2015 Predictions -Review

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Every year I create my predictions for the year ahead. Before I post this, I try to do my most thorough analysis of the previous year’s predictions.  Here is my analysis.

  1. Hilary Clinton will announce her candidacy for President, probably in late summer through the end of November. There will be a strong and active lead-up to this. They will also attempt to hide Bill as much as possible, at least until Summer.
    – On March 1, the Wall Street Journal announced that Hilary would announce in April.
    – She announced in a video to “supporters” on April 13th. Although, I am surprised no one noticed that she announced on the thirteenth of the month, I think the Ides of March would be more appropriate
    – Bill Clinton was noticeably quiet for almost the entire year.  At the very end of the year, he started talking again, which was really pounced on by rivals. +4 pts
  2. Republicans will announce throughout 2015. It will be a large group. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul will all be really active in 2015. You’ll hear from them a lot. They will all likely run.
    – Rand Paul announced his bid for President on April 6th.
    – Ben Carson was on May 3rd.
    -Carly Fiorina was on May 4th.
    -There are a total of 17 Republicans who were in the race at one time, although 5 have since dropped out. +4 pts
  3. Who won’t run? Elizabeth Warren, and in a break with tradition…Joe Biden won’t jump in either.
    – I’m pretty proud of that one.  I was 100%. +4 pts
  4. Obama will veto lots and lots of legislation. The Democrat’s story will still be “the do-nothing Congress, that won’t work bipartisanly.” Interestingly, many Dems will vote on measures like the Keystone pipeline, but won’t vote to override the veto. Because of that, it will be surprising how few times there will even be post-veto votes. This is Democrat strategy so that the Dems can claim to have voted for issues that they never supported.
    – This is a pretty mixed bag.  Obama used 5 vetoes in 2015.  This is actually not a huge amount for a president.  However, most of Obama’s vetoes have been in 2015.  I did envisions more than that. They did vote on the Keystone Pipeline, which Obama vetoed, and Congress did not  override.  He also vetoed the Defense Authorization bill, which many Democrats voted for, but will not vote to override. Overall, the picture is more cloudy than I though it would be.  I give myself 50% on that one. +2 pts
  5. A Supreme Court vacancy will come up. Ruth Ginsburgh is looking likely to me. This will likely be tied to health-related issues. When it happens, it will happen fast.  
    – I was wrong on this one.  We’ll see what happens next year.  Maybe I was just a year off.  Either way, +0 pts.
  6. The Conservatives will get a big court win on either Benghazi, IRS bad behavior, Obamacare, Executive actions, and/or Obama’s immigration action.
    – Of course, the courts ruled very much against any logic on Obamacare, and are currently planning to hear his Executive action on immigration reform.  However, lower courts have all ruled against Obama and it is not sure that the Supreme Court will weigh in on the issue at all.  My intent was that one of these issues would go against Obama.  Because the courts have ruled favorably on Obama’s Executive actions so far (though it is not settled), I’m giving myself +2 pts.
  7. More gay marriage court action legalizing gay marriage. The Supreme Court will rule favorably to gay marriage, maybe steering clear of a sweeping legalization. Gay marriage states will increase.
    – Anyone who has not been under a rock in 2015 knows how this turned out.  Very very sadly +4 pts.
  8. Radio Shack bankrupt—and gone. ***I wrote this one down 5 days prior to the news on January 15th that Radio Shack would likely file for Chapter 11 in the first week of February. I’m not saying that it was a long shot then, but there had been no announcement.  – The previous was written as an update early in the year.  +4 pts
  9. At some point this year the Fed will increase the interest rate.
    – Squeeked this one out at the last minute, but I still get the +4 pts.
  10. The “Internet of things” will really visibly increase. This will also be due to the falling prices of Internet-connective things.
    – This one has been talked about throughout 2015 (although now referred to as IoT).  From Barbie dolls to cars, the story actually morphed throughout the year in “the hackable IoT.” + 4 pts
  11. There will be news of companies doing wacky viral-esque stunts. Some of these will be really cool (look for socially conscious stuff) and some will be massively embarrassing failures.
    -Starbucks decided to help heal the racial divide with #racetogether.  It failed miserably!  However, I think mostly because of the fact that this was so highly criticized, other companies did not follow suit.  I strongly think that if the experiment had been highly praised, there would have been a lot of this.  I give myself +2 pts.
  12. There will be a big number of attempted terrorist attacks in Europe and America. Some of these might be successful. The attacks this year in Paris are only the beginning. Europe will be the new front for a lot of Muslim violence.
    – Remember, when I was writing this in January of 2015, I was talking about different terrorist attacks than we now think of as “the Paris terrorist attacks.”  Two massive terrorist attacks in the US and Europe, as well as those in Turkey and throughout Africa and the Middle East, give me +4 pts on this.  However, let me be clear, that I take no joy in that.  Real people died, and that is a tragedy.  My predictions for the year are a game of sorts, terrorism is not a game.
  13. Iran will not follow through with its nuclear deal with the US
    – The main stream media has largely swept this under the table, but they have not followed the agreement, nor did they ever intend to.  This is what happens when you put a fool in charge of the western world. +4 pts
  14. Russia will have more military actions, possibly in Ukraine and maybe including Belarus.
    – I did not know it would be Syria, but I was undeniably correct. +4 pts
  15. A-la cart TV on the Internet will finally come to fruition, and not just with a couple of channels like HBO. Some channels will do this through their websites and some will partner with existing providers like Netfilx and Amazon.
    HBO announced on April 8th that they were offering untethered service directly to consumers.
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    – One of the even bigger moves was that Showtime, Starz, and more than a dozen others became accessible via Amazon Prime. +4 pts
  16. There will be much more talk from the Left on “income inequality,” minimum wage, the rich getting richer, especially in the first half of the year.
    – Does having a whole candidate for President count?   This is the whole presidential platform of the Democrats. If you don’t believe me, look at Hillary’s own website, but please don’t.  She’ll count you as one of the billions in America who will be voting for her. +4 pts
  17. You’ll start hearing the term “Fast-Laning,” This will be one of the words of the year. There will be a rise in no-wait services and products—many through company apps.
    – This did happen quite a bit in ’15, but you did not hear the term “fast laning,” unless you worked in the industry.  Starbucks, Subway Sandwiches, McDonalds, all have fast-laning options.  This is mostly through company apps.  Basically, all fast food restaurants have this now.  This has saved Americans minutes in the drive thru [sic] lane.  Because the term “fast-laning” did not take off, I’m only giving myself +3 pts.
  18. There will be a consumer backlash against product false claims. Companies will be held more accountable to what they say they can do.
    – I did not see this happen in 2015 in any noticeable way. +0 pts
  19. Early in the year expect a North Korean nuclear test, followed by belligerence, followed by an announced deal. All of this will take place before mid-summer.
    – At the end of Feb/ beginning of March, the US had military exercises and NK fired some missiles in response, coupled with belligerent rhetoric.  However, there was no nuclear test at all.  The North Koreans did talk about nuclear war with the West and threaten such action numerous times.  But, that happens every year. +1 pt
  20. Facebook will further monetize. Look for possible corporate deals. They will possibly develop in-Facebook shopping and/or “pay with Facebook” e-wallet technology.
    – This did not happen in 2015.  I am surprised.  I might just be a year or so off.  We’ll see.  +0 pts

