Truth is the beginning of wisdom…


Posted by straight shooter on December 24, 2011 under Economy, Political, Social Concerns

This is a report written in 2004 but keep in mind the monetary marker that indicates poverty level has increased to

The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

  • Fortysix percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a threebedroom house with oneandahalf baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventysix percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than twothirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly threequarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninetyseven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventyeight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventythree percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

Read article here.


Posted by straight shooter on December 23, 2011 under Economy, Political

The “horrific” details behind Republicans’ caving

by Joel McDurmon on Dec 23, 2011

Most media outlets are not telling the whole story behind the payroll tax-cut extension: most have highlighted the tax cut itself, how House Republicans were blocking the extension, and how they recently caved under pressure, handing Obama a major political victory.

Democrats are celebrating the Republicans’ caving for good reason, because there’s way more to the story than just Republicans blocking tax cuts. The Wall Street Journal reports,

Rank-and-file frustration has existed all year, and never really left even when Boehner tried to accommodate the concerns of his restive freshmen. The payroll-tax cut battle put a fine point on the caucus’s broader concerns about government spending and budget gimmicks, in part because the $33 billion, two-month package is set to be paid for with fees charged by mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over 10 years.

“The policy is horrific,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) He said that “increasing the costs of mortgages hurts homeowners of all incomes,” adding “it’s hard to figure out how the senators could have done worse–all for two months.”

Meanwhile, Boehner’s procedural tactics are just as suspect:

House speaker agreed to pass the two-month extension on Friday morning by unanimous consent, a fast-track procedural maneuver that guarantees passage unless lawmakers book plane tickets and fly back to Washington in time to object.

“Given the late hour of notification, there’s no way I can make it,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kansas). “I’m disappointed. That’s not the process by which I thought we would consider things like this,” he said, adding “this is the kind of stuff that people hate about Washington.”

In other words, Republicans have “caved” by agreeing to increase mortgage fees for 10 years in order to fund a mere two months worth of tiny tax cuts. Instead of taxes being raised January 1, they go up March 1 instead, while the higher mortgage fees endure for a decade. Brilliant. And to score this great political achievement, the House speaker is willing to use Pelosi- and Reid-style procedural tricks to exclude the toughest opposition from the vote. Epic.

And this is why the move is indeed a major political victory for the radical Left: because the Republicans are acting just like them.


Posted by straight shooter on April 23, 2010 under General, Religion

Barak Obama, during his Cairo speech, said:”I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America ‘s story.”


Dear Mr. Obama:

Were those Muslims that were in America when the Pilgrims first landed?  Funny, I thought they were Native American Indians.

Were those Muslims that celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day?  Sorry again, those were Pilgrims and Native American Indians.

Can you show me one Muslim signature on the United States Constitution?  Declaration of Independence?  Bill of Rights?

Didn’t think so.

Did Muslims fight for this country’s freedom from England?  No.

Did Muslims fight during the Civil War to free the slaves in America?  No, they did not.  In fact, Muslims to this day are still the largest traffickers in human slavery.  Your own half brother, a devout Muslim, still advocates slavery himself, even though Muslims of Arabic descent refer to black Muslims as “pug nosed slaves.”  Says a lot of what the Muslim world really thinks of your family’s “rich Islamic heritage,” doesn’t it Mr. Obama?

Where were Muslims during the Civil Rights era of this country?  Not present.  There are no pictures or media accounts of Muslims walking side by side with Martin Luther King, Jr. or helping to advance the cause of Civil Rights.

Where were Muslims during this country’s Woman’s Suffrage era?  Again, not present.  In fact, devout Muslims demand that women are subservient to men in the Islamic culture.  So much so, that often they are beaten for not wearing the ‘hajib’ or for talking to a man who is not a direct family member or their husband.  Yep, the Muslims are all for women’s rights, aren’t they?

Where were Muslims during World War II?  They were aligned with Adolf Hitler.  The Muslim grand mufti himself met with Adolf Hitler, reviewed the troops and accepted support from the Nazi’s in killing Jews.

Finally, Mr. Obama, where were Muslims on Sept. 11th, 2001?  If they weren’t flying planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or a field in Pennsylvania killing nearly 3,000 people on our own soil, they were rejoicing in the Middle East.  No one can dispute the pictures shown from all parts of the Muslim world celebrating on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other cable news networks that day.

