Obamacare’s Faulty Tower to the Sky

December 5, 2014

Picture this:

A seven-year-old boy is building a Tower to the Sky with wooden blocks. There is no rhyme nor reason to his construction, and he’s building his great tower on the credenza in the living room between a fragile lamp and a goldfish bowl. His mother walks by as he piles one mismatched block on top of another and says, “Son, I don’t think that tower will stand. Those are the wrong kind of blocks. Nothing matches and the blocks don’t interlock with one another.” But the little boy, determined to build his tower no matter what, says, “You’re just saying that because you want me to fail, Mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about because you’re too stupid to understand what I’m doing.” The little boy scrounges in his toy box for even more mismatched blocks and continues to balance them precariously, one on top of another. His father walks by, then stops and stares at his son’s obsessive endeavor. “My boy,” says the father, “you’re trying to achieve a remarkable thing, but it’s going to collapse. Just look at how fragile your tower is. And I’m afraid son, that when it falls, and it will, you’re going to damage that expensive lamp and kill the goldfish.” The son, exasperated by his parents’ lack of faith in the Tower to the Sky snaps. “I don’t care what you say, Dad. I’m building it because people will remember me as the boy who built the Tower to the Sky. I don’t care if it falls. I don’t care if it breaks everything in the house! I want my tower and you can’t stop me.” Inevitably, despite the warnings of his parents, and the obvious frailties and flaws in the design of the boy’s Tower to the Sky, the blocks teeter then fall, breaking the goldfish bowl and sending the delicate lamp crashing to the floor in a shattered heap.blocks

Aside from the boy deserving an extended time-out in the Gobi Desert, one can’t help but wonder if he learned his lesson. Will he acknowledge the failure of his Tower to the Sky? No! Of course not. Instead, the impudent, arrogant boy screams at his parents, “It’s your fault! You’re so stupid, you just don’t get it! You didn’t believe in me. You did everything you could to undermine my project. It’s your fault that my tower crashed, now YOU clean it up!”

This scenario is, of course, an analogy for the short and dreadful history of Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Michael Pramenko of Grand Junction recently wrote a guest column featured in a Western Slope newspaper in which he took on the persona of the little boy, screaming that his beloved creation had failed, blaming those who warned him about the flaws in its design for the failure of his creation! Dr. Pramenko is an Obamacare defender, and has been from the get-go, and his column titled, Critics of Obamacare now have to deliver an alternative, was akin to the boy with the broken tower demanding that his parents clean up his mess, despite their many warnings that it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Supporters of Obamacare have accused Republicans of undermining the ACA, and in Dr. Pramenko’s words, “target[ing] the piecemeal destruction of the ACA with little attention to its replacement.” The problem with that assertion is the ACA is in an inexorable process of self-destruction, and Republicans have had little to do with its failure other than acting as sideline commentators, describing the blow-by-blow disintegration of Obama’s Tower to the Sky, with an occasional interjection of, “We told you so.”

In his column, Dr. Pramenko asserted that the only viable answer to the question of American healthcare would be a government-run system.  He derided free-market improvements to the existing system proposed by Conservatives as “some unspecified ‘market-based’ approach.” However, like the little boy whose Tower to the Sky failed to meet even the most modest expectations, Dr. Pramenko and other Democrats are in denial about the what is responsible for the exceptionalism of American medicine; innovation, and Free-Market competition.

Medicaid and Medicare are attempts at socialized medicine, but both have been beset for decades with burdensome bureaucracies and costly inefficiencies. Instead of subverting the entire private healthcare system for the purported goal of making sure that all Americans get access to affordable healthcare insurance, why didn’t Obama and congressional Democrats simply reform the existing programs and promote innovation and competition in the existing insurance market? The answer is easy; like the boy in the story, they wanted to be remembered for building the Tower to the Sky.

Free-markets, with competition and incentives for personal health-maintenance, are the answer. Conservative opponents of government-run medicine knew it wouldn’t work, would cost billions more than predicted, and harm the very people it was supposed to help. Socialized medicine has never been and will never be sustainable.

If Obamacare advocates were intellectually-honest they would acknowledge the numerous ACA-alternatives that have been put forth by Conservative think-tanks, legislators, and independent physician organizations such as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and other patient-centered care associations. The best “repeal and replace” Obamacare alternatives are market-based, patient-centered, portable from state to state (just like the highly competitive car insurance industry), cover pre-existing conditions, promote personal responsibility by reducing costs for healthy people, promote state and federal partnerships, and apply effective reforms to existing programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

A few weeks ago, the godfather of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, gracelessly confirmed what many believed all along; that the ACA passed only because its inner-workings and fatal flaws were intentionally hidden from the scrutiny of voters. Like the little boy in the story who knew his tower was doomed, yet refused to heed his parents’ warnings, Gruber and the architects of Obamacare want all the credit for its intended goals; universal coverage, lower costs, insuring young adults, etc., but refuse to acknowledge that, in reality, their creation is a failure resulting in fewer insured, skyrocketing costs, and disillusioned young adults who would rather pay the tax penalty than sign up for the ACA’s so-called benefits.

