I agree with this article, “A Response to the ‘No Lesser of Two Evils’ Crowd“. This part is especially thought-provoking:
“What’s so irritating about those pushing a third party is that they never really do it. The presidency is the last political office they should be pursuing. If the no lesser than two evils crowd were really serious, they would be putting up local candidates in elections all across the country. They should have been doing it for 30 years. If you can’t win locally, you’re not going to win nationally. If there is no broad-based national grassroots support and a demonstration of success politically,what do the critics of the ‘Republicrats’ expect to accomplish at the top of the ticket?”
Fight and argue about it some other time. Get involved in local and state elections — maybe even run for office yourself! — make the changes during the off-years so that it will make a real change during election years. Waiting until 2012 to try to change the 2012 elections is just too little too late. Refusing to vote for Romney because “the lesser of two evils is still evil” — well, news flash! — Jesus isn’t running for President, so ***everybody*** (including Ron Paul) is “the lesser of two evils”.
Romney has faults — no argument here! He was my least favorite GOP candidate in the field. I know his faults, and don’t need to be reminded of them. — And that’s another thing! Why do these folks who are anti-Romney because he’s “too liberal” don’t expend at least as much time, energy, and effort in exposing Obama’s faults, which are even greater than Romney’s? Much like Ron Paul during the debates never criticized Mitt Romney, but went about criticizing everybody else who was closer to his own position than Romney, these folks are criticizing the better candidate while leaving the worst candidate unscathed. And for what? Oh, I understand their stated purpose, but the actual outcome is far different. All they will do is end up getting Obama elected, as the anti-Obama crowd will have their vote split — I don’t know what Romney will do as President, but I can guarantee he will disappoint all of us. And so would any other candidate. I don’t know what Romney will do, but I *DO* know what Obama will do — this past four years has shown some of what he is capable of; if he is reelected, the veil will be taken off and he will go into overdrive — and that is enough reason to vote for the guy who is the only one who can stop him. Work on building grassroots support for third parties and Constitutionalist, libertarian, and/or conservative folks *after* Nov. 6, so that they can win the next election, since they can’t possibly win this year. Live to fight another day.
I just read this post from Freedom’s Journal, and have mixed feelings about it. While appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, evangelist Franklin Graham was asked whether he believed Barack Obama was a Christian; he responded, “I cannot answer that question for anybody.” Then he was called a liar and forced to apologize for that. This author calls him weak for his apology, saying, “Anyone with any insight can see Obama is not a Christian”, going on to reference many things, including his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
I think a different response would be better, and I propose two possibilities, that could be used separately or together, instead of refusing to answer or giving a mealy-mouthed response.
1) Ask the questioner why he’s asking the question. It’s possible that the questioner prefaces the question by referencing others who have called Obama not a Christian, but even then, it’s a valid question for Graham or others to ask: why is my opinion on this matter important? what the Bible says about it is more important. If I say yes or if I say no, will you believe me to be correct? or will you attack me if I say no and praise me if I say yes? Are you asking me only to make me look bad, or cause controversy if I don’t say yes? In short, put the attacker on the defensive, and show his bias and true colors.
2) Answer the question with a question: “Do *you* think he is, and why?” If the questioner cannot answer smoothly and quickly, with good evidence of Christian fruit and Christ-like behavior from Obama, then he has impaled himself on his own question, while the intended victim goes free. And if the questioner responds with things like, “He’s taking care of the poor, with things like expanded food stamps” (or whatever social programs he might come up with), Graham or whoever could respond that the true Christian response is to do these things yourself, not to take money from one group of citizens to give to the other. And to point out that there are many other things (like, the rest of the Bible that talks about moral issues that are conveniently forgotten by liberals) that are also hallmarks of being Christian, and these are not hallmarks of Barack Obama. Then maybe quote “by their fruit ye shall know them”, and say that I am not being a judge of the heart, because only God can do that, but Jesus said we *are* to judge/discern/know people based on their actions, so if Barack Obama wishes not to be questioned as to his Christianity, then he should be bearing more Christian fruit.