Strangely, the very “moderate” Muslims who’s asses you bent over backwards to kiss in Cairo, Egypt on June 4th were stone cold silent post 9-11.  To many Americans, their silence has meant approval for the acts of that day.  And THAT, Mr. Obama, is the “rich heritage” Muslims have here in America.

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the Barbary Pirates.  They were Muslim also.  And now we can add November 5, 2009 – the slaughter of American soldiers at Fort Hood by a Muslim major who is a doctor and a psychiatrist who was supposed to be counseling soldiers returning from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That, Mr. Obama is the “Muslim heritage” in America.

Obamacare Grants IRS Perilous Power

Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 05:46 PM

By: David A. Patten

The Internal Revenue Service would gain sweeping new powers under President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals, in what Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are calling a “dangerous expansion” of IRS powers.

That’s according to a nine-page Republican report from the Committee on Ways and Means on Thursday. It’s titled “The Wrong Prescription” Democrats’ Health Overhaul Dangerously Expands IRS Authority.”

Among the new powers the IRS would assume, the report says: The authority to confiscate tax refunds, to impose fines of over $2,200 per taxpayer, and to verify whether taxpayers’ health insurance coverage is “acceptable.”

One measure of the scope of the IRS’ new responsibilities under the healthcare overhaul: The agency might have to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents, and other employees in order to administer the program, according to Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.

“It is a very dangerous expansion of the IRS’ power and reach into the lives of virtually every American,” Camp said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

The Ways and Means report portrays healthcare reform as having a wide-ranging impact on how the IRS operates, including:

  • IRS agents would be tasked with determining whether Americans had obtained the insurance coverage required under the individual mandate.
  • Individuals could be fined $2,250 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater, if you are unable to prove you have “minimum essential coverage.”
  • The IRS would be empowered to confiscate tax refunds if necessary.
  • Audits probably would increase as a result of the legislation’s new requirements.
  • The budget for IRS operations will balloon by $10 billion in the next decade in order to administrate the new program.
  • Nearly half of the new individual mandate taxes will be paid “by Americans earning less than 300 percent of poverty, $66,150 for a family of four.

A statement that Democrats are sure to dispute, the report, which Camp and fellow GOP Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana prepared, says healthcare reform would “fundamentally alter the relationship between the IRS and taxpayers.”

Essentially, the Republicans state, the reform bill makes the IRS responsible for “tracking the monthly health insurance status of roughly 300 million Americans.”

They express the concern that reform would alter the IRS’ traditional mission of collecting revenue, and adding a social-program delivery function to its portfolio.

“This is an unprecedented new role for the IRS – one that will inject the IRS even further into the lives of American families,” the report warns.

Ironically, two groups of residents would be declared exempt from IRS enforcement measures, according to the Republicans: One is illegal immigrants who aren’t supposed to be included in the insurance exchanges in the first place. The other consists of people who are incarcerated.


Posted by straight shooter on March 20, 2010 under General, Socialism/Marxism

Posted by: Donald Bly 03-19-2010 @ 10:30

I have to thank vocal left leaning proponents of progressivism for what I perceive as an irrational support of the usurpation of individual and States rights, as it has forced me to extend my research to depths that I haven’t felt necessary before. I find it fascinating that individuals can hold such views thus my quest for how they might have come to their positions.

I have begun an extensive project of research with my methodology initially focusing on one of the leading financial benefactors of the modern progressive movement, George Soros, who has directly contributed in excess of 5 billion dollars towards such organizations. This is where I began my exploration. It is an extensive list populated by a plethora of rabidly anti-American organizations. There are also numerous instances of the more mundane; labor unions, environmental organizations like the Apollo Alliance which is a project of the Tides Foundation which lists its mission as strategic planning for a spider web of philanthropic organization. In addition there is the Center for American Progress, an organization that was founded by Hillary Clinton and George Soros.

There is a massive amount of information to sift through. Much of it is very innocuous and on the surface could be seen as noble in purpose. But every now and then some real gems come to light. Concentrating on mission statements and past accomplishment of the organizations as well the bios of founders and executive officers tends to reveal more than the very carefully chosen words found on the website pages the general public would tend to visit.

On the Center for American Progress’ website, under the CEO, John Podesta’s bio page the following accomplishment was touted:

“Most recently, Podesta served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration’s agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees.

