Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Flyover Nation: You Can't Run a Country You've Never Been To"

In a new book released this summer, author Dana Loesch is alarmed that America is fracturing into two countries—not North and South, but Coastal and Flyover.  Worse, the people in charge don’t understand the first thing about how most of the country thinks and lives.  Consider a few examples . . .
  • In Flyover America, people believe criminals should be punished.  Coastal America focuses on “rehabilitation.”
  • Flyovers think the Declaration of Independence was crystal clear: “All men are created equal.”  For Coastals, Black Lives Matter—but anyone who adds that all lives matter must be a racist.
  • Coastals think they understand firearms because they watched a TV movie about Columbine.  Flyovers get a deer rifle for their thirteenth birthday.
  • Coastals talk about blue-collar workers in the abstract.  Flyovers have a relative who works the night shift in a granola bar factory, where the big perk is taking home a bag full of granola bars every Friday.
  • Coastals think every problem—from hurt feelings to the cost of birth control—requires government intervention and huge federal spending.  Flyovers know that money isn’t magic fairy dust, and many problems can be solved only by individual character and hard work.
It would all be funny—if Coastals weren’t winning on most of today’s big issues and changing the character of the United States in the process.

As Loesch writes, “Most of these pinkies-out, cocktail-drinking-appletini fans selfishly entertain grandiose plans of economic equality without realizing the negative impact their plans would have on the very people they pride themselves on helping.  That’s the true class warfare.”

Loesch shines the light of truth on everything from feminism to gun violence to abortion.  She reveals the damage done by elitists who flat-out don’t get the lives and values of people in the heart of the country.  And she asks common sense questions such as: How can you be angry at Walmart if you’ve never shopped in one?  How can you hate the police if you’ve never needed help from a cop?  How can you attack Christians if you don’t have a single friend who goes to church?

In other words, how can you run a country you’ve never been to?  And how much could our politics improve if Coastals would actually listen to their fellow Americans?  But, of course, Coastals won't listen to their fellow Americans from the heartland, because they are so infused with a sense of moral superiority that they see the Flyovers as backward dolts who need to be told what to think and do. 

Loesch's book is a rallying cry for anyone who wants our leaders to understand and respect the culture that made America exceptional in the first place.
  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

University of Chicago Accidentally Proves That Gun Control Laws Don’t Work

From here, where there is more:
The city of Chicago has some of the toughest and strictest gun control laws on the books out of all the major cities in the entire country.

But every day the newspapers and TV stations of Chicago fill the airwaves with devastating reports showing innocent Americans being murdered by criminals carrying guns.

The city is a shining example of how gun control doesn’t stop criminals from obtaining and using guns to commit robbery and murder.

Instead of allowing law abiding Americans the chance to easily acquire a firearm for self-defense, politicians and public officials in Chicago call for harsher anti-gun measures almost daily.

The anti-gun crowd refuses to accept reality and the fact that criminals don’t obey gun control laws. They would rather disarm law abiding citizens who accept and obey the law.

A recent study by the University of Chicago proved this point after conducting a study to figure out how criminals in Chicago were acquiring their firearms.

Not surprisingly, administers of the study quickly learned these criminals do not acquire their guns from licensed dealers, private sellers, or even the Internet.

The study looked at inmates in Chicago’s Cook County Jail who face gun charges or who have a history of firearm related convictions.

They learned zero criminals have used gun shows or the Internet to purchase their weapons.

The reason why? The method is too easily traceable by law enforcement.

Instead, the preferred method for criminals was to purchase firearms available on the streets, where they are harder for law enforcement to track.

Harold Pollack, University of Chicago’s Crime Lab co-director, also said criminals, “were less concerned about getting caught by the cops than being put in the position of not having a gun to defend themselves and then getting shot.”
Read the rest.
 

Sunday, August 07, 2016

About Those Palestinians...

From The New York Times, where there is more:
Fatah Makes Incendiary Facebook Claim of Killing 11,000 Israelis

JERUSALEM — In an effort to appeal to Palestinians ahead of hotly contested elections, the party of President Mahmoud Abbas listed one of its main achievements as having “killed 11,000 Israelis.”  [emphasis added]

The party, Fatah, made the incendiary claim on Tuesday in an Arabic-language post on one of its official Facebook pages.

“For the argumentative … the ignorant … And for those who do not know history,” begins the Facebook post, “The Fatah movement killed 11,000 Israelis.”

Fatah also claimed to have “offered 170,000 martyrs,” and hundreds of its followers, it said, were in “Israeli occupation jails.”

[...]

Israelis and Palestinians have long accused each other of incitement to violence.  But in Israeli eyes, Palestinian leaders starting with Yasir Arafat, the father of Palestinian nationalism who helped found Fatah in 1959, have had a habit of saying one thing in Arabic and another in English.

