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It’s Time To Party!

A vote for anyone but Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

A vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton is a vote for Donald Trump.

A vote for a third party is a wasted vote.

So much bullshit has been thrown around during this election cycle, all of it on the assumption that all Americans MUST vote for one of the major parties’ candidates, or they are committing some sort of treason.

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A couple of weeks ago, when Meg Whitman announced that she was endorsing Hillary Clinton, Rush Limbaugh took to Facebook and said just that:

 

Now, I don’t agree in the slightest with Whitman’s decision to endorse Hillary, but this is ridiculous.

What it basically comes down to is this: if you have traditionally voted Republican, if you believe in the Constitution, if you care about liberty, you have a duty to vote for the GOP candidate, no matter how little regard the GOP candidate has for the Constitution or liberty.  It’s reached such ridiculous levels that Laura Ingraham went on FOX News and alleged that it’s immoral for conservatives to NOT to vote for Donald Trump.

The assumption seems to be that, since I originally planned to vote Republican, I owe my vote to the GOP, no matter how unpalatable the candidate is.  I guess that explains how enough people thought it would be a good idea to run the corrupt, lying business mogul against the corrupt, lying career politician.  Since there’s basically a 99.9% chance that either the Republican or the Democrat will be elected in November, most people end up flocking to those parties, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But let’s face it: in modern America, we don’t “swear allegiance” to political parties.  The very idea is really rather ridiculous.  The fact that I once checked a box marked “Republican” on a voter registration form doesn’t mean that the party owns my soul, or my vote.

And the more people tell me that my vote is wasted unless I cast it for Trump, or that I’m supporting Hillary by not jumping on board the Trump Train, or that I’m immoral, or a closet liberal, the more it makes me want to leave the GOP behind, and NEVER vote for Trump.

Over the course of President Obama’s two terms, the Republican leadership has failed to put up any significant resistance to Obama’s agenda.  They get in front of the cameras and spout conservative talking points, but when the rubber meets the road, they cave, and the Democrats’ agenda gets implemented anyway.

Perhaps the best example of this is the federal budget.  When Democrats controlled the House and the Senate during President Obama’s first years in office, they abandoned the budget process, choosing instead to pass “continuing resolutions,” massive spending bills that authorize funding for the federal government.  The practice was highly criticized by Republicans…until they took control of Congress in 2011.  Since then, the practice has continued under Republican leadership, though they’ve been sure to throw in some symbolic measures, like the symbolic ‘budget’ they passed last year.

When they passed yet another continuing resolution last December, the excuse given by the Paul Ryan, who had just become Speaker of the House, was that the omnibus bill had been in the works for some time before he became Speaker, and he couldn’t possibly stop it.  Fast forward to this year, and Congress hasn’t passed a budget yet again.  I guess for Christmas this year, we can expect yet another continuing resolution.

Or, when they tried to stop President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, they included a provision denying funding for the amnesty program in a DHS funding bill.  Stopping the executive amnesty was one of their top agenda items for 2015, but as soon as the Democrats called their bluff, the Republicans folded.  They claimed that the courts would take care of it for them, which ended up being true – just barely.  Executive amnesty ended up dying in the Supreme Court on a 4-4 decision.  The courts have been anything but reliable when it comes to upholding the Constitution, so Republicans got lucky that time, while conservatives got played.

It’s been like this for years.  The Republican Party has made themselves experts at being a minority party – it gives them the opportunity to complain about the other side, but doesn’t require them to take any risks, like actually standing up for what they say they believe in.  In fact, over the years that they have held the majority, they have taken every opportunity to criticize any Republican who actually took a stand for reducing the size of the federal government.  Just look at how they criticized Rand Paul and Ted Cruz for standing up in the Senate.  Taking stands for conservative values just isn’t allowed in the GOP.

