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Selecting a Party’s Nominee

Guess what? All you who say that the primaries are about “the will of the people”… it’s not voters in general who select the nominee from a political party… it’s the PARTY that selects its nominee.
The main problem we have not, though, is that not all states have closed primaries. The only way to ensure that the nominee of a party is actually the choice OF THAT PARTY, is to only allow registered members of that party to cast a vote in the primary. The same goes for the caucus states.
The time for the “will of the people” is in the general election.
I firmly believe that the reason we have Narcissist Mc-Trump-y-pants as the “Republican” presumptive nominee is that non-Republicans voted in the primaries in the “open” primary states, most of those people being liberals and/or Democrats, and they will not vote for him in the general election. They voted for him to ensure that the most competitive candidate against Hillary, Ted Cruz, was not the nominee, and a liberal blowhard was instead. Add those votes to the relatively few supposed “conservatives” who let the con artist sweet talk them into abandoning their conservatism in favor of a populist with no real principles.

All this talk of “presumptive nominee”

Just a little rant about the calls by the Trump camp, as well as others, that we should now get behind “the nominee”.
Umm… not yet… it’s not a done deal until one of two things happens: 1) Trump gets to 1237 delegates… which he has not done, or 2) he is selected by the vote of the delegates at the Republican Convention in July.
Until then, I continue to support Ted Cruz, and urge those who support him in the states that still have primaries to vote for him, and force a contested convention.
I still believe that Trump will be an absolute disaster as president… and so will Hillary… so I continue to hold out hope that people in the remaining states will come to their senses and vote for an actual constitutional conservative, namely Ted Cruz, and reject the narcissistic con artist.
Until and unless Trump becomes the official nominee, I will NOT support him in any way shape or form. When that time comes, I will make a decision as to whether to put on a gas mask and vote for the slightly lesser of 2 extreme evils, or write in the one who should have been supported by anyone calling themselves a conservative, and is the only true conservative among the 17 that started out seeking the Republican nomination… Ted Cruz.

Burning Tusks

I am just as happy to not have been in Kenya for the event, today, of burning of thousands of tons of poached ivory.
I say this because I don’t think the obvious symbolism is going to make any meaningful difference in the war on poaching.
I am very definitely and adamantly opposed to the illegal hunting and killing of any animal, whether for trophy or monetary gain. And I applaud those who seek to make bold statements and back them up with actions to combat the scourge on wildlife that poaching is. But, when you destroy what is still, in many parts of the world (rightly or wrongly… I believe wrongly), a commodity, you only serve to 1) drive up the price, and 2) make those who profit from the trade more determined to continue.
I know my view is somewhat controversial, and not the PC way of framing the debate. But our focus needs to be on prevention, before the fact, not on relatively meaningless photo ops, after the fact. As they say, it’s hard to close the barn door after the horses have fled.
So, what’s the answer? I believe that there are many organizations that are doing great work, particularly with respect to elephant and rhino poaching in Africa. The most effective of these are involved in a many faceted approach… education, rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned animals, emphasis on sustainable habitats, and, most importantly, ruthless enforcement of laws governing the illegal hunting of ANY type of wildlife. There are also a number of paramilitary organizations that specialize in shutting down the often very sophisticated poaching operations, and bringing those who are involved to justice.
So, while I understand the motivation behind the huge burning ceremony, today, I fear that it will do more harm than good.
My $.02 … take it or leave it.

