Last Word

“Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.”  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

By Alden Benton

Each morning I open my email, scan the day’s news, and read columns from conservative authors I respect.

Since Donald Trump entered the race to become president, he has faced a profusion of criticism from the political Left and Right.  This is an appropriate part of the political process, especially in the primary elections where the voters select their candidates.

Now that the two major political parties have chosen their respective candidates, the battle is now between two contrasting and competing ideologies.  It is now “us” versus “them,” no matter which side you support.

Almost every day I see columns from conservative writers who have become virtually unhinged at the notion of a Trump candidacy, let alone the prospect of him actually becoming president.

Trump is flawed.  Trump is not the best candidate.  If that is the way one feels, then don’t vote for him.

Conservative writers and commentators need to stop denigrating Trump.  Trump is more than capable of making a fool of himself, he doesn’t need any help.  The constant harangue against Trump damages the down ticket, the Republican candidates running for election to the House, the Senate, and myriad state offices.

These nattering nabobs of negativism (Thank you Spiro T Agnew), inadvertently encourage voters to stay home.  This negativity affects down-ticket conservatives.

It is time these so-called bastions of conservatism stop worrying about Trump, and start worrying about Clinton.                                                                                                    .

If Clinton wins the presidency, the only hope of fending off the Democrat party’s destructive agenda is to win solid conservative majorities in both houses of Congress.  To do otherwise will ensure the continuation of the Progressive “transformation,” what Bernie Sanders calls a revolution, for decades to come; a transformation from which we may never recover.

It is past time that everyone stop obsessing about Trump.  If your conscience will not allow you to vote for Trump, don’t, but vote. 

There are alternatives to Trump.  The Libertarian party has candidates running for president and vice president.  Voters may cast a write-in vote, or simply leave the box for president and vice president blank.

Voting is a right and a privilege.  It is also the duty of every adult citizen to make an informed choice.  However you envision the future of the United States, make your voice heard: Vote.

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“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”  ~Benjamin Franklin


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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A Moral Change of Mind

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.”
~Benjamin Franklin

By Alden L. Benton

Now that the circus of the party conventions is over, it is time to take a serious look at the candidates they’ve presented to us who want to become the next president of the United States.

A fundamental question arises that all voters must answer: Which candidate represents the vision of America I would like to see?  This question transcends politics, personality, and party.  Both candidates have flaws.  So how should we vote, or should we even vote?

First, yes we must vote.  Voting is a right all adult citizens possess.  It is also a privilege.  We must take extreme care in deciding whom to select as the next president.

The individual voter owes it to the nation to make an informed decision.  The greatest danger to our republic and our liberty is the low-information voter, for as John Adams said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.”

In recent columns, I wrote about the lack of principles of the leading candidates and suggested following the recommendation of Charles Spurgeon who said, “Of two evils, choose neither.”  My most recent column suggested an alternative solution, a solution that I no longer feel is viable.

After some research and thought, I have decided to go in another direction.

The future of America is at stake in this election and that future is far more important than party or personality.

My vision is to rebuild America, to restore the rule of law, to restore its founding principles, to restore its strength and vitality, to make us secure, and to return control of our lives to the people.

Finally, this election provides Americans the opportunity, perhaps our last, to marginalize those who would enslave us.  The so-called Progressives and their programs will do just that for, as John Adams also said,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country.  One is by the sword.  The other is by debt.”

We all have been misinformed and, at worst, lied to, and manipulated by, the Progressive propaganda machine that masquerades as the mass media.  Conservative and religious thinking, coupled with principled behavior, are enemies of a cause that demands conformity. 

Progressives demand conformity through political correctness and silence enforced by shouting down those who disagree.  If that fails, they call you a racist or some other form of politically contrived phobia.  Finally, if you don’t sit down and shut up, Progressives, like schoolyard bullies when they don’t get their way, resort to violence.

Intimidation, fear, and political violence have no place in a Republic or in any civilized society.

If preserving my vision for the future of America and crippling the Progressive movement means voting for a flawed candidate, then morally, that is what I must do.

Therefore, the only viable choice to make this vision of America possible is to cast my vote for Donald Trump.

I encourage you to read this article by Wayne Grudem: Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice.  Gruden, a professor of theology and biblical studies, presents a reasoned, detailed, and eloquent argument for this position.

 Finally, to underscore the importance of this election, Dennis Prager wrote,

“… it is vital to understand what will happen if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.  This country will be so far from what the Founding Fathers wanted, so different from what the #NeverTrumpers have always fought for, that it is almost impossible to see how America could recover from her — or any Democrat’s — victory.”

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  ~James 4:17 NASB

“Always stand on principle … even if you stand alone.”  ~John Adams


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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The Malady and the Cure: A Principled Decision

By Alden Benton

Author’s Note: My apologies for the length of this post.  I encourage you to read through to the end.  I have suffered, along with most of you, through the tedious primary process.  I am tired and fed up.  As a nation we’re in trouble.  We have been presented with two substandard, evil candidates who are unfit to occupy the White House.  There is, however, a way to fix it.  It will take the effort of large numbers of principled people to accomplish.  It is in this light that I pose the issues and offer my solution in this post.

While the president golfs and worries about which bathroom a minute fraction of the population should use, the People’s Republic of China is busy restructuring and modernizing its military to better fight a war, according to the Washington Free Beacon.  The article discusses a Defense Department report to Congress assessing the capabilities of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).  The article is here and the complete Pentagon report is here.

The so-called mainstream media is mute on this as well as other existential threats such as ISIS and radical Islam.  Like the president, they are obsessed with the notion that guys who think they are girls should use the women’s restroom or vice versa.  At the risk of being called some kind of phobic epithet, I think the nation has far larger problems than this.  It is a non-issue manufactured by the president and his supporters as a distraction.

During the current presidential campaign, the leading candidates from both parties have ignored the increasing threats both China and ISIS pose, and have instead, like playground bullies, chosen to argue and call each other names while our nation suffers internally and is threatened externally.

The only candidates who spoke to the issue of defense and national recovery were Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both of whom were shouted down by the bully tactics and sound bite half (or less) truths of Trump’s waffling, lies, and obfuscation.

While Trump refuses to put forth any rational, legal, or ethical plan for anything, Hillary Clinton is pandering to the entitlement “gimme” class, trying to outdo her admittedly socialist opponent by promising even more “free stuff,” things any rational person knows are, in reality, not free.

Defense and national recovery and prosperity are not on Clinton’s mind either, after all, as she infamously told a Congressional hearing into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including the U.S. ambassador, “What does it matter?”

Clinton, and her successor, in instituting the agenda of the president, have alienated allies, placated and emboldened our adversaries, and handcuffed our military in its fight against a terrorist enemy that the president refuses to even name, let alone acknowledge.

National security and national recovery have become nothing but convenient sound bites to lure unsophisticated and low-information voters to the respective camps of the candidates.

Principles and civility have been placed in the trash as both candidates demean themselves, and the nation, with profane and inane utterances meant only to massage the gullible and dupe the rest of us.

Neither candidate wants to return to economic prosperity and ordered liberty where the Constitution, the rule of law, and honest competition prevail.

Other than their sex and political label, Trump and Clinton are basically identical, two sides of the same coin, a coin minted in Barack Obama’s image. That image is of two Machiavellian narcissists; vain, self-absorbed individuals who place political expediency above morality and use lies, corruption, and deceit to carry out their policies.

According to Guttmacher.org, from 1973 through 2011, there were 53 million abortions in the United States.  That is 1,394,737 babies murdered per year in every one of the 38 years since Roe v. Wade made abortion a “right.”

Both candidates are just fine with the murder of millions of unborn children and funding it through the government — our money given to Planned Parenthood and forced subsidies of abortion through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and its forced premium participation.

Obamacare is neither affordable, nor providing care.  In fact, Obamacare is rationing care to seniors on Medicare by encouraging hospitals to provide less care by giving bonuses to the hospitals that spend the least caring for the elderly.  In California alone, this evil practice has resulted in more than 11,000 preventable deaths.

Trump is happy with this massive boondoggle and Clinton wants to expand it.

Neither candidate has given any thought to reducing or eliminating the economy-killing, unaccountable administrative state that is micromanaging our lives and businesses.

Clinton is poised to spend us into oblivion with her “feel good free for all” policies.  Trump, on the other hand wants to inflate our way out of debt, ruining both our national credit and the economy, and he proposes to finish the job (pun intended) of killing our economy with restrictive trade and tariff policies.

Both candidates have the potential to turn the United States into a third world nation, if they don’t destroy us in an outright global war first.

In a previous column, I said that I had no answer to the dilemma of which candidate to vote for.  I now have the answer that I alluded to in that post.

One of the checks and balances written into the constitution is representative government.  We chose our members of Congress and they represent us.  In fact, until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, U.S. senators were chosen by state legislatures, who were in turn elected by the people.

While the 17th Amendment diluted this check by allowing direct election of U.S. senators, one very important check remains: the Electoral College.

The Electoral College was a compromise between direct election of the president and Congress electing the president to maintain the idea of a constitutional representative republic.

Electors are chosen by the states and each state has electors equal to the number of Congressional districts, plus one for each of the state’s two U.S. senators.  The ratification of the 23rd Amendment also gave the District of Columbia three electors.

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors and a majority of 270 electors is required for a candidate to become president.  If no candidate gets the required majority, the House of Representatives will elect the president from the three candidates that received the most electoral votes.  The Senate will elect the vice president from the top two vice presidential candidates.

Sadly, the election to choose the leader of the free world has deteriorated into a brawl between two cults and their celebrity idiot idols.  This election has taken the democratic processes of our constitutional republic, and turned them into the chaos of mob rule that is pure democracy.

To salvage this election, and perhaps our nation, I have chosen to follow Charles Spurgeon’s advice: “Of two evils, choose neither.”

I am not advocating staying away from the polling place. Rather, I am advocating an unofficial third party vote to elect a ticket of Cruz and Rubio.

Vote your ballot. However, instead of voting for the evil that is Clinton or the evil that is Trump, write in Ted Cruz for president and Marco Rubio for vice president.  If enough people choose to write in these men, the election could be denied to both Clinton and Trump.

This provides a chance to elect qualified men of virtue and honor rather than making an unconscionable choice between two lying, unprincipled, narcissists bent on destroying the United States.  It also offers a constitutional work-around to evade the two-party system that has consistently rewarded the pimps, panderers, and lobbyists.

Life offers no guarantees, nor does my plan.  However, writing in two highly qualified candidates to attempt to prevent our destruction at the hands of either the evil of Clinton or the evil of Trump is well worth the risk.


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Voter Angst

 

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.  While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
~ Samuel Adams

By Alden L. Benton

Virtue, as defined by Dictionary.com, is conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.  Inherent in this is respect for others, including their rights and property, and a general civility.

In all of the elections of this century, these principles have been conspicuously absent.  In fact, they are sadly absent from a large segment of the population, especially those who expound the progressive-statist philosophy.  Sadly, this morally bankrupt trend to incivility is no longer confined to the left, but is infecting the rest of society as well.

There is no true discourse between opposing viewpoints, just attacks based on emotion, smear tactics, and disinformation.  This nonsense is being spewed from both sides of the spectrum in this election, leaving us with sound bites and campaign slogans, instead of a rational discussion of real problems and their potential solution.

As I have said before, we are faced with selecting from dumb and dumber to be our president.  This is causing many potential voters a great deal of angst.  It seems that no matter how we vote, or even whether we vote, we will lose.

