Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Government vote to take over Internet set for Feb. 26

“We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan. 

Turkey isn't alone. During the "Green Revolution" in 2009, Iran implemented a widespread crackdown on the Internet. China has censored information for years. And Russia made Facebook take down content that was critical of Putin last year. 

These are just a few examples of what can happen when government takes total control of the Internet.
On November 10th, 2014, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to re-classify the Internet as a public utility. He proposed dusting off a law that’s nearly 80 years old (and about unrelated technology) and using it to give the Federal Government power to police the Internet. 

I know many people do not love the big Internet providers (count me as one of them) and just want to make sure that consumers are not stuck with slow access speeds and bad service. That’s a good goal. 

But the solution is not to get government in this space with expanded powers to police the Internet. Internet freedom is just too precious to hand Washington new regulatory powers over the Internet without oversight. 

If Obama gets his wish, instead of the “light touch” approach that has allowed the Internet to flourish for years, government bureaucrats would be put in charge of a new heavy-handed regulatory scheme. 

Worst of all, Americans do not fully understand the implications of how far this could go because it’s all happening so fast. Instead of Congress having a public debate out in the open where the American people can listen and Congress is held accountable, the Executive Branch is rushing to pre-empt Congress and jam this new regulation through while the American people are not really paying attention. (If this reminds you of Nancy Pelosi’s “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” statement about ObamaCare a couple years ago, it should.) 

Americans should be deeply concerned about the chilling effect a government-controlled Internet could have on speech. Recent actions taken by foreign governments should make every American nervous when thinking about such a government controlled Internet. 

That’s because the Internet is not just a more efficient way of engaging in commerce; it’s the greatest threat to tyrannical governments in the world today. Autocrats like Putin do not want a free and open Internet. They want a “small I” Internet that runs more like their own personal intranet that they can control. America must remain a global leader for a free and open Internet and continue to tell countries like Iran, Russia, and China “No” on regulating the Internet access of their people, and their right to free speech. 

Both Republicans and Democrats agree that maintaining a free and open Internet is the goal. But more government intervention will not help us reach that outcome. It will restrict the dynamism that has fueled the greatest revolution since Henry Ford invented the Model T, and choke political speech. 

I believe this truly is a slippery slope scenario where years in the future, another Administration could use power over the Internet to censor speech and intimidate political opponents. 

I know there will be those who try to dismiss this concern out of hand…But after the way our government has operated over the last six years, does anyone really think we should just give Washington control over something as precious as the Internet? 

Do we really want the same type of people who brought us the IRS scandal--where they targeted political opponents of the Administration--making decisions about political speech online? 


Should the same type of people who were responsible for the utter failure of the Veterans Administration be in a decision-making position on the future of the Internet? Can the same group of “tech experts” responsible for the disastrous roll out of Healthcare.gov really be entrusted with maintaining transparency and access online? 

It’s up to us to preserve the Internet for future generations as one of the greatest forces for freedom the world has ever known. A government-controlled Internet is not the right choice. 

The FCC votes on February 26. Consider calling the FCC to make your voice heard: 1 (888) 225-5322.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why 50 Shades of Grey is abusive to women