I will not support Donald Trump

For the first time in my adult life, I am in a position to where, if a certain candidate becomes the Republican nominee… namely Donald Trump… I will write in another name… Ted Cruz… for President in the general election.
It has become increasingly evident that Donald Trump is neither Republican, nor conservative, and is only a “campaign conservative” with no intention of following through on anything (he hasn’t really said much besides “it’ll be great” and “I’ll win”…) he says. This is evidenced by his 180 degree difference on things he’s said as recently as 1 year ago.
He is a bully, and an egotistical megalomaniac, in my estimation, who talks about his “reign” as president… ummm… we don’t elect kings, by the way… and calls anyone who disagrees with him or calls him out on his hypocrisy a “liar”, or a “nasty guy who nobody likes”… etc.
We have a narcissist as president, right now. We don’t need another one!
I am baffled by many so-called evangelicals who support Trump. I can only guess that the definition used for evangelicals is not what I have always understood it to be.
So… I will not, in any way, support Donald Trump.
EDIT: 12/29/16 – This post was during the primaries, and as there was no chance of my EVER supporting Hillary Clinton, I chose to vote for Donald Trump.  He has definitely changed my mind, and I believe his will be a great presidency.

This “refugee” situation

I am really scratching my head at those who are bad mouthing the prudent actions of many governors to put a moratorium on allowing resettlement of the so-called refugees from Syria in their states.
Yes, there are truly those who need our help, and are truly refugees. But you cannot tell me that a group of people who are… 1) 70% male of “fighting” age, 2) healthy and look more like a military battalion than needy refugees and, 3) show almost no appreciation for the hospitality extended to them by the European countries that have received them to date, in fact, repaying that hospitality with violence and rape… are anything more than an invasion force, intent on spreading their stone age ideas of “culture” and “law” to the “infidels”!
And to say that there is any way of “vigorously vetting” these people, who come from a place that doesn’t have any semblance of records on these people to search, which is what 90% of a vetting process entails, is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
So stop telling me I’m not displaying Christian love because I think it is a mistake to let the fox into the henhouse! Did the events in Paris, Beirut, and earlier in Sweden (where these refugees have been raping Swedish women) not make any impression on you???
Sorry… I, for one, fully support and agree with these governors!

Why are we listening to the likes of Donald Trump?

First, let me say that there are many of my friends, who I respect, who think “The Donald” is the cure to our political ills. I know they came to their opinions honestly, and I totally respect that.
However, comma….
Why are we listening to a guy who voted for Obama, twice? Why are we listening to a guy who less than 2 years ago thought Hillary Clinton would make a good president? Why are we listening to a guy who has changed his position on illegal immigration more often than he changes his underwear? What makes us think that, this time, he really means what he’s saying?
Every time he opens his mouth, these days, it seems to be to hurl belittling and unsubstantiated jabs at his opponents for the Republican nomination. Most recently, he takes Ben Carson’s account of redemption from a troubled teenager to a born again Christian, and says it’s impossible to change. He rarely says anything new about his proposals, other than vague, “it’s going to be much better” statements with no specifics.
I get the deal that he’s not a Washington insider, and he’s putting up his own money… and I think that resonates with a fed up electorate. But he’s not the only “outsider” in the bunch. Ben Carson definitely fits that bill… and, even if some won’t admit it, so does Senator Ted Cruz. And Cruz is the only consistently conservative candidate, that has a voting record and an advocacy record to back it up.
For now, Cruz is my guy… Carson is in there, but a distant second… Rubio or Fiorina tie for an even more distant third place… and the rest don’t spark much interest from me. Least of all, Trump. We don’t need another narcissist in the White House!

More BS from the White House about Gun Control

First of all, this is going to be a serious rant. So if you don’t want to read my rant, don’t continue.
OK… here goes.
There was another school (read: Gun Free Zone) shooting. Quite frankly, I am fed up with the ridiculous notion that people have that putting up a sign that bans weapons from a place will actually result in zero weapons ever being there! First and foremost… who are the people who commit these violent acts? Certainly not law abiding gun owners. In fact, almost every single one of the perpetrators in the school shootings over the last 3 decades have been:
1) mentally ill
2) criminals (for the less speedy among us, that means someone who doesn’t pay any attention to the law)
So, what is the first reaction of the progressive left “intelligencia”? More ineffective (and usually unconstitutional) gun laws. So, you’re saying that someone who doesn’t follow the law, will follow a new law? If that’s what you think, you are dangerously delusional!
So, what do we need to do to get a handle on this?
1) stop blaming guns and gun owners for violence perpetrated with a gun. In many cases, lives are saved by law abiding gun owners being in a position to stop these mental cases by either confronting them and making them stand down, or eliminating the threat by shooting them.
2) stop allowing mentally ill people to be on the streets without proper treatment/medications and monitoring/supervision. If that means permanently institutionalizing someone, so be it!
3) let’s follow the Swiss model, where all adults are required to own a firearm (they are the militia/defense force). Switzerland has an extremely low rate of violent crime… and that’s no coincidence!
If you don’t like guns, don’t own one. But stop telling me that I can’t and shouldn’t, as a law abiding citizen, own a gun… it’s one of those pesky things in the Constitution… it’s a right, and it is not given to me by government. It’s given to me to make sure, among other things, that the government doesn’t become a tyrannical dictatorship!