Instead of heaping blame on Obamacare’s opponents for its failures and demanding they clean up the mess, perhaps Obamacare supporters should admit that the ACA was inviable from its inception and requires the fixes which Conservatives have proposed all along.

Defenders of Obamacare and other faltering government programs seem to be more interested in being called “compassionate” and “caring” than they are in producing results that actually help people. When Conservatives bring up the fact that reforms are necessary to save Medicare and Social Security from going bankrupt, Liberals scream, “They’re gonna throw Granny off the cliff!” or “Republicans want old people to eat cat food and die!” It’s hard to believe Liberals are serious about compassionate policies when they block and vilify Conservative efforts to ensure that Americans who need help have a dependable source of help now and in the future.

Perhaps the Gruber revelations will bring Americans to realize that we don’t need grandiose, impossible Towers to the Sky, but rather reality-based solutions where free-markets encourage healthy competition, and preventative medicine is a personal responsibility.

* * * * * * * * * * *

By Marjorie Haun  12/5/14


Private Property is the Real “Endangered Species” in Federal Land Grab

Long land battle

ENVIRONMENT | Environmentalists and an aggressive federal government are trying to remove ranchers from federal lands they have used for generations


as originally published on  November 14, 2014

Meadow Canyon, where the BLM seized Hage’s cattle in 1991

Meadow Canyon, where the BLM seized Hage’s cattle in 1991

Two coils of rope and a cowboy hat hang on bull horns mounted over Wayne Hage Jr.’s desk, the rest of his office dedicated to shelves upon shelves of law books. In the evening at his generator-powered Nevada ranch, Hage and his sister Ramona Morrison engage in repartee on court cases and property laws, as his three young children roast marshmallows in the living room fireplace.

If Hage and Morrison had their way, they’d be spending their days focused on taking care of the Pine Creek Ranch: galloping through shrub-dotted valleys and jutting rocky mountains, rounding up stray cattle, and following in the footsteps of generations before them. Instead, overgrown weeds line the dirt road in Meadow Canyon, as Hage has just returned from a weeklong visit with his attorney to prepare for an upcoming appeal. Morrison now lives near Reno working as a legal consultant specializing in property rights in the West.

The Hage family has now fought a 35-year battle against the federal government to protect the family’s grazing and water rights. With more than 87 percent of Nevada’s land owned by the federal government, ranchers are allowed grazing permits and many have water rights dating back to the 1800s. Yet since the Hages moved to their 752,000-acre ranch near Tonopah, Nev., in the late ’70s, officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service have buried the Hages with onerous regulations with an aim to kick them and their cattle off the land.

The tale of cowboys (and Indians) vs. federal bureaucrats (and environmentalists) stretches across the Western United States, where more than 50 percent of the land is federally owned, and goes back to the days of the Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s. Although the movement fizzled out when Ronald Reagan was voted president, the regulations continued to tighten and skirmishes broke out in the courtroom as well as on the range. Environmentalists aiming to wipe out all ranching on federal land have succeeded in getting the government to force more ranchers out of their livelihoods. In response, Western states are trying to transfer federal lands to state control, believing the federal government has broken its trust with its citizens.

BUMPING DOWN THE DIRT ROADS in Pine Creek Ranch is a time warp to a different age. After miles of nothing but arid Nevada desert, cotton candy skies, and the occasional cluster of munching cows, the ghost town of Belmont emerges in the distance. Crumbling facades from the 1865 mining town stand next to renovated buildings, like Dirty Dick’s Belmont Saloon. Inside the dimly lit room warmed by a wood-burning stove, hunters and ranchers with cowboy hats and leathered faces catch up on the latest news. One man pointed to the elk bloodstain on his khakis as a sign of his success that day, as an older man with an unruly white beard contemplated if he was celebrating his 49th or 50th wedding anniversary. He shrugs his shoulders and asks: “Who gets married in the middle of hunting season anyway?”

While Belmont was still in its heyday in 1866, Hage’s predecessors secured rights to water sources around the area to use for their cattle. Although Nevada became a state in 1864, the federal government did not dispose of the land in the state, in part because much of the land was too arid for homesteading. The federal government kept the land under its control, while recognizing vested water rights and grazing preferences. Currently, Pine Creek Ranch is 99 percent public land, and 1 percent privately owned.

In 1934, Congress passed the Taylor Grazing Act, which created grazing districts regulated by the federal government to ensure that the land would be put to good use. Ranchers had to pay for 10-year grazing permits, and priority was given to those who already had water rights in the area. While the purpose for the system was intended for good, many ranchers believe that the pendulum has now swung too far the other way as BLM officials make it nearly impossible for ranchers to stay in business.