I do not have an answer.

I am a life-long conservative and a Christian.  That having been said, all I can do for myself is to seek knowledge from scripture and pray for guidance.  In fact, if more Americans would apply the principles of their faith to their everyday lives, we would not have found ourselves in our present quandary.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.” 

~John Adams

By Alden L. Benton

The hoopla of the primaries is all but over. 

The upcoming party conventions are an expensive waste of time and effort as the two leading candidates have been assured the nomination of their party.

We have been presented with two very distasteful candidates.  To participate in the process, we are now forced to choose between a treasonous liar and an arrogant, pompous gasbag.  Dumb versus dumber: Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.

Clinton is a socialist masquerading as a Democrat.  Trump is a Democrat masquerading as a Republican.

Both candidates are disingenuous hypocrites unworthy, politically or morally, of even visiting the White House, let alone occupying it as president.

Neither candidate has offered any tangible or detailed solutions to the myriad ailments and issues facing the United States now and into the future.

Neither candidate will take us forward, indeed, they most likely will, at best, maintain the status quo of massive debt, irresponsible spending, burdensome regulations, ever- higher taxes on the 100 per cent, and the ever-creeping loss of personal freedom under the guise of security, safety, and “free” stuff for all.  At worst, either candidate will accelerate our descent into the hell of socialism.

We have been forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.  This is not acceptable.  Charles Spurgeon, a 19th century Baptist preacher and author, advises us:
“Of two evils, choose neither.”

For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I am conservative and a Christian.  I believe that, to the best of our abilities, you work hard and take care of your family, honor God, and work hard at living a principled, ethical, and moral life.  In this context, Spurgeon’s advice is sound.

Advance the calendar from the mid-1800s of Spurgeon’s time to 2016.  The United States is fast becoming a godless, socialistic state transformed from a nation based on the rule of law and ordered liberty to a liberty-killing governmental leviathan that seeks to control every aspect of human behavior.  Spurgeon’s advice remains sound.

Which do we choose?  Who do we choose? 

Do we choose dumb or dumber?

Do we choose a liar and criminal or a gasbag pretender?

Do we choose democracy and a republic based upon ordered liberty, the rule of law, and opportunity, or socialism and government sanctioned equality of outcome resulting in poverty and misery?

Unfortunately, the only choices presented in the upcoming election are not between opposing principles, but between two unprincipled individuals.

Heads they win, tails you lose.

“Of two evils, choose neither.”

“Evil things are easy things: for they are natural to our fallen nature.  Right things are rare flowers that need cultivation.”  ~Charles Spurgeon


©2016 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Thoughts this MLK Day

“The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.”  ~Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Alden Benton

Reflecting on Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. King.  Most of us who were born before 1960 know his story as we watched the events of the American Civil Rights movement unfold. 

Dr. King was first and foremost a man of God and as such, his accomplishments were achieved through peaceful protest and civil disobedience.  Through his leadership, our nation took giant strides forward in race relations through love and the legislative process; a journey cut short by an assassin’s bullet in 1968. 

Dr. King led with conviction and courage, both derived from the moral high ground of the righteousness of his cause and his deep and enduring faith in God. 

As I look back at the intervening years since his passing, I am saddened.  Dr. King’s noble dream, a dream of his children growing up in a nation where they would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, is dead.  It too was murdered.  

Dr. King’s dream was killed not by an assassin’s gun, but by years of slimy, self-serving politicians and race-baiting manipulators who seek to divide us as a people, destroy us as a nation, and enslave on the government plantation those who Dr. King sought to free. 

I’m sorry, Dr. King.  We failed to keep your torch burning. 

I pray that I will live to see the day that, by God’s grace, all the damage wrought by evil men has been wiped away, replaced with the warmth and light of your beautiful dream.

Offending the Offensive

Planned Parenthood, arguably one of the most heinous, brutal, and cavalier mass murderers of the 20th and 21st centuries, has the audacity to be offended. 

They expect the rest of us to sit silently while they murder and maim hundreds of thousands of unborn children each year and then illegally sell body parts of their victims for profit, and yet they are offended.

So what are these godless butchers offended by?  Town Hall.com reports that they are offended because House Speaker Paul Ryan dared to invite Catholic Nuns to attend the State of the Union Address.

Oh my!

It pleases me that these baby killers, who murdered 327,653 babies from July 2014 through June 2015, are offended by the presence of nuns from the Little Sisters of the Poor.  These women bring the spirit of God to their work of helping the elderly poor, no matter their religious affiliation.

However, the strength of their faith makes them dangerous enemies to the libertine perversions and uber control obsession of the Left.

These nuns are suing the government to overturn the mandate that the insurance they provide include, contrary to their religious beliefs, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs.

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, “If God is with us who dare stand against us?”  The women of the Little Sisters of the Poor have put on God’s armor to confront the evil of abortion and through their faith, and by God’s will, I pray that they prevail.

Tweet This!

The run up to the presidential primaries is way too long.  Most of us suffer political overload long before the first debates even occur and by the time November arrives, we’ve been so battered by attack ads screaming and talking heads blathering, we can’t muster  the interest, or energy, to go out and cast our votes.

As far as the so-called “debates” are concerned, I never watch either side’s antics.  Except for the populist bloviating of The Donald, the debates are useful only to cure insomnia.  That having been said, the debates still draw the faithful, the curious, and the media snark‑meisters. 

Once in a while, in the midst of the pre-scripted discussion  points, a candidate will let his or her tongue slip and say something off script that will come back to bite them in the patoot. 

Just ask the Dragon Lady otherwise known as Hillary Clinton.

Today, the Washington Examiner reported on a remark Mrs. Clinton made at the last debate.  Her comment was instantly Tweeted to her 5 million groupies (followers).

Before she left the stage, she had so angered her base that they quickly inundated her Twitter account with sarcastic and questioning negativity.

Her gaffe?  In Sunday’s debate, Mrs. Clinton’s said, “There should be no bank too big to fail and no individual too big to jail.”

Really?

The woman who faces the potential of being charged with some serious felonies for breaches of national security, fraud, and other crimes, actually said this?

Yes, she did, and judging by the sample of responses to the Tweet asking if her comment includes herself, it has indeed taken a big bite out of her posterior. 

Nice shooting, Hillary. 

Most politicians either put their foot in their mouth, or shoot themselves in the foot. Hillary has taken making a verbal guffaw to a new level — she put her foot in her mouth and shot herself in the posterior.

I guess even her history of lies, half-truths, cover-ups, and obfuscation has tired even her party faithful. 

I guess Hillary isn’t bulletproof after all.


“Prayer invites the presence and power of God into our circumstances and into our group life.” ~Pastor Rick Warren

Copyright 2016
A. L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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Case for Open Carry

By Alden L. Benton

Last Friday a gunman killed two and wounded three in a bar in Tel Aviv, Israel. (The Blaze)  Last October, two men shot and stabbed passengers on a bus in Jerusalem killing two before police shot them. (BBC News)

In an interview, Moshe Nussbaum, Israel Channel 2 television’s police reporter, noted the difference between the two attacks.

“Notice the unfathomable difference between incidents that occurred in Jerusalem — whether they were shooting attacks or stabbing attacks — which always ended when one of the citizens or one of the guards … there was always someone who shot at the terrorist or the shooter as opposed to the incident in Tel Aviv,” Nussbaum said. (from The Blaze)

Israel Channel 2 reported that, “Given that some of the attacks have been stopped by gun-carrying civilians, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in October eased citizens’ access to guns, calling gun owners a ‘force multiplier’ in combating the nearly daily Palestinian stabbing and car-ramming attacks since September.”

Armed citizens as a force multiplier against criminals, terrorists, and, if necessary, our own government: this is what the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written to ensure.  However, the American Left, led by President B. Hussein Obama, wants to disarm us rather than making it easier to protect ourselves, our families, and our property.

Now consider the attacks last year in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California.  France and California have one thing in common: the government has virtually disarmed its citizens either by direct prohibition of firearms or through strict licensing and control.

In Paris, according to CNN, 128 people were killed by gunfire last October.  In San Bernardino, 14 were murdered by two gunmen last December.

Back to Israel.  “Gun permits are required for owning guns in Israel…. [I]n Israel licensed gun owners are free to carry their guns at all times.  In addition, off-duty police and IDF (Israel Defense Force) soldiers carry their guns off their bases.  Erdan was also considering a move to allow those employed as security guards to take their weapons home,” Israel Channel 2 reported via The Blaze.

If just one person at the Christmas party in San Bernardino had been armed, the death toll would have been significantly lower and would have included the two perpetrators.  In Paris, the results of that attack would have been quite different if the terrorists had confronted an armed citizenry.

The police, no matter where one resides, are reactive.  Yes, they can collect intelligence and perhaps foil a violent plot.  However, in most instances the police only respond to violence.

Israel has it right.  Make it easier for citizens to arm themselves.  Criminals and terrorists are cowards.  They prey on the weak and unprepared.

The victims in Paris and San Bernardino were not prepared.

Do not fool yourselves.  The United Sates is at war.  It is not a war that will be won by military might alone.  The fight has come to our doors and we must be prepared.

Our government, at all levels, must take heed for they cannot protect us.

Deep blue, left-controlled states like California must follow the lead of Texas where open carry of a pistol or rifle is legal.

The United States must follow the lead of Israel and allow the military and police to carry their firearms at all the times.

This is the only way to stay safe in the modern world of individual jihad.  The president and the Left need to get out of the way and let the Second Amendment fulfill its promise of a safe and secure society without trampling on our individual, and collective, liberty.


© 2016
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Short Notes to Begin 2016

 

By Alden L. Benton

Farewell Trapper John

Actor Wayne Rogers, most known for his role as half of the dynamic M*A*S*H surgical duo of Trapper John and Hawkeye, has died from the complications of pneumonia.  He was 82.  Rogers only appeared in the first three of the 11 seasons of M*A*S*H.  Rogers is survived by his wife Amy, two children, Bill and Laura, and four grandchildren.

A Song Bird is Silenced

Grammy-winning R&B artist Natalie Cole died December 31 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles succumbing to the effects of long-term health issues.

According to a family spokesperson, “Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor.  Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever,” read the statement from her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole.  (From Drudge Report via ABC News)

Chicago Starts 2016 with a Bang

Chicago has started the New Year with its first murder.  ABC News (via World Net Daily) reports that a 24 year-old man was shot in the chest a few minutes after 2 am New Year’s morning.  He was pronounced dead at the scene

This murder begins another year of murder in the Windy City.

“While overall crime went down in the city last year, murders and shooting incidents were on the rise in 2015, police reports show. There were 468 reported murders in the city in 2015, a 13 percent increase from 2014, according to police,” according to ABC News.

I have a question for former Chicago mayor Rahm “We can’t let a good crisis go to waste” Emanuel: How is this crisis working out for you, Mr. Mayor?  You have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and yet your city had 468 murders last year.  Your city is not safe.  Not a good supporting argument for the president and all who oppose gun ownership.

How many people will be murdered in Chicago this year?  The count has already started.

New Law Oks Open Carry in Texas

On January 1, 2016, Texas became the most populous state to allow the open carry of holstered hand guns.  It is also legal in Texas to carry a long gun (rifle) in public. (The Guardian via World Net Daily)

When Texas approved concealed carrying of hand guns, the crime rate fell dramatically.  It will be interesting to read the 2016crime stats next year.  My bet is violent crime will drop significantly.

