Do Liberals Not Trust Our Soldiers?

The murders at Fort Hood have resulted in renewed calls to lift Bill Clinton’s ban on personally owned firearms on military bases. This latest attack was the third on a military installation in the past five years, so common sense (no, common DECENCY) dictates that a change in policy is necessary. Those who essentially hate the military and think the worst of its members have had their way long enough. Their “because we say so” policy has never made sense. It has to end because it’s killing people and destroying lives.

The arguments against allowing our military personnel the means to defend themselves and their families are at best pitiful and at worst infuriating.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno is more concerned with sucking up to the liberals who sign his paychecks than protecting the men and women who serve under him, so he refuses to consider changes in the regulation.  Odierno recently said “Although we carry arms quite regularly overseas when we we’re deployed on a regular basis, I believe back here in the United States, it’s more appropriate that we leave it to that.” In this case, “leaving it to that” means continuing to allow our soldiers and their families to be in danger because he said so.

Looking to change the subject from Obamacare, a Democrat Congressman, whose district includes Fort Drum New York, has decided to move his mouth without saying anything on the matter. He’ll “consider” supporting a change, but ONLY if the military recommends it – oh, what courage!

Not surprisingly two Texas Republicans, Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Steve Stockman, are backing the change.

What is not surprising is who opposes the change. The once conservative, now “whatever I need to say” New York Congressman Peter King manages to be both disgusting and infuriating in just a few words on the subject. King dismissed the idea, saying, “…you have a situation where in a barracks on Saturday night (read when soldiers are drunk or high on drugs), you may have arguments, fights… [and people will get shot].” In other words King is saying, “Those drunken lunatics will get in fights and kill each other.”

There is no large military presence in King’s district, but there are plenty of liberals who must love what he said.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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“Sorry, We Are No Longer Accepting That Kind Of Insurance”

The captives who have been dumped by their healthcare insurance companies on Barack Obama’s orders are beginning to feel the pain Obama meant them to experience.

Obamacare was and always will be nothing more than a stick with which to flog Americans into lining up and marching into a single payer system. Single payer is a system that involves the government paying healthcare providers what the government thinks their services are worth. The details that we have been able to dig out of Obamacare include the fact that doctors’ salaries will be determined by the government. Moreover, there will be no differentiation between medical specialties. Doctors who do brain surgery will be paid the same as those who clip the toenails of diabetics and the elderly.

These rules have led to doctors opting out of any kind of insurance plan that is connected to Obamacare, and this has brought about shortages Obamacare fans couldn’t even imagine.

One of those former Obamacare fans tells her story as follows.

“As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obqamacare), I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the ‘I’m so sorry’ line before curtly hanging up. You see, when the rush of the formerly uninsured came knocking, doctors in my New Jersey town began closing their doors and promptly telling insurance companies that they had no room for new patients. My shiny, never used Horizon health card is as effective as a dollar bill during the Great Depression. In fact, an expert tells CNN, ‘I think of (Obamacare) as giving everyone an ATM card in a town where there are no ATM machines.’ According to a study 33% of doctors are NOT accepting Medicaid. Here in Jersey, one has a dismal 40 percent chance of finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid – the lowest in the country.”

There is an old Dutch saying that fits here: “We grow too soon old and too late smart.” The worse thing is that because of Barack Obama and his Frankenstein monster, too many of us might not get to “grow too old.”

Photo credit: ukg.photographer (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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Gloves Come Off: Texas Attorney General Unloads On BLM In This Letter

As Western Journalism reported earlier this week, the Bureau of Land Management’s rampage across the American West is hardly limited to the standoff at the Bundy Ranch. In addition to its complicity in selling off wild horses to a Canadian slaughterhouse, the BLM is also reportedly interested in seizing about 90,000 acres across Texas’ northern border.

Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general and likely its next governor, is not taking that potential land grab lightly. He sent a stern letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze, explaining his outrage further in an interview with Breitbart Texas.

“I am about read to go to the Red River and raise a ‘Come and Take It’ flag to tell the feds to stay out of Texas,” he asserted.

The property in question has been deeded to Texas ranchers for generations; and according to recent reports, the BLM is in the process of seizing it by force based on stipulations going back to the Louisiana Purchase more than two centuries ago. Abbott explained that the agency has been secretive regarding both the scope of the effort and the ostensible legal precedent behind it.