This gives me 58 out of a possible 80 points, or 72.5%.  Getting a C is not bad for a pre-test. -Ryan

Insensitivity

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I worked in management for Sears throughout college.  It was a good job that treated me well and gave me a great opportunity to build a business management resume that has benefited me throughout my whole adult life.  But that was a very different Sears that I have seen over the last 10 years.

Last week, I was on lunch and decided to pull up a YouTube video of Chris Tomlin (a Christian worship music artist) singing a song I’d hurt at church the weekend prior.  As most of us know, YouTube regularly plays videos of sponsored content (a.k.a ads) before your chosen video.  It is part of the monetization that Google brings to all of its products.  When a company pays for an ad to run, they specify all of the criteria that will determine who sees the video.  This includes thing like the geographic location of the watcher, the viewer’s history, and the specific thing searched for, as well as everything in between.  I’m simplifying the process, but it is nearly infinitely customizable, ensuring that the only people who see your video are the exact people you want to see it.

So, I search for Chris Tomlin and the title of the worship song (I don’t remember right now exactly which song it was) and I click on the video.  Before my video starts to play, this is the ad I see (feel free not to watch the whole thing):

I skipped the ad when it gave me a chance and watched my worship video, but the more I thought about it the more upset I became.  I can’t think of a YouTube history on my account that would have been pertinent or anything else that makes sense…unless either they were putting that out to everyone, or they were specifically targeting people watching worship videos.