In the early 2000s, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising, Mr. Arafat led crowds in the West Bank city of Ramallah in a chant of “To Jerusalem, we are going, martyrs in the millions!” days after writing an Op-Ed article in The New York Times about the Palestinian vision of peace.

Mr. Abbas, who succeeded Mr. Arafat, has repeatedly said he supports nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation.  But Fatah has historically championed armed resistance as a central tenet of its doctrine for the liberation of the Palestinian people.
Read the rest.

And in related news (also from The New York Times):
Israel Charges Aid Group’s [World Vision's] Gaza Branch Manager With Funneling Funds to Hamas

ASHKELON, Israel — The Palestinian manager of the Gaza branch of World Vision, a major Christian aid organization, was charged by Israeli prosecutors on Thursday with infiltrating the charity on behalf of Hamas and funneling about $43 million in the group’s funds over the past six years to the military wing of the Islamist militant group.
Read the rest.
 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Roe vs. Wade will be overturned if Donald Trump wins, Mike Pence says

As a follow up to my previous post...

From the Los Angeles Times:

 
GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Thursday predicted Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, would be overturned if Donald Trump is elected president.

“I’m pro-life and I don’t apologize for it,” he said during a town hall meeting here. “We’ll see Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.”

The comments — made in a conservative stronghold that strongly supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Trump in the Michigan primary — were part of a broader argument Pence has been making on the stakes of the election: Voters need to consider that the next president will likely select multiple Supreme Court justices.

Pence said Trump would appoint strict constitutionalists in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“While we’re choosing a president for the next four years, this next president will make decisions that will impact our Supreme Court for the next 40,” he said. “… Go tell your neighbors and your friends, for the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of sanctity of life, for the sake of our 2nd Amendment, for the sake of all our other God-given liberties, we must insure the next president appointing justices to the Supreme Court is Donald Trump.”

Monday, August 01, 2016

They actually used the "A" word...

Have you ever noticed how abortion “rights” supporters always try to hide their real agenda?   They always refer to “women’s health care,” or a “right to privacy,” or a "right to choose"—as if we were talking about choosing chocolate or strawberry ice cream.   But they never talk about the rights of the babies living in their mothers’ wombs.

You almost never hear them come out and use the word, “abortion.”  Because they’re hiding something.  They know it is wrong; and they know the majority of Americans believe it is wrong.

That is why it was surprising and, in a way, gratifying to hear Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood go on stage at the Democratic National Convention and tell the crowd that Hillary Clinton:
“will always stand up for the rights of every woman to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter her economic status.”
She told the horrifying truth: Hillary Clinton believes abortion — the killing of an innocent child — is not just a right, it is a taxpayer-funded entitlement—even when the baby is in the 9th month of pregnancy!

As we come down to 100 days until the next presidential election, we must consider Hillary Clinton’s pro-abortion extremism, and we must unify to elect leaders who will pass lifesaving laws and appoint pro-life judges and Supreme Court justices.

Because it’s not just Hillary.  The entire Democratic National Convention was a celebration of abortion and the "progress" they have made, by which they meant the killing of millions of precious boys and girls who have been aborted since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

In fact, the Democratic Platform Committee this year put forth the most pro-abortion platform EVER in their party’s history.   The Democratic Platform includes provisions for:
  • Abortions on babies old enough to live outside the womb.
  • Repealing the “Hyde Amendment” so they can force you and me to pay for abortion on-demand with our tax dollars.
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars for Planned Parenthood, the organization that has been caught on video discussing the harvest and sale of the body parts of babies they abort!
The good news is that, when presented with the truth, the American people have always rejected these kinds of extreme positions on abortion.   In fact, polls show that the American people today are better informed and more pro-life than ever!

It hasn't been reported much in the media (are we surprised?) but this year's Republican National Convention passed a platform that has been described as the most pro-life in the party's history.  The cultural divide between the two parties has been growing ever since the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; but it is now more clearly defined and more serious in terms of the consequences for our country than ever before.

I urge you to do two things:

1. To contribute to a pro-life ministry--a crisis pregnancy center in your town, if there is one, or a local or national organization that is aimed at providing assistance to women with unexpected pregnancies or that is working to provide even greater protection for pre-born children.  (If there isn't a crisis pregnancy center in your town, I urge you get together with some friends and start one.  There are several national organizations, such as Care Net, that exist to help you.)

2. To vote for and to work to elect those candidates in this November's election who will advance the cause of life in our country and provide legal protection for unborn children and assistance to their parents. (We always speak of assistance to the mothers; but for every crisis pregnancy there is a father, too, who also needs spiritual and material assistance.)