My Time in Kenya 2013-15

I am about to move on from a position and a place that I’ve called home for the last almost 2 years. It has been a combination of a dream job and one of the most challenging experiences of my professional life.

It was a dream job, in that I was flying in the bush, in the country of my birth and all but 3 years of my upbringing, Kenya. It was in a beautiful area of Kenya, the area that Ernest Hemingway referred to as “The Green Hills of Africa”. It was among a very colorful group of people, the Maasai, doing work that had an economic benefit to these people through a combination of a for-profit tented eco-lodge, which caters to a high-end clientele, and a conservation trust, that provides for education, health care, and reimbursement for livestock lost to predators. The goals of the Camp and Trust combined are in keeping with my motivation toward a people first approach to wildlife conservation, that of being good stewards of God’s creation.

My challenges were several and varied. As the chief pilot (really just the “aviation everything” of the camp), I had to deal directly with one of the more convoluted Civil Aviation Authorities in Africa. Kenya CAA takes much of their requirements from the European Union’s EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) standards, which are largely obsolete, in terms of required academic knowledge. Also, the regulations are somewhat difficult to understand, as they are not particularly well organized. However, with a few missteps and inadvertent insults (which were not intended to be insulting, just poor choices of words), as well as some very good help and advice from some of the KCAA inspectors, I managed to muddle through and accomplish what needed doing, and to, hopefully, improve things just a bit.

As an evangelical Christian, my challenge was to live and work with an avowed atheist boss, and a predominant world view that was quite different from mine. As I stated above, my motivation toward conservation is from my desire to be a good steward of what God has given us. I do not subscribe to the, in my opinion, foolish notion that we, as humans, are contributing to what has been alternatively called Global Warming, Anthropomorphic Climate Change, Global Cooling… whatever the nom du jour is, at the moment. As much of the “science” behind the political ideology that is Climate Change has been thoroughly questioned and, for the most part, debunked as manufactured “evidence” to fit a predetermined theory, rather than allowing the unadulterated facts to lead where they may, I continue to feel that we are being victimized by power hungry politicians, as the whole debate is a political one, not a scientific one. That being said, I believe we do have an effect on our own local ecosystem… i.e. destruction of habitat by cutting down forests and putting farms in areas that are not particularly good for farming, improper disposal of refuse, redirecting precious water away from where it is needed for the wildlife to survive, and the list goes on.

Also, lifestyles of pure hedonistic pursuit and no acknowledgement of consequences to oneself or to others, and which are not culturally acceptable among the local people, and the isolation from any regular attendance to church, as well as a 7 day a week work schedule, all contributed to a growing feeling of isolation and being a “fish out of water”. The last 6 months of my tenure, here, have been among the most difficult days of my adult life.

All this being said, I have no regrets, and have made some wonderful friends, during my time, and believe that I have had a positive influence on many, even those who don’t acknowledge it, at the moment. I was at the right place, at the right time, and will likely never know who, precisely, I was here to be the right word or action that that person needed.

Syrian “Refugees?”

In the wake of all the furor over the Syrian refugees that are flooding into Europe, I have a few observations.