On the CAP’s “About Page” under the heading “What we believe” the following excerpt is found:

“We believe an open and effective government can champion the common good over narrow self-interest,…”

Found on the CAP’s website… is an article written by John Podesta entitled Progressivism’s Role in the Economy, Health Care, Education, and the Cimate he writes:

“What’s the difference between liberalism and progressivism? According to John Podesta, it is the “fire of social justice” that is often born from faith or a belief in a communitarian approach to the common good—as opposed to an individualistic approach.

This was a preface to a video where Podesta goes into much more detail, unfortunately there are many of these videos and for someone to do intensive research they must watch the video or rely on meta-tags for an inkling of the contents. Let me tell you, I can read much faster than they can speak but I did take time to watch the video where he outlined why the term progressivism over liberalism is used. The jist of his speech in regards to this topic was; liberalism has developed many negative connotations and is often used by conservatives as a pejorative whereas progressivism has much greater appeal to the masses as it embodies the idea of progressing towards a stronger society and economy.

It all sounds rather benign, however, I kept coming back to the preface of the video and the word “communitarian” and an advocacy of such a principle over the “individualistic approach”, which took me back to the “What we believe” page’s use of the phrase “common good over narrow self-interest”.

I figured I had the definition of “narrow self-interest” pretty well under control. You can’t get any narrower than an individual’s own self interest. Common good seems pretty straight forward too, the common good as used in the phrase, is more important than an individual’s rights.

But this word “communitarian”, I had to look it up. It wasn’t a word with which I was familiar, it looked a lot like communism on the surface so I did some more research.

Central to the communitarian philosophy is the concept of positive rights, which are rights or guarantees to certain things. These may include state subsidized education, state subsidized housing, a safe and clean environment, universal health care, and even the right to a job with the concomitant obligation of the government or individuals to provide one. To this end, communitarians generally support social security programs, public works programs, and laws limiting such things as pollution.

A common objection is that by providing such rights, communitarians violate the negative rights of the citizens; rights to not have something done for you. Progressives, aka communitarians assert; individuals would not have any rights in the absence of societies. Conservatives view this as a negation of natural rights.

Progressives aka communitarians believe that negative rights may be violated by a government action, but argue that it is justifiable if the positive rights outweigh the negative rights lost. They further argue that negative rights are irrelevant in the absence of positive rights.

How do the communists define communitarian?

The Socialist Alliance programme is the foundation upon which everything else is built, including in time our exact organizational forms and constantly shifting tactics. The programme links our continuous and what should be all-encompassing agitational work with our ultimate aim of a communitarian, or communist, system. Our programme thus establishes the basis for agreed action and is the lodestar, the point of reference, around which the voluntary unity of the Socialist Alliance is built and concretised. Put another way, the programme represents the dialectical unity between theory and practice.” — Weekly Worker 368, Janury 25 2001. See also: 5. The transition to the communitarian system in the same issue of Great Britain Communist Party’s Weekly Worker.

The Ism Book – A dictionary of philosophies from Peter Saint-André, editor of the Monadnock Review defines communitarianism as:

Communitarianism (Idea and Movement in politics) – “With the demise of true socialism as a viable intellectual force, communitarianism is now the most active philosophical opposition to libertarianism. Communitarianism is usually presented in vague terms, but it is probably best understood as a mild form of collectivism or “democratic socialism.”

I’ve heard many times in recent months from individuals posting on various blogs that “communism is dead”, buried under the debris of the Berlin wall. I contend that it is dead only in name and it’s core beliefs have been resurrected under the guise of “progressivism/communitarianism” A belief that the State knows better how to run your life than you do. That individual liberties have no place in modern society and that without society you would have no rights at all.

As I stated in the beginning, this is an extensive research project and I am far from done but I thought I’d post this as the first installment with more to come. Next we’ll look at how the Tides Foundation provides overarching coordination of progressivism/communitarianism’s strategy of implementing their philosophy through the activities of a myriad of non-profit organizations and how the Apollo Alliance, a project of the Tides Foundation, was a major player in writing the text of the stimulus bill to further move the USA towards a communitarian society. (it’s okay if you want to read that as “communist”, I do)

Barack Obama’s “America [Must] Serve” Plan

By Scott Shields
Published 03/19/2010

Throughout Barack Obama’s campaign for president, he expressed his desire to increase community service in America. He outlined his plan, called “America Serves,” on, the website that provided details of his presidential agenda and transition. A screen-shot of America Serves is still available at

President Obama’s plan for community service is now described as a part of the White House’s agenda, and is outlined at

The introductory paragraph for America Serves on the original presidential transition website read as follows:

When you choose to serve – whether it is your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood – you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream.

