Category Archives: Current Events

PATRIOTS ON STRIKE?!

cslewis

The lesser of two evils?

VIABLE ALTERNATIVES?

Is it just me or do many of you wish that you could find a viable alternative to making a choice between a self-serving inept felon and a volatile ego maniacal jackass, as the next President of the United States? Of course, though sarcastic, that’s a rhetorical question. I know that very many, if not most, of my fellow Americans share a similar view. Later, I’ll offer empirical evidence of that.

Some will suggest that throwing your support to a third-party candidate is a viable alternative. That’s only half true. It is an alternative but it isn’t viable. Regardless of your third-party vote, Clinton or Trump will be the next POTUS and you will have changed nothing.

CHANGE-MAKING ALTERNATIVES?

In order to find a viable alternative to this dilemma, I suggest stepping back and taking a fresh look at our concerns about the nominees of the two major parties. Up to now, I’ve seen this assessment include:

• Choose between the lesser of two evils.
• Are they evil or just flawed?
• Are they unfit or just unacceptable?
• Are they immoral or just unwise?
• The fear of what he says versus the fear of what she does.
• For different reasons, neither can be trusted.

Frankly, I find each of these considerations to be somewhat reasonable. But they don’t really lead to a viable alternative that positively impacts the ongoing devolution in American politics. Ironically, I heard the solution summed up in a statement made by Hillary Clinton that was, as usual, meant to demean Donald Trump. She said,

“We need to stand up as a people and say that America is better than (this)!”

I wholeheartedly agree and absent a truly acceptable alternative candidate, I firmly believe it calls for an unorthodox approach to making the changes so many of us have been crying out for in American politics. It means refusing to continue to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and only voting for candidates who are truly deserving of your vote. What I’m recommending is that all of us who share the frustration expressed in my opening paragraph refuse to vote for any of 2016’s presidential candidates, while voting for every down-ticket candidate who deserves our support. I think of it as  … 

… A Presidential Voters Strike for Our Union.

I know that many will, at least initially, say that my recommendation is crazy, it will effect no change and that either Clinton or Trump will still be the next POTUS. No doubt, the latter is true and it’s going to take all of U.S. pulling together, finally setting aside our ever deepening polarization, to survive whichever one is elected. This Voters Strike could be the first step in that movement and I believe it can effect the changes we long for. I want to offer my logic, that I believe is fully sane, by presenting the empirical evidence I alluded to earlier. Continue reading

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Filed under Current Events, Government, Liberty, Making a Difference, politics, Presidents, United States

TWO EVILS, NONE THE LESSER

“I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The party left me.”

Ronald Reagan, 1962

On September 12th, 1974, I got to attend a Republican fund-raiser dinner in Indianapolis, where Ronald Reagan, the former Governor of California, was the Keynote Speaker. I walked in to that event thinking of myself as a Democrat. Since I grew up in what many would call a Blue Dog Democrat area of Indiana and I was raised by Greatest Generation Democrats, what else could I possibly be? However, due to the disillusionment I and many in my generation experienced over our nation’s failed leadership relative to the Vietnam War, in 1968 and again in 1972, I voted for Richard Nixon, the Republican Candidate for President. Understandably, that left me questioning my alignment with the Democrat Party. That evening, I went home with that questioning answered. As I listened to Governor Reagan express his views, I recognized that they were identical to mine and that I’d had the same experience that he did … I hadn’t left the Democrat Party, it had left me. I went home that evening clearly understanding that I was what would become known as a Reagan Republican.

“If the Republican Party nominates Trump.

I WILL HEAR FROM MY FATHER’S GRAVE

“I DIDN’T LEAVE THE PARTY THE PARTY LEFT ME”

Michael Reagan, 2016

Though, at times, I have felt like this election season is killing me, I haven’t had to say it from the grave yet but I have been saying the very same thing. Sadly, now, the “if” is gone. Donald Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee of the GOP. My being driven back to the Democrat Party will not be the result of the Republican Party leaving me in this way, however. I will not vote for Trump but neither will I vote for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democrat Party.

IS IT THE SAME AS VOTING FOR HILLARY?

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Hands Off! Don’t Loot!

Devestated Business in Ferguson, MO

Devastated Business in Ferguson, MO

One current rallying cry being used by those, like Al Sharpton, who have made a profession of fanning the flames in America’s black/white racial divide rather than building a bridge across that chasm, is “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” There is no legitimacy to it. It’s based on a concocted account of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

The rallying cry that needs to be taken up instead is:

“Hands Off! Don’t Loot!”

Innocent residents and business owners in Ferguson, MO, have suffered tremendous losses at the hands of those who used Michael Brown’s death as an excuse to steal and destroy. In some cases, the losses meant the end for businesses and the livelihood they provided for owners, employees, suppliers, etc. There is nothing lacking in the legitimacy of this rallying cry. It’s based on a sad but absolutely true aspect of this matter. Continue reading

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Filed under community, Crime, Current Events, Justice, race

Obama’s ISIL Strategy – Watching and Praying

Obama - ISIL Strategy

DECISIVE ACTION

My last article on Obama’s ISIL Strategy, “WWII Groundhog Day – Starring Barack Obama in the role of Neville Chamberlain?”, concluded with me saying, “… it’s a must for Obama to … continue in developing a thorough and well thought out strategy to decisively meet this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge.” As I see it, from his address to the nation on this matter, this past Wednesday evening , he is clearly attempting to do just that.