First, we as Christians have a duty to help those in need, and that is only right and proper. I know that organizations like Samaritan’s Purse are heavily involved in the efforts to meed these families’ immediate needs. If you are interested in donating, they are, in my opinion, the best organization to support.

But, there is an underlying narrative, here, that is not being acknowledged by most of the world. Syria is a predominantly muslim country, surrounded by a number of very wealthy muslim countries. Why are the majority of the refugees male, and why are they going to predominantly Christian or secular Europe?

My contention, and I’ve heard it mentioned by a number of people, as well, is that this is intentional, by the other muslim countries in the Middle East, to force what is in reality an invasion. It’s primary purpose is to spread Islam throughout the regions that are not, at present, muslim.

Yeah, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. But, when dealing with radical Islam (which is the only kind around, anymore), we need to be cognizant that the stated goal of Islam is to create a worldwide caliphate, and the quickest way to do so, is to create muslim majorities in all of the countries of the world. That’s precisely what will happen if we don’t nip this in the bud!

Here we go again!

Another shooting… but this time, it doesn’t fit the “narrative”. A gay black man killed two white people, live on TV… later citing the church killings in Charleston, SC, and supposed “racist statements” made by his former colleagues at a Roanoke television station, as his reasons. He said that he was answering the call to start a race war, among other things.

Of course, literally within a few minutes, the liberal anti-gun crowd started trying to use it as justification for taking away our 2nd amendment rights. Sorry guys, a gun was just the tool. He could have used any number of weapons to carry out his psychotic rampage… crossbows, bow and arrows, knives, hatchets, and any number of projectile weapons… all with equal lethality, but not many of which get the press coverage and misinformed rhetoric from those who think a gun free society will ever really be a free society.

The way that Hitler took over in Germany, was to gradually convince people to give up their guns, until they had no way to protect their freedoms. We simply cannot allow this to happen in the United States of America!

Trump? Is he the real deal as a conservative?

Right off the top, I’ll admit to being more than a little skeptical of Donald Trump’s bona fides as a conservative. He started his campaign for President with some pretty good “cannon fodder” that sounded good with regard to illegal immigration. Ann Coulter contends that he will do well as long as that is his central issue.

But is he really against illegal immigration? There are numerous statements of his, in the recent past, that seem to show that he is pro-amnesty/path-to-citizenship for those who have entered the US illegally. That, to me, is a clear indication that his current rhetoric is pure pandering, and without substance.

Will he work to repeal Obama-care? Indications are that he is for single payer, government provided health insurance. Nope, that’s not conservative, either.

Is he in it for himself, or is he in it for the American people? Last week’s “debate” on Fox News showed that he gets his panties in a wad when anyone suggests anything about him that he doesn’t like, as Megyn Kelly did in her questioning of him. Sounds to me that he’s just another narcissist, not so different from our current occupier of the White House. Nope, he’s in it for him, and for getting his rather large ego stroked.

I will say, however, that he has brought an issue that is one of the central issues that conservatives care about, this election cycle, to the forefront. That is a good thing. But if he does what many, including me, think he will do if he doesn’t get the GOP nomination… run on a third party ticket… we can kiss the presidency, and likely, the country as we know it, goodbye, because he will effectively hand the presidency to the eventual Democrat nominee… which will likely be Hillary Clinton, unless she is indicted and found guilty of the numerous crimes she has committed as the Secretary of State.

So, let’s stop falling into the liberal mentality of voting with emotions, and take a good long look at just who is now, and has always been, a conservative. The person who most embodies this, in my estimation, is Senator Ted Cruz.

Can’t we all just get along?

There has been a lot of activity on Facebook and other social media sights about the unfortunate killing of a lion named “Cecil” in Zimbabwe. While I don’t personally aspire to trophy hunting, and find a lot of problematic aspects to this particular incident, I find that most of the rhetoric is vitriolic and hateful nonsense.