I wish I could say I wrote this, but I didn't. It's written by a very talented writer named Owen Strachan, and he nails the topic at hand so well that I wanted to share:
We commonly hear today from a secular culture and from many voices of progressive Christianity (so-called) that the Bible is oppressive to women. Men are called to be heads of their home, goes the line, and women are called to submit, and that makes the Bible hugely problematic.
Let me make four points to guide a possible response to this common objection and to "50 Shades of Grey" in particular, which opens in theaters Friday.
1) This is a sham accusation, of course. Men are called to be heads, but in the image of Christ. They're called to lay their lives down for their wives (see Ephesians 5:22-33). The Bible never enfranchises men treating women anything less than purely and lovingly (1 Peter 3:7). The man a godly woman submits to is not some goofball with a title he didn't earn. To the fullest possible extent, with every fiber of his being, he's supposed to love his wife like Jesus loves His bride. Nothing less than perfection is the standard for masculine conduct and manly headship. High stakes, these.
Not so with secular culture. There is no extant moral code for men and women. Christianity is outmoded, bygone and repressive. In its place, the postmodern West has adopted, well, not much of any ethical standard, really. Into the vacuum come cultural fodder like 50 Shades of Grey, based on the best-selling book. In this film and book, a playboy named Christian Grey enters into a relationship with Anastasia Steele. Grey sexually uses and abuses Anastasia, who finds herself drawn to the man despite his roughness.
In the Bible, an abusive male sexual predator is an abomination. In secular culture, an abusive male sexual predator is a celebrity. The difference could not be more stark.
2. Christianity disciplines abusive men. A man who sexually uses and abuses women will be excommunicated from the church, reported to the police, and opposed with the full force of biblical righteousness. Not so with the culture that promotes 50 Shades of Grey. A man who sexually uses and abuses women is cool, mysterious and compelling.
Let me speak as strongly as I should here: 50 Shades of Grey is disgusting, despicable and unerringly awful for women. Don't view this film as just a film. Know that it is much more. It is representative of the new sexual progressivism and its amoral worldview. 50 Shades of Grey speaks to where things are headed in our culture. We should not expect that postmodernism will protect women. It will do no such thing. We should not expect that it will ennoble men and call them to self-sacrificial responsibility. It will do no such thing. We should not expect that postmodernism will bless children and strengthen the family. It will do no such thing.
Those who work against biblical manhood and womanhood, who fight the Scripture's teaching as marginalizing are in fact undermining the last cultural defense that still stands against male predation and sexual suffering.
3. 50 Shades of Grey may seem exciting, enticing and alluring. It is in truth nihilistic, degrading and devastating. Any woman who has been sexually abused will be very clear that there is nothing romantic, fun and satisfying in the experience. It's unthinkable -- but true -- that this is the vision of the good life being offered to and received by many, many women today. Abuse of women is evil to the very core of what evil represents. Yet our double-minded culture decries "rape culture" and then -- in a spasm of confusion -- turns around and extols what it just condemned.
Think about how confusing sexual mores are today for young men and women. There is effectively no standard of sexual conduct on many secular college campuses, for example, outside of mutual consent. But media like 50 Shades of Grey entice young men to sexually abuse women while exhorting young women to engage in harmful sexual practices. Honestly, what kind of twisted, deviant culture is this?
The church must be clear against the backdrop of such confusion. No system of thought more dignifies women than biblical Christianity. Our culture and our world desperately need it. But in a world turned upside down by the fall, many people -- including professing Christians -- make gospel faith out to be the problem. They try to present biblical complementarianism as evil. This is a lie. We must not believe it.
There is evil in every human heart; no church is perfect. Abuse can and does happen even in Christian homes and churches, but we must remember that when it does, no gospel-loving church celebrates it. No movie is made to sell it. Such sin is condemned and opposed and reported to authorities and then dealt with in the household of God. No, it is not the Scripture that harms women and subjugates them. It is a sexualized culture that has loosed men from their role as Christ-like heads and encouraged them to gratify their lusts for women without recourse.
4. There is one, and exactly one, source of ultimate hope for man-woman relationships today. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel, the message of Christ crucified and raised for sinners like us, takes predatory men and fallen women and turns them into trophies of grace. This is not a limited redemption. The worst of the worst can be saved. The abusive, the predatory, the abused, the hopeless -- all alike find everlasting salvation in the cross of Jesus as they turn from this world and run into the strong and safe arms of Christ.
Remember these words when 50 Shades of Grey is lauded in coming days. You're not witnessing something beautiful and hopeful. You're seeing something diabolical and twisted, a force so strong that only one man can undo it: Jesus Christ, the self-sacrificing Savior of His wandering, unfaithful bride, the church.

----
My note: We all deserve better than this. If you want to see a promisingly delightful alternative to the filth and degradation of 50 Shades of Grey, go see the movie entitled, "Old-Fashioned". It starts Friday, Feb. 13. Check your local theaters for times.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Outrageous: Obama compares ISIS actions to Christians in the name of Christ

This man doesn't even deserve the attention I give him, except for the hope that anyone who still is blinded by this hateful, despicable, anti-American person we call the President of the United States of America will begin to see him for what he is: either a man drowning in delusion overall about the dangers facing our world, or a man actually out for the destruction of Western civilization as we know it.

Instead of condemning with the full force of his power and authority what these ISIS and other radical Islam animals are doing, Obama (at a National Prayer Breakfast, no less) just compared them to what Christians did during the Crusades in the name of Christ, and that proponents of Jim Crow laws felt they "were justified in the name of Christ." In fact, he said we need to get "off our high horses" in thinking we are not as guilty as these barbaric murderers.

What Christians did thousands of years ago during the Crusades is in no way a moral equivalent of today's radical Islam. Yes, there were atrocities as Christians fought to take back land stolen from them by Muslims. And while it may be true, it is utterly irrelevant to today. There is  no comparison between what Christians did then, to men in the modern day who chop off children's heads for watching a soccer game, or who douse caged men in gasoline and set them aflame. But Obama wants us to believe it's no different than what happened thousands of years ago, and hence he diminishes the unheard of evil being committed today.

