The Problem In Politics Is Politics

Over the last few years, we have seen in the United States an increasingly incompetent and broken political system in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Our politicians can not get along and hardly ever come together to get things done.  Washington has increasingly become a town of “it’s either my way or the highway.” This goes beyond the regular division of Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat (yes, you libertarians as well); this is about how our nation’s politics have become so divided that hardly anything can get done in Washington.

Along with the wide division is the fact that hardly any politician is in Washington for anything other than themselves. They and Washington have become so self-serving that when you combine that with the divisiveness, you get why the federal government can hardly get anything done these days. Going back to the beginning of this great republic, our founding fathers knew of the human tendency to be selfish and look after one’s own interest and historically how that has worked out in governments. That is exactly why they designed the Constitution as they did with the divisions of power and so forth. Even so, there has always been a certain amount of self-interested politicians, even in the founders day, and the United States is no stranger to divisiveness.

But the divisiveness and self-interests in our nation’s politics today is just beyond the pale. Not even the founders would or could of, imagined it all. In fact, they would be completely appalled at how our politicians act today, every single one of them; if they were with us today. This problem of politics is so great that it cannot be solved with just replacing the current crop of politicians. You will still have the problem with the new ones. Even you suddenly tomorrow every single member of Congress were to disappear and we got a completely new Congress, it is doubtful anything meaniful would change. 

In order to solve the problem of politics or at the very least make it a lot more bearable as it has historically been thanks to the founders, we as a country need three things. First, “We the People” need to get back involved in the political process, not just by voting in elections and joining or starting a political activist group, but by  paying attention to what goes on in the country and with our politicians and actually holding them accountable. Vote, but vote informed and don’t vote on emotion.

The second thing is related to the first and goes with it; that is a return to virtue. When I mean a return to virtue, I do not just mean we need leaders with virtue, I mean that the people need to be virtuous. When a people are virtuous, their leaders will more often than not be virtuous as a result. Leaders of any country, especially in Republics and democratic countries tend to be a reflection of the people.

The third and perhaps most important step is, no matter which side of the political spectrum you are on; in good governance nothing can really get done without moderation. This is indeed true in the Untied States throughout its history. From the very beginning of our history with the drafting of the constitution, we have had a moderation of different viewpoints and ideas being melded together to get the best results possible. Now this does not mean “compromising” one’s core beliefs, but moderating and negotiating with political opponents to where you can find agreements. Sometimes it also means giving up something less important for a very important objective and belief, the other side does the  same thing.

Bottom line, is that as long as we continue to have this extreme mentality on both/all sides of the political system of demanding everything be one way or the other; we will see the continuation of Washington gets nothing done and the downward spiral of the country. We as a nation have to be able to come together beyond one’s political beliefs.  If there is no moderation, that is the bringing together of different viewpoints on any given issue; then there is no cross-talking and as a result you get the divisiveness and self-interest politics that we have now.


Beware Anger in Politics

As we now begin the new and presidential election year of 2016, we as a nation are again confronted with the fact that in the electoral process, all conventional wisdom has been thrown out the window with the continual dominance of Donald Trump in the Republican Primary race so far. The rise of Trump can be attributed to one thing and that is anger, anger at the establishment of not only the Republican Party but Washington in general.

This anger is understandable in that over that last few years little if anything is able to get done in Washington D.C. Politicians in both political parties are increasingly viewed as out of touch with the voters and in the pockets of special interests. However, voters should always beware of voting just on that anger alone and not truly looking at a candidate or issue.

It may be in the short term, be very satisfying to vote for someone who seems just as angry at the whole political system as you are and is just trashing everyone a part of it. But in the long run, will only lead to trouble, for you, aren’t voting fully aware of all the facts and knowledge about the situation and a candidate that is driving you to vote.

For those who are being drawn towards Donald Trump because of being tired of the letdown and disappointment from the Republican Party establishment as well as the establishment of Washington as a whole, all I can say is be careful what you wish for. You are willing to put up with and support him no matter what he does and says because you see him taking it to the “man” so to speak.