I also am a strong believer in community service, and I volunteer my time for multiple causes. (One could argue that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is not simply an American ideal, but that the Founding Fathers believed the Creator endowed all men with those rights, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, but that may be splitting hairs.)

After that lofty introduction, however, details for Obama’s plan are listed. Details that, when analyzed, are not so inspiring; nor would the Founding Fathers be thrilled that their words were associated with it. President Obama informs us that he will “call on” Americans to serve. In Obama’s world, however, “call on” does not mean “ask” – it means “require.”

Children will be “required” to give 50 hours of community “service” in middle school and high school. An “energy-focused” youth-jobs program will “provide disadvantaged youth with … getting practical experience in fast-growing career fields.”

My immediate thought is that maybe – just maybe – I might have a better sense of whether my preteen or teenage child should be performing community service, or whether he might have other needs that require time spent elsewhere. Maybe I’ve had to hire a tutor to help him, or maybe he needs to watch a younger sibling after school. Maybe we have only one car and have limited ability to take him to and from the place of community service.

Regardless of the circumstances, I do not want the government reaching into our home and giving us another mandate about how to raise children.

College conscripts

One section of the America Serves plan indicates that President Obama will “require” 100 hours of service in college. Like many of the statements candidate Obama made and President Obama has made, it is not quite true. College students will actually be required to give 100 hours per year of college. A student who attends four years of college (the most common duration) will have a burden of 400 hours.

In exchange for the 100-hours-per-year commitment, President Obama proposes an American Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000 a year.

A tax credit is a curious compensation vehicle for college students because the vast majority do not generate sufficient income to take full – or even partial – advantage of that tax credit. Perhaps he envisions that the tax credit will carry forward for future years, but is that not simply a payment for services? And how can a program be called “public service” when the “service” is required and is compensated? I would like to know how that differs from requiring every college student to be a federal-government employee.

But the federal government’s intervention into college and universities does not end with mandatory conscription of every student. America Serves also calls for “at least” 25 percent of College Work-Study funds to “support public-service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries.” [Emphasis mine.]

The height of arrogance, but typical. The government is, apparently, not only entitled to intervene in the operations of a university, but also feels that at least 25 percent of work-study jobs are simply not needed. After all, colleges don’t need fully staffed dining facilities and libraries, do they? Or, perhaps, those jobs really are needed — in which case the colleges will simply have to hire workers to replace the work-study students the government has decreed should not be toiling in demeaning positions in cafeterias and libraries.

Retiring Americans will also be “engaged” to participate in America Serves. (The language is unclear whether “engaged” means “invited to volunteer” or is Obama-speak and participation will be mandatory.)

Note, also, that referring to “retiring” (not “retired”) Americans leaves open the possibility of similarly conscripting those Americans who may still be working full-time, raising children, supporting their parents, et cetera. After all, many “retiring” Americans are looking to at least 15 years of working before being eligible for Social Security benefits. (Wouldn’t paying Social Security taxes be considered “serving your community”?)

Slavery is not freedom

Thus, President Obama manages to invoke the lofty principles of the Declaration of Independence (“life, liberty, pursuit of happiness”) and infuse them with the exact opposite meaning: mandatory government labor. This written sleight-of-hand is a clever – though Orwellian – act of commingling the idea of forced labor and the warm glow of patriotism and humanity. Nevertheless, it will take a more profound man of letters to convince me that forced labor promotes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And forced labor is what it is. For how else do you refer to mandatory community service? Sure, Obama may declare that “your” community service could be configured how you want – if you’re a college student in a pre-med program, for example, you could serve in a hospital. If you are a high-school student and want to work with your hands, you could serve with a carpenter.

But what if your schedule is jam-packed with school, sports, and a paid part-time job? What activity will you curtail to meet your “civic duty”?

And what if someone refuses to participate in America Serves? Saying “no” to the government is not like saying “no” to a boss or to a teacher; it is not like saying “no” when asked to volunteer your time to a cause or an organization. Sure, saying “no” to a boss or teacher has negative consequences, but saying “no” to the government is almost never an option. (If you doubt that, try saying “no” to the IRS, a judge, or a police officer.) Having a monopoly on legalized violence means never having to accept “no” for an answer – whether or not it is unfair to the citizen.