Morrison remembers her excitement when her parents, Wayne and Jean Hage, brought her and her four siblings to their new home of Pine Creek Ranch in 1978. The horse-loving teen cherished the times her dad brought her along to round up cattle on horseback. The earlier owners sold the ranch because of trouble with the Forest Service, yet the elder Wayne Hage thought that with his experience working with the feds on his previous California ranch, he wouldn’t face the same problems.

Read more here

Reposted by  December 4, 2014



Why the “White Privilege” Myth Helps No One

December 3, 2014

Is there anyone more more racist than an ‘ivory tower’ Liberal who believes he should suffer at the hands of criminals because he was born privileged, i.e. “superior,” in comparison to people of other races, and that to be less superior he must be taken down a notch or two by thugs of a less “privileged” race?

“White Privilege” is a myth. Unlike the monarchies and pseudo-constitutional governments of pre-revolutionary times, economic mobility in America as fluid as the opportunities that swirl around us. Not for some two hundred and thirty years have success and failure been predetermined by caste or pedigree. Whites born into poverty are no more “privileged” than minorities born into poverty. With a playing field made level by government by the people, persistent impoverishment among certain communities in the United States begs the question, “why do some rise above the circumstances of their birth while others stay trapped in generational poverty?”

The book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty (What Teachers Should Know) by Ruby K. Payne, asserts that “Love and acceptance for the middle class are based on achievement.” For the poverty class it’s personal popularity that merits love and acceptance, while, for the wealthiest classes, status and connections are the most vaunted qualities. It’s nice to be liked, and social status and prestige are certainly desirable, but among the things that bring love and admiration among differing classes of people, achievement is the only one quantifiable by any meaningful measure. Achievement is a middle class value, and the American middle class has always been the largest and most mobile of all socioeconomic classes.

Payne’s book also explains why generational poverty in the United States is not measured by income but by lifestyle choices. It’s now possible in America to have a greater income, much of it non-taxable, while living in “poverty” as a government dependent, than it is while working a full-time job. You will find many families with incomes lower than those on government welfare living middle class lifestyles because of their chosen value system. American “poverty” is not the poverty of Bangladesh or Mexico City. In America the you can own a car, two televisions, all kinds of appliances, and, in some states, have an income of nearly $40,000 per year for a family of four and be classified as “poor.” The words “poverty” and “poor” are too arbitrary to have economic meaning. The values practiced by families in individual homes are the only meaningful way to differentiate between who stays stuck in poverty and who is upwardly mobile.

So, what of this “White Privilege” thing? “White Privilege” denotes an endowment; having opportunity or wealth handed to you as a function of skin color. It’s an absurd concept given that not all whites are exempt from poverty and not all people of color are barred from upward mobility. The American middle class encompasses a higher percentage of people from all demographic groups than the poverty class. Despite the fact that during President Obama’s terms welfare dependence has exploded and joblessness among minorities has persisted at high rates, people are not limited by inherent traits such as skin color. Those who succeed, despite economically tough times, do so because they employ values such as dependability, hard work, creativity, and the desire to achieve no matter what their field of employment. Values–I like to call them ‘virtues’–that comprise a hard-driving work ethic and bring personal success are not exclusive to any particular race. They’re universal and accessible to all who choose to employ the habits that bring about achievement.

In a recent op-ed, a young white man, following his own mugging, wrote that “Privileged people deserve to get robbed at gunpoint.”  He’s the poster child for the liberal, self-loathing Flagellate Monks in the church of Political Correctness, who forever castigate themselves for being born as something other than an “oppressed minority.” It’s pretty pathetic when the very middle class values that are the foundation of achievement in America, are rejected by guilt-ridden folks who believe that success and failure are fixed traits determined by genetics. When you think about it, this is authentic racism. Is there anyone more more racist than an ‘ivory tower’ Liberal who believes he should suffer at the hands of criminals because he was born privileged, i.e. “superior,” in comparison to people of other races, and that to be less superior he must be taken down a notch or two by thugs of a less “privileged” race? Breathtaking.

The American middle class exists–and may go extinct–based on the values practiced by individuals. Achievement is measurable in many ways; income, family stability, thrift, health, educational success, devotion to charitable service, faith, marital resilience, etc. These middle class values are found in people of all income levels, and so are the backbone of American identity and liberty. Countless great figures became influential by working their way , bottom to top, in both achievement and wealth. God may bless the lives of virtuous people, but privilege is not a genetic condition. White Privilege is a myth, but what is not mythological is that achievement comes from living the values of self-restraint, hard work, and personal morality. In America, choices, not fate or genetics, determine who lives a successful life and who immerses themselves in frustration and envy, always blaming their woes on external forces or people who are different than them. Put simply, American success is not dependent on the color of one’s skin, but upon the content of one’s character.

by Marjorie Haun  12/3/14


Gaps in the Nuclear Mission: 5 Things You Should Know


As originally published on Daily Signal November 19, 2014

The Independent Review of the Nuclear Mission: Five Things You Need to Know

Last week, the Department of Defense published its long-awaited review of the U.S. nuclear enterprise. The review and renewed Russian nuclear threats to NATO attracted new attention to weapons that in 2009 the President promised both to maintain and to rid the world of. This conflicting rhetoric from the highest level of the government has led to confusion about the nation’s and the leadership’s commitment to the nuclear mission.

Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel ordered a review after a string of Air Force and Navy scandals earlier this year. This was not the first review of U.S. nuclear forces since the Cold War, as the review noted. As the panel urged in the report, this time, the government’s response needs to be “sustained and effective.”

The Findings

The review found:

  1. A significant gap between the soldiers who operate the nuclear system and the leadership. Thedisconnect between leadership intent and the soldiers’ daily experiences needs “to be addressed quickly and effectively.”
  2. Shortfalls in manning, equipment, documentation, and guidance. For example, three intercontinental-range ballistic missile bases were forced to share one maintenance tool.
  3. Nuclear activities are often embedded in a wide range of non-nuclear activities. There is no single Department of Defense nuclear enterprise.
  4. The perception that U.S. modernization plans are uncertain and rather unreliable, contrary to nuclear weapons modernization plans in other countries.
  5. A deeply flawed risk-assessment process. The process leads to a 100 percent expectation in every operational and administrative action, regardless of how those actions actually contribute to the nuclear mission. In some cases, this expectation detracts from fulfilling the nuclear mission.

Some of these issues are not new and were identified in previous Air Force and nuclear mission reviews.

The Panel’s Recommendations

The panel recommended:

  • Raising the public profile of nuclear forces and within the national security apparatus,
  • Refocusing the services on the nuclear mission as opposed to micromanagement and activities that are detrimental to the nuclear mission,
  • Restoring mission confidence and credibility, and
  • Ensuring accountability.

The Importance of the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

In announcing the results of the review, Secretary Hagel stated: “Our nuclear deterrent plays a critical role in ensuring U.S. national security, and it’s DOD’s highest priority mission. No other capability we have is more important.”

So far, the cost of implementing recommendations is unclear, although Bob Work estimated that fully funding nuclear infrastructure would require about a 10 percent increase above the current level of $15 billion to $16 billion—a minor expense in the context of the federal budget.

The visibility of the U.S. leadership’s commitment to the nuclear mission is critical. In addition to the steps identified in the review, the Defense Department should ensure that nuclear weapons strategy is taught at U.S. war colleges and should strengthen across-the-force understanding of the importance of the nuclear mission. Nuclear weapons are still essential to U.S. national security; it is an imperative for the U.S. to get this mission right.

Reposted by  12/2/14


Colorado’s Legalized Pot: A Dangerous Disappointment

December 1, 2014

Why Legalizing Pot Is a Bad IdeaAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

As published on and the Daily Signal

At first blush, it may appear that the fight to thwart marijuana legalization is a lost cause. Pot pushers want you to believe that legalization is inevitable. They point to legalization successes this November in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia.

But Big Pot lost in Florida, and five cities in pot-crazy Colorado outlawed the sale of marijuana, including Lakewood, Canon City, Palisade, Palmer Lake and Ramah. And now comes the latest Gallup poll from Nov. 6, which shows that support for marijuana legalization is down seven points from last year, from 58 percent to 51 percent. Even liberal support for legalization dropped four points from last year.

So why did the pot pushers lose a large state like Florida, and why is support for legalization falling?

That’s a tough question. But perhaps the public is starting to pay attention to scientific data and the actual dangers of marijuana, and the negative stories coming out of Colorado and Washington State since those states legalized marijuana.

The science is clear and unambiguous – pot is a dangerous substance. It is not like alcohol at all. There is a reason it is classified as a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance, right along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The American Medical Association, the American Lung Association and other reputable doctors and scientists all reject legalization. 

As Dr. Kevin Sabet, former senior advisor to President Obama’s drug policy office, states in his book “Reefer Sanity ‘Seven Great Myths About Marijuana,” the average strength of today’s marijuana is five to six times what it was in the 1960s and 1970s, and upwards of 10 to 20 times stronger than in the past.

Even the liberal editorial pages of The Washington Post urged voters not to legalize pot in the ballot initiative this past Nov. 4. The Post noted that “the rush to legalize marijuana gives us – and we hope voters – serious pause.”

The data coming out of Colorado is exhibit A on why voters should reject legalization efforts. Even the Democratic governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, said that legalizing marijuana in Colorado was “reckless.” As I have written at Heritage, pot-positive traffic fatalities have gone up 100 percent since voters legalized pot in Colorado. This is true despite the fact that overall traffic fatalities in Colorado have gone down since 2007.