So, I took to Twitter, incredulous that Sears would be so insensitive.  The screenshot from my Tweet, and Sears’ response not long after, are below.

Sears Tweet

It is 2014,  know.  I am not surprised by a company supporting homosexual marriage.  I don’t like it, but I know it happens.  I don’t support the homosexual mafia attacking companies like Chik-fil-a simply because their CEO said that he believes a marriage is between a man and a woman.  But most of all, I can’t support the incredible rudeness of a company deliberately attacking the morality of Christians in this way.  Whether their Tweet to me was an automatic response to mine or not, it doesn’t matter.

I’m not one to start a boycott and get worked up over anything secular.  I think that secular complies not guided by Christians will not act Christian.  However, companies that deliberately attack Christians is another story altogether.

You know why they do it?  They do it because they know that they will insult us and treat us disrespectfully in whatever ways they choose, and we will buy their products just the same.  We might post a Facebook complaint and feel like we accomplished something, but as soon as the next sale comes along, we will open up our wallets again.

For me, it stops here.  I have drawn a line in the sand.  I have a lot of Craftsman tools and a Sears credit card.  I’m canceling the card and have bought my last tool from them.

—-

Incidentally, if you want the story behind the video (which I actually haven’t seen in its entirety), Sears sponsored a float in the recent Chicago homosexual parade.  On that float they had 4 homosexual couples getting “married” and this video was celebrating that.

Next time you buy a Sears product, know that is where some of your money is going.  If you support that, then great.  If you don’t, you are supporting it anyway with your money.

 

Fractured -part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesFractured

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This week I read about how Rick Perry had created controversy in California by equating homosexuality with alcoholism.  People were irate.  The problem is, he didn’t do that at all.  You can see and hear the comments here.  He was pointing out that people have a choice in their behavior whether or not their genetics predetermine their outcome.  His statement was obvious, and people getting irate about it just want to be irate because they don’t like anything Rick Perry says, and particularly anything that a Christian would say about homosexuality.

But that isn’t what the headline says, is it?  …Another outright lie.

But this gets me to the heart of the matter.  The division is not within the Republican Party.  Recent polling shows that Americans are farther to the Right and Left than they have ever been and with increasing unity.

However, there is something that has become very fractured.  Americans are turning on President Obama in record numbers.  Recent data shows that we believe Obama is a worse leader, more dishonest, and more incapable than ever before.  The media are turning on him, as many recent encounters (1, 2, 3, 4) with the administration’s Press Secretary have shown.

Cracks have appeared through the savior’s armor, and it is apparent to all.  People feel like the country is crumbling and they’re desperate.  The Left is realizing that the solution that they believed in is actually our downfall.  They wanted government healthcare.  It is a disaster.  Even polling of Democrats shows this.  The huge VA scandal is an in-your-face example of what happens when our government legislates healthcare.  The people aren’t dumb enough to miss that.

The crisis from Benghazi is showing how little the administration cares about its own people and has tried to cover up their own failures.  The media may have tried to cover it all up as well, but a few of them still have some of their consciences un-seared.  I don’t think they’ve forgotten.  Even the IRS persecuting Conservative groups has gotten so ridiculous that the media can’t even ignore it anymore (they “lost” 2 years of emails?—-Come on!)

Years ago, Joe Biden (speaking for the President) said that success in Iraq would be the administration’s key achievement.  This has been a narrative that they have repeated many times, even into last week.  Now, as the situation in Iraq deteriorates without American forces there, perhaps creating one of the most dangerous situations the world has seen in generations, the press is attacking the administration.  Even more Liberal reporters are attacking the President over this.

It is not a difficult time to be a Republican.  It is a difficult time to be an American, for sure.  Our republic has been destroyed by within from years of political forces that foment ideas counter to those of liberty, and through 6 years of Obama “fundamentally changing this country.”  The cracks in the fabric of America that these forces have created are starting to show very visibly.  Those who supported and gave voice to these movements are now realizing this and are starting to rebel.  They are fractured.  The Republicans are not. -Ryan

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Fractured

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesFractured

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I’ve been watching and reading the news with a different eye recently. It really started a couple weeks ago during the Texas State Republican Convention, at which I was again a delegate this year. During the convention, I sat through caucuses and meetings as well as the proceedings on the convention floor.