What's happening now is not Christians on the march, it is radical Islam. And they have Christians and other "apostates" as their targets. Astonishing that our president would equate this satanism, because that's what it is, with Christians in any way, shape or form. It's revolting. 

I have nothing else to say right now. I am too sickened with disgust by this traitor in the White House, who preaches to us while doing nothing to genuinely denounce or act against these monsters. And no, I don't feel he deserves respectful speech from me because of the Office he holds. He has no respect for it himself, or for any of us, so why should I have respect for him just because he currently resides in the White House?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Barbarians Burn Pilot Alive: ISIS Will Never Release A Living Prisoner

Report from The Daily Beast:




ISIS has released a video of a man, which The Jordanian government said Tuesday was captive pilot Muadh al Kasabeh. The video shows a trail of lit gasoline leading to Kasabeh’s cage, where he is engulfed in flames. Jordanian state TV claims Kasabeh was killed on Jan. 3, exactly one month ago. 

Unlike the recent videos of the Japanese captives beheaded by ISIS, which were brief, hastily produced amalgams of a few still photographs and a recorded voice, this one has sophisticated animated effects, music, narration and an extended “confession” by the young first lieutenant in a studio setting. The production values alone lend credence to the idea he was killed long before ISIS offered to spare his life late last month in exchange for that of a failed female suicide bomber in Jordanian custody. That now appears to have been a bit of opportunism in the middle of the failed negotiations to ransom the Japanese.

So, once again ISIS is producing horror films that it hopes will have a political impact, and in this one there is no doubt its target is Jordan’s government and its military, which ISIS accuses of supporting the “crusaders” fighting against the so-called “caliphate.”

This is the kind of video using 21st-century technology to promote medieval brutality that has played well among gullible young men, and a few young women, who have flocked to the ISIS banner from abroad. The question is how it will play with the Jordanian and other Arab coalition partners arrayed against ISIS, because they clearly are the targets of this psychological operation.

Al-Kasasbeh, who has a black eye in the video, presents a detailed picture of the Arab and Western air forces deployed against ISIS and the munitions they use, with interspersed pictures of burned babies and men being dug out from under rubble. Then he is paraded in front of uniformed men wearing balaclavas and carrying Kalashnikovs. He is put into a cage amid the wreckage of buildings presumably bombed by coalition planes. His orange prisoner suite is wet with some substance. He is set ablaze. The camera stays on him until his blackened flesh begins to melt away from his face and he falls over. Then a backhoe dumps earth on top of the cage and rolls over it. A burned hand is shown protruding from beneath shattered concrete.

But it is the beginning of the film (after the invocation, “In the name of God, most Merciful, most Compassionate”) and the end that tells us the most about the ISIS psy-war strategy. 

The first image in the video is of Jordan’s King Abdullah speaking on the Charlie Rose Show in the United States on December 5. The king says that when Jordan joined the coalition, the F-16 pilots were told only volunteers had to take part. “Every single pilot raised his hand and stepped forward,” the king tells Charlie Rose in the video clip used by ISIS.

In fact, in Jordan there was some negative reaction to that interview at the time. It appeared to many Jordanians as if the king was playing to an American audience, not to their own concerns. Many had expressed doubts about whether the coalition war really was Jordan’s war. 

ISIS, in this video, is trying to up the ante, not only denouncing Jordan’s intelligence and military cooperation with the “crusaders” and with Israel, but also naming 11 more Jordanian Air Force personnel at the end of the 21-minute video, showing pictures of them and pinpointing their alleged residences on a satellite map. “Wanted Dead,” says the legend above each figure’s name and photograph. 

The information and photos could easily have been obtained from al Kasasbeh’s cell phone if he had it with him, but the effect that ISIS clearly wants in the video is one of omniscience.

A statement posted in the middle of this montage, coming shortly after the horrific immolation, says: “On this occasion, the Islamic State announces a reward of 100 gold dinars to whoever kills a crusader pilot. The diwan for state security has released a list containing the names of Jordanian pilots participating in the campaign. So, good tidings to whoever supports his religion and achieves a kill that will liberate him from hellfire.” Such is the reward, apparently, for assassins.

King Abdullah clearly is undeterred. He arrived in Washington on Tuesday where his government signed a new memorandum of understanding with the United States upping support payments from $600 million a year to $1 billion a year. 