First, it’s fine to be anti-hunting… I get that… but that doesn’t make people who enjoy hunting, whether purely for sport, or to put meat on their tables, “repugnant cretins” and words similar. How about we stop calling someone who disagrees with our views some derogatory name, and rather engage that person in a dialogue to see just where they stand, without getting to “spun up”. That’s something I’ll admit to being very hard to guard against!

For my part, I think hunting and wildlife conservation are not mutually exclusive terms. Many habitats have to resort to culling to keep animal populations to a level that the habitat can support. If sport hunting, done in a well regulated way, can reduce the numbers in these particular areas, while garnering license fees, per head fees for animals taken, and add revenue to the economies where these hunts take place, why is this not a good alternative to simply sending out rangers to cull the herds?

It’s also true that we need to be more cognizant of the way animal habitats are being drastically diminished, worldwide. Deforestation, urban expansion, and other factors serve to stress an already fragile balance in many areas, and steps are being taken in may places to address these issues, but not nearly enough.

And, lastly, I find it incomprehensible that the killing of one lion in Africa garners more anguish and sympathy than the plight of the literal millions of unborn babies that are slaughtered each year in the name of “choice”! Add to that, the recent revelations that Planned Parenthood is dealing in fetal tissue, with senior medical directors caught on tape talking about how they’ve bought expensive cars with the proceeds, and talking about techniques to save viable parts, rather than crushing them in the barbaric process.

It is becoming increasingly evident, in this world, that we are sliding further into a complete lack of moral standards, or even human decency!

A nation that has no moral standard

Lately, we are seeing so much animosity, incivility, and downright naked hatred for any ideology that seeks to define standards of conduct, personal responsibility, and, less face it, tolerance… and this from the militant leftists who have made it their goal to erase God from their existence. Anyone who tells the truth about sin and about individuals taking responsibility for their actions is denounced as a kook fringe religious nut.

I believe that the underlying reason for this hatred is that, since the 60’s “love power” hippy generation, people’s focus has been inward, self indulgent and hedonistic, rather than outward, seeking to help others, and taking responsibility for life and your mistakes. If you remove a standard of acceptable, ethical, moral behavior, the thought goes, then your behavior is not unacceptable, unethical or immoral.

Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, although many are trying to deny that, now. While our founding fathers were not, to a man, evangelical Christians, they all acknowledged “Our Creator” and used the fact that our rights were given by that creator, and not by government. Rights also require responsibility… responsibility in action, and responsibility for the consequences of that action.

We have become a nation of people who blame everyone and everything but themselves for their plight in life, and who expect others to give them what they want, without working for it, and without consequence.

My Definition of “Conservative”

I thought it might be helpful for me to define what I mean when I say that I am a Conservative. In the context of American politics, Conservative may be the single most misunderstood and misrepresented word ever known to man!

First, I believe that we are all “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, as the Constitution clearly states. These rights are not derived from government, but from God, who is who I consider “our creator” to be.

So, that means that the government has no business telling me that I am not a chosen one to succeed, or how to succeed, or, for that matter, how to live. We are free to choose our way of life, and how hard we work at making that way of life a reality. Of course, we are also responsible for the consequences of those choices, whether good or bad, and those consequences are not the fault of any group of people, or our parents, or our police, or anyone except we ourselves.

We must have freedom of religion… NOT the much bandied about statement of “separation of church and state”, which was not ever implied nor written into the 1st amendment. That was not meant to protect the state from religion, but to protect the free exercise of religion from the state. We’ve been getting it backwards for way too long!

To me, personally, calling myself conservative encompasses almost every area of life. I am an advocate of fiscal conservatism, both personally, and with respect to all levels of government. You don’t spend what you don’t have, and you don’t take from someone else. That is precisely what the government does with the usurious taxes that are taken from the proceeds of our personal productivity. And all too often, that money is then given to people who don’t produce anything… i.e. they don’t work, won’t work, and feel it’s the government’s responsibility to care for them.

The Bible says that if a man will not work, neither shall he eat. Welfare recipients, for the most part, are those who have chosen not to work. Yes, there are people who need the temporary help that welfare can provide, and that is right and proper, but they are a very small percentage of the total number who are on welfare.