Here are some organizations you might consider supporting:

The Susan B. Anthony List: https://www.sba-list.org

The National Right to Life Committee: http://www.nrlc.org

Care Net Pregnancy Centers: https://www.care-net.org

And, if you are an Anglican, as I am, please consider supporting Anglicans for Life: http://anglicansforlife.org

If you are a Christian of another tradition, there is information on pro-life organizations in your tradition through the National Pro-life Religious Council: http://www.nprcouncil.org

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Dear Mr. Beck, (Glenn Beck me@glennbeck.com, stu stu@glennbeck.com)

The media are abuzz with the story that you and Erick Erickson are working on an idea to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidential election in the Electoral College and throwing the election into the House of Representatives.

Let me just ask: Do you remember what happened four years ago when a bunch of Evangelicals stayed home because they refused to support Mitt Romney because he was a Mormon?  They gave us four more disastrous years of Obama.

You--of all people--ought to know what happens when there is disunity among Republicans: Democrats win.

I have been a died-in-the-wool Ted Cruz supporter throughout the whole campaign; and I will continue to support Senator Cruz and pray that he gets another chance in the future.  But I am now reluctantly supporting Donald Trump because the simple fact is that a vote for ANYONE else is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

I was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1992, for what should have been George H.W. Bush's second term--until Ross Perot came along and took enough votes away in the general election that Bill Clinton won with only 43% of the popular vote.

Hillary is not Bill.  The United States as we know it cannot survive a Hillary Clinton presidency.  We cannot endure the people she will bring into office with her and the people she will appoint to the Supreme Court.  It would be a presidency of unparalleled corruption and persecution of her ideological foes, the subversion of the Constitution, and truly the destruction of this once-great Republic.

If Trump loses, it will be tempting for you and other "never Trump" people to say, "See, we told you he couldn't defeat Hillary."  But it will have been a self-fulfilling prophecy brought about by those who stayed home or voted for someone else when they could have saved us from a terrible fate.

Mr. Beck, a lot of other Conservatives have been critical of you in the past, but I have continued to support you and hold you in prayer.  I implore you: Do not do this.   Do not support a third party or an electoral maneuver to throw this election to some other candidate.   I am seriously concerned that your remaining credibility among Conservatives will suffer irreparable harm if you continue to pursue this course.

As hard as it may be, get behind Donald Trump.  Become the loyal opposition, if need be, during his presidency.   Help hold him accountable.   Pray for him.  Help insure that he appoints ideologically sound justices to the Supreme Court.   (Frankly, I have more confidence in Donald Trump than I do in Mitt Romney, or any of the other names being mentioned, when it comes to appointments.)   You would be doing the country and your listeners a greater service by helping to unite Conservatives in defeating defeat Hillary Clinton.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Islamic State Killers Forced French Priest to Kneel Before Slitting His Throat

The murder of a priest and the wounding of one of his parishioners in Normandy was an act of terrorism carried out by two followers of Islamic State, the French president, François Hollande, has said.

The more details that emerge surrounding the gruesome lethal attack on a priest in northern France Tuesday, the more it appears that the attack could have been foreseen and perhaps prevented.

On Tuesday morning, two jihadists associated with the Islamic State entered the parish church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy while 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass in the company of several members of the parish. The assailants seized Father Hamel and slit his throat before taking the other members of the congregation as hostages.

A witness to the attack has described how the two men forced the 86-year-old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, to his knees, slit his throat and filmed themselves appearing to preach in Arabic at the altar.

The nun, named as Sister Danielle, was among five hostages who were taken when the men armed with knives reportedly entered the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, at 9.43am local time on Tuesday.
It turns out that the parish Church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the site of the assault, was on an Islamic State hit list recovered from suspected jihadist Sid Ahmed Ghlam, in April 2015. The 24-year-old Ghlam was arrested by French police, who believe he was a terrorist planning imminent attacks in France under the direction of Islamic State leaders.
After the arrest, police discovered a list of Catholic sites to be targeted by Islamic State terrorists, which included the location of Tuesday’s attack.
The beautiful sixteenth-century church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray is a French heritage monument, to which a tower was added in the 17th century.
More importantly, the church also “happened” to be right next door to the Yahiya mosque of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, whose best-known worshiper was the notorious French jihadist executioner Maxime Hauchard.
Hauchard, who appeared in a video of the beheading of American aid worker Peter Kassig and 18 Syrian military captives in 2014, converted to Islam at the age of 17 and frequented the mosque of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a stone’s throw from the parish church.
Several years ago, Islamic State recruiters contacted and enlisted Hauchard, who became involved in the 2014 takeover of Mosul. “My personal goal is martyrdom, obviously,” Hauchard said in a television interview.
Once in Syria, Hauchard changed his name to Abu Abdallah el Faransi and announced that he wanted to help militants found an Islamic caliphate.
On leaving the church Tuesday morning, the two terrorists shouted “Allahu Akhbar” before being shot by police, according to an eyewitness identified only as “Sylvie.”
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was their soldiers who carried out the barbaric assault.
  