Meanwhile some unconfirmed reports out of Amman suggest that several prisoners with connections to ISIS, including the woman whose freedom it demanded, will be executed in short order. 

In what is likely to be a long war, more such incidents can be expected. What is unlikely is that any government will take seriously from now on overtures by ISIS to ransom or otherwise negotiate the release of prisoners.

By killing the Jordanian pilot after (or even before) his government had offered a prisoner swap, the terrorist group has affirmed that it has no interest in negotiating seriously, and that will compel Jordan and other governments to launch military rescue missions rather than try to dialogue for their citizens’ release, a former U.S. official with extensive experience in hostage negotiations and rescues told The Daily Beast. 

***end Daily Beast report

Question: Mr. President, when will you recognize the savage evil of Radical Islam? Of course, you're too busy attacking Christians and Tea Party members, and bemoaning Global Warming as the greatest threat facing our country. 

Our president is doing in phases what dictators like Chavez did to Venezuela. He is spending beyond our limits to buy the votes of the poor, for one thing. He is flooding our country with illegal, diseased immigrants, and is turning a blind eye to terrorism by releasing prisoners from GITMO to be returned to jihadist activity. 

What is President Obama's real agenda on terrorism? Because from where I'm sitting, it doesn't look like he's actually concerned about putting a stop to it.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Christian engineer seeks EEOC's help in Ford firing

OneNewsNow reports that an employee of Ford Motor Company lost his job last year for expressing his Christian beliefs when asked by the company for his feedback. Now he is asking for federal intervention on his behalf.

Thomas Banks worked for Ford here in Michigan for more than three years as a product engineer. But one day he sent an email in response to a company newsletter promoting LGBT tolerance and diversity initiatives, and was soon after fired for "violating" Ford's anti-harassment policy.

Liberty Institute has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – and their investigation could lead to a lawsuit in federal court.

Commenting on the nature of Banks’ statement, Liberty Institute attorney Cleve Doty said, "It was basically about the LGBT organization at Ford and Mr. Banks had published a comment that said [in effect] ‘Look, we should care about automobiles, not about this. This may be offensive to Christians and others in the workplace. Why don't we focus on cars’  that was the essence of his comment."

It all begs the question, if the LGBT crowd can express its views publicly and not be fired, why can't a Christian employee express himself?

“Diversity and inclusion means that we're able to have people in the workplace work together and don't necessarily have to agree but we can all get along," said Doty. "And Mr. Banks gets along individually with folks. But here, he was told immediately he was fired based upon a single comment."

Liberty's director of litigation adds that if Ford is permitted to get away with firing Banks over the comment, "we fear that every person of faith will be punished for talking about his or her faith in the workplace.

This is chillingly similar to Nazi Germany tactics if Christians, when directly asked their opinions on a questionnaire, are not free to express them -- opinions which are in line with thousands of years of Judeo-Christian moral teaching-- without fear of losing their jobs.

Banks' point is reasonable and full of common sense-- companies should not be endorsing highly controversial forms of sexual conduct, widely regarded as immoral by multitudes in our society, then expect every one of their employees either to agree with this radical pagan indoctrination, or remain silent if they don't-- even if they are offended by it. After all, what does "sex education" have to do with selling cars?

This is an outrage, and every Christian should write Ford Motor Company and demand Mr. Banks' immediate reinstatement to his job. We need to let Ford know that such intolerance will lose them many customers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Historic blizzard" is easier to take than hysterical bureaucrats

Millions of people in New York City couldn’t get to work last night or this morning because of New York Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor DiBlasio’s hysterical knee-jerk reaction to a storm that hadn’t even taken place yet. An 11 p.m. mandatory curfew imprisoned free citizens in their homes. Shut down subways stranded them wherever they were and prevented many from getting to work. Of course, they weren’t allowed to go to work, and DiBlasio made the blowhard announcement that if he heard of any employers “mistreating their employees the wrong way” by forcing them to “risk their lives” in this biblical storm, they would hear from the government. Congratulations, NYC, you elected a dictator for mayor.

Meanwhile, Bridgeport, CT Mayor Bill Finch drooled thanks to Al Sharpton for his willingness to “fight the good fight on climate change,” because “we’re obviously seeing crazy climate here now.” 

Um, it’s January. It’s winter. And we’re talking about the Northeast. The biblical storm that gave government its gall to control private citizens produced anywhere from about four inches to a foot or so of snow in most places. As if we have never had snow like that before.

But politicians want to exploit normal weather to further their agenda on climate change. Never mind that climate has been changing back and forth since climate existed. But these yahoos want to blame it on humans, and therefore, by golly, they’ll punish humans when it snows by telling them they cannot be outside, they cannot work, they cannot live their lives freely.