While it’s true that Donald Trump has changed the dynamic of this election cycle, he hasn’t changed much of anything where it really counts.  The only consistent thing about his policy positions is his inconsistency: he will consistently come down on every side of nearly every issue…and while there have been all sorts of wildly optimistic predictions about what will happen once Trump takes office, none of them are supported by any real evidence.  And after the Trump campaign’s second major shake-up, cementing the alliance between the Trump campaign and Breitbart News, which has functioned as a pro-Trump propaganda machine since the primaries.

For the conservative movement to move forward in any real and meaningful way, we have to look at the big picture.  I don’t want to disparage anyone who has chosen to vote for Trump in the hopes of preventing Hillary from re-shaping the Supreme Court.  While I understand the sentiment, I personally don’t trust that Donald Trump will follow through with his promises regarding the Supreme Court.  Like so many other issues, Trump has talked a big game, but throwing out a list of potential SCOTUS nominees that his campaign got from the Heritage Foundation doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, especially when there has been little basis for trust built up by the Trump camp.

And while the Supreme Court is an important issue, conservatives need to face reality: in the presidential field today, none of the candidates are reaching out to conservatives for votes.  Donald Trump abandoned conservatives as soon as it became clear that he would win the primary.  His main outreach has been to disaffected Bernie Sanders voters.

The same is true of Gary Johnson – while there has been a huge opportunity for the Libertarian Party to pick up votes from Cruz and Rubio supporters after a particularly down-and-dirty primary fight, Johnson has shown that he, too, would rather reach out to Sanders voters than to court conservatives.  He wants the government to force Christians to violate their religious beliefs, he advocates for instituting a carbon tax, and has come out in favor of TPP and gun control.

There are no good options for conservatives this time around.  We have become the marginalized minority, with the GOP assuming that we will flock back to them in order to stop the Progressive bogeyman.

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But why should I rush back to the very same GOP that keeps stabbing me in the back over and over and over again?  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me for the last 16 years, and I’m taking my vote elsewhere.

For the current election, I’m not going to tell anyone how they should vote.  Personally, the best advice I can give is the advice that Ted Cruz gave in his speech at the Republican convention:

VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE.

If that means voting for Donald Trump to stop Hillary, then vote for Donald Trump to stop Hillary.

If that means voting for a third-party or a write-in, then vote third-party or write someone in.

If that means not voting for anyone for President, then leave that one blank.

For me, that means I’ll likely end up voting for the Libertarian candidate.  I disagree with Gary Johnson on a lot of issues, but I agree with a lot of Libertarian principles, and I would like to see the Liberty movement gain some ground…and some maturity.

But regardless of who you vote for for President, make sure you get out and vote.  Don’t let the idiocy of this election season drive you away from the voting booth on election day.

Just remember this:

The Democrats don’t care about you, they just care about money and power.

The Republicans don’t care about you, they just care about money and power.

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If you want to change the corrupt system, you have to stop voting for the corrupt system.  It’s time to free our minds from the trap of the Rs and the Ds, and choose another option.  The corrupt politicians only keep gaining power because we keep on giving it to them.

 

The Next President

My latest column is up at AND Magazine!

Here is an excerpt:

1461691790This morning, my 5-year-old daughter asked me, “Dada, who is going to be the next president?”

“Well, it’s either going to be a criminal, or a liar,” I told her.

“You’re joking, right?”

“No, actually, I’m not.”

She looked confused and concerned…and who can blame her? Even my 5-year-old knows that we should be better than this.

Continue reading here.

How To Stop The System

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From Republicans, we’re told that a vote for anyone but Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

From Democrats, we’re told that a vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton is a vote for Donald Trump.

Therefore, by voting for neither of them, I am actually voting for both of them.  I’m not quite sure how that works, exactly, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.

And as I have discovered through many hours of laborious research watching various scientific documentaries such as Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Back to the Future, The Universe doesn’t tend to handle paradoxes like this very well.

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In small numbers, it might go unnoticed, but if enough people get on board and buck the corrupt 2-party system, we might just tear a hole in the fabric of space-time, and bring an end to politics as we know it.