A report by a federal grant-funded agency in Colorado found seven specific negative side effects that pot legalization has caused in Colorado:

1) the majority of DUI drug arrests involve marijuana;

2) youth consumption of marijuana has increased;

3) drug-related suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent over a 5-year period and a majority was for marijuana;

4) an increase in college users;

5) almost 50 percent of Denver arrestees tested positive for marijuana;

6) marijuana-related emergency room visits increased 57 percent from 2011-2013; and

7) marijuana-related hospitalizations has increased 82 percent since 2008.

Perhaps people are also aware of new scientific studies pointing to the inherent dangers of marijuana. For example, the British health research journalThe Lancet Psychiatry recently concluded that teens who smoke marijuana are “also 60 percent less likely to graduate college and seven times more likely to attempt suicide.”

Others have picked up on the recent findings by the Journal of Addiction from Kings College London that found that marijuana is highly addictive, causes mental health problems and is a gateway drug to other illegal and dangerous drugs. That report found that regular adolescent marijuana users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers, that they were more likely to use other illegal drugs, the use produced intellectual impairment, that use doubled the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and increased the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged adults.

Add to that the recent study where 9.7 percent of respondents reported that they had smoked marijuana before coming to work, and you can see why responsible citizens, including employers and parents, are starting to question the pro-pot canard that smoking marijuana is no big deal and actually good for you.

Originally published at and

Reposted by  12/1/14


Hagel: Scapegoat for Obama’s Shoddy Foreign Policy

As originally posted on Boston Herald

Hagel’s exit won’t save O’s weak foreign policy

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

By Peter Brookes

OK, so maybe at least one head had to roll — in this case that of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — after the murderous mid-term elections which partly reflected Team Obama’s sloppy steering of the ship of state in international waters.hagel

But the inconvenient truth about all of this delicious D.C. drama is that swapping out one Pentagon pasha for another won’t fix President Obama’s floundering foreign and national security program. It’s not so much the people that are the drawback; it’s the policies. Simply said: We’ve been plowing into the plethora of international problems imprecisely.

The responsibility for guiding American foreign and national security policy writ large, especially on the hot issues, rests with the president.

The Pentagon, the State Department and others, while advisers, are in the role of implementing that policy set forth by the White House’s political potentates.

That’s how our system “works,” especially for this crew, which is infamous for its micromanagement.

Unfortunately, that foreign and defense policy vessel has taken on plenty of water in the face of some very stormy seas. Here’s some of where our ship of state has foundered on the shoals — or even been dashed on the rocks:

• Islamic State/Syria/Iraq: The U.S. was caught flat-footed by this “junior varsity” terrorist group. The Islamic State has taken a swath of territory in a blitz across Syria and Iraq. It has also brutally beheaded Americans.

While we supposedly left Iraq “stable and self-reliant,” the three-plus-year Syria civil war has taken some 200,000 lives. The Bashar Assad regime is still in power — though its days were said to be “numbered” — and al Qaeda’s Khorasan Group has moved in.

•      Russia/Ukraine: The Kremlin took Crimea with little fuss, probably provided the missile system that was used to shoot down a Malaysian passenger airliner, and is now spearheading instability in Eastern Ukraine, moving aggressively against a sovereign state in violation of international law.

• Iran: On Team Obama’s watch, we’ve seen Iran move forward with its nuclear (weapons) program and develop its space and ballistic missile systems — both precursors to an intercontinental ballistic missile capability that is expected next year.

Worse, the prez pitched over the side the Bush-era missile defense system in Europe that would have been operational by now for a system that will lag Iran’s ICBM by three to five years.

• China: The “pivot” to the Pacific looks more like a pirouette — and Beijing couldn’t be more pleased. China is now building islands in the South China Sea to claim ownership over 1 million square miles of ocean.

You might add: the failed Middle East peace mediation, terrible Israel ties, Eastern Europe’s jangled nerves, the Benghazi tragedy, two North Korean nuke tests, the “Islamist Spring,” al Qaeda in Africa (Boko Haram, al Shabab, etc.) and so on.

You get the picture.

Contrary to Team Obama’s assertions, we’re not safer now than we were six years ago — and the reason is our foreign and national security policies.

Unfortunately, moving the crew in the steamer chairs around the deck of the S.S. Obama won’t change the calamitous course this ship of state is on.

Dr. Peter Brookes is a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. Follow him on Twitter @Brookes_Peter

Reposted by   11/28/2014


George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Geo. Washington

Posted by  11/27/2014


Old Sarge’s List of Thankful Things

November 26, 2014

From Vietnam veteran, author, and friend, Forrest L. Gomez, affectionately known as Old Sarge


In spite of our outlaw president and the efforts of some to turn part of Missouri into a game preserve for coyotes, I believe there is much to be thankful for. The following are some blessings in our lives, and I hope all who read this can add more.

