Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump administration gets things done in spite of a worthless mainstream media

“The press can claim Trump has a low approval rating, but they have a lower approval rating than him.” ~ Erick Erickson
Well, things a Trump administration said it was gonna do, it's doing them!

Within the first day on Friday, work has definitely begun...



...then throughout the weekend and rolling into today, progress continues...


Not to mention at least three proposals so far to replace Obamacare are being discussed: Paul Ryan's A Better Way Plan, Tom Price's Empowering Patients First Act, and Bill Cassidy's Patient Freedom Act. So much for Democrat's 'Republicans have no ideas' narrative.

So what's the mainstream media focused on? You guessed it...
Erickson: Today, Donald Trump is going to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership and order a review of NAFTA. Yesterday, he signed an order reinstating the Mexico City policy that prohibits federal funds from funding overseas abortions. There were also some substantive, but secret meetings on the Supreme Court nominee and the list was narrowed. In Georgia, Florida, and Alabama dozens died and thousands were left homeless because of terrible storms. While all of this was happening the American press corps was focused on men and women wearing vagina hats marching in the streets and on the size of crowds. At least Donald Trump got more women exercising in one day than Michelle Obama did in eight years. ...

The American press corps really does not deserve the liberty it enjoys because it has used it recklessly, with open bias against one side, and has abandoned all pretenses of fairness. Maybe having Donald Trump relentlessly pound the crap out of the press corps for four years will finally knock some sense into the circle of jerks who make up the political press. There are so many threats to freedom and so many troubling things coming and the press would rather trade insults with the President and openly cheer on his opposition.
And Donald Trump will keep winning because of this one little thing.

Related links: WATCH: Sean Spicer fires back at Jon Karl after asking if he’s going to lie as press secretary
WATCH: Sean Spicer HITS BACK at “constant theme to undercut” Trump by media…

ADDENDUM: And another big accomplishment on Tuesday...


Reversing Obama's executive fiat will be a grueling task indeed...but one day at a time is a step in the right direction.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Remember the virtuous women

Women's march? Certainly NOT of the virtuous persuasion...


Skirting the fact that this was more about PO'd libs mad about Trump's inevitably inauguration than anything, do you really want your moms, wives, sisters, daughters, and friends being a part of this vitriolic derision?

Here's to what could've been and should've been...especially for those forgotten...
theResurgent: As thousands march to show their support for the rights of women, let us pause to remember all women in our thoughts and prayers and to honor them with our support, respect, and love.

Remember all the women included among your family heritage – mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins.

Remember those who helped carve out this nation along the dusty wagon trails and out in the lonely frontier.

Remember those who have faced abuse and disrespect during the darker moments of our history.

Remember the one who gave birth to the Savior of all mankind before ever knowing a man.

Lift up the women around you. Tell them all how much you value them. And don’t stop with just telling – show them that you value them every single day.

And finally, pause to remember the more than 30 million American women who have been slaughtered on the altar of convenience, with the full approval and even support of our federal government for 44 years. Our nation has committed – is still committing – a most heinous sin, arguably the most heinous in the history of the human race. Pray that the eyes of those out there marching – indeed, the eyes of all our people – will be opened, that we will realize the error of our ways, and that we will repent and mourn each individual life we’ve ended so early.

Let us remember that every woman is of immeasurable value. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Unfortunately lost on much of the astroturf of Saturday...but thankfully not on the virtuous women of this nation and around the world.

Related links: The Women’s March
The Women’s March Is a Reminder of How Much More Diverse the Republican Party Is
Madonna, You Can’t Turn What You Said Into a Virtue
Fiorina Slams “Women’s March” For Shunning Pro-Lifers

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pic of the Day...

Caption away!


We have a New President!

We now peacefully transition from the 44th to the 45th President of the United States!

First with Mike Pence taking the Vice Presidential Oath of Office:


Then Donald J. Trump taking the Presidential Oath of Office:


And onto the speech:



Let's get to work!

Related links: Meet the inaugural’s supporting actors: Roy Blunt and Chuck Schumer
The Religious Speakers Taking Part in Trump’s Inaugural Ceremony
Trump wrote inauguration speech himself
Donald Trump Inauguration Speech Transcript

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More spending, debt & gov't run healthcare on the horizon, despite presidents? (UPDATE)

I know there's lots of grade-A crapola broadcast media incessantly throws our way, especially since their coronation didn't go their way. But I challenge you to step away from that for a moment, and take a look at what's happening behind all the senseless distractions...
Somehow, I don't think this is what most of us had in mind in order to rid ourselves of the Obamacare plague, not to mention restraining the federal Leviathan in managing the debt! Do you feel this way? Or is it just whatever they want to do now? Here's a compilation from Michigan representative Justin Amash's tweet-blasts on Friday. I think it's worth considering, even after the fact...