Most galling of all Obama thinks he and the government have a right to take decision-making out of students’, parents’, and professionals’ hands, and to insist that the government has a claim on their time because it knows best. Many people choose not to perform community service, but Obama does not respect that decision; rather, he believes that community service provides such great benefits to society that individual decisions not to participate have no legitimacy.

One of the benefits of voluntary community service is the opportunity to willingly help others less fortunate or to promote a cause about which one feels so passionate that he offers his most valuable asset – his time. In return, the volunteer can take great pride in knowing he has done something worthwhile.

But can psychic benefit be achieved if the person is forced to assist others, or forced to select a cause to promote? There is just as much potential to feel that the activity is punishment – as if the “volunteer” is a cog in nothing more than a glorified chain gang.

I have no doubt that some children and adults would benefit from being exposed to the kinds of undertakings America Serves might promote and from participating in them. However, to subject all affected Americans to the program for the possibility that some may derive benefit is the same thinking that has led to all Americans’ paying taxes to support pet projects of some members of Congress.

In a very real sense, how is mandatory, government-enforced service any different from slavery? In both situations, you do not have a choice about whether to participate – you must participate with minimal (if any) recompense.

Murray Rothbard describes involuntary servitude in his classic discussion of individual rights, For a New Liberty:

[What] is slavery but (a) forcing people to work at tasks the slavemaster wishes, and (b) paying them either pure subsistence or, at any rate, less than the slave would have accepted voluntarily. In short, forced labor at below free-market wages.

Obama would counter that, under America Serves, Americans will have a multitude of choices to fulfill their obligation. But that is a specious argument, because the most important choice – whether or not to participate – is not an option. Just consider America Serves to be cafeteria-style involuntary servitude.

[Can you once again say socialism?]


Posted by straight shooter on March 20, 2010 under General, Health Care

A common example used to further the cause of “socialized medicine” in the United States is to point out how well it is working in countries such as France and Canada.  However, those living in Canada know full well that their government run health care program is most certainly not working.  As a matter of fact, many Canadian citizens choose to hire high priced brokers to find them quality health care right here in the United States because of the terrible bureaucracy that controls all forms of health care in Canada.  For more about what is really going on with the Canadian health care system please watch these short but very informative documentary videos:
You Tube: Dead Meat by Stuart Browning

The number of actual uninsured’s in the US has also been grossly inflated as well.  For the real numbers:

Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world.  Economists, government officials, insurers and academics alike are beating the drum for a far larger government role in health care.  Much of the public assumes their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex.  However, before turning to government as the solution, some unheralded facts about America’s health care system should be considered, says Scott W. Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers:

  • Breast cancer mortality is 52% higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88% higher in the United Kingdom.
  • Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in the United Kingdom and 457% higher in Norway.
  • The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40% higher.

Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries:

  • Some 56% of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
  • By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36% of the Dutch, 29% of the Swiss, 26% of Germans, 23% of Britons and 17% of Italians receive them.

Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians:

  • Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report “excellent” health compared to Canadian seniors (11.7% versus 5.8%).
  • Conversely, white Canadian young adults with below-median incomes are 20% more likely than lower income Americans to describe their health as “fair or poor.”

Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom:

  • Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long – sometimes more than a year – to see a specialist, to have elective surgery like hip replacements or to get radiation treatment for cancer.
  • All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada.
  • In England, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

Source: Scott W. Atlas, “10 Surprising Facts About American Health Care,” National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No. 649, 3/24/09

Because of how the Single Payer System is designed Canadian citizens have NO WHERE NEAR the choices that we as American citizens do.  As a matter of fact, until very recently (2005) it was simply not possible for a Canadian citizen to pay for their own health care or to purchase private medical insurance that would “bump them up the long waiting list” for medical treatments.  The reason Canadian citizens now have the right to do so (and it is still limited) is a direct result of long hard battles (many that are still being fought) that have been waged by brave Canadian citizens like Dr. Jacques Chaoulli who took his clients case all the way to the Canadian supreme court and won! Dr. Chaoulli ( and his patient, George Zeliotis, launched their legal challenge to the Canadian government’s monopolized healthcare system after waiting more than a year for hip-replacement surgery.