Contrary to the “we fear everything and everyone so we have to control everything” attitude of the political and philosophical left, the vast majority of Americans can be trusted: to raise their children, work hard, take care of themselves, obey the law, and protect themselves.  This includes carrying a firearm safely and sensibly.

The left, especially the president and Hillary “The Dragon Lady” Clinton, really needs to just sit down, sit on their collective hands, and shut up.  We will all be safer and better off when they do.

Big Money in Mass Murder

According to CNSNews, the mass murderers at Planned Parenthood report that in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2014, 323,999 unborn babies were murdered and they received $553.7 million of our money in the form of “government health services grants and reimbursements” to kill them.

We paid Planned Parenthood $1,708.96 per baby killed.  That is the price our society places on an unborn life.  Disgusting!

Congress is complicit in continuing this atrocity.  The Omnibus spending bill, recently passed by Congress and signed by the president, continues to fund the butchers at Planned Parenthood for the next fiscal year.

Everyone who believes as I do should go online and check how their U.S. Senator and their representative in the House voted on the Omnibus (House Vote) (Senate Vote).  All of Congress who voted for the Omnibus needs to go.

This is an election year and the entire House of Representatives, all 435 of them, and fully one-third of the Senate are up for re-election.  Throw the bums out and replace them with men and women of integrity who will protect the unborn.

Since Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113), more than 57,762,169 unborn babies have been murdered.  (Life News )

Enough!


©2016 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises • All Rights Reserved
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Looking Back to Look Forward

By Alden L. Benton

At the end of the year most writers take a look back at the previous year.  This year, to celebrate the passing of 2015 and to usher in 2016, I am going to look back in order to look forward.

This week I have been looking back at all my blog posts since I began this blog.  In reviewing what I have written, I found two posts from 2012 that are just as relevant today, perhaps more so, than they were four years ago.  An Unreasonable Man from February 1, 2012, and from August 23, 2012, Promises.


An Unreasonable Man

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

By Alden L. Benton

To many, I am an unreasonable man.  I believe in God, morality, and the Constitution.  Being of Scots-Irish ancestry, I will not bend or bow before any earthly power and will fight to the death those who would try to force me to do otherwise.

I believe that life, for a moral and ethical person, is really quite simple: things are either right, or they are wrong.  There are no gray areas, no nuances; right or wrong, no more, no less.  This mindset enables and supports my everyday decision-making process.

I ask every moral and ethical person to consider this paradigm when deciding who will be our next president.

We will hear all manner of falsifications, misinformation, vitriol, charges, counter charges, and other useless information throughout the campaign.  Ignore it!  Look instead to the candidates’ records and to their public character and use your moral conscience to decide who is, or is not worthy of your support.

It is moral men and women who vote their conscience who will ultimately save America.  Moreover, one’s moral compass must be the ultimate guide in selecting a president who will lead with strength and determination rooted in the Constitution, and in his own moral and ethical rectitude.

Thomas Paine once wrote,

“These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
~Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 23, 1776

Now, 239 years later, our nation is again in crisis.  The policies of the previous century have failed and threaten to enslave not only this generation, but generations to come.

If you believe in America, its exceptionalism, in an individual’s God-given right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as they see fit, then you must exercise your conscience and your moral fortitude to stand against the forces that are amassed at our gates bent on destroying us.

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsels or your arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
~Samuel Adams


Promises

By Alden L. Benton

Promises are important in every society. Anytime two or more people need to accomplish a task or engage in commerce, promises are integral to the arrangement.

Promises take many forms and range from God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Old Testament to His promise to us all in John 3:16 in the New Testament. On another level, there are promises we make to our children, our spouses, and our elderly. In the broader society, promises are represented by contracts, laws, and, ultimately, the Constitution.

Without these rules, these agreements, society would soon cease to function.  From deciding which side of the highway we will drive upon, who will have the right-of-way, to the guarantees of a contract and the prohibitions, the minimum moral code, embodied by the body of statutory law, society would soon revert to chaos.

This is the essence of ordered liberty and of a moral society. Ordered liberty imposes a minimum order on the free will of mankind. It ensures a free society based on fundamental rights such as due process, property rights, contract rights and obligations, as well as a minimum acceptable moral and ethical standard.

When promises are broken and agreements abrogated, that minimum moral code has not been honored.  Today, these obligations and promises are seen in relative terms. Put simply, this is chaos and it is breaking down the fabric of our society.

Signed for a mortgage you could never repay? Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter, we’ll make someone else pay. Don’t have a home because you didn’t pay your mortgage? It doesn’t matter, go take over an empty house the bank owns.

Promise your children something special if they behave? Stand by your words or they will never trust you again. Told your grandmother you’d visit her and begged off with some lame excuse? You hurt her more than you could ever know.

The issue for us all, individually or as a society, is integrity. Integrity is the unification of word and deed; of intent and action. As an old adage says, “I can’t hear your words because your actions are so loud.”

Integrity is a standard to which we must hold ourselves accountable and judge others by. It is a simple binary (one or zero) decision: they have it or not. Do they keep their promises, honor their contracts, obey the law (moral and legal), and, in the United States, respect the supreme law of the land – the Constitution?

No one is perfect, but we, both as individuals and as a society, must strive to attain and maintain personal integrity. Without it, we are nothing but charlatans and thieves.

Remember this every time you make, or accept, a promise.

Remember this when you cast your ballot next November.


© 2012 and 2015 by Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises

We Shall Overcome

“The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.”
~ Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Fishback, September 1809

By Alden L. Benton

After reading a column by Doug Giles (column and video here), one thing came into my mind: Through the tax exemption for churches and the bogus “law-of-the-land,” the separation of church and state, the Left has very cleverly disarmed the power of the modern church.


NOTE

A letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, was incorrectly interpreted and used by the U.S. Supreme Court to create the mythical, extra-constitutional, separation of church and state.

Jefferson wrote, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

The Bill of Rights (including the First Amendment) were added to the Constitution under pressure from the Anti-Federalists to protect individuals from the power of the central government. The way recent courts have interpreted the First Amendment is that government must be protected from, and devoid of, religion. The latter interpretation is the foundation of the secular Left’s attack on any public display of any vestige of religion or religious artifact of any type in a direct affront to the clear language and intent of the First Amendment.


Coupled with rampant political correctness, the threat of losing tax-exempt status functionally muzzles a church’s political voice.

Now enter the touchy-feely churches who only say what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear, and you get a wussy, ineffectual, quasi-church that is devoid of God’s teachings, especially His basic moral tenets.

The result is the Godless Left has taken over our society.  Our nation is burning while hordes of so-called Christians who have thrown in the towel, stand and watch, waiting for the rapture to whisk them away.

That is the easy road and it leads nowhere but to oblivion.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to destruction is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”  ~Matthew 7:13-14

We are at war. We are locked in a war for the heart and soul of our country and the principles on which it was founded.

As Christians, we acknowledge that we are broken and that we live in a broken world.  Yet, many Christians have lost hope and their way, choosing the broad, wide road.

However, Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

If we value our faith and acknowledge that it is our faith, and the principles expressed through the Judeo-Christian ethic, that made our nation great, now is the season that we must stand and fight to restore its greatness, indeed, its glory.

The words of King Solomon continue in Ecclesiastes 3:3 and verses 7-8, stating that there is indeed

A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
. . . A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

As Christians we have a moral obligation, rather, an imperative to, as best we can, live up to the standards God has set for us and, just as important, go out and take these fundamental moral principles into the world.

Christians do well in spreading the gospel to world.  However, as the old adage says, “Charity begins at home.”  We need to be more active in our efforts to teach the principles of Christianity here in the United States.

As part of the restoration of America, Christians need to become more active in politics from the local level to the national government.

The only way that we will ever restore our nation, and our government, is to elect ethical and moral men and women who adhere to their principles with honesty and integrity; men and women who value the individual, who value liberty and freedom, and who value the principles of our founding documents; and men and women who refuse to be influenced by anything other than God, their consciences, and their constituents.

That is the beginning and we must act now to take our country back from our enemies, both foreign and domestic, who actively seek to destroy us.

While we are indeed at war, I am confident that we will win, and in our victory we will usher in a new era of healing, of building up, and of peace, peace through strength, the strength of moral and ethical righteousness found only through faith in God and Jesus Christ.

I personally feel that when it comes to issues of right versus wrong, the choices are simple and clear if you have a solid moral and ethical foundation.  There are things that are always right, and there are things that are always wrong. This knowledge comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition of ethics, morality, and law and is the foundation of our legal basic tenets.

When one strays from that foundation and begins to analyze an issue and look for every possible implication and nuance to justify one’s actions, you have started down the wide road, for on the narrow road, there are no nuances or shades of grey: only right or wrong.

As a nation, and a society, we are on the wide road.  We can return to greatness.  The principles of our faith provide the map to lead us on our journey.

Which road will you choose to travel?

“If God is with us, who dare stand against us?”  Romans 8:31


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© 2015 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
All Rights Reserved

What Went Wrong?

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”  ~Tomas Jefferson

 By Alden L. Benton

According to the United States Census Bureau and the World Bank, the population of the United States last year (2014) was 318.9 million people.

 In 2012, a Gallup survey found:

“The large majority of Americans — 77% of the adult population — identify with a Christian religion, including 52% who are Protestants or some other non-Catholic Christian religion, 23% who are Catholic, and 2% who affiliate with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In fact, according to a 2011 Pew Research Report, there are more Christians in the United States than in any other nation.  (See chart below)

christianity-graphic-03

I am not a religious scholar.  In fact, I am a relatively new (2+ years) Christian.  However, the basics of Christian faith, and the Judeo-Christian ethic upon which our nation is based, is simple and to the point.  It is based on one thing: the teachings of Jesus Christ.

He taught us how to live and how to act.  He gave us guidelines, moral imperatives, for living a life filled with meaning and service to Him and to others.

Now fast-forward 2,015 years since His birth.

  • Headlines from around the world scream the latest brutality, the latest atrocity from the far reaches of the globe. In the United States, the fabric of our society seems to be unraveling.
  • False claims of racism and discrimination incited the citizens of a Missouri town to riot and burn their city.
  • Advocates of the homosexual life-style choice seek out businesses that choose not to support their choices and target them for destruction, using Nazi Gestapo-like tactics (including death threats) to achieve their goal.
  • Black teenagers roam the streets looking for vulnerable white victims to assault or even murder for no reason other than their race.
  • A vast number of individuals in our country feel they are “entitled” or have a “right” to live off of someone else’s money, whether stolen from the productive by individuals or by force of government.

If more than 246 million Americans are Christian, how did this happen — what went wrong?

As a Christian and a Conservative, I see two root causes of the decline of civility and ethical behavior in the United States.

  1. More than 100 years of secular (read Godless) progressive domination of education, news, and entertainment, and
  2. The rise of the Christianity-lite church

The secular-progressive movement at its core is Godless.  Its adherents consider themselves flawless and the most highly evolved of our species.  They cannot, indeed will not accept that they are less than perfect and that they are not the source of all knowledge.  As a result, they have no respect for the wisdom of the past and no respect for the elderly or their life experience.

Moral relativism is the basis of the conduct of secular-progressives, in public and private life — if it feels good, do it and, the ends justify the means.  This lack of character breeds immorality, corruption, and deceit. To the secular-progressive, a lie is not a lie if it serves to attain some goal.

Our culture, through the mass media, entertainment, and educational establishment, has been indoctrinated with these relativistic, Godless, destructive concepts since Woodrow Wilson became president in 1913, and continues with the reign of Barack Hussein Obama today.