A convention is an exciting and busy event, and there is always positioning and debating. That is the point of the whole thing. When delegates from a whole state get together to pick one document that will guide all of what their collective will is going to be concentrated on over the next 2 years, there should be considerable debate.

After the convention each night, I would go home and absorb the day’s news. I consistently heard throughout the weekend about how the split Republican Party was arguing over issues of homosexuality, marijuana, and immigration. There were Republicans protesting, and the organization was undoing itself.

I consistently wondered if perhaps the news media were accidentally at a different convention, or if possibly I was the one attending a different convention entirely. I checked. I was definitely at the right place.   None of what the news was reporting was happening at all.

While platform positions regarding homosexuality-related issues were debated in the committee meetings I’m sure, the body of delegates didn’t discuss it even one time. Let me rephrase that in case you missed it: we didn’t talk about homosexuality even once…not one time…not even in passing…it wasn’t an issue. Yes, the platform does address “reparative therapy.” Anyone who has paid attention to the news knows this is only addressing the push for making it illegal to offer counseling available to those who do not wish to live as practicing homosexuals. This has happened in California already. The platform position only addresses this situation. This part of the platform was not discussed at all, or even voted on separately (lest you think I’m cheating in my prior statements).

Outside of the building on the first night were somewhere between 8 and 12 people with pro-homosexual marriage signs. They were not members of the convention. They were exceedingly kind, and it seemed everyone was kind to them. I firmly support anyone’s right to protest in this way. They were on the evening news and on radio. They must have had great pre-protest press releases for a dozen people to get so much media coverage.

Marijuana was discussed, and any pro-legalization efforts were soundly defeated by the body. There was no mass demonstration. There were however, a lot of pro-pot people who only showed up as delegates prior to that vote and then left shortly afterward. Four of them were in my row. I had never seen them before. One of them leaned over to his friend during the vote and said, “That just shows how dumb these Republicans are.” They were clearly not Republicans, and they were only there to try and create chaos. They failed. But they did have their NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) car out front, made to look like a cop car, but with big pot leaves on it. I have always found it amusing that the organization to legalize pot uses an acronym that proposes an alternate spelling of “normal.”

I took this picture right outside the Convention Center
I took this picture right outside the Convention Center

Immigration was slightly contentious, for about 45 minutes or so. But in reality, there was little difference in the ideas of the two vying groups. In fact, the only real discrepancy was that the more Conservative of the groups thought that if securing the border was allowed to be in the same legislative package as other immigration matters it would end up never being enacted. Other than that, almost everyone was in agreement. In the end, a compromise was made, smashing the two plans into one. Everyone left unified. There were no mean words, and no fighting.

But this is the opposite of everything we’ve read, isn’t it? Not in the “Liberal spin on reality” way, but just complete lies. -Ryan

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A Cool Excerpt

I am not saying that I agree with this completely.  I am saying that it is inspiring of deep thought.

  So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun…

Do you wish to know whether that day is comping?  Watch money.  Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.  When you see that trading is done, not by consent but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.  Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality.   It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half loot.

Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence.  Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper.  This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values.  Gold was an objective value, and equivalent of wealth produced.  Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it.  Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims.  Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’

When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good.  Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral.  Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded.  Do not ask, “Who is destroying the world?”  You are.  

-Francisco d’Anconia

Lies

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It’s been only a week since the contentious Texas State Senate drama and already the revision of history has begun.  It is as if, by repeating the lie often enough, the broadcast narrative has become true.  At least in the popular understanding, apparently it really does work that way.  After all, one of the immutable laws of marketing is that reality doesn’t matter: it is perception of reality that is the only thing that really matters.

In this case, I can’t fall prey to a redefined reality.  I saw it live.  But the majority of Texans (and the larger group of Americans) did not, and so the melting of truth has begun, turning the truth into some Dali-esque version of the preferred Liberal story.

That story goes something like this:

The Texas legislature was trying to end their session by passing a landmark law that would destroy the reproductive rights of women, and force them to get back-alley abortions.   This was perpetrated by the out-of-touch old white men in the government, against the will of the people.  We needed a hero.  We found Wendy Davis.

In a legendary move, State Senator Wendy Davis stood up for 13 hours and filibustered, speaking non-stop without drinking water, leaning, or going to the bathroom, and defeated the evil Republicans: The leader we needed, right when we needed her!

It is a beautiful story.  It could be a movie.  And just like most movies you’ve ever seen, it is completely untrue.