But does Trump really share your views and concerns, is he really the best choice to shake up and change how things are done in Washington? Or is he just bringing to light how messed up this country is right now? Is he perhaps taking advantage of your anger and frustration, (rightly so) for his own gain?

In the end, no matter how messed up this country is. No matter how much needs to change. We as a nation and you, the individual voter need to remember our roots as a nation and its Constitution. We are and always will be under said Constitution a Republic. What is a Republic, you ask. It is a representative democracy, where the people use their best judgement and knowledge to elect those who will best represent their interests and govern for all. When one votes on just anger alone; or allows their anger to control them they cannot do that reliably.

Live By Love Not Passion

“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26 

     As followers of Christ, one is called to live a certain way, act a certain way to others and to be a certain way not sometimes not when it is convenient but all the time, every minute of every day. To the point of it, being second nature for us. This certain way as mentioned in Galatians 5:22-26 is basically to live in love, and to show others Christ’s love for them in our actions. Though as the scripture says it is important not to just be kind to others, but to be patient with them; to not be quick to anger with others and not to hold grudges.

Though this is not always very easy for us even as Christians to do, (it is never easy). One area in today’s society that I believe needs us to live more by the fruit of the Spirit is in the political divisiveness that constantly is facing the United States and the World in some places. We need to remember that though we have our differences on how to confront the different issues facing us, we are all humans and children of God.

So the next time you get into a discussion on a political issue, don’t to let your passion for it get the better of you. Be patient with the person or persons and listen to their side. When you keep your passions in check  in either political discourse or any other arena of life and don’t allow them to take over you allows few so much better afterwards.

Honoring Our Protectors

So today, this Wednesday, November 11, 2015, all of the United States saluted our veterans; Those who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms and our way of life, as well as those who continue to do so. We also had in our thoughts and prayers those who are serving right now or are about to serve and have made the choice to serve.

Veterans Day is not just another day that just happens to be recognized on the calendar; it is about paying our protectors: past, present, and future their due. But it is also more than that it is a reminder that we can never do enough to repay and thank them for all that they have done and will continue to do. Also  that we as a nation do not do nearly enough for them. We don’t give them the needed care when they come home and leave the service, or at least not the right amount or put a lot of effort into doing so.

As evidenced by the state of the VA; we do not repay them enough for what they do and what they sacrifice to do so. We do not take good care of their families or give them the tools to do so themselves. Although a lot of businesses and even states (Texas) do a lot to promote hiring preferences as they should to veterans, it is still not universal enough and the automatic decision.

In fact, that is the best thing that can be done for honoring our veterans, making sure that there are jobs for them. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today by David H. Petraeus and Sidney E. Goodfriend do a good job of accurately advocating for this. They explain how the business community needs to do a better job of making hiring veterans a priority and that they should be leaders on honoring them that way.

America, it is one thing to honor and thank our veterans, but do we actually do enough to actually repay them for their service. I think the answer is an obvious no, we do not. We can do better and we should. Veterans Day is not so much about honoring and remembering our protectors but a reminder to do so by doing a better job taking care of them.

Finally a Presidential Debate with Substance

So this Tuesday night on the Fox Business Network, we had the Fourth Republican Presidential Debate or is it the 7th and 8th I cant’ quite remember what with there actually being two, one a primetime and one a pre-primetime debate each time. Regardless, both of them were very successful and much more substance filled than all of the previous debates combined. Each and every candidate really got into exactly how their policies if elected would help the country and improve the economy and they also really went into the details of their tax reform plans that their campaigns are proposing.

Compared to every other debate including the Democratic debate I actually felt that I learned something about the candidates and what they are for and would do if elected President of the United States. For who actually stood out and did very well, I will stick with just those in the second debate tonight, the prime time one. I actually think that all of them did very well except perhaps Donald Trump. Although I will say that his comments about President Eisenhower where both informative and striking. Like always he just does not offer substance in what he says and puts forward. And in a debate where all the candidates were focused like a laser on substance about their plans and visions his lack of such really stood out and did him no good.