Another possible response by the questioner-turned-questioned, is that he might say something like, “I’m not a Christian, while you are, therefore I’m not qualified to judge”, or “I’m wanting to know your opinion, not mine”, or “you’re a leader, looked up to by fellow Christians, so people will follow you”, etc. While that wouldn’t be as satisfying as successfully being able to impale the impaler, being questioned probably will throw off the questioner, and cause some confusion; and Graham (or whoever the person is) can still point out the Biblical hallmarks of Christianity, and say, “I do not — cannot — judge his heart, but based on the fruit he evidences in his life, he is at best very weak, and at worst a false professor. Jesus said that there would be people who claimed to follow Him, and even believe to follow Him, but they would be disappointed to find out at the end of their lives, that Jesus would say, ‘I never knew you.’ I hope Barack Obama — and for that matter, I hope that I myself — will not find ourselves in that position; indeed the Bible tells each of us to ‘examine yourselves, to see whether you be in the faith or not.’ While Barack Obama’s positions on abortion and the sanctity of human life, as well as the God-given definition of marriage, trouble me, I am more concerned about myself, and examining myself to see whether I be in the faith, rather than examining others, to see if they are.”
My top choice was Herman Cain, but sadly, he is not running any more. Of the remaining candidates, Rick Santorum is at the top of my list. If he weren’t running, I’d have to go Ron Paul, even though his foreign policy scares me. If Paul had a different foreign policy, he would be my top choice, or very close to it (although I do disagree with him on some other issues as well).
I don’t trust Romney — he was a liberal for far too many years, and (imo) became “conservative” only when it was politically expedient to do so — and that about sums up his character, imo — political expedience, rather than character and backbone. Besides, I think he is least likely to win against Obama, because he’ll be like McCain, only worse — even less likeable, and also bland. He won’t get conservatives fired up and lining up to go to the ballot boxes.
Newt… he’s an excellent debater, but I think he is too much of a “say what I need to get elected” kinda guy (like Romney, but not quite as bad, because Newt does at least have a conservative background and record). But he seems to be pandering to get elected. I think he would be the most effective President, because he knows how Washington works and can get things done… but I’m not sure if I’d always like what he could get done. Plus, he has character issues, and I don’t fully trust him. If he can’t be trusted to take his marriage vows seriously, why should I trust him to take his Oath of Office seriously?
Any of them would be better than Obama, but here’s how I rank them:
Who I’d vote for — Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, Romney
Who would be most effective as President — Gingrich, Romney, Santorum, Paul (although perhaps I should bump Paul up a bit, because he’d veto probably 90% of legislation Congress passed, and that’s probably a good thing, and can be a measure of effectiveness)
Most likely to beat Obama in a general election — Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney
- Paul gets much of the youth vote, as well as brings in the most liberals, libertarians, and independents, without losing too many conservatives — his anti-government, pro-small government, cut-spending message will resonate with many of us, and hopefully his libertarianism on social matters and his isolationist foreign policy won’t turn off too many (if the choice was between Obama, Paul, and a handful of 3rd-party people).
- Gingrich is a good campaigner and speaker, and he can get the conservative base fired up (even if it is somewhat empty words), and it’s votes that count, so getting voters fired up is key.
- Santorum is a rock-solid conservative, so may lose a few independents and centrists, but he’s somewhat small-government (but who isn’t, compared to Obama?), so may keep some libertarians; but the biggest thing he has going for him, is his ability to keep and solidify the conservative base, more so than Paul, probably more so than Gingrich, and certainly more so than Romney. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t generate much enthusiasm from his manner and mannerisms. If he could change that (add a dose of Herman Cain, for instance), he’d probably be better even than Gingrich in this matter.
- Romney is bland — he can’t get people fired up to vote for him (he’s even struggling in the primary, when he’s outspending his opponents right and left — how much worse will he do when he’s being outspent by the Obama machine?), and that’s a huge problem. McCain’s problem in 2008 was that he induced a yawn in the conservatives, and they didn’t so much vote *for him* as *against Obama*. That doesn’t win elections. From my understanding (and mostly memory) of past elections, the winner is the one who generates the most positive — the most people voting *for* him; and the nominee whose best selling point is, “Vote for me, I’m not the other guy”, loses every time. It happened in every election in my memory, but particularly Dole, Kerry, and McCain.
Quite frankly, Rick Perry scares me. Yes, the Gardasil decision was horrible, but rather than downplay it as “just one misstep… and besides, he apologized!” I look at it as a serious, very serious character issue. As Michelle Malkin pointed out, it is just one example of many that indicate that what Perry says he is for (small govt), and what he actually does are quite different.
