November 27, 2015

Ted Turner wants to ban men from politics for 100 years.

Here is your funny video for today. Ted Turner wants to bar men from politics for 100 years. Women will rule the world. If you knew who sent this to me by e-mail today, you would laugh your butt off. The person who sent this video to me was not joking! Haha.

Lighting rrrrroooooouuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnndddddddddd. Lightning round.

Government shuts down. Life goes on.

After several days of frantic noise, camera hogging, manufactured hysterical fundraising e-mails filled with self-righteous anger, a long-winded filibuster with no solutions from a politician with Presidential aspirations, a spike in global warming as a result of the hot air from Washington, and a “countdown to armageddon/shutdown” clock on the useless 24/7 cable news networks, the government has shut down.

The sun rose this morning. If are reading this article, you are alive and functioning at baseline cognitive levels or above. If you are reading this article, your internet is still working. Chances are that you still have a roof over your head and food in the kitchen.

The government shut down and life goes on. This will surely deal a crippling blow to the egos of both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, who above ideology, are both interested in preserving their “relevance” in the eyes of the public and enhancing their “celebrity” in the media.

Politics has always been a sleazy business, but television has run a business from the gutter into the ground. They don’t call politics “Hollywood for the ugly” for nothing. Politics is a surprisingly easy way to gain attention in America. Most people are not particularly noteworthy and live otherwise mundane lives in anonymity. Politics gives these people an outlet to super stardom. This is so especially true in this day and age of the 24/7 news cycle and cable news networks.

Ninety percent of elected officials and their posse (staff, consultants, groupies, etc.) would not be doing politics if they could gain fame, attention, and healthy compensation by singing, dancing, or playing football professionally. However, thanks to the 24/7 news cycle, some attention-seeking talking head with a big job title (those things are easier to get than you would imagine), but with a thin resume and very little accomplishment can get a Saturday 3:17pm slot on a cable news network to comment on a political situation while no one is watching.

Yet, that clown will do a screen capture of his unworthy television appearance and post it on the internet to get 100+ likes, retweets, and blog comments. Ego is supersized. Statues crumble, memories fade, but television and the internet are forever, baby!

Xerxes I of Persia wished he lived in 2013. He would not have to depend on statues and Aeschylus to perpetuate his legacy. Xerxes I of Persia would only need to get on cable news at any time of the day and post that on the internet to get his 1,000,000 likes, retweets, and comments so his fragile ego can survive another day.

If it is Sunday, it is church. It sure ain’t Meet the Press for the rest of us. Heck, as I continue to do political consulting for purely personal reasons, since the early days of my political involvement aeons ago, I can’t recall watching Meet the Press in its entirely. Who, other than insular, elitist, mutually backscratching Washington insiders watches television on Sunday morning?

Our country is held hostage by attention-starved, celebrity-seeking Members of Congress. This celebrity culture in Washington has got to stop for the preservation of the nation. Shutting down the government is a small step in the right direction. Perhaps if the Members of Congress would just go away and live normal lives like the rest of us, life in America would be much improved.

Whistling Vivaldi

Jonathan Ferrell, former Florida A&M football player with a 3.7 GPA majoring in chemistry and engaged to be married, was shot to death by the police ten times. He was unarmed and knocked on a door to seek help after being in a car accident. Instead of rendering assistance, the homeowner panicked upon seeing the man and called 911. Police who responded perceived Ferrell to be a criminal threat instead of a car crash victim and shot him ten times. Jonathan Ferrell was African-American.

That last sentence matters because, as a black man myself, here in America in 2013, we are still living with negative stereotypes of black men that society reinforces, puts lives at risk, and deeply affects the psyche of responsible black individuals. You have to live it to understand it.

You did not build that. God did.

The right wing’s Horatio Alger myth and rugged individualism worldview is incorrect.

Mitt Romney and the Republicans are wrong. They did NOT build their businesses by themselves. They had to deliver their goods and get their employees to work on roads paid for by the taxpayers. Have you ever tried starting a business in Somalia or Bangledesh? I have done some mission work in developing countries. Americans take infrastructure investments and law and order for granted. We have a government and law enforcement agencies who enforce the rule of law and make the country safe for business. This is paid for by the taxpayers, not by the businessmen themselves alone.