The success of Republicans in the mid terms can be seen as nothing less than miraculous and historic. In 2010, Republicans won over 770 seats in government nationwide, still hold on to most of them, and have added more since then. On 4 November 2014, Republicans added over 700 more, including control of the Senate. Most of us feel that people like Joni and Mia will make a difference.


It is an assured blessing that we got through November 22nd, the anniversary of the assassination of JFK, without any conspiracy buffs going catatonic on us and dying.

  • Marion Barry is dead and Allen West is alive.
  • The lesbian Houston mayor is in full retreat from the Christian community, no longer determined to subpoena sermons from pastors who don’t share her view of life.
  • Global warming fanatics are buying space heaters and woolen underwear, as they watch icebergs form on Lake Michigan.
  • Chick Fil’a and Hobby Lobby are prospering, and the guy who owns Starbucks has written a book explaining how veterans are good hires.
  • Every openly pro-life candidate in the last election won.
  • Michelle Obama’s school lunches are being rejected by crows and seagulls.
  • Barney Frank traveled to and left Ireland, and no leprechauns were molested.
  • Harry Reid has stood in the bread line and asked for toast. He painted several signs that say, “Will Obstruct for food.”
  • The guy who stole my identity, then tried to sue me for defamation of character, has dropped the charges.
  • Thanks to Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry, Botox stocks are high.
  • Obama’s favorability index is lower than Dubya’s was at his worst, and Obama earned it all on his own. The media hounded Bush for six years to destroy him with the public.
  • Bill Clinton being chosen as spokesman for the Democrats in their allegations of a GOP war on women did not affect the elections.
  • Our Marine sergeant, Andrew Tahmooressi, came home from a Mexican jail.
  • Chuck Hagel now gets to go make his announcements in the bus depot.
  • 76% of Americans say they want God back in public life.
  • Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas are more popular than ever.
  • Have a great Thanksgiving, brothers and sisters.

Remember that God is the greatest physician, and still makes house calls.

- The Sarge

Reposted with permission of the author by  11/26/14


Squanto: A Foreordained Savior of the Pilgrims?

November 26, 2014

I’m what you call a Redneck Blueblood.

John Alden and Priscilla Mullins took passage to the New World on the Mayflower.  They married while in Plymouth Colony and begat Elizabeth.

Elizabeth married Samuel Bartlett and begat Elizabeth.

Elizabeth married Joseph Bartlett (a distant cousin) and begat Betty.

Betty married Benjamin Rider and begat Betsy.

Betsy married Nathanial Churchill and begat Lydia.

Lydia married Daniel Cook and begat Elizabeth.

Elizabeth married George William Mann and begat Lydia.

Lydia married David Barclay Adams and begat Gilbert.

Gilbert married Thurza Armelia Allen and begat Thurza.

Thurza married Cornelius McDougall and begat Shirley.

Shirley married Frederick Snyder and begat….ME!

I am a big fan of the Separatists and the Strangers and the crew of the Mayflower.  Not one of these tough cookies chose to return to Mother England, even after a brutal Winter had left half of their loved ones and friends in the cold clay of the Atlantic coast.  There is also no question in my mind that their survival and the perpetuation of that mission hinged upon one man, a Pawtuxet native named Tisquantum, or Squanto.

Squanto was born circa 1580 and, in 1614, he was deceived and accosted by one of John Smith’s lieutenants, Captain Thomas Hunt, along with a number of other Native Americans.  The Pawtuxet, along with several other coastal tribes, participated in the fur trade with the pre-Mayflower English explorers and entrepreneurs who patrolled the New England coast.  Squanto’s band believed they were going aboard Hunt’s ship to make a transaction.  The trust these Natives had in the fur-traders cost them their freedom when they were trapped and forced below hatches to be taken to Malaga, Spain for the express purpose of enriching Hunt with the silver that their muscle and blood could bring.  Some of the local friars in Malaga discovered the treachery of Thomas Hunt and took custody of a number of the Native Americans  before they were all sold into slavery.  Squanto was among those few.

As a result of the kidnappings, the relations between the English and the Nauset and Pawtuxet tribes deteriorated and hostilities raged.  The Native peoples drove away the English and French ships that visited the coast and in 16 17 one of the French ships was burned and almost everyone aboard was killed.  Meanwhile, Squanto and some of his friends were learning the doctrines of Christianity from the friars in Spain. Disastrously, life in the Pawtuxet and Nauset villages on the site of the future Plymouth Colony, would come to an abrupt end.  A European strain of smallpox or TB spread through the population of the Pawtuxet village and, in a season, killed them all.  Many of the neighboring tribes were heavily hit with the plague.