I am a social conservative. I believe that ALL life is sacred, from conception to natural death, with NO exceptions. Abortion is the worst kind of genocide, and is morally, ethically, and in all ways reprehensible! I believe that marriage is a Christian concept that is between one man and one woman, and there should be no redefining of that profoundly religious institution. Legal definitions refer to domestic partnerships, not the sacred principle of marriage.

I am for a strong national defense, which also is used to promote freedom throughout the world, and to follow through, rather than pull out at the whim of a socialist president. I believe we are the sole superpower in the world (at least for now) and thus have a certain duty to champion human rights and freedom in all countries of the world. We can do this with the help of our many like minded allies, such as the UK, and other European countries, through NATO, as we did in Afghanistan, as well as the others that served in our coalition efforts in Iraq.

I believe in charitable giving, and that it must be voluntary, not coerced. I believe that faith based charities are by far the most effective and efficient, and serve the whole person, not just the physical needs. Before our welfare system came into being, people were cared for in churches and other places of worship, by people who did it voluntarily. Now, most of the money goes into the bloated bureaucracy and not to where it is needed.

Bottom line, I believe that the government only has a few mandates, and should otherwise leave us alone to pursue our own happiness. To provide for the common defense (armed forces), and to provide basic policing, and basic laws that are in keeping with the Constitution (I’d be willing to bet that 75% of our current laws violate the Constitution in some way or another).

The borders need to be sealed against illegal immigration. We are a nation of immigrants… LEGAL immigrants… and should rightly be proud of that. Illegal immigration is a threat to our safety, our sovereignty, and a slap in the face to all those who immigrate legally!

If the government stopped trying to penalize us for being productive, entrepreneurial, hard working, and *gasp* successful, we would have a booming economy, low unemployment, and a great quality of life. But our current crop in Washington DC have the idea that everyone should have exactly the same amount of money, drive the same kind of car, eat only certain foods… the list goes on. Anyone who goes against that “ideal” is penalized in the form of usurious taxes, fees, penalties, or just plain ludicrous regulations.

So, maybe I have, maybe I haven’t defined myself completely, but I think and hope this goes a long way toward that end.

The new push for gun control after Charleston

So, President Obama takes the opportunity, in the wake of the shooting in the church in Charleston, SC, to renew his attempt to disarm law abiding citizens of our once great country.

I’m sorry, but it’s not about “too many guns”. Criminals don’t obey gun laws. Good people who are allowed to exercise their 2nd amendment right to carry a gun are the best defense against criminals with guns, or knives, or baseball bats, or fists, or…

It’s a fact that since the “Gun Free School Zone Act” that was signed by Pres George HW Bush, the incidence of school shootings went from about 1 per decade to more than 4 per decade.

Criminals of this sort don’t go to places where people are allowed to carry, they go to gun free zones, because they don’t want any opposition.

The sooner we wake up and realize the simple truth that the best defense against a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun, the better.

Gun “control” is absolutely the wrong thing to do, and will only cause the numbers of these incidents to rise.

What defines true equality?

As we move closer and closer to the 2016 Presidential election cycle in the US, a lot of politicians like to talk about equality and equity, and how we don’t have income equality or gender equality or… ad nauseum.  They seem to make it an issue regarding freedom, while advocating the reduction or outright absence of freedom in almost every sense of the word.

Case in point:  A couple of cities on the west coast have instituted mandatory minimum wage levels that boggle the mind.  They call it a “living wage”, and apply it to jobs that were never meant to provide that.  They are entry level jobs… burger flipping, grocery bagging/stocking, etc… jobs which are meant to go to part time high school student workers, learning about the job market, while getting a few dollars to spend on chewing gum and candy.  By definition, they aren’t meant to be paid $50000 a year, because the work they are doing isn’t worth that much, by any stretch.  At most, working 10 hours or so per week, they make about $500-600 a month, and are generally happy to have it.