Canada’s high court found for the plaintiffs and in doing so issued the following statement: “The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public healthcare system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public healthcare.  The evidence also demonstrates that the prohibition against private health insurance and its consequence of denying people vital healthcare result in physical and psychological suffering that meets a threshold test of seriousness.”  Furthermore, Justice Marie Deschamps said, “Many patients on non-urgent waiting lists are in pain and cannot fully enjoy any real quality of life. The right to life and to personal inviolability is therefore affected by the waiting times.”

Furthermore, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute which keeps track of Canadian waiting times for various medical procedures.  According to the Fraser Institute’s 14th annual edition of “Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada (2006),” total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, rose from 17.7 weeks in 2003 to 17.9 weeks in 2006.  Depending on which Canadian province you live in, a simple MRI requires a wait between 7 and 33 weeks!  Orthopedic surgery could require a wait of 14 weeks for a referral from a general practitioner to the specialist and then another 24 weeks from the specialist to treatment!  For even more real life horror stories about Canadian citizens left in the lurch by the Canadian healthcare system read the well researched and fact based Wall Street Journal article entitled “Too Old For Hip Surgery” here: This is what happens when you put government in control of your health care decisions.  Doing so in this country, would be nothing short of a train wreck.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply uninformed or “willfully ignorant”.

Real healthcare reform can be accomplished through consumer education, weeding out abuse of existing Federal entitlement programs (via a legitimate needs assessment) and continued funding of State sponsored Risk Pools so that people who are declined for insurance have an affordable option to continue coverage if declined on the individual major medical market.  Following these few simple steps will go a long way towards not only maintaining our current health care system, but also towards keeping the bulk of our nations risk where it belongs, namely with the private health insurance sector.  In light of the recent multi Trillion Dollar “Bail Outs” and many other failing corporations coming to the table with their hats in their hands (and their private jets on the tarmac) the last thing our government should do is start cutting more blind “bail out” checks in an effort to “reform” the U.S. health care system.


Posted by straight shooter on March 9, 2010 under Economy, General, Political, Theological Concerns

Written to the church: “Because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev 3:16-17)

At a Texas Baptist University chapel service a chapel speaker shared how a man blind from birth had been led to a skilled surgeon.  After performing the meticulous operation, the man’s eyes were miraculously and perfectly healed.  For the first time he could observe the beauty of God’s creation.

A few weeks later a beautiful and heart-touching act unfolded.  Walking carefully into the doctor’s office were 10 men with their hand resting on the shoulder of one in front of them being led into the doctor’s office by the man who had been blind, but now seeing clearly.  When asked why they were there, the man leading them and still overflowing with joy explained, “These are my friends.  They have been blind from birth.  I want them to see as I see.”

What an inspirational picture.  Jesus said He not only came to “set the captives free, but to restore sight to the blind and free those who are downtrodden.” (Luke 4:18)  If there was ever a time when blind eyes need to be opened, it is now!

The story exemplifies what every Christian should be doing as it relates to their faith.  We should be so excited about being able to see clearly the will of God and His ways along with the profound results of this transforming experience that we simply can’t wait to share with others.   is too special to be kept secret and withheld.

Even when threatened by persecution and prison, the New Testament believers in the book of Acts boldly proclaimed, “We cannot help but speak the things we have seen and heard!” (Acts 4:20)  It is sad to acknowledge, but much of the church today is not only asleep, they are by their failure to lead others into the light proving to be blind to the truth and their responsibilities.  Jesus said, “You are blind leaders of the blind, and when the blind lead the blind they will both fall in the ditch.”

We are witnessing firsthand the tragic effect this has on the church and our nation.  We are blindly being led into the ditch of defeat, despair, dissension, division and debt with little resistance.  It is amazing to watch those who are in the ditch trying desperately to make it more comfortable.  In the Christian church, people seem to find false comfort in stained-glass windows, cushioned pews, and sweet little messages that move no one to action, but enhance the slumber.  We air-condition the ditch, decorate it, install magnificent pipe organs, have big choirs, loud praise and gifted musicians and take pride in the gathering, but only a few dare to come out from under the covering of conformity and compatibility that leads to compromise and an ineffective witness.  We hide the light under this bushel and refuse to put it on the lamp stand.  We took our influence out of society.  We stopped standing up ourselves and others.  We stopped standing firm and truly piercing the darkness with the transforming light of God’s truth.

