Saturday, June 30, 2012

Waxman and Solyndra

$500 million of taxpayer dollars went up in smoke in one of many emblazened attempts by President Obama to promote Green Energy.

The Solyndra fiasco should have been enough to force Energy Secretary Stephen Chu to tender his resignation.

Instead, Congressman Waxman used his presence on the House Energy Committee to justify the questionable and controversial arguments over climate change.

More government will not protect the environment, but will expand the role and reach of the state, which will in turn knock down the trees and poison the very waters that environmentalists like Waxman want to protect.

The Green Lobby is no friend of economic growth, with so many scandals and so much waste, I cannot imagine why any moderate defender of the environmental movement has not turn in his Sierra Club card in outright disgust.

Waxman on ObamaCare Drafts

Waxman wants to retain insurance provided by employers -- yet ObamaCare would punish or push employees off their employers rolls.

Pre-existing conditions.

Small businesses go into a dyfunctional market -- because of government regulation!

Access to affordable coverage requires free market forces. Ever since ObamaCare was passed, the price of health insurance has surged. There is less choice for consumers.

If choice is important, per Waxman, then why not permit recipients to purchase health insurance policies across state lines?

Improve medicare? ObamaCare raids the Medicare program to the tune of $500 billion!

Adress physicians -- fix payment rates --- SGR

Major investments in the workforce. Make them available -- do they really think that health care professionals grow on trees? Why not suspend or limit the licensure laws which create an unnecessary and immoral limiting lobby on health providers.


Waxman apparently did not feel pressed or even under duress to know what was in his OWN BILL!!!!

Of course, Waxman being witless about his own working drafts of legislation is not so  uncommon. . .

Yikes! I know that voters from Palos Verdes to Malibu can do much better than Waxman!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Waxman's Boorish Behavior -- and Poor Professionalism

Congressman Henry Waxman displays one of the most aggressive, confrontational, and unacceptable demeanors for a professional legislator. He has harrassed witnesses dragged before the Government Oversight Committee during his chairmanship. He shuts down the opposition on investigatory panels. His partisanship wars against the respect that bipartisanship requires in the fractious halls of today's  Washington polity.

Even as a ranking committee member, Waxman betrays a straining resistance to proper committee decorum. Recently, Republican chairmen are manifesting a sterner stance against "sonofab---ch" Waxman, a politician who had solidified brazenly, proudly, a rough reputation and shows no sign of abating and reaching across the aisle in a civl manner.

Is this the best that the Santa Monica Bay can send to Washington? Following the YoutTube links below, one can appreciate the wide and denigrating sampling of Waxman's boorish and uncivil behavior in Congress.

In the first scene, provided below, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich outlines a telling and commensurate understanding of the Waxman-Markey bill, American Clean Energy and Security Act, ACES, H.R. 2454 (including cap and trade). tTowards the latter part of the clip, notice how Waxman remains silent while Gingrich rips up the officious proposal that would attempt to save the environment while killing jobs and burdening American taxpayers. The verbal theatrics that Waxman engages to stop a worthy refutation of his climate change proposals are enough to convince even a new viewer of Waxman's weary work-ups that he needs to pack up and retire from Congress.

During his brief, heated, and ultimately hated tenure as Government Oversight Committee Chairman (2007-2011), Waxman threatened to remove Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-California) during one hearing, who had justly requested that the chairman respect regular order, honor the other members who had questions of their own. It is telling how Waxman loves to shut down comments and queries from opposition members, yet he bites and snipes at leadership when reduced to ranking membership (see exchange with Ed Whitfield below).

(P.S. The gavel is not a weapon, Mr. Wack-man.)

As minority leader, John Boehner (R-Ohio) ripped through the 300 page climate change bill, Cap & Trade HR 2454 a job-killer and bureaucracy-booster shepherded to the House floor by Henry Waxman. Boehner outlined sensibly the rank failure of this bill to protect the environment without taxing the American people and throttling any meaningful economic recovery. Parliamentary maneuvers on the part of the California Democrat proved rude and ultimately moot. The amendment did not pass.

Ed  Whitfield of Kentucky demonstrated a remarkable and calm savvy in the face of Mr. Waxman's disgraceful attempt to justify stopping construction on the Keystone Pipeline. Wonders indeed
abound why Mr. Waxman refused to present any decorum. He felt fully justified to shut down Mr. Issa three years ago, yet he sees no reason presently to respect the time yielded to him as a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Representative Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) served up Waxman a platter over the payroll tax-cut which Congress had stalled on. Ms.  Ellmers had no problem holding Senate as well as House Democrats responsible for their dragging out the legislation. Mr. Waxman has not lended any effort toward cutting back on the growing tax burden holding down American taxpayers. Left or right, voters in the United State need as much of a break as possible from Big Government and bigger expenditures, including the overbearing insurance mandate and cap and trade initiatives championed by Henry Waxman.

Waxman wants to wipe out any opposition to his agenda, one which promotes green causes which will chase green (as in"money") out of this country. He fights with committee and floor participants, he cuts off opposing view points, he rejects decorum in a manner unfitting a representative.

The voters of the 33rd Congressional District need a representative who is willing to work with members of Congress, not just hammer away and bolster the partisanship which refused to reduce the deficits or diminish the national debt threatening our country's sovreignty and future.

38 Years is Too Much and Not Enough for the 33rd District

One more term for Waxman is too much.

38 years -- he's been in Congress longer than the growing number of unemployeed college students have been aliving and breathing.

He was kicking around in Congress when Barack Obama was living in Honolulu.

He entered Congress the same year that Nixon resigned from the Presidency. It's time for Waxman to take a well-deserved departure from Congress.

Then again, for a politician who has bragged about refusing to run even a meager campaign to retain his seat, he certainly still commands a great deal of elected arrogance.

The United States, from coast to coast, has manifested a growing willingness to throw out the old and tired incumbents, men who have overstayed their welcome, giving off an easy complacency, as if their seat in Congress now belongs to them by virtue of birthright.

Congressman Waxman has not faced a real challenge in forty years. That kind of non-campaigning would make anyone soft and easy to dispense with.

Let us hope that Mr. Bloomfield takes into account the latent frustrations of West Los Angeles and the Malibu-Pacific Palisades coastline in taking down the former chairman of the House Energy Committee. Sooner or later, a politician cannot take every vote for granted.

South Bay Asks: Where is Waxman?

An indication of how much things have changed is that the presumed frontrunner – Democrat Henry Waxman, who has served 37 years in Congress – has yet to make a campaign visit to the South Bay. Waxman, 72, who lives in Beverly Hills, has been very straightforward about his reason for not visiting: he doesn’t need to in order to win the primary. His political and financial base has long been Beverly Hills and its more immediate environs.
(Easy Reader News, June 1, 2012

Could anything shout any louder how crassly out of touch Congressman Waxman has become?

"reason for not visiting: he doesn’t need to in order to win the primary"

Yet as far as the general election is concerned, Mr. Waxman better tool up his knowledge of this region. The voting strength here is strong enough to tilt power away from the long-standing incumbent.

