The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense


“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775


"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Democrats Worried About Obama Impeachment… Should They Be?


Here's the Nonsense:  The Democrats are worried that the Republicans may try to impeach the president, but there's no case that can be made against him.

Here's the Horse Sense:  This isn't just about a single issue to be considered. This president has done many things without being held accountable for them, but impeachment could bring other problems for the Republicans.

The Daily Caller is reporting that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is so concerned about movement towards impeachment of President Obama by House Republicans that they have sent out an email trying to raise support to stop Republican ability to do anything against the president.  Should the Democrats be so concerned?  Better yet, should Americans be concerned that their president may have done things that are worthy of impeachment?  Is this just bickering between political parties, or is there something to this?

Over the course of his 5 years in office there has certainly been no lack of concern raised by many about actions the president has taken.  Often the president has been accused of violating the Constitution, breaking our laws.  But those claims are regularly met with Democrat opposition crying foul and saying that the only reason Republicans are against President Obama is because of his race, which is up to half black.  The term "racism" has become a standard cry of the left against anyone who disagrees with anything this president says or does.  Now we not only have the left screaming racism, but the right are considering impeachment.  My previous post on racism explained the real purpose of the left using that terminology.  This post will examine whether there really have been things that are worthy of impeachment.

I'm not an attorney, let alone a constitutional scholar.  I'll leave the technical legal details to people far better qualified than I am to deal with those things.  However, I, like any other American citizen, can look at the issues that have been raised and draw conclusions.  It doesn't take advanced education to understand when there might be a problem or when there is nothing to a claim, especially when you have so much to deal with as we do with this administration.  My post here will certainly not be exhaustive, but should give us enough to think about to decide if there is reason to support or block Republican impeachment considerations.

One thing that certainly should raise concern is when a well-respected publication like Forbes is addressing this issue.  In fact, what really caught my attention was a December 23rd Forbes article by Ilya Shapiro titled "President Obama's Top Ten Constitutional Violations of 2013."  It would be one thing to have an article titled to reflect a president's 10 violations of our laws, but when an article by a respected publication like Forbes comes out and refers to the "Top 10" it implies there have been more than 10.  Plus, when it restricts the subject to just 2013, that means that they have found more in the 4 years prior to 2013.  

The fact that there is one violation should be of concern. The idea that there have been more than 10 in just the past year alone, plus obviously more in previous years, should make us sit up to take notice.  Here's Shapiro's Top 10 List for 2013:


1. Delay of Obamacare’s out-of-pocket caps. 
2. Delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate. 
3. Delay of Obamacare’s insurance requirements. 
4. Exemption of Congress from Obamacare. 
5. Expansion of the employer mandate penalty through IRS regulation. 
6. Political profiling by the IRS. 
7. Outlandish Supreme Court arguments.
8. Recess appointments. 
9. Assault on free speech and due process on college campuses. 
10. Mini-DREAM Act. 
Mr. Shapiro concludes his article by saying, "It was hard to limit myself to 10 items, of course—Obamacare alone could’ve filled many such lists—but these, in my judgment, represent the chief executive’s biggest dereliction this year of his duty to 'preserve, protect, and defend' the Constitution, and to 'take care that the law be faithfully executed.'”  

Mr. Shapiro isn't the only voice expressing concern over what this president has done.  Professor Jonathan Turley, an Obama supporter and highly respected among the left recently testified before a congressional committee saying, "The problem with what the president is doing is that he's not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system.  He's becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid.  That is the concentration of power in every single branch."