The end result?  Businesses that would have hired these kids are now either closing down, or using machines to take their place.  A business operates on a bottom line… profit vs. loss.  The idea is to always be on the profit side of the equation, and higher salaries to part time unskilled labor makes that pendulum swing very close to, or even all the way over to, the loss side.  When that happens, a change needs to be made.  Either, they have fewer workers (fast food joints are opting for machines to take orders, instead of a warm body entry level unskilled worker), or they cease to operate the business entirely.

Now, add to that the ever increasing regulation from the nanny state about portion size, sugar content, not to mention the fiasco of Obamacare, and you’ll find more and more businesses opting to cease operations.

The Constitution does NOT assure equality of outcome, ONLY equality of opportunity.  That means the opportunity to try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, and eventually to try and succeed.

Proverbs
28:19
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.”

21:25
“The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.”

Also, if someone earns a lot of money by his diligent work, and that money is taken away and given to someone who refuses to work, don’t you think that he is going to stop working as hard?

It’s time we stopped worrying about what another has, and put our minds to working for ourselves.  Make the choice to “work your land”, for a wage that is commensurate with the skill level required for that work.  Be happy for those who have made it past the first several failures into their final success, and strive to emulate their tenacity and courage.  Stop asking for a wage that you haven’t earned, by either experience or education or both, and strive to do the best at your job, while looking for a way to move up in skill level to be able to garner those higher wages!

The whole discussion of “WMD’s”

I am heartily tired of hearing the “armchair quarterbacks” from both sides of the political spectrum trying to distance themselves from the decision, that the majority of them authorized, to invade Iraq in 2003. The whole “Bush lied” meme is both untrue and ridiculous! Recent discoveries have proven all the supposed faulty intelligence reports from the time to be absolutely true, and that they were credible at the time. There were, and are, WMD’s in Iraq! And now, due to the incompetent foreign policy of the Obama administration, they are in the hands of ISIS.

A recent event in the as yet undeclared presidential bid of Jeb Bush brings to light the absolute ignorance of our young “skulls full of mush” that are coming out of our universities. This young girl actually had the audacity to make the claim that Pres G.W. Bush created ISIS! Ummm… no… if there is any blame to be laid on any American politician (and I think ISIS existed pre-Iraq war, either one) it would be squarely at the feet of President Obama and his administration, who pulled our troops out of Iraq before the Iraqi Army was capable of defending their country. We reneged on our promise to assist in the rebuilding of a free Iraq. What we have now is much more dangerous, even than Saddam with WMD’s… it is radical Islamic terrorists who are dedicated to a world wide caliphate (Sharia law, anyone?) and to the obliteration of Israel.

I was in the Navy during the first “Gulf War” in 1991, and fully supported the completion of the task we started in ’91 in 2003. Even if there hadn’t been WMD’s discovered, the fact that Saddam refused to allow inspections and thumbed his nose at the terms of the cease fire in ’91 was enough for him to be hammered. The only criticism I have for Pres Bush was that there was too much time between the routing of Saddam’s forces and the establishment of order, allowing widespread looting priceless historical artifacts, among other things. It made the whole rebuilding process that much harder, and thus, was not done by the time his tenure in office was over.

The right thing to do, now, is to hammer ISIS before they completely destabilize the region… but our government is negotiating with the number one state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, to potentially allow them a nuke! I can’t think of anything more misguided or just downright ignorant!

The whole gay “marriage” discussion

I’ve had more than a few discussions with people of various backgrounds and viewpoints on the whole gay marriage vs traditional marriage debate that has gone on for quite a while.  I thought I’d just outline a few of the views that I have, and why.

1.  There is a huge difference between the religious definition of marriage and the legal state of domestic partnership (i.e. civil “marriage”).  Marriage is a distinctly religious principle, and holds no legal power.  A “marriage license” is actually a legal document that defines a domestic partnership.

