"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:20)

and also

 "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient" (1 Timothy 1: 9)

God places His two new laws in our hearts: to believe on Him and love one another.

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jeremiah 31:33)

We live by His faith, and we love through His love for us.

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2: 20)


"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4: 19)

It's not about "Just Ten", but rather "Just Two": that is the New Covenant, and we are just and true to what Jesus has done at the Cross if we recognize this change. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and all we have to do is just believe on Him, and let His love move us to love others.

Security Against Misrule: Immediacy and Morality

After reading Jeremy Bentham's inquiries on a constitution for the nation of Tripoli, I accepted his argument that "The Security against Misrule is publicity."

File:Portrait of Jeremy Bentham Wellcome M0016939.jpg
Jeremy Bentham
However, following the fall-out of corrupt leaders getting reelected, in despite dogging allegations of corruption and misconduct, whether in Detroit, Michigan or Providence, Rhode Island, or even the White House, one must accept that publicity alone is not enough to end misrule in our governments.

It's not enough to know that public officials are doing wrong.

Nor is it enough that they are routinely exposed for their wrongdoing.

When the crimes of local officials gets personal, when individual voters in large numbers feel directly threatened, then misrule meets the check and balance of angry voters and reform pressures.

After years of corruption under Democratic governors, Rhode Island voters started sending in Republicans.

After four state senators have been arrested and indicted in California, voters are starting to pay attention to the pay-for-play corruption which defines Sacramento politicking.

Now that state leaders are pushing state prisoners into county jails, who in turn are releasing convicts earlier into our neighborhoods, Californians will experience crime either directly or in the news. What happens when otherwise safe neighborhoods experience an evident uptick in crime?

Water tables are falling during the dry 2014 year. Farmers are leaving their land barren. Food prices will rise, and shoppers will find fewer crops in their stores. How will voters in suburban areas feel about water rationing, higher prices for water consumption? What about apartment dwellers who face eviction or high rent for basic resources?

Poor and working class families are fighting for jobs, for the best education for their kids. The quality of public school education has not changed, even with more money. Local charter schools are enduring greater scrutiny from parents, much of the time because they know that their kids need to compete for fewer seats in colleges, with rising tuition. Minority communities with a strong respect for education feel marginalized by pandering interest groups which want to reintroduce race as a key factor in college placement. Asian-American cohorts, which had normally voted Democratic, signaled their willingness to vote GOP just to silence liberal voices in the legislature.

The greatest security against misrule is the morality of the individual voter, and the consequences of the immoral actions of our legislators. Revolutionary uprisings sprung from law-abiding citizens who refused to cower under tyranny. When the oppression was so great, that death was no longer a fearful outcome, American colonists took up arms against the imposing British Empire, and won.

Obama refuses to lead, refuses to protect
puts his country and citizenry in harm's way

When a President refuses to defend a nation's borders, when communicable diseases permeate our otherwise healthy society, when government incompetence and corruption become so rife that our hardest working and most vulnerable citizens (Veterans, children) are placed in harm's way, men and women will react strongly and demand an end to the ongoing misrule in their midst.

The dreadful leadership of state lawmakers and executive officials is bearing down on voters. The security against misrule is more than just publicity, but immediacy and morality.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Democratic Infighting in the 17th: GOP Plans for the Future?

Ro Khanna v. Mike Honda

There has been too little talk about Democratic infighting in California these days. I confess I am guilty of breaking the Eleventh Commandment.

In part because I have an immediate as well as pervasive knowledge of Republican politics and conservative views.

Of course, that does not mean that Democrats and liberals are not eating each other, either?

I have reported on the UC Berkeley petition to ban leftist-playing-libertarian comedian Bill Maher.

Check out what's happening in the 17th Congressional District, too, the South Bay in Northern California.

Ro Khanna, Indian-American and Obama Administration bureaucrat, is running to the left of reliable yet useless liberal Mike Honda.

Honda is the Asian version of Henry Waxman, a fixture in California Democratic politics, an easy left-leaning vote in the House. Unlike the Southern California lawmaker, however, Honda hasn't accomplished much of anything.

He has avoided debates with Khanna, too. According to Breitbart, he set up his campaign office in SEIU headquarters, too.  This incumbent's vote is bought and paid for by the unions.