If I’m to be completely candid, I’m not an unbiased observer.  I worked actively for the opposition in last year’s election to get Wendy removed from office.  It was an election where the Democrats spent more money than in any previous State Senate race.  They outspent almost every national congressional race—let that sink in—they outspent most national candidates.  I read the Democrat internal memos, saying that she was a key part of their plan to “turn Texas blue,” and that they were positioning her in a race for governor.  I was also there as Democrats from Chicago bussed voters to the polls to insure victory in their $2.8 million gamble.

But, me being as biased as I am, doesn’t make me incapable of being a witness.  In fact, from about 9:30 that night, I watched the filibuster live.  I saw when the Republicans determined Davis had gotten her “third strike” and she was made to sit down, ending the filibuster.

Then I saw State Senator Dan West and other Democrats repeatedly flood the floor with Points of Inquiry (questions about the proceedings).  All of these sounded like, “I…have…a…question…about…” (with sometimes 2 or 3 seconds between words) Many of these were simply repeats of a question just asked mere moments before.

No less than three times did the Democrats ask to hear about each of the “strikes” Davis had incurred.  This dragged on for over half an hour.  It was a mockery of the democratic process.  It finally became obvious that their game had worn thin, and it was determined to go to a vote.

San Antonio State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (who should not be allowed anywhere near a place where decisions are made) had the microphone as the vote was announced.  She had asked the last question.  As it was announced, she loudly complained that her motion was being ignored.  She was being ignored in favor of the Republican men (forgetting of course that she had taken up much of the preceding 15 minutes on her own time-wasting questions).

She showingly crowed, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”  Apparently, she forgot that she was holding the microphone the whole time, and had not actually made a motion in the first place.  Maybe she just forgot.  It was late after all.  It is far more likely that she was lying.

The voting began.  Finally, the bill would be passed…but then the Democrats turned around and began waving their arms into the air.  The crowd packing the Capitol started to shout and scream.  They screamed so loud that no one could hear the roll call.  They screamed until it was past 12, and the Special Session was officially over, meaning that the bill hadn’t passed.  The mob defeated the democratic process.

I don’t really blame Wendy Davis in all of this.  Her political career has been engineered by forces bigger than she is.  She decided to filibuster (an allowed process) a bill that her politics and beliefs require her to fight.  But, Senators like Van de Putte who stupidly lied in order to achieve her ends, and all of the Democrat operative that organized a mob in order to force their political will, are villains.  They should never be celebrated, even by those who agree with their political goals.

The next day, the news media began to celebrate.  I heard on an NPR show days later that Wendy Davis had defeated the Republicans with her courageous filibuster.  The TV said that the Republicans couldn’t get the votes needed in time.  The newspaper told of the swelling of support for “women’s reproductive rights.”  Commentators prattled over the Republican plan to subvert the democratic process by calling another special session.  Wendy Davis appeared on national news shows.  The local TV showed only tweets of Democratic activists.  I read an article about how people were “clamoring” for Davis to run for governor.

The fact is that 60% of Texans favor this bill, and those numbers haven’t changed since the filibuster.  If the language of the bill is listed without mentioning SB5 (the name of this particular bill), 85% of Americans agree with it.  This is the will of the people.  This is also the will of the elected officials we voted into office.

SB5 does not take away “women’s reproductive rights” in any way.  A woman who hasn’t made a decision before the 6th month of pregnancy is not losing her right any more than a woman who hasn’t made up her mind after the 90th week post-conception.  Those who haven’t made up their mind before then are usually using abortion as a sex-selection option.

The bill also raises the standards of abortion clinics to be equal with that of clinics that perform prostate exams, and other medical procedures.  It is an interesting bit of propaganda to claim that people wanting adequate medical facilities performing abortions, instead of places that couldn’t even get legal authority to conduct  even simple procedures, are anti-woman.  Isn’t the opposite more truthful?  Are we that Orwellian that we blindly accept that people who want women to have abortions in appropriate medical facilities, are doing it because they hate women, while those advocating abortion for even sex-selection (which means more baby girls aborted) and in virtually any type of facility are women’s protectors?