It takes two to tango. I do not know of any businessman who did not have a good mentor to coach them on the best practices of their trade. I do not know of any businessman who became successful living on an island without interacting and working with colleagues in the industry. I do not know of any businessman who became wildly successful without leveraging his time and talents through quality, reliable employees. I do not know of any businessman who lasted in business for long who did not have clients and customers who trusted them in order to purchase their products and services. Every successful businessman I know, despite their rhetoric of “building it themselves,” reflects on and thanks the numerous individuals who impacted his or her life in a meaningful way to allow them to be successful themselves. They did not wake up one day on an island with all the knowledge in the world and make money.

You did NOT build that.

President Obama is actually right. His worldview is accurate. Unfortunately, many on the far left in my political party promote policies that are quite antithetical to business. I don’t mind paying taxes to enjoy the benefits of living in a civilized society. However, I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to tax hustling (income tax) in order to fund the government. We should be taxing the crass consumerism of our culture that has led to the secularization and commercialization of Christmas, but I digress.

God made this world and “every good and perfect gift comes from above.” That money you just made, ultimately is not yours. I concur with the right wing that the money does not belong to the government, but it does not quite belong to the individual either. It belongs to God. God gave you the talent and opportunity to succeed. God also blessed you through the work of others who made your success possible. You did not physically build that store, stocked those shelves, made all those products, set up that security system, paved those roads, supplied electricity, and physically take part in all five vertical phases of production from resource extraction to final sale. You sell diamonds? Did you go to Congo and mine those diamonds yourself under the sweltering hot sun? I think not. No man is an island. You did not build that.

The only thing you can take full credit for as a human being is your sin (Credit to Reverend Monsignor Charles Pope of Washington, DC for this thought). God had no part in that. That sin was all you, baby.

Thank all those you work with and learned from who made you who you are today. Humble yourselves and acknowledge that you need God’s help directly and through others for your success. Give it all back in the end because you can either store up your treasures on this Earth or store up your treasures in heaven. Where your treasures are, there you will be.

“You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” Listen to the sermon that inspired my thoughts here.

Washington Times: Putin says leaders should unite to end anti-Christian persecution

Vladimir PutinWhodathunk that in 2013, there would be a role reversal between the historically religious United States and the once militantly secular Russia, the former head state of the communist Soviet Union? Russian President Vladimir Putin is a believer in Jesus Christ and practicing Russian Orthodox Christian who underwent a born again experience in the 1990s following life-threatening events he and his wife experienced and survived.

The Western World, including the United States, is mired in political correctness and is eager to push Christianity out of the public square and into a closet in the interest of “democratic ideals” (read: secular) right at the time militant Islam continues to be a worldwide threat. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is now the leading world figure to take action to end anti-Christian persecution and reverse decades of secularism in Russia that has led to unhappy lives and breakdowns of traditional institutions that maintained peace and the survival of the nation.

The evangelical Christian community that still identifies Russia with communism, Cold War tensions and the brutality of Stalinism is in for a shock if Putin follows through on his comments. They underscore that the world has changed. In the wake of the “war on terror,” the U.S. is no longer seen as a guardian of justice and liberty. Now one of her traditional enemies is poised to defend ideals that America no longer cherishes.

In Iran, Christian pastors like Saeed Abedini and Youcef Nadarkhani have been beaten and tortured over the past two years, and have been threatened with execution. In a recent interview with CBN, Eritrean torture survivor “Philip” shared graphic stories of his own experience in torture camps in the Sinai desert. “In some cases, we were tortured simply because we were Christians,” he said. “I was hanged up from the ceiling for three days, the blood was cut off from my hands and the flesh started to literally drip from my hands.”

These stories are nothing new. Horrific persecution of Christians has been widespread since new converts were fed to the lions in the Roman Empire. What is surprising is that these are the kinds of stories that were coming out of Russia not long ago, when atheism was the official doctrine of the Soviet Union and twenty-year-old Ivan Moiseyev was beaten to death in the Red Army.

What’s changed since then? Putin hinted at it when he said the church in Russia had been a “moral compass” to many who were looking for help, hinting at the recent century of misery and struggle that the Russian people have endured. He also acknowledged the role that the church has played in “culture and education,” adding, “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland.”

Why is the Russian leadership suddenly recognizing the priceless value to their nation of the Christian virtues they condemned for so many years? It’s simple. The Russian people have learned the hard way about the cultural devastation and decline that results from the rejection of the happy principles that have bolstered the western world for so many centuries.