Additionally, in 2010, Rick Perry vowed to finish his term as TX governor and as recently as May of this year he affirmed he would NOT run for President. He has broken that pledge.
I have heard of Alex Jones (libertarian political commentator/reporter), but haven’t watched much of him; yet there was this video he made just the other day (also posted below this paragraph), and if Alex Jones is right, then Gardasil wasn’t included in the federal protection for vaccines until Perry, as the first US governor, mandated it, and then federal protection kicked in, insulating Merck from any lawsuits stemming from Gardasil injuries or deaths. Even though the mandate was overturned, the federal protection remains, and that is a HUGE protection of profits for Merck — worth billions — even though it technically “did nothing” because the mandate didn’t kick in. And despite what Perry said this week about “going along with the legislators” and quietly accepting and backing off when they tried to curtail his power grab, he actually was quite defiant at the time. So he sounds even more like someone I couldn’t trust.
Some of Perry’s closest friends and advisors are current, and/or former Merck lobbyists (were current lobbyists at the time of the mandate). So, basically, Rick Perry gave Merck a “get out of lawsuit free” card with his mandate; and quite frankly, vaccine manufacturers **need to be held accountable** when they make dangerous vaccines that injure and kill.
Right now, vaccine manufacturers enjoy immunity from lawsuits from any vaccine damage (including death), PLUS they get all the profits from the sales PLUS they have multiple vaccines mandated/required for things like school and/or day-care attendance — it’s a vaccine manufacturer’s dream!! If you could make a product that you would a) make money from; b) force other people to buy; and c) have freedom from any lawsuits, why WOULDN’T you make such a product, and do everything you could — including buying off politicians — to try to get more people to have to buy your product. That isn’t freedom! — it’s government coercion and crony capitalism!! It’s the antithesis of the Tea Party movement, and stands in stark contrast to everything those of us for small government and parental rights stand for.
Finally, one of my Texas friends was asked for her opinion of Rick Perry, and she said the following (quoted in full):
For what it’s worth (in my opinion) Rick Perry is a golden boy. What I mean by that is regardless of what happens he always seems to come out shining. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Texas was once a weak governor government with the lieutenant governor, house and senate having the most power. In 8 years he (Perry) single-handedly took power away from those institutions and made himself a very strong governor. He has the brutish ability to push things through the house and senate. However, I am not aware of a single thing he is actually responsible for -yet he gets all of the credit for it. Somehow he’s managed to become the longest seated governor in the history of the United States. He has the uncanny ability to be likable, yet perhaps more importantly it’s almost impossible to not like him. On occasion he has come across bullish on certain policies (i.e. Remember the HPV vaccine he mandated for all girls under the age of 16) but at the slightest hint of public disapproval he manages to flip-flop and reverse course. I’m not convinced he’s qualified to lead the U.S., but strangely, based on the past 8 years of Texas politics, he may be the best qualified candidate in the race.
Quite frankly, this assessment scares me more than anything else I’ve read. Do we really want a recent “convert” (or possibly, just political posturing, since conservatism gets the votes these days!) who bullies people into submission “leading” this country? He’d get things done, but WHAT might he do? He now claims to be for small government, but he mandated a vaccine for little girls — how much more government intrusion can you get? And he stuck by that decision as recently as last year, and it’s only been since he joined the race that he has disavowed it. Sounds like pandering to me, and I simply don’t trust him to give him the job of President for four years.
I’m no great fan of Rick Perry. If he runs for President, I won’t vote for him in the primary (mostly because he way overstepped his bounds as TX governor, mandating that 11 & 12-year-old schoolgirls receive the Gardasil vaccine), but this post isn’t about him, except that his call for prayer has instigated this post: Five Scriptures You Won’t Hear at Rick Perry’s Prayer Event. Click over to read the verses and what he says about them, then come back here to read my opinion.
Before Jim Rigby even starts on the five verses, he sneers at those who ” take the Christian and Jewish scriptures seriously”, saying that doing so makes for an “unhealthy religion.” Really? A Christian minister says that taking the Bible “seriously” sets you up for being in an unhealthy religion. By what criteria does he judge this?! Does he mean that we should take the Bible flippantly, or carelessly, or ignore those parts we disagree with? Is that what his version of Christianity teaches?