But all of this is quite inconvenient to the Liberal-activist Left, just as the actual events of the night of the failed filibuster are inconvenient.  It seems that in their eyes it is far better to demagogue their opponents, whip up emotional mobs into frenzies, cheat in the democratic process when you are losing, and then lie to everyone about how it all happened.  It couldn’t be any easier if Winston had handled it from the Ministry of Truth. -Ryan

Arms

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Dear Friend,

I recently have read several of your posts on Facebook questioning our Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.  In your last post, you mentioned that you were confused as to its meaning, and that “it seemed to refer to circumstances that no longer apply.”  I know that you have a different perspective on the situation than I do, being from the United Kingdom.  I hope that in this posted response I can clear some of that confusion up for you.

First of all, as we get into this topic, we need to address two separate, yet interconnected issues.  The first, is why this was written into our constitution in the first place by our founding fathers and what they might have intended in this guarantee.  After understanding that, then we can be safe to try answering the question of whether there is still a purpose to this guarantee, and what might happen if we decided to remove it.

It is important to note that one cannot really understand the continued purpose of the Second Amendment if one doesn’t grasp its original meaning.  Also, if the founders were wise in putting that right into our Constitution, that doesn’t mean it is wise to leave it there.  On the other hand, if those circumstances still exist for us, then maybe we are wise to continue this right.

Why did our founders include a constitutional right to bear arms?

The US Constitution is an old document.  It is no Magna Carta, but it certainly wasn’t written in MS Word.  The world of pre-1776 was a place of kings and dictators, where it was assumed that governments were meant to be led by single autocratic leaders.  Much of the western world also used out-of-context scripture to point toward God ordaining this situation.

It easily followed from this mindset that the God-ordained king could give life, and take it away, that in fact, the rights of a people were given them by the king himself.  Thus, when the king decided that all people were to be members of the Church of England that is what the people had to do.  Or if the ruler wanted to tax you, or put troops in your home there was simply no other recourse.  He was the king.

In 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was written, it gave voice to the writings of philosophers like John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.  When they wrote the words “…all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…” what the founders were saying was that rights came not from any earthly ruler or document, but were given to each of us by God, Himself upon our birth.”  We are given the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that no ruler or government could take them away.

That is where we usually stop in our reading of this famous document, but when we do, we miss something really important.

See, the first sentence of the Declaration gives its thesis.  Paraphrased, it says that when in history a people decide that they need to be separate from another and form their own government, there better be a good reason and it should be given.

After this, is the famous section about God-given rights and the government’s purpose of securing and protecting them.  But, when a government isn’t doing that job properly, it is the “right of the people to alter or abolish” that government.  This is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it is one of those unalienable rights of all mankind.

Our founders thought that the ability to protect yourself without relying on the government, to tell the government “no” when it was attempting to usurp your own rights, and to even destroy that government when necessary were all things that the government could never take away from our people.

One of the writers of the Second Amendment said, “What is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment, 1788).  Other founders statements agree with that.  There is no scholarly doubt that the “militia” written in the text means the unorganized people themselves.

This makes sense when you read the wording of the amendment.  It has also been our greatest source of national security.  No one has ever invaded the US homeland.  Why?  It is because no army could disarm the people.  As the Japanese said, every blade of grass would hide a man with a rifle.  Or as Lincoln said, “All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasuries of the world, save ours, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or a step on Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.”

The Second Amendment had nothing to do with hunting, and it also has no problem with weapons that held increasing firepower, and a violent society (remember, one of our founders died in a gun fight with one of our past Vice Presidents).  Whether or not the Second Amendment should remain is the focus of my next blog.  It is a different topic altogether.

Now, not many people will talk about these aspects of the Second Amendment, mostly because it sounds like advocating violent revolution of the government.  But remember, all of this was set in place not necessarily so that people could overthrow the government, but that the founders thought the right of self-defense and self-determination were one of those rights no government ever had any mandate to ever take away.

My next post will cover the question of whether or not the Second Amendment should be continued.–Ryan

 

Gun

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Today I ended a two-week marketing contract for a major cellular phone provider that had me spending most days in my car, driving from one location to another.  This meant that as the events of today’s school massacre in Connecticut unfolded, I was listening on the radio.  I heard all happen right before my ears.

Events like this usually don’t inspire a strong reaction for me.  While I am passionate about current events as they pertain to politics and world events, things like the OJ Simpson murders, Casey Anthony, and Virginia Tech just don’t impact me as much for some reason.  That is just how I’m geared, but this case is different.

We have heard lately about mall shootings, football player murder/suicides, and the Movie Theater mass shooting in Colorado.  Some people, like Bob Costas, have used these opportunities to talk about increased gun control.  That may be a good conversation to have, although I personally do not believe that more gun regulations will be the solution.