That should be enough to give us concern.  But let's not be so simplistic.  Here's a list of concerns that I came across on the 90 Miles From Tyranny blog that other people have raised:
    • USED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IN REGARDS TO FAST & FURIOUS GUN RUNNING SCANDAL. WHEN GOVERNMENT MISCONDUCT IS THE CONCERN EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS NEGATED.
    • 23 EXECUTIVE ORDERS ON GUN CONTROL - INFRINGEMENT OF THE 2ND AMENDMENT
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER BYPASSING CONGRESS ON IMMIGRATION – ARTICLE 1 SECTION 1, ALL LEGISLATIVE POWER HELD BY CONGRESS
    • NDAA – SECTION 1021. DUE PROCESS RIGHTS NEGATED.  VIOLATION OF 3RD, 4TH, 5TH, 6TH, AND 7TH AMENDMENTS.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 13603 NDRP – GOVERNMENT CAN SEIZE ANYTHING
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 13524 – GIVES INTERPOL JURISDICTION ON AMERICAN SOIL BEYOND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE FBI.
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 13636 INFRASTRUCTURE CYBERSECURITY – BYPASSING CONGRESS ARTICLE 1 SECTION 1, ALL LEGISLATIVE POWER HELD BY CONGRESS
    • SIGNED INTO LAW THE ESTABLISHMENT OF  NO FREE SPEECH ZONES – NONCOMPLIANCE IS A FELONY. VIOLATION OF 1ST AMENDMENT.
    • ATTEMPT TO TAX POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS – 1ST AMENDMENT
    • DOMA LAW – OBAMA DIRECTED DOJ TO IGNORE THE CONSTITUTION AND SEPARATION OF POWERS AND NOT ENFORCE THE LAW.
    • DODD-FRANK – DUE PROCESS AND SEPARATION OF POWERS. CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU WRITING AND INTERPRETING LAW. ARTICLE. I. SECTION. 1
    • DRONE STRIKES ON AMERICAN CITIZENS – 5TH AMENDMENT DUE PROCESS RIGHTS NEGATED
    • BYPASSED CONGRESS AND GAVE EPA POWER TO ADVANCE CAP-N-TRADE
    • ATTEMPT FOR GRAPHIC TOBACCO WARNINGS (UNDER APPEAL) – 1ST AMENDMENT
    • FOUR EXEC. APPOINTMENTS – SENATE WAS NOT IN RECESS (COURT HAS RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL YET THE APPOINTEES STILL REMAIN)
    • APPOINTING AGENCY CZARS WITHOUT THE “ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE.”  VIOLATION OF ARTICLE II, SECTION 2
    • OBAMA TOOK CHAIRMANSHIP OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL – VIOLATION OF SECTION 9.
    • OBAMACARE (ACA) MANDATE – SCOTUS HAD TO MAKE IT A TAX BECAUSE THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY FOR CONGRESS TO FORCE AMERICANS TO ENGAGE IN COMMERCE.
    • CONTRACEPTIVE, ABORTIFACIENTS MANDATE VIOLATION OF FIRST AMMENDMENT
    • HEALTHCARE WAIVERS – NO PRESIDENT HAS DISPENSING POWERS
    • REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE STATE’S 10TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO NULLIFY OBAMACARE
    • GOING AFTER STATES (AZ LAWSUIT) FOR UPHOLDING FEDERAL LAW (IMMIGRATION) -10TH AMENDMENT.
    • CHRYSLER BAILOUT -TARP - VIOLATED CREDITORS RIGHTS AND BANKRUPTCY LAW, AS WELL AS TAKINGS AND DUE PROCESS CLAUSES – 5TH AMENDMENT (G.W. BUSH ALSO ILLEGALLY USED TARP FUNDS FOR BAILOUTS)
    • THE INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD (APPOINTEES BY THE PRESIDENT). ANY DECISIONS BY IPAB WILL INSTANTLY BECOME LAW STARTING IN 2014 – SEPARATION OF POWERS, ARTICLE 1 SECTION 1.
    • CONGRESS DID NOT APPROVE OBAMA’S WAR IN LIBYA. ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, FIRST ILLEGAL WAR U.S. HAS ENGAGED IN. IMPEACHABLE UNDER ARTICLE II, SECTION 4.
    • OBAMA FALSELY CLAIMS UN CAN USURP CONGRESSIONAL WAR POWERS.
    • OBAMA HAS ACTED OUTSIDE THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER GIVEN HIM – THIS IN ITSELF IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
    • WITH THE APPROVAL OF OBAMA, THE NSA AND THE FBI ARE TAPPING DIRECTLY INTO THE SERVERS OF 9 INTERNET COMPANIES TO GAIN ACCESS TO EMAILS, VIDEO/AUDIO, PHOTOS, DOCUMENTS, ETC. THIS PROGRAM IS CODE NAMED PRISM. NSA ALSO COLLECTING DATA ON ALL PHONE CALLS IN U.S. – VIOLATION OF 4TH AMENDMENT.
    • PLANS TO SIGN U.N. FIREARMS TREATY – 2ND AMENDMENT.
    • THE SENATE/OBAMA IMMIGRATION BILL (APPROVED BY BOTH) RAISES REVENUE – SECTION 7. ALL BILLS FOR RAISING REVENUE SHALL ORIGINATE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES;
    • OBAMA REFUSES TO UPHOLD THE BUSINESS MANDATE LAW (ACA) FOR A YEAR.  PRESIDENT DOES NOT HAVE THAT AUTHORITY – ARTICLE. I. SECTION. 1. ALL LEGISLATIVE POWERS HEREIN GRANTED SHALL BE VESTED IN A CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. THE PRESIDENT ”SHALL TAKE CARE THAT THE LAWS BE FAITHFULLY EXECUTED” -ARTICLE II, SECTION 3.
With this many concerns having been raised, it seems that not only might there be basis for the Republican actions being considered, but that failing to take action and even having waited so long to do so might make us consider how derelict in their duty so many Republicans have been for not holding this administration accountable, as the legislative branch of our government is supposed to do.  