Christians were never intended to live in this mode defeat.  The church has been misled, and even bullied, for years to stay out of the fray, stay in the pew or under it, to be content to remain in the shadows of ineffective unbelief rather than living in the shadow of the Almighty while not only declaring His truth, but demonstrating its effect being salt and light.

Our nation’s leaders, for decades and with far too few exceptions, have been leading us into a ditch of hopeless dependence upon a government power that our Founders told us at its best is in itself but a “necessary evil” because of the evil deeds of mankind, and their refusal to live under control.  The Founders understood that government, in order to function effectively, must be limited.  People must remain free to not only live, but to be productive and charitable so they can really find the peace and happiness that they sincerely pursue.  Government cannot provide it.  Only God can!

Right now we are seeing what could prove to be a tragic knee-jerk reaction to very real and serious problems.  Men are not seeking sane solutions.  They are continually engaged in fruitless discussions, like a loud, clanging noise that is not the fruit of love, but self-interest which will keep men under their thumb and the church hiding, as Jesus put it, “under a basket or a bowl.” (Luke 11:33)

I am not denying for one moment that we don’t have some very real problems that need to be addressed, but in this knee-jerk reaction, we are likely to replace what people are concerned about and frustrated over with something not only ineffective, but worse.  This has been the tendency and practice for many decades.  Some of the most serious problems began to rapidly grow when an inappropriate response to the Great Depression led the United States to begin a trend toward dependence upon the feeble, worthless promises of mere men rather than remaining free to become productive and prosperous with the church influencing people to avoid greed and unnecessary selfish indulgence while forgetting others.  The nation began to build systems in which we confiscate the success of others and dole it out at the whim of politicians who find it easy to tell people who have any need, “We’ll get what they have and give it to you!”

Alexis de Tocqueville stated: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse [money, bounty, assistance, gifts] from the public treasury.”

Alexander Frazer Tytler added to that later: “From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

Benjamin Franklin had also written: “Once the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.”

The excess of some corporations and the excess in the demands of unions spearheaded the foolish practices of some who prospered, which in turn led to a hatred for those who succeed because of the benefits offered by the free market.  Foolish solutions will never solve the real problems.

Our Founders understood that every able-bodied person should help bear the load, and that if we are going to love our neighbor and meet needs, that responsibility is not going to be assumed only by the upper end in society, but by every person who is able to help in any way, large or small.

We are intensifying class warfare that makes typical racism pale in comparison and people are finding it justifiable.  Let me declare emphatically, WE ARE DIGGING A DITCH!  We are not digging our way out!

This debt load is unbearable and many of the policies we are about to embrace, which foolish people have put forward as a solution to serious problems, are going to be passed on to our precious children and their children.  Many elected representatives are spreading the lie that it is beneficial to forcefully take from the rich and give to the poor.  The fact is, we’re going to disable their ability to continue producing opportunities and jobs, expanding opportunity for all and employment for many.  They are also now setting in place the confiscation of any potential productivity of our children and grandchildren.  This is happening because church and political leaders are blind leaders of the blind.

Greed and selfishness are problems clearly defined as sin.  These problems are not only to be addressed by the church and its leaders, but, as believers, we have the only solution to the problems and that is changing hearts and changing lives.  In the family of faith we have made people like us, rather than like Christ.  We have made disciples of men rather than Him.  God forgive us.

Isaiah said, “Who is so blind as my servant?” (Isaiah 42:19)  In a later chapter he said, “His watchmen are blind. They all lack knowledge.” (Knowledge of the truth that sets men free.)  “They are mute dogs, and they cannot bark.” (Isaiah 56:10)  I believe they are refusing to bark because of the fear of man and the fear of opposition.

I, for one, will not remain silent.  The horror and coming despair is too great to bear.  Hear me loudly and clearly! I say this as emphatically as I can: Unless the church allows the glory of God to rise and shine, and stands together to rebuild the walls and restore the foundations, freedom hope and prosperity as we have known it, will vanish from the earth.  I know God does not have to use America or the nations that have enjoyed some semblance of freedom to turn the tide.  He can raise sons from stone, and He can speak through any available source.  The tide will not turn without the influence of believers who have been blessed to see what a nation can do when it is established on Biblical principles and a foundation of faith by the founders of this nation. They came here seeking the freedom that only God can give, protect, and preserve. It will only be protected and preserved by those bold enough to take off the blinders, refuse to follow the blind, and ask God to open our eyes so that we may see clearly His will and walk in His ways.

May God give us all eyes to see clearly the way out of every ditch that blindness has led us into.


Posted by straight shooter on February 16, 2010 under Abortion, General, Social Concerns

Planned Abortionhood slithers into Haiti to capitalize on its lucrative pastime of killing babies with relief funds donated to major organizations like UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.  Find other good organizations to give to that will get the relief fund to the people for what it was intended. Not the ones in this article.

What is Planned Parenthood really doing in Haiti?

Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 2/14/2010 4:15:00

Planned Parenthood International Planned Parenthood has focused on the earthquake in Haiti to raise funds – but for what purpose?

While aid workers continue the hard work of meeting the basic needs of Haitians, International Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups are making their presence known. Paul Tuns is editor of The Interim, which bills itself as “Canada’s Life and Family Newspaper.”

“When you dig around and look at [their] website and look at the medical services that they are providing, the priorities that they give are to – quote – “low-cost, quality sexual and reproductive healthcare,” he states.

The pro-life journalist says while Planned Parenthood does not further define on its website and in its literature what that entails, “we know from experience [that it] includes contraceptives, birth control and condoms – and often, but not always, abortion.”

According to Tuns, there has been a call from pro-abortion sources – mostly in Florida – to increase abortion facilities at this time of need. But what Haitian women really need, he explains, is food, water, and shelter, as well as prenatal care, quality delivery services, and post-natal care. He cautions people about the groups they give money to for aid and relief.

“Groups such as UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Committee of the Red Cross are all clearly involved with either doing abortions, promoting sterilization, or working with groups that do abortions,” he shares.

Tuns says Samaritan’s Purse and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief are just two of the Christian-based relief organizations that merit pro-life support.


Posted by straight shooter on February 11, 2010 under Education, General, Religion, Social Concerns

Truth, Love, and Endurance

Dr. King and Christian Activism

As Americans observe Martin Luther King Day today, I am reminded of the rich Christian tradition of activism in this country. For millions of Christians who have gone before us, activism was considered fruit of the faith. Not only was the civil-rights movement led by evangelical Christians like Dr. King, so too were campaigns for abolition and women’s suffrage heavily influenced by Christians expressing their faith.

But for much of the 20th century, Christians – especially white evangelicals – shied away from activism. Part of the reason is that from about the 1920s to the 1970s, many evangelical Christians simply withdrew from the public square. Defeats in Prohibition and the discouraging results of the Scopes trial left many evangelicals disheartened. Soon the rich activist tradition was lost or divorced from true faith.

But in the African-American community, Christian principles and hopes prodded the rise of the civil-rights movement. It was not until the ’80s with the rise of the Moral Majority, that activism began to resurface among white evangelicals. Unfortunately, as Tim Stafford notes in his new book, Shaking the System, by then, “The very idea of Christians advocating for public causes created panic among secularists and dreams of utopia (a long-lost Christian America?) among true believers.”

This is why I like Stafford’s book so much: It draws from the rich history of Christian involvement to revive that lost knowledge of what it looks like to be a Christian activist.

True Christian activism, Stafford writes, always begins with the truth. “That means,” Stafford says, that “the true activist is a witness, anxious to pass on truth to others.” This is how the abolition movement began in the United States. About 30 years before the Civil War, the truth that slavery was a sin began to break through the consciousness of more and more Americans.

Soon all activists, however, learn that not everyone can handle truth. That is why a second thing that any Christian should know about engaging the world with a Christian worldview is to expect resistance. When truth collides with the status quo, Christian activists had better know where their ultimate hope lies.

Christians must also have a strategy for shaking the system: from prayer to dialogue, from political involvement to pressure tactics such as boycotts and strikes.

But above all, like Dr. King, the activist must possess courage and an unyielding faith in the God of justice. Injustice does not loosen its grasp easily. We must be prepared for a long haul, drawing on the rich resources of community and that abiding hope and passion for truth. And we must avoid violence: in our rhetoric and our actions. As Martin Luther King reminded those who gathered at his home after it had been bombed, “Don’t get panicky. … I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.”

So if the life of an activist holds so much discouragement and risk, why get involved at all? Because a Christian understanding of the world compels us to combat injustice and promote truth. That is a thought worth reflecting on, when we speak of people like Martin Luther King – a man who exhibited those qualities.