The past few election cycles have witnessed long-lived legislators suddenly swept from office. The increasingly volatlie nature of American politics should put all seasoned politicians on high alert. Jim Leach of Iowa in 2006, Christopher Shays of Connecticut in 2008, David Obey of Wisconsin voluntarily stepped down from office in 2010, rightly discerning that the anti-Obama backlash would have beaten him down, despite his lengthy tenure in Congress. Other prominent Democrats were kicked out in 2010 in one of the greatest reversals of party power in Congressional history.

Mr. Waxman would be well-advised to make some move to the South Bay, if he intends to remain competitive for the 2012 election. No incumbent is safe, yet the presumed assurance which Mr. Waxman exudes should be enough to discourage him from receiving more term in office.

Waxman's Incompetent Fascination With Baseball

Congressman Henry Waxman has not distinguished himself as a legislator who prizes the well-being or best interests of his constituents. He  manipulated his chairmanship on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee repeatedly during his tenure on the committee in the later part of the 2000's.

Above, Cartoonist Gary Varel lampooned Waxman's witchhunt over steriod use in major league baseball. He vigorously impugned the character of Roger Clemens, who was later acquitted of all perjury charges related to his testimony before his committtee in 2008.

In a recent interview from the documentary "BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER" (2008), Congressman Waxman is caught both ignorant and incompetent on the matter of steriod use, including its limited legal medical exceptions. He expresses an astonishingly lacking amount of insight on the matter -- yet he felt more than entited to take up taxpayer time and dollars on a matter which commanded little interest or import for voters across the country.

For any taxpayer who manifests even a bare interest in how his or her federal taxdollars are spent, no admission could be more disturbing or frustrating the Waxman's fluster comment to having no clue where $15 million for steriod education ended up.

Waxman has never faced a meaningful challenge to his tenure after nearly forty years in Washington. He has arrogated investigative power out of pure power-fiat. 2012 is the first time that Congressman Waxman will face a meaningful challenge.

Anyone in Congress would be better that a man who spent months going after private drug use instead of attacking the public debt and entitlements that are eating this country from the inside out. Instead of indicting baseball players for using controlled substances, the next Congressman for the 33rd Congressional district needs to spend more time attacking our federal government's addiction to borrowing and spending while weaning this nation off its current addiction to foreign oil from hostile countries.

Congressman Waxman has waned in recent years, apparently convinced that he has no need to respond or respect the requests of his district. From his apparent ignorance on issues which he blasted at length on the Government Oversight Committee, to his lock-step support for the Obama agenda of expanding government power at the expense of the states and the individual citizen, Mr. Waxman has given ample reasons for cutting short his over-long tenure in Congress.

Uproar over Article 21

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights --- Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
The United Nations would dictate by military fiat to the nations of the world, as if benign coercion alone shapes the political and legal destinies of sovereign states.

The United States Constitution does not promote the will of the masses or the power of the majority. Through checks and balances, the Framers of the Constitution evisioned majority rule operating within the limited rule of enumerated powers while guaranteeing minority rights.

The House of Representatives represents the popular impulse of the nation, with representatives seeking election every two years. The Senate, the chamber for the states, would contain representatives elected by the state legislatures, protecting the powers and interests of the statehouses while frustrating the ambition of individual voters and the unique president.

An established government harnessing the impulses of the masses, the nobility, and regal ambition are clearly delinated in the United States Constitution, frustrating the encroachment of one group against others outlined on class or ethnic status.

"Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country."

This stipulation is vacuous and without merit. Mentally deficient individuals do not command the requisite capacity to discern or determine their vote for a candidate or a cause. The United States has deemed that felons should be barred from exercising the franchise to vote, along with children. "Everyone" does not distinguish from legal or illegal residents, either, as if citizenship is a meaningless trifle to be dispenses with, instead of the essential status for every individual in a community to enjoy autonomy and legal recourse.

"Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country."

Once again, the article fails to distinguish between citizens and illegal residents. The assault on national sovreignty potentially imposed by these grand, bland articulations should not be ignored.

"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

The "will" of the people is a collective nonentity, one which conflicts inexorably with individual liberty, as the growing rage of populism would threaten the property of moneyed interests for the benefit of the gaining number of individuals who choose dependence on the state.

The "will" of the people is a simplified reference to Romantic and socialist-thinking rooted in Jean-Jacques  Rousseau's idealistic and unrealistic political tract The Social Contract. The notion of human governance as an amalgam of majority agreement would lead to the proliferation of common force against individual merit and acceptance. Free societies cannot be free if the essential unit of a community is "the people" as opposed to the indivisible citizen.

The very notion of "right" has not meaning when corrupted under the banner of populist power, dressed up in the empty phrase of "equal access."

Sutherland Turns on GOP Nominee -- Backs Muratsuchi

Sutherland had backed Republican aerospace engineer Nathan Mintz of Redondo Beach in the June 5 primary but Mintz lost a place on the ballot to Republican businessman Craig Huey of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Huey is widely viewed as more conservative than Mintz, and several prominent GOP moderates are backing Muratsuchi, including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka and Palos Verdes Estates Mayor George F. Bird Jr. (

Already voters have commented that the South Bay Republican Party is facing some infighting and dissarray. Now some prominent GOP pols are lining up behind Democratic Torrance School Board member Al Muratsuchi in his bid for the Assembly. This is shameful behavior outright and outrageous. The future of California remains in the hands and minds of those voters and politicians who want to stop Sacramento from its scandalous spending spree. They recongnize that a policy of spending money that the state does not have for programs that we cannot afford while financing public employee benefits unchecked and unassumed is simply reckless. A great reckoning is forming against this state, which has already wrecked California's bond rating, followed by the ghost-budgeting which baldly (and badly) assumes that the  voters will support another tax increase in November.

Despite the Los Angeles Times' report announcing Mr. Sutherland's endorsement, Mr. Muratsuchi's campaign website ( has not listed the Torrance City Councilman's name along with the growing and glaring list of special interests which favor raising taxes and protecting state employee collectives at the expense of the well-being of the entire state. If Mr. Sutherland stands by his endorsement for the opposition party's candidate, then the Muratsuchi campaign should have the integrity to post it.

Sutherland originally endorsed the moderate GOP candidate Nathan Mintz before the June primary, who lost to small businessman Craig Huey, an experienced campaigner who surprised voters and party apparatus throughout the South Bay in winning second place against Janice Hahn for the 36th Congressional seat in 2011.

Mr. Sutherland's sudden shift to favor a  connected liberal politician is nothing but out-right foolishness. The state of California cannot afford a supermajority of Democrats who will tax and spend this state into oblivion. Does Mr. Sutherland really believe that promoting the lost cause of liberal dominance at in the state capital will serve the best interests of the state or even the city of Torrance?

Torrance City Councilman Bill Sutherland said in a statement released by the Muratsuchi campaign that he was “proud to give my wholehearted endorsement” to the Torrance school board member and deputy state attorney general. “I’m supporting Al because I believe we need common sense solutions and not extreme ideology in Sacramento,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland should be ashamed of himself for such empty reasoning as a basis for this endorsement. "Common sense solutions" have remained elusive in Sacramento because of the "extreme ideology" of the Democrats and the labor unions special interests who fund their campaigns. The extreme ideology of taxes and regulations as the answer to this state's fiscal woes is a recipe for mere fiscal anarchy, one which will frighten away businesses and entrepreneurs while securing nothing for our impoverished public schools.