As the radio told me of the teachers that hid their students in closets and bathrooms, police making the kids leave the school with their eyes closed, and a room full of kids gunned down by hundreds of rounds of ammunition, I became enraged.  I can’t think of any other emotion to feel when that kind of evil is present, and I don’t think any other emotion is appropriate.

The Bible says to “be angry, yet do not sin.”  It also talks about God’s fury at sin, and particularly those who intentionally hurt His little ones.  Yet we live in a world with increasing evil.  I don’t care to debate this with anyone: murder rates, violent crimes, and corruption cases are telling, but the simple fact is that evil is becoming far more evil than ever.

I mourn for our country and it’s people.  Christians must stand and say, “enough.”  We cannot be blamed for things like this.  It is not the church’s fault that things like this happen, but evil triumphs when good men do nothing.  And that is what we have done.  We have hibernated and cloistered while the gates of Hell have advanced, laughing at the impotence of God’s people.  We don’t fight our wars with guns or fists, but on our knees and making all else but the gospel secondary.  This has not characterized God’s people of late.  More church programs and laws won’t stop this advance of evil.  More steadfast men of faith will. -Ryan

Election Blue – part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesElection Blue

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If Christians together with Republicans are to stand as this “last best hope of freedom in the world,” then we must do some reformulating.  Some might suggest that we moderate our message and make compromises in order to have party be more palatable to more people.  Politics is indeed an art of compromise.  But there are very fundamental things that we can never compromise without forsaking the yoke of our character, those values that we pledge our lives to.

But, if we cannot change that which is essential to our identity, and necessary for the survival of the republic, then are we to do nothing but huddle and pray?  Are we to build large bunkers, or think as I was about which country to run to?  The answer is no.  But, there are a few realities that we must face, those that the Democrats know and believe to be forever in their favor.

1. America is not a Christian nation.  Sure, there is a plurality that still attends church, but all the numbers indicate that both church attendance and Christian identification are massively atrophying.  But more importantly than that, is the fact that the influence of the Bible and faith in Christ in even those regularly attending church has become largely an afterthought.  Unfortunately, most Christians’ are functionally biblically illiterate.

It has baffled many Republicans that large segments of our society who claim Christian affiliation vote completely contrary to their religious principles, at least on social issues.  This is partly because voting is often seen as independent of the exercise of religion, the idea that the Democrats have the edge in issues of economic “justice,” and also because of ignorance of politics beyond a cultural dogma of voter affiliation.

2. Racial division in our society has rapidly become the biggest elephant in the room.  Though it may not be true, Republicans hate women and minorities.  Perception is reality.  One of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is that truth doesn’t matter at all; perceived truth matters a great deal.  For the moment we have lost that battle.  Correcting and owning this narrative will determine any future for our party.

3. Socialists, Progressively, Liberals, (pick your poison) own all areas of cultural input in our society.  The media is completely covered by Liberalism, except for Fox, which though it has massive viewership, is maligned by everyone else.  Hollywood…I don’t need to say more.  Academia, Philosophy, the music industry are monopolized, and on and on it goes.  The only area that is not covered by them is religion.  That is why it is a battleground, and why Conservative religious leaders are repeatedly pressured to keep their mouths shut.  Liberal religious leaders are freely allowed to spout their political directives to their congregations.

Liberals know an important rule of sales, the person who asks the questions owns the conversation.  The entertainment industry questions the society, just as the media asks questions of the people they are interviewing.  Also, it goes almost without saying that the people with the cameras and microphones will have the loudest voices.

Conservatives have really sought to own the blogosphere, and they pretty well do.  But the only people who are reading Conservatives blogs are the people who already agree.  Other areas of the internet are even more hostile to Republicanism.  But the internet is a niceh media.  Anyone can put up a blog, and likewise is accessed primarily by like-minded people.  Further, George Soros and his machine have invested many millions in taking over these areas of communication.  It is a very public and fully funded goal of Liberals to completely take over all media.

This is possibly the greatest loss for Republicans, and the greatest opportunity for growth.  The good news is that we have virtually no ground to lose.  This is our Inchon landing moment.  We must be just as strategic and bold  as the Liberals.  We must place Republicans in these areas of the media piece by piece.  We must take over the conversation, not by fighting or by creating alternative media forms, but by moving into important roles in the media.  This will not happen overnight, just as the battle wasn’t lost overnight.