“This is the latest line of attack by the Obama Administration where it seems like they have a complete disregard for the rule of law in this country,” he told Breitbart, explaining “they’ve crossed the line quite literally by coming into the State of Texas and trying to claim Texas as federal land.

In his capacity as attorney general, he concluded, “I am not going to allow this.”

Abbott’s letter included a request for explanation of five specific issues.

1. Please delineate with specificity each of the steps for the RMP/EIS process for property along the Red River.

2. Please describe the procedural due process the BLM will afford to Texans whose property may be claimed by the federal government.

3. Please confirm whether the BLM agrees that, from 1923 until the ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River.  To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s position.

4. Please confirm whether the BLM still considers Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact as determinative of its interest in land along the Red River? To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s new position.

5. Please delineate with specificity the amount of Texas territory that would be impacted by the BLM’s decision to claim this private land as the property of the federal government.

He called the letter a “first shot in the legal process,” explaining the response he receives from the BLM will determine his next step.

“One of the problems is, we can’t tell what they’re doing other than trying to operate in very suspicious ways,” Abbott concluded. “We want to make sure they are going to be open and transparent about what they are doing and that constitutional due process rights are going to be protected.”

Not only has this development prompted him to act against the BLM’s targeting of additional land in Texas; he explained he is now suspicious of land already owned by the agency.

“We’re looking at anything and everything BLM either has or is considering doing across the State of Texas,” he said. “Anytime we see land grabs like this by federal authorities, it raises red flags that cause us to look into the full extent of their operations.”

Read the full letter Abbott sent to Kornze below:

Abbott Letter to BLM

Photo Credit: Facebook/Greg Abbott

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Rousseau’s American Heirs Fight The Final Prejudice

Joseph Bottom’s An Anxious Age has stirred up quite a debate over his thesis that progressivism has recently switched from setting reason and science as first principles toward eradicating prejudicial beliefs as its prime ideological imperative. The left has always had an attraction to both, however. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s romanticism has always challenged Rene Descartes’ rationalism; but after the bureaucratization and failures of the rationalized welfare state in recent times, the former’s aesthetic critique has become the more attractive argument for modern progressives.

What both strains of leftism had in common was repulsion against tradition. A typical dictionary defines prejudice as “a preconceived opinion that is not based upon reason or actual experience.” Descartes and the rationalists objected to tradition’s irrationality, and Rousseau and the romantics objected to tradition’s experience. It is curious that both rationalist and emotive progressivism first validated prejudice in the movement’s early eugenicist days. The progress in progressivism was from traditional prejudicial socialization to future reason, or social accord, or hopefully to both. So it is not surprising that prejudice became their common political target.

In the postwar United States, legal segregation in public schools and accommodations was outlawed; and the civil rights acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964 promoted equal treatment and voting. Antidiscrimination regulations were extended to sex and ethnicity. Feminism won the right to vote in 1920, an Equal Pay Act in 1963, no-fault divorce in the 1970s, sexual harassment protection in 1986, and guaranteed free contraception in 2010. With the 2013 Supreme Court decisions, same sex marriages were granted equal federal benefits with traditional marriages; and it appeared that the same thinking would also void traditional state marriage laws. The Violent Crime Control Act of 1994 set criminal penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person.

This year’s 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act illuminates the value of shifting to a focus on the elimination of prejudice. Yes, the left itself questions these laws’ success, complaining that racism, sexism, and gender discrimination are still rampant—but that is efficacious for the cause. Certainly, access to voting is now universally available; and overt discrimination has decreased, although formal discrimination complaints have actually increased. There is a large African-American middle class. Women lag male average income but, when wages are controlled for time and type of work, they have mostly achieved equality of income. Never-married women actually out-earn single men.

But there is another side to the story. The ratio of black to white income in 1947 before the civil rights laws was 52 percent; this increased to 60 percent in 1969 by the end of legal segregation—but before the mass government antipoverty and affirmative action programs had effect. By 2012, the ratio was only 57 percent, no improvement in 40 years. Worse, black unemployment has been twice as high as that of whites ever since data has been collected. Racial workforce participation rates are equally dramatic. Some of these disparities were offset by government welfare programs, though in absolute numbers, whites received more funds.