What we do know is that even if the Republicans were to bring impeachment in the House of Representatives, the Senate would never follow through.  Just like with Bill Clinton, the Senate would circle the wagons and protect the president because if the president is held accountable, then other elected officials might, too, be held just as accountable.  And with the corruption and elite ruling mentality that pervades most of Washington, we can be sure they would never endanger themselves by holding someone else accountable.

If the Republicans do bring impeachment charges against the president, they will be in for an attack by the left that dwarfs any such efforts the left has made in the past.  Racism will become the number one term used in every headline by the mainstream media and the Republicans will be severely damaged in their 2014 congressional races.  And with the majority of the voting public being not only uninformed, but dangerously foolish in the way they vote, chances are pretty good that they'd buy what the media tells them and see the Republicans as evil racists trying to tear down our country.

The question comes down to whether the Republicans are willing to be leaders.  A true leader is one who does what is right regardless of the cost to themselves.  Taking this stand could create a situation for the Democrats to regain control of the House and retain control of the Senate, giving them absolute power to do whatever they chose during the next two years of Obama's presidency.  And we already know that this president punishes people for standing against him, so it wouldn't be a pretty sight for America if impeachment were to fail in both houses of Congress.

So, should the Republicans pursue impeachment, or are there better ways to deal with these things?  I will leave the answer for you, the reader, to decide.  



Monday, December 23, 2013

Ignorant Americans Think Cracker Barrel Restaurants Were Wrong

Here's the Nonsense:  Cracker Barrel has quit selling some Duck Dynasty products and should be punished for standing against the Robertson family.

Here's the Horse Sense:  People aren't paying attention. Cracker Barrel only cut off products that send profits to A & E.  They still sell products that give the Robertson's all the profit.

America is in trouble not just because of what's going on in Washington, DC.  We are in trouble because our citizens are ignorant and making no effort to be informed.  They react without complete information and thereby can cause more damage instead of making things better.  Case in point would be Cracker Barrel Restaurant's response to the controversy of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson GQ interview.  It is reported that Cracker Barrel has discontinued selling some Duck Dynasty products but continues to sell Duck Commander products.  Americans are angry at Cracker Barrel and accusing them of not standing with the Robertsons for freedom of speech and religion. What people don't realize is that what Cracker Barrel is doing is the most supportive thing they could do for the Robertsons.

People have bought out Duck Dynasty products at stores around the country thinking they are supporting the Robertsons in this situation.  What they didn't stop to think about was that Duck Dynasty products not only pay a royalty to the Robertsons, but also to A & E since it's an A & E show.  The Robertsons themselves have asked the public not to buy those products but to buy their Duck Commander products instead because that will send the profits to the Robertsons and cut out A & E. 

But the public aren't paying attention and reacting negatively against Cracker Barrel who has done exactly what will benefit the Robertsons and penalize A & E the most.  For those who love the First Amendment and support freedom of religion and speech, that is about the best thing they could have done. 

The only thing that would have been better would have been for them to pull all Duck Dynasty products.  They made the mistake of trying to walk a middle line by pulling those products with Phil Robertson's picture on them.  That still allowed some Duck Dynasty products on their shelves that give profits to A & E.

America is in trouble for many reasons, but central among them is the lack of effort Americans make to be informed on situations before they react.  Based on the reports of what they're doing Cracker Barrel should be supported and praised, not chastised. 