1) “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray in public places to be seen by others… But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your heavenly parent, who is unseen.” (Matt. 6:5-6) [I don’t know what version or perversion of the Bible he uses, but the fact that he says “parent” instead of “Father” says a lot! I digress…] As the verse itself states, it is a warning against being hypocrites more than against public prayer. If the person praying in public prays only prays in public, he is being a hypocrite (literally, a “play actor”); if he is praying just to be seen, he is being a hypocrite. There is no injunction against praying in front of others — in fact, public and/or corporate prayer is mentioned with great frequency as a hallmark of the New Testament church and early Christians. This is probably the one that I least disagree with him on; he says this verse teaches, “Don’t make a show of prayer,” which is true enough; but it’s more in the idea of a false show of prayer, rather than an absolute injunction against praying in front of others at all.
2) “God doesn’t withhold rain because we’ve done something wrong,” he says, pointing to, “God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45) as his proof text. However, he neglects (once again) the context, and also doesn’t point out the little thing like Elijah praying that God would not let it rain on the nation of Israel, under the rule of wicked Ahab, and it didn’t rain for 3 years, but when Elijah prayed for rain, God sent rain. I would ask Mr. Rigby if he believes that God can and does answer prayer. If no, why does he call himself a Christian?; if yes, why not pray — as Jesus commanded — for those things that you need? The true meaning of this verse is pointing out that God is good even to those who don’t deserve it, and He is merciful even to the wicked, unjust, and unrighteous, and that we should likewise be good. It teaches that when it rains, the rain is from God; it does not teach that God never withholds rain from the wicked.
3) “God doesn’t have favorites” — this is the one that makes me call him a heretic. First, the verse: “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” (Acts 10:34) Now what Rigby says it means: “When the Bible says that God is not a ‘respecter of persons’ it means that God doesn’t have a favorite country or religion.” This couldn’t be further from the truth! God may not have “a favorite country” (although I would argue that God has favored the United States, as our Constitution and early foundation was on His principles), but to say that God doesn’t have “a favorite religion”!! The context (that pesky context again, that Rigby never considers!) is that Peter has just preached to the first person who was not Jewish by birth or by conversion. Up to this point, the gospel of Jesus Christ had been preached to Jews only, and it seems that the Jewish Christians still believed that Christianity was to be limited to Jews only. In a vision, God tells Peter to eat “unclean” animals, to show him that the division between clean and unclean animals was done away with in Christ, just as the division between Jew and Gentile was done away with in Christ. In preaching to Cornelius, and his subsequent conversion and being blessed with the gift of speaking in foreign languages, Peter realizes that God has elect among more than just Jews. If God doesn’t have “a favorite religion” — and Rigby sneers at the possibility that Christianity might be considered God’s “favorite religion”, thus implying here and elsewhere throughout his article, that all religions are equal before God — why did He send His Son to die on the cross and say that there was salvation only through Jesus Christ? If Christianity is the same as any other religion before God, why did Paul and the other early apostles and Christians risk their lives and many die a martyr’s death, if it didn’t really matter whether the Gentiles worshipped the God of the Bible or their heathen idols?
4) “Worship by those who neglect the poor is offensive to God” — “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me… Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:21-24) It is true that God hates pretence and hypocrites; but Rigby trumpets so-called “social justice” and decries what he believes to be mistreatment of the poor as being offensive to God. True mistreatment of the poor is indeed offensive to God, as are laws that give favor to the rich because they are rich, while punishing the poor simply for being poor; however, the things he enumerates are not “mistreatment” or “neglect” as God sees it. He decries the fact that Texas has the largest gap between rich and poor, and that they have the largest number of uninsured citizens, among other things. What is his solution for that? He doesn’t say explicitly, but it seems that he thinks that it is the job of the state to “even things out” and to provide health insurance to those who don’t have it. There were plenty of very rich and very poor people in Bible times, and those who could not afford doctors. However, the Bible does not mandate nationwide, statewide, or other governmental handouts; rather, it tells individuals to be privately charitable. Going back to the Sermon on the Mount, which Rigby joyfully quoted from for points 1 & 2, Jesus told His followers — not to march on the Capitol and demand that the government take from the rich and give to the poor — but to give of their own money, and not only of their own money (rather than other people’s money), but so privately that, in a figure of speech, the left hand would not know what the right hand is doing!