Only Governor Brown's 12-point plan for pension reforms manifests the "common sense" solutions for the public entitlement spending programs which are bankrupting this state. The Republicans in Sacramento have endorse this sensible plan, yet the Governor's own party has militantly opposed these measures, refusing to articulate the proposals into any legislation. A supermajority of voters in San Diego and San Jose have signaled their support for pension reform, even though the Democratic majorities in the statehouse have still balked at these necessary measures for the entire state. Sutherland has patently demonstrated how out of touch he is with the well-being of the state and the voters, and his turn-coat endorsement of a union-backed liberal should not go unnoticed!

Mr. Sutherland does not deserve a pass out of political expediency of this erroneous endorsement, pure and simple.

Palin on ObamaCare

"Thank you [Supreme Court]. This ‘Obamacare' ruling fires up the troops as America's eyes are opened! Thank God," said Palin via an e-mail to this producer. "We will not retreat on this."

Sarah Palin could not be more right on! Bloggers. voters, commentators, voters on the center, the moderates, and paleos, neo, and cultural conservatives will come together in full force to elect Romeny and repeal this mendacious individual mandate monster.

The Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, employing judicial finesse on par with Marbury v Madison, has ruled ObamaCare constitutional based on an argument repeatedly rejected by the White House and Democratic leadership during the long and torturous passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As a tax, Congress had the authority to initiative the mandate for citizens to purschase their own healthcare or face a penalty.

The Constitution once again has regained prominence in the national consciousness, specifically regarding the true intent of the document: to the limit the role of the federal government to its enumerated powers.

"Are you serious? Are you serious?" The disingenous former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi petulantly retorted at one reporter regarding the legal and constitutional basis for the individual mandate, one which would have eviscerated the Commerce Clause and permitted the United States Congress to regulate the buy, sell, and trade behavior of the American people regarding almost everything.

See, Obama promised the American people this wasn't a tax and he'd never raise taxes on anyone making less than $200k. We now see this is the largest tax increase in history. It will slam every business owner and every one of the 50% of Americans who currently pay their taxes. The other 50% are being deceived if they think they're going to get a free ride - because Medicaid is broke."

The American people must engage the serious argument about the proper and role and necessary limitations of revenue increases. Half the people cannot bear the fiscal burden of caring for the other half. Businesses cannot carry the the responsibity for statehouses which, in refusing to guaranatee a sound financial system for state residents, have resorted time and again to hitting up wealth creators for a larger portion of their dwindling profits, cutting away at their anemic profit margins altogether.

The state cannot give anyone anything, but only take from one group to dispense to another. Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security are all dashing toward insolvency, and the growing class of dependents in this country will have to accept that they easy taking and no-giving will just have to go.

Democrats are Partisan -- They May be Parting Soon

The Daily Breeze editorial (June 27, 2012) on Democratic stone-walling on pension reform dropped just in time. No matter what the political leanings of the media establishment in the South Bay, or throughout Los Angeles, the growing unrest over public employee pensions and benefits has contributed a growing voter turnout and lobbying effort from business interests and labor collectives.

$189 billion pension liability hangs over the state of California, like a Sword of Damocles, slathered in hydrochloric acid, meat-shredders, all dripping nothing but certain doom. Governor Jerry Brown has irritated his partisan colleagues, pushing them to consider taking some steps toward limiting the state's overwhelming burden to the fund the extensive and extending retirement of the state's labor force. Republicans, at one point fearing their irrelevance in the face of growing Democratic hegemony and independent indifference,

The Democratic is developing a widening rift over the prominence of labor unions versus their claim to education reform. Select contests throughout the Southland which pit two Democrats against each other in the general election are now distinguishing themselves based on their affliation with reform or with the liberal-special interest establishment (labor unions) in this state. T

Indeed, Democratic-controlled states as a rule are struggling with growing pension liabilities compared to Republican-governed states, like Wisconsin, where party leadership and voter outrage has turned up state-wide populist motivations to bring down the costs of governing and taming the entrenched control of labor unions. Even New Jersey, two-to-one Democratic with a Republican governor, is pushing through tax reductions and pension reform that is saving state workers and taxpayers.

Public workers' collective bargaining power has short-stopped many legislators from doing the right thing for taxpayers, especially in California, where the prison guard lobby has accelerated the growth of prisons and incarrcerations and where teachers' unions have blocked reasonable attempts to hold teachers accountable and rein in educational costs with well-planned reforms. Some stand-out Sacramento politicians are turning against the labor-union arm of their party, in some cases with fractious results, yet they -- unlike the rest of the Democratic establishment -- are divining the signs of the times and want to have a state as well as a seat to govern!

2012 has already witnessed two major cities passing major penions reforms by voter initiative, including San Jose, one of the most liberal cities in the state. The rise of public employee costs has galvanized voters on the left and right to undo the stranglehold of public employee power and anti-business policies.

The Democrats -- in their heedless insistence on the statist status quo of more government, higher taxes, and expanding regulations, will only hand to the diminished Republicans the very political realignment that they are looking for to reinstate their relevance and resurgence in the Golden State.

Delaware Cares About Individual Liberty

The First State of the Union has taken the initiative to free-up online gambling within the borders of their small domain.

The First State to ratify the Constitution has become the first to take advantage of the freedom accorded by Congress to the several states which permits online gambling within the borders of every state.

The Delaware state treasury department also argues that$200 million in tax revenue will flow into the state. This is no small incentive, either. The state of California ought to broaden the gambling franchise as well for residents!

Critics in the Delaware statehouse contended that online gambling would increase the "social costs" associated with the free exercise of spending and thrills.

 However, these "social costs" associated with gambling necessarily remain elusive and undetermined, as all other "social" concerns inevitable are. There are social costs related to driving a car, drinking, and smoking, yet American history has demonstrated already the foolishness of puritanical micromanaging whenitcomes to vice and victimless crimes.

A libertarian strain is breaking out across the country, with voters from California to New York rallying against debts, deficits, and the growth in government. Freeing up the state power to cease prosecuting moral choices, which social reformers chide as against the public interest, will in the end the public interest by driving down the costs and the reach of the government into the lives of taxpayers.

Delaware has done away with the sales tax. It takes the least amount of time to set up a business in the First state (one week, according to John Stossel). Delaware has also remained a haven for large corporations looking for lower tax brackets. States across the nation should pay attention to the liberal economic reforms taking root along the Atlantic!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ObamaCare: A Win-Win for Romney

"The Affordable Care Act is an important first step in curbing discriminatory insurance company practices and increasing access to health care, but more needs to be done to bring down costs," Tim Kaine, the Democratic nominee for the Virginia U.S. Senate race, said in a statement released Thursday. (

Tim Kaine. Didn't this guy already lose one election because of his ties to President Obama?