One can hope.

 

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High Ideals and Dumb Politics

Ted Cruz gave a speech tonight about the importance of standing up for freedom and the Constitution. It was about believing in and advocating for the values that the Republican Party used to be all about. It was about rejecting the establishment and standing up for the American People.  It was about putting Freedom, Liberty, and the Constitution ahead of the cult of personality.

It was a message that has been noticeably absent from the Republican convention thus far, as speech after speech has either attacked Hillary Clinton or talked about what a great guy Donald Trump is.  The hero worship has reached disgusting levels.  Aren’t we supposed to be the ones who aren’t always looking to government officials & politicians to save us?

Cruz’s speech was a message the Republican Party desperately needs to hear, but it’s a message that too many will ignore.

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Because Ted Cruz didn’t explicitly endorse Donald Trump…because he urged people to get to the polls and vote their conscience up and down the ticket – an important message in an election season where a divisive candidate could very well squelch voter turnout & lose not only the presidency, but the House and the Senate for Republicans – the positive message of his speech has already been lost in a swarm of dumb politics.

During the campaign, Trump dragged Cruz’s name through the mud. He lied about him on a daily basis, went after his wife, lied about his dad, had his buddy at the National Enquirer throw together a hit piece accusing him of multiple affairs. No reasonable person would put their name behind someone who had treated them that way, and it’s ridiculous for anyone to expect Cruz to jump on the Trump train for that reason.

If someone did that to you, would you endorse him for political office?  Most people would rather just punch him in the face.

The pledge was only brought into play because Trump threatened to run third-party if he didn’t win, and then Trump demanded that the party leadership give him a special deal, where he could only be held to the pledge as long as he was “treated fairly.” He then proceeded to build his campaign on lies and name-calling…basically, treating every other candidate in a manner that he would have used to weasel his way out of that same pledge, had those tactics been used against him.

And while he ran one of the most dishonest campaigns in modern history, Donald Trump kept the party elites in check by constantly threatening a third-party run because he felt that he was “treated unfairly.”

 

Just in the fact that he hasn’t spoken out against Trump, Cruz has given Trump much more than he owes him.  I have seen multiple interviews with Ted Cruz where the interviewer tried to goad Cruz into bad-mouthing Trump, but he never took the bait – something that I wouldn’t expect to happen if the roles were reversed.

 

But Ted Cruz has fulfilled his pledge.  He has supported the nominee.  He hasn’t mounted a third-party campaign – heck, he even congratulated Trump for winning the nomination!  Are we really getting into such a hubbub because he didn’t utter the phrase “I endorse and worship the Lord and Savior Donald J. Trump?”

And let’s not lose the irony in all of this that the political party that’s supposed to be all about decentralizing power is at this very moment tearing itself up over a loyalty oath that was foisted upon the candidates because the very man they now worship as their savior from the evil Hildabeast wouldn’t stop threatening to mount a third-party run that, had it become a reality, would literally have handed the election to her.

When it was announced that Ted Cruz would speak at the convention, it had been made abundantly clear that he would be speaking, but not endorsing Trump.  This was an agreement that was made between the two of them well before Cruz took the stage.  To act outraged and offended that Cruz refused to fulfill a pledge made meaningless by Trump’s own refusal to stand by it makes no sense.  Party officials even released the text of the speech to the media before Cruz took the stage, though they are now trying to claim that he went off-script.

The whole spectacle is ridiculous, and the backlash over Ted Cruz’s speech shows all the more that the actual message of that speech is one the Republican Party cannot ignore if they want to win an election ever again.

It’s just a shame that so many were so eager hear the word “endorse,” that they completely missed a vital message about freedom.

Just Turn It Off

My latest column is up at AND Magazine!

Here is an excerpt:

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The other night, I was watching a live feed out of Dallas – coverage of the assassination of multiple police officers, and the chaos on the streets as they tried to locate and stop the shooter. In the end, five officers are dead, and the politics have already begun.