I shudder to think of what will happen when these profoundly idiotic politicians and media fools learn that humans exhale about 100 times more carbon poison than we inhale. How soon before they start mandating we all hold our breath during certain times of the day. Worse, how soon before they really step up their efforts to promote (demand) more abortion and euthanasia out of concern for the environment? It’s happening elsewhere in the world for that very reason, and groups like the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement are advocating precisely what the title implies.

What these arrogant politicians need is a reminder about what our country stands for. In America, you let people decide if they want to go in the snow or not. You let Americans decide if they want to try to get to work or not. You don’t order them prisoners of their own homes and then shut down the subway systems so they have no way of getting to work anyway. How many millions of dollars were lost in wages, revenue and other economic activity because of politicians' profound desire to control people?

This goes beyond just merely being an example of idiotic, over-reacting nanny state bureaucrats. These politicians used a typical snowstorm to shut down the entire northeast, including the largest city in the country so they could "dodge a bullet." If they can do this for a typical storm, they can do this for any reason. They can ban driving on a day they feel there is too much pollution in the air, or because it is too hot and they “need” to keep cars off the road to reduce temperatures. 

By caving into the politicians – who, as a reminder, were put in office to serve us, not control us, we are allowing a very wide berth for future demands on our freedoms by the people we elected to serve us.


If the political nitwits want to issue warnings, that’s fine. “You might get stranded in the snow, so beware.” But to tell private American citizens they must stay home, miss work, agree to forfeit their freedoms because of potential snow is preposterous, and to be honest, a disturbing sign of just how out of control – and controlling – government has become and will continue to be unless we demand a check be put on its power.

What do you think?  Click on the comments link in the bar below to share your thoughts. No registration necessary.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Obama's soak-the-rich scheme would hurt us all*

In his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama promised the American people everything short of maid service. In his last two years, the president will take from the rich and give to the poor -- if the Republicans will let him.

To fund free college, a tripling of child care support, tax benefits for a select group and higher mandatory wages for entry-level jobs, he wants to raise taxes on the rich. Never mind the little matter of an $18 trillion debt that grows by a half billion dollars each day. We can enjoy all of these promises and more -- and the rich can afford to pay for them -- because of economic recovery.

Most working-class and middle-class Americans aren't exactly feeling recovered, aside from relief at the gas pump the president took credit for. The low fuel prices we're seeing result from a series of events initiated by private-sector exploration and drilling, a "Big Oil" agenda Obama opposed. While mocking calls for more energy production in 2012, the president said: "The American people aren't stupid . we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices."

Except, we did.

Obama spoke yesterday of low unemployment figures, promoting the illusion of a solid recovery that helps us all. He failed to mention the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics assessment that said long-term unemployment remains "essentially unchanged." Labor participation hasn't been so low since the economic crisis of the late 1970s.

Dwindling labor force participation can cause long-term pain. It means more Americans are becoming dependent on those who work hard and sacrifice chunks of their paychecks to pay for federal and state spending. It means the ratio of dependents to producers is moving in the favor of dependents. With baby boomers retiring in droves, we will see only more stress on government programs, Social Security and state retirement pensions going forward. It all will be funded by people who work and/or invest.

And, no, we can't just soak the rich. By rich, Obama means couples with combined incomes of $500,000 and up. That sounds like a lot of money to working- class individuals struggling to get from one paycheck to the next, and it is. But these are primarily the incomes of small-business executives and average investors. Each dollar they pay to the federal government is a dollar they won't invest to expand a business and create new jobs.

If we're going to raise taxes on the wealthy, we should do so only to pay down debt. Even then, we risk stalling the economy and going further into debt by speeding growth of the dependent class. And Obama isn't even talking about new taxes to pay down debt. He wants new spending on proposals that have little chance of creating new wealth. If he wants spending, he should do as successful business leaders do. He should reduce spending somewhere else.

President Obama, the American people aren't stupid. They know we can't just tax, spend and promise ourselves into prosperity. That's why they overhauled Congress last fall, hobbling the executive branch. As a result, Obama can act like a fabled outlaw on TV without having to deliver the goods. It's fine to applaud his egalitarian rhetoric. It's the thought that counts. Just don't bank on free college, triple-sized child care assistance and other handouts this country cannot possibly afford.

What do you think?  Click on the comments link in the bar below to share your thoughts. No registration necessary.

*(c)2015 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) I do not claim authorship of this post.