Oh, that's right. . . the 2009 Virginia governor's race, where Kaine the incumbent came up short, the first in a line of early casualties falling under the ax of Obama's repudiation by the American voters. Virginia flipped Democratic in 2009, then returned to reality the next year to put an unexpectedly short end to the Progressive policies of the most liberal president of modern times.

Kaine's myopic and amnesiac enthusiam will not carry the Virginia senator's race in 2012, either.

Whether the United States Supreme Court struck down, upheld, or dissented in part to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the highest court in the land has handed another winning issue to the Romney camp while hindering the already self-hindered incumbents dwindling reelection hopes.

Writing for the slim majority, Chief Justice Roberts surprised conservatives and liberals in arguing that the individual mandate, the core element of Obama's officious legislation, is constitutional, yet not based on a broad interpretation of the commerce clause, but rather the mandate has a proper legal basis in Congress' power to tax.

Of course, President Obama touted over and over -- at least in 70 plus speeches, that his overhaul of health care would not be a tax. The august deliberations of the court have further undermined ObamaCare as a selling point for the President, now that he will have to back-peddle even more against the rousing rhetoric from his first year in office.

Romney took in over $1 million dollars in campaign donations within an hour after the Supreme Court delivered its ruling. This legislation remains vastly unpopular throughout the country. No matter how the mainstream media may present or spin this outcome, President Obama cannot proclaim this law an achievement for his reelection, while Romney can not only hammer the unpopularity of the law, but now dress it up in the Chief Justice's own words as a "tax", the dreaded-three letter word that Obama was trying to avoid using over the year and a half of lobbying and politicking to ram that gross legislation through Congress.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Adolescents and Church People: Cut from the Same Cloth

I used to be amazed at how bitter and unhappy students around me used to be.

One example: a lost my temper with one student, and I said some words that I regretted.

One kid overheard the comments that I had made -- and he refused to let it go.

"Remember when you called that a kid a . . . . .?"

Twice he pressed me about this. All I could do was cringe, shrugged my shoulders, then moved on.

Some students just refuse to let go. In my more cynical moods, I remarked to another teacher that adolescents tend to act like church people, just without the church, like Pharisees intent on pointing out the flaws and failures of others.

I can understand why church people and adolescents have those unpleasant characteristics in common. They are pressured by group peers to conform to a set of rules and standards. Rather than prizing the skills and traits which they already possess, church people and adolescents try to live up to someone else's standards, and inevitably defeatist program which leads to despair and dysfunction.

For teenagers, some of them contemplate suicide. Church people tend to conform more readily, or they just find another church to fellowship in. However, a growing number of adults refuse to go to church at all, so frustrated have they become with the gossip and the finger pointing which is pervasive in churches.

Like church people, adolescents nurse grudges, or at least they tend to do that. When individuals break down into groups, they can become warring factions very quickly. When life becomes about being in the "in crowd", being in the "We" instead of the "they" cohort, very quickly individuals rack up resentments and define others by what they do and have done wrong.

This kind of cold war proliferates in churches as well as in schools, and grows worse in large part because opinions about spiritual matters and identity are imprinted very deeply for individuals who are either learning about their place in this world or in the world to come.

Youth who cannot get a grip on who they are in high school will gravitate toward groupthink as adults, a shameful prison from which very few break free, so accustomed have they transformed themselves into following the patterns and thoughts of others, seeking the approval of men instead of resting in the approval of God the Father who created us and seeks to redeem us.

Young people can get caught up into the bitter tirades of the holiness crowd very easily.  I am astonished at the number of young people in Sunday Schools and Children's Church who still practice a great deal of vice and dysfunction, mostly because even in church they are taught to value the favor of men instead of the eternal love of God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

Conformity to the world is a static prison of imprints and glazed malaise, where a man or woman may fit in, yet undo the holy fitness into which we are called to enter and enjoy ourselves.

Adolescents and church people indeed are cut from the same cloth: group pressure enshrined in rules and regulations which have nothing to do with reality. Human beings are designed indeed to cooperate with others, but we cannot help each other if we depend on one another for our security and definition of ourselves and our standing in this world.

Young people, whether in secular or sacred settings as far as the world is concerned, need to learn that who they are and the values that live within them depend on Someone far greater than what they can sense or discern with their five senses. Traditions, beliefs, hopes and dreams, information and insight depend on forces, on facts, on a faith far beyond our day-to-day hopes and experiences.

We must break young and old free from the inane folly which bluntly and crudely claims that we can make our way in this world according to our own limited dictates. No set of shallow reflections could be more damaging to our youth entering an unknown future than the flimsy notion that their life, their values, the truth and error that they are acquainted with, all depend on them. They are entering a world where the rules of the game have not been taught to them, where they fear failure in large part because they do not know how to define success nor how to discern and distinguish the good and positive from the wasteful and negative information in their lives.

Young people who do not graduate outside of the opinions of others as their stable data inhabit churches and social clubs, looking for power, prominence, and purpose, yet finding none of it.

The embittered hordes of adolescence in many cases grow into the battered hordes of adults still seeking answers in our churches, where pastors and church leaders lean on public opinion instead of eternal truth.

The Windy City Goes Easy on Pot

Chicago Mayor, and former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel has not impressed many to be a calm, cool, or collected. . .anything.

Yet the Chicago city council, on a 43-3 vote, has deemed petty marijuana possession as an infraction, one in which police may issue a citation instead of incarceration. Has the chief executive of the Big Easy decided to come clean about a new therapy to chase away the jitters of his high-stakes, hectic political career?

On a more serious note, the leadership of Chicago should be commended for taking the lead on a cost-cutting and liberating move which will do more to combat crime while diminishing the number of minor offenders crammed into local prisons.

"This is about being efficient and realistic," one alderman commented. Never would anyone expect to hear those two words issue from a politician, especially a local city leader in one of the most liberal enclaves in the country. Economics and revenue shortfalls plague every municipality, rich or poor, right or left, and to see a left-leaning community of such width and influence take a relaxed approach to a controlled substance would suggest that the tide is turning against the overcriminalization of drug possession in this country -- and not a moment too soon.

Cost-cutting measures in government budgets are a necessity, one which as galvanized the controversial mayor to take on the powerful Chicago teachers' union, demanding drastic concessions and reductions in pension and pay. Yet if voters cannot stand to see less directed toward public education, then perhaps they will have no problem with curtailing the powers of the police, directing them to spend more time preventing future crimes and saving taxpayers at least one million dollars.

Imagine the green haze that will amaze visitors to the Windy City, now certain to be known for  more than the not-so-gentle breeze of institutional corruption and the crude Daley cops of 1968 infamy. Perhaps this hallucinogen will induce more cost-cutting measures, like an end to the outrageous pension liabilites which still drag on the Chicago economy. Better yet, perhaps the brief, hashish-induced euphoria will infuse alderman and city staff to give the taxpayers a break and cut the city's expenditures, including overburdening regulations and unconstitutional gun-control laws, to the irreducible minimum.

Hamlet: Polonius' Advice to Laertes

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in,
Bear 't that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
(Hamlet, I, iii)

What an example of pressed and hurrried fatherly advice, yet the chain of maxims and epithets does more to expose the folly and naivete of an old courtier mimicking the plain platitudes of royal court life rather than instructing a young son in the ways of the world.