Vladimir Putin is the only leader in the world right now with a spine. I guess George W. Bush was right when he said this about Putin.

“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul. He’s a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that’s the beginning of a very constructive relationship,” – President George W. Bush, 2001

Conservatives for Trayvon Martin

My thoughts exactly.

Stupid Party, Indeed

So Republicans just gave away $195 million in corporate welfare to agribusiness while cutting food stamps. The Republican Party is robbing entitlements to the poor to give government handouts to the rich. How is this supposed to jive with Christian values? Oh wait, the GOP doesn’t even want to talk about social issues anymore because they think that is an electoral loser. Fiscal issues only. Why let Christian values of compassion and charity get in the way of greedy, crony capitalism and socialism (corporate welfare) for the rich?

Here is the zinger.

Eisenhower was a conservative and frugal president who insisted on balancing the budget. He put a lid on Pentagon spending. He defended Social Security and labor laws, while building the interstate highways and funding the national education defense act. He was re-elected in a landslide.

Now it looks like the “stupid” wing of the Republican Party has taken over. Our nation suffers as a result. And Republicans are likely to pay the price for that.

Read more of Katrina vanden Heuvel’s scathing piece here.

Sarah Palin for U.S. Senate 2014?

Sarah Palin recently said on Sean Hannity’s show that she is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2014. Few people remember that Sarah Palin almost became a U.S. Senator in 2002, but was passed over on the short list by then Governor Frank Murkowski as he appointed his daughter Lisa to fill his unexpired U.S. Senate term he vacated to become Governor. This move by Frank Murkowski caused an uproar and resulted in a referendum that stripped the Governor of Alaska of the power to appoint U.S. Senators to fill unexpired terms. Frank Murkowski would later be defeated by Sarah Palin in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary.

The history lesson here is not the point however. The following is the point.

Many Republicans I know have gotten on social media to call on Sarah to “go away” and have never forgiven her for the gaffes she made in 2008 and blame her for McCain’s loss. Never mind that Joe Biden’s frequent gaffes over a longer period are more weird and that Sarah Palin was the only reason why the McCain campaign was revitalized with a huge influx of volunteers and money for the final two months of the campaign.

These Republicans I know who never forgave Sarah for her gaffes are the same Republicans who forgave and supported… Mark Sanford. Some even knocked on doors for Mark Sanford.

So there you have it folks. Republicans in Washington, DC will never forgive you if you fumble a question inarticulately on national television. However, these same Republicans will forgive you if you like to get freaky with your mistress on taxpayer dollars as long as you never vote for a tax increase.

Just ask Mark Sanford.

The Secularization of the GOP

Let’s clear a few things first. I am a theologically small-o orthodox Christian – the term “conservative Christian” is loaded with improper connotations. I am a social conservative.

I also believe that the Religious Right has done untold damage to conservative Christianity and has actually sped up the secularization of America. In my unscientific estimation, for every 1 new convert the Religious Right wins over from secular America or liberalized, watered-down, mainline denominations, the Religious Right’s coarse rhetoric, the greedy hypocrisy of the Religious Right’s leaders, and its use of big government right-wing social engineering*** has driven away and radicalized 1.5 new secularists.

(***Side note: “Marriage incentives.” Remember that plank on the GOP? What a way to disrespect unlucky single people on the dating scene. The idea that tax breaks and government entitlements will help a man find a wife is ludicrous.)

The Religious Right consisting of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, along with its political mouthpieces in Jesse Helms, Tom Delay, and others of that ilk, has been an abject failure to Christianity. I don’t care about what they did to tarnish the GOP brand so much because I care about Christianity above all, but because the Religious Right used the power of the state vis-a-vis the GOP to create a Dominionist-Dispensationalist Christian world, the Religious Right took down the GOP as they destroyed the public image of Christianity.

In the 1970s, the Religious Right drove out the Neslon Rockefeller Republicans – and I hate Nelson Rockefeller Republicans! But the enemy of my enemy is…my enemy.

With that said, it should be of no surprise to see non-profit social conservative advocacy groups on the ropes after the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA. Despite their steely resolve to save an America they “no longer recognize,” they are on their last legs.

It is a sad state of affairs for the public image of Christianity when most secular people don’t connect Christianity to Bishop Fulton Sheen. They connect Christianity to the flame-throwing Bishop E.W. Jackson.