For the others, like I said they all did pretty goo, but the four that I think really stood out was Senator Marco Rubio, Business Woman Carly Fiorina, Senator Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson. Each one of them was precise, on point and knew what they were talking about. But by far the winner was Rubio who was not only knowledgeable but powerful and inspirational in his talking.

Regardless, of how each of the candidates did, once again I have to say it was a magnificent debate and that I learned a lot about each one of them. We need more debates like the ones we had Tuesday night. They are exactly what debates are all about; forums where candidates debate the real issues facing the country with real solutions. This Tuesday night was the first time we got that.

Evil Exists

This last Thursday in Oregon at a Community College, there was another mass shooting in which 10 people were killed, and authorities are tiring to find out why it happened, why the shooter did what he did? It is not totally clear what the shooter’s motive was but then it never really is. Yet we still try to rationalize these kinds of tragedies.

Whenever an event like the one in Oregon or the Charlestown South Carolina shooting happens it reminds us that there is evil in the world, if we are honest with ourselves and not blind to this truth. The despicable act of not only killing nine people in a house of worship but doing so after sitting among them, or for that matter killing any group of people that are just living out their lives or going to get an education can be nothing but evil.

And these are not the only events in our time to remind us of evil and its existence. There is the Islamic State or ISIS and their brutal tactics and actions. There are other shooting/mass killings that have happened over the last few years, from the Gabby Giffords shooting to the Connecticut school shooting. All of these have one thing in common, killing for the sense of killing or because the killers could.

Each time an event like one of these happens everyone immediately tries to understand why it happened and the motivations behind the shooter/s. Their medical history is gone over along with any social media accounts and other writings or clues left behind. All of this is good for it may very well help in preventing future such acts, but none of it means anything if we as a society will not acknowledge the obvious. That regardless of the motivations and mental health of the shooter/s, in the end it is evil that is responsible.

When a society cannot or will not acknowledge the existence of evil, the more that society will be plagued by evil actions and events. Only by acknowledging its existence can we do something to prevent/lessen such acts as mass killings/shootings and other such evil acts. That something, in the end, is love, love for one another: for family, friends, and community and God. Only this Love  is able to extinguish evil. Everything else is just addressing the issue of evil and mediating its effects but not ridding the world of it. The less love there is the more evil there will be in the world, and the more we don’t recognize that evil and that it exists the more prevalent it will be and the more it will control our lives.

Another Presidential Debate, Moving Forward

So we had the second major debate of the Republican primary for President of the United Sates, or is it the fourth? I can’t quite remember what with the small semi-debates for the “little league” candidates.  Some shined, and some did not; some helped their case and some had hurt their case.  I will say that there was no clear winner of the debate in my opinion, yet Carly Fiorina was most definitely the most knowledgeable of the candidates on the stage that night and most likely came the closest to being the winner. She was precise, accurate, and to the point on each issue that she addressed.

Donald Trump did not do himself any favors that night and came off as crude and crass. He also seemed a tad uncomfortable compared to the others around him. Once again, he did not offer up much specifics on his potions, just his usual one-liners and stoppers.  He is in no way out of the contest yet, but I do believe he is approaching critical mass in his support. Once the amount of GOP contenders renders down to 3 or 4 he will most likely start to have real trouble and I think the second debate really shows that.

Senator Rand Paul did not do so well in the debate, but neither did he harm himself, nonetheless, for him that in itself is a little bad since with his Libertarian views in a Conservative viewing Republican field and electorate he really needs to stand out and show why Republicans should support him for President.

Senator Marco Rubio actually appealed pretty strongly in the debate, such as when he referred to how he learned about being proud of this country and being a Conservative from his Grandfather in Spanish. He made it clear how having to know English is important to live here in the United States, yet at the same time how some immigrants will still be more comfortable talking in their native languages but that does not make them any less American.

Governor Scott Walker like in the first debate once again comes across very soft spoken and light. He was not the Walker viewers heard about. And it defiantly harmed him, for he just recently suspended his campaign.

Governor Jeb Bush was ok, nothing remarkable. He was neither really strong nor really weak. He did go after Trump on his record a lot, which was no surprise since has been doing so on the campaign stump the last couple of weeks.