Perhaps an English teacher could expound on this passage by linking any father's frantic attempts to give last-minute insights to a young charge about to leave the safety of the homefront. The mother eagle usually pushes out the egrets, then swoops down at the last minute if the chick fails to catch the current and take flight. Here, Polonius takes great pains to make the most of the final moments he has with his son Laertes going to France, and unlike the mother eagle, he knows that he will not be there to catch his son if he falls or fails or flails about through it all.

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.

What can man do if he has not pondered it first? What is a man to do, having thought before he has acted. "Unproportion'd" encircles a wide, perhaps disproportionate, set of ideas, including the unspoken matter of what standard young Laertes is to live by. A proportion is a matter of scale, a scale measures something unchanging. What values, what eternal verities can a courtier confer upon his son, exiting on a frantic venture to France? All advice is useless if a man is attached to nothing but the words of a parent who will be readily absent.

The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade.

"Hoops of steel", so does Father Polonius intimiate to his son the basis for having and holding his friendships. Yet what friendships will this man find or confront in his voyage? "Adoption tried" speaks of a comfort stronger than mere amity. Friends, however, cannot be fathers, nor should they be sons, in that friends will not take direction nor give the proper rebuke which every man seeks, or at least should desire. Even after describing the vetting process for every aquaintance, the aged courtier then tells his son not to "dull his palm with entertainment." This metaphor turns on wasting one's substance as well as one's character, as the  dulling of the palm may suggest bribery as well as frivolity.

Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in,
Bear 't that th' opposed may beware of thee.

"Beware" begins and ends this precept. "Be aware" cannot be a weary exercise altogether without the resolution of standing on who you are, which supplies what you have and then what you do. Avoid a fight, yes indeed sound warning, but what would Laertes fight for? He will strike down Hamlet in the end, egged on  by the false ploys of a false king who usurped the throne through adultery and assasination.

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.

"Every man", "each man", in contrast to "few" and "reserve", diminish the son who would do great things abroad for his country and king. What is "every man"? What insight is borne out for the better in any man's life as he gives heed to such a general audience as the world at large, and every man he meets? Here, as elsewhere in this soliloquy dressed up as eternal saged saws, Polonius' advice is better suited for the life of  fawning noble in a court, not a man about to make his mark in a strange and sometimes hostile world.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.

No advice could be more uninformed or ill-suited than the attention one should pay at length to one's apparel. "The apparel oft proclaims the man," Polonius claims. Yet throughout the remainder of his lines on stage, he spends more time being taken in by the wear and witness of men on the outside. He cannot discern that Hamlet is no madman, but a man who is mad at the "rotten state of Denmark". He hides, to his fatal peril, behind a curtain, where the disturbed and brooding prince hacks him away. "The clothes make the man," a casual take on this verse, is just as bereft of wisdom as well as wit, for the appearance is mere pretense compare to the purpose or the persuasion of the man underneath.

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This wise word would have well-prospered many kings and kingdoms, if well-heeded. A man who has friends indeed loses them easily through loans and debts extended at length.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Here rests a crowning indictment. A man cannot be true to himself if he is not true to anything greater. This irony, implicit in man's search for identity and stability, tarnishes the relationships of Hamlet's protagonists, where Claudius and Gertrude have proven themselves false to themselves and their kingdom in succumbing to real, yet immoral, desires for each other. Hamlete acnnot be true to his father, unless at great cost to his own conflict conscience. Polonius, a member of the court, is not there to make truth a high priority in any case. "To thine own self be true" rings forth the tuning that would render even discord in this play mute or harmonious, yet the main players, deaf to their own faults, immune to musing over their failures, only descend further into a cacophony of conflict and death.

Polonius' advice would merit far more than the last-ditch attempt to prepare a youth for the adultered world, yet either his musings are bland, blunt, or blind to the weak character or dubious title of men, where he is often promoting the way that others must conduct themselves, yet absent a standard greater than politic or policy, do not long remain or sustain themselves.

$400 K on Reviewing Past LAUSD Misconduct

"There was a sense in the aftermath of Miramonte, and other revelations of misconduct, that the public's confidence in the district had been shaken a bit."

Are the administrators of LAUSD serious? The residents of Los Angeles had had no confidence in LA School for decades. Why else would charter schools be exploding all over the Southland?

This extravagant expenditure to catch up on reporting misconduct will do nothing to end the ongoing, obvious, yet apparently less serious abuse of forcing students to attend schools which are poorly staffed, administered, and funded.

$400,000 could hire new teachers!

$400,000 could refurbish tarnished classrooms.

$400,000 could offset the disastrous budget deficit weighing on the second largest school districts in the county.

Better yet, $400,000 could fund a ballot initiative to introduce a comprehensive voucher program in the state of California, thus permitting parents and students to go to any school of their choice instead of settling for the school in their zipcode, regardless of its safety or quality.

RIP Civil War Vet's Daughter Ms. Stella Mae Case

Ms. Stella Mae Case of Playa Vista has passed away.

She was one of the last living legacies to connect us to the veterans of the Civil War.

It is amazing and disturbing how many of our elderly are passing away, carrying with them their direct knowledge of historical events that helped shape this country and define the controversies which still engage academics and polemicists in furious debate.

Ms. Case was the long-lived daughter of John Harwood Pierce, an Illinois youth who joined the Union army after two  previous attempts to enlist.

Imagine having a parent who witnessed first hand the shots fired from one brother against another brother in a conflict which tested whether any nation “engaged in a great civil war, can long endure.”

 Not only did he perpetuate a perpetual union of free man, but Mr. Pierce also suffered the ignominy of “carpet-bagger” and educated freedman, former slaves who in many cases were merely thrown of the plantations where they had endured crude involuntary servitude, only to be arrested for vagrancy or lynched for their skin color.

 And this man fathered Ms. Stella Mae – at the age of 70! Like Father Abraham, Mr. Pierce was certainly old and full of years.

I only hope that someone took notes from Ms. Case before she passed on. Imagine the rich accounts that she could have shared!

See You Later, SEIU

Union power is in decline across the country, and even the "wise Latina" Sonia Sotomayor is helping to hammer the nails into the coffin of the public union lobby. I wonder what President Obama must be thinking now, since Ms. Sotomayor seems to be moving to the right lately on more cases before the Supreme Court.

 Non-union members must be offered the option to opt out of contributing higher fees or dues before they are collected.

The SEIU -- Service Employees International Union -- has been trying to scrape together more for their political coffers in an attempt to turn back the growing tide of initiatives, votes, and political leaders. The move has been cut short by the latest ruling, which requires notice before collecting anything.

These are welcome trends, indeed. Even liberal elements in California and throughout the country are turning against coerced collectives which collect dues against the free will of individual members, who then push leaders in statehouses to give more to the public sector workers, all bypassing the input or protest of the individual taxpayer.

Ms. Sotomayor is a welcome voice on the left, if she is willing to speak up for the individual and the rule of law for the citizen. Her remarks chiding the U.S. Solicitor General's argument against Arizona's SB 1070 were also comforting.