Cracker Barrel has received so much negative response for their actions that they have decided to put the Duck Dynasty products they had pulled from their store back in them.  While it is good they are responding to the public's concerns, it's too bad their customers didn't understand the whole story and push for them to carry only Duck Commander products and drop all remaining Duck Dynasty products so that A & E would be penalized while supporting the Robertsons. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Racism: Not What The Progressives Claim It Is


(special thanks to Janie Johnson for sharing this Glenn McCoy cartoon on Twitter)

Here's the Nonsense:  Anyone who disagrees with President Obama is obviously a racist.  In fact, disagreement with any black person is always based on race and shouldn't be tolerated.  

Here's the Horse Sense:  Sometimes people just disagree, regardless of what race anyone is.  It's time we quit using terms like "racist" to demonize someone you don't agree with so that their argument isn't considered valid.

What should we think of people who disagree with the views of someone who is black, or any other non-white race for that matter?  Does that make them racist as many on the left seem to presume?

These days it's common when someone disagrees with a person who is black, such as the president, that they are immediately called a racist.  But is that a legitimate accusation?  The dictionary defines a racist as someone who believes that a certain race is superior to another race or all other races.  So how does disagreeing with someone's viewpoint make you a racist?  Quite frankly, it doesn't.  The accusations that are being made are not only inaccurate, they are downright stupid.  And if the use of the word isn't out of stupidity, then it is being used as a weapon to try to demonize people and discredit them.  

This is exactly what progressives do.  They use false arguments, lies, and anything else they need to in an effort to discredit the people who disagree with them.  They cannot argue their positions effectively using facts so they attack those who disagree with them in order to discredit them and eliminate the need to defend their leftist views.  

One of the most effective things they have come up with is to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being racist.  This currently works well for them because the present figurehead of their movement is President Obama whose appearance is that of a black man, even though he is half white and part black (some people claim that research has shown his father was not all black which would make the president not just half black, but less than half black and that would make his predominant race white).  But their argument has nothing to do with race.  It is just a tool.  If Hillary Clinton were president, and thereby the firgurehead of their movement, they would probably call people who disagree with them sexist.

The effectiveness of using the term "racist" is heightened by the flames of racial division that they have fanned in our nation in recent years.  When there is any chance at making something look like a racial issue, whether it is or not, they fan the flames with their mainstream media counterparts jumping on the bandwagon to join in the frenzy.  A good example everyone should remember is the Trayvon Martin case.  The left went crazy trying to make the issue about race, yet when far more blacks are killed by other blacks there is virtual silence.  Race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are quick to jump in and scream racism but won't face their own hypocrisy on these issues.

These accusations of racism against anyone with any sort of reservations about a progressive viewpoint are very troubling.  It shuts down rational discourse among people to find solutions to our problems.  If both sides of the political spectrum really want what's best for America, then they would try to find common ground and look for solutions.

Let me say here, though, that by "common ground" I do not mean compromise.  What I mean is agreement on the definition of what our problems really are.  For example, if we agree that the nation's continually increasing debt will destroy us, then we can work to find a solution to fix it.  However, this example is a moot point because not only do the Democrats and media think there is no problem with our debt, the establishment Republicans don't think so either.  So you cannot find solutions until everyone agrees that there really is a problem.

If the progressives are correct about racism then that means that ANYONE who disagrees with a black person about ANYTHING is a racist.  For the progressive it seems that no matter what someone disagrees with President Obama about results in their referring to them as racist.  A question for the progressives would be whether there is anything that someone could disagree with the president about and not be racist.  Sounds ridiculous, but the fact is that it is a question that exposes their lack of intellectual honesty.

For example, if someone says they disagree with Obamacare, the progressive is quick to label them a racist.  His logic is probably something like this:  

The president is black and Obamacare is his signature legislation.  If someone disagrees with it they must be against it because the president is black.    

It is very faulty logic.  The fact that Obamacare is already proving to be a disaster, the vast majority of Americans don't believe that the government can handle healthcare, and study after study show the faults in the program mean nothing to a progressive.  Why?  Because their ideology doesn't allow them to question their goals.  They must destroy the other side using any means necessary.  They are not out to solve problems.  They are out to transform America into a nation where only an elite progressive few make all decisions for everyone else.  

If you were invited for a ride with the president and the president's limo didn't have any wheels on it the progressive would say you're racist if you felt that the president was wrong to believe that the limo would get you anywhere.  That's what a person who is blinded by ideology thinks.  You will never get them to agree there's a problem because their ideology doesn't allow them to consider the truth.  The only way they can win the argument is to demonize and call you a racist.  Then everything you say means nothing because you are not considered a trustworthy source.