As Robert Rector has noted, the greatest differences are in education and marriage, both of which are important social supports for earned income and employment. Most black urban education is dysfunctional, but marriage makes the biggest difference in poverty levels: the poverty rate for married blacks is only 7 percent, compared to 36 percent for unmarried blacks and 22 percent for unmarried whites. Yet, to the left, traditional marriage seems part of the problem. Indeed, fighting prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens by traditionalists is at the top of progressivism’s present agenda.

Indeed, ever since Rousseau, the left has considered religion as the real front of social prejudice, ever since Christianity undermined Rome’s unifying secular order.

It was in these circumstances that Jesus came to set up on earth a spiritual kingdom, which, by separating the theological from the political system, made the State no longer one and brought about the internal divisions that have never ceased to trouble Christian peoples. As the new idea of a kingdom of the other world could never have occurred to pagans, they always looked on the Christians as rebels who, while feigning to submit, were only waiting for the chance to make themselves independent and masters, and to usurp by guile the authority they pretended in their weakness to respect. This was the cause of the persecutions. What the pagans had feared took place. Then everything changed its aspect: the humble Christians changed their language, and soon this so-called kingdom of the other world turned, under a visible leader, into the most violent of earthly despotisms. However, as there have always been a prince and civil laws, this double power and conflict of jurisdiction have made all good polity impossible in Christian States. (The Social Contract, IV.8)

Rousseau’s project for the left was to unite power once again and recreate a common secular religion for modern society, to be set by the state “not exactly as religious dogmas, but as social sentiments without which a man cannot be a good citizen or a faithful subject.” Within the bounds of these sentiments, all will be tolerated except for any who “behaves as if he does not believe them, let him be punished by death.”

So here we are today with the left’s goal finally nearing completion in the U.S. Anti-discrimination laws passed to right the wrong of slavery are extended to all of the social sentiments held by the left. Today, traditionalists opposing gay marriage can be convicted for refusing to photograph gay weddings or bake gay wedding cakes. National healthcare insurance mandates can force religious traditionalists to pay for abortifacients and other procedures they consider morally objectionable. This is a demanding project. Almost 90 percent of Americans believe in God, 80 percent say they are Christian, 70 percent pray, 59 percent say religion is important in their lives, and 40 percent say they attend religious services over a month’s time. There is also large support for many traditional religious beliefs, although not so much in matters of sexual preference or practice.

Why was eliminating racial prejudice so successful? A traditionalist entertainment industry (under a moral code from 1930-1968) changed popular conceptions beginning as early as 1936′s “Show Boat” and its revival in 1951. From Gregory Peck’s 1947 “Gentleman’s Agreement” and later his “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1962, to Sidney Poitier’s 1950 “No Way Out,” 1958 “The Defiant Ones,” 1962 “A Raisin in the Sun,” and 1967 “Guess Who Is Coming to Dinner” and “In The Heat of the Night,” among many others, Hollywood continued the push. World War II movies and news showing African-Americans fighting for their country were even more effective. The change in racial beliefs preceded the force of law. According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago polls, by 1946, a majority of Americans said Negroes were as intelligent as whites. Gallup polls found that by 1963, a plurality of Americans said they would vote for an equally qualified Negro for president, well before anti-discrimination laws would have had much effect.

Television and public education today have been as favorable to LGBT Americans as entertainment was to blacks in the past, and they have undoubtedly affected current opinion and law. But there is one enormous difference. Religious leaders and symbols were in the forefront of the struggle for racial equality, but the current battles are fought across these lines. America has so far been the great exception to the decline of religion in the wider West, but we shall soon see whether Rousseau proves the more powerful force for the United States too.

 

Donald Devine is senior scholar at the Fund for American Studies, the author of America’s Way Back: Reconciling Freedom, Tradition and Constitution, and was Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Personnel Management during his first term.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

From Bunker Hill To Bunkerville – Americans Fight Back!