To Maher: Republicans Care About Mexicans Surviving!

Television personality -- a euphemism, if there ever was one -- and brash liberal mouthpiece Bill Maher has issued one of the most insensitive remarks yet against the GOP:

"Republicans don't care about dead Mexicans."

The race-baiting which is dominating our airwaves today has become a nasty distraction to the growing problems associated with illegal immigration.

If any policy demonstrates  unmitigated callousness, it is the notion that extending amnesty indefinitely, that according reprieves in a piece-meal fashion actually serves the youth of illegal parents. Undoing the rule of law in this country, punishing legal immigrants and all of those who seek legal entry into this country will only compromised the safety, security, and legacy of natural right and natural law which attract so many to this country.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has made a worthy point, that if he lived in a poor Latin American country, if he had kids who were so poorly served by the state in his home country, he would do everything in his power to get himself and his  family into this country. Rubio acknowledges the spirit that motivates all immigrants to seek a better life; however, neither Rubio nor any other compassionate politicians is betraying this understanding in demanding nevertheless that any individual, any family seeking a better life, must do so legally.

I would also add, an element of this immigration debate which is still sorely missing, that the naturalization process in this country must be streamlined at length. It should not require decades for individuals to enter this country through legal means if individuals have demonstrated both the character and the caliber to contribute to this country as informed and involved citizens.

The GOP does care about the Hispanic community, but to allow for porous borders and indiscriminate and undocumented entery will only lead to more deaths, more coyote runs that endanger citizens and property, more attacks against the rule of law and the cultural comity which has brought this nation together, which has transformed many into one people.

Letting Go at Local Continuation School

J.P decided to spend the period drawing an illicit picture glorifying drug use. This and other antics of non-doing proliferated at the local continuation school where I worked frequently. J.P will figure more prominently in this segment, but before I disclose the account that ushered him into unwanted prominence, I must recap the trends and fallout of the Continuation school where I covered classes frequently.

Some students were dumped there following two years of failure and sloth. They had nothing to show for their time in school beyond discipline issues and poor grades. Then they came to the continuation school, an instution whose numbers would rise and fall depending on the amount of failure pushed out of the continuation schools.

Some students ended up at this schol because of legal issues. One young lady shared that a friend of hers had given her a pocket knife, an article which did not belong on campus. Caught with the sharp instrument, she and a friend were implicated and involuntarily transfered. Other students had transfered from as far away as Venice High School. Then there were the students who had just been released from juvenile hall, trying to get back into the legal rhythms of life, but not to great avail.

So, I was covering a home ec class, a makeshift program for Ms. B., a teacher who was forcibly moved out of her original class in the local comprehensive school. She had formed lasting bonds with colleagues, but in response to claiming retaliation for her position on growing concerns that troubled a number of faculty on campus, she received short notice that she would be teaching a set of classes at the continuation school for the next year.

"I have so many skills," she told me. "I feel sad that they are all going to waste." Indeed, all that she could assign students, pupils who showed up for only three hours a day to complete contracts.  included reading assignments from a child-care manual and individual projects outlining the gestation period of a baby in the mother's womb. She was a dedicatedhome ec teacher who was treated in so undedicated a manner, and all she could do for the time being was make the most of it.

She graciously permitted me to cover her class for two days while she attended an out-of-state conference. Two days of students sitting around and doing nothing -- behold the stagnation of this continuation school. Still, plenty of students were glad that I would be covering the class for the next two days. Most of them did not like Ms. B. (too bad for them)

The first day was slow then a pick-up into more students with less space. The third period was the largest classs -- fifty students on the roster! -- but at least fifteen of them did not show up, so at least everyone was guaranteed a seat. Since she did not bother with creating a seating chart, Ms. B and then I would content ourselves to contend with the talking and the disruptions to take role as best as we could.

For the rest of the day, I just visited with students. A few times, we could talk about issues of greater import to them -- sex, drug use, the media focus on hype instead of news -- but much of the time I sat at my desk and wrote in my journals while other students would just visit the whole time and do nothing.

In front of me, I had to contend with J.P and Art, two toughs who looked like members of a local gang (I was fully aware that gang-life was alive and latent on the campus). At one point on the second day, it sounded as if J.P and Art were discussing a drug deal. I wasn't too sure, did not want to jumpt to conclusions.

But J.P. chose to work on something else. With colored pencils galore, he depicted a whacked-out freak with teased hair smoking a long joint. In bold colors, the title on this makeshift paen to "getting high" read "Happy 420!" I could not let him get away with it. Quickly, I took him outside to ask him about the ridiculous drawing. The special ed teacher came by next to talk to a few students individually, but when I showed him the drawing, he lost his cool.

"What's this nonsense?" he shouted at J.P. "Are you crazy?"

"I thought that it was something that I should have an administrator look at," I commented on the side.

"By all means. I'll take the student to the office.

I started to get a little nervous. That was the first time that I had ever intercepted sensational material or exposed a controversy like drug use -- or a drug deal in a classroom. I was jolted further when the site administrator, Mr. A. came to the class.

"Excuse me, Mr. Schaper," he asked me, standing in the doorway while keeping an eye on the rest of the campus. "Could you tell me if the student you sent to me was doing anything susipicious?"

I began recounting to him the strange discussion that J.P. had engaged in with Art, it sounded like they were planning a drug deal. "I'm not too sure exactly what I heard," I then shared, "but it sounded to me like something bad was going on." Mr. A. looked more concerned than ever.

Needless to say, this site administrator was covering for the assigned principal, Mr. E., who in an unusual move was absent that day. I honestly do not know what was going on, that the full-time administrator could not be there, but I am sure that he would have handle the matter much better than this substitute principal.

I started to get nervous. Did I skimp on any credible details? Did I leave out anything important that might implicate this kid in something more serious. For  a few minutes, my mind was racing, fearing that perhaps I should have said more. A few minutes later, I ran up to Mr. A, articulating a more sinister picture of what I thought that I had heard. Reluctant and perturbed,  Mr. A told me,

"Well, if the kid is dealing drugs, then will get the sheriff involved, will make sure that he does not come back to campus." Those words haunted me. I did not intend for anyone to get expelled, but the overactived fears of one administrator triggered in me a greater panic, one that may have played fast and loose with the whole account of what I had seen and heard. Still, at the time I decided that it was better to be too cautious than careless.
The week ended with a wiff. I finished covering Ms. B's class for those two days, then came the week-long Spring Break.

I returned to the campus for the next week, where I saw J.P. sitting quiet and brooding on the side of the room. He  said nothing to me. So, I had returned to the school the next week after, and J.P. had become bitter and sullen.

Just my luck, however, that I covered for Ms. B once again. J.P. and Art grunted at me, nothing more. But if I thought that everything from the previous week was at that point water under the bridge, I was greatly mistake. Yet the challenge that ensued opened up a solid opportunity for reconciliation, one which I had never accomplished before with a student, as my past history with student-teacher conflict ended in hurt feelings, frayed emotions, and fears of reprisal.