One thing that has caught many people’s attention was a young black man who was openly carrying a rifle at the protest. Open carry is legal in Texas, so there was nothing wrong with what he was doing – but someone had snapped his picture, and after the shooting started, they sent it to Dallas police, who put it on Twitter, saying that he was a person of interest, and they needed help in locating him. Within minutes, his picture was plastered on TVs across the nation.

It didn’t take long for word to get back to him that police were looking for him, so he sought out Dallas police officers, handed over his rifle, and turned himself in. He was questioned, and then released.

So while police officers were being shot at in Dallas, a young black man approached officers while carrying a rifle, and he was not killed.

This is the problem with the sensationalism that happens when a black person is shot by police. We see a cell-phone video that shows part of an incident, or hear unreliable descriptions from people who saw part of whatever went down, and it gets spread all across the nation. Millions of people jump to conclusions, so that by the time the fact come in, everyone’s opinions have already formed, and it no longer matters what the facts are – our minds are made up.

Continue reading here.

All Talk, No Rights

The big news on Monday was that four “common-sense” gun control measures died in the Senate.

But the latest news is how the Senate voted on those measures.

h/t The Daily Signal

 

The Feinstein Amendment

Coming from Dianne Feinstein, you know this one is going to be good.  This amendment would grant authority to the Attorney General to deny gun purchases to people on the Terrorist Watch List, basically placing all authority over gun purchases in the hands of the Executive Branch.  They add you to a secret list, where it is assumed that they have some kind of evidence against you, but no proof is ever required.  You get no day in court, no due process, no trial by a jury of your peers.  You are judged guilty unilaterally by the Attorney General – a post which, under President Obama’s leadership, has become a political position more than one of law enforcement.

The measure failed 47-53, along party lines.

Republicans take note: Senators Ayotte of New Hampshire and Kirk of Illinois voted to hand totalitarian control over 2nd Amendment rights to the Executive Branch.

One Democrat voted against.

UPDATE: I came across this video of Dianne Feinstein blatantly stating that if she gets her way, Americans will be assumed guilty until they “prove that you’re innocent.”

 

The Cornyn Amendment

This is a revision of the Feinstein amendment, inserting a little bit of due process into the mix, rather than giving the Justice Department totalitarian power over Americans’ gun rights.  Under this amendment, the Justice Department would be notified if someone on the Terror Watch List tried to purchase a firearm, and would then have to petition the court to block the sale.  The person accused of terrorism or terrorist ties would be notified of the hearing, and would be able to face his (or her) accusers in court.

This accomplishes what the Democrats have been saying they want – stopping people on the Terror Watch List from being able to buy guns, without completely trampling Constitutional provisions like Due Process.

And that’s the thing that’s very extremely important to note: the only substantive difference between the Cornyn Amendment and the Feinstein Amendment is that the Republican amendment provided for Due Process.

The measure failed 53-47, along party lines…though this time, Republicans voted for, and Democrats against.

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The other two were a bit tougher to follow in the Senate records, but there was a Republican proposal to increase funding for the background check system, and a Democrat proposal for ‘universal’ background checks.

 

But when it comes to Democrats’ accusations – such as Elizabeth Warren claiming that Republicans chose to “sell weapons to ISIS,” the proof is in: they are just grandstanding.

Now, I don’t know whether the Democrats rejected the Cornyn Amendment because tyranny is just that important to them, or if it was because voting that amendment into law would have taken the issue off of the table during an election year, but one thing is clear: Democrats don’t care about your rights.

A Problem Government Cannot Solve

In the wake of the terrorist attack at a gay club in Orlando, the Democrat Party has mobilized, calling for more gun control. They point the finger at Republicans and the NRA, more than willing to blame their political opponents for a horrific tragedy, but totally unwilling to examine the real causes.