It's even used when race is nowhere in sight, but they want to destroy your credibility because they see you as a threat.  That's why when Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty responded to a question in a GQ magazine interview that he believed what the Bible says about homosexuality, those on the left attacked him and one of the things they called him was racist, even though it had nothing to do with it.  Ben Shapiro at Breitbart News tweeted:  "If Phil Robertson had cited Koran 26:165-166 instead of I Corinthians 6:9, the left would now be silent."  Mr. Shapiro is right.  Logic is abandoned in an effort to win their argument.  Their position is illogical and we weaken our position when we accept their premise that defines racism the way they do.  

Using their logic, a white person's disagreement on anything with a black person means that they are racist.  If a black person prefers sirloin steak for dinner and a white person doesn't agree, then they would be a racist for feeling that way.  Or if a black person prefers to wear green shirts and a white person doesn't agree, then once again using their logic, the white person is a racist.

See the problem with their argument?  When we take an argument to an extreme it must hold up or it is nonsense.  Their arguments are nonsense and they don't care because their intent isn't to prove you're a racist, it's to discredit you and demonize you.  This is right out of their playbook, Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.  We can't win the argument with them if we allow them to define the terms of the discussion.

Simply asking them how your position is racist won't get you anywhere.  You must use logic and take apart their argument or you will be down in the mud with them and you will never get them to consider your point.  And taking their logic to an extreme, as I just did, exposes them.  They cannot defend it.  For if they allow that a white person can disagree with a black person on some things, then they have to allow disagreement on other issues as well.    

But if it’s racist to question the arguments of blacks, then what should we call someone who beats up black people, or prefers not to hire them, or wishes evil upon them? Disagreement is not the same thing as discrimination. Our language can expose the difference.  But it takes an open mind on the receiving end to understand it.  Only closed-minded people reject a position without considering it.    

A key element of the term “racist” would be hostility or malice toward the black community. Simply having a difference of opinion with a black person and saying so in a respectful way, is no reason to automatically assume the person is racist.  Disagreement doesn't make you anti-black.  If you disagree with your spouse are you anti-wife or anti-husband?  If you disagree with your child are you anti-child?  If you disagree with your boss's decisions does that make you anti-company?  (I know, that last one is probably more often than not misunderstood by bosses, but the fact is that there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with them when their logic is faulty.  See my book on leadership, Many Are Called But Few Can Manage, to learn more on how managers should lead.)

Disagreement in a respectful fashion is not wrong.  It is not hateful.  In fact, disagreement is often the best way to find solutions when the disagreement is about how to fix something.  The problem with progressives, no matter which side of the political aisle they sit on, is that they do not recognize as problems those things that are destroying our nation.  Whether it's Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, or any of the other progressives in government, their goal is to have more power, not fix America's problems.  

With progressives there is such closed-mindedness and devotion to ideology over rationale that you cannot debate with them logically.  It is important to understand that their politics must be overcome because they are not interested in finding ways to solve America's problems.  They only want to transform America into a society without freedom where they can control what you do, where you live, where you work, and what you think.  It's time to get them out of our lives once and for all.  America needs good old self sufficiency, not the fundamental transformation that the progressives are trying to force upon us.




Monday, December 16, 2013

My Most Important Post About Saving America

Here's the Nonsense:  All this uproar over a few different unrelated news stories is overreaction.  We need to listen to the government and everyone will be a lot better off.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Recognize it or not, stories we are seeing in the news are a warning to Americans that we are losing our freedoms. My post last week, along with this one, are some of the most important I've ever written.


Read this post if you didn't think that my last post was possibly the most important I've ever written.  It should change your mind.  Why?  Because my last post talked about the government forcing citizens to do things.  Not just any citizen, but every citizen.  But even with such an important topic, many people didn't understand just how important it is.  Now, just a week later, 2 more news stories that are totally unrelated show us more reasons we must take action.  

The most recent school shooting happened at the end of last week at a high school in the Denver area.  Just 14 years after the Columbine High School massacre that thrust school violence into the headlines across the nation, Arapahoe High School, about 10 miles from Columbine High School, had an incident of their own.  And, ironically, it happened at the same time of year as last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.  But unlike Columbine, Sandy Hook, or other shooting tragedies we've heard of in schools in recent years, this one took a turn that isn't being reported very widely.  Fox News reports that this one was stopped in 80 seconds because there was an armed security officer in the school.  When confronted by that security officer, the shooter took his own life, realizing he could not succeed.  Yes, he did injure one student, but that was it.  He did not have time to hurt anyone else and another massacre was avoided.

Initially reports came out that the shooter had socialist political views.  But quickly the mainstream media scrubbed such information because it doesn't fit their narrative, although conservative news sources like RealClearPolitics are still reporting it.  By now you should know that the mainstream media quickly look to point to shooters as being right wingers.  They look for NRA memberships, Republican Party membership, church goers, anything to tie them to the right, even though we most often find them to be leftist in their views.

In fact, the mainstream media aren't even saying much about the fact that he used a shotgun, not an "assault" weapon.  Or that he bought the gun legally and was approved by the process set forth in the Colorado gun laws that were recently increased and made tougher.  

Why are they so quiet?  Because the left doesn't want to face the fact that the NRA's Wayne LaPierre was right when he said after the Sandy Hook shooting that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  That's exactly what happened in this situation.  A good guy (or woman, we're not sure what gender the security officer was) confronted the shooter and didn't even have to fire a shot.  The intimidation by the presence of an armed guard was enough for the shooter to give up, and in this case take his own life.  

Now, you say, how does this apply to last week's post about the government forcing a businessman to do something against his religious convictions under the threat of fines and jail and, thereby, potentially forcing any and all citizens to do things against their consciences?  Very simply, it relates because the idea that those on the left, whether it be in the media or elected political office, are trying to control what people think.  This time it's by manipulation of facts and information.  By controlling the flow of accurate and complete information to the public, they are trying to affect the public opinion about gun control.  They won't face the fact that a good guy with a gun stopped a horrendous crime when a bevy of new gun control laws didn't. 

But that's not enough.  In what appears to be a totally unrelated story, Forbes is reporting that the federal government is putting pressure on insurers to cover Obamacare enrollees at a financial loss.  The White House, through the Dept. of Health and Human Services, is asking insurers to cover enrollees who've not yet paid for their coverage.  Now you might think that that's no big deal but the Forbes article says:  

“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.”

In other words, do as we ask or you'll pay dearly.  Thuggery, plain and simple.  In one sense it serves the insurers right for being so stupid and selling out their souls and not standing up to this monstrosity of legislation in the first place.  But the bottom line is that whether the insurers are stupid or not, that doesn't mean they should be forced to lose money.  Yet when you have a government intent on running the insurers out of business so they can replace them with a single payer system that will cripple American healthcare like few citizens even comprehend, it really is not a surprise.

And once again you're probably asking what this has to do with last week's post.  It's quite simple.  Here we again have government forcing something on us against our will.  Sure, you might say, "but this is on business, not citizens."  But if they can force it on business it's no different than forcing it on private citizens.  America's economy can only prosper when allowed to function freely in the marketplace.  When we damage business, we damage our economy which, in turn, affects jobs and every other economic aspect of our lives.

So, whether it's the baker I talked about last week who is being forced against his religious conscience to do something, or the insurers being forced to lose money, or the control of information in the news cycle, it all points to the same thing:  Tyranny.  And in this case, tyranny with a complicit media.  These people, in the government and the media, are doing this because they believe they know what's best for you.  They believe that you don't know how to live your life and that they should make the rules to control your life. They believe they are doing what's best for you.  That's the worst kind of tyranny.  

In my last book, No Tomorrows, I quoted C. S. Lewis who wrote about this kind of tyranny over 60 years ago:

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

What are you doing to stop it?  What are you doing in your sphere of influence to help change the way things are going in our country?  Does it matter to you, or do you just get angry and go on with your life as our nation crumbles before our eyes?





Monday, December 9, 2013

What Will The Government Force You To Do?


Here's the Nonsense:  We must force people to abandon their values if they conflict with what's correct thinking.  We cannot have a society that will grow and prosper if we allow these closed-minded troublemakers among us.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Values must be based on what is right and wrong.  That cannot be a moving target that changes on the whims of those in power.  When that happens, we are only inches from the loss of all of our freedoms.

It used to be that people could have differences and still get along.  If they couldn't come to agreement on things they would agree to disagree.  That was the beauty of America.  People could be different and get along.  People were allowed to live their own lives and not be forced to do things that violated their conscience.  But today that's not the case.  We are seeing our own government now force citizens to do things that go against their values.  And they do it in the name of what's "right."  But right is defined on their terms and based on the situation at hand.   They believe there is no universal standard for right and wrong.  Each situation determines its own set of ethics.  What just happened to a baker in Colorado who is being forced to do something that violates his values is also happening elsewhere in America.  It's a sign that our freedoms are almost lost.

No longer do you have rights in America, at least not if you're a member of an unprotected class.  In this case it's a baker who is a Christian, but it could be you if you don't follow the rules as set by the politically correct left.  

Jack Phillips, a baker in Denver, has had a ruling made against him in court.  The ruling shows that even the judge doesn't understand what went on.  But that doesn't matter.  It is a perfect example of where the left is taking us… which is in the opposite direction of freedom.  Phillips owns a shop that specializes in baking cakes.  A gay couple went into his store and asked him to make a cake for the wedding they said they'd had in Massachusetts and were going to celebrate in Colorado.  Phillips said he'd be happy to sell them anything he makes, but he said his religious beliefs would keep him from making a wedding cake for a gay marriage.  The case went to court and now a judge in Denver has ruled that Phillips must provide wedding cakes for gays or suffer fines and possible jail time for being discriminatory.  

The news reports have mostly focused on the idea that this is discrimination and have said that the baker refused to do business with the couple.  But the facts are that he did not refuse to do business with them.  He offered to let them purchase anything they'd like, but declined to make a custom wedding cake because it was a violation of conscience for him.  Yet the court ruling, and all the leftists and ignorant citizens out there who aren't capable of thinking logically, believe that he was discriminating against the men and that that takes precedence over honoring his religious freedom.  This is not about discrimination, as the left would have you believe.  This is about religious freedom.  This is about a man's right to believe as he chooses.  But the left doesn't see it that way.

The main reason people fled to America from Europe was to escape religious persecution.  My own family came here in the early 1600s for freedom.  Then, about 2 centuries later, they revolted against their oppressive British government to assure freedoms in our nation that no nation before or since has ever given to its citizens.  And core among those freedoms was religious freedom.  Not freedom for religion to do terrible things to others, but freedom to worship as men choose.   Yet here we have a case where a man is being told he must do what he is told and violate his religious conscience.  

When the Nazis right to march in Skokie, IL (a predominantly Jewish community north of Chicago) was upheld it was because they had the right to free speech and thought.  They were disgusting and yet as long as they did not harm anyone, their right to march was upheld.  But Jack Phillips is not allowed to say, "I'll be happy to do business with you in any other area, but I cannot make a custom cake for your wedding because it's against my religious convictions."  He MUST serve them.  

In an interview on the Peter Boyles Show on KNUS radio in Denver Monday morning, Phillips' attorney said, "The State of Colorado and the Civil Rights Commission want a plan from Jack [Phillips] about how he is going to rethink and fix his way of thinking."   This is rehabilitation just like the old Soviet Union used to do when they'd send someone away to a mental hospital or the gulag to change their thinking.  This is what North Korea does in their slave labor camps.  This is what totalitarian regimes do to control the thoughts of people (I guess Rush may not be far off when he refers to this administration as "the regime").

In a similar case in Oregon, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian spoke of what those running that state believe is their purpose in going after those who would claim these religious liberties, "Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn't mean that folks have the right to discriminate.  The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.  For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon."

The goal is to "rehabilitate."  They want to correct your thinking so that you think properly, according to their politically correct rules.  You are not allowed to think differently.  You are not allowed to think for yourself.  

What would have happened if the cake shop owner were black and some Ku Klux Klan members came in and wanted a cake to celebrate the KKK?  Or what if a Jewish baker was forced to make a cake to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday?  How about a Jehovah's Witness baker who would be forced to make a birthday cake?  How about a Muslim baker who would be asked to make a wedding cake for gays --  oops, no, never mind, that one doesn't count because Muslims are exempt from political correctness in America.  

And it's not just about bakery owners and weddings.  It's about all sorts of additional things.  What if a pharmacist who is pro-life is forced to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill, which is an abortifacient?  Or what if a doctor who is pro-life is forced to perform an abortion?  What if a teacher that believes in creationism was forced to teach evolution as fact and not the theory that it is?  

Some things are already happening forcing people to do things against their will and/or conscience.  For example, under Obamacare we are being forced to purchase healthcare insurance whether we want it or not.  Or what about the story back in May that told us the DOJ was requiring managers to support LGBT issues and that silence would be interpreted as disapproval?  The list of violations of rights goes on and on.  The question is where do we draw the line?  