Quietly, I sat down at the teacher's desk, going over some paperwork, handing out packets for students to go over for their contracts/ Then someone started throwing paper wads my way. The first one just doffed and felll to the ground near my feet. Then a second one flew over my head. Quickly, I walked around some of the student desks near mine, and I saw nothing amiss.

As soon as I took a seat once again, another wad of crumpled paper landed at my feet. This time, I picked up the crumpled paper, unfolded it so that I could read over it. The crisp, blue lines of the paper contrasted uniquely from the rest of the sheet, an off-white tinged with a hint of brown. This sheet of paper must have come from an entire ream of paper. Slowly, I looked around at the same desks which I had visited a few minutes earlier. Behold, J.P. had a ream of paper just like the ones that had been thrown my way.

"Watch, out man, he's investigating!" Art chimed out. He knew what was going on, or so he thought.

"Step outside, please," I told J.P., calmly.

"What? What did I do?" he asked my pointedly.

"Don't worry about anything. I am not going to write you up, I am not going to kick you out. I need to talk to you."

J.P. grumbled a little, but he packed up his things and walked outside. I brought a chair with me, and I had him sit outside, next to the frame of the door so that I could keep an eye on the class while talking to him.

"Do you feel picked on?" I asked him.

"What am I doing out here? I didn't do anything wrong."

The papers that had been thrown at me suggested otherwise, but I was going to take a different line with this student.

"Tell me, do you feel picked on?"

"Well yeah, I mean, you have told me to step outside. Here I am"

"I am talking to you out here because what we have to talk about is no one else's business, unless you want to tell them what is going on."

He was not willing to sit and listen to me for the first few minutes. He was argumentative at first, but mostly, it seemed, because he was scared and upset. I continued.

"Are you upset about last week?" I continued.

"Well, yeah! I mean, now the principal and the security staff think that I'm a drug dealer, and I'm not. They even searched me and everything. You got me in trouble."

I conti nued, "Now, remembed. You chose to draw that explicit drawing glorifying drug use, and it was just your bad luck that you had a really jittery administrator on campus that day. But tell me, do you deal drugs or not?"

"Well, no," J.P. answered me.

"Then you have nothing to worry about, do you? I was once stopped, detained, and searched by police in Irvine because I was in the same area as a buglarly one night. I know what it's like to be accused of something that you did not do. . . ."

"But, Mister, now they think that I'm a drug dealer, and now I'm worried that you are going to kick me out a second time."

"Look, J.P., you have a clean slate with me. As far as I'm concerned, I do not remember what happened last week, and I do not care. You do not have to worry about me doing anything to you."

At that moment, his friend Art walked up to the door, and pointed at me fiercely, "You better not pick on my friend, man. I'm keeping an eye on you! You leave my friend alone."

I smiled, "You got it!" When Art walked back into class, I finished what I was saying to J.P. "See, I have a sense of humor! I don't hold a grudge. You have nothing to worry about with me."

I kept telling him to calm down intermittently. Just as I am writing now, as then, I make no record of his upset, but rather the present element, which was that J.P. had a clean slate with me. I am certain that was a new phenomenon for him.

"Alright then, J.P.?"

"OK, Mister." Then he went back inside, and I returned to my desk. Nothing more happened that day. No paper, no arguments, nothing.

Two weeks later, J.P. was taking a standardized test in the district office. I was proctoring that day. When he saw some of my drawings, he asked if he could take a look. I obliged. It was clear to me that we had reconciled fully.

Letting go was not as hard as I thought it would be. I did have to put aside some old ideas, like trying to fight my fear on my own, or trying to bypass the conflict entirely. Not talking for a week did not help that kid get over the consequence of being sent out for the day. Still, I am glad that I took the steps needed to let this kid know that rather than just reacting to his anger, I decided to let bygones really be bygones.

Letting go never felt so good, and the results were apparent to me.

On Christie's "Missed Moment"

I for one am glad that New Jersey Governor Christie turned down a run for President this cycle, and I hope that he turns down the chance to play second fiddle (or rather double-bass) to Governor Romney on the GOP ticket.

Just as the sun outshines the moon, I cannot think of a bigger politician who commands so much media spotlight compared to the careful and calculating GOP candidate from Massachusetts. A Romney-Christie ticket would hinder the nominee, a man who is trying to diminish his New England moderation and establish his national credentials while overcoming his notional conservatism.

A recent Newsweek articles smugly suggested that Christie has “passed his sell-by date”, that he has “missed his moment”. Nothing could be further from the truth. His star is only rising. For the time being, we need leadership in every statehouse in the Union as well as the White House. Christie has served his state well. Christie should finish the job and serve as an example to governors across the country that leadership and character with can meet popular fears and political opposition with character and compromise for the good of all.

Romney has proven his credentials after four years in the Democratic stronghold of the Bay State. Now let’s see the Great Ball of Fire from Trenton finish his tenure in the Garden state. When he has completed his term, he will be the tried and true likely GOP successor in future Presidential elections.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Admonition to Preach the Gospel in its Fullness

To the Staff of ------- Church:

My name is Arthur Schaper, a believer in Jesus Christ, who saved me through His loving power.

[I have sent you one letter already. I am sending this letter with some revisions of the previous letter]

I found one of your advertising postcards "Got Jesus?" lying on the ground near Wilson Park a week ago.

There is some concern regarding the message, which needs to be addressed in order to reach out effectively for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yes, God created us with value and worth, for we are made in the image of the Creator.

We are all God's creatures, but we are not all His children. That requires being born again, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over our lives.

Yes, Jesus came to this Earth to restore us to right relationship with his Father.

He even said to Mary Magdalene: "G to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God! (Jn 20:17)

Your card states that we need a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but why? Why do we have to trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior?

To save us from the wrath to come! To save us from the righteous judgment of God the Father!

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)

This scripture is listed on the card. But why should a man care about his sins? Why should he worry?
"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." (2 Cor. 5:11) And
"It is appointed for man to die once, and after that the judgment." (Heb. 9:27)

Why are we judged? Because we have broken God's immutable, Holy Law. From Adam's fall, we sinned all. As soon as we know right from wrong, we invariably choose wrong. That is damnable human nature. (See Rom. 7)
Yet are we then condemned without hope?

The Law is our schoolmaster which leads us to Christ. (Gal. 3:24)
How does God's Law lead us to Christ? It shows us that we cannot make ourselves holy. (Rom. 3:19) It demands righteousness from us, which we cannot achieve.