More laws are not going to help anything. The last “assault weapons” ban didn’t move the needle on gun crime. California has 1,001 (or more) different restrictions on sporting rifles, and none of them did anything to stop the San Bernardino terrorists from violating them. Frankly, the mantra that adding more laws will somehow stop people from violating the law is reaching the level of extreme stupidity.

Laws banning murder haven’t stopped murder. Laws banning drug use haven’t stopped people from using drugs. Talking on a cell phone while driving is against the law in California, yet nearly every day I see someone chatting away with a phone to their ear while driving.

10422425_966177793454744_9134744352718260947_nThe government has a pretty bad history when it comes to banning things. When the government banned booze, they ended up creating a black market, enabling the rise of the mafia crime families. When the government banned drugs like marijuana, cocaine, etc., they created a black market that brought the rise of the drug cartels.

The cartels are already bringing drugs across the border…why not guns, too?

The problem with adding more laws is that only the law-abiding will follow them, and adding a multitude of laws, restrictions, and regulations just creates circumstances where non-violent, otherwise law-abiding citizens end up on the wrong side of the law simply because there are more laws than any reasonable person could possibly keep track of. Banning guns means leaving law-abiding citizens disarmed and at the mercy of criminals and terrorists who don’t care what new laws some bleeding-heart legislators just passed. What’s more, protecting our 2nd Amendment rights is more important now than ever, when we’re faced with politicians and bureaucrats in high places who are more than willing to ignore the Bill of Rights. And frankly, I don’t trust politicians who don’t even understand the very basics about the guns they want to ban to craft laws that even remotely approach “common sense.”

Instituting any kind of gun ban will not stop terrorists that are intent on violence any time in the future. France has very strict gun laws, yet terrorists were able to execute a horrible attack there (using guns and bombs) – after which French authorities found that several mosques in Paris were being used to hide weapons caches. Israel faces knife and bomb attacks from Palestinian terrorists on a regular basis. A couple of years ago, a group of men with knives killed 29 and injured 130 people in China. The Tsarnaev brothers used pressure cookers to attack the Boston Marathon. Al-Qaida terrorists used airliners to bring down the World Trade Center. Timothy McVeigh used a rented truck and fertilizer to attack a federal building. Those intent on violence will find ways perpetrate violence. No amount of laws will change that.

It’s also important to note that the vast majority of mass shootings in the United States happen in so-called “gun free” zones. Even the ultra-left anti-gun “Everytown” group, notorious for using false & misleading statistics to back up their ‘arguments,’ don’t even try to deny that. As we place further restrictions on gun ownership, we just open up more opportunities for those intent on committing acts of violence to do so unabated.

Our nation (and Western society in general) has spent the past several decades moving away from any kind of a moral center, to the point that during the current election cycle, many Christians shunned the very thought of choosing a God-fearing Christian as their presidential candidate, because “we’re elecing a president, not a pastor.” It is impossible for a society to abandon all moral principles without consequences, and there is no legislation in the world that will exempt us from those consequences. Today, we live in a society where unborn babies are slaughtered by the millions, and that is euphemistically called “women’s health” or “choice.” If a white cop shoots a black criminal, riots and protests break out in the streets, yet black-on-black gangland violence is ignored.

We don’t teach our children to value life, and then we wonder why life has so little value.

We have enemies in radical Islam who are intent on killing us, and are intent on growing their numbers here in America to facilitate that murderous agenda. Yet at the same time we are urged to avoid any appearance of “Islamophobia.” In San Barnardino, neighbors of the terrorists stated that they didn’t report suspicious activity because they didn’t want to be accused of racism. The Orlando shooter’s coworkers reported his suspicious behavior & terroristic threats to authorities, but were written off.

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The most important thing we can do is be vigilant and protect our liberty as we try to spread the message that a moral foundation is the real solution to many of our nation’s problems. If we’re constantly going back to more government and more laws in an attempt to solve problems that government can never solve, all we will end up with is a government that will truly teach us the value of the Second Amendment. Americans who actually defend the Second Amendment for this reason are looked down on as crazy paranoids, yet the ever-increasing power of the government to micromanage every aspect of our lives, down to what we can eat or drink, or say, or even think, proves that we really aren’t all that far away from the type of government the Second Amendment was written to protect us from.