Obviously, this fiscal reasoning is in the minority of a persistent Washington gone wild.

And I'm not convinced that an open-ended vow of ‘insurance for everybody’ in an Obamacare replacement plan is necessarily what we had in mind either.
Whenever anyone says everybody ought to have healthcare, it tells us we have lost our sense of personal responsibility. We teach it to our family, but the government teaches us otherwise. The socialized healthcare in the U.S. is becoming more centralized and less responsive. This is what happens when government gets in between you and your doctor. ~ Mark Levin, 1/17/16
We all understand that there's a reasonable place for government, but it must be balanced within the decisions of a free people. We do want to remain free, right? On health care, don’t conflate ‘plans’ with ‘government programs’...
theResurgent: People want healthcare coverage. They want to pay a reasonable cost, not more than their mortgage payment, that will give them relatively cheap office visits, one examination a year, recommended cancer screenings, keep their prescription costs low, and not let them go bankrupt in the event of a major health crisis or emergency. And if they want to go it alone without coverage, let them.

This isn’t too much to ask. We don’t need to pay Medicare for millions of people whose primary care physician is the emergency room and their main way of getting there is by ambulance (to treat the flu). If there was any individual mandate I’d support, it would be one requiring anyone who wants Medicare to choose a primary care physician and see them first for routine issues, and show up once a year for a physical. But liberals don’t want to burden the poor–just everyone else.

Health insurers would love to offer plans that Americans want to buy. They’ve had their noses so far up the government’s rectum for the past decade that they don’t even know how to ask consumers what they want anymore. It’s time the federal government got out of the business of figuring out what a free and liberated population of Americans needs, and instead just asks them.

Then let the insurance carriers work out the details, with some guidelines and input from state regulators, who have been doing their jobs for many decades. Get everyone in a room, don’t let them leave until they’ve got a plan, then figure out how to get there without keeping Brundefly alive.

It’s going to be hard, but it needs to happen. Just dismantling parts of the ACA is betraying Americans who elected Republicans to office specifically for the purpose of killing it completely.

A message to Congress: we need a plan for American health care, but we don’t need another government program. Don’t give us one.
And we'd also appreciate it without government running up our debt to only tax us more later!

I continue to hear the phrase, 'drain the swamp' bantered about. Short of a Convention of States, I really don't see how with the Washington we continue to entrust.

ADDENDUM: Simply stated, there's the straight-forward method that more conservative Republicans desire that could take a matter of months (complete repeal of Obamacare, replace w/patient-centered free market reforms long advocated by House Republicans, pressure Democrats to cave through either eventual attrition or cloture reform in the Senate, then send to the new president's desk, while saving budget reconciliation to bring mandatory spending under control before gov't bankrupts the country)...and then there's the convoluted meandering it seems that not-so-conservative Republicans are taking, which will take a matter of years, if accomplishing at all.

UPDATE: A voice of reason from McConnell on the debt Monday evening? How odd...
CT: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has informed President Donald Trump that his infrastructure plan needs to be paid for - not added to the debt.

That's according to the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, who says the exchange happened at a gathering for bipartisan congressional leaders at the White House Monday evening.

Trump discussed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan during the presidential campaign, one of a few areas where his proposals sounded closer to Democrats than Republicans.

According to Cornyn, infrastructure was raised at the meeting as "an area maybe to find common ground and then Sen. McConnell made the important point it needs to be paid for because we've got $20 trillion in debt."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Don't swallow the blue pill

Speaking of epiphany...how's this for a new year's awakening?
theResurgent: [native Iowan reporter & self-avowed liberal, Robert] Leonard quoted Baptist minister J.C. Watts:
“The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul. “We are born bad,” he said and added that children did not need to be taught to behave badly — they are born knowing how to do that.

“We teach them how to be good,” he said. “We become good by being reborn — born again.”

He continued: “Democrats believe that we are born good, that we create God, not that he created us. If we are our own God, as the Democrats say, then we need to look at something else to blame when things go wrong — not us.”
Upon hearing Christianity 101, “we are sinners,” Leonard described it as an “epiphany.”
I thought, no wonder Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on things like gun control, regulations or the value of social programs. We live in different philosophical worlds, with different foundational principles.
It hit him like Neo swallowing the red pill. Most liberals swallow the blue pill and remain in their safe, self-affirming bubble where everyone agrees with them. But Leonard swallowed the red pill and achieved self-awareness.