The other candidates did ok, no harm, but also not really helping their campaigns. With Governors Rick Parry and Scott Walker now both out of the race for the Republican nomination, we are going to see in the coming few months in the lead up to 2016, most likely more candidate’s exiting the campaign and the race coalescing around 3 or 4.  As a consequence, we will finally see Donald Trump decline himself. So after another debate, the show must go on as the saying goes, with some gaining, some declining and some staying just where they are.

America’s Police Are Under Attack!

not even a full week since a Harris County Serif’s deputy was killed execution
style in Houston, Texas another officer was slain in the line of duty in
Illinois in the Town of Fox Lake. While obviously the cases are completely
unrelated, in the first case, the authorities are still trying to find out why
the deputy was killed at the gas station he was at. In the second the officer
was in pursuit of three suspects and got mortally wounded before his backup
could arrive. Nonetheless, both these two cases and others of the like do perhaps
raise the question of if the highly anti-police atmosphere and protests out
there have perhaps created a situation where the cops are more vulnerable to the
criminals both fighting back and even as in the first place seeking them out to
kill them.

Since the unfortunate, but highly
published police shootings of black suspects from Ferguson, Missouri’ Michael
Brown  (which by the way the police
officer involved was found to have done no wrong) and the accidental death of
Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, and the resulting riots, there has been an
extreme rise in anti-cop rhetoric that have in a lot of cases spewed hate
against police. The most notorious group is the so-called “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Their rhetoric of “pigs in a
blanket, Fri them like bacon” being the most famous does nothing but create
more bad blood for police officers. Are some of their complaints against cops for unjust practices and overuse of force in some cases justified? To a certain
extent, yes, the police are human like the rest of us and in any human
organization or fraternity there will be abuses and some wrong doings and those
most surely deserve to have our attention and be looked at to both prevent more and
punish any wrong-doing. But the way the “Black Lives Matter” movement is going
about it is totally wrong and not solving anything except more violence and
hatred for the police.

Another point of just how much more
harm the movement causes than the healing it says it is trying to do is the
perception that is put out there by just the name itself “Black lives Matter.”
That name phrase does nothing but encourage, more militancy among blacks who
feel victimized by a whole bunch of issues in today’s society. It creates no
healing because by its very name it divides. As has already been noted by
several different public figures and others already No, not Black lives matter but all life matter! We are all human
beings equal under God to be treated no differently than any other because of
some phony conceived notion of race.

To the matter at hand, is the
increased amount of negative rhetoric and anti-cop atmosphere to blame for the
increase amount of brutal police deaths, (some cases for what appeals no
apparent reason) or is there any link between the two at all?  To be sure, in the death of the Harris County
deputy where there is no clear motive behind the shooting other than the
shooters own hatred and bad blood for cops, the answer is most likely. In this
case an increased atmosphere of anti-cop rhetoric nation wide could very well
have encouraged the shooter. In the death of the Illinois officer, it is less
clear since he was shot in the pursuit of suspects.

Nonetheless, it is possible that in
that instance and others like it that the anti-cop rhetoric, are emboldening
criminals to fight back against police officers when confronted by them. At the
same time, the amount of police deaths this year and last year too comparing years is not its self a convincing argument for saying that an increase in
anti-cop attitudes are responsible for increases in cop deaths in the line of
duty.  For one according to the National
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund,, going back several years shooting
deaths were always pretty high. In 2005, it was 60 and in 2009 it was 50 and
for 2014 it was 48 compared to the 24 this year.

It is clear that there is more than
any one thing that plays to the killing of police officers and unfortunately
may just be a fact of life and the nature of the job. Police officers do
put their lives on the line to keep the peace and help others. Nonetheless, it
does not totally discount the possibility of the high amounts of police hostility
in the nation playing some hand in the deaths. For sure it is not making the
lives of police any safer and it also does not excuse the uncalled for utter
hatred and uncivilized behavior towards them by groups like “Black Lives

So Iran Will Have Its Own Nuclear Inspectors

As the debate on whether or not to approve the Iran nuclear dear, that the Obama
administration and the rest of the Western World has worked out with Iran
continues, we learn just one other item that makes this deal such a bad deal for the West and a good one for Iran. Apparently, as one of the side agreements made
with Iran, they will be able to have and use their own inspectors for
inspecting their nuclear facilities and scientists. You know those inspections
that are to determine if Iran is holding up to its side of the deal and not
developing nuclear weapons or the capabilities to do so.