When the call arrived that Bureau Land Management (BLM) agents intended to begin a “Dynamic Raid” on the Bundy Ranch in Clark County, Nevada, I responded because of several responsibilities: I am an Oath Keeper, as well as a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association–and the presidents of both organizations asked for assistance. I also was responding to the call, as I coordinated the movement of several Arizona Legislators who, on their own and with their personal funds, made their way to the Bundy Ranch at Bunkerville. There were many citizens from across the western United States who also answered the call, and there were citizens and Oath Keepers and former military who came from the East Coast! U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar from Arizona also arrived. Besides Arizona Legislators, legislators from four other western states also heeded the call to Bunkerville, Nevada. Two County Supervisors/Commissioners from Arizona went, as did a couple more from other states; a couple of former state legislators from western states, a land commissioner, along with state coordinators of several patriot and Tea Party groups, at least a half dozen pastors including Chuck Baldwin, a dozen or more long-time (100-years+) ranchers, and a goodly number of teenagers from various states…we all met in a dry, windy, dusty, and hot place named Bunkerville, Nevada.

What drove us all there…what possessed thousands of people from across the country to forge their way to this remote part of the west? The reason as I see it is rather simple and eloquent: FREEDOM RISING! The Freedom Movement for this generation began in earnest a week ago at the Bundy Ranch. The Freedom Movement answered the call to stand firm against tyranny by a centralized federal government our Forefathers feared could raise its diabolical head if not kept in check; and it has not been kept in check by WE THE PEOPLE, who are the true government of this exceptional Nation! Somehow, someway, WE THE PEOPLE became lazy and content being able to go to Starbucks and McDonald’s at will, and leave the governing to, well, government! The results are obvious to all who stood post at Bunkerville. The Federal Government of the United States has become mean spirited, vindictive, corrupt beyond belief, and vile in its hatred of free speech and citizens challenging its authority. The Federal Government of the United States has worked diligently to become all-powerful, all-knowing, all-dictatorial, and all-militarized against its own citizens who dare to question the decisions and behaviors by its agents and representatives. The Federal Government of our country has chosen a hidden agenda to be implemented that goes directly against the values and principles by which our country was founded, and directly against the good for the people.

In the days to come, I will share a number of issues associated with the fight at Bunkerville. I will share with you, as an eye-witness to history there, the rising up of the Freedom Movement by citizens of all walks of life and from many different regions in America, including the contingent now inbound to Bundy Ranch from Alaska. I will share with you stories like the prayers said prior to each public meeting, the multiple prayers openly said by citizens during various gatherings, and the prayers said by the cowboys, as a group, all sitting on their horses prior to rounding-up the cattle the BLM scattered and even left for dead. The prayers asked the Lord to forgive our Nation for squandering the blessings He has bestowed on us as a people, prayers seeking God’s counsel in righting the wrongs we have committed as a people, and prayers of forgiveness for running our own affairs of state without seeking the Lord’s purposes and wishes, for not seeking His counsel and wisdom.

The inconvenient truth about Bunkerville is that the Federal Government was caught and stopped by WE THE PEOPLE in a continuous land grab that has gone virtually unnoticed except to we living here in the west. The inconvenient truth about Bunkerville is that the people from various states in this Union stood, shoulder-to-shoulder, to stem the tide of an out-of-control centralized government that no longer cares about the welfare for those they are charged with protecting and representing – WE THE PEOPLE. Private property rights, State sovereignty, the inalienable rights of the citizen, and the care and protection of our God given resources mean absolutely nothing to the preponderant majority of elected officials, except during campaign season. Developing resumes and seeking power, public position and notoriety, money, and influence are the aphrodisiacs to which so very many elected officials succumb. And if their gain is at the expense of our freedoms, our rights, our safety, and our welfare, then their thinking is “something has to give for me to obtain that which I want.”

WE THE PEOPLE coming together and standing against tyranny and greed like our Forefathers did 239 years ago said, “NOT THIS TIME!” There are elected officials, sheriffs, and a militia of the people standing vigil at the Bundy Ranch for the next 3-months! We expect another incident provoked by the federal runaway government. The federal runaway government better expect WE THE PEOPLE!

 

LYLE J. RAPACKI, Ph.D. is a Protective Intelligence and Threat Assessment Specialist and private-sector Intelligence Analyst. He has provided Intelligence Briefings to selected members of the Arizona State Legislature on Border Security and related threats to State sovereignty since June 2010. He provides intelligence analysis to elected officials and law enforcement across the Nation.

 

Photo credit: Marissa Babin (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom