I’m going to miss B.B. King

bb_kingEveryone’s doing it right now. Normally, that’s reason enough for me to let something be and focus elsewhere. Today, though, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and talk about B..B King, partly because writing is cheaper than therapy. So, for the next few paragraphs, you, the reader, gets to be my therapist.

My heart is broken. My whole life, I’ve been into music that had others my age rolling their eyes at me. I love all kinds of music, but I tend to gravitate toward sounds that just further labelled me as a weird outsider to many. I was into 70s Rock at the end of the Disco craze. I held onto Punk Rock when New Wave was pushing it out way too soon. I listened to Alternative bands long before they became chic. Through it all though, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for blues. I love the sound of Bobby Bland, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker and so many others. I mourned the death of Koko Taylor in 2009…with only a few other friends who even knew who she was. But, last night, we lost someone who’s name is known by everyone. The King of the Blues, B.B. King has died.

Just looking at that sentence, I want to delete it, somehow take it back and make it not true. I’m not stupid. I know we all die, but something about B.B. felt immortal to me. In spite of his health problems, in spite of his age, when I got a new alert late last night about his death, I couldn’t even process it. I got out of bed and just sat in the living room in the dark for a while before pulling up his music on my iPod and just losing myself in it for a while. The funny thing was, like so many other times in my life, listening to that music made me feel better, more at peace.

I know. It sounds strange, but listening to blues raises my spirits and B.B. King’s music is a great example for why that is. Blues is not just about crying, “Poor me!” Like so many other performers, many of whom were profoundly influenced by him, King’s music was about embracing the pain in life, but doing it with humor and sarcasm and a huge amount of joy. If you don’t believe that, just pull up some videos of him performing. When he was sitting on stage playing Lucille, there was boundless joy shining in his eyes. The message I got from B.B. King’s music: Life can be hard, but it doesn’t have to beat you down. Of course he’d sing about giving up on life to go shopping  for a tombstone instead (All Over Again), but he’d also sing about a woman doing him wrong while making fun of her in the song (How Blue Can You Get). Then he’d sing about a woman with big feet and a big hard head (“Caldonia”) or he’d record a cover album of Louis Jordan classics like “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” and “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie”.

In later years, he had plenty of health problems including diabetes. The last time he came out to the Blues Festival in southern New Mexico, he slowly shuffled out onstage and sat after performing only one song while standing, but even though he was clearly no longer even close to being the young man he once was, he never stopped performing for as long as he could physically show up and play and he was always wonderfully friendly, gracious and giving of his time to others, especially the younger musicians who came up idolize get him. He played the role of mentor so comfortably to the likes of Eric Clapton and, of course, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Plus, he could rock the house like no one else!bb_king2

B.B. King was a man who, like we all will, finally succumbed to the frailties and failings of his mortal body. As a man, his life left us with an example of how to live our lives with joy in the good times and bad and how to treat others with humbleness, compassion and respect. As a musician, he remains a giant, a legend, whose music will never fade or lose its impact and whose influence will help mold countless generations of musicians yet to come.

For those of you who took the time to read this, thank you for witnessing me trying to temper my grief with all the positives that a man I greatly admired without ever getting to meet left as his legacy. Tonight, I’m going to listen to B.B.’s music. I’ll grieve his absence from our world and immerse myself in the treasure he left behind. Tomorrow, I’ll get up and try to live according to a very simple sentiment:

Better not look down

If you want to keep on flying

Put the hammer down
Keep it full speed ahead
Better not look back
Or you might just wind up crying
You can keep it moving
If you don’t look down”


Rest in peace, B.B. King

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Conservatives Are In Danger Of Committing Suicide

An image posted on a conservative page during this past general election. It's evidence of the fear some conservative elements are succumbing to; their willingness to abandon principle for hollow victory.

An image posted on a conservative page during this past general election. It’s evidence of the fear some conservative elements are succumbing to; their willingness to abandon principle for hollow victory.

This is a transcript from The Midnight Ride podcast (April 2015):

“How then shall we perform it?–At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” — Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum Address, 1838

His words prove true every day. We’ve seen it. Those outside our nation can declare war on us, bomb one of our naval bases in Hawaii, threaten to bury us on the floor of the U.N., they can bomb our people and fly planes into our buildings, but they don’t have the power to destroy us. The only power they really have is to hurt us and then they harvest the consequences of attacking America.

The real threat that we face comes from ourselves. Many of us see it and recognize it for what it is: Suicidal acts that, instead of ending us in one quick action, just weaken our nation and nudge us closer to the proverbial grave. We accept small doses of socialism and, as we build up something of a tolerance, we accept more and more. We devalue human life a little at a time until we look in a mirror one day and see monsters staring back with blood on our hands and a reluctance to speak out about the wholesale killing of the unborn. We spend ourselves into oblivion and dive head first into enormous amounts of debt. We voluntarily put on the chains of entitlement and government dependency, we surrender our power and liberties in exchange for greater government control, we trade education for indoctrination, we trade knowledge and information for political agendas and voluntary misinformation from our media. This is nothing new and I won’t stop speaking out against this sort of thing, but it’s something that most conservatives are able to see clearly on their own. When I’m speaking along these lines to other conservatives, I’m basically preaching to the choir. Most of us see it and understand it. We get that the worst damage that’s been done to America has come at the hands of Americans, not from external enemies.

But we, as conservatives and especially as Republicans, have another problem, and it’s one that so many of us don’t seem capable of seeing. It’s one that’s becoming more out of control with every year; every election. The concept of demise by suicide that Lincoln addressed is a universal concept and it’s relevant, not only to our country, but also to smaller groups inside America, like the Republican Party. The GOP used to be the home for conservatives; those who believed in conserving our liberties, in keeping the encroachment of government in our lives to a minimum, in living by the principles laid out in our founding documents. These days? Not so much. The GOP has fractured badly. So many people have run to other so-called third parties, have just become independents or have given up on altogether.

Our nation has turned into a place where people, at best, vote for the lesser of two evils in most elections. Our Party has turned into something where, for the most part, we’re more about compromise and trying not to alienate voters; about getting elected and staying in office instead of standing on principles and being true to our convictions. When we have some like Ted Cruz or Mike Lee or Trey Gowdy or Sarah Palin or even Rand Paul step up and stand on principles instead of taking the stereotypical position of the Republican Party to not rock the boat; to not risk upsetting people, the Party then turns on them, attacks them; tries to ruin their reputations or turn them into scapegoats.

But as bad as it is at those higher levels of government and in the GOP, the worst of it is what we as individuals buy into as well. We trade conviction for ‘compromise’. We trade principles for the chance to win an election. We squeeze our eyes shut and sing the praises of candidates who don’t embody what’s important to us, who don’t offer to strive to be any better than any other career politician that we’re already fed up with. We’re nauseated by business as usual in the political arena, but we then willingly…actively…throw our support to more of the same…people whose only claim to our vote is that they filled out a voter registration form at some point and wrote in the letter ‘R’, yet come Election Day, nothing changes. We continue to throw our votes at the same people who are setting off our gag reflexes.

I believed for a long time that the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat and, for the most part, that still tends to be true. But it also begs the question: Why are we so willing to support the worst Republicans…and do it while publicly expressing absolutely no reservations about them? It’s supposed to be the Democrats that glorify and sing the praises of the untarnished virtues of their candidates, no matter how crooked or corrupt they actually are. Look at Hillary Clinton, Wendy Davis, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid. No matter how many lies, underhanded dealings or even outright corruption they get tangled up in, liberals just stick their fingers in their ears and act like none of it ever happens. The thing that’s disappointing me, is that conservatives are starting to do that more and more, too.

Do we seriously believe that it’s a good idea to be silent on the negatives of the candidates we support? Like their opponents aren’t capable of digging up that kind of information and using it like a weapon against them? All that ends up happening is that we look like hypocrites…small wonder when that’s actually the way we’re behaving.


To give you an idea what I’m talking about, let me share an experience I had this past year. Shortly before the first Republican candidate for the Senate here in New Mexico declared his candidacy, I joined an statewide organization that was focussed on promoting conservatism and conservative candidates in New Mexico. The state director of that group was a great guy, who I’m still friends with today and the members were some of the most passionate and active conservatives I’ve ever come across. I was named a vice-director of the group and served in that position throughout the primaries. The national leadership pretty much left us to our own devices; in large part, I believe, because we were being very effective, picking the candidates we believed in and chose to support. We were so effective because our membership was able to get behind candidates they were proud of; good people who stood for values that our members could identify with. If someone wanted to support a different conservative candidate than who we had decided to endorse, that was fine. We supported their ability to make their own decisions and follow their convictions and it worked amazingly well. Then, the primaries ended and the majority of the candidates we’d supported had won, with the major exception being our choice for U.S. Senate. It happens and the truth is that losing a vote doesn’t always equal defeat and this was definitely the case in this race. I was so proud of every one of our members who stood up, many moving so far outside of their comfort zone in order to make a difference and, win or lose, they really did make a huge difference. Now, that’s all background so I can tell you what happened next.

After the primaries, when the candidates for the general election had been decided, our group’s director had stepped down to do other things and I was approached to be the new director. I was happy to do so, but then, the actual day that I was publicly named as director, I ended up resigning. Here’s the deal: I received a message from the national director of the group. It said,

“Hi, Randy…please request your members right now…to stop bashing Republicans…we all know that there are no good ones and that the party is in alignment with the DEMs in many areas…but we need to concentrate on voting numbers this November…in other words, we cannot say we are going to sit this one out because our candidate didn’t win…we MUST take the Senate away from the Democrats…”

What she was referring to was the fact that a large number of people in the group were disgusted with the man who did win the Republican Senate primary, Allen Weh, myself actually included. At the beginning of the primary season, some of us had discussed what we were going to do if the candidate we’d chosen to support, David Clements, lost. At the time we were all pretty much in agreement that we would gladly support the other guy if that happened. I think I even uttered the words, “The worst Republican is still better than the best Democrat.” The problem is, over the next several months, I had my nose rubbed in those words like a bad puppy. We got to see firsthand, since we were so involved in the campaign process this time around, the true colors of the candidates. It became glaringly clear to me that we’d lucked out in finding a candidate to support who we could truly be proud of. Weh, on the other hand, we got to see more and more of what kind of a man he is, how he treats people, especially those who aren’t on his little team; what he’s willing to stand on and what he’s much happier to avoid even dealing with. Now, this isn’t an attack piece on anyone, so I’m not going to go into a bunch of specifics and spiral off into some out of control tangent.

There were a lot of group members who weren’t happy with the idea of having to support Allen Weh and some of them were vocal about why they wouldn’t. Now, realize, they weren’t being abusive and calling him names or making baseless accusations. They were listing out specific reasons why they wouldn’t support him. Their reasons weren’t untrue and some of it was sort of things that, if he’d simply addressed their concerns and given them some reason to believe that he might be on the same page as them even a little, he might’ve been able to win a few votes, but that never happened.

So I made it clear to this woman, who was functioning at the national level of a conservative group; one that went out of its way to make clear that it wasn’t specifically Republican, that I would not censor people who were backing their positions up with substance. She responded with this:

“As to the elections…..no one knows better than I do how much the Republican party stinks and how it no longer represents the people but its own self interests.”

Let me stop here for just a sec and make one thing clear. I know what she’s talking about. I’ve heard this ad nauseum…how evil the Republican Party is…no better than Democrats. I’ll address this in detail at some point in the future, but for right now, let me just say that this line of thought is nothing more than a giant load. I’m a Republican and proud to be so. I know there’s a lot of bad in the Party and it desperately needs to be cleaned up, but I also have met so many good Republicans this past year, people who I respect and admire, some of whom I’ve come to think of as family, and some who have become role models for me. I refuse to buy into this narrative of how horrible the GOP is. However, keep in mind what she just wrote about the Republican Party and her coming statements about supporting Republicans no matter what and view all this through the context of principles and personal integrity.

“No one knows more than I do how the Republican party is full of people who could care less about the conservative platform and especially the Libertarian…..and are trying to destroy the tea party movement. No one knows more than I that there are candidates I would not want to clean my shoes in the Republican party…..and the party has too many old farts with dead brains and the same ole way of thinking….and that is why I am a conservative American with no allegiance to any political party.

Having said of all of that…..on the other side, we DO KNOW that the Democratic party has been hijacked and taken over by progressives/socialists….so, this party MUST be defeated. The Republican party may stink and full of stinkers but it is still not over the top socialist as the Democrats. Our only chance at survival until another election period is to see that Republicans take away the power in the Senate from the Democrats and that we keep the power in the House. This means we are going to have to suck up and vote for those Republicans. We cannot afford any more whiney babies who are pissed off because a certain candidate did not win. We have to deal with what we have and what we have is one party that is moderate/liberal vs the other party that is progressive/socialist. WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICES THIS ELECTION!!

Sitting out this election like what happened in 2012 will only result in our slide into oblivion more rapid because the Democrats will retain power and control. So, your job is to help your members understand this….it is not what we want, it is not what we like but it is what we have and we must do it. Anyone that wants to decry that they will sit it out….remove them….anyone that wants to knock the plan to take the Senate by not voting for a Senator…remove them….if you cannot see that this an absolute necessity, then perhaps you may not want to do this….I can’t answer for you….but this nation’s survival surpasses all of our personal feelings. It is my personal hope that a viable third party will raise its head early and we will have another avenue we can follow…but we do not have that now and will not have that in time this election. If I lived in TX or KY or SC, I would puke when I went to the polls but I would vote for that Republican Senator running because it is now a matter of numbers….focus on the numbers and not the candidates….that is my message to our members…we are going for the numbers…the candidates may not be perfect but by damn the American people will show these socialists our power by putting in enough numbers to hopefully change the direction of this country. Our brains are amazing things….runs our whole bodies…but if one cell is off, our brain can change and our body can change….same thing here…changing the numbers in the Senate from Democrat to Republican can make a change.

As to you Governor…..I hope she slides into the Rio Grande and an alligator bites her butt…but that is a state issue….you may debate her but you must make primary the Senate race in your state and getting people to vote for that pile of crappola [refferring to Allen Weh] because we NEED THE NUMBERS. As John McCain’s own mother said when he was running for President….’hold our nose and vote for him anyway'”

Where to start with everything wrong with that message? She actually quoted John McCain’s mother and her message to vote for him no matter what. That’s so weak and so empty. We talked on the phone about this as well. A large reason for that was that I wasn’t about to resign in an online message and I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to throw away my principles and convictions like that, so I knew before calling that I was stepping down. But, on the phone as well as here in this message, she had absolutely nothing positive to say about these candidates she was wanting to force people to support. Basically, she was taking the approach that, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” an attitude that’s more likely to end with a knife in your own back as you learn that the enemy of your enemy is actually your enemy, too and you just helped him get rid of two of his enemies with very little effort. And, no, supporting a Republican who doesn’t deserve your support won’t actually kill you, but it will kill your effectiveness. It’ll destroy your reputation and any image of you as having integrity, as standing for what’s right or even just being someone who can be counted on to say what they mean and mean what they say. There’s no nice way to say this: You’ll be seen as a political whore…someone whose values will be tossed aside for something as shallow as a ‘win’ in an election. And I really don’t see how that kind of a perception would be inaccurate under those circumstances.

You can claim to have integrity all day long. You can tout the rightness and the importance of conservatism. You can say that you have values and principles and convictions that are worth fighting for. At the end of the day, if you choose to abandon or even temporarily ignore all of that for the purpose of gaining a win for a candidate when the only positive thing you can actually say about him is that he’s a member of the GOP, then you would’ve been better off keeping your mouth shut from the beginning. See, that way, besides not negating your words by your actions, you also wouldn’t be making things even worse by providing reason to dismiss anything you’ve said before or after this election that you’ve decided is so important as to take a liberal approach of ‘win at all cost’.

Add to that personal level of destruction, the damage that’s then done on a larger scale. When you identify yourself as a conservative, you’re going to be viewed by many as an example of what a conservative is and, usually, what a Republican is, too…especially if you screw up and say or do something where liberals can look at you and say, “Ah-Ha!” So, while you may be claiming that you want conservatives or the Republican Party, or both to be portrayed more accurately…more positively; that you want to see the lies and accusations being spread by the left put down, the truth is, by your words and actions and the image that people build of you based on that, you affect the image of a whole group of people solely because of the image of yourself that others see. Conservatives who have this image of a lack of integrity and no substantial strength in their convictions only succeed in strengthening liberal lies by providing examples they can point directly to.

The final negative effect that I see from this kind of behavior is that it impacts other individual conservatives…the ones many of us call ‘True Conservatives’. Their names change a little from time to time, but they’re the ones who actually stand firm on constitutional principles and right over wrong. The problem is, when you stand strong and solid on your principles; when you don’t falter or turn your back on them, then when you talk about those people who you do support, who embody parts, if not all, of the things that are important to you, people listen. Whether or not they’re going to agree with you, your words and your endorsements carry the weight of your convictions. But when you vacillate; when you actively support people who turn your stomach and embody nothing substantial that you claim to believe in, the next time you try and sing the praises of an actual true conservative, people remember the joker that you threw your support behind before and, instead of your endorsements carrying any real weight, they carry the seeds of doubt as to whether you’re being sincere or just playing the party loyalty game and maybe the person you’re supporting now isn’t really worth it, either.


Now, there’s a couple of other things I want to address quickly. They’re other signs of the weakness and even the decay that’s happening on the conservative side of the street.

Remember, this woman wrote:

“and that is why I am a conservative American with no allegiance to any political party.”

Yet, for having no allegiance, why do you think she’s so gung-ho to demand party allegiance during an election? The answer’s pretty simple and just a little sad. She also wrote:


“we DO KNOW that the Democratic party has been hijacked and taken over by progressives/socialists….so, this party MUST be defeated.”

“Our only chance at survival until another election period is to see that Republicans take away the power in the Senate from the Democrats and that we keep the power in the House.”

“Sitting out this election like what happened in 2012 will only result in our slide into oblivion more rapid because the Democrats will retain power and control.”

So, what is motivating this woman and so many who think like her? It’s fear. Look at what she writes. She has nothing positive to say about the Republicans she’s demanding support for, only negatives about the evils of Democrats staying in power. Her motivation is to stop the Democrats no matter what the cost. Understand, it’s always important to stop the liberal agendas, but we don’t have to turn them into big, scary boogeymen to do so. Once again, that’s what liberals do. She also talks like this past election was the last one that was important and, if we failed to take the Senate and retain the House, then it would be all over. Now understand, fear isn’t always a bad thing; it alerts us to danger and can spur us to action, but this kind of fear causes panic. It shuts down the brain and paralyzes…and that’s just what happened here. I’ve supported some candidates, as we all have, who have very little good to point to as a reason, but there’s always something. Truthfully, until this past Senate race here in New Mexico, I’d never actually encountered a candidate with absolutely nothing positive to focus on…and I voted for Mitt Romney for President…reluctantly, but I did. If I’d chucked my principles aside just to support a candidate like Allen Weh, besides proving that my principles have no real value, I’d be surrendering to that kind of oppressive fear. That way really does lead to the end. In all caps, this woman wrote to me,

“WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICES THIS ELECTION!!”

This kind of fear creates tunnel vision, too. To see only two choices, a kind of binary up or down, is to give up so much of our power, especially that of our voices. In the case of New Mexico, we’re probably looking at somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 voters who did make their voices heard by creating a discrepancy that cannot be ignored by anyone who isn’t completely inept by voting Republican in other state races, but withholding their votes specifically in the Senate race. Of course, if you’re ruled by the fear of suffering losses at the hands of Democrats above everything else, then this sort of option would fill you with nothing but terror and disgust.

She wrote,

“but this nation’s survival surpasses all of our personal feelings.”

“If I lived in TX or KY or SC, I would puke when I went to the polls but I would vote for that Republican Senator running because it is now a matter of numbers….”

“the candidates may not be perfect but by damn the American people will show these socialists our power by putting in enough numbers to hopefully change the direction of this country.”

It sounds good, really passionate, but this is just more evidence of the tunnel vision her fear has created in her. I mean, we’re going to show liberals our power by putting in numbers?! What are we actually showing liberals if we’re putting in people who are truly only Republican in name; people who put more stock in political expediency than in devotion to a conservative point of view? Some of them even embrace liberal tactics to destroy their opponents, even when those opponents are supposedly on the same side, like Thad Cochrane in Mississippi with his smear campaign against primary opponent and Tea Party ally, Chris McDaniel. The only message we’re sending with that sort of behavior is that, if Democrats win, the liberals will be able to continue pursuing their agendas unimpeded and, if Republicans win, chances are that a good number of those aren’t going to do much if anything to change things, so the liberals will be able to continue pursuing their agendas nearly as unimpeded as if a Democrat had won. That’s really showing them, isn’t it?

This can’t be about numbers. It can’t be about fear. And it definitely can’t be about simply doing what’s expected of you because those who’ve allowed themselves to become so short-sighted believe and try to convince others that there are no other options. There was a time before we were a nation that the only acceptable option politically was to petition the king…to appeal to his sense of fairness and justice. Those are two things that simply don’t come naturally to government, whether it’s in the hands of one or many. The idea of taking up arms against the government was so far beyond radical, it simply wasn’t considered an option for many in the colonies. Now, I’m not saying we need to be taking up arms against our government…at least not now. That’s always an option if things ever do get to the point where there are no other options, but we’re still a long way off from seeing that come about.

I am saying that we need to stop chaining ourselves with our fear of what might happen if one of the guys wearing our jersey with a capital ‘R’ on it doesn’t win. We’re not a sports team. We’re part of a political movement that’s supposed to place value on the individual, not on the collective. Yes, we’re stronger when we stand together, but not when we’re standing with those who don’t actually stand with us beyond what they’re willing to say to get our votes come election time. We have God-given gifts that we’ve chosen to ignore for so long, one of those being discernment. We can be so good at using this gift when dealing with liberals, but that’s easy. They’re so blatantly separated from us ideologically that’s it’s easy to spot their flaws. We need to start using our discernment a little closer to home; toward those who put their arms around us, pat us on the back, tell us they’re just one of us.

Sometimes they’re telling the truth; sometimes a partial truth. These are the people we need to look closely at and determine: Are they on the same page as me? Do they believe as I do, at least in the areas that are relevant to the position they’re wanting to be in? Is this a person that, at the end of the day, I can feel positive about giving my support to because, even if we don’t agree on everything, I can point to good things in this person that are evidence that he or she has and is earning my vote?

But sometimes, these people are just using us to get what they want. Our vote is a sacred thing and a valuable thing, even beyond what it can do. It was secured for us by the struggle, sacrifice and blood of so many patriots before us. We have a duty not to squander it; not to cheapen it. Our vote needs to be earned by those who are willing to prove themselves worthy of it by doing more than just writing a certain letter by their name on a registration card or by dressing a certain way or by answering questions about their underwear choice or causing a “thrill” to run up your leg. I’m not talking about refusing to vote for anyone who you don’t like 100 percent…there is no such animal short of each of us voting for ourselves…but, sometimes, it may mean withholding your vote from either candidate when you can find no reason to award it to either one. Many those ensconced in the fear I’ve been talking about, will decry that as the same as voting for the ‘other guy’ or engaging in political ‘scorched earth’ tactics. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth in what I’m talking about here and you should never allow yourself to be cowed or bullied by that sort of drivel.

I have heard so many people, Libertarians especially, condemn the Republican Party for being no different from the Democrats and, unfortunately there are times that I have a hard time arguing against that sort of thing. The truth is, there are times that the Republican Party doesn’t act like anything worth taking pride in. I won’t deny that, but I will say that there are a majority of Republicans who are worth taking pride in, just as there are with conservatives in general. There are also times when the GOP acts in such a way, that I’m very proud to be one of them. Ultimately, though, the Party is simply a group made up by its members and defined by them and their other supporters. It’s up to each and every one of us to decide what the quality of the Republican Party will be. We can either step back and let inertia take it where it will or we can take an active hand in turning it back into something conservatives would be proud to be a part of; something that would be an actual threat to the Democrat Party and specifically to their liberal/socialist agenda that’s been dismantling America for so long.

We have to start thinking differently or, more accurately, we have to start thinking the way our predecessors did. We need to let go of the fear; simply do what’s right and damn whatever consequences we might be afraid of. We need to stop tolerating those within our very ranks who diminish us by not walking the walk and only talking the talk when it gets them what they want. We need to stand up for the values that America was built on and stop acting like it’s okay to treat our fundamental truths as something that can be altered and compromised.

Now, there will be those who will accuse me of having no party loyalty, that I’m perfectly happy burning the Republican Party to the ground. In fact, I’m already being accused of that. Let’s be clear. They’re partially right on he first part. My loyalty is not bought based on, basically, club membership. The currency for my loyalty is a little more specific. I will show loyalty to those who also show loyalty; in the case of our elected officials, the ones I’ll stand with are the ones whose actions show their love for our nation and state and their commitment to our founding constitutional principles and right over wrong. And, believe me, if you listen to me to just a very short amount of time, there’ll be no doubt who has earned my loyalty and support and who hasn’t. As far as the second part, I’m a conservative. I’m also a very proud Republican in spite of all the bad currently in the Party. I believe in the values that the GOP was founded on in the first place: respect for the Constitution, respect for all life, a belief in personal responsibility and limited government, especially at the federal level. I love my Party and I can’t see me ever being happy as a member of any other, but I do see the cancers that have crept into the Republican Party. They’re making us weaker. They’re making us ineffective. They’re making into a joke and, we do crumble, it will be from our own suicidal actions. The best chance that I see to make our communities and our nation better is for good conservative people to take up the role of the revolutionary and cut these cancers out of the Republican Party before it’s too sick to be saved. Only then will we have a vehicle capable of cutting out the socialistic cancers that infect and eat away at our society on every level. Like Jesus spoke in the Bible about first removing the plank from our own eye, we need to first stop plunging this dagger into our own bellies as conservatives and Republicans. Then, we’ll have better leverage to pull away the pistol we have collectively as a nation pointed at our own head.

Progressive Compassion and Charity: Neither Compassionate Nor Charitable

There’s a misconception that’s been around for a long time regarding charity and it doesn’t exist by accident but by design. It’s the concept that liberals are charitable and conservatives are selfish and greedy. It comes from misinformation put out by liberals trying to rebrand themselves and their agenda to make it sound less offensive to the American mindset…and it’s worked very well. I’ve come across many conservatives as well as liberals who have accepted it as fact, even though it’s based more on the Orwellian concept of “Newspeak”, redefining words and changing language, than on truth. I heard these sentiments on a now cancelled local radio talk show, Speak Up Las Cruces, a while ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The host, Keith Whelpley, was talking with a woman who’s very active with charitable activities in the community. He said:

 

“That proves to me charity isn’t a political thing. Progressives like to institutionalize it in the form of laws and federal dollar handouts. That doesn’t mean they’re more compassionate. Conservatives tend to want compassion to be organic. They don’t want it institutionalized. In both cases it gets the job done but this is a community that really cares and it should be proud of how it does kind of take care of itself.”


Now, his actual point was to talk about how he’d witnessed impressive acts of charity from conservatives. Whelpley is a liberal. He has proven himself to more fair and open to truth than many liberals, but he is still firmly anchored in the socialist narratives of the left. He’s the kind of liberal who has been well indoctrinated, as opposed to the ones who actively, purposely indoctrinate others. Because of his indoctrination, his words echo regularly with false narratives, such as that charity can somehow flow from the fount that is liberalism.


 

Let’s break down what he said:



 

“That proves to me charity isn’t a political thing.”

 

That’s true. Charity is supposed to be a matter of heart and conviction, but liberals use charity as a political tool; alter its meaning and try to use it as a bludgeon to beat up conservatives. According to the left, conservatives only care about themselves and amassing wealth at the expense of others. This position relies on accusations that just aren’t true and a perversion of the word, ‘charity’.

 

“Progressives like to institutionalize it in the form of laws and federal dollar handouts. That doesn’t mean they’re more compassionate.”

 

I agree with that second part. It really doesn’t mean that progressives are more compassionate. In fact, if you take a look at what liberal ‘compassion’ is made of, you realize that there is nothing compassionate about it at all. The soft words he used actually don’t sound so bad until you take a look at what they really mean. He is talking about the fact that liberals want to label government programs and handouts as ‘charity’, but that’s really about as far from charity as you can get. The truth is you cannot institutionalize charity. What you can institutionalize, and it’s what progressives have had a great deal of success with, is theft. All pretty words, over-intellectualized arguments and political double-speak aside, what the left calls charity is actually very simple to understand. It’s the act of taking money from one group of people (mainly through taxation), deciding who has a need that makes them worthy of that money and then giving it to them. The liberal approach versus the conservative approach can be illustrated like this:

 

Let’s say you’re walking down the street and you see someone you identify as being in need (veteran, homeless person, single mother unable to feed her kids, etc.).

 

As a conservative, you would recognize the need, reach into your own pocket to give your own money or reach into your own schedule to give your own time, or both. Maybe you decide to contact other people to let them know about the need and they step up to help, too. It’s simple, personal and honest.

 

But as a liberal, you’d see the need, find someone else walking down the street dressed nicely and demand that they give you their money so you can help the first person. To follow along with the level of government coercion that liberals rely on to enforce their programs, you’d probably do it at gunpoint. Ideally, you’d want to find a cop to actually perform the shakedown for you. Ultimately, what liberals refer to as charity involves coercion by force, namely the force of the government and legislation, brought to bear. It is neither charity nor is it compassionate. It turns the person who the funds come from into essentially a victim of robbery and the person in need into a receiver of stolen goods who eventually becomes dependent on those goods. It should be pretty clear, following this line of thought, how those in the middle are defined.

 

“Conservatives tend to want compassion to be organic. They don’t want it institutionalized.”

 

While I’m not sure exactly what he meant by this, ‘organic’ would normally mean that conservatives want compassion (charity) to just happen on its own. <Poof!> Let’s be clear. We don’t want or expect to sit around and hope that someone somewhere will get inspired to help someone out of the blue. True conservatives believe that charity must begin and end with each and every one of us as individuals. That means it’s the responsibility of each of us to give and do for those we recognize as being truly in need. This is very problematic for liberals because an individual with a job who is very aware of the time and effort it requires to acquire the money they have is going to have a very different definition of ‘worthy’ than the government would. In other words, by the liberal standard of ‘institutionalized charity,’ someone of working age who is able to work but chooses not to can be considered just as worthy as others who are unable to meet their basic needs. When a person with real disabilities or who is looking for work but still needs to take care of their family in the meantime can’t get enough to take care of their basic needs, then liberals claim it’s a case of not enough funding in the system. Their response at that point is to take even more from the employed. It will never even occur to them to try to reform the system or even refine the definition of ‘worthy’. They’ll especially focus on taking from the wealthy, those who are working, making money and creating jobs and, for good measure, they’ll also vilify them and target them for higher and higher taxes, taking more and more from them that they would’ve been able to use for creating businesses, hiring others and simply buying things and feeding our consumer based economy

 

“In both cases it gets the job done…”

 

That’s simply not true. The liberal approach is so much like trying to get a $1.50 soda out of a vending machine by throwing $20 in change (that you got from someone else) at the slot and hoping enough will make it in to get what you want out of it. It doesn’t get the job done. It jus throws away money and, very likely, won’t even get a single coin in the machine, much less enough for a soda. It’s the conservative approach that actually gets the job done, like actually pulling $1.50 out of your pocket and putting it in the machine by hand, precisely and deliberately. In other words, identifying specific problems and executing action specifically aimed at those problems.

 

The problem is that, when government tries to discern need and worthiness, it will always fail because, in order to do that, you need discernment. Only individuals possess that particular ability. Government may be of, for and by the people, but it simply doesn’t possess the human characteristics necessary for discernment. Instead, it uses formulas, guidelines and sliding scales…the sorts of things that notoriously give incomplete pictures and can result in false conclusions, whether intentional or not.

 

In a speech delivered at Hillsdale College, William Voegeli said,

“…the real point of liberalism is to alleviate the suffering of those distressed by others’ suffering…”

The focus of progressives is their own feelings. Because of this, they really don’t put much value on whether the programs they advocate for even work or not…and, most of the time, they don’t. It’s more important to them that they did something, whether it makes any positive difference or even if it caused harm, either to those they claim compassion for, or others. When your focus is so intensely on yourself, your actions are nothing but selfish and ego-centric.

 

The results of liberal “charity”:

 

  • Commerce is slowed because of a lack of consumer confidence and fear of how much the government will decide to take.
  • There are less jobs available and fewer new businesses because those who would’ve created those jobs don’t have as much money to do so and no confidence that they can survive more of the same in taxation.
  • Those who have jobs keep less of their income and that creates financial hardships which can lead these people to find themselves in need, too. They then either suffer through on their own or they use government assistance and stress the system further.
  • Those who are capable of working but choose not to are encouraged to keep doing what they’re doing. After all, if your needs are being met by others and you don’t particularly have a drive to excel, then the status quo is enough to keep you happy.
  • There is less available to help those in genuine need because the system is stretched by the sheer number of people who simply qualify for assistance.

 

In essence, the liberal version of charity has as much in common with actual charity as bait in a trap or a worm on a hook has with a meal. It’s a ruse designed to ensnare and subjugate. Once you become dependent on socialized government, it becomes easier and easier to sink deeper into that dependency and harder and harder to break free of it. Charity is not supposed to become a crutch or a lifestyle as the liberal/socialist agenda desires. It’s supposed to be a chain reaction of good will, designed to give a hand up to one who is in need and who will then, once they’re in a position to be on the other side of the equation, provide that kind of help to another in the same sort of circumstances. It’s the practice of human compassion and kindness passed from one person to the next. Liberals can claim charity as the motivation behind their actions all they want, but saying it doesn’t make it true. Charity is action that illustrates selflessness while liberalism is founded and grown in an atmosphere of selfishness and control.

ACTION CALL: STOP OBAMA’S AMNESTY AND STRENGTHEN IMMIGRATION LAWS

Look up, call, and email your senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm (or call 202-224-3121 – the Capitol Switchboard – and ask for your senators)

Here are talking points:

  • Please tell your senator to vote YES on Vitter amendments #849 and #850 to the Budget Resolution. These amendments would express the sense of Congress to end the outdated practice of Birthright Citizenship and to defund Pres. Obama’s 2014 unconstitutional amnesties.
  • Please tell your senator to vote NO on Hatch amendment #646 that would instruct Congress to increase the number of foreign tech workers.
  • Please tell your senator to vote YES on Grassley amendments #960 and #958 that instructs Congress to pass legislation that makes E-Verify mandatory and protects American workers before companies can petition for H-1B visas.

Happy Birthday, Obamacare!

aca birthdayIt’s time to bake a cake and stick five candles in it and celebrate the fifth birthday of Obamacare! Wait a minute. On second thought, you might not want to do that. After all, assuming that you currently do have health insurance and you’re not one of the nearly three million Americans who lost their plans, chances are that your government-approved plan won’t cover minor injuries like burning yourself, tripping and falling while carrying the cake in a darkened room or having your butt mistaken for the donkey’s by a blindfolded child, assuming you’re prone to playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey. (By the way, I understand that’s not a very popular game with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid…although I know many Americans would love to play if those two played the roles of the donkeys.) Besides, even if you have a plan, you might not be able to afford treatment as deductibles tend to range from $3,000 to $5,000 for individuals and from $6,000 to $10,500 for families. Plus, Michelle Obama wouldn’t be happy with us eating cake, so we’d best pull out some kale and watch a low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free, smoke-free candle video on YouTube.
But don’t be down about all this! After all, a birthday is a cause for celebration and besides this train wreck of a health care system (It’s ok; everybody likes trains!), the Obama administration fulfilled one major promise by bringing us Hope and Change. So many of us just Hope that Obama and his allies will stop trying to ‘help’ us before they end up ‘helping’ us into either the poor house or the grave and everyday, as Obama tries to be even more ‘helpful’, we find that these government programs are leaving us with little more than a little change in our pockets. So I suppose that’s one promise Barack Obama has kept.
Now, we should probably take a minute to reflect back on the past five years of Obamacare. It was a hard struggle just to get the bill passed in the first place. After all, not a single Republican in either the House or the Senate deigned to vote for it. Apparently, those bigoted, elitist, rich Republicans are too good to vote for a bill like Obamacare for such petty reasons as party rivalry, the fact that it has the potential to crush business and disenfranchise millions of Americans from their health plans while expanding the Medicaid rolls and putting even more strain on an already overstressed system and the loss of our individual liberties, whether it’s business owners being told that their freedom of religion has to be put on the back burner for the ‘greater good’ or citizens being forced by government mandate to buy something whether they want it or not. I mean, where do those evil Republicans get off trying to look out for our economy and our liberties?!
Thank God for those wonderful Democrats who stood their ground and didn’t even hesitate to vote for a bill they hadn’t even read. After all, like Nancy Pelosi said, we’d all find out what was in it by passing it. If we had more publishing houses that approved projects under those criteria, we’d have so many books of equal quality to Hillary Clinton’s last book and that’d be great for bookstores. After all, that way, they’d never have to worry about going through the hassle of ordering new inventory because their shelves would always be stocked with books that no one has any desire to read and inconvenience anyone by having to sell them.
Now we have the sort of change that the President has been striving for. Just look at some of the changes:
From January to September of 2014, 8.38 million more people gained coverage! Of course, only  893,000 of those signed onto private plans while 7.49 million signed onto Medicaid. That means that 89% of the coverage increase was due to expanding Medicaid. Yes, that puts a lot more stress on the system, but there’s a simple solution: We’ll just raise more taxes. After all, everyone’s just fine paying more taxes. That way, the government is better able to take care of us…much like a nanny.
On the taxes front, the government is already way ahead of us. Obamacare has already lead to 18 new or increased taxes, that will draw $771 billion from Americans from 2013-2022.
Of course, paying your taxes may prove to be a challenge, but challenges build character, so that’s ok. You see, 800,000 people on Obamacare health plans were sent the wrong tax information from the federal government. Don’t worry though; most of those corrected forms have now been sent out…except for about 80,000, whose corrected forms have still not come out.
But things could be worse. Around 7.5 million people on Obamacare are receiving subsidies because the only way that the Affordable Care Act is affordable for so many is if the government that mandates it also helps pay for it. So, if those subsidies were to go away, there’d be 7.5 millions Americans suddenly without coverage again…in addition to the roughly three million who already lost coverage before…and then those poor unfortunate souls will have to be fined money they can’t afford to pay because they don’t have insurance they can’t afford to pay for while gaining no benefit by paying those fines other than providing more funds for the government.
So, everybody take a little time to sing Happy Birthday to Obamacare, quit worrying so much about losing those pesky little individual freedoms that this country was built on, eat your kale chips and blow out the candles on your computer screen.

Time to chide Republicans who BETRAYED us and funded Obama’s executive amnesty

It is imperative that you contact Republican senators and representatives and their “leaders,” Mitch Mcconnell and John Boehner, who betrayed conservatives (people with common sense) and funded President Obama’s executive amnesty. Tell them to abide by conservative principles, you know what they did, you’re watching, and you’ll vote based on their actions. All their names and contact info is provided below. Please share this information widely so we can expose these deceivers. They must know that voters are watching them and will publicize their deception. The fact is that House Speaker John Boehner, and later Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell, planned the whole “defunding” of Obama’s executive amnesty to fail from the start. A key promise made by Republicans during campaigning for the November 4, 2014 elections was to stop executive amnesty for at least 5 million illegals. From Breitbart:

Exclusive-Priebus Rallies Base: GOP Will Stop Obama’s ‘Un-American’ Amnesty if We Win Senate

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), says it’s “un-American” for President Barack Obama to consider implementing an executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens across the country.

“It’s unconstitutional, illegal, and we don’t support it,” Priebus replied when a Tea Party activist asked him about the president’s plans for an executive amnesty on a conference call hosted by TheTeaParty.net on Monday evening.

“I don’t support it. It is wrong,” Priebus said. “It is un-American for a president to try and do such a thing. I want to make it clear: There is no part of me, there is not a molecule in my body that agrees with the president on executive amnesty.” …

By attaching defunding provisions to a massive $39.7 billion Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, Republicans gave Democrats the political ammunition to cry fowl — screaming along the lines of “You’d sacrifice the security of the American people over some extreme right-wing amendment?” These Democrats and their Republican collaborators “forgot” the fact that executive amnesty is unconstitutional, illegal, and was blocked by a federal court. It gets worse. A very prominent Republican is deliberately trying to tear apart his own party:

… Rep. Peter T. King, one of the Republicans most critical of some in his own party, called the hard-liners “self-righteous and delusional.” …

It gets even worse according to the Senate Conservatives Fund:

… A political group with close ties to the House Republican leadership just launched new TV ads attacking three conservative congressmen for refusing to fund President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. …

Why this betrayal by the GOP? Republicans took the Senate, strengthened their hold on the House, took a good number of state houses, and won an amazing number of governorships, but voters weren’t solely endorsing the GOP — not by a long-shot. Voters were more concentrated on repudiating President Obama’s policies and those of his out-of-control “liberal” establishment. The GOP had a mandate to oppose Obama, and poll after poll after poll shows Americans oppose amnesty for illegals (see here and here), yet they’re already squandering their political capital. They’re afraid. They think they need to “compromise” and be “moderate,” but all they’ll accomplish is splitting the GOP and/or guaranteeing they’ll lose the next election.

To be fair, there was some good news, from the Senate Conservatives Fund:

… A majority of Republicans in the House and Senate voted against their leaders and opposed funding for executive amnesty.

In the House, 167 Republicans (68%) opposed it, and in the Senate, 31 Republicans (57%) opposed it. It’s a reversal from December when a majority of Republicans supported the cromnibus spending bill that also funded amnesty.

This is a big shift and it would not have happened without all of the petitions signed and calls made by people like you across the country.

It’s a clear rebuke of the decision by Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner to surrender the power of the purse….

Note that I highlighted the point about people engaging in the political process: It does work.

It would help to thank those Republicans who stood for conservative principles. You can find out who they are by clicking here and use the links below to find their names and show your appreciation (note: Republicans are shown in a normal font, Democrats in italic, and Independents are underlined). But we need to remind the sellouts — now.

First, contact GOP leadership and tell them you know what they did, you’re watching, and you’ll vote based on their actions:

Look up and contact the senators listed below who betrayed conservative principles — and Nov. 4, 2014 election promises — by clicking here. Call them, email them, snail-mail them, fax them, and tell them you know what they did, you’re watching, and you’ll vote based on their actions:

22 Senate Republicans
AK Lisa Murkowski
AZ John McCain
AZ Jeff Flake
CO Cory Gardner
IL Mark Kirk
IN Daniel Coats
KY Mitch McConnell
ME Susan Collins
MS Thad Cochran
NH Kelly Ayotte
NV Dean Heller
SC Lindsey Graham
SD Mike Rounds
SD John Thune
TN Lamar Alexander
TN Bob Corker
TX John Cornyn
UT Orrin Hatch
WI Ron Johnson
WY Michael Enzi
WY John Barrasso

Look up and contact the representatives listed below who betrayed conservative principles — and Nov. 4, 2014 election promises — by clicking here. Call them, email them, snail-mail them, fax them, and tell them you know what they did, you’re watching, and you’ll vote based on their actions:

75 House Republicans
AZ Martha McSally
CA Ken Calvert
CA Jeff Denham
CA Steve Knight
CA Kevin McCarthy
CA Devin Nunes
CA Edward Royce
CA David Valadao
CA Mimi Walters
CO Mike Coffman
FL Vern Buchanan
FL Carlos Curbelo
FL Mario Diaz-Balart
FL David Jolly
FL Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
ID Michael Simpson
IL Mike Bost
IL Rodney Davis
IL Bob Dold
IL Adam Kinzinger
IL Aaron Schock
IL John Shimkus
IN Susan Brooks
IN Todd Young
KY Harold Rogers
LA Steve Scalise
ME Bruce Poliquin
MI Dan Benishek
MI Mike Bishop
MI Candice Miller
MI John Moolenaar
MI Dave Trott
MI Fred Upton
MN Tom Emmer
MN John Kline
MN Erik Paulsen
NC Renee Ellmers
NC Patrick McHenry
NC Robert Pittenger
NH Frank Guinta
NJ Rodney Frelinghuysen
NJ Leonard Lance
NJ Frank LoBiondo
NJ Tom MacArthur
NJ Christopher Smith
NV Cresent Hardy
NV Joseph Heck
NY Chris Collins
NY Christopher Gibson
NY Richard Hanna
NY John Katko
NY Peter King
NY Elise Stefanik
OH John Boehner
OH Steve Stivers
OH Patrick Tiberi
OH Michael Turner
OK Tom Cole
OR Greg Walden
PA Ryan Costello
PA Charles Dent
PA Michael Fitzpatrick
PA Patrick Meehan
PA Tim Murphy
PA Joseph Pitts
PA Glenn Thompson
SD Kristi Noem
TX John Carter
TX Kay Granger
TX Will Hurd
TX Michael McCaul
VA Barbara Comstock
WA Cathy McMorris Rodgers
WA David Reichert
WI Paul Ryan

Please don’t think you’re wasting your time. These legislators know that people who take the time to contact them are extremely likely to vote, vote on principle, and to throw out unprincipled legislators as fast as they were voted in. Please act now.

New Mexico – Bringing the power home: One click sends an email to 13 legislators calling for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution

Click here to send an email to 13 New Mexico legislators calling for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The resolution’s text explains why we need to reign in the power of the federal government:

    WHEREAS, the Founders of our Constitution empowered State Legislators to be guardians of liberty against future abuses of power by the federal government; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent spending; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States; and

    WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the States to protect the liberty of our people, particularly for the generations to come, by preparing Amendments to the Constitution of the United States through a Convention of the States under Article V to place clear restraints on these and related abuses of power;

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the legislature of New Mexico hereby applies to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and limit the terms of office for its officials and for Members of Congress; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the New Mexico secretary of state is hereby directed to transmit copies of this application to the President and Secretary of the United States Senate and to the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and copies to the members of the Senate and House of Representatives from this State; also to transmit copies to the presiding officers of each of the legislative houses in the several States, requesting their cooperation; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this application constitute a continuing application in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of at least two-thirds of the several states have made applications on the same subject.