 

2.  As a conservative, one of the most defining principles that I hold to, politically, is that of individual liberty and individual responsibility.  Therefore, it is not my business, or my intent, to advocate for control of what goes on in a person’s private life (within reason, of course, keeping in mind that some things, like murder, rape, etc., are illegal and criminal).  It is not the government’s job to tell anyone who to love, or who to live with, or how (again, within the confines of legality).

 

3.  From a political standpoint, the debate often centers around the overreach of the FEDERAL government into areas that are the provence of STATE governments.  This issue should, rightly, be handled at the STATE level, not at the FEDERAL level.

 

4.  The main debate, from my viewpoint, and, I’d venture to guess, from most conservative’s viewpoints, is about the redefining of a religious definition into a legal definition.  The Christian “religious” definition of marriage is that of one man to one woman.  I don’t think any of us have a problem with a legal status commonly referred to as “domestic partnership”, which carries the legal weight of family when it comes to inheritance, medical decision making, etc.  In fact, as I said above, a marriage license is actually a domestic partnership agreement in the legal arena.

 

5.  While I have religious and moral objections to the gay lifestyle, I don’t have a problem with the idea of domestic partnerships for legal purposes.  My objection to gay marriage is that it redefines the religious significance into simply a legal definition.  It seems that the goal is not equal protection under the law, but redefinition of a Biblical principle into a secular and immoral (to a Bible believing Christian) cohabitation.  I have religious and moral objections to premarital and extramarital sex, as well.  They are also considered sin, no more or less sinful than homosexuality.

 

We are all human, and all fall desperately short of the “glory of God”, as it says in the Bible, in Romans.  We all sin, and all need to repent of sin over and over… because we are not perfect, and cannot, in our own power, stop sinning.  That is why the simple idea of salvation by grace is so important.  Jesus came to earth as God in human form, to voluntarily take on the penalty of all of our sins, past, present and future… the penalty being death… then rose again to allow us a personal relationship with Him.  We, in return for the free gift (if we accept it) strive to be like Him in our daily lives, not as a burden or penalty, but out of love and gratitude for the immensity of that gift.  We fail, daily, but are forgiven, daily, for where we fail to measure up.  But in failing, we don’t lose that incredible gift of forgiveness, we only magnify it’s awesomeness!  Let us not take forgiveness to mean approval of that which was forgiven.

Over Africa… a video

Here’s a video I made that ended up turning out way better than I had hoped!

Senator Ted Cruz

So, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced, on Monday, that he will seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Now, I can understand the left getting bent out of shape about it, and trying to say he isn’t a “natural born citizen” because he was born in Canada… to a natural born US citizen mother (which absolutely makes him a natural born citizen, by the way)… and a bunch of other drivel about how he is anti-woman… the list goes on.

But what absolutely makes no sense, and irritates the living fire out of me, is people who call themselves conservatives saying things like, “he’s too far right”, or “he can’t possibly win, because he has no experience”. Ummm… years as a prosecutor and Solicitor General of Texas… that sounds like good experience for someone who wants to get us back to following the Constitution!

I don’t buy the notion that only a former governor can be an effective president, either. True, the vast majority of former presidents were, at one time, governors… and also true, the current incompetent boob in the White House was a first term Senator when he ran. But the differences between President Obama and Senator Cruz couldn’t be much starker! Where Obama considers the Constitution an obstacle to getting what he wants done, Senator Cruz wants us to go back to strict adherence to the document that set our great country apart from all others, when this country was founded on the idea of individual liberty and freedom, all those years ago. While President Obama considers America to be the cause of all the problems in the world, Senator Cruz rightly sees us as, in President George H.W. Bush’s words, “a shining beacon on a hill”.

There will be other very capable and viable candidates declaring their intention to run in the next few months. Cruz just happens to be the first official candidate for the Republican nomination. I think he has every bit as much chance as anyone to win, and, to say otherwise, this early in the game, is defeatist, juvenile, and destructive to the conservative cause to take back our country from the progressives. Let’s stop throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and not declare the race over before it has really started!