Honda refuses to move into the district, which has swung west, away from his prior Congressional haunt.

Khanna has been raking in the money, but Honda still has the edge.

Now the two candidates are duking it out for Republican votes. Can this bitter intraparty battle help Silicon Valley Republicans in the future?

Let us recap.

Democrats are going to split on issues because no supermajority lasts forever without individual candidates getting itchy about their influence within the overall caucus. Such is the nature of human ambition in politics.

Gloria Romero, former Democratic state legislator, wants to curb unions and expand school choice. Sounds good to me.

Governor Brown has shown some (some!) reserved judgment and vetoed some horrendous bills from the state legislature.

Democrats are split on what to do about convicted felons, in part because of some of them are convicts or about to be convicted.

The legislature tried to reintroduce academic discrimination, but key votes in the Democratic caucus killed the vote, including Congressional candidate Ted Lieu, who is now running for Congress. He also voted against delaying a vote to expel Roderick Wright. Democrats are also divided over the bullet train and water issues.

So, how can Northern California GOP take advantage of these divisions?

Find out which candidate has done more outreach to the GOP.

Work with that candidate, get his support, and start networking. The bitter results after November 4th will open up opportunities for future Republican candidates to find common ground with Democratic voters on school choice, litigation reform, water storage, prison streamlining, and reforming campaign finance issues.

Schaper's Choices for Rhode Island (If You Care to Know)

This November, Rhode Islanders can change the course of the Ocean State, or stagnate.

Here is my run-down of whom I would send to Smith Hill and to Washington.

No Master Lever for me, since I will not be voting a straight GOP ticket. You’ll understand at the end.


Allan Fung for Governor

No surprise here: this guy just wants to have Fung. . .seated in the state house. Forget Chafee, forget Raimondo. Bring in the noise, and bring in the Fung!
Strange enough that a California conservative is dishing on Rhode Island politics. Stranger still, I am staunchly supporting this gubernatorial candidate while ignoring the one running in mine. Why? Fung is a true conservative with a record of private and public service.

He opposes partial-birth abortion, supports the Second Amendment, in word and deed, with a real record on pension reform. He will not reward illegal immigrants for breaking the law with a driver’s license. He opposes the taxpayer-funded bailout for 38 Studios, which was not the voters’ fault to begin with. Unlike other Republicans who succeeded after bitter primaries, he reached out and received the support for former rival Ken Block. Awesome.
And he’s not Gina. Need I say more?

US Senator
I would vote for Warwick, RI tech administrator Raymond McKay.

Oh, that’s right, some little law prevented his run for US Senate. Welcome to Rogue’s Island, where corruption has been codified in city ordinances. McKay should have hit Mayor Avedisian with a lawsuit (or log) and gotten it over with.
So, who’s running against “the least vulnerable Democratic incumbent” Jack Reed?

Former Congressional candidate and RI GOP Chairman Mark Zaccaria, who had no plans to run for anything on June 25 this year. Then came June 26, the deadline for a US Senate nominee, and following the slow-walking, stone-walling of state then federal district courts, the RI GOP needed a last-minute candidate.
Zaccaria stepped up for state, party, and the good of all.

The sudden (yet also seasoned) politician gave me an hour of his time to discuss his campaign. I asked him about name recognition: “Let’s just say I have more than you do.” Wow! Good enough for me.

Aware of the financial as well as time limits pressing on him, Zaccaria hit every conservative point that counted. We need representatives in Washington who protect tour borders, not their interests. The ebola crisis has cratered Reed’s self-promotion as “Defender of Rhode Island”. Zaccaria called him on it, and within twelve hours, Reed revised his TV commercials. If Zaccaria slams Obamacare, illegal immigration, and ebola, he can bring down Reed’s chances.
Mark Zaccaria
Zaccaria would get my vote.

Congressional District One: Providence
Cormick Lynch
Cormick Lynch.  This young man took time out of his financial career to come home and run to represent his people. War veteran, former firefighter, Lynch knows the issues, and recognizes that Cicciline has done nothing for his constituents, aside from taking pictures of their poverty and posting them around Congress.