The only survivor from that village, Squanto, had but one goal, to return to from Europe to his native home.  Squanto had no way of  knowing that his family, friends, and life as he had known it, had been wiped out.  He somehow found his way from Spain to England.  He was discovered and taken in by John Slaney, the treasurer of the Newfoundland Company, and began to learn the King’s English. Slaney recognized Squanto’s value, as an interpreter and expert on the natural resources of North America, to the Newfoundland Company.  Squanto’s desire to return to his home and people was bearing fruit when he sailed with his new company to Newfoundland, or so he thought.  While in Newfoundland Squanto met another of John Smith’s cohorts, Thomas Dermer,  who employed Squanto as an interpreter and possible peacemaker to the remaining Pawtuxet and Nauset tribes with whom he hoped to re-establish trading practices.   In 1619 Squanto and his employer, Captain Dermer, sailed from Newfoundland to New England to mend the broken ties between the white men and the Natives.

When they arrived at Squanto’s village there stood little more than the skeletal timbers that framed the wetus which once housed the extinct villagers.  Squanto’s heart was surely broken when he saw that his longed-for home was little more than an ancestral necropolis.  Simultaneously with Squanto’s return home sailed a three-masted “fluyt”, the Mayflower, from England with her cargo of opportunity-seekers and religious agitators.  These adventurers, the Strangers, and religious wanderers, the Separatists, were ill-prepared for the privations of the harsh New England coast, and the crowding and hardships aboard ship would prove lethal once they had set anchor.  Even after fixing their hopes on the banks of Plymouth Harbor, the bitter season spent between the common house on shore, and below decks on the Mayflower provided a vector for infection and despair, and one half of their men, women and children perished.

In the spring of 1621 the crew of the Mayflower prepared to return to Plymouth, England.  The captain offered passage to anyone who wanted to return to the civilized shores of the Motherland.  Not one of the colonists chose to go home.  Each soul, tested by death, despair and toil, and facing a precarious future, lingered in their land of promise.  But the Pilgrims were hapless townspeople.  They worked hard to raise their little community but they lacked the essential skills and knowledge they would need to farm and reap the harvest that would be required to get them through another winter.  On March 16, 1621, Samoset, an ambassador for Massasoit of the Wampanoag, strolled into the town, (probably chuckling under his breath) and, in his peculiar version of English, matter-of-factly welcomed the settlers to their new home.  They were flabbergasted and amazed when Samoset returned six days later with Massasoit, Quadequina, a deputy to Massasoit, and Squanto, with his more refined English.  Squanto became the primary mediator and interpreter for the Pilgrims.  All during that spring Squanto remained in Plymouth Colony and taught its inhabitants the native secrets of fertilization, rotation, native plants and seeds, and of  using the signs in nature to provide the optimal conditions for a bounteous harvest.  As for Squanto, perhaps, he felt he had returned home.  Plymouth Colony was built partially upon the ruins of his defunct village.  And he had been accepted as a savior by the Pilgrims into their daily lives.

Squanto provided the agricultural expertise the colonists would need to survive in their new home.  He also served as an important emissary of peace between the Pilgrims and the Native tribes that were still smarting from their underhanded treatment by some of the European traders and explorers.  Squanto seems to have been provided to the Pilgrims to secure their survival by the very God in whose name they ventured across the ocean in search of religious liberty.

The harvest season of 1621 provided a bounty beyond that which the Pilgrims themselves required.  Massasoit joined the 50-some settlers along with the majority of his tribe, over 90 Native men, women and children, for a three day feast of celebration and gratitude.  Their’s was a feast of Thanksgiving, friendship, and peace; a peace between the aboriginal inhabitants of the coastal region and some strange, religious refugees, that would last more than 50 years.

Squanto died in 1622 of either natural disease, or as some have speculated, poisoning by one of the native tribes, for having used his emissary status for personal gain.  However, when Squanto knew death was imminent he asked Governor Bradford of Plymouth Colony, to pray for his soul, that it would enter into Heaven and find rest with the Christian God.  Squanto may have sensed the significance of his death as a passageway into eternity.  It is unlikely that he could fathom the impact that his life and service would have upon the future  American nation, its survival as a fledgling republic, and the roots of its Christian heritage, that would prepare it to become the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the earth.  A nation that would not be a respecter of men, but of the law, and of the unalienable rights given to all by their Creator; the first nation to be established upon the rock of Liberty.

Squanto could not have known that generations of Americans would be born out of those pitiable newcomers whom he tutored in the intricacies of the soil, weather, wildlife and the seasons of his native home.  Squanto would have balked when presented with the legacy of freedom that emerged from the seeds of religious liberty and holy conduct that marked the purpose and priority of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

by Marjorie Haun  11/26/2014


Democrat Christians: Encamped with the Enemy?

November 24, 2014

Earth to Christians who register and vote Democrat; you’re aligning with the party trying to bring about your extinction.