THE CRITICS

Criticism of this newly-announced strategy came quickly and vociferously. While much of that has been legitimate, in my view, nearly as much has been over-the-top. Of course, constructive criticism is appropriate and I would join in with that. However, I refuse to throw in with counterproductive objections only meant to disparage. For now, I believe the most fitting attitude is to be watching and praying for Obama’s strategy to succeed.

An article in The Christian Post, entitled “Obama ISIS Strategy Heavily Criticized by GOP, Senate Dems, Pentagon Official”, may offer the most broad-ranging view of criticisms that are legitimate. One comment is that, in order to succeed, American “boots on the ground” will be required. Another observation questions the wisdom of our arming Syrian rebel forces. And there is skepticism about the strategy’s reliance on the Syrian civil war being solved politically. From my perspective, the key element making these criticisms legitimate is that they are presented as ways to change the strategy in order for it to be successful.

The over-the-top assessments have included views that this strategy is likely to “turn Obama’s presidency around.” In hand with that has been the suggestion that this would lead to Republicans failing to win the majority in the Senate in this Fall’s election. These pronouncements have come from both the Left and the Right, with the former hoping it’s true and the latter hoping it’s not. I think both are absurd. Continue reading

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WWII Groundhog Day – Starring Barack Obama in the role of Neville Chamberlain?

HISTORIC TIMES

I was in the first wave of the Baby Boom Generation. We grew up having all of the adults in our lives being those who had seen the U.S. and its allies through to victory in WWII. Naturally, we were taught a lot about that historic conflict and the events leading up to it. Although it was exciting to have much of that information passed along first-hand, directly from the participants, you could only imagine what it was like to actually live through the experience yourself. I have to admit to some ongoing and perhaps perverse, ambivalence about that. On one hand, I was thankful to have been spared the horrors and hardships we heard about. On the other hand, I felt that I had missed out on getting to go through a most interesting time in history.

REPEATING HISTORY?

As it’s become more and more apparent that the once menacing threat represented by ISIL is no longer a threat but is, in fact, an evil and deadly reality, that’s been disturbing enough on its own. Making it even more disturbing to me is seeing the similarity of these circumstances to events leading up to WWII. It’s been giving me the sense that I may actually end up living through an experience like (or most likely worse than) WWII. No doubt, it would be an “interesting” time but, considering the horrors and hardships that have already come with it, I’m left without any desire to go through something like this myself. Continue reading

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A Lesson from Ralphie for Obama

COPING WITH A BULLY

Justifiably, President Obama is being heavily criticized for lacking a strategy to deal with the menacing reality represented by ISIL. Certainly, a thorough and well thought out strategy is needed to address this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge. However, the sorely needed first step in this process is a very simple one that most learn in grade school – i.e. The only way to effectively cope with a bully is to confront him head on.

A CLEAR ILLUSTRATION

Arguably, the most well-known illustration of this is found in the Holiday classic movie, A Christmas Story, when the movie’s central character, Ralphie, deals with his nemesis, Scut Farkus and his “toadie”, Grover Dill. I recognize the element of absurdity in comparing a wonderfully amusing story to a deadly serious reality but, that aside, I believe it offers a clear illustration.

“Hey, ISIL! King’s X, OK?!”

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President Obama’s Mythical 21st Century

By: Trevin Wax

Cross-Posted From: KINGDOM PEOPLETHE GOSPEL COALITION

president-obamaThe beheading of journalist James Foley has shocked the world and elicited outrage from virtually every corner of civilized society.

Unfortunately, this kind of brutality is no longer uncommon. The ISIS rampage has delivered grisly videos of executions, reports of religious minorities being maimed and killed, and beheadings in the Middle East, all designed to draw attention to the bloodthirsty antics of terrorism’s most recent villains.

Foley was not an outlier. He was the public victim of Islamic militancy’s newest wave of terror.

The threat of ISIS should concern anyone who loves freedom and justice. But I fear that the moral convictions needed to confront such unspeakable evil may be missing in the United States today. We seem to be gaining our moral bearings from an overly optimistic vision of the world’s future and human nature.

President Obama’s remarks on the Foley incident included a theme that surfaces frequently in political discourse today. It is the theme of progress, the future, and what it means to live in the 21st century. Obama sounded the note of hope by appealing to the future:

People like [ISIS] ultimately fail. They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.

The president’s comment about the future may be powerful rhetoric, but it is not reality. If history shows us anything, it is that “the future” has often belonged to those who are passionate enough about their cause to destroy anything in their way in order to build something different.

It was “building” a society that inspired Adolph Hitler to exterminate Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals. It is the “rebuilding” of Russia that led Vladimir Putin across the borders into Crimea, a conflict which has resulted in the destruction of a plane full of civilians.

ISIS does not see itself as destroying; these thugs see themselves as building an Islamic Caliphate. They have an apocalyptic worldview; they are for “progress,” only their definition of progress is radically different than ours. They are righteous; we are evil. Therefore, they can pillage, rape, execute and behead with impunity. They see themselves as the future.

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