Congressional District Two: Warwick
Rhue Reis
Rhue Reis. Can’t say I know enough about him, but as long as he’s a Republican, he’s got my vote.

Mayor of Providence
And now, who will be the next Prince of Providence?

At first, I was for the good Doctor Daniel Harrop. Yes, he refused to partner with RI GOP Chairman Mark Smiley. Yes, he supports amnesty. Yeah, yeah, I also know that he’s a big fan of single-payer health care, a singularly bad idea. I read up on him, I wrote for him, I interviewed him, and I was happy with him.
Then he drops $1,000 on the Democratic candidate housing judge Jorge Elorza. His reason? Help the Democrat get his message out.

Enough already. This man needs a psychiatrist, or needs to decide not to be a Republican anymore. Talking with other conservatives in the state, I was warned about this guy. He was kind of weird, some of them told me. “He’s behind the ‘Impeach Smiley’ campaign”, another reported. “He doesn’t respect the party,” a third person told me.
Having put aside all the backdoor gossip, I see Dr. Dan as DOA, uncommitted and untrustworthy.

So, who am I left with?
Democrat Jorge Elorza? Let me guess: he will be the culmination of neglect and irresponsibility which defined the Cicciline and Taveras administrations. The last thing a crumbling city needs is more of the same. Elorza? Haven’t the residents of Rhode Island had enough of lawyers in bad dresses? (Bevilaqua? Fay?)

And yet the other choice, if not the Democrat or the Republican is exactly that -- more of the same: Vincent “Buddy” Cianci.
Buddy it is!
A two-time felon wants a third administration. Why not dig up and resurrect Roger Williams? Or Anne Hutchinson? Maybe Raymond Patriarca? At least he was in charge, even while stealing from everyone else.

Buddy it is. The former mayor revitalized Providence. The streets were whole (instead of full of holes). If the pension problems are his fault, then he has to fix it, or the city defaults under his watch. Poetic justice, I say.
There it is, Rhode Island. Vote GOP (and Buddy) November 4th!

Governor Walker Working Toward Third Victory

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is running for statewide office for the third time in four years. That record in itself is an accomplishment. Winning by a stable margin in 2010, then widening that victory to defeat a partisan recall effort in 2012 against the same opponent, Governor Walker has diverse polling  to his advantage, all of which suggest that a tight race is breaking for this conservative Republican in the once deep blue progressive Dairy State.

As for Walker’s third gubernatorial challenger, Democratic lawmaker Mary Burke has attempted to coopt Walker’s economic plans, while making no claims to roll back the crucial yet controversial collective bargaining reforms. Her family fired her from their firm because of incompetence, she refuses to speak with the press, and even when President Obama stumps on her behalf, otherwise loyal partisans leave Mary Burke’s rallies, apparently disinterested with their candidate or discouraged by the President who brought neither hope nor change to a country more divided and frustrated than before.

Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell called Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race the most important in this country, more than the Republicans’ optimistic resurgence in the US Senate or gains in Congress. Walker’s reforms have not only proved the long-term efficacy of limiting government, lowering taxes, and loosening regulations and control over local government agencies, but he accomplished these reforms while championing the rights and protections of women (born and unborn). His win in 2014 will solidify the political as well as moral and financial success of those reforms.

Lessons About Local Elections (2013 Torrance School Board)

In 2013, I had worked with a small group called the "South Bay Education Council." We were all members of the Beach Cities Republican Club, based in Torrance, CA.

Part of our mission was to help conservatives win local elections, so that we could help shape the local civic culture to respect South Bay values.

We decided to work with one candidate, who was running for Torrance School Board: John Paul Tabakian, a college instructor and education entrepreneur. He did not mesh on every issue that I cared about.

He did not have to. He was the only Republican running for a seat on the Torrance School Board. He was interested in bringing public-private partnerships to the district. He had bold plans to save SCROC from closure because of funding cuts from the state.

Michael Wermers
Working with a little group which we called "The South Bay Education Council", we contacted all three current school board candidates/incumbents running for office: Michael Wermers, Mark Steffen, and Martha Deutsch.

The one candidate we were most interested in unseating, appointed member Martha Deutsch, did not return our calls. Finally, a campaign consultant contacted us. When he found out that we were members of a Republican club, he told us that his client was a Democrat. Would our club be able to endorse her, even if they could?