Traditional Christianity, rooted in the teachings of the Bible, provides the tools to resist the tyranny of the left (secular-progressives).

Traditional Christianity gives us a moral foundation and a highly developed, and unchanging, ethical framework to determine right from wrong.  There is no relativism — something is inherently right or wrong — there is no grey.

As Christians, we learn that we are not perfect, but rather we are broken (sinful by nature) and live in a broken world.

Christianity teaches us that all actions have consequences — good decisions bring rewards, bad decisions bring punishment.  Followers of Christ learn how to live a meaningful life, a life that values others as well as life itself.  We live a life that values family, hard work, and raising upright and God-fearing children.

So what happened?

Distracted from the teachings of the church by the noise of the secular-progressives, many people have left traditional churches and have joined churches I call Christianity-lite.

These churches give lip service to scripture.  They gut the meaning and gloss over its messages and teachings so as not to offend anyone.  They want to make you feel good, so they tell you what you want to know, not what you need to know.

 These churches are charlatans.  They are the false teachers of whom the apostle Paul warned us.  They are secular-progressives cloaking themselves in carefully selected scripture.  They offer cheap, relativistic options based on a foundation of quicksand — anything to fill the pews and keep the collection plates full.

 The Christian majority has been duped.  We have allowed this to happen.

The only way I can see to fix the problems we face as a nation is to return to traditional Christianity, return the leviathan that our government has become to its far smaller Constitutional limitations, and by so doing, destroy the secular-progressive movement. 

 Jim Miller, my pastor, told me that we must remember that Jesus will win in the end.  He is correct. However, until then, we must act according to His principles and help establish the Kingdom.

In God We Trust!

 “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
~James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788


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© 2015 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
All Rights Reserved

Can They Even Read?

“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant.  It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

Here is a simple description of the modern American political Left:

  1. To be a part of the political Left you have to be arrogant.
  2. You must believe that you are the smartest human being ever.
  3. You must think you have the answer to all of life’s pressing problems.
  4. You must not answer to any moral authority other than your own constantly shifting needs and wants, i.e. what feels good.
  5. You must make certain that no one is ever offended by anything.
  6. You must ensure that everyone is completely safe from harm
  7. You must force your ideas upon everyone else, whether they agree with you or not.
  8. You must ignore the lessons of the past because you are smarter than anyone who came before you.

Arrogance is a given.  We all like to think we’re smart and can come with some rational answers to things.  However, the political Left doesn’t acknowledge that they are really no smarter, and I would say in reality dumber, than the rest of us.

Just look at the president.  He offers no new or original political thinking.  His policies and views are just bad re-runs of things that have been tried before—and resulted in failure.  They think it’s smart — NOT!

Trying the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Real life is not perfect and carefree.  It is full of trials and troubles that test our resolve, our fortitude, our morals, and our faith.  Life is dangerous.  No government can keep us completely free of harm.  It is our personal responsibility.

As Ronald Reagan once said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

And as far as not wanting anyone to suffer from some offense, real or imagined, I say hogwash.  The entire principle of free speech is based upon saying what is on your mind and in your heart.  If that offends you — Deal with it! 

The whole idea of political correctness (PC) is power through censorship.  This power of social censorship prevents any meaningful discussion about anything.  It promotes fear. 

It leads me to wonder when they are going to rename the card suit of spades in a world where the radical gays think the Christmas food fruitcake is homophobic.

The old rock and roll singer Frank Zappa summed up PC the best when he said, “Political correctness is the language of cowardice.”

The last two points in my list are obvious flaws that people in power suffer from on both sides of the political aisle.  It is worth mentioning because for the Left, it is not just a malady, but also an entire way of life both in and out of politics.

Now the question of whether or not the American political Left can read.  To be honest the evidence leaves me wondering. 

It is clear they do not read the U.S. Constitution, they do not read the Bible, and they can’t be bothered reading history books or the legislation they vote on.  If they do, they either don’t understand what they have read or misinterpret or manipulate its meaning.

What has drawn me to this question is an article published on Breitbart.com with this headline: Veterans Affairs Bans Christmas Cards to Troops Over Religious Content.

What on earth are these fools thinking about?

Whatever one’s opinion on our current wars, the government, or anyone else, has absolutely no right to deny any wounded warrior a Christmas card.  These men and women gave us their service in the most ugly of circumstances — war.  Censoring their mail for religious content is not the way to repay them. They did not fight to preserve censorship or an anti-Christian attack government.

Christmas, despite the fact it has morphed into a commercial holiday, is still a fundamentally religious, Christian religious holiday that is officially recognized by the U.S. Government.

The actions of the Veterans Administration over the past few years is just one battle in a war being waged by the political Left against both the U.S. Constitution and Christianity.  If you defeat one, you defeat the other and gain total control.

First, it is clear that the political Left, even those who profess religious, simply cannot accept that there is a higher power greater than them or their idea of an all-powerful government.  Those of us who call ourselves Christians answer only to God.

The second front in this attack is on Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution.  Amendment 1 states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This amendment frightens the political Left the most.  It is the foundation of our liberty and a fundamental protection against the power of government.  It is clear and concise.  

Without the First Amendment, we will be forced to worship at the altar of an all-powerful government led by a self-proclaimed Messiah; without it, we will not be allowed to say what is on our minds or question the government; without it, we cannot meet in peaceful protest to give voice to our concerns.  We will become enslaved, in body and in soul.

This is not the world in which I choose to live my earthly life.

This is not the world I want to leave to my children and the generations that follow me.

I will never bend my knee, or my will, to anyone but God and will teach my children to do the same.

Yes, the political left can read, but they only read what would help them take control of the rest of us.

We must stand and fight before it is too late.

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.  We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.  If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here.  We did all that could be done.”  ~Ronald Reagan


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©2013 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Evil at your Door

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  ~Matthew 7:15 (NASB)

By Alden Benton

For those of you who are still interested in what I have to say — Welcome!

It has been a while since I have posted to this blog.  I felt I had to take a break from the onslaught of negative information assaulting me through my email inbox and the internet.  It took both a physical and spiritual toll on my life.

However, after some serious reflection, I have reconnected myself to God and He has given me renewed strength to return to the fight.  And, if you believe as I do, that the politics and pronouncements of the far left, whether you call them Communists, Socialists, Bolsheviks, or Statists, are a huge heap of rotting donkey manure, you know that we are only one small misstep away from a real, hot, deadly war no matter where on the earth you may live.

Human dignity and human liberty are in danger.  Anyone with a conscience must fight to preserve both human dignity and liberty, for we cannot have one without the other.  The far left seeks to destroy both for one purpose — power.  The far left hates anything that they cannot control and they will not stop until the entire human race is subjugated under their control in some kind of Utopian fantasy that does not include liberty or human dignity.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence clearly states the source of our liberties and to whom we all answer — a set of universal truths.

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Powerful words. Written more than 237 years ago, they are as meaningful today as they were on July 4, 1776.  Simply put, our rights, our liberty, our lives, all came from one place — GOD.  They are His gifts to us to use as we choose and, as the Founders recognized, the government answers to us, to “We, the People.” 

It is a system that produced the most free and prosperous nation ever seen.  The people answer to God, and the government answers to the people.  That is the essence of liberty and liberty spawns human dignity.

However, early in the last century, a new breed arose in the United States and around the world.  They called themselves Progressives.  A nice, cozy sounding name, but upon close examination, their ideas are far from what most of us would consider progressive. 

To take from the producers and give to the lazy is not progressive it is theft.  To reduce human life and individuality to involuntary servitude to an all-powerful state is not progressive it is slavery.  To give everyone an equal outcome is in reality a scheme to make everyone poor.  Governments around the world have become brutal, oppressive caricatures of the fairy tale of Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor.

As Margaret Thatcher once said, “Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”

The world has endured more than a century of the relentless, sinister march of godless, dehumanizing, enslaving ideas and subversion of the so-called progressives.  They have been clever and effective. 

In the United States, the progressives control the media (newspapers, television, music, and film) and they control the tax-supported, union-mismanaged un-education system as well as the Executive and Judicial branches of the Federal government, and one house of Congress.

It is time for Americans and the world to stand in complete and total opposition to the anti-human, anti-God, anti-Liberty forces of progressivism. 

The progressives deny God and want to enslave all who oppose their evil mantra. We must stand and fight.  We must win the hearts and minds of the young people and those who are “undecided.”  We must expose their true intentions.

We must act now before it is too late, especially in America, for if America falls, the world will slip into an age of darkness from which only the grace of God will save us.

I will close this post by leaving you with the words of Patrick Henry,

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.  I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.  We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth…  For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it.  It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.  Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace.  The war is actually begun!  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”


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©2013 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises

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Remembrance

“Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.” ~Daniel Webster

By Alden L. Benton

Today is Monday — the last day of a three-day weekend and the first big travel holiday of the year.  The weather in southern California where I live is spectacular.  The sky is clear and the weather is warm.

All over the area, families are going on picnics, to visit friends or relatives, or staying home and enjoying the day with a barbeque.  The advertisements for the weekend scream about sales and clearances.  Life simply goes on as usual.

However, today is not like any other day.  Today is not a day to buy or to celebrate.

memorial_day_lily_flag

Today is the day when the United States honors and remembers the men and women who have died in service of their country. 

Whatever privileges we enjoy, we owe to them.

Today is not a day to discuss whether the wars in which we have fought were just or whether they were worth the blood and treasure spent.  Rather, today is about the warriors who fell — those who paid the ultimate price for us.

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There have been many wars from the Revolution to Afghanistan.  And there have been many who died. 

Today is the day to remember them and to honor them.

Today is also a day to pray that there will be no more wars, and to pray that no more brave men and women will be brought home in flag-draped caskets.

Wherever you live, take a moment out of your day and reflect in silence about those who served and died; reflect upon their sacrifice. 

Above all else — never forget.

Never forget.

arlington-cemetary-3

“They fell, but o’er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.” ~Francis Marion Crawford


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News Bites and Other Thoughts for May 10

“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism.  A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.”  ~George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

By Alden L. Benton

Call to Action

In March 2013, I wrote two posts here describing the Constitutional violations contained in the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) (Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 1: The Problem) and about California’s attempt to protect its citizens from the extra-Constitutional sections of the NDAA (Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 2: The Rightful Remedy and a Call to Action).

The “remedy,” Assembly Bill 351, passed its first committee hurdle on April 4.  However, the bill is mired in the legislative swamp of another committee.  On April 10, the bill went to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration with amendments.  The text of the amended bill is here: AB-351.

Please contact the chair of the Appropriations Committee (Mike Gatto) and the committee members (Committee Members and Contact Information) and politely urge their swift approval of AB 351.

Why the Second Amendment is Important

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe.  The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”  ~Noah Webster

Expectations

When we elect people to public office, we expect them to have the basic ability to read, write, and think with some degree of clarity and common sense — unless they are Democrats, in which case none of the above applies. 

Many of our representatives are lawyers so one would think that when considering a piece of legislation that they would gather evidence regarding what the proposed law would accomplish and that they would actually read the text of what they will be voting upon.

We know how well that worked in the frenetic push to pass the more than 2,000 page ObamaCare bill.  Opps, I’m sorry, I mean the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  By the way, if you can’t sleep or have nothing better to do, you can find a copy of the PPACA here.

Well, despite public uproar, Congress appears to be both deaf and dumb.  According to a story in the Washington Times, 64 of 100 Senators who will be voting on a border security bill have never visited the southern border of the United States. 