Reading Leonard’s account is like me swallowing the red pill for conservatives. Who actually wouldn’t know this? Who wouldn’t know that Christians–even lapsed, social, shallow Christians–believe that we are born sinners, with no good in us? Who would think that conservatives believe what we believe because we agree that man tends toward good if left alone?
As we are born into the sin of the world, we can't help but be sinners. It's just the truth of daily life in a fallen world. But contrary to our blue-pill brethren, those of us who've taken the red discover freedom in the acknowledgement of this truth & make allowance for the joy that follows our confession...
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Related link: The Three Boundaries of the Christian Faith

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Epiphany! Ringing in the New Year on the Twelfth Day

That's right, it's not just a song leading up to Christmas. With that most Holy Night passed and a new year upon us, the 'Christmas season' actually continues through Friday, January 6th, better known to traditionalists as Epiphany. And on this Twelfth Night, I thought I might share a little more about what this special, yet sometimes overlooked occasion means...
CT: Sometime in November, as things now stand, the "Christmas season" begins. The streets are hung with lights, the stores are decorated with red and green, and you can't turn on the radio without hearing songs about the spirit of the season and the glories of Santa Claus. The excitement builds to a climax on the morning of December 25, and then it stops, abruptly. Christmas is over, the New Year begins, and people go back to their normal lives.

The traditional Christian celebration of Christmas is exactly the opposite. The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and for nearly a month Christians await the coming of Christ in a spirit of expectation, singing hymns of longing. Then, on December 25, Christmas Day itself ushers in 12 days of celebration, ending only on January 6 with the feast of the Epiphany.

Exhortations to follow this calendar rather than the secular one have become routine at this time of year. But often the focus falls on giving Advent its due, with the 12 days of Christmas relegated to the words of a cryptic traditional carol. Most people are simply too tired after Christmas Day to do much celebrating.

The "real" 12 days of Christmas are important not just as a way of thumbing our noses at secular ideas of the "Christmas season." They are important because they give us a way of reflecting on what the Incarnation means in our lives. Christmas commemorates the most momentous event in human history—the entry of God into the world he made, in the form of a baby.

...on Epiphany (January 6), the celebration of Christmas comes to an end. ... Epiphany commemorates the beginning of the proclamation of the gospel — Christ's manifestation to the nations, as shown in three different events: the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the turning of water into wine. In the Western tradition, the Magi predominate. But in the Eastern churches, Jesus' baptism tends to be the primary theme. ...

Epiphany is often a forgotten festival. As the true end-point of the Christmas season, however, Epiphany sends us into the world to live out the Incarnation, to witness to the light of Christ in the darkness. Following Jesus, we have been baptized into his death and resurrection. Whether we are called to martyrdom, or to prophetic witness, or simply to faithful living in the joys and sorrows of our daily lives, we live all of our days in the knowledge of our dignity, redeemed through Christ and united to God.

We are part of the strange society of people whose world has been turned upside down, and we go out to witness to this topsy-turvy truth: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: and we beheld his glory … and of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:14, 16).
As a fellow Western traveler, let us recall and reflect on the Visit of the Magi as the Christmas season comes to a close...
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. ~ Matthew 2:1-12
Here's to a joyful Epiphany celebration to ring in your new year.
“This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” ~ Matthew 17:5

O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Related links: CHRISTMAS MIRACLE: On Epiphany eve see the actual star the three wise men saw TONIGHT
Merry Christmas Vladimir

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry CHRISTmas to all...

...and to all a good night! #RemembertheReason4theSeason

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ~ Luke 2:11

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Conservative belief spurs church growth

As we've entered the liturgical new year and near the holiest day of the season, we find that it's often a time of reflection. No, not of a volatile political season, the lackluster of nominees, opportunities missed or the results thereof. Certainly there's some thought on personal accomplishments, family events throughout the year, and of course preparation (or completion) of gifts bought, presented or received, but that's not it either. Rather, as the body of believers, we reflect on the reason for the season, the Savior. And in our tumultuous times when secularism seems on the rise and obscurities distract us from truth, it's hopeful to see the results in the broader, truer sense of what traditional conservatism brings to the table, or rather, altar...
DMN: Those who don't attend church regularly but are scouting for Christmas services this year might be surprised to find fewer mainline Protestant churches around these days.