Of course, the negative connections go all the way back to Jerry Falwell whose ideological adherents like Jesse Helms and Tom Delay made people believe that narrow-minded, hypocritical, power-hungry Christianity = GOP. Worse, it made people believe that narrow-mindedness, hypocrisy, and power hunger = Christianity.

The Religious Right will go the way of the dinosaurs. Pun intended. Thank goodness, but we are not going to see an intellectual, historical Christian revival take place despite my hope. This is because young Republicans are the most secular Republicans we have seen since, well, the Nelson Rockefeller Republicans.

Young Republicans are growing up in an America that competes with Western Europe for the most secular society in the Western world. The South is the last region in the U.S. where people talk about religion casually like they talk about the weather, but even its religious culture is slowly giving way to secularization. On any college campus, College Republicans are almost as likely as College Democrats to be non-church going people. I guarantee you that many College Republicans are just as sexually libertine as College Democrats, probably even worse!

Yet, the reason why the GOP will continue to be relevant is because it has a pipeline of new adherents in the schools. The unifying factor is fiscal conservatism. One look at the ferocious dedication of Ron Paul followers and you will realize that this is a new GOP. Gone are the socially liberal, elitist, urban-industrialist Rockefeller Republicans (ahem, crony capitalist). Gone are the rural, backwoods, fire-breathing Religious Right that married fiscal conservatism to gain power. In are the new Ayn Rand secular objectivists.

Margaret Hoover documented this well in her book, “American Individualism.” The typical young Republican supports fiscal conservatism, limited government, marijuana legalization, sexual freedom, and gay marriage. For many young people, it is all about prioritizing the last three, but the unifier is that the typical young Republican wants the government to get out of his life so he can start a business, keep more of his money, blaze that chronic, fornicate, and respect other people’s living styles equally.

It is an image that is repulsive to Republicans over 70 years old, who grew up in the romanticized, male-dominated 1950s (think Leave It To Beaver). Some young Republicans are like their elders, but their numbers are small.

Even though the record is mixed (ex: losses in 2009, victories in 2012), Democrats continue to campaign on social issues because they are listening to young people. They are hearing on the college campuses that new fiscal conservatives are also secular and that they place their social liberalism on a higher priority than fiscal conservatism. In due time, this strategy will prove wildly successful in demolishing the GOP if trends continue.

Social conservative activists will argue that trends will not continue. They argue that young people have always fallen away from church and stats prove that by the time they are in their 40s, they return to church and become more socially conservative. The activists leave out a crucial detail. The studies were done on people who grew up in church. Today’s generation of young Republicans did not grow up in strong church settings and Christian culture. So we don’t have research numbers for this generation of young Republicans that are still in their 20s. I surmise that it will be harder to evangelize these young Republicans in significant numbers given their distaste for the Religious Right which I explained did a ton of damage to the Christian brand.

So brace yourselves. In about ten years time, America will be a Western Europe type of secular society. Secular progressives will battle it out with secular conservatives in politics. Low taxes, limited government, and a strict Constitutional adherence might very well win the day, but the churches will be empty.

Kelly Ayotte – Marsha Blackburn ’16

Amidst the never ending rumors, speculations, and posturing involved in the 2016 Presidential race, I am registering my pick right now. No, I am not siding with Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, or Ted Cruz.

Everybody knows that Governor Sarah Palin is the primary reason why I am still working in politics when I should have retired long ago to pursue my real interests elsewhere. Should she run for President, I would support her in principle and as a measure of gratitude for the priceless experiences and friendships I have made and the real impact I have made in advancing the women’s movement since 2009. This is all due to my continued involvement in politics after being inspired by Governor Palin to stay persistent in a game in which I have grown disillusioned and disinterested. Yet, I think her window of opportunity to run for President has passed.

That said, I said it here and I said it first. For the Republican Presidential ticket in 2016, I want to see U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn carrying the banner for free markets and free people. Let’s make it happen.

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R - NH)

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R – NH)

U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R - TN)

U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R – TN)

Governor Sarah Palin (R - AK)

Governor Sarah Palin (R – AK)

Sarah Palin's endorsement of Kelly Ayotte in 2010 propelled Ayotte to victory in a hard fought U.S. Senate race.

Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Kelly Ayotte in 2010 propelled Ayotte to victory in a hard fought U.S. Senate race.

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