These are the same people who spend thousands of your dollars on “fact-finding missions” (read vacations at our expense) to faraway places like Tahiti or Monaco.  

Unfortunately, they can’t bother with a quick flight down to El Paso, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, or San Diego, California to take a look and actually see what is happening through their own eyes, not the rosy glasses of Homeland Security Secretary Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano who believes the border is secure. 

Note to Secretary Napolitano: The fact there are an estimated 12 million (and growing) people in the United States illegally suggests the border is not secure!  Doh! 

Anyway, by visiting the southern border, the Senators might actually learn something.  Who knows, maybe they’ll even read the bill.  On the other hand, the chances of that happening is slim and none — and slim has already left town.

How Stupid Can They Get?

Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is like a baby.  An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”  Put bluntly, money goes in and expensive manure comes out. 

Enter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

Ever since their creation, the TSA has failed in their mission.  From groping grannies and 3-year-olds, to allowing the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber to board flights unmolested, the TSA is the model for government inefficiency. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2012 budget, the TSA budget was $8.1 billion, consuming 14 per cent of the $56.9 billion DHS budget.

According to The Hill, Congress is now demanding the TSA reduce or eliminate $800,000 a year it spends on warehouse fees to store outdated and useless equipment.

Warehouse rental consumes 9.9 per cent of the TSA budget storing junk, but they cry that they can’t find 2 per cent in savings to meet sequester demands.  Forrest Gump had it right, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.”  ~Benjamin Rush, letter to David Ramsay, 1788


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Cut Up the Credit Card

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

By Alden L. Benton

According to a Heritage Foundation report, Congress has an opportunity to do what all debtors should do — cut up the credit card and prioritize debt payments.

House Resolution 807 will do just that.  The bill, according to Heritage Action, “… would require the Treasury Secretary to pay the principal and interest on America’s debt obligations and make Social Security payments before any other payments in the event the debt ceiling is reached.  In effect, the bill begins the process of prioritizing federal spending.”

Under this bill, political pressure to raise the debt ceiling would separate the spendthrifts from the frugal and expose the lies and distortions that fly every time we approach the debt ceiling.

If we as a nation are ever going to lower, or eliminate, the national debt we must begin to live with our means.  If the essentials are paid first, then there should be a greater emphasis on eliminating unnecessary spending and waste in the programs that remain. 

In fact, this new enforced frugality could signal a dramatic change in the size and scope of government.  When it comes to government, the government that governs best governs least least — and costs a whole lot less.

However, there is peril in this approach.  The spenders in Congress could easily succumb to the urge to “enhance revenue” to make certain their pork and pet projects survive.  Translated into plain language, that means more taxes for the same old nonsense.

Despite this problem, HR 807 is an important first step towards fiscal responsibility.  In the end, we must make hard choices — choices made in the best interests of the country as a whole, not in the interest of politicians and special interests.

The first hard choice is to stop borrowing.  The second hard choice is to change the tax code to a simple flat tax structure where all but the truly poor pay.  The rate should be capped and changes constrained by a Constitutional amendment.

The answer is simple: stop borrowing, cap spending, and reduce taxes.  This is the only answer that will ensure the economic future of the United States, or any country.

Unfortunately, there are far too few men and women of courage and integrity in the halls of government, at any level, who have the will to what is necessary. 

It is up to us to replace the weak and corrupt with honest and courageous individuals of integrity.  The time to start is now.  All of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate, plus myriad state and local offices, are up for election in 2014.

Make 2014 a year of change that matters, a year where We, the people take back our government, and our future, from the corrupt, self-serving political elite who are destroying our lives, our liberty, and our happiness.

“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”  ~Thomas Jefferson


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Desecration of Hallowed Ground

“Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong.”  ~Thomas Jefferson

By Alden L. Benton

Remember Joe “The Plumber” Werzelbacher?  He was the man who precipitated then candidate Obama’s infamous unscripted remark about spreading the wealth around. 

Well, Joe has a blog (joeofamerica.com) and he reports that if a woman named Julie Frein gets her way, the Boston marathon murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev would be buried in the plot to which she thinks she is entitled at Arlington National Cemetery.  Joe says Frein served two years of a four-year enlistment in the Air Force and her discharge was honorable. 

According to a FoxNews video (USAF Vet Offers National Cemetery Plot To Dead Boston Bomber!!), Frein may be eligible for an Arlington plot due to her husband’s service.  However, according to my reading of the regulations stating who is eligible for burial at Arlington (Arlington Regulations), Frein is only eligible under very limited circumstances.  The regulations appear silent as to whether or not Frein could simply give away her plot even if she were eligible.

Her teary-eyed appeal to bury the monster who murdered and maimed innocent citizens next to then men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country is, at best, sickening.  Exodus 20:13 is clear: “You shall not murder” (English Standard Version) and in Judaism, murder is the only unforgivable sin because the dead cannot forgive their assailants.

Julie Frein wants us to forgive this dead Islamic terrorist and “get over it.”  Unfortunately, Krystle Campbell, 29, Martin Richard, 8, and Lu Lingzi, 23, cannot forgive the soulless, cowardly, Islamist cretin who murdered them, nor should we.

Look at the pictures below and remember how they died.  Never forget what happened in Boston that day. Never get over it.

Never.

Whether your eyes fill with tears or your heart fills with anger, call, write, or email Congress to make certain the Veteran’s Administration does not allow this terrorist to rest with heroes in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery.

MARTIN RICHARD, 8

MARTIN RICHARD, 8

LU LINGZI, 23

LU LINGZI, 23

KRYSTLE CAMPBELL, 29

KRYSTLE CAMPBELL, 29

It is time for all Americans to rise and stand against the sickness that has engulfed our country, the sickness personified by fools like Julie Frein. 

It is time to return to the values of courage, honor, and true fairness that made us great.  It is time we revisit the powerful words Abraham Lincoln so eloquently spoke in 1863 to begin to understand what we have lost and why people like the Tsarnaev brothers, and their enablers like Frein, are dangerous not just for their violence, but for their destructive influence on our society as a whole.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

~Abraham Lincoln,  Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

May the dead of the Boston atrocity rest in peace, the wounded recover swiftly from their wounds, and justice prevail.


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A Week as a “Low Information” Voter

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge
among the people.” ~John Adams

By Alden L. Benton

I have not been on the internet for a week. 

In the age of 24/7 information overload, I found that I could actually survive and function with a massive reduction in my information intake. 

I don’t mean to minimize the need to be an informed citizen or the need to be aware of what is happening in one’s surroundings.  In fact, I mean quite the contrary, as information is a vital part of modern society.

However, it is not the quantity of information consumed that is important, but the quality of that information.  Having spent most of my day catching up with the onslaught of a week’s worth of email, I have made some observations.

Most of the so-called mainstream media have failed in the last week. First, they failed in their silence on the trial of a doctor accused of murdering babies who survived abortion.  Second, the failed in their sloppiness, in using too many words that were not checked for accuracy in their coverage of the Boston bombings and the search for suspects.  Perhaps they should heed the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are useful tools.  However, they became dangerous weapons of false and misleading information during the investigation of the bombings in Boston.  Thousands of people armed with Smart phones with photo and video capabilities were far more useful.

Our nation faces threats as dangerous as North Korean missiles and al Qaeda — hackers.  They steal, destroy, and disrupt from their shadowy lairs.  If this sounds farfetched to you, it was a false story reporting that the White House had been bombed that sent the stock market plummeting.  Hackers planted the story on the Associated Press Twitter account. 

The term “low-information voter” is really an epithet hurled at everyday Americans by the so-called political and intellectual elite that inhabit government and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.  These people don’t have a clue.  They live in relative wealth and privilege and refuse to acknowledge their nearsightedness.  Real people have jobs and families that occupy most of their waking hours and cannot spend hours on end following the event de jour.  They struggle to find answers with little or bad information because most of the mainstream media is biased and unreliable.  They have little time to search for the truth.

In dealing with the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”  Today, we all must operate on the principle of verify, and then question — especially when dealing with our own government and media.

“…Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.  Liberty once lost is lost forever.  When the People once surrendered their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.”  ~John Adams


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Why We Fought and Why We Must Fight Again

“There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.  There is a time to fight, and that time has now come.”  ~Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807), sermon in Woodstock, Virginia, January 1776

 By Alden L. Benton

In a 2005 article on WallBuilders.com titled God: Missing in Action from American History, David Barton outlines how Progressives have revised American history by changing the focus from people to economics.

This change of focus ignores the social, moral, and religious foundation laid down by the founding generation.  With this change of focus, the Progressives have marginalized the role of people and their faith in the founding and development of the United States.

In addition, this change of focus to economics masks the truth about the grievances, which led to our separation from England and has created an uninformed, if not illiterate population where the founding documents and principles are concerned.

According to Barton, “Today, however, history is presented in such an edited, revised, and politically-correct manner that God’s hand is rarely visible – and even the historic role of famous Godly leaders in education, business, politics, and the military is now virtually unacknowledged.”

He continues, saying that, this shift of focus to the economics of history have relegates all but one of the 27 grievances stated in the Declaration of Independence to irrelevance.  According to Progressives, it was all about taxation without representation.

As usual, the Progressives are dead wrong.

The Declaration of Independence is clear in listing just what the problems were that led to rebellion.  It is clear what the founders felt was tyranny.

The Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”  He was correct, for through the ignorance foisted on us by Progressives, we not only fail to understand our roots, our heritage, but our future course.

The Declaration of Independence lists 27 issues the King of England would not resolve.  We rebelled.  Today, many of these grievances can be leveled at our own government.  I have listed those 27 grievances below, pulled directly from the Declaration, in their original language.  The bullet numbers were added for clarity.

Read these grievances carefully.  Apply their words to the actions of our government today and decide whether it is time to fight.

  1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  2. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  3. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  5. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  6. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  7. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  8. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  9. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  10. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  12. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  13. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  14. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  15. For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  16. For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  17. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  18. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  19. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  20. For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  21. For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  22. For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  23. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  25. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  26. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  27. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

 “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved.  On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”  ~Samuel Adams


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Disturbing

By Alden L. Benton 

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsels or arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
~Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

 Two articles published today have disturbing implications for our future safety and freedom as defined in the founding documents.

 First, is an article from Godfather Politics that reports a United States Army training program identifies Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Mormons, and Orthodox Jews as terrorists on the same level as Hamas, al-Qaida, and the Klu Klux Klan.

The training was part of the Army Reserve Equal Opportunity program. The slide that listed examples of “religious extremism” put Evangelical Christianity as the first entry and included the Jewish Defense League, Catholicism and even “Islamophobia” alongside the Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni Muslims and Hamas, according to Ted Cronn, the articles author.

I find this offensive and disturbing.  That an official course of the United States military, no matter  who authored it, would make such an accusation is chilling and its existence makes one wonder just how secure our God-given rights specified by the Constitution really are in this age of intolerance.

However, what this atrocity sheds light upon is how deathly afraid the president and his slobbering sycophants are of grass-roots America.  The strength of our faith and our foundation in right and moral thinking are indeed a danger to the immoral, lewd, and lascivious who populate the political Left and are in direct conflict with their vacuous, non-beliefs. 

This is why “they” want your guns.  This is why “they” want to educate your children; and why “they” want to take away your right to speak, worship, and associate with whom you please. 