This consultant was wise. He was onto our plans, so to speak. When we told him that we had met with the other two school board candidates, he offered to talk with Deutsch again. The last time we heard from this consultant, Larry Fox, he reported that she would not meet with us.

Mark Steffen

Politically smart move. Besides, since she was a Democrat, and we were Republicans, it's not as if we would have agreed on anything. Another aspect of Deutsch's campaign: she offered nothing substantive in debates and forums. What would she do as member of the school board? What concerns did she have about revenue or Common Core? Nothing.

It seemed to many of us that Deutsch was the most vulnerable candidate, and that she could be removed.

So, the South Bay Ed Council wrote articles on Tabakian's behalf, and we contacted local leaders and teachers to support our candidate's election. He connected with trade unions, including the SEIU.

Throughout the next few months, I was receiving flyers from the SEIU, which endorsed Tabakian and Mark Steffen, a unique pairing since Steffen was another liberal Democrat.

The last week of the election, Tabakian prepared flyers and maps for us to go knocking on doors for a last push.

Then came Election Day.

John Paul Tabakian in one of his cable TV commercials

Tabakian lost. Of the four candidates running, including the other candidate whom we had endorsed, he finished fourth, and by a few hundred votes, too. The top vote-getter? Martha Deutsch.

That outcome left many of us confused, scratching our heads. How could she have done so well running on so little?

A year after that disappointing political outcome, this is what I have learned so far:

1. Martha Deutsch knew that she was the most vulnerable candidate. She was well-aware of the challenges that Tabakian posed to her election for office in her own right.

2. She took the campaign very seriously. She hired a consultant, refusing to rely on her own knowledge or network.

3. She invested a large sum of money, including glossy flyers. Even Tabakian told me that they cost $1,000 dollars. That's a lot of money.

4. She has strong ties with Torrance PTA groups, all of which supported her, particularly in South High. These interest groups have a direct interest in voting, because they work directly with school board members. They will show up and vote because they are thinking long-term with clear results.

Martha Deutsch
5. This issue of voter turnout cannot be ignored, either. Michael Wermers was working for 9,000 votes. 9,000 people did not even bother to vote in the 2013 school board election. Abysmal. The turnout for Torrance City Council was disappointing, too.

6. Tabakian's unforced errors:

     a. He was arrogant, and to many critics, still is arrogant. More interesting in promoting his ideas than serving the community, his ideas were academic and off-putting.

     b. He took union money. Support from liberal unions like SEIU sent a mixed message to Republican voters. Members of the Council felt concerned about this money, too, and ultimately it did not help him.

     c. He did not invest in lawn signs or flyers. I remember walking down Tabakian's street, and there was a home which had three lawn signs: Wermers, Steffen, and Deutsch. I also saw Martha Deutsch lawn signs all over South Torrance, particularly along Anza Ave. People are not going to vote for someone if they have no idea that they are running. Messaging is crucial, even something as basic as lawn sigs.

7. Tabakian worked with a dedicated group of Republicans and conservatives. He even received the endorsement of the local Torrance-Lomita Republican Assembly. He also claimed that the Beach Cities Republicans supported him,  although technically he was not supposed to use that club as an endorsement. Individuals volunteered their time to record advertisements for their candidate, too. Yet this group was not big enough nor influential enough to get him elected. Outreach has to reach out beyond a marginal set of dedicated partisans.

8. Voter apathy is strong, and candidates have to give voters a good reason to get up and fill out a ballot on their behalf. Either a strong emotional issue or an innovative reform will drive voters out to the polls. In Deutsch's case, she was popular with PTA moms, and they are willing to take the time to vote for their friends. No one can underestimate the importance of networking with politically connected and active local interest.

9. Incumbency. I  do not want to accept this fact, but there is no running from it. Incumbents are the closest things to divine right in our modern political culture. Most voters are intelligent people, but the time and energy required to educate oneself about  the candidates and their positions far outweighs the benefit or influence of one voter. Washington Post columnist George Will argued correctly that voter apathy is actually a rational behavior. There is little pay-off to be informed and engaged as a voter by oneself. Interest groups have more influence precisely because of this political reality.