That kind of defeats the purpose of
having inspections in the first place if the ones being inspected, get to have
their own people do the inspecting. Kind of like the fox guarding the hen
house. What were the negotiating team
and Sectary of State John Kerry drinking during said negotiations? For that is
the only thing that would explain giving such a concession to the Iranians,
being drunk or just plain incompetent.

Look the deal with Iran is not a
very good one at all (while it is for Iran), the whole purpose behind the
nuclear talks in the first place, was to get Iran to admit and give up its
nuclear weapons ambitions and to make sure that they could not restart the program.
The talks were able to get started because of the punishing economic sanctions
put on Iran by the United States and the International community (i.e. The
West). What was suppose to happen was that we and everyone else would lessen
and eventually end those sanctions in return for Iran ending said nuclear
weapons programs and let inspectors in to make sure that they were playing

This did not happen at all,  from the beginning of the talks to the very end it was apparent to all that the Obama
administration and Sectary of State Kerry wanted a deal, any deal at all costs
for the sake of having a deal. They did not once get up and walk away from the
negotiating table, which is a pretty common practice in negotiations. It lets
the other side know that you are serious about what you want, no, need in order
to get a deal.

Because this did not happen and the
Obama administration was desperate for a deal, the Iranians were able to
extract concession after concession without giving up that much or anything at
all in return. I mean the overarching theme of the deal is not as it should be, that is keeping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but mealy delaying them; all the restrictions
that Iran did agree to go away I believe it is in 10 years.

Of course, now we find out we can not
even be able to make sure that Iran is truthful about complying with its side
of the deal because they will be able to use their own inspectors on and in
their facilities. This deal with Iran is indeed a very bad deal as its critics
say and will not at all prevent Iran from getting the nuclear bomb. Instead of preventing war with Iran as President Obama and the deal supporters say, it all but guarantees, that there will be a war because it solves nothing of the underlying problems with Iran
and the rest of the world; lease of all the problem of a nuclear-armed Iran.

The 2016 Presidential Race: Too Crowded or Not?

The amount of contenders that are now officially in the race for President in the
Republican primary is mind blowing. It now stands at 16 contenders, (I believe
unless I lost count). There is a question out there, if it is a good thing or
bad that the Republicans have so many contenders. I myself take the position
that while there might be a few downsides, overall the fact that we have so
many, especially ones with good résumés for the most part, is a very good thing.

At least for the Republican nomination, it does not appear to be a coronation like it may very well be for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic nomination.
Yes, it is a very crowded race so far and that will cause some problems
with each contender having trouble getting his or her message to the voters as
well as a crowded field for donations. Yet, at the same time as the weeks and months
go by the weaker contenders will be weeded out and those that have more promise
will be able to stand out more. Until then Republicans should celebrate the
fact that they have such a large field of people running for president, that is
a strength, not a weakness.

For those who are concerned about the fact that there may be too many Republican contenders for President, I have to ask how would you propose to limit the number? No matter what way you may come up with for making the whole process better, it would still be saying to someone “no you may not run for the nomination for President of the United States.” To do that is just plain un-American and against the whole premise of letting the
people choose their leaders.  Instead, we need to just bear with any small problems that may come up as a result of this crowded field and let the voters decide who is best not some backroom decision makers.

By having so many contenders in the Republican primary, not only does the party get choices in people, but ideas and philosophies for what direction the country needs to go
in. Thus, during this primary Republican voters will not only decide who their
nominee will be but what ideas a,nd policy issues they want taken to Washington
D.C. It is a good thing that we are having this process with so crowded a
field, for the more ideas that are presented the more likely the right ones
will get chosen. After all, is not the Republican Party referred to as the party
of ideas?