“It is in the interest of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion.”  ~Aristotle

The second article that disturbs me comes from Freedom OutpostIn this article, Tim Brown reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent an email to U.S. Border Patrol Agents stating that due to budget cuts and a shortage of ammunition they “will not be issued any new proficiency ammunition for next quarter.”

This email was sent after DHS purchased enough ammunition to support taking over a moderately sized country — more than 250 million rounds in their last purchase — for as yet undisclosed purposes.

According to the article, the local chapter 2554 of the National Border Patrol Council asks, “We get a 32% pay cut, even though Congress gave CBP enough money to cover salaries, and now we can’t even maintain proficiency with our service weapons to defend ourselves in the field…..Why is there an ammunition shortage?  Why can’t Border Patrol agents get enough ammunition to maintain proficiency, especially at a time of increased cross-border smuggling and illegal activity?  Where is all this ammunition going?”

This is serious national security threat as well when your border agents are not properly armed. However, it is a logical extension from an administration who has already admonished them to not fire their weapons, but run, hide and throw things. 

I guess the DHS would rather use the ammunition on those they consider real terrorists, like Christians, Jews, and Mormons, rather than waste it on drug smugglers, human traffickers, and other violent criminals coming across our borders.

 “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.” ~John F. Kennedy


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New Strength and Vision for the Fight Ahead

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  ~Abraham Lincoln

By Alden L. Benton

Writing a quality blog on a regular basis is a lot of work.  I constantly read email, news articles, and commentary.  This is not only physically and mentally tiring, it is challenging emotionally and spiritually as well.

I am a positive person by nature.  I try to find the good in the people and events I encounter every day.  However, as I read and think about the path our country is traveling it is not only difficult to keep a positive mind, it becomes difficult to steer away from anger and depression as I constantly read about the latest stupidity or power grab perpetrated by someone who is supposed to be serving us.

My words have been absent from this space for three weeks not because there is nothing to write about, but rather because I found it necessary to rest my mind and to contemplate the roots of my positivism and the historic events of both the founding of our nation and the events of Holy Week.

In both of these events, I find an overriding theme of positivism, of hope, of looking forward to, and creating something better.  This is the strength of a Christian and the strength of a patriot.

Yes, it matters what the forces aligned against freedom do, but it matters more what we do in opposing them.  We cannot allow ourselves to be dragged down into the mud of hopelessness and despair by their words and deeds.  Rather, we must remain secure in our knowledge that the principles we hold, the principles upon which our nation was founded, are right and good.

We cannot compromise.  We must win, but we must win the battle of ideas — of what is truly right for this country — and we cannot do this with negativism.  We cannot ignore the negatives and the naysayers; we must address and confront them with great conviction and strength. 

It often appears that the forces of darkness and evil have all the power, all of the tools.  This is their tactic: to try control the discussion by controlling the tools and the definitions of words and the “truth” of events.  To counter this, we must be diligent and knowledgeable.  Truth is constant, but in our society, it is very difficult to dig out. 

Is the God-given freedom to live one’s life as they choose worth fighting for?  Is securing the blessings of liberty and a free society for generations to come worth the price of diligence and knowledge?

I have found the answer to these questions through tireless reading, positive thinking, and faith in God.  I will not let the forces aligned against me win without a fight.  And it is here, through my words, that I will continue that fight, promoting the great ideas of liberty and freedom that drove our founders, and still drive Americans today.

My path is clear and my voice will no longer be silent.

What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears.  When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”  ~Gordon B. Hinckley


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Bits and Pieces from Around the Web

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

Instead of my usual post, today I will let the perpetrators of various events and insanities speak for themselves with bits and bytes I have pulled from around the internet.

Say What?

According to Big Government, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claims “tax cuts are spending.”  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not to outdo herself, she went on to claim that she and the Democrats in the previous Congress were responsible for a total cut in the budget of $2.8 trillion when in reality, a state Pelosi chooses not to visit, the budget and spending actually increased nearly a trillion dollars during her 5-year reign as Speaker of the House.

Parking Your Tax Dollars

According to the Weekly Standard, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just spent $6 million of your taxes — on parking spaces.  HHS leased 1,076 parking spaces next to its offices in Bethesda, Maryland, for five years.  This works out to $1,115 per space per year.  No word if any of the government-union employees will be paying to park.

Expensive Public Failure

Ben Shapiro writes on Big Government that:

According to officials from City University of New York, a full 80 percent of high school graduates in New York City who are headed to CUNY colleges can’t read properly, write or do basic math when they graduate.  As CBS Local reports, “They had to re-learn basic skills – reading, writing, and math – first before they could begin college courses.”

And that’s for the students who graduate and head to CUNY.  New York City has the lowest graduation rate for black and Hispanic male students in the nation, with only 37 percent graduating.  But teachers start off making $45,530 with benefits, and max out at over $100,000.

It’s not just [Mayor] Bloomberg and New York.  In the city of Los Angeles, according to The Education Trust-West, just one in every 20 black kindergarteners will graduate from a four-year California college.  Overall, a whopping 40 percent of high school students entering public colleges across the country require at least one remedial class in reading, writing or math.

This is the legacy of a teachers union-driven system in our major cities.  And it is minorities who pay the highest price.

Politically Correct Culture War

Here is the latest obscenity in the far-Left’s war on American culture and our children.  Todd Starnes reports on Fox Radio News that:

A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers.

Casey Fountain told Fox News that the principal of his son’s elementary school called the cupcakes “insensitive” — in light of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“It disgusted me,” he said. “It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers.”

This story, coupled with the previous one, make a sound case for home schooling our children.

Talk NOT Cheap!

Every time House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama sit down and talk, it costs every one of us money — lots of money.  According to CNS News and Patriot Post, the deals made between these two men have added $21, 817 in new debt per household.

At the close of business on March 4, 2011, when the first Boehner-Obama spending deal took effect, the federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the U.S. Treasury.  As of the close of business on March 6, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House passed its latest CR, the federal debt was $16,692,238,790,019.20.

That means the federal government’s debt has increased $2,509,611,605,138.17 since the first Boehner-Obama deal took effect.

There are now approximately 115,031,000 households in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The $2,509,611,605,138.17 increase in the debt since the first Boehner-Obama equals about $21,817 per household.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker: please sit down and stop talking to each other.

2013 Dumbest Idea — So Far

Forrest Gump was right, stupid is as stupid does, and a Berkeley, California, city councilman proves the point.

According to CBS Local News San Francisco, Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, has suggested that a tax on email may be wise way to help fund the United States Postal Service.

“There should be something like a bit tax.  I mean a bit tax could be a cent per-gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year…And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email,” Wozniak said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Wozniak said this would not only help fund the cash-strapped post office, but also discourage spam.

I guess Mr. Wozniak never heard of spam filters. 

Part of the problem with the Post Office is its management and union structure.  In addition, it is a child spawned by Congress and has tried to live under some bizarre rules and regulations.  All of this combined has led to its current state of non-competitiveness. 

However, Wozniak and his ilk are true to the Left’s compulsion to subsidize failure instead of fixing it.  Yet another tax to be stolen and mismanaged by the central government is not the answer. 

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  ~Ronald Reagan


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Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 2: The Rightful Remedy and a Call to Action

“Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers … a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”
~Thomas Jefferson: The Kentucky Resolution, 1798

By Alden L. Benton

In Part 1 of this post, I explained the unconstitutional attack on our liberties posed by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as well as the history and principle of nullification. 

In Part 2 I explain the choice California has to exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional attack on their liberties contained within the 2012 NDAA.

The Kentucky Resolution of 1798 was clear and succinct about the role and relationship of the states to one another and their relationship to the Federal government:

Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principles of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite powers, reserving each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self Government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: That to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming as to itself, the other party: That the Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common Judge, each party has an equal right to judge of itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

California must exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the constitutionally offensive portions of the 2012 NDAA. It is now California’s turn to put the Federal government back in its Constitutional cage. 

AB 351 has been introduced in the California Assembly and is set for hearings in the Committee on Public Safety.  AB 351 is a first step in taking back America as it prohibits enforcement of the unconstitutional parts of the 2012 NDAA in California.  Follow this link to read a copy of AB 351.

I ask all my readers who care about America and its principles to call the Public Safety Committee members and politely ask that they vote YES on AB 351 to move this important bill out of their committee and to the full Assembly for consideration.  Here is a list of committee members and their telephone numbers.

Tom Ammiano, Chair                        (916) 319-2017
Melissa Melendez, Vice-chair         (916) 319-2067
Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.                  (916) 319-2059
Holly J. Mitchell                                  (916) 319-2054
Bill Quirk                                                (916) 319-2020
Nancy Skinner                                      (916) 319-2015
Marie Waldron                                     (916) 319-2075

A phone call is best, but if you rather send an email you can find the committee members’ contact information by following this link: http://apsf.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff.

This is just the beginning of a long fight.  AB 351 must clear the Public Safety Committee and then be voted on by the full Assembly.  After the bill clears the Assembly, it goes to the State Senate and, if passed, on to the governor for his signature. 

We must keep pressure on all of the members of the Assembly and State Senate to secure passage of this important legislation.  Finally, upon its passage, we must pressure the governor to sign this bill into law.

Do not listen to the Democrats and other leftists.  Nullification is NOT racist or a dire precursor to any other imagined catastrophe.  Nullification only threatens the overreach of uncontrolled centralized government power. 

Nullification is a Jeffersonian brake on the power of the Federal government.  As Jefferson once said, it is “the rightful remedy” for at the time of his statement, the choices were few: arms or submission.  In other words, fight another revolution or submit to ever-expanding federal power.

California is the largest, and perhaps most liberal state of the Union.  The passage of AB 351 here will send a clear message to the other 49 states as well as a clear message to Congress concerning the rights of the States and of the people.

“Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.”  ~Ayn Rand


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Taking Back America — One Small Step in California Part 1: The Problem

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  ~Albert Einstein

By Alden L. Benton

On December 31, 2011, President Obama, in effect, suspended key portions of the United States Constitution.  He did not act alone in his treason.  He was aided and abetted by 283 co-conspirators in the U.S. House of Representatives (190 Republicans), and 86 in the U.S. Senate (40 Republicans) — all individuals elected by the people to serve the people and sworn to the best of their ability “… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  (Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution)

The legislation to which I refer is HR 1540, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).  (PDF of final bill)

The 2012 NDAA is a dangerous expansion of government power that opens the door to the total control of a police state.  The 2012 NDAA rips at the very fabric of our basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center and the Rhode Island Liberty Coalition, the 2012 NDAA authorizes:

  • The President to indefinitely detain, without charge, any person, including a citizen of the United States or a lawful resident alien, regardless of whether the person is apprehended inside or outside the borders of the United States.
  • Indefinite detention of persons apprehended within the United States without charge or trial.
  • Prosecution by military tribunals under the law of war for persons apprehended within the United States.
  • Transfer of persons apprehended within the United States to foreign jurisdictions.