5) Using the parable of the Good Samaritan (which he wrongly says was directed towards a “rich, young zealot,” [probably meaning “the rich young ruler” who was told to sell all and give to the poor; something modern “social justice” types conveniently ignore] when in fact it was directed at a self-righteous lawyer — i.e., one well-versed in the Law of Moses, not a modern litigator — who was identified neither as rich nor young), he somehow twists it into a slam on the American Family Association. He says, “the heart of Christian ethics is being a good neighbor,” which I don’t totally agree with, but don’t strongly disagree with it either. First, we are to love God, and secondly, we are to love our neighbors. The story of the Good Samaritan was told because the lawyer wanted to justify himself by limiting those who were his “neighbors”, and Jesus was showing that everyone is our neighbor; but how do we love God? According to the Bible, by keeping His commandments. Among those commandments is to obey Jesus Christ and bow to Him, but that would mean that Christianity would be God’s “favorite religion”, which Mr. Rigby sneers at. So-called Christians have to do so many mental contortions and back-flips that it’s no wonder they sound schizophrenic, picking out only those passages of the Bible they like, while conveniently ignoring others.
But back to the AFA – Rigby says that because one liberal organization considers the AFA a “hate group”, that this proves that the AFA doesn’t have “Christian ethics”, since they so obviously “hate” their neighbors. The AFA is a strong defender of Christian morals as outlined in the Bible, so since when does standing for truth = hating your neighbors? Um, yeah. How does the Bible define loving your neighbors? Wouldn’t that be a better place to start, than taking as truth the opinion of some liberal think-tank?
I was a little perturbed at how difficult it was to find who was running for the MS House and Senate this year. Eventually, I found the two parties’ pages (GOP, Dem) with the information for their own qualifying candidates, and put them together into a spreadsheet. Ahh, finally in one place, who’s running in which district in the 2011 MS elections. [I haven’t found any independent or 3rd-party candidates running, but if you know of any, lemme know and I’ll add them.] And as an added bonus, those qualifying for state races (governor, lieutenant governor, etc.).
Or, “taking our nation/country/government back” — I’ve heard that statement numerous times from various people who generally would call themselves conservatives and/or members of the TEA Parties. I never thought much of it, but recently I read something that gave it a new twist. The author or speaker twisted the statement to give it racist overtones or undertones. I was flabbergasted. He said something that implied that people who use that phrase are trying to take our nation “back” into the hands of white people. Do what?? Not one person I know of who has ever used that phrase has meant anything remotely racist by it. In case anyone else has the same screwed-up idea that this man had, let me be explicit as to what we mean: taking the power back from the government and bureaucrats, and returning it to its Constitutional roots and restrictions, and it’s giving power back to “We the People.” No wonder it’s scaring the Democrat and Republican entrenched establishment.
We live about 90 minutes away from the nearest Whole Foods, so this won’t be easy, but I want to support the company because of this bold and commendable op-ed piece the CEO wrote against ObamaCare. I agree with him, that the current proposals are too expensive and don’t address the root issues; and that his suggestions will go a long way in minimizing the perceived problems in health care. Here are the eight points:
- Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
- Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
- Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
- Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
- Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
- Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
- Enact Medicare reform.
- Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
He goes into greater depth in each of these points in the article (except the last one, which is completely self-explanatory — except I wonder how many of these liberals who are so ready to force everyone else to be charitable will be freely charitable themselves); plus has more commentary on reasons why health-care is so expensive today (preventable things like smoking, drinking, eating too much — things the Whole Foods crowd usually laps up).
Unfortunately, there has been the typical knee-jerk reaction from some loyal Whole Food customers who are now calling for a boycott of the company. Yeesh! From what I’ve seen, there hasn’t been a lot of dialogue from them as to why these things are so horrible — just that the author opposes government intrusion into the health care arena, specifically in the area of ObamaCare, and the proponents don’t want to hear alternatives.
If anyone has any reasons why the above won’t work, and ObamaCare will, that’s one thing. But these things seem sound to me. I wanted to get some organic spelt grain anyway!
Someone on one of my cheapcycle or freecycle lists just posted a request for a TV or DVD player, stating that she “needed” them. Nope. Sorry. That does not qualify as a need. It’s a want, not a need. Learn the difference, people! Maybe if more people had properly separated wants from needs we would not be in the “credit crisis,” “mortgage meltdown,” “stimulus” nightmare. You need food, clothing, shelter, etc. TVs and DVDs are optional items which are luxuries. Argh!