Across the English-speaking world the numerical decline of mainline Protestantism is accelerating. The largest mainline Protestant denominations in the United States are the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Episcopal Church. Collectively, membership in these denominations decreases by about 1 million a year, resulting in hundreds of church closures annually.

While most mainline Protestant churches are declining, there's been no consensus as to why. Hoping to solve this sociological riddle, some colleagues and I conducted a study. We tracked down an elusive sample of growing mainline congregations and compared them to a sample of declining congregations. We surveyed more than 2,200 of the congregants, half attending growing churches and half at declining churches, and the clergy who serve them.

We found, without exception, the clergy and congregants of the growing mainline Protestant churches held more firmly to traditional Christian beliefs, such as the belief Jesus rose physically from the grave and that God answers prayer. The clergy of the growing churches were the most theologically conservative and the declining church clergy the least.

When we used statistical analysis to determine which factors are influencing growth, conservative Protestant theology, with its more literal take on the Bible, was a significant predictor. Conversely, the analysis showed liberal theology, with its metaphorical reading of Scripture, leads to decline. Our research stands out because past studies have suggested theology and church growth are not linked. They are.

As you might imagine, our results have been well-received by theological conservatives. Liberal Christians have been a lot less satisfied.

Some tell us that liberal mainline Protestant churches do grow and they know this because they've seen it. But this is anecdotal fallacy. A single unverified case can't be used to contradict strong statistical evidence.

In terms of strong statistical evidence, we point out our study is not alone in concluding that churches with conservative doctrine grow. For example, "The Faith Communities Today Study" analyzed data from thousands of congregations across the United States. That study found, by far, growing churches had clergy and congregants who were theological conservatives. Unlike our research, that study made no link between theology and growth, but as we point out in our academic work, it didn't fully explore the issue. It asked just one question of one person, the church pastor, to gauge theological outlook of an entire congregation. We surveyed all the congregants and the clergy in each church and asked many theological questions. Better questions elicit more accurate results.

It's also commonly asserted by our liberal critics that it is not the type of theology that matters for church growth but whether the theology is believed strongly and articulated clearly. However, we would suggest that different convictions, though equally strong and clear, produce different outcomes.

For example, all the growing church clergy in our study, because of their theological outlook, held the conviction that it is "very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians." As theological conservatives, these pastors believe Jesus is the only way to salvation and that they must "Go and make disciples everywhere."

Conversely, half the clergy at the declining churches held the opposite conviction, believing it is not desirable to convert non-Christians. As theological liberals, these pastors believe there are many paths to salvation and that it's culturally insensitive to peddle your beliefs on those outside your religious community. Comparing the two theological outlooks, which do you think is more likely to generate church growth?

As social scientists, my colleagues and I are not advocating the theological rightness of one doctrinal position over another. But, if we are talking solely about church growth, conservative Protestant doctrine is the clear winner. With a nod to the season, mainline clergy and congregants with conservative outlook are more apt to be singing "Silent Night" this Christmas and in future years; theological liberals risk a different kind of silent night.
The takeaway: Stick with Biblical teachings! That's the God's honest truth. The further churches move away from Biblical Christianity, demonstrative of the lurch to discard for the latest-greatest (liberal) over holding to tradition (conservative), the nearer they draw towards their inevitable demise. Practitioners of conservatism today should heed similar warning! Reflect on faithful growth throughout this Christmas season, and allow this understanding to strengthen you in the present, the new year, and God Willing, across newer years to come.

Related links: How to grow a church: some liberals might not like the answer
Why liberal theology has led to shrinking congregations
The Recipe for Church Growth

H/t: DcnChp

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

We still need an Article V Convention of the States

Consider what Levin reads from Alexis de Tocqueville on what sort of despotism democratic nations have to fear...



Then understand that despite who wins any election, the need for restraint on Capitol Hill is still a necessity that continues to require an Article V Convention of the States to more permanently correct course...
Too many have been sucked into a D.C.-centric mindset that concedes more authority to the governing elites. It's time to unite around the constitutional solution to a runaway federal government.
Big Media is starting to fear that the American people might actually exercise their constitutional right to an Article V Convention of States!
...Levin reminds us that no one can do everything but we can all do something to restore the republic.
Source: Convention of States Project

Related links: Antonin Scalia's Comments on Article V Convention of States
Mark Levin: Something Very Important is Happening in Colonial Williamsburg