The 2012 NDAA violates the following portions of the United States Constitution:

  • Article I Section 9, Clause 2’s right to seek Writ of Habeas Corpus;
  • The First Amendment’s right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances;
  • The Fourth Amendment’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;
  • The Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from charge for an infamous or capitol crime until presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury;
  • The Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right in criminal prosecutions to enjoy a speedy trial by an impartial jury in the State and District where the crime shall have been committed;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right confront witnesses;
  • The Sixth Amendment’s right to Counsel;
  • The Eighth Amendment’s right to be free from excessive bail and fines, and cruel and unusual punishment;
  • The Fourteenth Amendment’s right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law;
  • Article I Section 2’s right to be free from deprivation of life or liberty without Due Process of law;
  • Article I Section 5’s right to have prompt recourse to the laws for all injuries to one’s person;
  • Article I Section 6’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure;
  • Article I Section 7’s right to be free from capital charge absent a grand jury indictment, or felony charge absent grand jury indictment absent information signed by the attorney general;
  • Article I, Section 8’s right to be free from excessive bail;
  • Article I Section 9’s right to bail and right to Habeas Corpus;
  • Article I Section 10’s right to a speedy pubic trial by an impartial jury, right to have the assistance of counsel, and the right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of peers;
  • Article I Section 14’s right to be presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by the law;
  • Article I Section 15’s right to a trial by Jury;
  • Article I Section 18’s requirement that the military authority is subordinate to the civil authority.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Congress passed this abomination and the president signed it.  To my knowledge, there have been no significant legal challenges to the provisions of the 2012 NDAA.

However, there is hope.  A number of states, including ultra-liberal California, have introduced legislation to nullify the more onerous provisions of the 2012 NDAA through the provisions of the Tenth Amendment. 

The Tenth Amendment states:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

It is from this delineation of powers that the idea of nullification springs.  The idea of nullification is not new.  Nullification, the idea that the states can invalidate Federal laws, began with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798 and 1799).  Written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions sought to invalidate the Alien and Sedition Acts, a set of laws passed by Congress in 1798.

Of the four laws that made up the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Sedition Act concerned Madison and Jefferson the most as, contrary to the First Amendment to the Constitution it levied fines or imprisonment for individuals who criticized the government, Congress, or president in speech or print.

In the pre-Civil War era, states used nullification to negate the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  The Fugitive Slave Act stated that any black who was determined to be more than a certain number of miles from his home was considered a fugitive and could be thrown in jail without the benefit of the right to Habeas Corpus, a trial, or to even give testimony in his own defense.  The law forced citizens to help federal “commissioners” capture runaway slaves.  In addition, a captured runaway could not testify on his own behalf and was not entitled to a court trial.

A number of states in the North responded to this attack on the Constitution by passing personal liberty laws.  These laws nullified the Fugitive Slave Act by making it all but impossible to enforce, guaranteeing due process rights for accused runaways, extending Habeas Corpus, provided for jury trials, and harshly punishing false testimony.

In Part 2 of this post I will explain the choice California has to exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional attack on their liberties contained within the 2012 NDAA.

“Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers … a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”  Thomas Jefferson: The Kentucky Resolution, 1798


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Time to Stand Up and say, ‘Enough!

“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum of good government.”
~Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

By Alden L. Benton

I am angry.

I am angry that no one is standing up to the insanity that is being perpetrated by the progressive-socialist Democrats (PSD) through the government, the mass media, and the schools.

Have Americans become too stupid and out of touch to care or has their spirit been crushed by the constant proselytizing of the PSD establishment?  Have we become a nation of zombies controlled by the state or do we still have the courage to stand and fight for what is right and good?

It is time for everyone who cares about what this nation used to stand for to stand up and say Enough!

It is time to take America back.

Do we want an America where a second grader is suspended from school for eating a pop-tart into the shape, the shape, of a gun?

Yes, this actually happened.  Glenn Beck reports on The Blaze,

When you’re a kid you do a lot of stuff that might get you into trouble, but do you believe that making a “pop-tart gun” is one of them?

Don’t know what a Pop-Tart gun is?  Well, it’s when you eat a Pop-Tart until it’s in an “L” shape and then you hold the short end.  So if you really, really use your imagination it looks like a small, fruity gun.

“We have a second grader, another student has been suspended for something that represents a gun but isn’t anything like a gun.  Josh Welch, second grader at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped the strawberry prebaked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun,” Beck said.

If the kid hadn’t been suspended for the “lethal pop tart,” his parents would probably been arrested by the food police for not providing an “approved” nutritional meal.

The insanity continues.  According to WFTX-TV Fox 4 in Tampa, Florida,

A 16-year-old Cypress Lake High School student, who wrestled a loaded revolver away from a teen threatening to shoot, is being punished.

The student grappled the gun away from the 15-year-old suspect on the bus ride home Tuesday after witnesses say he aimed the weapon point blank at another student and threatened to shoot him.

The student says he wrestled the .22 caliber RG-14 Revolver away from the suspect, a football player, who witnesses say threatened to shoot a teammate because he had been arguing with his friend.

“No doubt,” the student said, “he was going to shoot him point blank.”

As if this kind of thing wasn’t bad enough, CNS News reports that the Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need — and have no right to — mothers.

Yes, you read that correctly. 

Arguments are being presented before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that will determine the constitutionality of California Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to say that marriage involves only one man and one woman.

So far, in the history of the human race, no child has ever been born without a biological father and mother.  Now, in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Executive Branch of the federal government is arguing that, regardless of the biological facts of parenthood, states have no legitimate and defenisble interest in ensuring that children conceived by a mother and a father are in fact raised by mothers and fathers.

The brief that the Justice Department presented to the Supreme Court discussed children only as items controlled by others, not as individual human beings who have God-given rights of their own.  It simply assumes that a child has no inherent right to a mother or father and that the only right truly in question is whether two people of the same-sex have a right to marry one another and that that right encompasses a right to adopt and foster-raise children.

To take this view and be consistent with the principles of the Declaration of Independence — which recognizes the ultimate authority of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and says that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” — the Obama Justice Department must advance the assumption that natural law and Nature’s God give children no right to a mother and father and no right not to be legally handed over by the government to be raised by same-sex couples.

Finally, proof has been unearthed that in order to achieve total control over the population, the Obama Department of Justice doesn’t want to ban guns, it wants to confiscate them.

According to Red Flag News,

The National Rifle Association has obtained a Department of Justice memo calling for national gun registration and confiscation. The nine page “cursory summary” on current gun control initiatives was not officially released by the Obama administration.

The DOJ memo (downloadable here as a PDF) states the administration “believes that a gun ban will not work without mandatory gun confiscation,” according to the NRA, and thinks universal background checks “won’t work without requiring national gun registration.”

Add this to the fact that Vision to America reports

“According to one estimate, since last year the Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm.

DHS also purchased 2,717 Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP).”

This should concern all law-abiding Americans.  However, before you dismiss this, read my blog post Is Obama Readying for War on Americans? (April 2, 2012) and DHS Source Warns of Government-Incited Violence Against Citizens in United States (May 16, 2012).

It is time to take back America and restore sanity while we can.

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”  ~George Washington


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Treacherous

“Americans chose a limited government that exists to protect our rights, not to grant them.”  ~Marco Rubio

By Alden L. Benton

When I was a teenager, the Hippie culture of “turn on, drop out” was in full bloom.  The buzz words of the time were, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” 

Today, it is the government, and their pocket pals in the mainstream media (MSM), that we cannot trust. 

Before I start receiving mail about being paranoid, my fear of government is the same fear that the Founders expressed more than 200 years ago. 

I do not fear of being governed by the rule of law in a Constitutional Republic.  What I do fear is NOT being governed by a government with limited power, a government with complete accountability to the people, a government that, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, “…derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Unless you have been in living in a cave that has no satellite television or internet, or a Tibetan monastery, you know that our government has morphed into an insatiable Leviathan that is stealing our money and our liberty.

Our government has gone from protecting our liberties to granting them, or denying them, as it feels necessary.  It has become treacherous — characterized by faithlessness or readiness to betray trust; traitorous; deceptive, untrustworthy, and unreliable.

Rather than belaboring the point with further explanation, I will let the following excerpts from the past few days on the internet prove my point. 

On The Sequester

The so-called sequester is a mandatory, across the board spending cut designed to reduce the federal budget deficit.  Laughingly, this year it will trim a mere $85 billion from a nearly $4 trillion budget.  Name a federal program and you would probably find more money wasted in fraud and mismanagement. 

Nonetheless, the harpies in the progressive-socialist-Democrat (PSD) party and the MSM have cranked up the scare-tactic rhetoric about the evils of cutting approximately 2 per cent of the budget.  Oh my!  

Never fear, the PSD party has the answer.  According to a post on Jan Morgan Media today, the Democrats have proposed a sequester replacement bill that will ADD to the deficit.

“The sequester replacement bill proposed by Senate Democrats, and endorsed by the White House, would add $7.2 billion to the federal deficit over ten years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

“CBO estimates that S. 388 would increase direct spending by $62.4 billion and revenues by $55.1 billion over the 2013–2023 period.  Thus, the cumulative deficit would increase by $7.2 billion from those changes,” CBO wrote in a report.

The Democratic bill would replace the $85 billion in automatic cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday with a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts to defense programs and farm subsidies.  However, those spending cuts would be phased in over a ten-year period, whereas the sequestration cuts would occur this year.

For more details, follow this link to Andrew Stiles’ article in the National Review.

More Sequester Games

In the Hit and Run blog on Reason.com, Mike Riggs reports that a White House report from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) bemoans the drastic impact the sequester will have on a federal agency that does not exist.

“The first line item on page 121 of the OMB’s September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget.  While that’s slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?), the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors on June 15, 2012–three months before the OMB issued its report to Congress.”

The Government Wants Your Retirement Savings

According to a recent article in American Thinker, the government is secretly laying the groundwork to confiscate $19.4 trillion that Americans have invested in retirement savings accounts such as IRAs.

According to the article, the idea arose from a paper presented in 2007.

On Nov. 20, 2007, Theresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, presented a paper proposing that the feds eliminate the tax deferral for private retirement accounts, confiscate the balance of those accounts, give each worker a $600 annual “contribution,” assess a mandatory savings tax on every worker and guarantee a 3 percent rate of return on the newly titled “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts,” or GRAs.

Not wanting a good crisis to go to waste, the “Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts “including 401(k)s and IRAs” and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.”

We all know how well the Social Security Administration can manage our money.

Read John White’s entire American Thinker article here.

Obama Secretly Signs Bill Restricting Free Speech

If you have read my past posts, you know that I am not a fan of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), but even predators have some purpose to serve.  Vision to America reported a few days ago that the president signed a bill that “would ban free speech in the presence of the Secret Service” and linked me to the ACLU blog, Washington Markup.

Recent days have seen significant concern about an unassuming bill with an unassuming name: the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011.”   The bill, H.R. 347, has been variously described as making the First Amendment illegal or criminalizing the Occupy protests.

The truth is more mundane, but the issues raised are still of major significance for the First Amendment.

It’s important to note — contrary to some reports — that H.R. 347 doesn’t create any new crimes, or directly apply to the Occupy protests.  The bill slightly rewrites a short trespass law, originally passed in 1971 and amended a couple of times since, that covers areas subject to heightened Secret Service security measures.

These restricted areas include locations where individuals under Secret Service protection are temporarily located, and certain large special events like a presidential inauguration.  They can also include large public events like the Super Bowl and the presidential nominating conventions (troublingly, the Department of Homeland Security has significant discretion in designating what qualifies as one of these special events).

As you contemplate these examples of government abuse, ask yourself this: “Why haven’t I heard about this in the mainstream media?”

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.  There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”  ~Ronald Reagan


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Unsustainable

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”  ~Ronald Reagan, Address to National Association of Realtors, March 28, 1982

By Alden L. Benton

Sustainable.

Sustainable is the new buzzword everyone carelessly throws about in conversations on myriad topics. 

The dictionary definition, however, is clear.  To be sustainable means a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse or a process that can be maintained, or kept going, indefinitely.