4.  American education in almost all areas, but specifically in areas of civics, has crumbled.  This is not a problem for Republicans, or Democrats.  It is a problem for the future of this country, Red and Blue.  Liberals wouldn’t like to admit this, but poor education does benefit their cause.  While the loudest voices for increased funding of our public education system emanates from the Liberal side, this does not equate to making fixing our education problem a priority.

If this were true, they would be proponents of programs like school vouchers, single sex education, and homeschooling, all of which have consistently been proven to out perform our current models.  But, they do not support these programs.  Instead, they support more tax money for the current programs, which makes the teachers’ unions happy.

Of course, no one really wants people to stay ignorant, at least I would hope not.  However, the least educated and the highest levels of education are both the biggest Liberal voting blocks, for entirely different reasons.  Those who are well educated without Liberal indoctrination, especially in areas of history and civics have a much more Republican voting record.

In Part 3 of this series, I’d like to address some of my ideas for how to address these issues. -Ryan

Election Blue – part 1

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesElection Blue

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I’ve been licking my wounds from Tuesday night’s election.  I worked professionally on two campaigns this season, and volunteered walking and working the polls on another.  All of these went the wrong way.  One was expected.  One was an incredibly close and shocking loss, and one was a surprise blowout.

The sense of loss I felt on election night I can’t describe.  The most painful for me was of course, the presidential election.  Like many others, I fasted and prayed leading up to Tuesday.  At the polls I prayed between approaching voters, as my Democrat rivals laughed and joked about how the Republicans were in their final days of idiocy.

As we refreshed web pages and watched the TV in the command center, our hearts sank.  I’ve talked to many who feel the same as I do.  Our country has been going in a direction that is an offense to God.  We have a lot to repent of.  As Abraham Lincoln once said, “I know God is always on the side of the right.  It is my constant prayer and anxiety that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”  That is the farthest place from where this nation has been, and this election was not a step in the right direction.

Further, it feels like quite a hopeless place.  First, this election (even more than the last) highlights a massive racial divide.  Only 39% of white people voted for Obama, yet over 95% of black people did.  The Red State/Blue State divide is bigger than ever.  Christians voted even more for Romney than they did for McCain.  The fact is that young and minority groups are voting in larger numbers than they ever have, and overwhelmingly for Democrats, and if something doesn’t change, Republicans will be the permanent underclass.

Like many I’ve talked to, I’ve felt like I am in a daze.  I’ve even thought about what country I could move to that wouldn’t murder as many babies and hold up choices that God says are sins to be virtuous.  But tonight during my bath, something in my brain clicked.  We are supposed to be “salt and light.”  Many…no most, of the people in the Bible were called to stand for God in places and cultures that were hostile to Him in ways that we can’t fathom.  Sure, being against homosexual marriage might get your business boycotted.  But when was the last time that I was thrown in a pit full of lions for praying to God?  When was the last time that people stoned us for talking about Jesus?   Were you chained to prison guards because you preached the name of Christ.

The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed the word of God to his generation his entire ministry, and no one ever listened.  The people were just as hostile to the things of the Lord when he died, as they were when he started.  We aren’t called to change the world.  We are called to proclaim the truth of God in love.  Sometimes we will reap a harvest in revival, and sometimes the people will throw rocks.  Jesus even said that many will hate us for being His followers, and in John chapter 3, He said that people would reject Him because they love darkness more than light.

The second thing that my mind went to, as I sat in the tub pondering the election, is that Jesus took a group of about 120 followers that were dedicated to Him (with 12 main leaders) and changed the face of the world.  So on Friday, the leader of this strange heresy was put to death on a cross and his followers scattered in fear.  The plotters of the status quo were victorious.  But by Monday, these same scattered losers were rallying around their risen Christ, willing to give their lives to spread His good news throughout the entire world…and they did both.

I know that Republicanism doesn’t equal Christianity (or vice versa).  But no one who truly understands both politics and orthodox Christianity can believe that the Democratic Party is any friend to God.  Remember, they removed Him from their platform this year…although it was merely a formality after removing any reference to His teachings from the same.

So, it is time for our Resurrection Sunday type of moment (once again—not equating the two).  Yes, all that our country stands for may indeed be lost.  But it doesn’t matter.  We are called to stand for Christ and His principles regardless.  But it is time to rise from the ashes of defeat, and face this with the steely resolve of people who are not afraid, because they cannot lose. -Ryan