Pundits fret about the increasing “polarization” of American voters; the extremes on the Left AND Right. Though there is plenty of reason for angst, this complaint is only half true. The United States is historically a nation of religious-minded citizens. Our laws derive from Judeo-Christian principles, and Western religious beliefs are the key factor of American culture and identity. According to a Pew Research study on Religion & Public Life, “Nones,” or those who check the “none” box on surveys of religious affiliation, are growing rapidly in number. The number of Americans who attend church regularly, however, has remained steady at about 25-35%. This single statistic indicates that the increasing polarization comes not from the Right going far right, but rather from the Left becoming increasingly estranged from the fundamental characteristics of American society. But there is more..


In the title of this post I make an assertion that may be offensive to some, nevertheless, it is a quantifiable fact that those on the American Left–substantiated by the Democrat Party–seek to destroy the moral codes for which Christians have fought for centuries.  The “Nones” are comprised of Atheists, Agnostics, and those who simply don’t engage in religious thought or activity. The Pew survey shows that the Nones lean heavily Left, at over 70%, and are the most ideologically fierce voting bloc of white Americans in the Democrat Party, supporting abortion-on-demand and homosexual “marriage” by a huge margin. Obama enjoys the support of 75%  of this sector of Democrat voters.

The Democrat Party projects a sense of diversity, by appealing to minorities–especially blacks and Latinos–liberal Catholics, Jews, and other subsets of cultural and religious loyalists. But Democrats are the least ideologically diverse of political parties. The Democrat Party platform is becoming increasingly hostile to religious influences and even the mere mention of God. Liberals don’t hesitate to punish those–especially black conservative defectors–who fall out of lock step with their rigid, secular, politically-correct narratives. The radicals of the 1960s and 70s are rulers of today’s courts, politics and universities. Their extremist ideology has always had one goal; the supremacy of government over the people. And these radicals, including Barack Obama–and almost every man and woman in his administration–know that to achieve that goal, the influence of Western religious traditions on culture and politics must be eliminated.

Although the Nones may seem innocuous; a politically neutral ground, they strengthen the Left’s goals, for without religious thought, moral relativism–the democracy of opinion–rules the culture and dictates the terms of political debate. The Nones fortify anti-Western tradition by rejecting the belief and application of religious principles in public life. These secularists are also behind countless direct assaults on Judeo-Christian standards of morality via the–perversely– omnipotent Judiciary. Religious freedom has been threatened as never before during Obama’s Administration. Do the research for yourselves, but start with this list of assaults on Freedom of Conscience:

  • Obama asserts that the United States of America “is not a Christian nation.”
  • Rejection by Obama White House of traditional religious symbols and images on Christmas, Easter cards
  • The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion
  • Federal courts overturn voter-directed States’ bans on homosexual marriage
  • Open homosexuality in the Military
  • Striking religious references from Military rites and institutions
  • The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis.
  • Pastor Louie Giglio is pressured to remove himself from praying at the inauguration after it is discovered he once preached a sermon supporting the Biblical definition of marriage
  • The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception.
  • Obama omits religious references in traditional ceremonies, but invokes scripture when pushing illegal executive action, such as blanket amnesty for millions of criminal aliens.
  • Obama excludes non-discrimination protections for religious groups
  • When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech.
  • Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs
  • The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade – specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego.
  • Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates “violent” and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities.
  • The United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID), an official foreign policy agency of the U.S. government, begins a program to train homosexual activists in various countries around the world to overturn traditional marriage and anti-sodomy laws, targeting first those countries with strong Catholic influences, including Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

The list goes on; an exhaustive documentation of the ongoing attacks by liberal Democrats, lead by Obama, against Western religions and individual believers. Disheartening as it is for one like me, who understands the vital role that religion and moral traditions play in the health and resilience of a society, it should blow the minds religious-minded Democrats. Historically, many Catholics and other liberal Christians, have fallen prey to the false narratives that “Jesus was a Socialist,” and the New Testament teaches collectivism for the good of all, and God’s Commandments were written for a different time and people. But it’s disturbing that authentically religious people are not fully cognizant of the fact that they’re targeted for elimination by the very political party they support.

Christians are naturally compassionate, and don’t want to appear mean or exclusive. But the desire to be kind should never become an excuse to condone practices that are objectively evil and harmful to individuals and civil society. Yet the Democrat Party not only condones, but embraces, the most decadent practices forbidden by God. It’s understandable that churches and many religious individuals don’t want their personal beliefs to be politicized, but it becomes unavoidable when the powers-that-be deem those personal, religious beliefs to be obstacles to their political goal of all-powerful, centralized, secular government dominion.

Yes, we are in a battle of ideologies, and those Christians and Jews who identify themselves as, and vote Democrat, are hastening the demise of everything they hold dear. It’s time for Christians to be polarized against those forces that want them gone.

Ephesians 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

by Marjorie Haun  11/24/14



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