For at least the past six months, politicians and talking heads of every denomination and persuasion have been bemoaning the alleged draconian impact of cutting a mere $85 billion (they originally promised to cut $109 billion) from the $3.796 trillion 2012 federal budget, you would think, as my Dad used to say, money simply grew on trees. 

If money did actually grow on trees, then the tax-and-spend politicians on both sides of the aisle could fully fund all of their hair-brained Utopian schemes because the supply of money would then be a sustainable resource. 

Unfortunately, there is no golden goose, magic beans, or a Genie in a bottle to produce an infinite supply of money to individuals, or to the government.

Our political leaders have failed.  The leadership of both parties colludes to maintain their personal power at our expense.  At best, they have been misguided and deluded.  At worst, they have perpetrated agendas designed to weaken and diminish us as a nation.  You know who they are, just read the news.

Yesterday (February 19), CNS News reported President Obama’s fiscal delusions.  The president, according to CNS News, has added a record $5.9 trillion to the debt while claiming to have cut the federal deficit by $2.5 trillion. According to CNS News,

“In fiscal 2008, the federal deficit was $454.8 billion.  In fiscal 2012, it was $1.2967 trillion.  By this measure, President Obama did not reduce federal deficits by $2.5 trillion.  He increased the annual deficit by $841.9 billion.”

The numbers don’t add up and the smoke and mirror illusions of fiscal responsibility and solvency continue.

As part of the 2011 Debt Ceiling deal, Congress gave the president authority to borrow and additional $2.4 trillion in exchange for $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years.  There have been no cuts, and Obama has run the federal credit card to its limit, reaching the debt ceiling again on December 31, 2012.

The farther we go, the behinder we get.

The so-called sequester amounts to lip service when the federal budget deficit in fiscal year 2012 was $1.327 trillion, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Table S-1 — Budget Totals. 

In fact, the president’s own budget projections show deficit spending every year through 2022 despite projecting increased revenue every year.  The total federal deficit by 2022 will be $6.684 trillion and will represent 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).  The same projections show the national debt increasing every year.

Today (February 20), Breitbart.com reports that a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in January concludes that President Obama’s policies are not sustainable.  According to the article,

“For two months, reporters and lawmakers have ignored a devastating report from the federal government itself, which warns that the nation’s current fiscal policy will lead to economic collapse.

“The Government Accountability Office (GAO) — the personal auditor of President Obama and the federal government — released its assessment of the federal government on January 17, 2013.  The report’s findings illuminate just how dire America’s spending problem is and, therefore, how little the current cuts debated by Congress do to fix it.”

The GAO is the auditor for the president and the government.  Yet, the president doesn’t believe we have a spending problem and Congress rides the same bus — a bus that is headed off the proverbial fiscal cliff. With deficits surpassing $6 trillion over the next 10 years, we will need to borrow more money to pay for that spending.  In addition, we must continue paying interest on the money we have already borrowed. The CNS News article continues saying,

“The most devastating part of the report is the fact that the federal government must run surpluses over the next century to keep the same debt-to-GDP ratio it has today.  Meanwhile, Congress and President Obama are throwing a fit over the looming sequester — which will cut a mere 1.2 per cent of total deficits (not total debt) over the next ten years — and the Senate has not produced a budget for close to 1,400 days.

“A balanced budget will not be enough to cover the rapid growth of interest payments owed on U.S. national debt in the future.  The federal government currently pays $223 billion — roughly $3,000 per taxpayer — in annual interest payments.  This number is expected to increase to $857 billion by the end of the decade, a 290 per cent increase.”

For more than 80 years, Congress and presidents from both political parties have been kicking the ticking time bomb down the road to future generations.  That is the political definition of sustainability.  The reality is that we have reached the end of the road, and the bomb is about to explode.

“We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down.  Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success — only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free.  Trust the people.  This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development.”  ~Ronald Reagan, September 29, 1981


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Insanity

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!  And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”  ~Barry Goldwater

By Alden L. Benton

The Looney Tunes in the Washington state Senate have taken idiocy and insanity to a new level.  According to a column in Sunday’s Seattle Times, language in a proposed gun-control bill REQUIRES an annual search of the home of a person who legally owns a banned gun.

This is bad enough, but the column continues, stating that the bill’s two sponsors never read the bill and were not aware of the Orwellian nightmare the bill would create.

I guess the sponsors of this bill subscribe to the Pelosi theory of governance: pass a bill so we all can see what’s in it.

The bill, SB5737, contained the following text when it was introduced on February 13, 2013:

“In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall … safely and securely store the assault weapon.  The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

I think the authors and sponsors of this bill are vying to see who can shred the most Constitutional rights with one piece of legislation. 

Miraculously, the online version of the bill does not contain the offending section.  The sanitized bill is labeled “Corrected Copy.”  How convenient.

As I have written before, proponents of this type of legislation only seek one thing — power and control. 

There is no evidence this type of law serves the stated purpose of quelling gun-related violence.  In fact, there is myriad evidence to the contrary.  In addition, the proponents of this type of law choose not to see the implications for individual and civil liberty.  Yet, they do the same things over and over again — different problem, same tired answers.

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  Unfortunately, this is the first rule of the progressive-statist Democrat (PSD) complex in government.

No matter what the problem, real or imagined, the PSD response is always the same: spend more money, make more regulations, raise taxes, and shred the Constitution. 

The result is always the same — more government, less freedom, and no solution to the original problem.  As former Senator Barry Goldwater observed, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.”

Einstein called it insanity; I call it the PSD Syndrome.

PSD Syndrome is nothing new.  It began with the progressive movement at the beginning of the 20th century. 

Many of the basic ideas put forth by the PSD complex are well intentioned, but suffer from the same faulty premise that the government should be the one “fixing” any given problem.  Connect that basic assumption with the basic PSD syndrome fix, and you have a Constitutional and fiscal disaster of Biblical proportions.

In the best of all possible worlds, at least the world the Founders envisioned, the insanity of the PSD syndrome could be countered with logic, reason, and an adherence to the principles of the founding documents — The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

However, as the PSD complex grows bolder, and empowered, through 100 years of proselytizing, obfuscation, and lying that culminated in the election of B. Hussein Obama and his cadre of cronies, crooks, and communists, the ground rules for discussion have changed.

The new ground rules are not based on principles or on any consideration of what will actually solve an issue, let alone any thought as to the immediate and long-term effects of the so-called “solution.”  Rather, the basis for discussion is now what can I give my supporters that will get me re-elected.  The arguments for and against any measure are clouded with lies, personal attacks, and misinformation. 

Reasoned discourse has given way to divide and conquer and civility has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

We must find a way to stop the insanity in the legislative process before it overwhelms our liberties and destroys our nation.

“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth.  And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies.  Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.  Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen.  Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences.  Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.  Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism.  It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people.”
~Barry Goldwater


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The Ostrich, Debt, and Inspiration from the Past

“The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man.  The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

There is an old folk tale about the ostrich.  The story says that when confronted with danger, the ostrich sticks its head in the sand. 

I don’t know if this is true or not.  However, the ostrich is a very large bird and if it does exhibit this behavior, it suffers from two problems: 1) by hiding its head, the ostrich leaves its rather sizeable posterior exposed; and 2) the ostrich is delusional in thinking that if it cannot see the danger, it is not really there, and therefore, does not exist. 

I have published this blog for 18 months and throughout my posts, I have struggled to put an appropriate label on those who would destroy our liberty and our country by any means available.  Now, thanks to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), I have coined a new term to describe her and her ilk: ostrich-statist.

Anyone with a basic understanding of simple arithmetic and a reasonable grip on reality realizes that one cannot spend more than what one earns without borrowing and that one cannot keep borrowing to pay for your borrowing.  My father used to call this borrowing from Peter to pay Paul

However, there is a very large segment of the ruling class in the United States, whether it is federal, state, or local, that seems to have no clue regarding this stark and dangerous reality.

Enter Representative Pelosi.

Godfather Politics reported today that Representative Pelosi says we need more revenue (read higher taxes) not spending cuts.  In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Pelosi said:

“We have to recognize that, which cuts really help us and which cuts hurt our future?  And cuts in education, scientific research and the rest are harmful, and they are what are affected by the sequestration.  So, it is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem.  We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address.”

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but Pelosi is only half right — we do have a deficit problem.  However, like the fabled ostrich, she is blind to the greater problems of unchecked spending, underfunded programs, and massive debt.

Nancy Pelosi, the progressive-statist-Democrats, and Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) are like the ostrich; they hide their heads in the sand and think the problem will go away. 

According to US Government Spending.com, the federal deficit, the difference between income and payments, grew from $500 billion in FY 2008 (fiscal year) to $1.5 trillion in FY 2009 and has remained at an average of $1.3 trillion through FY 2012.

To sustain this spending spree, the nation has gone deeper into debt.  In FY 2008, the gross federal debt (the total amount owed), was $10 trillion and has increased every year since then.  In FY 2009, the year with the largest deficit, the gross debt grew to $11.9 trillion.  The gross national debt reached $16.4 trillion in FY 2012, exceeding the value of the entire economic output of the United States economy (GDP).

The ostriches among us would like you to believe we can tax this problem away.  This idea is nothing but wishful, delusional fantasy.  If the government confiscated the entire wealth of the nation, it couldn’t pay off the debt.  If the government took everything the so-called rich earn, it would not completely fund one year of government spending.

Whom are you going to believe — the deluded ostriches like Nancy Pelosi or President Ronald Reagan when he said, “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

It is time that we stop listening to the dangerous, destructive, self-serving horse hockey spewed by the ostriches led by President Obama and his flock of crooks and cronies.  Instead, listen to, and follow, the words spoken by President John F. Kennedy as he concluded his inaugural address on January 20, 1962.

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. 

“My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

“Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.  With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

Consider JFK’s words tonight as you listen to the dreck spewed by the ostrich-in-chief’s State of the Union address.


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The Sad State of the American Political Mind

“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,”
~James Madison, The Federalist, Number 46

By Alden L. Benton

Vice President Joe Biden finally said something that, unfortunately, makes sense.

Yesterday (January 31) Politico reported the Vice President conceding that gun laws offer no guarantees.

“Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what we’re at now,” Biden told reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats in the Capitol.

That is the good part.  The fact that someone in Washington actually recognizes the fact that more laws won’t do any good is encouraging.  Conservatives have been saying this since the first gun laws were proposed.

Welcome to the real world, Mr. Vice President.

However, the Vice President made another statement.  According to Politico,

“I believe that the American people will not understand and I think everyone in there, I know everyone in that caucus agrees with me, will not understand if we don’t act,” Biden said.

Biden is probably right in believing his colleagues in the Senate and House want “to do something.”  The problem is first, most Americans disagree, and second, both houses of Congress have a bad habit of “doing something, even if it is wrong.”

As I have written in this blog before, there are two competing ideas clashing in this country.  One is the Constitution and the limits it places upon the government, including the process.  The second is the PSD and their myopic focus on control, which leads to the “do anything, but do it now” mania in Congress.

Conservatives and, I think, most Americans believe that creating a massive federal web of restrictions on gun ownership, creating massive databases through universal registration and background checks, and linking all this data with the Department of Homeland Security and the national healthcare system, is a very dangerous threat to our privacy and our personal freedom.

President Obama and his lackeys like Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) are dangerously out of touch with the American public and their proposals will lead only to tyranny, not safety.

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.  Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.  Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.  Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined” ~Patrick Henry


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