Friday, July 22, 2016

What We're Up Against

In an article entitled "Trouble in Bakersfield" Professor Carl Trueman describes an increasingly common phenomenon of ordinary people becoming the victims of exclusivity and intolerance from those who, not that long ago, were the ones pleading for inclusivity and tolerance:
Yesterday, Chad Vegas, a good friend of mine and the Reformed Baptist pastor in Bakersfield, California emailed me as follows:
As you know, CA has mandated this [school transgender policy] for the whole state.  I have served on the largest high school board in CA, and the nation, for 12 years.  I basically lead that board.  Our board voted to adopt the new law into policy.  I voted against it.  I was breaking the law for doing so. I could be personally sued and our attorney tells me the board insurance won't cover me because I am breaking the law and I am a bigot.

Anyway, I announced I would not seek reelection.  The community came unhinged when I announced that.  I remain the most popularly elected official in the history of our school board.  Thousands of parents filled our board room in protest of the law.  Thousands are pleading with me to reconsider and keep fighting.  My elders are still considering what to have me do….  [T]he board and administration, and even some leaders in the liberal teacher's union, are asking me to reconsider.
Today, he announced that he would not seek re-election in a letter to his congregation.

There you have it:  A popular, longstanding, and effective member of a schoolboard has had to stand down—not because he does not enjoy the confidence of the community, but simply because he does not accept the latest demands that every knee must bow to whatever the political taste of the moment has decided is non-negotiable.
Read the article in First Things, where there is more.
 

Random Thought # _

The pendulum has swung. Now we have a black Ku Klux Klan called "Black Lives Matter."  Racism and reverse racism are equally ugly.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Police Association President on Baton Rouge Shooting: Obama ‘Has Blood on His Hands’

In the aftermath of this morning's armed ambush in which three Baton Rouge police officers were murdered and three more critically wounded, Cleveland police officer and Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said President Barack Obama has “blood on his hands.” 

Loomis said,  
“The president of the Untied States validated a false narrative and the nonsense that Black Lives Matter and the media are pressing out there to the public — validated with his very divisive statements.  And now we see an escalation.  This has got to end.  We need some leadership in this country to come forward and put an end to this.  I don’t care if it’s clergy, I don’t care who it is, but somebody has got to step up and put an end to this because it’s the false narrative and very influential people that are politicizing the false narrative.  Absolutely insane that we have a president of the United States and a governor of Minnesota making the statements that they made less than one day after those police involved shootings.  And those police involved shootings, make no mistake, are what absolutely has triggered this rash of senseless murders of law enforcement officers across this country.  It is reprehensible.  And the President of the United States has blood on his hands and it will not be able to come washed off.”
Yes, President Obama has blood on his hands; and even though we are 113 days until the next presidential election and 186 days until the end of Obama's presidency, President Obama needs to resign.  He needs to resign in disgrace for what he has done to this country and to our world.

The reality is that America's experiment with its first black president has been an absolute failure--not because Obama was black.  One could name any number of African American individuals--former Secretaries of State General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Senator Tim Scott, Dr. Ben Carson, economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, to name just a few, who could have done an extremely competent job as president.

But Barack Obama, who promised to be the great uniter has, in fact, been the great divider.  His radical embrace of race politics and anti-law and order sympathies have given us the current violence against law enforcement officers.  His obvious Muslim sympathies have given the world the Islamic State and the resulting immigrant crisis in Europe, as well as a guarantee that Iran will in the not too distant future have nuclear weapons.  

This is Barack Obama's legacy.  And unless the history books are written by politically correct fools, this is what history will reflect--a weak and internally divided America and a more dangerous world--the legacy of the last seven and a half years.

There is nothing Barack Obama can do in the next 168 days to redeem this legacy.  America needs new leadership--and very different leadership--if it is going to survive.  

May God bring healing to the families of the victims in Baton Rouge--and Dallas and New York before them.  And may God bring healing to the United States of America and our troubled world.
  

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Two Best Movies You Won't See This Year

Hollywood has learned that there is money to be made in faith-based movies.  Which makes it all the more strange that when they produce what could be a revolutionary and society-changing movie, they don't spend any money promoting it.  I watch television, so I see the movies that the studios choose to advertise; and I go to movies, which means I see previews.   But if I hadn't accidentally stumbled on trailers for these two movies on the internet, I wouldn't even know they exist.

The first one looks really interesting, and the conflict portrayed in it is so close to current events, that I would really like to see it.   But it appears I will have to wait for it on DVD, because it isn't showing anywhere I know:

God's Not Dead 2 Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe



The second film also looks very interesting, especially if it is based on a real story, as claimed.   But I would want to see more of how they treat the faith aspect before giving it a full endorsement:

Miracles from Heaven Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Jennifer Garner, John Carroll Lynch