At what point does it stop?  Do we have another rally?  Do we get mad and say we won't take it?  Or do we do something about it?  If you value freedom, then you better do something about it.  Just reading some conservative news sites, buying some conservative books, watching Fox News and/or listening to talk radio isn't enough.  Not just your freedom, but the freedom of your children and grandchildren is hanging by a thread.  If you don't think we can lose our freedoms in America, then you missed the point when Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."


In Germany during World War II a Lutheran minister, Martin Niemoller, wrote a poem that has become famous.  It's about time we start remembering that poem and take its implications to heart.  

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”



Monday, December 2, 2013

Black Friday Shows How Dark Things Really Are


Here's the Nonsense:  Black Friday and the holiday season will push the economy into high gear and will give us confidence for the future.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Anyone who believes that things are getting better had better watch out.  Not only is the economy in trouble, but there are signs of far worse things happening.

Every year we hear the media claim that Black Friday is the kickoff to holiday shopping sure to boost the economy and unleash the robust economy America once knew.  This year was not only bad, it is just another sign of the doom we are facing.  Black Friday this year was not the day that businesses got financially into the black for the year, rather it truly was an example of how dark things are for our nation.  But that isn't the worst part.  Many, if not most Americans have such indifference to our situation that they, more than the economy or anything else, are the real danger to our future.

The New York Times reported that sales are down about 3% from last year.  That's a huge number in business, especially in a fragile economy.  Add to that things like 102 million Americans that are unemployed, employers cutting employees hours and reducing benefits, record numbers of Americans receiving government support, massive federal debt and unfunded liabilities that cannot be sustained by our nation, and politicians who not only won't quit spending, but a populace that won't demand accountability and you have a situation on the brink of disaster.  

The media have been trying for years to convince us that the lackluster Obama economy is growing and bouncing back, but there isn't much that is further from the truth.  Businesses are struggling to survive.  Families are doing the same.  With layoffs, lack of new hiring, cutback in hours and benefits, and the only true growth for jobs being part time entry level positions, the future for America and her economy is bleak. But what is most amazing to me is how indifferent Americans are to what we face. 

Americans of generations past would have been doing everything from marching in the streets to spending every extra waking minute they have working to get good candidates into office to replace the pathetic excuse that we currently have for leadership.  And that's leadership on every level.  Whether it's your local school board, your mayor, your federal officials, or the presidency, Americans of past generations would not have stood for what is happening in our nation.

Then you look at the incredible amount of moral failure in our nation and there's no way to stop our downfall.  Just in the last few days we've seen people stabbed over a disagreement about a parking space while shopping.  Shoplifters dragging a police officer with their car, which resulted in a shooting.  A brawl at another store resulted in a police officer in the hospital.  And the list goes on and on.

Moral failure isn't just about someone stealing or lying or doing the obvious things we think of when the topic comes up.  It is also about how our society is not civilized any longer.  Violence in our country has taken on a new level that should concern all of us.

But today too many people are indifferent to what's happening.  Virtually everyone knows someone who's been impacted by this economy.  Unemployment, inflation, failure as a nation on the world's stage, constant lies from our leadership,  scandals, an Executive Branch doing whatever it pleases with a Legislative Branch not holding them accountable as our Constitution created them to do, and the list goes on and on.  Yet most people don't even bother to think about this stuff, let alone demand change.

This is not just about ignorance, this is about denial and self-centeredness.  Most Americans are so consumed with their own lives, focusing on personal entertainment and selfish desires, that they've quit thinking about America and the importance of being involved to hold our government accountable.  The result is that we now have a political class out of control and stealing our rights and freedoms a little more each day.  

There was a day in the not so distant past when people would give of themselves and their time to make our nation a better place.  That was a time when people didn't mind giving up things they may like to do in order to keep our nation strong.  But today it's hard to get people to get involved in things that will make a difference.  

We talk of the 2014 midterm elections potentially being another 2010 where a big shakeup would happen in Congress.  While some people are concerned and working towards that end, far more are simply not paying attention.  They are allowing people like Mitch McConnell, Republican minority leader of the senate, to get away with the view he expressed that it was time for the establishment GOP to stand up to the conservatives and Tea Party members.  Instead of being willing to listen to the voters, he openly admits that he wants those who stand up for the voters to be silenced.  Voters should be demanding a change in leadership instead of putting up with McConnell's comments.  

These days when this kind of thing happens we're hearing too many crickets and not enough outraged citizens.  It's time for America to wake up and take a stand before we are no longer allowed to do so.