The latest “compromise” position seems to revolve around removing the 2nd Amendment rights of anyone that has been placed on the No-Fly List (aka the Terror Watch List). This sounds nice and reasonable, until you actually think it through. “Common-sense” gun control now means revoking the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans based on a secret list. The government doesn’t even release the criteria they use to put people on the list! If we’re going to throw out the 5th Amendment to revoke people’s 2nd Amendment rights, we may as well just throw out the Bill of Rights altogether, because it will no longer hold any meaning. Senator Ted Kennedy ended up on the No-Fly List because “T. Kennedy” had been used as an alias by some people on the list. It reportedly took Kennedy and his staff three weeks to get his name removed. How many other Americans has this happened to – and how many don’t even know it, simply because they rarely, if ever, fly?

We live in an age where government power is increasingly wielded for political ends; if the IRS can target conservatives and conservative organizations, who’s to say that politically motivated people in the Justice Department won’t adjust the secret criteria for their secret list so their political opponents will have their rights taken away? We’ve already seen President Obama’s Justice Department sending out warnings to state and local law enforcement agencies across America, labeling conservatives and former military as potential “domestic terrorists” (a sentiment that, it seems, it was revealed that an Inspector Generals’ investigation found that there were 72 people on the Terror Watch List working at the Department of Homeland Security.

If the Justice Department can’t keep suspected terrorists out of their own ranks, why should we rely on them to determine who can and cannot purchase firearms?

keep-calm-and-defend-the-constitution-5Besides the blatant unconstitutionality of revoking Americans’ rights with no due process, why should we believe that this measure would change anything?

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate explosives he’d smuggled onto a plane in his underwear in 2009, was allowed to board a plane, so he presumably wasn’t on the No Fly List.

American authorities were warned about the Tsarnaev brothers’ connections to terrorists, yet a mis-spelled name in a database (Tsarnayev instead of Tsarnaev) allowed Tamerlan Tsarnaev to travel to Russia in 2012, and it is believed that he received some kind of terrorist training while on that trip.

The Sandy Hook shooter stole his mother’s legally-purchased firearms.

Dylan Roof, who shot up a church in Charleston, was able to pass a background check and purchase a gun due to a clerical error.

The San Bernardino terrorists used guns that they got from a friend. After that attack, a former DHS employee blew the whistle on investigations into radical Islamic elements within the U.S., which were shut down over concerns within the DOJ that focusing on Muslims was too politically incorrect. The mosque attended by the San Bernardino terrorists was under scrutiny as part of that investigation; it’s enough to make one wonder whether the attack in Orlando could possibly have been prevented as part of that same investigation.

The Orlando terrorist was investigated by the FBI multiple times – he was reported to authorities by his coworkers for making terroristic threats, yet nothing was done. He kept his job as a security guard, and his gun permit.  He wasn’t put on any watch list.

Make the Terror Watch List transparent and give the people mechanisms to appeal, and maybe then we can have a conversation. But using a secret list to put people’s Constitutional rights into the hands of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats is and always will be unacceptable.

President Obama became indignant over Republican criticisms of his continued refusal to allege that attacks by violent Islamists were committed by violent Islamists…and I will say this for him, the president is a master at knocking down the straw men he constructs for himself…though his record in addressing real issues leaves much to be desired. And in his (un)righteous indignation and rush to condemn Republicans, the NRA, and millions of American gun owners for crimes that they didn’t commit, he completely missed the point.

How do you fight an enemy if you can’t even name them?

How do you stop the bloodshed if you blind yourself to its source?

How are you not a dictator if your constant focus is on diminishing the rights of your subjects…er…citizens?

How will passing more laws stop those who are intent on violating the laws we already have?

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