Praise God the Father, then, for sending His Son JESUS CHRIST, that while we were yet sinners, he died for us, taking upon himself the wrath of a righteous God, that we may live with him, through him, and for him forever. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus Christ became sin, that we might become . . .righteous? Yea, more than that . . .that we may become the righteousness of God! (2 Cor. 5:21) That is why we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:37)

When Jesus preached the Gospel, he gave the law to the self-righteous, but grace to the broken-hearted. He condemned the Pharisees who foolishly boasted in the law, but he extended grace to lepers, tax-collectors, and sinners, i.e. to those who knew already that they were law breakers and in need of grace.
In John 8, the woman caught in the act of adultery could not defend or justify herself. She broke God's law, simple as that. Yet when Jesus charged the crowd: "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone," the crowd dispersed, leaving the woman along with Jesus. What then did he say: "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more." The woman could not escape or deny her condemnation before the law. Yet before the Lord Jesus Christ, she had a heart prepared to receive his infinite grace.
This is the Gospel! It is far more than "You need to have a relationship with God." It is more than "You have sins keep you from having a personal relationship with God." We have to tell as many as we can why they must "personally respond by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Yes "He has a plan and purpose for your life." (Jer. 29:11), but many people are content where they are now, without God. Every soul that does not believe shall die. That is an end we would not want to wish on our worst enemy!
The Gospel is ultimate Hope: God the Father, our Creator, wants to rescue fallen humanity from their just condemnation as law-breakers and sinners. When a man is confronted with his sorry, sinful state, he fully appreciates his need for a Savior and Lord. Any other gospel merely masquerades the power of the Cross and diminishes the Great Price of Christ's shed blood. What's worse, in times of trial and tribulation, a man will easily fall away if he believes that Christ came to give him a happy, fulfilling life. Those are the effects of salvation, but not the reasons for our need for a Savior.
Preach the Gospel, the full Gospel with all its power and merit (2 Tim, 4:1-2)! The world needs the Savior, but they need to know why!
Thank you, and God bless you!

Independence From Tyranny -- Not Absolute

"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." --The Declaration of Independence.

The American Colonists were not seeking absolute independence. The very notion of complete divorcement from any standard, any legacy, anyone or anything, is sheer nonsense.

Our identity, whether political, moral, or even spiritual, must depend on something else outside of ourselves. If we do not adhere to truth or to tradition, we will fall in line with fads and fashions which do not withstand the test of time.

Mankind is reeling today, from financial failures to systemic corruption brought to the forefront because of the misapplied trust in frail and easily divested men and women who claim to offer much, yet who can only give to us what we have given them, and we having nothing to offer beyond the circumstances and certainties before us, are still found greatly wanting.

Independence from tyranny: that was the calling, the theme of the Declaration of Independence:

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved."

Thomas Jefferson, and by extension the Continental Congress and the Framers of the Constitution, did not reject authority as such and claim absolute freedom, which in effect becomes the worst tyranny. What they embraced was the Source, the Highest Authority, one which would define and infuse them by origin with the rights which they received, and by equanimity are applied and evident for all, in every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, or social standing.

They appealed to common law, seeking reconciliation with British brethren, identifying themselves as worthy of the same dignity and respect accorded to all Englishmen. When they perceived after repeated injuries and usurpations that the Crown of England and her Parliament refused to recognize that the colonists possessed the same rights, the obliged themselves to dissolve the political bands and join the community of nations, appealing to a Higher Authority: Nature and Nature's God.

The modern motif has been to disabuse ourselves of any authority, as if the Declaration of Independence was a total break with everything: tradition, truth, testings, and times. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Independence from tyranny is the calling and the carried message which we must strive to divine for ourselves all the more. Never should we settle with the vain notion that we are called to make our own rules, create our own path and dispense with the world of verities and examples which we cannot escape, but merely position and manipulate with agreement of resistance.

Comment on Prager's "Middle Fingers at the White House"

Why did these activists for gay causes feel they could act this way in the White House, the most prestigious and revered building in America? Aside from contempt for social norms, the reason is that those who see themselves as victims have impaired consciences. Nothing dulls the conscience quite like regarding oneself and/or one's group as victims. The vast majority of violent criminals believe they are victims of society, poverty, racism, etc.; Islamic terrorists see themselves as victims of the West's alleged "war on Islam;" Germans in the 1930s saw themselves as victims of the Versailles Treaty; and in America today, no one sees themselves as victims as much as gay rights activists do. (

This insight dovetails disturbingly with the growing cult of victimization which reads controversy and dubious morality into the savage beating of an abusive priest, Farther Jerold Lindner, by a long-ago victim, now 45, named William Lynch.

"Victims have impaired consciences" -- indeed!

No matter what we may have suffered, we cannot run around damning others and baring tales about what we have suffered, and therefore transformed our past hurts into passing justification to make war on all whom we perceive as enemies of the aggrieved.

I take into account the current conditions of convicted child molestor Jerry Sandusky, now housed in the state penitentiary under suicide watch, while the rest of the inmates chant the Pink Floyd refrain "Leave them Kids Alone". No matter how vile the actions of the former coach, the staggered and stratified hierarchy of evil created by inmates is an offense in itself. Yet society has engaged in the same perversion, in many cases demonstrating an illicit and troubling attachment to lambasting grievous perversion in the front-page press. These salacious revelations serve not to inform or protec the public, but rather position a newspaper into highlighting heinous behavior, and thus heightening dwindling readership. The accounts of child-rape and aggravated and unmitigated assault against young people should enrage all of us, but to publish these harrowing accounts, in many cases, seems to open the wounded to further victimization, exposing to public purview very private and painful memories, while doing to inform the public on the proper steps to take to protect youth from predation.

The rampant exposure of child abuse in the media stems also from some misplaced catharsis, one in which the reading public can point at one class of individuals and cry out, "There's the bad guy!"

I speak from a Biblical point of view that such finger-pointing serves no one, and in fact stirs up empty ire while enabling another cohort of individuals, victims of child abuse, to keep being aggrieved victims. The tenets of the Judeo-Christian heritage, many religions, indicate that the fallen and frail nature of man has created the essential elements of commonality which united and indict the human condition. Death and the taxation of questions in our life afflicts everyone of us, regardless of or particular sufferings or parochial origins.

The wagging of middle fingers from a gay pride rally at the White House, the waging of class warfare in the Commons under the Occupy banner, the rise in sex abuse as a front page teaser, all of these troubling phenomena are the result of terrible exploitation, the agency  of grievance industries that stir up interest groups to pass racist, thought-crime legislation, to foster the growth of government power to hand out more to those who refuse any responsibility to make do in a fallen, imperfect world. The mentality of "forever aggrieved" has aggrandized "Leftists" like ones whom Prager indicted at the White House's 2012 LGBT pride reception. They have no right to denigrate the 40th president with middle fingers and vulgar language, regardless of the deceased president's stand on controversial issues.

This culture of "anger-as-right" is all wrong, one that even now dominates our public schools, informing students' ethnic identity based on a position of minority exploited by some rich, white, upper-class, Anglo-Saxon power structure. Yet man thinks. and his thoughts inform his emotional reactions, not his circumstances. Yet public education seems more pressed to press our youth to view themselves as victims of something, as opposed to active agents who can receive and release their lives into greater good. Our history books, our science classes, even the reading selections in English books, deny the universal condition of manking, instead reinstating the ethnocentrism which had motivated the Greeks to question the traditions of the surrounding nations, as well as their own. The notion of an educated mind, or an open spirit, was based on one who sought a standard beyond one's prejudices of predilections for the familiar. Allan Bloom lamented this terrible trend in higher education when he wrote "The Closing of the American Mind." Now, this country is witnessing the Closing of the American Fist, in which every person identifies with dependence and entitlement, demanding more from fewer and fewer, threatening the financial and social  stability of this country.